Freedom

The mastering of oneself brings about true freedom It would seem to be an almost genetic trait of we humans to desire freedom. We want to live in a free society, have the freedom to make our own choices, and freedom from the tyranny of others. Yet we fail to realize that the freedom so desired from the inner most part…

The Reality of God

The role of doubt in the development of faith At an age when many of my contemporaries are grandfathers, or even great grandfathers, I’ve discovered the truth of something I read about while still a college student. Grandparents are often more sympathetic to the burdens and challenges that young people face than their own parents. Age seems to mellow us…

Little by Little

Change comes little by little We often become frustrated with ourselves, wanting to change bad behavior, but seemingly incapable of making the changes we desire. Each week we confess the same sins over and over. We know the priest has heard the same confession, week after week, and we’re aware that he could probably say our confession for us, having…

Laziness

Our laziness and misplaced priorities Our laziness and misplaced priorities regarding the Sunday and holy day services, keep us from our obligations to God, and endanger the soul, for in keeping ourselves away from God’s temple, we remain afar from the cure that comes from participating in the Divine Mysteries. Saint Gregory Palamas tells us that we “may remain uncured,…

Happiness

Gratefulness makes us happy We all know that money can’t buy happiness, yet many are not aware that practicing simple gratitude does bring about happiness. Being grateful for the people we have in our lives, and for the things that we have, brings about a happiness that can not come about by endlessly trying to acquire things. Researchers testing gratefulness…

True Authority

Political vs Spiritual Authority It is a temptation for those who serve the Church to think their parishioners should adhere to the political ideals of their priest or bishop. This is a gross temptation that can lead to the alienation of some members of their flock, especially the young. The society at large has seen great changes in many areas…

Monasteries

Centers for spiritual healing  Monastics are an integral part of the Church and should not be seen as independent of the Church Universal. Monks are bound by the same Gospel as other Christians and need to avail themselves to the missionary and pastoral needs of the Church, as needed. Although a primary role of monasticism is to be found in…

Pilgrimage

Celebrating the glorification of a great saint I’ll be back in the monastery sometime this afternoon, following my journey to San Francisco for the 20th Anniversary Celebration of the Glorification of Saint John the Wonderworker. Since I’d been present for his glorification, my road trip was a revisiting of that joyous moment. John is the patron saint of our monastery, and…

The Orthodox Church

Fifteen bishops and 1500 laypeople TheoldestChristian Church in the world We are part of the worldwide Orthodox Church – theoldestChristian Church in the world. This is not a theological statement, it is an historical one. And in every part of the world, there are Orthodox Christians, Churches and missions:  in traditionally Orthodox countries like Russia, Greece, Romania, Serbia, the Middle…

All About Christ

Orthodoxy is about Christ, not religion Orthodoxy is not a religion, but a way of life that is centered in Jesus Christ. Orthodoxy, as a way of life, has the cure to what ails us and can return us to that state of wholeness that was God’s original intent for human kind. Because Orthodoxy is not about religion, it can…

Estrangement

Our response to God’s love casts aside all estrangement When we feel estranged from God it is a true sign we are in need of working more diligently on building up our faith. Faith is a gift from God that requires our cooperation and when we are feeling dry we must quickly turn our eyes to Christ, asking him to…

Mercy

Everything proceeds out of God’s mercy There is a common misconception concerning the word “mercy”, used throughout the liturgical services of the Church, as well as our private prayers, and the Jesus Prayer. It is a given that we are all sinners, but the asking for God’s mercy is not limited to asking His forgiveness, or begging God to overlook…