You Are The Light. You Are The City on the Hill!

The famous philosopher Aldus Huxley once wrote: “If most of us remain ignorant of ourselves it is because self-knowledge is painful and we prefer the pleasures of illusion.” Huxley wrote “The Perennial Philosophy” in 1945 and suggested that the basic wisdom of authentic human reality is common to all religions. An interesting historical note, he died the same day as C.S. Lewis and President John F. Kennedy. There is a great little…

Why Ask Why – Zacchaeus Sunday – Homily

Because when you forget your “why” you lose your way! When you lose the central truth of anything, the chances of that truth staying with you in a meaningful way reduce to zero! The Orthodox Faith touches every aspect of our everyday lives and attacks the basic weakness and spiritual sickness of self-centeredness. As we approach Great Lent and confront dear Zacchaeus, we are confronted with the consequences of desiring Jesus above…

One Of A Kind

It’s never been “popular” to confront our very prideful and “autonomous” societies with the exclusive teaching that the only way to God the Father is through Jesus Christ. In fact, most societies and cultures have reacted rather badly to this Christian faith message. Our human history shows a swing in the pendulum of society between the extremes of individualism (like today’s society) and the communal erasure of the person, like societies where…

Invest Your Talents!

I remember reading the book “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie years ago. You see, I thought going into sales was going to be my career and that classic book was part of a foundational training for budding salesmen. Going through my first sales training was eye-opening, to say the least. We learned how to overcome objections and hesitancy in our potential customers, and I just couldn’t shake…

A Fitting High Priest

In World War 1 the two opposing armies would dig in and conduct what was then called “trench warfare.” The land between the two armies entrenched in the fight was called “no man’s land” because anybody who tried to attack would be shot by the other side! Not a pleasant place to be. In fact, it’s a very dangerous place to be! But recently I was teaching after our regular Wednesday night…

Learning Wisdom

A recent conversation with my youngest daughter was a real eye-opener.  It all started with a common selfie pose I saw among her friends. It was the exact same pose as a young man who had been arrested at a violent protest in the news. I shared this concern with her and she immediately got defensive. As we talked I was able to assure her I wasn’t accusing her or her friends…

Not Lawful on the Sabbath

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 of the rules as a purpose unto itself. You can always tell the difference between an officer who gets…

Transcendent Power vs. Temporary Problems

“But, father, why is this happening to me?” It was a hard question to hear, mainly because I didn’t have an answer. I was sitting across from this precious father as he told me about the medical diagnosis of his little girl. It wasn’t good, and he didn’t understand why God was allowing this to happen to an innocent child. I held him as he sobbed. There are no words for moments…

Tamed Passions Produce Spiritual Fruit

There ought to be a law! Isn’t it fascinating that the first thing most people think about when there is some conflict or disagreement or some unwanted actions in our society is that there should be some governmental control issued to make people “behave” the way they “should?” Why is “passing a law” or getting the government to exercise its power in some way our default answer to conflicts in society? How…

An Eternal City

“This world is not my home. I’m just a’passing through. My treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue. The angels beckon me from heaven’s open door. And I can’t feel at home in this world anymore.” That’s an old spiritual that I use to sing as a boy in church. And it strikes me now as a wonderful and terrible song. Wonderful in the sense that it preserves the Christian hope…