What’s Stopping You?

In the United States alone, the self-help industry; books, seminars, infomercials, personal coaches, audio and video products, was an $11 Billion industry in 2013. This according to Katheryn Shultz from an article in in New York Magazine from January 6th of this year. (New York Magazine (New York Media, LLC). ISSN 0028-7369.) Listen to how Ms. Shultz describes the hunger for “self-help” in her article: “In The Age of Anxiety, W.H. Auden observed…

Forgiven Much?

Look up songs about “love” and you’ll discover so many you won’t be able to count them all. Just as an example, the #1 Love Song of “all time” on Billboard magazine is “Endless Love” by Lionel Richie and Diana Ross. This obsession with love is understandable since it is a basic desire of all people to be loved and cherished. We all long for love. But what if our definition of…

What Were You Thinking?

“It is a great achievement not to be attracted by things. But it is a far greater achievement to remain dispassionate in the face both of things and of the conceptual images we derive from them.” St. Maximos the Confessor Isn’t that great? The ability to be free from a slavery to desires, but not just desires; to be free from the ideas these desires conjure in our minds! That’s the kind…

End Well!

“It ain’t how you start, it’s how you end that matters!” With that, a wise man began instructing a young man about the power of endurance, patience, integrity, and perseverance. You see, the young man was born in a home racked with division. His mother and father had split up when he was 9 years old. Dad was a sweet and amiable fellow, but just not much of a father. He spent…

You Hypocrite!

OK, I admit it. I’m a hypocrite. No, really. No need to protest. It’s good for me to come clean about my own hypocrisy. I know exactly what I need to do to improve my health and lose weight and get in better shape (although I do insist that we all admit that “round” is a shape!”), and I have even unleashed my hypocrisy on others by “advising” them how to exercise,…

Pardon me, you have something in your eye!

My grandmother use to tell me “Honey, don’t worry; truth will out.” And another one she’d remind me of was “The proof’s in the pudding.” Never quite understood what pudding had to do with it, but she seemed to be very sure of herself! In our culture of instant gratification, we have a particular difficulty in waiting. We want everything right now. We want what we want because we want it. And…

Jesus is Coming Soon!

Growing up in the religious world of my friends and family, from my earliest years I remember hearing talk and sermons about Jesus coming again. In fact, I would say that this subject competed with the other central message I heard in church – getting other people to become Christians. So, Evangelism and the Second Coming dominated the religious talk I grew up with. That’s not surprising since we evangelized because Jesus was…

I am Blessed

The Gospel of Luke 6:17-23 At that time, Jesus stood on a level place, with a great crowd of his disciples and a great multitude of people from all Judea and Jerusalem and the seacoast of Tyre and Sidon, who came to hear him and to be healed of their diseases; and those who were troubled with unclean spirits were cured. And all the crowd sought to touch him, for power came…

Never Lonely Again

There’s something about intimacy that scares us to death AND becomes a central hunger for our lives. From sociological studies showing modern society becoming more and more lonely, to small groups of Baby Boomers forming support groups to talk about death and dying, to the perennial stories of men and their lack of close friends; modern humanity is struggling with a dual challenge: A deep-seeded (and God given, in my humble opinion) desire…

It’s Tough Sometimes

St. Timothy was a young, spiritual son of St. Paul, and Paul had placed Timothy as the head of a local Christian community. Now Paul is writing to his spiritual son to encourage him as he serves his first parish. Listen to what Paul tells Timothy: “TIMOTHY, my son, you have observed my teaching, my conduct, my aim in life, my faith, my patience, my love, my steadfastness, my persecutions, my sufferings,…