If You Have Friends . . .

“If you have friends, avoid constant meetings with them. For if you meet only on rare occasions, you will be of more help to them. And if you find that harm comes through meeting them, do not see them at all.  The friends that you do have should be of benefit to you and contribute […]

Doxology: A Reflection on the Book of Revelation

The Book of Revelation opens, “The revelation of Jesus Christ.” From the outset the book claims, straightforwardly enough, to be about the revelation of Jesus Christ. And as a revelation it involves the “re-veiling” or removal of a veil, the uncovering of veiled or hidden things. The revelation of Jesus Christ is his unveiling. It […]

Stay In The City

“The city is prayer. Resistance is rebuttal through Christ Jesus. The foundation is incensive power. Let us stand firm in the fear of God, rigorously practicing the virtues and not giving our conscience cause to stumble. In the fear of God let us keep our attention fixed within ourselves, until our conscience achieves its freedom.” […]

Ephrem the Syrian on Virginity

In his Hymns on Virginity, Ephrem does more than write about not having sex. He also discusses seemingly tangential things like anointing oil, interpretation of Scripture, the natural world, Baptism, the Eucharist, and the Church. And it’s not like he weaves them into his reflections on virginity with the kind of subtlety that only careful […]

Ephrem’s affect on me

  A shift in perspective, experience of scripture, and beauty of our hope. St. Ephrem the Syrian, even in translation, is one of the most powerful writers and profoundly beautiful poets I have ever read.  The way the Holy Spirit illumines Scripture through his writings has opened up the horizons of my heart and mind […]

Unlimited: A Reflection on the Gospel of Luke

I expect to love Jesus. And I expect Jesus to love me. I want to be near Jesus. And I want Jesus to want to be near me. Yet when I encounter the apostles and they lead me to Jesus, I pause. I pause and I stop because Jesus looks different when he’s surrounded by […]

A Reflection on Second Corinthians

My dear sisters and brothers, I write to you in contemplation of our deaths, “for we are convinced that One has died for all; therefore, all have died.” And I write to you in contemplation of our Life, for “He died for all, so that those who live might live no longer for themselves, but […]

To Enter Into His Glory

It’s Sunday afternoon. Two disciples of Jesus are walking to Emmaus, a few miles away from Jerusalem. As they walk, they discuss the bizarre events of the previous days. Their leader – a man named Jesus whom they had followed as he cast out demons, healed the sick, and raised the dead – had been […]

Counting the cost

Symeon lives the divine life through the practice of the virtues. Throughout his entire Hymns on Divine Eros, he focuses on the wedding of the virtuous life and the knowledge of Christ. Specifically, I want to highlight the union in Hymn 28 in the context of vigilance and repentance.  Here, in his own practice of […]

On Mary, With Gratitude

As I prepare for Thanksgiving, Advent, and our reading series on Jacob of Serug’s homilies on Mary, it seems only right to pause and give thanks for the Mother of God. She has become an important model for me in many ways, and like Jacob, I hope to speak of her with love and reverence. […]