Look To Yourselves

The great, ancient philosopher Lao Tzu said “Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom. Mastering others is strength; mastering yourself is true power.” And I would, arrogantly, add that the first step in mastering yourself is truly knowing yourself. And that, my angels, is much more profound than what any of us might imagine. Of course, this is what’s behind all the Divine Mysteries of the Faith; the confrontation with…

We Prefer Rules over Wisdom

As a former police officer, I remember well having to memorize the rules of the road so that I could ENFORCE the rules. Of course all these laws were on the books for people’s safety, but I can’t tell you how tempting it was to reduce that central purpose to the mere enforcing the rules as a purpose unto itself. You can always tell the difference between an officer who gets the…

Fear Is The Mind Killer

  “I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.” This is the litany Paul Atreides recites in the book “Dune” as he is being tested.…

Everything is Great!

What if every time you turn around, no matter what happens, it ends up helping you? It seemed like it was one of those days. All the traffic lights were green. Even the cars in front of me were moving along at a good speed. My favorite song came on the radio in just enough time for me to hear the whole song before I arrived at my appointment. And then, when…

Are You Blessed?

There is a common temptation to reduce all religion to merely behavioral modification systems. In other words, too many people think Faith is about making you a “good” person. For some religious systems, this may be true. But it is decidedly NOT the normal Orthodox Christian mindset. Orthodox Christianity isn’t about making you a “good” person but making you a “REAL” person. The changes in your behavior, your choices, your priorities in…

Take His Lighter Burden!

Listen to Elder Joseph the Heychest: “Therefore, don’t despair when you fall, but get up eagerly and do a metanoia saying, “Forgive me, my dear Christ. I am human and weak.” The Lord has not abandoned you. But since you still have a great deal of worldly pride, a great deal of vainglory, our Christ lets you make mistakes and fall, so that you perceive and come to know your weakness every…

Make THIS MOMENT Sacred

We learn how to make all of life sacred by making one moment of our life sacred. While that may really sound paradoxical, it makes perfect sense when you consider that it’s only by a focused effort I can wake up to a wider truth. If I try to take in the whole world, eternity, and all things, I get overwhelmed. Why do you think we are so impassioned by politics and…

The Father’s Good Pleasure

I know, I know, it doesn’t make sense right off the bat. But it really is true; God wants to GIVE you everything He has! AND, you’re going to have to WORK for it! I really do get why this paradox is so confusing and, frankly, off putting. How can both of these truths BE true? God is all powerful. Who can resist Him? No one, that’s who. Humanity is bent toward…

The Temptation of Christ

What a provocative Gospel Lesson today! This is the passage that recalls our Lord’s 40 day sojourn in the wilderness after His Baptism. You know the story well. The Lord is led by the Spirit into the wilderness to pray and prepare for His public ministry that will eventually lead Him to the Cross, the Tomb, the Third Day rising, the Ascension, and, one day, the Second and Glorious Coming. While there…

Theology is Meant to be Lived not Just Argued

Recently a famous Evangelical pastor came out and stated that he is discovering that the history of the Church was plain that the Eucharist was the center of the Church’s life and not merely a sermon. I remember when I learned that the sermon wasn’t the normal center of Christian worship, it opened the floodgates of information about how normal Christianity was practiced for centuries AND the implications of this information for…