Icons and Holy Things

How should we approach icons and other holy things? One of the attributes of God is holiness, and is reflected in His people, and in physical objects that have been blessed by the Church for the use of His people in their journey towards Him. Therefore, reverence for these sacred objects and images is the manifestation of the relationship between…

Faith Without Works is Dead

Without good works faith does not dwell in our hearts The very moment faith enters the soul is that moment when we turn toward God in repentance and recognize we can not live without Him. As we grow in our faith we come to realize we must remain in a continual state of repentance, for grace abounds in the heart…

Happiness

All we need for happiness is right in front of us 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. If we are constantly thinking of where we’d rather be living, or the job we’d rather have, or the work…

A Quick Fix?

Anything that is quickly obtained is also easily lost Since we have grown accustomed to having everything happen quickly, and without delay, we also expect our spiritual lives to be on the same quick time line. We don’t have the patience to build upon the knowledge of the holy fathers, so we don’t practice regular spiritual reading. Our church attendance…

The Problem of Evil

Darkness does not exist in its own right Our Orthodox Christian theology views evil not as a primeval essence that is co-eternal and equal to God, but rather a falling away from good. Evil does not exist in and of itself, and was not created by God. Our Orthodox Church rejects the Gnostic teaching that the entirety of being is…

The Intercession of the Saints

Not only do those in heaven pray with us, they also pray for us Most Protestant churches strongly reject all saintly intercession, citing passages such as 1 Timothy 2:1-5, which says that Jesus is the sole mediator between God and man, as well as Deuteronomy 18:10-11 which seems to forbid invoking departed souls. They also point to the fact that…

The Saints are Alive!

And we therefore have friends in high places The saints show us what a glorious destiny we have in God, and through the example of their lives, they point the way to our becoming “partakers of divine nature.” The saints, as the cloud of witnesses in heaven, are present in the divine services, worshiping the Holy Trinity with us. They,…

Shutting Out All the Noise

“Silence is the Cross that crucifies the ego (Saint Seraphim of Sarov).”  The desert must be a part of our daily living, for without entering into the desert of the heart, nothing can be gained. With the noise of the radio, television, the Internet, and the world of computers, iPods, laptops, and iPhones, the noise of the world threatens our…

The Seen and the Unseen

The limits of human reason and the knowledge of God The things that are of God are far beyond the capabilities of our finite mind to comprehend. According to Othodox theology, the divine can only be known through the nous, that place in the heart that is our true center. It, unlike the brain, is capable of knowledge that is…

The Morning Offering

A sort of Orthodox Readers Digest As any of you who have been following my blog articles all these many years know, I am not a theologian. Nor am I an academic. I am simply a monk who has a heart for people, and a calling from the Lord, and a blessing from my bishop, to try, in my feeble…

The Christian Home

Creating a Christian environment in the home Creating a Christian home begins with the icon corner. The “bright corner” becomes the center for every domestic church, and where the family devotions take place. This is also the family’s way of declaring to visitors that this is a Christian home, where Christ is head. Because the husband is a sort of…

Relics

The place of holy relics in the Orthodox Church Because of the revolution during the period of the Protestant Reformation, the veneration of the saints, came under attack, leading to the burning of the bodies of saints, depriving them of even a Christian burial, and thus leading to perhaps the worst sin of iconoclasm. We see a continuation of this…