The Fear of Love

He who does not love remains in death There are those who fear commitment for fear of loss. If we fear the other will either leave us, or be lost in death, we remain aloof from any possible relationship. We put on a facade of indifference for fear of rejection, depriving ourselves of any possible happiness. In fear of possible…

Angels Unawares

Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares (Hebrews 13:2) There is not one of us who does not meet someone in a given week who is not in need of encouragement, love, and mercy. They are often mothers whose children are going to bed at night hungry for lack of food money. Old women…

Meaningful Prayer

We must struggle that our prayer not become lifeless When we find ourselves struggling with prayer, and feel that it has become dry and lifeless, we are sometimes tempted to stop praying. When our prayer has become a struggle, it is good to remember that God knows our needs, and even knows what we want to say when we don’t…

The Apostles Fast

Fasting is an essential part of our Orthodox journey Fasting was established by God Himself, as clearly seen in both the Old and New Testaments. The Lord Jesus Christ even went out into the desert for 40 days of fasting before beginning His early ministry.  Regarding fasting Christ said “When you fast…” (Matt. 6:16), rather than If you fast. Our…

Dangerous Times

Dangerous times require priestly service that is gentle, patient, and merciful Orthodoxy has traditionally avoided clericalism, yet in more recent times this very corruption of priestly service has entered the doors of the Orthodox Church. It has led some clergy to seek out princely honor, danger not only to their own souls, but the souls of the laity who are…

Ancestral Sin

The sin of our first parents, Adam and Eve, resulted in our inheritance of death The fact that we Orthodox do not accept the doctrine of original sin as espoused in the West, does in no way suggest that we do not need to be born again (born anew). We believe, as did the Early Church Fathers, that we inherit…

Quietude

Quietude, silence and prayer It is in keeping constant vigilance, guarding our senses, and living a life of repentance and self-rapprochement, that we can hope to gain control of our passions and enter into true communion with God. The basic element of such a life has got to include quietude, for it is in states of calmness and inner reflection…

Teaching Children the Love of God

Children learn to love God through the example of their parents Every Orthodox parent wants their children to grow up attending Sunday Liturgies and staying active in the life of the Church throughout their lives. Yet many parents don’t demonstrate the importance of having a personal relationship with God in front of their children. If you do not make God…

We Are All Repeat Offenders

Because we are stuck in habitual and repetitive sins In the Mystery of Confession we avail ourselves before the analogion stand, upon which the holy cross and the Gospel Book rest. The priest stands in as the witness, whereas in the early Church confession was done before the whole congregation of the faithful. After we have confessed before the Lord,…

When Death Visits Us

We Orthodox believers know that death is not something to be feared As a small boy growing up in Spokane, Washington, we lived near one of the city’s large cemeteries. From the earliest days, when I was allowed to ride by bicycle out of our immediate neighborhood, I would ride through this cemetery. The large mausoleum, as well as the…

Guarding Our Thoughts

We must 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…

The Image of Christ

“Help me, O God, to put off all pretenses and find my true self.” Metropolitan Anthony Bloom When we enter into communion with one another in the life of the Church, we come broken, and far from the image and likeness that God intended when He created us. We, to a one, are in need of the healing that comes…