The Approach of the Unapproachable Light

[The following was presented at the House of St Michael the Archangel Devotional Conference in January of 2014] What is this unforeseen wonder that is happening even now? Does God now wish to be seen by sinners also, He Who long ago ascended on high, and has taken his seat on a throne in his […]

Bowing Before the Father of Glory

[The following was presented at the House of St Michael the Archangel Devotional Conference in January of 2014] Ephesians 1: 17 I  pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you come to know him, 18 so that, with the […]

A Sermon on Christian Marriage

[The following was preached at the wedding ceremony of Peter Becker and Julia Paxton on July 27, 2013] Peter and Julia, today your friends and family have gathered from across the country to be with you. We are here as witnesses. We will watch you make marital vows to one another. These vows are the first […]

Potty Training through the Passions

“Once you recognize that the Lord’s judgments “are in all the earth” (1 Chr. 16:14), then everything that happens to you will teach you knowledge of God.” – St. Mark the Ascetic, “No Righteousness by Works,” sentence 66 We are potty training our almost three year old son, Declan, and it’s been all-consuming. My husband […]

On Fasting and Vigiling

In the House of St. Michael, we make devotional commitments each year. These are patterns of life, ways that we hear God inviting us to pursue him. Part of our commitment is to read The Philokalia together. And in the way of the writers of The Philokalia, we are encouraged to include a monthly fast […]

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. […]

The Case for Abbots

“We who live in coenobitic monasteries should of our own free choice gladly cut off our whole will through obedience to the abbot.  In this way, with God’s help, we shall become to some degree tractable and free from self-will.  It is good to acquire this art, for then…we shall not excite our incensive power […]

The senseless passion of anger

Now let us say something about the senseless passion of anger, which ravages, confuses and darkens every soul and, when it is active, makes those in whom it is easily and quickly aroused behave like beasts.  This passion is strengthened particularly by pride, and so as long as it is so strengthened it cannot be […]

Showered with Blessings

I think Nicolas would fit right in at the House of St. Michael. Like Nicolas, we hunger for communion with our Lord, and we question how to go about that, what path to walk to draw us closer to God and to help us overcome the passions. Like Nicolas, we turn to the fathers for […]