Mercy

Everything proceeds out of God’s mercy There is a common misconception concerning the word “mercy”, used throughout the liturgical services of the Church, as well as our private prayers, and the Jesus Prayer. It is a given that we are all sinners, but the asking for God’s mercy is not limited to asking His forgiveness, or begging God to overlook…

Gratefulness

A grateful heart is fertile ground When you strive to interact with members of your family, with friends, coworkers, and all others, with respect, humility, and dignity, you lay the groundwork for the abundance of Grace needed to quicken your heart for the things of God. The soil is prepared for the planting of seeds that allow you to respond…

Our Patronal Feast

The Feast of Christ the All-Merciful Saviour Today our brotherhood celebrates the Patronal Feast of our monastery. Thirty-one years ago the beloved and ever memorable Archimandrite Dimitri (Egoroff) of Santa Rosa, CA tonsured Father Paul and me as Orthodox monks. Guided and inspired by Father Dimitri’s kind and prayerful spirit, and a wisdom and holiness gained through his many years…

Chaplain

A monastic serving 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 fifteen 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…

Choice

The liberty of choice is either to receive or reject God’s love Orthodox Christians believe there is nothing we can do to earn salvation. It is a gift from God and one that must be freely received by us. We are free to reject God because His offer to us is based on relationship and dependent upon our cooperation. God…

Sovereignty

And our capacity to reject the will of God According to Saint Gregory Palamas, God has given us lordship over all the earth because of our capacity for sovereignty. With this sovereignty comes the responsibility to be good stewards of that which God has given us. Saint Gregory wrote, “There is within our soul’s nature a governing and ruling faculty,…

Witnessing for Christ

Sharing the truth in a world devoid of hope If you wish to share the truth of the Orthodox Church, and Christ Who is her head, you must give witness to the love of Christ by loving everyone. Without Christ, Orthodoxy is just another religion, devoid of the power to transform and deify the human heart. Without Christ the Church…

Humility

The monk’s quest for humility Struggling with his pride, the monk focuses on bringing his own will into conformity with the will of God, through monastic obedience. This obedience is not limited to obeying the directives of his abbot, but taking up a standard of humility that takes seriously his adherence to the 102 canons of the Sixth Ecumenical Council,…

A Sympathetic Heart  

The importance of cultivating a sympathetic heart We humans are an odd species. We are capable of great sensitivity and compassion, yet we are also capable of terrible cruelty. Staring at people with facial deformities, or who may have peculiar, physically malformed bodies, may satisfy our innate curiosity, but the cruelty inflicted upon the sufferer is great. As a child…

The Mystery of the Church

And the corporate nature of salvation There is a certain emptiness in trying to live the Christian life outside the life of the Church. This is because it is impossible to truly live as a Christian without the Church. The reading of the scriptures, and our commitment to prayer, are important foundations in the life of a Christian, but they…

The Bee or the Fly?

Looking only for the good in others The newly glorified (canonized) Saint Paisios of the Holy Mountain said there are two types of people. There are the bees and the flies. The bees are attracted to flowers and sweet smells, whereas the flies are only attracted to dirt and stench. Ask a bee where there is stench, and he will…

Priests

Priests must serve as beacons of light The cure for all the passions of the flesh is to be found within the walls of Church. As the Body of Christ, the Church is the foundation of compassion and mercy. It is therefore not Christ’s Church that fails people, but sometimes her priests who can get caught up in the letter…