First Things First

I recently received a note from a young man asking about our Orthodox faith. He is 15 years old and is already asking the questions that have him on a spiritual journey. Here’s an excerpt from his note (it is edited by me to avoid polemics and get to the heart of his comment): “I look at (my current tradition) and I see separation within the Body of Christ. I see how…

Come Here!

Who are you? Really, putting all our false faces aside and pulling back the curtain of our real selves, who are you? I know, I know, that’s a bit heavy for first thing in the morning. But entering into the life-long process of answering that question requires some prep work so we avoid continuing to lie to ourselves. And that’s where some fundamental choices about reality come into play. We live in…

The Last First

“Nobody ever did, or ever will, escape the consequences of his choices.” – Alfred A. Montapert, author of The Supreme Philosophy of Man:The Laws of Life Today is the anniversary of the US Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision that effectively made abortion on demand legal in the United States. And the political and moral discussions continue, and will continue forever. All sides in this debate have been making the same arguments…

Unforgivable

A popular show (on PBS no less) is Downton Abbey. And that’s a bit surprising to me since we Americans seem to always be gripped, al least in our rhetoric, with this notion of egalitarianism. But this popular show is very much about the clear stratification of “classes” and the “drama” of etiquette and class. In that society, a violation of what is “acceptable” can be an “unforgivable” mistake that scares one’s…

Talk About Counter-Intuitive

Ever played the opposite game? When you play the opposite game you answer questions with the opposite of what it the real answer. So when you say “no” to the question “Are you happy?” you really mean “yes” you are happy. You get the idea. One of life’s most confusing features is when the most real and the most satisfying and even the most rewarding path of your life absolutely makes no…

To Hear and be Healed

As I sat in the doctor’s office waiting for him to tell me the results of some recent medical tests, I have to confess to you that I was a little scared. Let’s face it, as a typical man, I don’t “do” doctors well! I had put this off and put this off long enough. Now was the day of reckoning. The news was good. What does it take for someone to…

Going Where You Don’t Want to Go

“But I don’t want to!” My 7 year old simply didn’t want to go to school that day. She didn’t want to, and that fact alone should have released her from her obligation to attend first grade class that day. “I don’t want to!” Imagine her surprise when her father, the mean ogre forcing her to do what she didn’t want to do, informed her that her momentary desire did not overwhelm…

Always Look on the Bright Side of Life

I can’t help but hear whistling when I think of the title of today’s reflection. All you Monty Python fans understand! We live in an age of affluent problems. Recently, a teenager from a very wealthy home was involved in a fatal car accident, and the accident was this young man’s fault. Another teenager had been killed in the accident and now it was time for this young man from this very…

Pay Attention

Funny, I didn’t know I owed Attention any money! Interesting phrase “pay attention.” It seems to suggest that attention must always be something I have to place value upon if I am going to be aware of important things. The truth is I usually only “pay attention” to things I already think “deserve attention.” But what about those places in my life that “need attention” that I am not paying attention to?…

Shrewd or Wise?

You’ve heard me say this before if you’ve been reading a while: Being shrewd isn’t necessarily the same as being wise. And the reason is an evil man can be shrewd and calculating, but only a good man can be truly wise. Now that doesn’t mean that shrewdness is always evil. Far from it. Our Lord told His disciples in Matthew 10:6 “…be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.” And He…