Orthodoxy and Beauty

The inseparability of Orthodoxy and beauty Orthodox Christianity attracted me from my very first encounter with the magnificence of its churches and the grandeur of her divine services. Having grown up amid the natural beauty of Northern Idaho, with mountains and lakes that could take our breath away, I’d previously found inspiration primarily in the world of nature. Orthodoxy and…

Truth

Embracing Absolute Truth In an age when many people think truth is relative, the knowledge that there is such a thing as absolute truth, is comforting. The freedom that comes with the knowledge that we are able to embrace teachings that are a continuation of an unbroken line dating back to Apostolic times, is liberating. As Orthodox Christians, we are…

Impoverished Christianity

Impoverished institutional Christianity and the rise of Islam in the West It has been reported in the press that one out of four people now living in Norway are immigrants from Islamic countries. The response to this dramatic change in demographics is seen in the rise of extremist nationalistic political parties, not unlike the Nazis of World War II. The…

The Acquisition of Wisdom

The acquisition of wisdom is not based on age It has been said that wisdom comes with age, and to some degree this is quite true. I’ve often had conversations with old college friends about how nice it would have been to have had the knowledge and wisdom we have now, back when we were young. Knowing what we know…

Sobornost

Divine-Human Oneness Sobornost is a word that means spiritual harmony based on freedom and unity in love. It is a necessary component in our membership within the Body of Christ, for if we are not bound together in love, our freedom becomes our enemy, separating us from others, and, ultimately from Christ Himself. This concept was so important to the…

The Holy Oblation

The place where heaven and earth are united As a priest, I bear the awesome burden of offering the Holy Oblation before the Throne of God, on behalf of all the people who’s names are submitted to the monastery, and who are Orthodox. I offer for my spiritual children, and even for the whole world. I commemorate my own beloved…

Changing the World

Changing the world one person at a time 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,…

The Abuser

No one is required by God to remain in an abusive relationship The best way to respond to another person’s anger is not to withdraw, but to move towards them with kindness. There are times when distancing yourself from someone who is angry, is necessary, for there is absolutely no good reason for you to move towards another, when they…

Our Bishops, Our Fathers

Praying for our bishops, while loving them in Christ The bishop is both servant to his people and father to his flock. He represents Christ in the midst of his diocese, and his compassion, sweetness, longsuffering, and kind heart, flows directly from Christ Himself. As Christ among us, the bishop is our father, and like all fathers, sometimes we, his…

Persuasion

Christians are forbidden to correct the stumbling of others The use of force in the correction of those who are living in opposition to the laws of God is often a temptation for Christians, yet it must be remembered that the sins of others is better corrected by lovingly demonstrating their value in God’s eyes. Demonstrating our own love for…

Helping the Vulnerable

Authority comes with responsibility When people are hurting, and seeking professional help, they are vulnerable, and the trust they place in the professional makes them particularly open to exploitation. This is why we must have institutions and lines of authority that hold professionals accountable. We can not allow anyone who is vulnerable, be they a child, or an adult, to…

Racism

Racism has no place in the life of a Christian It is important to understand that genetically, all humans are of but one race. Indians, Arabs, Jews, Caucasians, Africans, and Asians, are not different races, but rather, different ethnicities of the human race. God created all humans with the same physical characteristics, with only minor variations. Furthermore, He created all…