Life should be lived in preparation for death. The well-lived life is one marked by taking up the discipline of dying so that, when natural life comes to an end, we are able to die well. Death is inevitable. An old Yiddish saying goes something like, “Man plans and God laughs.” Yet, we go on … Continue reading Give Me Death… Or Something Like It.
Because I obsess about seemingly insignificant stuff, I do things like pore over the entire text of the four-volume Philokalia to see what the Desert Fathers have to say about how we are to respond to our enemies or adversaries. I was a bit surprised when I discovered that the writings of the twenty six … Continue reading Know Your Enemy
“I got the notion that struggle is key to the intellectual’s vocation from the communities I grew up in.” Michael Eric Dyson This quote from Dyson betrays his conviction that the work of an intellectual is not solitary. I couldn’t agree more. We all find our ways into vocations that demand varying degrees of mental … Continue reading Struggle and the Intellectual
I am deep, deep, DEEP into my midlife crisis. Everyone hits different moments in their lives where they begin to realize the finiteness of their existence. My awareness is particularly acute owing mostly to the fact that, as a hospital chaplain, I confront death multiple times every week. Granted, some of these deaths occur to … Continue reading Until My Final Day
When I was received into the Orthodox Church, I adopted a baptismal name of Herman after St. Herman of Alaska. Whenever I participate in a sacrament of the church, I am referred to as Germanos in honor of the saint. [Germanos is the Hellenized version of the Anglicized version (Herman) of the Russian name German. … Continue reading Wisdom From St. Herman of Alaska
Wealth is a problem. I guess we have all been conditioned to believe that wealth is the answer to problems of deprivation and need. It stands to reason that if the essentials for life cost more than we have to pay, then wealth provides for those needs. QED. But I still contend that wealth is … Continue reading Contentment is the Wealth of Nature
I might be a Marxist. There, I said it. God, that feels good. Now, if you haven’t left me for another blog, I’ll try to explain. I’ve heard all the critiques of Karl Marx and the Communist utopian dream. There is, no doubt, that attempts to realize Marx’s ideals on a large scale have certainly … Continue reading I Might Be A Marxist
Leave it to late capitalism to turn simplicity into an industry. Seriously. You can purchase a subscription to Real Simple magazine whose tagline is “Life Made Easier.” Now, what you’ll find in Real Simple is two hundred pages of advertisements for things like a simple cocktail dress for your annual holiday parties available from Bloomingdales … Continue reading Stock Up On Simplicity