I'll Come Speak

    I write and speak on all sorts of topics: ancient Christian spirituality and the Eastern Orthodox faith, the Jesus Prayer, marriage and family, the pro-life cause, cultural issues, and more. You can contact Cynthia Damaskos of the Orthodox Speakers Bureau if you’d like to bring me to an event. This Calendar will let you know when I’m in your neighborhood.

 

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Friday
Nov132015

St. Marina

July 17 is the feast of the valiant St. Marina, who was martyred in the 3rd century. Over the years she has kept intersecting with my life—those odd synchronicities that make you wonder if there’s something going on that you don’t know what to do with.

—In 1981 my husband and I (and kids) moved to Woodbridge, VA, where he had been called as the rector of St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church. Funny thing about that name. The woman who donated the money to found the church, half a century ago, asked that it be named for the patron saint of her school, St. Margaret. But by mistake the committee dedicated it to St. Margaret of Antioch, a.k.a. St Marina, and not St. Margaret of Scotland, whom the school had been named for.

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Friday
Nov132015

Remembrance of Death

Here’s something I use, to keep the certainty of death in mind.

Feel the bones in your wrist. Those are your bones, part of your skeleton. If an archaeologist found your remains a thousand years from now, that’s what they would find. Not some other theoretical bones, but your own bones, the ones inside your wrist right now.

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Friday
Nov132015

How to Read the Philokalia

The Philokalia is a 5-volume (4 in English, so far) compilation of writings from the 4th to the 14th century on “Prayer of the Heart,” the process of uniting the personality and bringing it into communion with God. It’s a difficult work to approach, and several people have come up with suggestions on how to get started—what works to read in what order. Here’s a list I made, by compiling that advice.

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Friday
Nov132015

A Guide to Orthodox Baptism and Chrismation

The Rites of Baptism and Chrismation

 

Why are we facing the back of the church?

If you have been invited to attend a friend’s Baptism, you would expect to come into the church and face toward the altar. But the preliminary parts of an Orthodox Baptism take place at the back of the church (or in some cases, in the church’s entry hall, called a narthex). This is because, in the early centuries, Baptisms were performed outside the church; the new members of the congregation literally “entered” the church. Now the first part of the ceremony takes place at the back of the worship space, and then the baptismal party moves to the center of the room for the Baptism itself. Finally, they come to the front of the church for the Chrismation, the anointing service that completes church membership, and represents the bestowing of the Holy Spirit (it’s analogous to Confirmation in Western churches.)

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Monday
Sep212015

Complete Vita 1 - Awards Honors Positions

Awards

Best American Spiritual Writing, 2007, Houghton Mifflin

Best Christian Writing 2006, Jossey-Bass

Best Regular Column: Culture, the Arts, and Leisure, Catholic Press Association, 2004

Best Christian Writing 2004, Jossey-Bass

Best Christian Writing 2002, HarperSanFrancisco

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Monday
Sep212015

Complete Vita 4 - Essays

2016

“When Abortion Stopped Making Sense,”

National Review Online, January 22, 2016

“St. Xenia of St. Petersburg,”

Frederica.com, Jan 24, 2016

“Favorite Stories of Holy Cross,”

Frederica.com, Jan 24, 2016

“Praise Choruses,”

Frederica.com, Jan 30, 2016

“The Finest Hours” movie review,

Frederica.com, February 2, 2016

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Monday
Sep212015

Complete Vita 3 - Speaking Events

2016

Messiah College (Skype), January 12, 2016

Linthicum Women’s Club, February 22, 2016

St. John Chrysostom Church, York PA, April 3, 2016

Wilberforce Forum, Alexandria VA, April 9, 2016

Annunciation Church, Little Rock, AR, June 3-4, 2016

St. Demetrios Church, Baltimore MD, June 12, 2016

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Monday
Sep212015

Complete Vita 2 - Books

Welcome to the Orthodox Church: An Introduction to Eastern Christianity

(Paraclete Press, 2015; 800-451-5006)

 

The Jesus Prayer: The Ancient Desert Prayer that Tunes the Heart to God

(Paraclete Press, 2009; 800-451-5006)

In England, Darton, Longman & Todd, 2010

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Monday
Sep212015

Complete Vita 5 - Print Radio TV  Interviews

 

2015

Dignity of Human Life, Spring 2015

National Review, June 13, 2015

Sinteza (Romania), Summer or Fall 2015

I am Proud to be Catholic, Sept 21, 2015

 

2014

Mary Ziegler, book about early pro-life movement, Aug 5, 2014

 

2013

Alaina Jenkins, MA project at St. Mary’s Ecumenical Institute, Apr 16, 2013

 

2012

Laura Hussey interview for book on Pregnancy Care Centers, Sept 18, 2012

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Monday
Sep212015

Orthodoxy in America

[Sinteza magazine, Romania, Summer or Fall 2015]

-Which is now the place of Orthodoxy in a world of such a great religious diversity as America? What do Americans generally know about the Orthodox Church? What do they know about Romania?

America was founded mostly by Protestants, though some areas were populated by Roman Catholics. But over the years it has become extremely diverse, such that people of every land and every faith are visible in our cities. We are not as free to display Christian symbols, such as a cross or a stone engraved with the Ten Commandments. People of other faiths protest and demand equal time. Recently, a group of Satanists demanded the right to place a statue of Satan next to a stone carved with the Ten Commandments on a public lawn. Atheists also attack the expression of Christian beliefs in public places. While a very large percentage of the country is still Christian, the  people in power tend to be atheists and despise Christians (in part because we oppose abortion and same-sex marriage).

 

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