Maria Evans

Another Day at the Office

Another Day at the Office

“That’s the beauty of the Office–it says for us what we can’t always say for ourselves, and when we say it enough times, it becomes part of us, packing itself away in the same place we learned to say the Lord’s Prayer, or the Gettysburg Address when we were forced to memorize it in the 8th grade.  Prayers like “Guide us waking and guard us sleeping” or The Song of Simeon or the Prayer of St. John Chrysotom become embedded in us in the same way a skin graft takes hold–not “us” originally, but in time, imperceptibly becoming us.”

From Shoemaker to Shepherd

From Shoemaker to Shepherd

“As his involvement in this work continued, Holly began to feel the call to Holy Orders.  He was ordained a deacon in 1855 and a priest in 1866. Around that time he was one of the co-founders of The Protestant Episcopal Society for Promoting the Extension of the Church Among Colored People–you and I would know them as the Union of Black Episcopalians.  He was clearly becoming more deeply involved in the emigration movement, and in 1861 he led 110 African-Americans to settle in Haiti.”

The Language of Liturgy–Cyril and Methodius

The Language of Liturgy–Cyril and Methodius

“Their understanding of the Slavic language was exactly what the Byzantine emperor, Michael III, and Constantinople’s patriarch, Photius, needed to evangelize and build a relationship in Slavic  territory, so the two brothers were sent as missionaries. They ran into a hurdle almost immediately… If the Slavs were to understand the Good News in Christ, it would have to be in Slavonic…so Cyril set about creating an alphabet with Methodius’ help, so the liturgy and the Bible could be translated into the vernacular of the people.  His alphabet, the Glagolitic alphabet, would evolve into what we now know as the Cyrillic alphabet. (Yes, he’s *THAT* Cyril!)”

She had Spunk

She had Spunk

“Through the lens of Marcella’s life we are reminded that the inclusivity of any group of people who are “different”, at times, has tragic costs.  We see this mirrored in the lives of women throughout history, through minority groups, and through the struggles of the LGBT community. So many commonalities overlap–in particular, the need to be recognized by at least a few of those who belong to the status quo, the subterfuge of the ruses that must be perpetuated to not garner unwanted attention, and, sadly, the risk of losing one’s life.”

Antony of Egypt

Antony of Egypt

“It would have been easy for him to allow himself to be the visitor’s intercessor, to put himself in the position of the holy man with special connections to God–yet he did not.  As harsh and jarring as Antony’s response might be, he displayed his own humility by pushing his visitor to take his own journey with God. Feeling God’s connection to us often is strongest when we allow ourselves to be vulnerable enough to both wail at God and rail at God.”

Sheer Silence

Sheer Silence

“Jesus displayed the act of self-emptying–kenosis–on the Cross, and although we can never achieve the level of self-emptying that he could–that whole “fully human, fully divine” concept we embrace in the Nicene Creed–we still stand a better chance of sensing God’s presence when we empty ourselves, even a little bit.  It’s why in addition to words, for a more rounded prayer life, many people incorporate at least some form of silence as a prayer practice.”

The Prophet Who was an Ancient Neurobiologist and Didn’t Know It

The Prophet Who was an Ancient Neurobiologist and Didn’t Know It

“Scripture describes stinginess and oppressing others as “hardening our heart”–but in reality, we’ve hardened our brains.  Brains too hard-wired can’t move very far in the direction of generosity.”

He Knew Who He Was

He Knew Who He Was

“The deep faith that C.S. Lewis came to know and share with others, did not come from shiny happy Christianity, but instead from his own life tragedies–the loss of his mother at a young age, the horrors of his service during WWI, his own sense of otherness from being an Irish soul who lived in England most of his life, and the untimely loss of his wife.”

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