Monasticism

Monasticism, and the love of God and neighbor Monasticism within the tradition of the Orthodox Church has many expressions. Some are called to live in the wilderness as hermits, living the solitary way of life. Others, such as Saint Maria of Paris and Saint John of San Francisco, are called to live their monastic struggles within cities, surrounded by people.…

Our Unity 

The Church is the chief sign of our unity in Christ The Church Fathers saw Orthodoxy as a Way of Life, rather than a religion. Although the Church has many of the same attributes as religion, this does not mean she is herself is a religious institution. Rather, she is a Hospital for the Soul, wherein we can receive the…

How to Forgive

We must put aside all resentment The decision to forgive another person a wrong done to us begins when we decide to let go of resentment and thoughts of revenge. To forgive someone does not mean that we forget what they did to us, for this may be impossible. The memory of the hurt might always remain with you, but…

Crucified to Self

I am crucified with Christ In our life, every undertaking, every action, every thought, must be a reflection Christ in our life. The Lord will grant us the strength and ability to accomplish good works and attain holiness, if we cooperate with His grace. Prayer alone is not enough if we do not reflect moral improvement. Change must take place…

Correcting Myself

And amendment is made to a small part of the Church 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 Saint Paisios of Mt. Athos. His advice:…

My Countries

I pray for America, and I pray for Russia I am not a Russian, and I’ve sometimes felt like a stepchild in the Russian Church, not because I’ve not been welcomed, but because the ethnic identity, as well as the language, of many of my brothers and sisters is not something I share. As a man whose roots are in…

Hammi

Our beloved Norwegian Forest Cat Our beloved Norwegian Forest Cat, Hammi, was most happy when the entire monastic brotherhood gathered together with him in our library/community room. We all considered him an important member of our community, and Hammi was the only cat I knew who had his own facebook fan page, started by a woman who’d met him on…

The Banquet of the Lord

The importance of preparing for the Divine Liturgy That the Church requires us to prepare to receive the Holy Mysteries of the Body and Blood of Christ, prior to the celebration of the Divine Liturgy, by saying the Pre-Communion Prayers, is a given. The Church also requires us to fast from midnight on, abstaining from either food or drink, until…

Avoiding Despondency

Despondency is the tool demons use to distract us from the goal It is often the case that we fail to keep God’s commandments and find ourselves despondent, unable, as it seems, to make progress in the battle over our sins. When the same sins constantly plague us, despondency is our enemy. Despondency is the tool demons use to distract…

The Three Disciplines

The Three Disciplines: Prayer, Fasting, and Almsgiving Jesus Christ called for a thorough conversion of our heart and mind, and a complete turning away from the old man (our fallen nature). The main act that begins this conversion is metanoia, which means thorough change of mind.  This happens when we become aware that we have sinned, and that we are…

God’s Love

God’s Love is Without Measure “We have all sinned and fall short of the Glory of God (Romans 3:23).” We Orthodox often miss the mark in understanding and ministering to this world. We fail the words of Christ, “to love one another as God has loved us”, and forget we are charged by Our Lord to bring healing and wholeness…

How to Support Your Priest

You can better help your priest by understanding this one thing Parish priests feel pressures that are found in no other profession. The type of man that generally is drawn to the holy priesthood is one who has a heart for serving others. Priests are often expected to do far more than is humanly possible. Priests, as fathers to their…