The Gym

The similarities between the trainer and the spiritual father Just after my graduation from college I moved to Portland, Oregon, where I worked at various jobs, including waiting tables in an upscale restaurant (to this day, I’m a good tipper), bartender in a small Irish pub (I’m one quarter Scottish), and working as an orderly in a trauma center. All…

Christian Friendships

The necessity of Christian friendships In this age where secularism is on the rise, and materialism has become a major distraction from spiritual pursuits, Christian friendship has never been more important. The pursuit of personal fulfillment, entertainment, worldly pleasure, and the acquisition of material goods, has become the dominant theme of our age. Families that once placed the life of…

Biblical and Patristic Writings

It is through divine revelation that the Apostolic Faith is known to us Scientists, following the traditions set by previous scientists, know the meaning of scientific language, and they know how to repeat the observations of those scientists that have gone on before them. It is the same for us as Orthodox Christians, for the observations concerning the Bible and…

Loving Ourselves

The measure of love is to fulfill Christ’s commandment Sometimes we’ve done things that cause us to wonder how we can ever forgive ourselves. Perhaps we’ve hurt someone we love or disappointed people we respect by behaving in a way we deeply regret. Maybe we’ve said some unkind thing to someone and caused them terrible hurt and embarrassment. We are…

Bodily Suffering

The role of bodily suffering in the salvation of human kind Elder Ambrose of Optina Monastery said, “We should not forget that in our age of ‘sophistication’ even little children are spiritually harmed by what they see and hear. As a result, purification is required, and this is only accomplished through bodily suffering….You must understand that Paradisal bliss is granted…

The Holy Trinity

Belief in the Holy Trinity is an essential doctrine of the Church of Christ The fundamental truth of our Orthodox faith was revealed in the True God: the Holy Trinity of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The doctrine of the Holy Trinity is in reality the declaration of the Christian faith, formulated and pronounced by the Ecumenical…

Being God’s Messenger

When we put aside ourselves and put on Christ, we become God’s messenger Walking through life with a smile on our face and a song in our heart is the best way to keep our mind and heart in a good place. Life has many turns and many trials, but when we keep centered on all the good that is…

The Divine Flame

We will be consumed by the Divine Flame The very first moment we decide to turn to God, our heart begins to be warmed by the action of the Holy Spirit. Our heart is kindled with the Divine Flame that will transform us. This flame will consume us completely, and will melt everything of a fallen nature within us. Once…

The Orthodox Home

Creating an Orthodox Christian environment in the home Creating an Orthodox Christian home begins with the icon corner. The “bright corner” becomes the center for every domestic church, where the family devotions take place. Each member of the family should have their own patron saint’s icon, and a wonderful practice from ancient times is to have a family icon written…

Ghetto Christianity

Impoverished institutional Christianity and the rise of Islam in the West The cure for the societal, political and demographic decline in Nordic and European countries is not to be found in nationalistic racism, nor in war against foreigners. The cure for all that ails the western world is a return to piety and fear of God.  Spiritual decline has led…

We Are Both Soul and Body

Icons are therefore necessary and essential Unlike angels, who are entirely spiritual beings, God has made each of us as creatures dwelling in a material world. To be whole, we must worship God both in body and soul. This teaching is central to our Christian faith and is an affirmation of the sacramental nature of this material world. Because of…

What Is Pray?

Prayer is not about asking for things, but about our relationship with God Over the years, as strange as it may seem, we’ve had a number of people ask us if we’d pray they win the lottery, promising that if they did they’d donate a large portion to the brotherhood. The logic seemed to suggest that if the monks were…