Why Do You Judge Your Brother?

Doing combat against the critical spirit within yourself Fearing the loss of control, we construct a wall of defense around us, keeping authenticity at bay. Fearing rejection, we see ourselves as unlovable, and blame others. Knowing we are inauthentic, we flee from the truth by becoming critical of others. We lie to ourselves, and to others, hiding our insecurity and…

The Coronavirus

Here’s a tip from the experts to help you and your household stay safe from coronavirus COVID-19. Don’t let the virus in. That’s the best way to avoid getting sick. Here are some action steps to help you keep the virus away. Practice excellent personal hygiene habits, including washing your hands with soap and water frequently, coughing into a tissue…

Religion is Dead

Religion is dead, but Christ in me is alive! We are not compelled to love God, having been created with free will. God does not, nor can He, compel His creatures to love Him. Mutual love requires, by its very nature, freedom to either respond in love, or not. Yet when we respond to God’s love with love His mercy…

Artificial Christianity

Avoiding hypocrisy in our journey to God It is very easy to live our lives in hypocrisy if we are not mindful of the pitfalls of the spiritual life. We can become Pharisees without even noticing, if we let our Christianity be artificially lived. Living our lives as though we have been rehearsed by a stage director, we will have…

Orthodox Pharisees

The Orthodox Faith is nothing without transformation of life If our spiritual life is concentrated only on external practices and traditions, but does nothing to bring about real change, we 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 there…

The Triumph of Orthodoxy

And the declaration of anathemas against the iconoclasts The Old Testament God was revealed to us by Christ Jesus. Prior to the incarnation of the Logos, God’s people were forbidden to make any image of Him, for no one had seen His face. Yet when Christ said to His disciples, “he who has seen Me has seen the Father”, the…

The Saints

The saints being alive in Christ are not dead Growing up Lutheran I always believe the veneration of saints by Roman Catholics and Orthodox Christians was a form of idolatry. They were idolaters because they “worshiped saints”. This worship of the saints was a major stumbling block for most protestants, since worship was only to be offered to God. The…

Keeping the Fast

Keeping the fast for all the right reasons The Lord condemned the Pharisee, not because he fasted, but because his motivation was based on pride. The Pharisee wished to be seen by men, and he had no fear of God. He dared to stand before the Lord in pride and arrogance, while the Publican stood afar off, beating his breast,…

The Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts

Communing from the Body and Blood of the Master during the period of spiritual combat The Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts is attributed to Saint Gregory the Dialogist († 604), Pope of Rome, but in actuality, it is not the work of one individual, but is a composite work coming down to us from Holy Tradition. The Liturgy of the…

Why Attend Church?

Can’t God’s temple be duplicated at home? Over the years I have met people who have chosen not to join a church, choosing, rather, to “worship” at home. Some have convinced themselves church is a waste of time, and feel they can be close to God while staying home on a Sunday morning. Others believe none of the churches teach…

Elder Pavlos of Sinai

Geronta Pavlos of Sinai falls asleep in the Lord I received the following email this morning from Sister Joanna, the nun who accompanied the Elder on his visit to our monastery, back in May of 2012: We rejoice in the knowledge that holy Geronta Pavlos of Sinai, having reposed in the Lord, now enjoys the reward of the enormous martyrdom…

Fasting?

Why should we keep the Lenten Fast? Fasting is clearly not optional, as Christ said, regarding fasting, “When you fast…” (Matt. 6:16), rather than “if you fast…”. The Lord, when speaking of His disciples, said that when the bridegroom shall be taken from them, they shall fast. When His disciples reported to Him that they had been unable to cast out…