Death is Inevitable

And the clock is ticking At seventy-four years of age I am no spring chicken, as the saying goes, and I’ve been confronted anew about my advanced age as I’ve witnessed my younger brother dealing with serious heart problems, and two aging priest friends facing serious health issues of their own. Although the clock is ticking for all of us,…

The Church is Like a Forest

The Church, like a forest, provides needed oxygen Growing up in Northern Idaho, I was surrounded by mountains and forests. I don’t remember a time when forests did not tug at my heart and fill my imagination with thoughts of adventure. As a small child my parents took my brother Dwayne, and me, on annual camping trips to a state…

That They Not Suffer Alone   

We must be willing to bear one another’s burdens If we are indeed to love one another we must be willing to suffer with others. The Lord tells us that we must “Bear one another’s burdens, and so be filled with the law of Christ” (Gal. 6:2). When we learn to love others our compassion is such that we are…

Marriage

The essential element for a salvific union of two people The western world has seen a terrible downward trend in the number of couples choosing to get married. Of those couples who do, almost fifty percent of their marriages end in divorce. Those marriages that do last, see only a tiny fraction produce more than one or two children. Many…

Love and Mercy

Through which the temporal and the eternal are connected Our liturgical rites and practices are not ends in themselves, but God-given vehicles by which we enter into a profound relationship with Him, Who is love. The very essence of our Christian faith is love because God Himself is love (1 John 4:8). Thus, our Christian morality, our ethics, and even…

Confronting Spousal Abuse

 Spousal abuse should never be accepted as normal There are times when distancing yourself from someone who is angry is necessary. There is absolutely no good reason for you to move towards another, when they are being abusive. For the wife of an abuser to remain in danger, in an attempt to transfer love, while receiving abuse, could easily be…

Monasteries

Centers for spiritual healing Monastics are an integral part of the Church and should not be seen as independent of the Church Universal. Monks are bound by the same Gospel as other Christians and need to avail themselves to the missionary and pastoral needs of the Church, as needed. Although a primary role of monasticism is to be found in…

United Together

The pandemic lockdown can not separate us from one another As we struggle during this pandemic, it is good to remember that we are all united as one. We find our place of silence, sequestered in our homes and apartments, but in our aloneness, we encounter God. Even in our separation from one another. Even in our isolation from one…

What Does the Lord Require of Us?

We must become full of justice, kindness, love, and mercy As we examine how we live our lives as Christians, we look to those who leave an impression of goodness, kindness, and humility, as examples of the person we would like to become. That saintly person, by their every example, exudes the humility of the Lord, and love seems palpable…

Godly Friendships

We need godly friendships on our spiritual journey It is easy to feel trapped by our bad habits. We don’t like certain behavioral patterns that have become habitual, and we feel helpless in our attempt to change. Growing as Christians is often fraught with failure, and we find ourselves stuck. Our spiritual progress feels more like a treadmill, only seemingly…

The Salt of the Earth

The Gospels must leaven our relationships with others The lifeless things of this world offer no spiritual satisfaction, yet we often sell ourselves off to things or people by giving them power over our hearts. It is easy to feel abandoned or hurt by those to whom we’ve given power. If we need affirmation from others we take the chance…

Noetic Faculty

The energy of the mind inside the heart In the patristic tradition the heart is the center of our self-awareness. This self-awareness is the energy of the mind inside the heart, something the holy fathers referred to as our “noetic faculty”. There is an important distinction that must be noted concerning the difference between the Western and Eastern understanding of…