Great Lent and the Ascetic Foundations of Society

Today marks the beginning of Great Lent in the Orthodox Church. Not simply a fast, it is a time for that true asceticism which, according to Fr. Georges Florovsky, “is inspired not by contempt, but by the urge of transformation.” There is something of this true asceticism, even if imperfect and incomplete, at the basis of all human society. Continue Reading...

Does your 401K make you an idolator?

Here’s today’s offering from Jim Wallis’ Rediscovering Values for Lent on the Sojourners website: Today, instead of statues, we have hedge funds, mortgage-backed securities, 401(k)s, and mutual funds. We place blind faith in the hope that the stock indexes will just keep rising and real estate prices keep climbing. Continue Reading...

The Establishment Clause

The other day with Schools Of Government, I bemoaned the number of undergrads and graduate students in the United States who are stamped by the “academic” majors and programs within universities for the expressed purpose of preparing them for bureaucratic life and perhaps leadership in the municipalities, state and federal governments of these United States. Continue Reading...

Lenten Prayer Of St. Ephrem The Syrian

St. Ephrem the Syrian O Lord and Master of my life! Take from me the spirit of sloth, faint-heartedness, lust of power, and idle talk. But give rather the spirit of chastity, humility, patience, and love to Thy servant. Continue Reading...

Of Ashes and Detachment

In the liturgical calendar of the Western churches, today is Ash Wednesday, marking the beginning of the Lenten season. Christians around the world will attend services today that feature the imposition of ashes. Continue Reading...

Lent: Freedom and Responsibility

I would like to highlight another passage from Pope Benedict’s homily (mentioned below by Kishore) from last Sunday’s homily that has particular relevance to our work at Acton: We have listened together to a famous and beautiful passage from the Book of Exodus, in which the sacred author tells of God’s presentation of the Decalogue to Israel. Continue Reading...