GUARDING OUR THOUGHTS

Drive out all negative thoughts Our thoughts really do have an impact on our world. Negative thoughts about family members or fellow employees, change our relationships. If we dislike someone at work and allow ourselves to think poorly of them, they are likely to fulfill our low expectations. If we pray for them and ask God to bless them, while…

Road Trip

The 20th Anniversary of the Glorification of Saint John I’m late posting The Morning Offering after nine and a half hours of sleep following my road trip to the Bay Area, where I will be participating in the 20th Anniversary Celebration of the Glorification of Saint John the Wonderworker of San Francisco. Bishops, priests, and faithful Orthodox Christians from around…

Christian Pharisees

  The Orthodox Faith is nothing without transformation of life If your spiritual life is concentrated only on external practices and traditions, but does nothing to bring about real change, you have gained nothing. Too many people think as long as they keep the fasting rules, do their prayers, and attend the services, they are good Orthodox Christians. Yet if…

Being a Christian

The Christian life requires work and effort Every priest can tell you that he’s had his share of people who don’t think he understands the difficulties they face with their jobs, families, and spouses. Many people think their priest expects too much of them, and they ignore the homilies that challenge them to go deeper into their faith. They drop…

A Healthy Soul

Don’t react, be at peace Each day brings on new challenges regarding the  health of your soul. Those moments when a family member or coworker makes a remark that are meant to anger you, are those times you need to guard your heart. When those around you are gossiping about someone, that is an opportunity for you to keep silent.…

A Good Place

Keeping one’s mind and heart in a good place Walking through life with a smile on your face and a song in your heart is the best way to keep your mind and heart in a good place. Life has many turns and many trials, but when you keep centered on all the good that is in your life, the…

Tend to Your Own Soul

Letting the Church be put in order Whenever we hear of problems in the Church it is our natural inclination to want to read all about it and root out all the details. Yet if we really want to benefit our soul, we should take the advice of the Elder Paisios of Mt. Athos. His advice: “If you wish to…

The Problem of Evil

Darkness does not exist in its own right  Our Orthodox Christian theology views evil not as a primeval essence that is co-eternal and equal to God, but rather a falling away from good. Evil does not exist in and of itself, and was not created by God. Our Orthodox Church rejects the Gnostic teaching that the entirety of being is…

Lust

Waging war against  the flesh Since the eyes and the ears are the doors of the soul, an Orthodox Christian must not leave the body without attention. Unlike the religion of Gnosticism, which teaches the separation of soul and body, with the physical world being evil and something to be overcome, historic Christianity teaches the unity the body and soul,…

Peace of Heart

Disappointments are meaningless with peace of heart We often find ourselves disappointed in life. The job we really wanted is given to another person. An associate at work doesn’t invite us to the dinner party, yet invited a coworker and his wife. A person we’d love to have as a friend shows no interest and we feel rejected. The music…

Holiness

Holiness comes only to those who struggle Not an hour should pass without taking time to examine our heart, for the hour of judgement can come at any time, and we must be ready to give account to God for our life. There is no spiritual improvement if we do not seek to please God with holiness of life. If…

Other Christians

What about non-Orthodox Christians? Saint Silouan the Athonite was once traveling by train with an archimandrite who was a zealot quick to correct others about the True Faith. Coming upon a group of traveling Roman Catholics, Saint Silouan’s traveling companion proceeded to tell them that they must become Orthodox because their faith was without grace. The saint asked him if…