The Church Calendar

The Church Calendar and spiritual maturation One of the most spiritually profitable discoveries for me, personally, was when I started, as a new Orthodox Christian, the observance of the liturgical calendar. Each day of the year I was carried along with the cycle of commemorations that brought to life various events in the life of Christ. The calendar provided me…

Acquiring Humility

The truly humble man does not consider himself humble Saint Macarius of Egypt, called The Great by the Church, because of his perfection of the virtues, and his profound humility, and who said of himself that his struggle to acquire humility was not complete, is but one example of the true meaning of humility. Even though this great saint lived…

The Divine Mysteries

Where communion with God is restored At the Mystical Supper in the Upper Room Jesus gave a dramatically new meaning to the food and drink of the sacred meal. He identified Himself with the bread and wine: “Take, eat; this is my Body. Drink of it all of you; for this is my Blood of the New Covenant” (Matthew 26:26-28).…

Building a Relationship

Building a personal relationship with Christ Most of us struggle with questions about things eternal. It is part of relationship building. If we are to have a personal relationship with God we must be open and honest and unafraid to question. The Lord wants us to be real with Him. Like the sound relationship that one sees in a long…

The United States

A pre-soviet society that would be the end of our freedom “What began in Russia will end in America.” ~Elder Ignatius of Harbin, Manchuria Alexander Solzhenitsyn, in his “Godlessness: the First Step to the Gulag”, explained how the Russian revolution and the communist takeover were facilitated by an atheistic mentality that lead to the secularization of Russia, and alienated the…

Internal Strife

The workings of the enemy of the Church There have always been attacks on the integrity of the Church. Sometimes these attacks have been directed head on toward the Church, such as the invasion of Islam into Orthodox lands. At other times the Church has experienced attacks within her own walls, with divisions occurring that threatened the integrity and unity…

Procrastination

Putting off for tomorrow what can be done today We all have times when we procrastinate. There is a story of a young monk who confessed to his elder that he was always struggling with procrastination. His elder told him it was his lack of faith which made it impossible for him to see God everywhere, and in all things,…

Human Reason

The limits of human reason and the knowledge of God The things that are of God are far beyond the capabilities of our finite mind to comprehend. The divine can only be known through the nous, that place in the heart that is our true center. It, unlike the brain, is capable of knowledge that is beyond human comprehension, coming…

The Power of the Resurrection

Christ’s resurrection becomes our resurrection Orthodox do not accept the Doctrine of Original Sin as espoused in the West, but teach, as did the Early Church Fathers, that we inherit only the results of Adams sin, not his guilt. This is known as Ancestral Sin because the sin of our first parents, Adam and Eve, resulted in our having inherited…

Fruitless Discussions

The power and influence of good deeds “For it is the will of God, that with well-doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men (1 Peter 2:15). Bishop Nikolai Velimirovic tells us in The Prologue from Ochrid that we are better off if we do not engage others in lengthy debates and fruitless discussions, but that we…

Jubilation

And the Resurrection of Jesus Christ The jubilation of the Church is also the jubilation of the Divine Persons of the Holy Trinity at the accomplishment of our salvation. The resurrection of Christ, which brought on the defeat of the power of death, is the cause of joyful praise, because He is the cause of the death of death, and…

Holy Pascha

The Resurrection of Our Lord, God, and Saviour, Jesus Christ Christ is Risen! Truly He is Risen! Хрїстóсъ воскрéсе! Воистину воскресе! Kristus er oppstanden! Han er sannelig oppstanden! Christus ist auferstanden! Er ist wahrhaftig auferstanden! Χριστός ἀνέστη! Ἀληθῶς ανέστη! Христос воскресе! Воистину воскресе! Tha Crìosd air èiridh! Gu dearbh, tha e air èiridh! ハリストス復活!実に復活! המשיח קם! באמת קם! Kristus nousi…