The Incarnation

A replay of that which happened in the Garden of Eden The Orthodox Church teaches that the Lord took on our humanity by means of a Virgin Birth because he desired to become the first-fruits of a new spiritual humanity, one in which those who were to be united with him would be made sons and daughters of God. According…

Microcosm

Humankind is a microcosm of the universe God is the Creator of the whole cosmos, and ordered his creation with its own integrity, and as a positive reality. Creation is the good work of the good God (Gen. 1), made for the blessed existence of humanity. According to the Cappadocian Fathers, God first created the world and made it like…

Prayer of the Heart

The Jesus Prayer and the Acquisition of Inner Peace The Jesus Prayer, also known as the  Prayer of the Heart, is the central prayer for monastics. One of the early desert fathers, Saint Macarius the Great, said of the phrase from the Psalms, “The meditation of my heart is in your sight”, “There is no other perfect meditation than the…

Passion of a Harlot

Virtue of a saint or passion of a harlot? We are all called to live the angelic life, for it is not just monks who are called into communion with God. We are all invited into that sublime life in imitation of the angels, and whether we live as monastics or are surrounded by family, we are called to an…

The Banquet of the Lord

The importance of preparing for the Divine Liturgy That the Church requires us to prepare to receive the Holy Mysteries of the Body and Blood of Christ, prior to the celebration of the Divine Liturgy, by saying the Pre-Communion Prayers, is a given. The Church also requires us to fast from midnight on, abstaining from either food or drink, until…

Keeping Watch

Holiness comes only to those who keep watch Not an hour should pass without taking time to examine our heart, for the hour of judgement can come at any time, and we must be ready to give account to God for our life. In the Gospel of Matthew (5:8), we read “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall…

The Ever Virgin Mary

The Veneration of the Holy Virgin in the Ancient Church All the early reformers, including Luther and Calvin, believed Mary to be Ever Virgin. The practice at the time was to refer to all cousins as siblings, and none of the early Christians believed Mary had born any children other than Jesus. The veneration of the Virgin did not begin…

The Righteous Person

Righteousness is not a part time job Teachers and parents routinely remind children of the importance of refraining from giving in to peer pressure, knowing that good behavior can often be undermined by the desire to fit in with their friends and school mates. We adults need to remember is that we, too, are often subject to peer pressure. When…

Aggressive Secularism

The aggressive secularization of the United States As an American I have watched with sadness, the eroding of our Christian values and standards of living. When I was in grade school, each day was begun with the reading of the Bible, broadcast over the intercom system (yes, we had the technology when I was little). At my graduation from high…

Medicine for the Heart

The importance of a disciplined life of prayer One medicine for the heart, is the use of a “Prayer Rule.” This “Rule” is of the utmost importance, for the prayer rule helps develop the discipline we all need to progress, spiritually. It is one of the great tools the Orthodox Way has to offer, and has been handed down, from…

Am I Saved?

Therapeutic Tradition of the Church Most of us have been asked the question, “are you saved?”, at least once in our life. Having it’s origin in the protestant soteriology (doctrine of salvation), this question has clearly become part of our American cultural lexicon. The question is often asked by Evangelical Christians as a way of establishing whether we are fellow…

Police Chaplains Conference

Our annual International Conference of Police Chaplains seminar As we are about to begin this year’s Northwest Regional Seminar of the International Conference of Police Chaplains, we’ve all marveled at the beauty that surrounds us. The location of the conference center is Cannon Beach, Oregon. The main building sits right on the beach, with the mouth of Ecola Creek running…