The Need to Mourn

God is with us in the intimacy of grief The shooting on the Seattle Pacific University campus that took the life of a nineteen year old college student, and sent three other students to the hospital, is one of those moments that brings together whole communities in need of mourning together. During times like this, we need to mourn. One…

Campus Violence

The violence of a world devoid of hope The shooting that just took place on the Seattle Pacific University campus hit close to home, for I count among my friends, Dr. Richard Steele, a professor on the campus. Dr. Steele has been bringing groups of students to our monastery for many years, and I have been honored as a guest…

Guarding the Heart

We must guard our hearts As we are all filled with thoughts that flood our minds, let us consider each thought and decide whether it be our own, or those of the enemy of our salvation. If they be the latter they should be dispelled and given no room to linger. Negative thoughts that are allowed to grow in our…

Procrastination

I’ll do it tomorrow We all have times when we procrastinate. There is a story of a young monk who confessed to his elder that he was always struggling with procrastination. His elder told him it was his lack of faith which made it impossible for him to see God everywhere, and in all things, and for this reason he…

The Religious and Secular Divide

Civilization needs unity between Christianity and the secular state The great divide between the secular state and the Christian faith has grown substantially during my lifetime. Gone are the days when our nation was based on Christian values and where religion played an important role the public life of this country. The notion that we must separate Church and State…

The Hospital

click on photos to enlarge Seeking out healing in the life of the Church   Orthodoxy offers a very precise way in which to enter into communion with God. It is a way that must be learned, for simply “becoming Orthodox” will not lead the seeker into an inner life that will transform, and enlighten. Membership in the Church is…

Persuasion

Abbot Tryphon and Jacob McGinnis Correcting the Stumblings of Others The use of force in the correction of those who are living in opposition to the laws of God is often a temptation for Christians, yet it must be remembered that the sins of others is better corrected by lovingly demonstrating their value in God’s eyes. Demonstrating our own love…

Call no Man Father

And do not be called teachers “Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. And do not be called teachers; for One is your Teacher, the Christ. But he who is greatest among you shall be your servant. And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself…

Bodily Suffering

The role of bodily suffering in the salvation of human kind Elder Ambrose of Optina Monastery said, “We should not forget that in our age of ‘sophistication’ even little children are spiritually harmed by what they see and hear. As a result, purification is required, and this is only accomplished through bodily suffering….You must understand that Paradisal bliss is granted…

The Ascension

The Feast of the Ascension of Christ Today we celebrate the Feast of the Ascension of Christ. The importance of this historical event, is that Christ ascended into Heaven as man and as God. Having condescended to take on our flesh, becoming both perfect man, and, at the same time, perfect God, he never put off His manhood, but deified…

Love

Prayer is born of love If we find fault in others, our judgmental attitude prevents us from having a successful communion with God. Prayer is born of love, while fault-finding, idle talk, and self-indulgence are the death of prayer. Love and prayer are interconnected because both involve God, and if we love God we are given the power to keep…

Community

There is no salvation outside the Body of Christ Orthodoxy is all about community. The fierce individualism found in much of what claims to be Christianity is in opposition to the Orthodox understanding of faith. The Church as the Body of Christ is where we are united in Christ, becoming part of community. The ancient Greek word Ecclesia literally means…