What the Heart Reveals

It has been said that “icons do not depict but rather reveal.” It is an insight into the intrinsic character of icons. Events that are seen in a merely historical manner do not reveal their true nature. The meaning of an event and its significance are almost never  apparent. Indeed, the world itself does not yield its significance to us by mere observation. In St. John Chrysostom’s prayer of the Divine Liturgy,…

Guard Your Heart

I often think about the admonition of the fathers to “guard your heart.” It seems so obvious to me that the disposition of my heart has everything to do with how I will perceive and react to everything around me. An anxious heart perceives everything as a threat – a disaster or vexation in the making. An angry heart perceives the slightest hindrance as a great provocation. A sad heart can have…

The Good Confession

I often think that the confession of the goodness of God is the bold confession of a martyr. We can all understand the stories of great martyrs, who, in the face of terrible torments, refuse to renounce Christ and are faithful to Him. Of course, sometimes their sufferings are short while there are others who suffer for a lifetime. But I believe the confession that “God is good,” to be the essential…

Thanksgiving

This year I will make the annual pilgrimage back to South Carolina to be with family for the (American) Thanksgiving holiday. Fewer of my children will be there – a mark of the maturing of their own families and the difficulty of travel at this time of year. The year is different as well for it will be the first Thanksgiving holiday without my mother’s presence (may her memory be eternal). With…

Finding God in Abundance

Another simple thing that is quite difficult: From Elder Paisios of the Holy Mountain I have realized that the destruction of man lies in the abundance of material goods, because it prevents him from experiencing the presence of God and appreciating His benevolence. If you want to take someone away from God, give him plenty of material goods. He will instantly forget Him forever. I realized this when I was younger. When…

Favorite Thoughts

Any reader of this blog will very quickly notice certain ideas and words that come up repeatedly in my writings. Some of my parishioners say that I only have one sermon – so perhaps it’s also true that I only have one blog article… But I have been meditating on some of my favorite words or thoughts and why they are as important to me as they are. The first that comes…