We Deceive Ourselves

I’m my own worst enemy. The reason for this is that my ability to either delude myself or to overreact is so “normal” to me that it is really hard to be objective about my struggles by myself. I’m either too hard on myself or too easy on myself! Learning this opened my eyes to the wisdom of the Timeless Faith in encouraging me to have a regular confessor and to see…

The Great and Powerful Oz

When I was a boy, I remember seeing the Wizard of OZ for the first time on a color TV set. Needless to say, I was absolutely mesmerized by the wonder of the change from black and white to color, but I also remember being very much sympathetic to the Cowardly Lion when the group of seekers of help first encountered The Wizard. The effects of the head floating in the air and the smoke and the fire…

Delusions Of Grandeur

“Oh Lord, it’s hard to be humble, when you’re perfect in every way! I can’t wait to look in the mirror, cause I get better lookin’ each day.” Hilarious, right? But what makes it funny is that we know people who actually feel that way about themselves. They are always saying things like “Listen, it’s going to be huge. I’m going to make everything right again!” OK, careful there padre! (hee hee)…

Me and Jesus Got Our Own Thing Going

In 1972 America was experiencing an amazing movement among young people called “The Jesus Movement.” Jesus was the “hero” of a lot of the youth of the day! And I was right there in the middle of it. At 12 years old and about to step into my teenage years, I was a big participant in the new “Contemporary Christian Music” of “The Second Chapter of Acts,” “Andrae Crouch and the Disciples,”…

The Slave Who Became Bishop

The transformation in our world from a time when slavery was a “peculiar institution” to a time when the notion of “purchasing” a human being is unthinkable is nothing short of wonderful! And yet, human trafficking is still a very real crime in our modern world, even in our own “land of the free.” Look at our lesson today in Philemon 1:1-25: PAUL, a prisoner for Christ Jesus, and Timothy our brother,…

Good Suffering and Bad Suffering

We live in an age where our advances in technology and medicine have gone a long way to remove inconvenience and suffering from we humans. People are living longer than ever before. In fact, it seems soon living to 100 is going to be the norm among us. We are healthier, have better medical treatments, have technology that makes our lives easier, and gives us a higher standard of living that practically…

Keep Sane and Sober!

St. Paisios once said “What I see around me would drive me insane if I did not know that no matter what happens, God will have the last word.” I can relate! And yet, there are also many wonderful and beautiful people and events happening all the time around us. Why is it so hard to keep a sober perspective about our lives? Well, one reason is that it’s all too easy…

You Are Quite Wrong!

Here’s a quote I need to remember: “When you’ve done something wrong, admit it and be sorry. No one in history has ever choked to death from swallowing his pride.” And yet, we humans struggle with being mistaken or admitting we are wrong. But that initial reluctance rarely serves us well. In fact, I am convinced this fear of being seen as wrong or vulnerable or mistaken is one of the strongest…

The Lost Sheep

A few years ago someone came up with a startling statistic that I initially doubted then came to regretfully and grudgingly think might be true: That 9 out of 10 Americans with Greek ancestry are no longer connected to the Orthodox Faith. I didn’t believe it because so many in my own parish were active in their faith and practicing their faith seriously and with commitment. Then I remembered my first Midnight…

Always a Gift!

“All is gift.” This phrase captures both the simple and profound message that embodies the mystery of living a Eucharistic life. You may ask “What does that mean?” And I understand. We moderns are far removed from a world where mystery and wonder and story dominated our human society. And we are impoverished by this reduction of true mystery in our lives. A Eucharistic life is a life lived on the firm foundation…