The True Self

The nous versus the ego Reformed theology focuses on forensic justification, whereas the mystical theology of the Orthodox Church focuses on restoration to God through healing of the darkened soul alienated from Him. These are two very different models, but not really equal, because one can have faith in Christ’s sacrifice, but still not be healed and restored. Our restorative…

The Repose of Archbishop David of Alaska

Memory Eternal I just received word that His Eminence Archbishop David of Alaska has reposed. This is a photo that was taken during the annual Saint Herman of Alaska Pilgrimage a few years ago. Vladyka David is on the left, and Metropolitan Tikhon is in the middle. I got to know Archbishop David after he invited me to be the…

An End to Bullying

Children must be taught kindness at an early age More and more frequently we read about children taking their own lives, having reached a place where they would rather be dead, than live another hour suffering from bullying. Too often parents and teachers have ignored the problem of bullying, dismissing it as nothing more than “kids will be kids”, and…

The Institution of Marriage

The essential element for the 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…

Thanksgiving

“In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18 Thanksgiving has officially been an annual tradition since 1863, when during the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national day of thanksgiving to be celebrated on the last Thursday of November. The “First Thanksgiving” was celebrated by the Pilgrims, together…

Community in Dark Times

And the light of Christ, the True Light on the horizon Times like ours call for us to become spiritually fit, so we can be beacons of light among those who have lost all hope. The challenges that face all of us during this pandemic are not for the faint of heart. The spiritually fit can triumph over anything, and…

Remembering One’s First Love

“None are so old as those who’ve outlived enthusiasm (Henry David Thoreau).” Given my many cancelled lectures around the country due to the pandemic shutdown, I am now living the life of a hermit. Good for most monks I would guess, but certainly not my cup of tea. I really miss encountering people at the lectures, and sharing with many…

Let Peace Reign

During difficult times it is important that we let peace reign in our hearts A number of recent disturbing events within the life of the Church have left many, including some clergy and monastics, with the sense of gloom, wondering what’s coming next. During times like this it is good to remember that nothing has changed during the two thousand…

Sharing Orthodoxy in a Post-Christian Age

Others cannot know they need Christ if they do not see Him in us Christ empowers us to change the hearts and minds of others by the example of our allowing Christ to change us. In the words of Saint Seraphim of Sarov, if we “acquire a humble and contrite heart, a thousand around us will be saved”. If others…

When God Seems Absent

Those times when God seems absent are only an illusion Sometimes we enter a dark place where God seems distant from us. This is only an illusion, for God is closer to us than our own breath. These times are allowed by God to bring us closer to Him, much like the loving parent who stands her child on his…

Broken

What must we do when we feel broken? It is only human to become despondent when we have failed in keeping to our moral, ethical and spiritual standards, succumbing, instead, to temptation. Our Orthodox Faith teaches that we must be compassionate towards others, loving, quick to forgive, exemplar in our Christian living, and always demonstrating to the world that we…