An Uncomplicated Truth

by Fr. Patrick Henry Reardon It is reasonable, I suppose—or at least natural—for modern students of religion to wonder how the earliest Christians, all of them Jews, were able to reconcile their belief in the divinity of Christ with the monotheism enshrined in Israel’s Sh’ma’. Indeed, historians of Christian thought have devoted many studies to […]

The Holy Eucharist: A Live Coal

By Fr. Patrick Reardon Speaking of the Holy Eucharist, the Fathers and early liturgical texts of the Church have recourse to the metaphor of the flaming coal (anthrax, pruna) in reference to the Lord’s body. For instance, with Isaiah 6:7 obviously in mind, The Liturgy of St. James refers to “receiving the fiery coal” (labein […]

The Subjectively Conscious Part of the Cosmos

by Fr. Patrick Henry Reardon The thinking man, if he wants his thought about freedom to be complete, must reflect—on the basis of his own experience—that freedom is inseparable from consciousness and the conscious experience of pursuing and discerning truth. If freedom is really free, it must be part of self-reflective thought, or logos; otherwise […]

How Intercessory Prayer Works in Christ According to the Bible

by Fr. Patrick Henry Reardon Does the Bible tell us to go ‘directly to Jesus’, or is there something else it reveals about Christian intercessory prayer? Among those sections that the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, independent of Mark, have in common, almost all are directly didactic. That is to say, those sections almost invariably […]

The Analogy of Freedom

by Fr. Patrick Henry Reardon Human freedom is an experience before it is a concept. Indeed, even as concept, freedom is extremely elusive. It is hardly surprising that modern science, concerned with precision and objectivity, is distinctly uncomfortable with it. The “scientific method,” with its emphasis on measurement and predictability, finds it much easier to […]

Freedom and Man’s Fall

by Fr. Patrick Henry Reardon It is important that Christians, when they speak of “human nature,” understand this expression in a biblical sense. And when they are told that “human nature does not change,” they should recognize the assertion as more Aristotelian than Christian. When God created human beings, it was precisely for the purpose […]

The Truth of Orthodox Anthropology

Transfiguration plays a major role in understanding mankind, the reality and quality of freedom, and the intention of God in the creation of the Universe. by Fr. Patrick Henry Reardon Gregory the Theologian placed the synthetic —body and soul—quality of human existence in the larger context of the whole created order, within which he distinguished […]

Body and Soul, and the School of Synergy

by Fr. Patrick Henry Reardon The Church Fathers sometimes use the word synthesis when they speak of the mutual relationship of man’s soul and body (E.g., Clement of Alexandria, Stromateis 4.26; Cyril of Alexandria, Letters 45; Maximus the Confessor, Letters 15). When they treat of the synthetic quality of human nature, however, they are not […]