Time to Wake UP To Your Eternal Reality

Listen to what St. Theophan the Recluse says in his brilliant “Unseen Warfare”: “Refuse to listen to the devil when he whispers to you: give me now, and you will give tomorrow to God. No, no! Spend all the hours of your life in a way pleasing to God; keep in your mind the thought that after the present hour you will not be given another and that you will have to render…

You ARE What You Eat!

“You are what you eat.” So goes the saying that has at times served as a means to get people to have better diets, and a way for philosophers to reduce the human person to merely a thinking animal, and even to theologians trying to have folks consider the profound teaches of the Eucharist. For the vast amount of history, before the modern industrial revolution, the search for food and “daily bread”…

The Beatitudes

“Attitude determines Altitude!” Yes, I know this is a trite, self-help phrase, but it also happens to be true. The person who finds a way to find the positive and the helpful in any situation will always have a life oriented toward joy. And that person who seems to find the dark cloud in every silver lining will always be the one who’s attitude is weighed down with despondency. Of course, the…

“New” Doesn’t Always Mean “Better”

The packaging is more colorful, the content is said to be far and away so much better than the old product, and millions of dollars in advertising will be spent to convince you that this “new and improved” product is an absolute “must have” if you are going to have any happiness in your life! And yet, “New Coke” was a colossal failure. My home town is Atlanta and the Coca-Cola company…

Gratitude Enables Attentiveness

My daughter sits in front with me in the car many times as I drive. And she is old enough now to notice that daddy sometimes has a challenge with patience with other drivers! She’s learned my “triggers.” Well, yesterday, she looked over at me when a person in front of us didn’t move when the light turned green and she said: “that person isn’t paying attention, is she, daddy?” It’s tough…

Hard Words to Hear

I was in my first round of theology school when I came across the phrase for the first time: “The Hard Sayings of Jesus.” As I read the article that was meant to explain the difficult passages in the Gospel where Jesus said things like “Unless you love me more than your family, you can’t be my disciple” or “It is better to cut off your hand or pluck out your eye…

Wisdom Is Hard Earned

Extended times of chaos and fear have a way of wearing us down to the point of despondency and hopelessness. As I watch events today I see that wearied look in many faces, and even, sometimes, in the mirror! A too long focus in immediate challenges, problems, disappointments, and fears can have that effect on anyone. But we who follow the Risen Lord are called to a deeper perspective than the passing…

A Prideful Delusion

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…

Watering The Barren Places of Our Lives

Life is simple. It is. Life is not complicated. Life is not hard to figure out. I know, amazing statements given the complexities of our daily lives, but it is true. Notice I didn’t claim life was easy! And that, dear one, is the difference. But it amazes me how much I complicate life, my life. I complicate my life in all kinds of ways by assuming that life is not simple. But life is…

Do You Forget?

It never ceases to amaze me when I succumb to fears that flow from a forgetful faith. It seems a week doesn’t pass (or sometimes even a day) when I am either mindlessly faithless or I have reduced my faith to mere “decoration.” But that is easy to do in a world where serious devotion is seen as “silly” or “unsophisticated.” In our day and age where we really do trust lesser…