Dressing for Church

Hieromonk Paul of All-Merciful Saviour Monastery Proper Attire for the House of God The Church is our home, a place where we should feel comfortable, and at ease. It is also God’s house and is a temple set aside for worship of the Holy Trinity. Although times have changed and we have become a very casual society, this attitude can…

The Fear of Love

He who does not love remains in death. There are those who fear commitment for fear of loss. They fear the other will either leave them, or be lost in death, so they remain aloof from any possible relationship. Some put on a facade of indifference, for fear of rejection, depriving themselves of any possible happiness. In fear of possible…

Bishops

A servant cannot be greater than his Master The Sovereign Lord of the Universe came down to earth as a humble servant. He Who sits upon the seraphim, was born to us in a stable. The King of kings came as the Good Shepherd Who laid down His life for His sheep. We who serve as His priests and bishops…

Pleasing the Lord

Sometimes we are tempted to please our bosses, our spouses, our neighbors, or, in the case of clergy, our bishops and brother priests, forgetting that the most important one to be pleased by our lives, and our actions, and our deeds, is the Lord. “Blessed is he who strives to please the Lord as others try to please men (Saint…

The Way of Christ

The Abbot’s office I received an email from a man from India, questioning why there is evil in the world, and wondering how he could come to know the true God, overcome sin, and live a life in transformation.  This is my response to him: We live in a fallen world, one that was created in perfection, beauty, and goodness.…

Artificial Christianity

Avoiding Hypocrisy in our Journey to God It is very easy to live our lives in hypocrisy if we are not mindful of the pitfalls of the spiritual life. We can become Pharisees without even noticing, if we let our Christianity be artificially lived. Living our lives as though we have been rehearsed by a stage director, we will have…

All Things to All Men

A Contemporary Man in an Ancient Church As a modern, educated man, I have a rather broad interest in the arts, music, poetry, literature and history. My father was a golf pro and my mother was a professional church pipe organist and piano teacher. My maternal grandmother played honkytonk piano, the banjo and taught ballroom dancing. I was formally trained…

The Two Great Commandments

Lecturing to a Graduate Class at Seattle Pacific University “Love thy God with all your heart, mind…” and secondly, “Love thy neighbor…” We live in a world bombarded with thousands of messages, some subtle and some not-so-subtle, of merchandising that impact the way we interact with others, and the way we relate to God. Much of what we glean from these…

Repeat Offenders

Repeat Offenders: habitual sins, repetitive sins. In the Mystery of Confession we avail ourselves before the analoy stand, upon which the holy cross and the Gospel Book rest. The priest stands in as the witness, whereas in the early Church confession was done before the whole congregation of the faithful. After we have confessed before the Lord, the priest, acting…

Godparents

The Role of Godparent is an Awesome ResponsibilityThe institution of godparents (sponsors) is one that dates back to the first century of the Christian Church. Anyone approaching baptism, be they infant or adult, was required to have a godparent. In the case of an infant, it is the godparent that speaks for the child, answering the questions posed by the priest…

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…