Blame

Blame can not be placed beyond my own thoughts There is a lot that is wrong with the world, but it begins with me. If there is to be peace in our world, it must begin with me. If hatred, anger, envy, lust, and spite, are to end, it must end with me. When I allow destructive thoughts to destroy…

Silence

Entering into the Silence All Orthodox Christians are aware of the importance of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving, in our journey to God. These three practices are at the heart of our faith. Prayer is our way of communicating with God on a daily basis, and fasting days of Wednesdays and Fridays are called for throughout the Church Year. As Christians,…

The Church

A place for the sick and the lost Our Orthodox Church has always seen herself as a hospital for the soul, the place where her children can seek healing. It is within her walls that we find the medicine we need to make us holy (whole), and where we can find the means for transformation that opens the doors to…

The Health Club

Successful membership in a health club requires exercise Health clubs make much of their profit from people who decide to join because they want to get in shape, but after a few sessions with the weights, drop out. Membership in the Church, like the health club, requires that we put effort into it, lest we find ourselves dropping out for…

The Holiest Place

The holiest place is where you are Some twenty-six years ago I made a pilgrimage to the Holy Mountain of Athos, where I was able to visit seven ancient monasteries. Upon my return to the United States, I asked by spiritual father, the Ever-Memorable Archimandrite Dimitri, for a blessing to return to Mt. Athos, where I said I’d like to…

Christian Pharisees

The Orthodox Faith is nothing without transformation of life If our spiritual life is concentrated only on external practices and traditions, but does nothing to bring about real change, we have gained nothing. Too many people think as long as they keep the fasting rules, do their prayers, and attend the services, they are good Orthodox Christians. Yet if there…

The Antidote

Voiding despair and despondency Despair and despondency must be avoided, for they are used by demons to make us feel hopeless. When we confess our sins before Christ’s agent (the priest,) we can leave with a joyful spirit, for our sins have been forgiven. Our repentance is the key to receiving this joy, and is truly the antidote to our…

Witnessing for Christ

Sharing the truth in a world devoid of hope If you wish to share the truth of the Orthodox Faith, and Christ Who is her head, you must give witness to the love of Christ by loving everyone. Without Christ, Orthodoxy is just another religion, devoid of the power to transform and deify the human heart. Without Christ the Church…

The Fruit of Love

Forgiveness is the fruit of love Our Lord Jesus Christ, while hanging on the cross, asked the Father to forgive his murderers because they did not know what they were doing (Luke 23:34). This was the fruit of love. If we immerse ourselves in God’s love and learn to love everyone we will have acquired the heart of God and…

Repentance

The true state of repentance If we think we are repenting, while all the while dwelling on the perceived sins of others, we are not repenting. If we focus on the wrongs done to us by others, we are not in a state of repentance. True repentance happens only when we are overlooking the wrongs of others. Dwelling on another…

An Orthodox Church

The Link between the Old and New Testament Temple Orthodox temples have kept to the same form and function since ancient times. Using the Old Testament Temple model, Orthodox churches are divided into several courts or spaces peculiar to their function. The Holy Table, upon which is celebrated the Eucharist, is situated at the east end of the building behind…

Complaining

Complaining disturbs the heart and distracts us from the Path If we make it a habit to avoid complaining, we will disarm the enemy of our soul, for the act of complaining is like adding kindling to a fire, for it stokes our passions, and our ego is made stronger. It was Christ Himself who demonstrated on the cross that…