Every year around Christmas reports give an astronomical explanation of the Star of Bethlehem: A supernova, or a conjunction of planets… These are all nonsense.
We’re all familiar with the image of three men on camels, traveling trackless sand dunes by starlight: “Field and fountain, moor and mountain, / Following yonder star.” But how accurate are our Hallmark greeting cards?
The only way we can find ourselves is to deny ourselves… It’s only by loving the other that myself actually emerges.
Is the Theotokos seriously “more honorable than the cherubim and more glorious than the seraphim”?
Saint Ephrem the Syrian (4th century) wrote: No advantages do you offer those who love you, O world, you dwelling-place of sorrows. All who draw near to you do you seduce with your treasures and with all your delights, but in the day of death both the fair countenance of the beautiful and the might of the strong will be cast down into the grave. Woe to him who loves you and is loved by you, for his joy will be transformed into cries....