Hill Country News

Silence and Poetry

From time to time, folks will ask me, “Do the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit really speak to us?” And when I assure them that the Most Holy Trinity does, indeed, communicate with us, the next question is always some version of this: “Well, how do you hear the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit?”

Listening to the Most Holy Trinity is a skill, and, like any other skill, it can be learned. But there are two dimensions to this particular skill set: If you want to communicate with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, the first thing you have to do is learn how to be quiet; the second thing you have to is learn the language of poetry.

What Christmas Means to Me

Editor Scott Coleman wants to know what the Christmas Season means to me. The best way I can express that is by telling you what I’m going to be doing on the morning of Wednesday, December 26.

Like all Orthodox priests, I go to work on Christmas Day, but on the Day After Christmas, I get up while everyone else is still asleep. I go into the kitchen; I fire up the oven and one of the burners on the stove; I pull a cookie sheet and a frying pan out of the cabinets, then I reach into the refrigerator and get a pound of thick-sliced, super-smoked applewood-seasoned bacon, a tube of those ready-made biscuits, and a big tub of butter.

“Nothing Is Very Strong”

“Fact is, I had no reason to do it, and I just thought…(expletive deleted), life is boring so why not?”

That’s what the 1000 Oaks shooter posted on Instagram, when he paused in the midst of his stunning crime. The twenty-eight year old had already killed eleven people; he would go on to gun down a policeman and then take his own life.

We used to spend a good deal of time and energy wondering why someone would do something so terrible. We don’t do that much anymore, and that may be a sign that we’re actually getting used to this kind of random violence.

Prayer and Peace

I finally figured it out. Y’know how a lot of times one person will remind you of someone else, but you just can’t quite put your finger on who that someone else is? That’s the way it’s been with me and our current president, Donald Trump. Of course, The Donald has been around for a long time. I never paid much attention to him until he started his presidential campaign; however, ever since then, I’ve been dogged by the thought that he just reminds me of someone else.

Dear Young Couple That I Surprised This Past Week

Greetings in the Name of the Lord. I’m the guy in the black dress that was tapping on the window of your car at 5:45am. And, yeah, I know: when you’re sitting in your car with nothing on but your underwear, a priest is pretty much the last person you want to see. But, in the future, if you refrain from parking behind churches, you’ll significantly lower the odds of that kind of encounter.

Communicating with Christ Jesus

This time around, Editor Scott Coleman has asked us to select, from the Bible, the specific teaching of Christ Jesus that we believe is “most important today”. The question suggests that our Lord and Master is someone like Albert Einstein or Blaise Pascal or Aristotle—a great thinker or teacher or philosopher who has left behind a body of writing from which we can draw insights or principles that apply to our current cultural situation. That’s certainly the way a lot of folks think of Christ Jesus. But it’s a mistaken approach.