He Who is Without Sin?

Christ asked those without sin to cast the first stone “We have all sinned and fall short of the Glory of God (Romans 3:23).” We Orthodox often miss the mark in understanding and ministering to this world. We fail to heed the words of Christ, “to love one another as God has loved us”, and forget we are charged by…

Laying Blame

Putting the blame in the right place We all have a natural tendency to lay blame on others, when in truth we must blame only ourselves. When facing our own sins and shortcomings, it is always easy to put the blame on others, yet our faith tells us that spiritual progress can only come with the acquisition of a humble…

Obscuring the Message

Acknowledging Warts and Wrinkles If we do not live in repentance and humility, we clergy betray Christ, Whom we claim to serve. We must be willing to put aside all intellectual and romanticized notions of the Church, acknowledge the many warts and wrinkles and institutional flaws that have accumulated over the centuries, and live in imitation of Christ, Who came…

Postponing

I postpone the day of my own repentance Every aspect of my life should be a reflection of my faith in Christ, yet I utterly fall short in living this out as a reality. I find it difficult to look closely at myself, and at my relationships with others. How easily I fall into the trap of judging others, finding…

The Disturbed Heart

And the forgetfulness of the things of God The passions that create a state of unrest in our hearts cause us to forget the real purpose of our life, which is union with God. Saint Basil the Great tells us we cannot approach the knowledge of the truth with a disturbed heart. Conflict, downheartedness, lust, worry, and judging others, are…

One Person at a Time

Changing the World Must Begin with Me The Elder Sophroni of Essex said he believed in changing the world, one person at a time. These words are in agreement with those of Saint Seraphim of Sarov, who said acquiring inner peace causes a thousand around us to be saved. As long as we concentrate on the failings of others, inner…

Humility

Humility Requires Struggle Only through struggle can we acquire humility. Our natural inclination is to flee struggle, and cling to our comfortable pride. When difficulties and humiliations come our way, we must embrace them, as from God. For the Lord knows what we need, and if we are to acquire true humility, and live in repentance, we must trust that…

Human Reason

The Limits of Human Reason and the Knowledge of God There is the seen, and there is the unseen, the material and the immaterial. That which is material can be scientifically examined and experienced, the immaterial can only be seen and experienced spiritually. These are two worlds that are only seemingly at odds with one another. If you attempt to…

The Eternal Banquet

The Importance of Frequent Communion Eternity is an everlasting banquet (the Divine Liturgy) that takes place in the heavenly realm. Every time we participate in the Divine Liturgy we are transported into a place where there is neither time nor space, and participate in that very banquet. As we receive the Holy Mysteries (Christ’s very Body and Blood), we receive…

Fruitless Discussions

The power and influence of good deeds “For it is the will of God, that with well-doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men (1 Peter 2:15). Bishop Nikolai Velimirovic tells us in The Prologue from Ochrid that we are better off if we do not engage others in lengthy debates and fruitless discussions, but that we…

Loving Ourselves

The measure of love is to fulfill Christ’s commandment Sometimes we’ve done things that cause us to wonder how we can ever forgive ourselves. Perhaps we’ve hurt someone we love or disappointed people we respect by behaving in a way we deeply regret. Maybe we’ve said some unkind thing to someone and caused them terrible hurt and embarrassment. We are…