Wisdom is Justified By All Her Children

My very best friend in all the world died of a brain tumor several years ago. I know, a weird way to begin a devotional, but I wanted you to know the end of the story so you will value it as much as I do. You see, Rod was a conscientious objector during the Vietnam war, but he went and served anyway as a medical corpsman. He rarely spoke about his experiences there…

To Live IS Christ!

St. Paul tells us today that “to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” I confess, every time I read this passage and contemplate this phrase, it always drives me to reconsider my own life. Can I really say this along with Paul? Of course, the answer is “no,” but before I let myself off the hook here, I want to confront the all too easy cop-out I sometimes allow in…

Provoked!

What provokes you? Politics? Religion? Race? Inequity? Violence? Chaos (OK, this one is a personal provocation!)? No matter what might provoke you to action, if you allow the provocation to be your primary motivation, you are sure to always be provoked. You see, provocation is a “result”, not a motive. And learning what is behind the reaction is key to being able to discern if the reaction is appropriate or not, healthy…

I Am the Chiefest of Sinners

He was actually bragging about being the best at being the worst! I’m not kidding! I sat in front of him staring in absolute disbelief at what I was hearing. I was lamenting the shallow commitment of my own heart to the rigorous practice of the Faith when he chimed in that “his people” were even more shallow in the practice of the Faith. I would bring up examples of my own…

Do Good to Those Who Hate You

Let’s face it, grammar wasn’t my best subject in school! I’ve always been impatient with the rules, wanting to get to the end without having to mess with all that “process” nonsense! And yes, that is a problem because the process is part of the solution! A bit of wisdom that has cost me quite a lot in my life! Now, having studied other languages, I have a growing appreciation (if not a…

A Level Place

It seems everyone has a friend like my friend. He was always either on the top of the mountain emotionally or in the pit of despair. His mood swings were huge and usually unhealthy. Finally, he came to me and confessed he was exhausted with the constant up and down of his life and asked for help. What I told him made him excited and scared. I offered to him an insight…

The Way To Do Family

It’s no secret that family life is filled with challenges. To be honest, I don’t think we’ve seen the real fallout of all the societal experiments we Americans have engaged in since all these movements have been demanding this or that change in society. One of the interesting, if unintended consequences, of these movements is the growth of interest in young men and women in ancient religion. For instance, the Roman Catholic…

Realize Your Limits

I don’t like to admit my limitations. In fact, one of my besetting sins is seeing a Speed Limit sign and thinking of it as more of a “suggestion.” Knowing my limitations is important information for me. Most of the time I have to learn the hard way! But we humans have to come to the end of ourselves to ever really know ourselves, and I am convinced, my dearest, that this…

Thank God!

“3 Easy Steps to a Happy Life” or “The Path to Getting Rich” or “How To Beat The Odds in Vegas” Over and over again we are inundated with this or that “formula” to “be happy” or “rich” or any number of wonderful things that will finally make us content. And these formulas or advice books or courses or seminars are all, to varying degrees, either helpful or a waste of time…

Go To Church!

In one of the retreats that I give around the country, I have a particular presentation about how to heal the weaknesses of our modern age. I use examples from sociology, psychology, science, and even religion. But then I get down to the timeless and purposeful answer from Orthodoxy: GO TO CHURCH! It usually gets at least a smile from folks, but it’s meant to be a wake-up call for us all. You see,…