Fasting

The importance of fasting for the Orthodox Christian Our fasting is pleasing to the Lord when it is accompanied by mercy and kindness, and done without hypocrisy or pride. Fasting brings the passions under control by not only taming the body, but bringing victory over the demons. Fasting gives us power over the demons because it has a powerful impact…

The Internet

The good, the bad, and the ugly There is a lot of good that can be discovered on line. Many years ago I was charged by my archbishop with the task of addressing our Diocesan Pastoral Conference on the subject of “Fasting According to the Early Church Fathers”. Only after having agreed to the task of preparing such a lecture…

Clericalism

The corrupting influence of clericalism Orthodoxy has traditionally avoided clericalism, yet in more recent times corruption of priestly service has enter the doors of the Orthodox Church. It has led some clergy to be motivated by a desire for power and prestige, with their sight so clouded as to endanger not only their own souls, but the souls of the…

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…

The Beauty of God

Being the beauty of God in a darkened world When others see how we negotiate our life, how we treat our fellow workers, our neighbors, and our family, they should witness in us devotion and praise of God. Our deeds and our speech must reveal the love of God to all those who come in contact with us. Our whole…

The Great Gap

The need to reunite a society divided by age There are two major populations within our society that are seeing a statistical rise in the number of suicides. At a time when a growing body of research shows that people with the most social power pay scant attention to those with little such power, our nation’s youth, and the elderly,…

Blessed is the Kingdom

Blessed is the kingdom of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit The Divine Liturgy begins with the words, “Blessed is the kingdom of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, now and forever and to the ages of ages”. This kingdom is our true home and our lives as Christians are…

Open Wide the Doors

Open wide the doors of the Church to everyone The subject came up among clergy of our diocese as to whether it was proper to allow a man to attend services while wearing an earring. The point, as it seems to me, is to make him feel welcomed enough to want to be in church to begin with. Requiring the…

The Incarnation and Deification

God shares His Divinity with our humanity The idea that Christ would have incarnated in the flesh, even if Adam and Eve had not fallen, was taught by a number of early Church Fathers. Although not a formal teaching of the Orthodox Church, the understanding comes from the view that the Logos took on our flesh because God wished to…

The Nous

The eye of the soul and the mind of the heart There is the seen, and there is the unseen, the material and the immaterial. That which is material can be scientifically examined and experienced, the immaterial can only be seen and experienced spiritually. These are two worlds that are only seemingly at odds with one another. If you attempt…

My Mom

Grateful for the love of my mother The most important gift I received from my mother was the gift of love. She loved me, and demonstrated her love for me throughout my childhood. She also showed me how to love others, and that ability to be willing to be open to love, and to demonstrate love, eventually allowed me to…

Thoughts on the Oneness of Creation

What will we experience in the after life? There is no formal doctrine in the Orthodox Church concerning the afterlife for animals, including our pets. Those Fathers of the Church who have expressed themselves on this matter were simply expressing theological opinions that have not become universally accepted, and remain known as “theologoumena” (personal opinion). The Church has wisely refrained…