STANDING AGAINST VIOLENCE

The Struggle for Peace Must Begin With Me This photo moved me deeply. A Greek priest standing between rioters and the police, trying to stop a rioter from throwing a Molotov cocktail at police officers. This same image could have played out if the priest or another citizen were to step in to prevent a woman from being assaulted on…

Mary the Mother of God

The Place of the Holy Virgin in our Lives The Holy Virgin is a stumbling block for many protestants looking into Orthodoxy. The idea that this woman described in the Gospels in such humble terms could be called Mother of God seems unbiblical to them. She was never called Mother of God in the Bible, they say, so why would…

Oxygen

The Church, like a forest, provides needed Oxygen Growing up in Northern Idaho, I was surrounded by mountains and forests. I don’t remember a time when forests did not tug at my heart and fill my imagination with thoughts of adventure. As a small child my parents took my brother Dwayne, and me, on annual camping trips to a state…

Faith

The Enemy of Faith is Pride “Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.”” (John 6:29). The absolute necessary element for salvation is faith. Faith alone will save us, for only faith brings us into communion with God. Faith is a free gift, for nothing we can do…

All About Christ

Orthodoxy is about Christ, not Religion Orthodoxy is not a religion, but a way of life that is centered in Jesus Christ. Orthodoxy, as a way of life, has the cure to what ails us and can return us to that state of wholeness that was God’s original intent for human kind. Because Orthodoxy is not about religion, it can…

On the Brink

A Culture Gone Mad We have moved from a period in which little Samuel said, “speak, Lord, for thy servant heareth,” to one in which we now say, “Listen, Lord, for they servant speaketh.” Our American culture has become so enamored, even consumed, with the importance of “self” that we’ve made idols out of personal gain and fulfillment. Americans are…

Humankind as Microcosm

Visiting with my friend, Rabbi Ze’ev Schulgen Humankind is a Microcosm of the Whole Universe It has been said that humans are a microcosm of the whole universe because we have within ourselves the entire material world and with it all the noetic powers of the cosmos. Created as we were for immortality, it is our fallen nature that has…

Water Crisis

Inefficiency Behind Water CrisisOur world is facing a water crisis that will likely see water replace oil as the basis for many wars throughout the world. The recent extreme drought in the State of Texas, with many ranchers being forced to sell off their cattle and fires raging out of control, demonstrates the fragility of our planet. The amount of…

Get up Again

When you fall, get up again It is often the case that we fail to keep God’s commandments and find ourselves despondent, unable to make progress in the battle over our sins. The same sins seem to constantly plague us. Despondency is our enemy, for it is the tool the demons use to keep us distracted from the goal. They…

What will We Experience

in the After Life? Thoughts on the Oneness of Creation There is no formal doctrine in the Orthodox Church concerning the afterlife for animals, including our pets. Those Fathers of the Church who have expressed themselves on this matter were simply expressing theological opinions that have not become universally accepted, and remain known as “theologoumena” (personal opinion).  The Church has…

Prayer of the Heart

The Jesus Prayer and the Acquisition of Inner Peace The Jesus Prayer, also known as the Prayer of the Heart, is the central prayer for monastics. One of the early desert fathers, Saint Macarius the Great, said of the phrase from the Psalms, “The meditation of my heart is in your sight”, “There is no other perfect meditation than the…

A Good Place

Photo taken on the ferry, with Vashon Island in the distance. Keeping one’s mind and heart in a good place Walking through life with a smile on your face and a song in your heart is the best way to keep your mind and heart in a good place. Life has many turns and many trials, but when you keep…