September 7 Designated as Assembly of Bishops Sunday

Assembly of Bishops

The Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America has designated Sunday, September 7 as Assembly of Bishops Sunday and releases the following encyclical:

To the Most Reverend Hierarchs, the Reverend Priests and Deacons, the Monks and Nuns, the Presidents and Members of Parish Councils, the Day, Afternoon, and Church Schools, the Members of Philanthropic Organizations, the Youth and Youth Workers,  and the entire Orthodox Christian Family in the United States of America
Beloved Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

RAPTUREMANIA! (Scary sounds in the Background)

Day of Judgment

Standing in line at the supermarket is such an education. As I’m placing my grocery items on the conveyor belt and watching them slide toward the cashier, I glance toward the ubiquitous magazines there in the check-out line and read headlines screaming at me that Big Foot has been seen again, the latest Hollywood starlet has been cheated on or has cheated on her spouse, an aging actor tells all, and (most importantly) the Pope has been contacted by an alien race informing him that the world will soon end! Fascinating!

An Unclean Spirit

Two boys quarrels

As kids we would tease each other constantly. Now I know you never did this, because you were a nice and respectful child, but, well, we were rascals at times! I remember the one taunt that always got me was “I know you are, but what am I?” Some kid would call me a meanie and I’d say to him “I know you are, but what am I?” Then, of course, I’d be playing with my little brother and he’d cheat and I’d call him a cheater, and that aggravating phrase would come from him to me!

How childish!

United We Stand, Divided We Fall

United We Stand

Growing up as a young man in the 1970’s meant I heard some of the best music in the world! One song I remember that got the whole car singing along was the anthem “United we Stand” by the Brotherhood of Man. The chorus was “For united we stand, divided we fall. And if our backs should ever be against the wall, we’ll be together, together you and I.”

He Is Beside Himself!

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I friend of mine is something of a daredevil. He loves those extreme sports we see on the internet or on some special TV sports report about such daring do. He thinks its cool to jump off a high cliff and then open his chute right before he hits the ground. He thinks its great to jump out of a perfectly good airplane! But what’s worse, he wants me to do it with him. Uh, no!

Happy New Year!

Today is the Indiction of the Church Year. We begin again the familiar rhythm of fasting and feasting that baptizes our time and Christianizes our year. Once again we are given the gift of mercy and wisdom lavished on we who are unnaturally rebels. Being our own worst enemy, the Lover if Mankind once again stands at the crown of time with arms open wide to wake us from the slumber of…

You Only Lack One Thing

Today, you only lack one thing that is hindering your life from fully knowing God’s peace and joy. The temptation is to confuse the shallow symptoms of our sins as that one thing lacking. This is the error of the rich young man in our Gospel Lesson today. If we make the same mistake, we too will leave in sorrow.

I know, I know. I Intend To…

beheading

I knew a man once who loved to hear sermons about fire and brimstone. He was, himself, an indulgent man who wasted his life on behaviors that we should not talk about in polite company. And yet, every year he went to the annual “revival meetings” at a church he had gone to in his youth, looking forward to hearing about the fires of hell and the impending judgment God was to finally give to every man on the Last Day. He would go every night (at least every night he was sober) and sit and listen to the fiery sermons and genuinely be moved by them.

And he never changed. At least, not that any of us ever knew. But who knows the grace of God and His infinite mercy?