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…

Ancient Faith

The transformational power of a Faith unchanged In an age when many Christian denominations are trying to appear relevant and modern, I am finding that large numbers of people are drawn to the Ancient Faith by the beard and robe. I am constantly thanked for dressing as I do by people who appreciate symbols of faith in the midst of…

Such an Honor

An Invitation to be God’s children We have been praying most of our lives, but do we ever think about what that means? Have we ever thought how incredible it is that our Creator God has invited us to speak with Him at any time? That the Lord of the Universe has given us the right to speak with Him,…

Spiritual Adulthood

Those occasions when we mature into spiritual adulthood There are those times in our lives when God seems distant, even absent from us. These are usually times when our faith seems weak and we struggle to believe God really cares for us, or perhaps we begin to question whether God even exists. In Western Christian tradition these moments are often referred…

It’s Not Easy

Anything that is quickly obtained is also easily lost Americans are not a particularly patient people, as demonstrated by the fact that the fast food industry began with us. We don’t tolerate slow service, thus much of the food we consume is prepared before we order it. We drive our car to a window, order our food, and expect it…

Cloud of Witnesses

The saints are alive in Christ Jesus Vigil lights are placed before the icons of the saints, according to Saint Symeon the New Theologian, as a way of showing that without the Light, Who is Christ, the saints are nothing. It is only as the light of Christ shines on them that they become alive and resplendent. The saints show…

The Proof of Love

Faith without works is dead The very moment faith enters the soul is that moment when we turn toward God in repentance and recognize we can not live without Him. As we grow in our faith we come to realize we must remain in a continual state of repentance, for grace abounds in the heart of the man who is…

End Times

We must live our lives in preparation Increasingly Christians have been talking about the coming of the Anti-Christ. Events around the world have created a sense of doom among many believers, seeing in the economic downswing, rise of Islam, extreme climate change, and breakdown of societal norms, as precursors to the coming of the End Times. It is important that…

Prayer

When prayer becomes dry When we find ourselves struggling with prayer, and feel that it has become dry and lifeless, we are sometimes tempted to stop praying. When our prayer has become a struggle, it is good to remember that God knows our needs, and even knows what we want to say when we don’t seem to know. This is…

Genuine Piety

How to be a pious Orthodox Christian without stoking the flames of pride Many years ago I remember attending a Liturgy at a parish church and noticing a young man standing in the front of the temple, making profound bows, together with frequent, almost exaggerated signs of the cross. My first thought was that he must be a newly baptized…

The Dormition

The Dormition of the Mother of God According to the teachings of the Orthodox Church, Mary, having spent her life after Pentecost supporting and serving the nascent Church, was living in the house of the Apostle John, in Jerusalem, when the Archangel Gabriel revealed to her that her repose would occur three days later. The apostles, scattered throughout the world,…

The Ego

How to kill the ego Modern psychology has told us we must feel good about ourselves and instructed us to reject the idea of guilt and sin. Sin is seen as religion’s instrument for keeping people in line, making them dependent on an institution that should be relegated to the Dark Ages. In an age where man is elevated to…