Live In Harmony with One Another

Sometimes, I hate Facebook! OK, what I really hate is being misunderstood and then I have to scramble to be understood and end up making things worse! Ugh! It seems the harder I try the worse it gets. Do you know what I mean? Have you ever, with the best of intentions, tried to make a clear and cogent comment only to have it taken out of context or misunderstood in a…

The Unknowable Depths of God’s Mercy

I do this sometimes. When I’m checking out at the grocery store, I will read the outlandish headlines on the tabloid papers displayed there. Of course, that’s why they put those papers there so that you’ll read them while you wait in line. Smart marketing! But sometimes the headlines are so outrageous that I will actually pick the paper up and look inside! Why are we drawn to sensational stories? Why do…

Don’t Be Childish

“He who desires to worship God must harbor no childish illusions about the matter but bravely renounce his liberty and humanity.”  This comes from a Russian anarchist named Mikhail Bakunin who died in 1876. But does the worship of God require a renunciation of liberty and humanity? Well, yes and no. Yes, in the sense that if I am to worship God truly and with a mature seriousness, I will have to…

Devoted to The Body of Christ

The old saying is “You can pick your friends, but you’re stuck with your relatives.” Oh, the volumes that have been written about dysfunctional families! Family dynamics is one of the most interesting aspects of psychology to me because when I look at my own family I see a tapestry of joy, love, confusion, pain, good choices, bad choices, and a whole lot more. In other words, like most families, we have…

The GIFT of Suffering

Our American nation is suffering a time of chaos, fear, anger, and, yes, even the scourge of hatred. And this suffering can lead us to despair. But the message of the Orthodox Christian Faith is that suffering can actually form and shape us into Christ-like persons IF only we wouldn’t waste these moments of suffering. The Christian understanding of life and salvation can be summed up in this quote from Elder Sophrony…

A Stone To Make Men Stumble!

“MINE!” The toddler was adamant that that toy belonged ONLY to her! She had no intention of allowing anyone else to play with her toy! Now that’s a familiar situation of any parent of small children or any teacher in kindergarten! But that’s also sometimes the unspoken attitude of too many of us when it comes to the spiritual treasures of our Faith. “THAT belongs to US!” Really? Look at our Lesson…

That’s Not Fair!

If you could know the future, would you want to? I mean, really; if you could know the exact moment of your death, would you want that information? Knowing the future has been a preoccupation for us humans forever! I remember riding in the backseat of a car with a friend and passing one of those little houses on the side of the road with the big sign out front: “Madam So…

Let No One Despise Your Youth

I never will forget what a wise, old pastor once told me about being a leader in a church: “Son” he said, “You can say anything you need to to a group of people who know you love them.” Wow, how I’ve learned the truth of this over the years. If a group of people knows you love them, have confidence you want what’s best for them, and believe you know that…

The Wisdom of Wisdom!

One of the most difficult realities I’ve had to face as an adult, as a priest, as a husband, and as a father is waking up to the reality of the complexity of each human person I encounter, including myself. This continuous process of discovery has me regularly seeing places of spiritual progress and immaturity in my heart first of all. All leading to the unmistakable conclusion that the taming of the…

Know When to Fold Them!

Sometimes you just gotta cut your losses! But how do you do that, especially when emotions are involved? It seems I was at a very familiar place in my life. Being someone who loves to help and loves to be seen as a benefit in someone else’s life, I was once again hitting a brick wall with this person. Try as I may, I just couldn’t get past the wall of anger…