How To Face Hard Times

“But, father, why is this happening to me?” It was a hard question to hear, mainly because I didn’t have an answer. I was sitting across from this precious father as he told me about the medical diagnosis of his little girl. It wasn’t good, and he didn’t understand why God was allowing this to happen to an innocent child. I held him as he sobbed. There are no words for moments…

The Refuse of the World

“Poor me! Are you enjoying your little pity party?” She had a pouting look on her face as she chided me for complaining about how some of my friends were treating me. It was a lesson I wouldn’t soon forget. She was my single mom and she simply didn’t have the time to allow her son to sit and feel sorry for himself. She wanted better for me, and she insisted I…

The Power of Being Attentive

St. John of Damaskos says: “Without attentiveness and watchfulness of the intellect we cannot be saved and rescued from the devil, who walks about ‘like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour’” Sounds pretty serious. And yet, the virtue of attentiveness is so very difficult and elusive. I guess it’s so difficult because it is exhausting to think about having to stay attentive all the time. I get it. It’s discouraging.…

For A Little While

Orthodox Christianity is an eschatological religion! O, Mr. Fancypants with your big words! 🙂 Ok, Orthodoxy is the Faith that keeps eternity in mind and the ultimate victory of Christ over all darkness. Is that better? In fact, the reality that eternity is more real than these temporary events is seen in how we worship, how we pray, how we deal with suffering, and how we live our lives. The power of…

How Do You Make Decisions?

St. Paul tells the Galatians the truth about being a serious follower of Jesus Christ. In doing this, St. Paul reveals the wisdom of the Faith to form us and shape us in how we choose to live. The truth is we all make choices, both big and small. But if we never examine ourselves and how we choose to live. What is the foundational wisdom you use to make decisions? Is…

Pride Precedes a Fall

There is a powerful word in the wisdom of the Orthodox Faith that acts as a real warning to you and me. It is the word “prelest.” It literally means “the state of spiritual delusion or deception.” This is a great spiritual illness in the teaching of the Church and is to be recognized and dealt with as quickly and as often as possible in relationship to a spiritual father. This is…

Even The Hairs On Your Head are Numbered!

It scared me to death! I was convinced something was lurking in the dark in my room, and I wasn’t about to shut my eyes! After all, it was only my constant vigilance and watchfulness that was keeping whatever was “out there” away from me, right? Imagine my surprise when sleep finally took me and I woke up the next morning unharmed! Such is the life of a 7-year-old whose mind has…

Beware Hypocrisy!

One of the greatest attractions to me towards the Orthodox Church was the continuity of practice and, more importantly, a real connection to the People of God. There’s an old story about a British journalist visiting the library of one of the ancient monasteries on Mt. Athos in Greece. He was walking among the stacks with the monk librarian and the old monk was talking about this and that saint or writer and…

Why Orthodoxy

The playground bully was speechless. He was bigger than me. He was stronger than me. And he was better at fighting than me in every way except one. I was faster on my feet with a verbal response. He had just taunted me about being a “weak, mama’s boy” and I responded, “I know you are but what am I?” Huh? I could see the confusion on his face. I watched as…

Give As You’ve Been Given

It’s an election season here in the US, and the campaign ads in the mail, on the radio, and on TV are coming hot and heavy, especially as our society continues to be so polarized by the “spirit of the age.” And that spirit is the delusional notion that power is what we need to get justice. The current madness in our society all circles around the lie that “the bad guys”…