Sympathy and Empathy

The difference between the two words is significant Although these two words have been considered to be synonyms, there is actually a major difference between the meanings, as interpreted by our Orthodox faith. Sympathy, according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, is “The feeling that you care about and are sorry about someone else’s trouble, grief, misfortune, etc., is a sympathetic feeling”. Whereas…

Has Christ not Triumphed over Death?

Further reflections on the spiritually unhealthy results of the pandemic While this Covid-19 lockdown that has forced everyone to keep social distance from one another, and, in my opinion, has gone beyond the ridiculous, one thing has become very clear, both to myself, and other Orthodox pastors, and that is that many contemporary people, including many Christians, as well as…

Stillness

Entering a state of stillness before the Lord It is in keeping constant vigilance, guarding our senses, and living a life of repentance and self-reproach, that we can hope to gain control of our passions and enter into true communion with God. The basic element of such a life has got to include quietude, for it is in states of…

Anger

The opposite of anger is not permissiveness In my essay on Anger, I suggested the best way to respond to another person’s anger was not to withdraw, but to move towards them with kindness. This is such an important issue, that I now want to expand on the topic. There are times when distancing yourself from someone who is angry…

The Despair of Nihilism

And the grace that flows forth from the Fountain of Life Some years ago, while flying back to Seattle from Washington, D.C., I sat next to a young marine, who, as we were landing, asked if I would permit him to accompany me to my shuttle, as he “had a personal matter that was weighing heavily” on his heart. While…

This Age Demands Boldness

Bishops and priests must boldly stand against the powers of darkness We’ve become a nation that has placed Halloween as the second most popular national holiday, after Christmas, and where Friday is now more important than Sunday. Is it any wonder we’ve become a country that no longer looks to Christian clergy when facing major decisions that will negatively impact…

The Eucharist

The necessary component to being a Christian The center of the Church’s Eucharistic liturgy is to be found in the descent, the appearance, the divine presence of the resurrected Christ, and is central to every moment of the liturgy. As believers, the partaking of Communion is actually that moment when we are encountering the living person of the Lord who…

Gratitude

Looking at life as a whole Gratitude is an affirmation of goodness, for in our being grateful we affirm that there are good things in the world, and good people that are part of our lives. Our being grateful does not mean that everything in life is perfect, but it does mean that we look at life as a whole,…

The Healing Institution that is the Church

Seeking out the hospital of the soul Orthodoxy offers a very precise way in which to enter into communion with God. It is a way that must be learned, for simply “becoming Orthodox” will not lead the seeker into an inner life that will transform, and enlighten. Membership in the Church is simply not enough, for the Church is not…

The Salt of the Earth

“Let him who thirsts, come to Me, and drink” The path of purification, illumination and theosis is to be found within the Orthodox Church, so it is therefore imperative that we boldly express our faith to the whole of the world. If we truly be authentic we will put aside all the weakness that is found in the so-called Christianity…

The Divine Liturgy

Where communion with God is restored At the Mystical Supper in the Upper Room Jesus gave a dramatically new meaning to the food and drink of the sacred meal. He identified Himself with the bread and wine: “Take, eat; this is my Body. Drink of it all of you; for this is my Blood of the New Covenant” (Matthew 26:26-28).…