The Need to Mourn

Mourning is an ancient ritual, one in which Jesus participated One of the most tremendously rewarding and challenging aspects of the priesthood is comforting people in their darkest moments of sorrow. Do not be mistaken, and think that priests, monks and chaplains are exempt from the pain of those whom they try to comfort, or that we have magical words…

Our Children

All important for the preservation of Orthodoxy When parishes are forced to close, it is not just because the children have moved away, and the old folks have died off. The problem is much greater than this. With increased numbers of immigrants joining parishes, often with the expressed desire to preserve their Russian identity, we can easily fall prey to…

The Church

A spiritual hospital, a clinic, a hospice, a therapeutic center, and a fitness center Our Orthodox Church has always seen herself as a hospital for the soul, the place where her children can seek healing. It is within her walls that we find the medicine we need to make us holy (whole), and where we can find the means for…

Dangerous Times

“What began in Russia will end in America.” ~(Schema-hieromonk Elder Ignatius of Harbin Manchuria, August 3/16, 1958†) As an American I have clearly seen, over these past forty years or so, a secularization of our nation, with the end result that evil is taking root. Consequently, the American people are being deceived by an atheism that is ripping our own…

Where is God?

How do we find God in an unbelieving world? God is a merciful God, quick to forgive, quick to show mercy, quick to embrace us when we turn to Him. In all of eternity our God chose to create humankind in His image and likeness, offering His creatures the opportunity to commune with Him in the endlessness that is time.…

The Gym

The similarities between the trainer and the spiritual father Just after my graduation from college I moved to Portland, Oregon, where I worked at various jobs, including waiting tables in an upscale restaurant (to this day, I’m a good tipper), a bartender in a small Irish pub (I’m mostly Scotish), and working as an orderly in a trauma center. All…

Surrendering

In surrendering we have victory over sin and death All that we have comes down from the Father of Lights. We should not become impatient, wanting more than we are ready to receive, for the Lord knows what is best for us. He measures His giving, according to our need, sometimes delaying the things we’ve asked for. When we give…

The Soul

How our soul differs from that of an animal The Orthodox Church teaches that animals have souls, although not the same as ours. When conceived, God bestows upon us the nous, which distinguishes us from animals. It is the nous that is the eye of the soul, intelligent and noetic, and by nature designed to commune with God. The nous…

Police

We should always pray for our nation’s peace officers This Regional Training Seminar of the International Conference of Police Chaplains proved to be one of the most profitable of all I’ve attended over the past sixteen years. As startling as it is to hear, many more police officers die from suicides, each year, than from line of duty deaths. In…

The Priest

The priest must become like a funnel If a priest is truly to be an agent for grace, he must become like a funnel through which the Lord’s mercy can flow. That a priest has received the grace of ordination, if he does not attempt to live a life of holiness, if he does not become a living sacrifice for…

Anxiety and Unease

Courage and Faith verses Anxiety and Unease If we are easily offended, or lose our peace of mind when someone treats us badly, inner peace can not be attained. The Christian who lives his life with internal strife and worry edifies neither other Christians, nor does he reflect anything of Christianity that would be attractive to those who have no…

Chaplaincy

Manifesting God’s love in a troubled world I drove to Cannon Beach, Oregon, for the Northwest Regional Seminar of the International Conference of Police Chaplains. I’ve been coming to these conferences, held during the second week of February, for the past sixteen years. I am grateful to God for all the friendships I’ve formed with other chaplains during these years…