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…

Prayer

When you pray, pray for repentance When you pray, make the central theme of your prayer a request that God bring you to true repentance. Repentance must be the goal of your prayer life, for only in repentance can you gain humility. God’s grace will sustain you through any trial and His grace will abound in you if it can…

Sharing Christ

A smile can go a long way A few years ago I was sitting in a Seattle coffee house, laptop open and working on correspondence. Two young college age men were sitting at a table about two feet away. One of them made a rude remark that was obviously meant for my ear. He suggested to his friend that only…

The Domestic Church

The incubator for a life of righteousness Prior to electricity and central heating, most families gathered in parlors, spending evenings with reading, sewing, and family conversations. The notion that everyone would retreat to bedrooms, kitchens, or dens, separating themselves from other family members, was unthinkable. The communal nature of the family was natural. I can remember, as a child (this…

Anger

In every way we must strive to restrain anger Abba Evagrius the Monk said that, “Anger is by nature designed for waging war with the demons and for struggling with every kind of sinful pleasure. Therefore angels, arousing spiritual pleasure in us and giving us to taste its blessedness, incline us to direct our anger against the demons. But the…

Sobornost

Divine-Human Oneness Sobornost is a word that means spiritual harmony based on freedom and unity in love. It is a necessary component in our membership within the Body of Christ, for if we are not bound together in love, our freedom becomes our enemy, separating us from others, and, ultimately from Christ Himself. This concept was so important to the…

It’s Not Easy

Anything that is quickly obtained is also easily lost Americans are not a particularly patient people, as demonstrated by the fact that the fast food industry began with us. We don’t tolerate slow service, thus much of the food we consume is prepared before we order it. We drive our car to a window, order our food, and expect it…

Harmony

How to create harmony out of chaos The briefness of life has become more evident to me as I face health issues that have come with aging. It has not been a fearful experience for I believe with all my heart that God is there, especially when I am suffering through periods of trial and uncertainty. Death comes to all…

Restoration

The Restoration of the True Self The Lord Jesus Christ was humble, meek and good, and with the help of the Lord we too can be humble. Fasting and prayer are the means by which God can change our hearts, but we must approach both with humility and purpose. Saying our prayers quickly just to get through them is no…

THE TWO GREAT COMMANDMENTS

“Love thy God with all your heart, mind…” and secondly, “Love thy neighbor…” We live in a world bombarded with thousands of messages, some subtle and some not-so-subtle, of merchandising that impact the way we interact with others, and the way we relate to God. Much of what we glean from these messages is narcissistic in nature, estranging us from…

Divine Warmth

The Divine Flame will Consume You At the very first moment you decide to turn to God, your heart begins to be warmed by the action of the Holy Spirit. Your heart is kindled with the divine flame that will transform you. This flame will consume you completely, and will melt everything of a fallen nature within you. Once this…