Watered Down Faith

“It’s like trying to take an aspirin for cancer!” OK, that got my attention! The speaker was talking about the dangers of watering down the clear message needed for our group so that it wasn’t so discomforting. But his illustration really drove the point home that some problems need the fully potent dose of truth to be corrected. I admit it hit home with me, especially as I thought about how just…

3 Invaluable Insights

Our busy lives really do challenge us in keeping our priorities in the right order, don’t they? We moderns are a complicated mishmash of schedules, opportunities, affluence, and “freedom.” And that multiplication of events, desires, hopes, and advertisements don’t seem to be slowing down. It seems that each new day brings a new barrage of invitations, exhortations, and marketing all meant to fill up every available moment of our day with “You…

Bind on Earth; Bound in Heaven!

I’ve heard this so many times: Why can’t I find love? What’s wrong with me? The expectations of some fairy tale notions wound us and wound our children. And that, dearest, is precisely the evil one’s intentions. Because the end result of these fantasies is the depressing lie that there is no such thing as love and that always leads to “there is no such thing as God.” Game, set, match kingdom…

Taste Suffering SO THAT You Can Taste Glory

Sometimes, the scriptures say things that really unsettle me. But I’ve learned when that happens, that’s a clue that I am approaching a place in my own heart that needs attention. And it’s beginning to dawn on me that most of the time I am unsettled by the wisdom of the Faith it’s because this wisdom is touching on suffering. Take, for example, this quote from St. Isaac the Syrian: If you would…

Freedom from Anxiety

Well, the truth is I was worried (OK, actually worried and scared). I had never faced anything like this before and all I had ever heard was this situation was serious. And it was. But as I stood there waiting to face the music I so dreaded, I noticed something. My anxiety and fear were making things worse. These emotions and feelings were clouding my judgment, and that was dangerous. You see,…

Your Hunger Reveals Your Heart

“You are what you eat.” So goes the saying that has at times served as a means to get people to have better diets, and a way for philosophers to reduce the human person to merely a thinking animal, and even to theologians trying to have folks consider the profound teaches of the Eucharist. For the vast amount of history, before the modern industrial revolution, the search for food and “daily bread”…

The Temptation of Misplaced Trust

Say what you will about the old TV shows: They were naive. They weren’t completely honest. They were sentimental. All of that may be true, but at least they attempted to foster the best of our hopes and dreams rather than pandering to our lowest desires. One such show was “Father Knows Best.” Robert Young played the dad and the comedy was gentle, but the show focused on a good-natured father who really…

The Dead End of Comparison

“Excellence” is a term we hear a lot in sports and in business. And that ties the word to an idea of achievement or progress. But there is also an application of “excellence” when it comes to your relationship with God, and that has little to do with achievement or progress and everything to do with growing in love for God and others! Look at our lesson today in 1 Corinthians 12:27-31; 13:1-8…

Woe, Nellie!

One of the greatest attractions to me towards the Orthodox Church was the continuity of practice and, more importantly, a real connection to the People of God. There’s an old story about a British journalist visiting the library of one of the ancient monasteries on Mt. Athos in Greece. He was walking among the stacks with the monk librarian and the old monk was talking about this and that saint or writer and…

God Had Mercy!

“The best-laid plans of mice and men…” Most of us at least try to achieve a “planned life.” We plan for college. We plan our careers. We plan our relationships. We are forever warned against haphazard living, and rightly so because a haphazard life tends toward chaos and misery. Even our faith has all the earmarks of a clear path; a way of life, filled with clear instructions and a narrow plan for…