Fire And Salt!

When I was serving as a police officer in my 20’s and early 30’s one of the most difficult aspects of the job was dealing with the abuse and misuse of children. I simply lost the ability to see the perpetrator as a person. They had hurt a child. I just found it almost impossible to keep perspective when it came to children being mistreated. But I guess that’s understandable because when…

Not One of Us, Eh?

I remember as a boy dreading recess at school. You see, I was a bit of a bookworm and not very athletic, and so when it came to be picked for teams, I was usually the kid who got picked last. Ugh! I hated that. It was embarrassing and it made me feel like a loser! Of course, when report card time came, all the jocks wished they were me! We humans…

AWAKE, O Sleeper!

“Wake up, sleepy head!” Boy, I REALLY didn’t want to get out of bed! You know how you feel when someone wakes you up from a deep sleep? I felt disoriented, and groggy. It felt like my eyelids weighed a ton! But, staying in the bed wasn’t an option if I wanted to go with the rest of the family on the trip we’d planned for months! I HAD TO get up…

The Road to Hell is Paved With…

A quote from Virgil’s Aeneid says “the descent to hell is easy.” And no one ever expects their good intentions to turn out bad. That’s the “law of unintended consequences.” It seems we humans are better at coming up with witty quotes than we are at avoiding the mistakes of  our “good intentions” gone bad. But why is that? Nobody ever thinks their intentions are actually harmful. Most of us think (and,…

Our Generous God

It’s Gift Giving Season! But that can be dangerous if you don’t know WHY Giving is vital to your spiritual well being! Listen to St. Poemen. “As far as you can, do some manual work so as to be able to give alms, for it is written that alms and faith purify from sin.” Why? Why does almsgiving and faith purify from sin? By the way, this is a big deal! Look…

This Little Light of Mine

It was a favorite Sunday School song in my 1st grade class on Sundays! “This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine. This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine. This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine. Let it shine. Let it shine. Let it shine!” We would hold up our right index finger as we sang the song. What a nice memory. But then…

3 Powerful Principles of True Leadership

“I’m their leader! Which way did they go?” I have a cap with two bills on it, one in the front and one in the back with that slogan on it. It’s funny because it’s so often true. Leadership is always such a rewarding and challenging calling. In fact, if you could get most leaders to share their deepest and most honest feelings, you would find that most leaders feel quite inadequate…

Bless Your Heart

As a “son of the South” I’ve heard people say “Bless your heart” all my life. And the irony is that this phrase that almost sounds like a prayer, is really a versatile phrase American Southerners use to both bless AND curse. And it all depends on how it’s used. It can be a genuine expression of concern or it can be used to cover with a thin layer of religiosity actual…

Kept Under Restraint

One of the most difficult realities I’ve had to face as an adult, as a priest, as a husband, and as a father is waking up to the reality of the complexity of each human person I encounter, including myself. This continuous process of discovery has me regularly seeing places of spiritual progress and immaturity in my heart first of all. All leading to the unmistakable conclusion that the taming of the…

People Talking Without Speaking…

At a recent spiritual retreat, I was asked to conduct, I was asked how one should prepare to deal with questions about the faith when others ask about it. Usually, many of our Orthodox brothers and sisters get very nervous when somebody asks them about our Orthodox Faith. It’s a good question, but it points to a deeper challenge – like most good questions do! While it may be satisfying to get some basic…