The Christian life is not easy, but it actually is simple. When we clearly understand what sin and holiness are, then our choice to turn away from sin and be holy becomes clear, too.
Orthodox Christians should find their identity in Christ and in the saving dogmas proclaimed about Him universally in Orthodox tradition. How we calculate Pascha (which was not set by the Apostles) is not one of those things.
The Scriptures and all the liturgical services of the Orthodox Church include the theme of spiritual warfare, but it is particularly prominent in the liturgical services for the martyred saints.
Ten years ago, I was present at a sermon on the Sunday of the Triumph of Orthodoxy given by the late Fr. Thomas Hopko, three years before he died. The title he gave the sermon was “What Triumph of Orthodoxy?” And he said that there never really was such a thing.
Why not just ask to enter into the Great Feast of Pascha, into the Kingdom of God, without having to go through this purification? Why won’t God just open the door and say, “Come on in” to everyone?
Real love for God is when we can begin to pray without expectations, without conditions that we lay down for God, willing to accept whatever God is going to give us. A true child of God will fall down at the Master’s feet and say, “Lord, help me.” It doesn’t matter what then happens.
We don’t get caught up in the endless controversies and pursuits of this world. Let such dead ways of living bury themselves, because death is their aim. Here we have no lasting city. We seek the City which is to come.
Here in 21st century America, the only truly unforgivable sin — in many cases, the only sin — is having the wrong opinion.