Teaching Children to Love God

Children learn love of God by the example of their parents Every Orthodox parent wants their children to grow up attending Sunday Liturgies and staying active in the life of the Church throughout their lives. Yet many parents don’t demonstrate the importance of having a personal relationship with God in front of their children. If you do not make God…

Bashing Heads

Troublesome passages of the Old Testament It is important when reading the Old Testament, to remember that it was written as an account of a people’s journey to God. As the Israelites’ journey continued, they came to know God, little by little, through God’s self-revelation to their prophets, and their understanding of God expanded. Christ, as the Logos (the Word…

Complaining

Complaining keeps our heart from soaring to the heavens If we are always complaining about how unfairly we are treated, we will have failed in our imitation of Christ, Who was abused by His enemies unto death. We should strive to reign with Our Lord by loving our enemies and never complaining. Like Christ, we should look towards Our Heavenly…

Absolute 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…

The First Step

The journey to God begins with the first step The spiritual struggle that is required of us can not depend on having a spiritual father. Most Orthodox Christians do not have one, and the average parish priest is not equipped, either with the time, nor the inclination, to take on the role of spiritual father to members of his flock.…

The Chaplain

A monastic as a police and fire chaplain It has been a great blessing for me to have been serving as a police and fire chaplain for the past eighteen years. My interest in chaplaincy began when I was asked by a number of inmates to serve as their Orthodox chaplain in one of the state’s prisons. Spending one full…

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 whose 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…

Standing in Worship

The Orthodox practice of standing for worship Standing before God has been the only acceptable posture for Orthodox Christians from the earliest of times. We recognize that a faithful servant would never sit before his master, for the faithful are all servants of the Lord, whom we worship as we stand in our temples. The Holy Apostle Paul tells us,…

Cloud of Witnesses

The saints are alive in Christ Jesus Vigil lights are placed before the icons of the saints, according to Saint Symeon the New Theologian, as a way of showing that without the Light, Who is Christ, the saints are nothing. It is only as the light of Christ shines on them that they become alive and resplendent. The saints show…

Tending Our Garden

We dare not ignore the cultivation of our own garden We teeter on the edge if we let ourselves be concerned about our neighbor’s garden rather than being concerned about the cultivation of our own garden. Judging another person’s spiritual life is one of the most dangerous things we can do, for judging another distracts us from fully living a…

Acquiring Holiness

Holiness comes only to those who struggle 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. When we practice the examination of the heart, we do so with the knowledge that there is no…

Joyfulness of Heart

Living out every day with joyfulness of heart The renowned 19th century Russian saint, Seraphim of Sarov (1759-1833), said of himself, “I don’t know anything”. These words were remarkable coming from a hermit who was the most sought after spiritual adviser of his age, with even the Tsar seeking out his counsel. Yet Saint Seraphim recognized that he was but…