The Righteous Person

Righteousness is not a part time job Teachers and parents routinely remind children of the importance of refraining from giving in to peer pressure, knowing that good behavior can often be undermined by the desire to fit in with their friends and school mates. We adults need to remember is that we, too, are often subject to peer pressure. When…

Aggressive Secularism

The aggressive secularization of the United States 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 was begun 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…

Medicine for the Heart

The importance of a disciplined life of prayer One medicine for the heart, is the use of a “Prayer Rule.” This “Rule” is of the utmost importance, for the prayer rule helps develop the discipline we all need to progress, spiritually. It is one of the great tools the Orthodox Way has to offer, and has been handed down, from…

Am I Saved?

Therapeutic Tradition of the Church Most of us have been asked the question, “are you saved?”, at least once in our life. Having it’s origin in the protestant soteriology (doctrine of salvation), this question has clearly become part of our American cultural lexicon. The question is often asked by Evangelical Christians as a way of establishing whether we are fellow…

Police Chaplains Conference

Our annual International Conference of Police Chaplains seminar As we are about to begin this year’s Northwest Regional Seminar of the International Conference of Police Chaplains, we’ve all marveled at the beauty that surrounds us. The location of the conference center is Cannon Beach, Oregon. The main building sits right on the beach, with the mouth of Ecola Creek running…

Seeing Our Virtues

vs contemplating our passions As Orthodox Christians we are instructed by the Fathers to not look upon our supposed virtues, but to contemplate our passions and sins. We are instructed by the gospels to keep the commandments of Christ, and not allow ourselves to think we are near the perfection that is required if we hope to bring about the…

Idolatry

Beware of false idols Idolatry is a pejorative term for the worship of an idol, a physical object worshiped as though it were a god. Idolatry can also involve objects, persons, entertainment, even self. Anything that replaces the centrality of God in our life can be a form of idolatry. Job, music, money, sex, popularity, success, all can become a…

Orthodoxy Christianity in Russia

The revived and thriving Moscow Patriarchate Sometimes in our media in the west, we find Russia portrayed in a less than friendly light, almost as if we were still in the dark days of the Cold War and the Nuclear Arms Race. But the Soviet regime has fallen. And it’s iron grip of persecution against religion and against the Orthodox…

A Relationship

The God of Christianity is one Who invites us into a relationship One of the primary differences between Islam and Christianity has to do with the basic view of the nature of God. Islam teaches total surrender to a god who demands submission. There is no invitation to enter into a relationship, freely, nor is there room for an individual…

Joy to the World

Joyful living according to the Will of God If we focus only on the things that haven’t been done and ignore the little things that bring joy to our lives, we will find ourselves in a rut, constantly thinking of where we’d rather be living, or the job we’d rather have, or the project that still needs to be completed.…

When Death Visits Us

We will participate in the ongoing Heavenly Banquet One of the most rewarding and challenging aspects of the priesthood is comforting people in their darkest moments of sorrow. Do not be mistaken, and think that priests, monks and chaplains are exempt from the pain of those whom they try to comfort, or that we have magical words that somehow ease…

The Future of the Church

Will the Church thrive into the twenty-first century? For Orthodoxy to thrive into the next century, we must see a return to the very roots of our faith, where the Church proclaims the Good News of Christ in all its purity, and centers herself in the mystical and sacramental core of her very being. She must offer the transformational healing…