Healed At The Feet of Jesus

There is a story about a great man. He had searched the world over for wisdom. He had gone to gurus, and sought out great religious leaders and learned philosophers. But still, his heart ached for more. Sure, he learned great and awesome ideas and heard wonderful words, but still, he felt empty from the searching. Discouraged, he cried out to God “Lord, where is true wisdom? Where is true knowledge of…

Wash Your Hands!

My dear bride has a hard and fast rule for my two girls: “Wash your hands!” You see, my wife is a trained elementary school educator and part of that training has to do with hygiene. Teaching children to wash their hands before they eat, after they play, and after their potty breaks is all part of having healthy children. This is great advice, especially during a pandemic! It’s a good thing.…

God Will Provide

I’ve heard this all my life “God will provide.” I remember hearing it when me and my brother and my mom were near poverty when I was young, and He did. I remember hearing it when I watched my family go through a shattering crisis, and He did. I remember hearing it again when I was terrified at the consequences of leaving the religious world of my youth, of leaving the stable…

Are Your Passions Masters or Servant?

I know it is a bit “old-fashioned” and it may be hard for those of this generation to understand, but the timeless message of the Faith is that we are called to battle and tame the passions SO THAT they are our servants and never our masters! So what are the passions? Some may say “I thought being a passionate person was a good thing.” Well, as usual, it depends on definitions.…

Can You Handle the Truth?

I love the scene in “A Few Good Men” when Jack Nicholson’s character looks at the military lawyer questioning his leadership of his troops in Guantanamo. It’s at a pivotal part of the drama. The commandant, Colonel Jessup, was a rough and tough Marine leader. He was a strong man, and he didn’t have any respect for the Navy Colonel lawyer questioning his judgement in leading his men. In that moment Colonel…

Growing Up Takes Discipline

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…

Don’t Deceive Yourself!

“That boy is too smart for his own good” as my grandmother would remind me when a certain relative started spouting off about this or that. He seemed to have at least three opinions about everything. Later on she’d tell me that he was “educated beyond his intelligence.” Mammaw was a pistol! We humans have always been a bit too impressed with our own smarts. The “experts” seem to have just the…

“I Reasoned Like a Child”

“He who desires to worship God must harbor no childish illusions about the matter but bravely renounce his liberty and humanity.”  This comes from a Russian anarchist named Mikhail Bakunin who died in 1876. But does the worship of God require a renunciation of liberty and humanity? Well, yes and no. Yes, in the sense that if I am to worship God truly and with a mature seriousness, I will have to…

The Church, The Whole Church, The Body of Christ

The old saying is “You can pick your friends, but you’re stuck with your relatives.” Oh, the volumes that have been written about dysfunctional families! Family dynamics is one of the most interesting aspects of psychology to me because when I look at my own family I see a tapestry of joy, love, confusion, pain, good choices, bad choices, and a whole lot more. In other words, like most families, we have…

Made Perfect BY Suffering

Our American nation is suffering a time of chaos, fear, anger, and, yes, even the scourge of hatred. And this suffering can lead us to despair. But the message of the Orthodox Christian Faith is that suffering can actually form and shape us into Christ-like persons IF only we wouldn’t waste these moments of suffering. The Christian understanding of life and salvation can be summed up in this quote from Elder Sophrony…