Negative Thoughts

Is our cup half empty, or half full? 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…

Transcendent Joy

In the Divine Liturgy we experience transcendent joy As Orthodox Christians, we know that whenever we enter into the Divine Liturgy we can experience a transcendent joy that leads to a deep sense of gratitude, and this in turn translates into a profound happiness that connects us to the Eternal Kingdom. We walk out of the service with a renewed…

My Mom

Grateful for the love and guidance 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…

Aggressive Secularism

The aggressive secularization of America As an American I have watched with sadness, the eroding of our Christian values and standards of living. When I was in grade school, each day began with the reading of the Bible, broadcast over the intercom system (yes, we had the technology when I was little). At my graduation from high school, there were…

Consolation

Consolation follows repentance True repentance and Christian living proceeds God’s consolation. We reach out to God in every act we do, and in every activity we perform, all the while seeking to acquire a sense of contrition. We strive to love God with our whole being, and in every moment. In every sorrow, every concern, and in our joy, we…

Silence

Entering into silence before the Lord All Orthodox Christians are aware of the importance of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving, in our journey to God. These three practices are at the heart of the Great Lenten Fast. Prayer is our way of communicating with God on a daily basis, and fasting days (Wednesday and Friday) are called for throughout the Church…

A Peaceful Heart

Turning to Christ as our refuge from the storm These difficult times are causing more and more people to lose hope. The struggle just to stay the course has become increasingly stressful for ever increasing numbers of people, and Christians are no exception. When we are down it is good for us to turn our face towards Christ, remembering the…

Apostolic Doctrine

Just whose recipe is it anyway? One of the most powerful reasons for embracing Orthodoxy is to be found in the Church’s insistence that she holds to the evangelical and apostolic doctrine of the Ancient Church. In an age when everything is up for change, there is a certain security and stability when one institution (the Church) stands firm in…

Turning the Tide

Let us empower the generations that will follow us The Church is the Body of Christ, and by Her very nature is anything but an institution where one can be separated from others. We only let it separate us if we fail to involve ourselves as the people of God, with one another. The greeting given by Orthodox Christians, passing on the…

Pandemic

Why is God allowing this pandemic? Saint Paisios of the Mount Athos said, “So in every test, let us say, ‘Thank you, my God, because this was needed for my salvation.’” This is because a person has salvation not only by his good deeds, but also by his patient suffering of various griefs, illnesses, misfortunes, and failures (Luke 16:19-31, Mark…

Military Chaplains

Our soldiers need the support of chaplains A number of years ago our monastic community welcomed seven military chaplains from Joint Base Lewis-McChord. These fine young men who answered the call to serve the nation as military chaplains, inspired me with their commitment to Christ, and their willingness to enter into a dangerous and combative world with our military, willing…

The Mother of God

The Veneration of the Holy Virgin in the Ancient Church All the early reformers, including Luther and Calvin, believed Mary to be Ever Virgin. The practice at the time was to refer to all cousins as siblings, and none of the early Christians believed Mary had born any children other than Jesus. The veneration of the Virgin did not begin…