The Abuser

Abusive behavior betrays a deep spiritual and psychological illness There are people who insist on holding on to resentment, often inventing situations in their minds that never happened, justifying their bad behavior, and putting the blame on others. They see themselves as the abused party, always quick to take offense. Rarely are they able to have healthy relationships, for they…

Taking on the Image of Christ

To be a Christian is not about conformity to the image of other people, but to the image of Christ When we enter into communion with one another in the life of the Church, we come broken, and far from the image and likeness that God intended when He created us. We, to a one, are in need of the…

Poustinia

The importance of silence to the inner life The Russian word “Poustinia”, which means “desert”, is so important to the inner life, that it cannot be dismissed. If we are to hear the voice of God speaking to us, we must enter into silence. If we are to learn to hear His voice, we must learn to be silent. Without…

THE NATIVITY

The Condescension of God and the Deification of Man We Orthodox Christians on the Julian Calendar are now celebrating the birth of Jesus, the incarnation of God on Earth. And this celebration of the Nativity of Christ will mark the spiritual upheaval of the universe, for this solemn day marks the embodiment of God on Earth, and the day God…

The Created and the Uncreated

This season of the Nativity of Christ is the perfect time to look closely at what this pivotal moment in human history meant for this material world. That the Logos, the Word of God, joined Himself to our humanity was singularly the most important event in human history. That this was done by God in order to join His Divinity…

Nous versus Ego

The true self versus the false self 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.…

One Person at a Time

Changing the world begins with me The Elder Sophroni of Essex said he believed in changing the world, one person at a time. These words are in agreement with those of Saint Seraphim of Sarov, who said acquiring inner peace causes a thousand around us to be saved. As long as we concentrate on the failings of others, inner transformation…

The Abuser

No one is required by God to remain in an abusive relationship The best way to respond to another person’s anger is not to withdraw, but to move towards them with kindness. There are times when distancing yourself from someone who is angry, is necessary, for there is absolutely no good reason for you to move towards another, when they…

Resisting an Unbelieving World

We must resist this world that has collectively slipped into madness In this secular society there are many Orthodox individuals who’ve found themselves sharing their lives with non-Orthodox friends and family members. Sometimes these people are not even practicing Christians, so the struggle to keep to the traditions and practices of the Orthodox Faith can be difficult. Even the blessing…

Quietude

Quietude, silence and prayer It is in keeping constant vigilance, guarding our senses, and living a life of repentance and self-rapprochement, that we can hope to gain control of our passions and enter into true communion with God. The basic element of such a life has got to include quietude, for it is in states of calmness and inner reflection…

Other Peoples Sins

If we are to win the battle we must focus only on our own sins When we take our eyes off our own failings, shortcomings, and sins, we notice the failings of others. As the sins of others get our attention, our focus turns away from our own struggles with the passions, and we begin to fall further into sin,…

Hospital of the Soul

The Church is the hospital where we can find healing Our Orthodox Faith defines sin as an illness that is in need of healing, not as a crime that requires punishment. The Church is a hospital for the soul whose therapists (priests) first sought therapy and then became the therapists. As a healing institution the Church is the place for…