The Dark Side

When we experience 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. It is…

Passing the Crucible

Ministry is never about the person ministering This morning we had fifteen senior citizens visit the monastery, followed by a few other visitors in the afternoon. Our monastery has been inundated with visitors since the middle of this past winter, and there seems to be no letup in the number of pilgrims wanted to spend time at the monastery, including…

Why Ask the Saints?

Jesus is the sole mediator between God and man Most Protestant churches strongly reject all saintly intercession, citing passages such as 1 Timothy 2:1-5, which says that Jesus is the sole mediator between God and man, as well as Deuteronomy 18:10-11 which seems to forbid invoking departed souls. They also point to the fact that there are no examples in…

Transfiguration

The Feast of the Holy Transfiguration of Christ The Transfiguration of of Christ is the episode in the New Testament narrative in which Our Lord is transfigured and becomes radiant with bright rays of light. At that moment the prophets Moses and Elijah appear next to Him, and He speaks with them. The voice of God the Father calls Him,…

Incense

Let my prayer arise as incense before Thee From Old Testament times believers have burned incense as an offering when worshiping God. The ancient temple in Jerusalem even had priests whose sole duty was to keep the censer burning twenty-four hours a day. Ancient pagan kings were often escorted with large fans of peacock feathers and burning incense when entering…

Taste the Presence

Taste the presence of Christ beside you We all need a good dose of silent prayer each and every day. Finding that perfect place in your home that can become your cave, or prayer closet, will afford you that sacred space wherein you can go deep into the heart and connect with God. That place wherein you can close off…

God

Experiencing the reality of God My own experience with God is many fold, with everything from witnessing the healing of illnesses of many people, including my own heart condition (I was on the operating table, awaiting bypass surgery, but was healed), to standing before numerous myrrh streaming icons, watching the myrrh well up. I once witnessed a cross (about 12…

Fasting

Monastery’s Patronal Feast Liturgy Fasting for the right reasons The Lord condemned the Pharisee, not because he fasted, but because his motivation was based on pride. The Pharisee wished to be seen by men, and he had no fear of God. He dared to stand before the Lord in pride and arrogance, while the Publican stood afar off, beating his…

Our Patronal Feast

The Feast of Christ the All-Merciful Saviour Today our brotherhood celebrates the Patronal Feast of our monastery. Twenty-eight years ago the beloved and ever memorable Archimandrite Dimitri (Egoroff) of Santa Rosa, CA tonsured Father Paul and me as Orthodox monks. Guided and inspired by Father Dimitri’s kind and prayerful spirit, and a wisdom and holiness gained through his many years…

Our Children

All important for the preservation of Orthodoxy When parishes are forced to close, it is not just because the children have moved away, and the old folks have died off. The problem is much greater than this. With increased numbers of immigrants joining parishes, often with the expressed desire to preserve their Russian identity, we can easily fall prey to…

Hospice or Hospital?

Spiritual pain control or spiritual healing? Since the Church is the hospital for the soul, it is important we take full advantage of all the resources for healing found within the Church. Confession is the all important beginning for this healing process to begin. The grace imparted during a good confession opens wide the gates of God’s grace, and we…

Standing in Worship

The Orthodox practice of standing for worship Standing before God has been the only acceptable posture for Orthodox Christians from the earliest of times. We recognize that a faithful servant would never sit before his master, for the faithful are all servants of the Lord, whom we worship as we stand in our temples. The Holy Apostle Paul tells us,…