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…

The Priest

The priest should be like a funnel If a priest is truly to be an agent for grace, he must become like a funnel through which the Lord’s mercy can flow. That a priest has received the grace of ordination, if he does not attempt to live a life of holiness, if he does not become a living sacrifice for…

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…

The Lenten Journey

Transformation through the Lenten Journey The Byzantine Court was filled with sycophants, busying themselves with building alliances that would help them rise in status and influence. During the thousand years of the empire, a few emperors were tricked into believing these sycophants were truly their friends, and could be trusted, when in actuality they were being played, and these flatterers…

Forgiveness

Forgiveness is the cure for judgment, anger, and resentment Our Lord Jesus Christ told us: “Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you shall be forgiven (Luke 6:37).” In the Our Father, the very prayer given to His disciples after Christ was asked to teach them to pray, we…

The Divine Liturgy

Where communion with God is restored The Church is that place where heaven and earth are united, and where we can live as we were meant to be, as before the Fall. The Church’s Divine Liturgy is that place where the disunity that came with the Fall is put aside, and communion with God is restored. Our participation in the…

The True Spirit of Fasting

Fasting is more than abstaining from certain foods This coming Monday is the beginning of Great and Holy Lent, so now is a good time to prepare ourselves for this Lenten Journey. As with previous years, I am sharing this approach to fasting, which will greatly enrich this penitential preparation for the Feast of the Holy Resurrection. With love in…

Family

Staying connected with family It is always sad to lose a family member in death, but it is also sad that it often takes a funeral to bring together relatives who’ve not seen each other in years. It is from this perspective that I realize I, as the oldest of the cousins, am the one family member who remembers how…

Submitting

Do we think ourselves wiser than the Church? In an age of unbelief it can be a struggle to submit to the laws of the Church. When the society around us regards the Church’s laws and traditions unfavorably, we can easily give in to thinking the same thing, and disregard the canons and statutes of the Church of Christ. If…

Compassion

Becoming a more compassionate people It is right that we consider the teachings of the Orthodox Church concerning our duties to those who have less then we. Saint John Chrysostom taught that, “the poor are not the spectacle of human misery and suffering that evokes compassion or disgust, but they are the icons of Christ, the presence of Christ in…

The Non-Orthodox

What about people who are not Orthodox? It is always a pity when people who claim to be Orthodox make judgements against fellow Christians. In the tradition of Orthodoxy, wherever we find beauty and truth, it is of God, and it is our calling, as Orthodox Christians, to rejoice when we see others have at least some portion of the…

Avoiding Self-Worship

Don’t let charity become an occasion for self-worship Food is a common problem for many people, for food so often fills a void, and becomes a way of comforting oneself when faced with the stresses that are a part of our modern age. Yet food is not the only addiction that can overtake the believer. The need for love and…