They devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers ... And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts ..." (Acts 2:42-47)
The turtle dove’s call was known by everyone in the Middle East. Like our mourning dove, its soft, deep coo seems to draw a listener to another world. They prefer hidden and quiet places, in mountains or deserts far from crowds. For all these features, the Holy Scriptures use the turtle dove as a symbol of detachment. God calls our hearts to remain disconnected from the world. We are strangers, pilgrims, gypsies in foreign country. Our efforts to remain detached should influe
Imagine if everything in your life falls apart. Will you still love God? If your loved ones become sick or die, if you are insulted, abused, and slandered, will you love God? If you endure all that, but your prayers are unanswered, and God remains silent, will you still love God? The Canaanite woman shows us the kind of determination needed by a Christian. “[Jesus] went away to the district of Tyre and Sidon. Just then a Canaanite woman from that region came out and started s
“After receiving baptism it is required of us not to incline towards pleasure, but towards mortification” ~ St. John Chrysostom. Statements like this bother me. God blesses many pleasures in our lives. Mirth and joy are at the crux of Christianity. Nonetheless, St. John’s words ring true. We are here to mortify ourselves. We are here to climb up on the cross right alongside with Christ — to share in his crucifixion. How do we hold these extremes together? “Then Jesus was led
“In thy presence is the fullness of joy, and at thy right hand there is pleasure forevermore” (Psalm 16:12). We do not seek joy enough. This is our problem. We spend our time chasing cheap substitutes for it, lusting after fleeting thrills and avoiding the source. The purpose of Lent is to pull us up out of our poverty, so that we can enjoy true pleasure: the pleasure of glorifying God. “As he approached Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging” (Luke 18:35).