Chaplains

A monastic as a police and fire chaplain It has been a great blessing for me to have been serving as a police and fire chaplain for the past eleven years. My interest in chaplaincy began when I was asked by a number of inmates to serve as their Orthodox chaplain in one of the state’s prisons. Spending one full…

Isolation

Community is the essential element Christianity is a communal faith, one that requires it’s followers to be actively involved with others. The Church’s worship is communal, and salvation itself is a corporate act, one that necessitates interaction with others. One is not “saved” in a vacuum, but as part of the corporal life of the Church. Your salvation must be…

The Abuser

No one is required by God to remain in an abusive relationship The best way to respond to another person’s anger is not to withdraw, but to move towards them with kindness. There are times when distancing yourself from someone who is angry, is necessary, for there is absolutely no good reason for you to move towards another, when they…

Difficulties and Trials

All is sent down by You When we hear the words, “all is sent down by you” this does not mean that God wills anything evil to happen but only that we always need to be open to God’s presence, grace and mercy, no matter what. God allows difficulties to come our way as a means of purifying us and…

Christian Friendships

The necessity of Christian friendships In this age where secularism is on the rise, and materialism has become a major distraction from spiritual pursuits, Christian friendship has never been more important. The pursuit of personal fulfillment, entertainment, worldly pleasure, and the acquisition of material goods, has become the dominant theme of our age. Families that once placed the life of…

Poustinia

The importance of the desert to the inner life The Russian word, “Poustinia”, means “desert”, and the importance of the poustinia to the inner life can not be dismissed. If we are to hear the voice of God speaking to us, we must listen to His silence. If we are to learn to hear His voice, we must learn to…

Faith in a Secular World

Being Orthodox in a non-Orthodox world 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 the whole…

Love Your Enemies

How can we possibly love everyone? We are instructed by Christ to love our neighbors as ourselves, and even to love our enemies. There are always individuals who come into our lives that we find difficult to like, let alone love. Given this, how do we follow the commandment of Christ to love everyone? As Christians we venerate icons of…

Fishermen

The Common men called by the Lord As we who follow the Old Calender, celebrate the Feast of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul, it is good to remember that the Lord did not call academics, religious leaders, or important members of the King’s Court, as His Apostles, but rather He called what were essentially the blue collar workers of…

The Gift of Life

And the nightmare of an all-consuming death This earthly life that we have been given has no meaning unless we see it as a workshop for the future life. We must not neglect that which is of an eternal nature, for the Creator has bestowed this life upon us as a time of preparation for eternity with Him. This is the…

The Psychopath

The Problem of Evil in God’s Creation We’ve all read news reports of horrid cases of people being imprisoned for long periods of time by perverted individuals who have been later diagnosed as classic psychopaths. By definition, psychopaths are individuals who are hateful towards others, and incapable of empathy. Sometimes known as Dissocial Personality Disorder, or Narcissistic Personality Disorder (alternate…

Oxygen

The Church, like a forest, provides needed oxygen Growing up in Northern Idaho, I was surrounded by mountains and forests. I don’t remember a time when forests did not tug at my heart and fill my imagination with thoughts of adventure. As a small child my parents took my brother Dwayne, and me, on annual camping trips to a state…