Do You Have the Mind of Christ?

“We are of one mind about this.” I heard his words and I understood each word and its meaning, but I had never heard this put this way before – “of one mind.” What did he mean? But, hey, I was a kid of 22 and the situation was such that I was hoping he meant we were in agreement. Too embarrassed to ask, I assumed (dangerous, I know) we were, in…

Your Heart As God’s Temple

If you have a younger sibling then you’ve heard this before: “She did it! Why can’t I?” I know I’ve heard it in my house on numerous occasions, especially when the younger kiddo wonders out loud “What about me?” But sometimes (actually, many times) the younger child isn’t developmentally ready to take on the task that her bigger sister is doing. This happened recently as one daughter was walking to her bus…

The Unexpected Cure

When I think of the requests we make of God, I find my own requests break down into a few categories – Personal needs, Family concerns, Parish concerns, and Hopes and Fears. But one of the blessings of being Orthodox is that the wise prayers preserved in the Faith cause my prayers to ever expand to include the whole universe. The regular litanies of the Divine Liturgy and other services allow me…

Four Fantasies of Fairness

I don’t believe in “fairness.” Really! I really don’t believe in it at all. Oh, I get the concept, don’t get me wrong, but I simply don’t believe humans are capable of it. At least not yet, anyway. Frankly, I’m convinced the Evil One uses our innate knowing that fairness SHOULD exist AND our inability to produce it to enslave us to perpetual agitation or despair! Look at our lesson today in…

The Fantasy of Power And Pride

“Those that don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” So goes the saying that came to my mind as I considered today’s lesson. You see we humans are easily conned into believing “bigger is better.” We think that if some church has a lot of people then it must be successful. But how many times do we have to see these large groups disintegrate after a leader experiences some scandal…

Stopping To Scrutinize Your Motivations

What’s the difference between Inspiration and Motivation? Well, Inspiration usually comes from the outside. I’m inspired by that act of charity, or that life well lived. Motivations, however, are usually internal; that set of desires and drives that either keep me on track or send my life down a dead end. My best friend use to say “No life is a total waste. It can always serve as a bad example!” So,…

Conflict Isn’t Bad, Schism Is!

As much as we might hate it, conflict isn’t bad. It’s just not pleasant. But if the highest “good” in our lives is to avoid unpleasantness, then we are headed for either eternal delusion or a rude awakening. I’ll go even further and say that conflict is necessary for a “happy” life! Yep, if you’re going to be “happy” you NEED conflict. Just like a muscle doesn’t get stronger unless it has…

The Selfless Love of God

Telly Savalas was one of my favorite actors as a kid. I loved his “Who loves ya, baby” catchphrase when he played detective Kojak on his TV show! Wait, you don’t know who Telly Savalas is? Well, I am an old man, so perhaps he was before your time! What isn’t before anybody’s time is the whole idea of love. Most of our movies are about this one way or another. Most…

There IS An Escape!

Sin is boring! It really is. Because of my ordination and the blessing of the bishop, I am blessed to hear confessions from the faithful. Hearing confessions, I confess, is one of the most wonderful, challenging, and rewarding parts of my priesthood. And the reason is I get invited into the lives of people I genuinely love and respect. And I get to hear from them about their struggles. And I get…

Indulging In Immorality

Antone Lavey, the founder of the Church of Satan in California, once described Satanism as “indulgence instead of abstinence.” A fitting description of the slavery of indulging one’s desires with no disciplines. And a powerful example to us of a society lost in the delusion of self-indulgence. We really have come to a point in our modern world where our affluence has placed even the manipulation of our physical bodies within the…