Dads

On being a good father I’ll forever be grateful for the love and support I received from my father. My dad never let a day pass without assuring his two sons of his love and acceptance. Albert Parsons always imaged to his sons the importance of living an honest life, and being kind to everyone. Generous almost to a fault,…

Harmony

Creating harmony out of chaos The inevitability of death is particularly difficult to face for most Americans, as we’ve become a people that eschew traditional funerals, preferring to “celebrate the life of our loved one, while disposing of the body, and banning any sign of death from the memorial service should we even decide to have a service. Yet the…

The Life of the Church

Our life is incomplete without the Church There is a certain emptiness in trying to live the Christian life outside the life of the Church. This is because it is impossible to truly live as a Christian without the Church. The reading of the scriptures, and our commitment to prayer, are important foundations in the life of a Christian, but…

Disappointment

Building our endurance and confidence “Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise (Hebrews 10:35-36)” When we find ourselves caught up in what we want, or what we think we need, we become despondent that things…

Happiness

All we need for happiness is right in front of us It is easy to resist taking care of oneself if we run at full speed as though we are the only one who can get things done. We all need to set priorities, making sure we focus on Christ and not let that which is transitory rule our lives.…

Apostolic Doctrine

Just whose recipe is it anyway? One of the most powerful reasons for embracing Orthodoxy is to be found in the Church’s insistence that she holds to the evangelical and apostolic doctrine of the Ancient Church. In an age when everything is up for change, there is a certain security and stability when one institution (the Church) stands firm in…

The Extended Family

The importance of building multigenerational ties At seventy-three years of age I find myself looking closely at our present day young people, and seeing in them, myself. Inside this old man is a young man sometimes screaming to get out. Caring so much for our young people, it is sometimes a shock when I see a group photo of myself…

An Integral Whole

Avoiding a compartmentalized and splintered life Our life must be lived as a whole, for we dare not live out this life as merely fractured moments in time. If we wish to be transformed by our encounter with God, every aspect of our life must flow as one river, ever moving closer to Christ. If we live a compartmentalized and…

When the Church Fails Us

When we feel betrayed by the “dark side” of the Church For those who have experienced what has been called the “dark side” of the Church, the struggle to remain faithful to the Orthodox Faith can seem daunting. The dark side is the result of the sinful, fallen nature of all of us who make up the Body of Christ.…

Consolation

When we are in need of consolation The Elder Jospeh the Hesychast said to his disciples that,  “In order for one to realize his weak nature, he must encounter many great temptations. And then, through many trials he is humbled and learns true humility. But it takes time. Humility does no consist in words such as ‘I am a sinner…’…

Faith in an Unbelieving World

Living our Orthodoxy in a world of unbelief In this pluralistic society there are many Orthodox individuals who’ve found themselves sharing their lives with non-Orthodox family members. Sometimes these families are not even practicing Christians, so the struggle to keep to the traditions and practices of the Orthodox Faith can be difficult. The lenten periods can be especially hard when…

Teaching Children to Love God

Children learn love of God by the example of their parents Every Orthodox parent wants their children to grow up attending Sunday Liturgies and staying active in the life of the Church throughout their lives. Yet many parents don’t demonstrate the importance of having a personal relationship with God in front of their children. If you do not make God…