Don’t Hide From Reality!

“My Want-To is broke.” With that, my grandmother gave me another insight into real life. She was describing a very common problem all of us face. We know what we should do, but we don’t do it. Why? As my grandmother said, our “want-to” is broken. One of the central revelations to me when I was making my way into Orthodoxy is that the Faith answers the question “What is the main…

Let These Words Sink IN!

A quote attributed to Alan Greenspan, the former chairman of the Federal Reserve, sums up our challenges with missing the point: “I know you think you understand what you thought I said but I’m not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.” The truth is, with all the ways we can misunderstand, miss the point, and just not get what others are trying to say, is so…

How We Speak Reveals Who We Are

It matters. It really does. The longer I live, the more I interact with others, and the more I grow older in life, the more I seed HOW I say something is as important as WHAT I say. This is especially true when I’m dealing with people who have just met me. This is not easy for me because I am naturally sarcastic. I know, I know, I’m a priest, I’m supposed…

Who Do YOU Say I Am?

“Identity politics” is all the rage now. We take a few words or even feelings about ourselves and weave an entire identity out of our undisciplined passions and call it a “community.” We segment the population into “rich” or “poor” “white” or “black” or “hispanix” or any other made-up group and then we dump folks into the buckets we think they belong, all the while, we don’t actually know these persons at…

See The Crowd and Have Compassion!

It was actually, physically, painful to hear her say those words. I was at the point of both tears and disbelief. You see, we had the opportunity to help some homeless people in our community by participating, as a parish, in a wonderful ministry to homeless families in our county. We are blessed to live in one of the fastest-growing and wealthiest counties in Georgia and even the nation. And yet, with…

See The Family as Central!

It’s no secret that family life is filled with challenges. To be honest, I don’t think we’ve seen the real fallout of all the social experiments we Americans have engaged in since all these movements have been demanding this or that change in society. One of the interesting, if unintended consequences, of these movements, is the growth of interest in young men and women in ancient religion. For instance, why are so…

See The Storm!

Today’s headlines read like a series of horror stories to many people. Mass shootings and infectious diseases break out and we wonder about our own health and safety. Conflict rages in the Middle East and radical Islamic groups are ethnically cleansing the Christians and other minority groups, even killing children because “they may grow up and seek revenge against us.” Religious citizens in America are confronted with the reality that they are…

Make Holiness Perfect in the Fear of God – Sunday Homily

St. Paul tells us that we are called to “make holiness perfect in the fear of God.” If I am going to be a good steward of the treasure of the Faith given to me, I am going to have to develop a sense of holiness. How are we to be holy and make holiness “perfect” in the fear of God? This ability to be holy starts by knowing what holiness truly…

See the Stranger

“How people treat other people is a direct reflection of how they feel about themselves.” I read this quote, as I was preparing this devotional, and it took me a minute to process the implications of this wisdom. I confess it made me a bit uncomfortable. And I think the reason is that I really do struggle to know myself well enough to avoid the pitfalls of image over reality. And yet,…

See This Woman?

OK, I confess, I do get amused mostly, but sometimes it’s annoying to see the shallow political ideologies of the day insist Jesus is “on our side.” This is especially comical when I see violently anti-religious political ideologues insist we Christians aren’t following Jesus like we should. How would they know? The crushing ignorance among the elite about the Faith is significant! But it is also amazing to see political ideologies that…