Sorrow Turned to Joy

How swiftly Holy Week approaches! Just days away from the end of Great Lent and the beginning of our daily walk with Christ during His final hours before He enters into battle with death; a battle we know He wins! So, in our Genesis readings we shift from reading about Jacob to Joseph; that First Testament icon of our Lord Jesus. Joseph was envied by his brothers, and they sold him as…

God Sees You as He Made You

Today, we continue to approach Holy Week by examining the life of St. Jacob the patriarch. Jacob’s life continued to be complicated by his tendencies toward deception, and because of this weakness in Jacob many people tried to deceive him as well. His father-in-law, Laban, was a prime example. But Jacob had some amazing and redeeming qualities as well. He was very faithful and really tried to come to grips with his…

Self-Deception

In less than 7 days we will enter Holy Week; a time of intensified fasting and prayer and preparation for Pascha. It is never too late to start. It is never too late to intensify your struggle. It is never too late to learn to repent and grow. It is never too late until it is too late! And this is the theme of today’s scripture reading in Genesis. We read the…

Veneration and Adoration

It has been said that true veneration is the stepping stone to true adoration. Let’s unpack this insight. The wisdom of the faith calls us to learn how to truly and fully adore God. It is why I, personally, never use the word “adore” for anything but the Holy Trinity. Adoration carries the traits of humility, devotion, deep affection and love, and intimacy. But how do I develop the heart-felt ability to…

God will Provide

From our reading today from the book of Genesis: “So Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife, and the two of them went together. But Isaac spoke to Abraham his father and said, “My father!” And he said, “Here I am, my son.” Then he said, “Look, the fire and the wood, but…

The Freedom of Forgiveness

The forgetting of wrongs is a sign of true repentance. But he who dwells on them and thinks that he is repenting is like a man who thinks he is running while he is really asleep. St John, “The Ladder of Divine Ascent” My grandmother use to say “I’ll forgive but I won’t forget.” Well, then, is there real forgiveness then? Now, I’m not saying we shouldn’t learn lessons from past behaviors, but…

 Listen to St. Mark, the Ascetic: “If you wish to remember God unceasingly, do not reject as undeserved what happens to you, but patiently accept it as your due. For patient acceptance of whatever happens kindles the remembrance of God, whereas refusal to accept weakens the spiritual purpose of the heart and so makes it forgetful.” A powerful tool of the evil one to throw you from the Ladder of Di…vine Ascent…

St. John of the Ladder

Tomorrow we remember St. John of the Ladder. You’ve all seen the icon of ASt. John’s vision. The faithful are climbing to Christ, while the angels are assisting their climb, the demons are trying to pull the faithful from the ladder. It is no mistake that the Church calls us to remember this powerful image on this 4th Sunday of Great Lent. We are, by now, facing the weariness of the spiritual…

St. Anthony – Wisdom is a Hard Won Virtue

Wisdom is a hard won virtue. But the valuable lessons earned are absolutely filled with life and peace! Notice a section of our readings from Proverbs this morning: “The simple believes everything, but the prudent looks where he is going. A wise man is cautious and turns away from evil, but a fool throws off restraint and is careless. A man of quick temper acts foolishly, but a man of discretion …is…

The Prophet Isaiah

Listen to today’s reading from the Prophet Isaiah: “Therefore thus says the Lord God: ‘Behold, I lay in Zion a stone for a foundation, A tried stone, a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation; Whoever believes will not act hastily. Also I will make justice the measuring line, And righteousness the plummet; The hail will sweep away the refuge of lies, And the waters will overflow the hiding place….’” Isaiah 28:16-17 The Prophet…