Tag Archives: Eucharist

How The Early Church Viewed The Eucharist

Eucharist window

In a recent post I summarized my Faith journey into the Orthodox Church. I wanted to include a section in that post on the very important topic of the Eucharist in order to highlight maybe the most striking difference between what I grew up believing and what classical Christianity teaches. I didn’t include it in that post because it would have made it much too long, but I did save what I had written about it. That section is what follows here: Continue reading

The Last First Step

Last First Step

Back in 2011 I started writing a series of posts entitled “According to the Whole” which was focused on exploring the issue of Christian disunity and where I was looking for possible solutions. The posts were personal and were informed by my own intellectual and experiential journey, but they weren’t overtly autobiographical. I used them to ask questions, make diagnoses, and offer prescriptions in a general sense, but I didn’t use them to tell much of my story. Now my story which spawned those questions and thoughts has reached a definitive point, even a conclusion of sorts, and I want to finally tell it. Continue reading

The Right Dosage of Christ

Sts. Zossima and Mary of Egypt

St. Mary of Egypt receiving the Eucharist from the hand of St. Zossima after 48 years of repentance and ascetic struggle

In the reign of the emperor Trajan, at the start of the second century A.D., a man named Ignatius, who was the bishop of the Church in Antioch, was arrested for not sacrificing to the Roman gods. Around the year 108, he was thrown to the lions in the colosseum in Rome, and the account of his martyrdom has been preserved in the Church. The Church also preserved several letters that he wrote in his captivity — letters to the Philadelphian Christians, the Romans, the Trallians, the Magnesians, the Smyrnians, and the Ephesians. In his letter to the Church in Ephesus, St. Ignatius commends the Christians for holding true to the faith which was delivered to them — the faith he was going to die for — and not listening to the heresies of itinerant preachers, and he exhorts them to listen to their bishop, to assemble together frequently, and to celebrate God’s Eucharist, calling it the medicine of immortality and the antidote to death. Continue reading

To Make The Plebs Sancta Dei

People receiving the Eucharist in Bibiclat, Philippines on the feast of St. John the Baptist

When I first turned to take account of the sprawling landscape of Christian tradition which lay just behind me but of which I had never known, I had a certain sense of alarm, like discovering suddenly I was standing on the edge of a cliff.  The shear size of the landscape spreading out over time and space and encompassing all sorts and conditions of people and places affected my soul, and it changed my whole perspective.  And time and time again, I found, as I read about our Christian ancestors, that the center of their life in God and with each other was what I had grown up calling the Lord’s Supper, though it has more often throughout history been called the Eucharist (Thanksgiving). Continue reading

Thanksgiving

I’m sitting on a deck right now overlooking a meager acreage of Georgia woodland, its trees half clad in the dwindling purples, golds, and reds.  The rising sun behind the house casts a shadow slicing the trees in half with its severely angled rays.  Between the bare shafts and falling foliage is the truest blue this season’s sky has seen yet.  It’s still chilly, and the birds are at a relaxed pace, sounding their thanksgivings. Continue reading