A Missionary People

Imparting the faith as a missionary people Two Byzantine brothers, Saints Cyril and Methodius, brought Orthodox Christianity to the Slavs in the ninth century. The brilliance of Eastern Orthodox missionary outreach, as opposed to that of the Latin Church, was in the very use of the vernacular. These great saints who became known as the Apostles to the Slavs, left…

Climate Change

Climate change is a reality that is ignored to our peril We of the twenty-first century have given ourselves over to consuming addictions more than any time in history. Even a casual look at how we live our lives makes it abundantly clear that we are so caught up in our addictions that we can’t even begin to notice that…

Persuasion

Correcting the stumbling of others The use of force in the correction of those who are living in opposition to the laws of God is often a temptation for Christians, yet it must be remembered that the sins of others is better corrected by lovingly demonstrating their value in God’s eyes. Demonstrating our own love for them by refusing to…

Monasteries

Offering the world a different perspective Monastics are an integral part of the Church and should not be seen as independent of the Church Universal. Monks are bound by the same Gospel as other Christians and need to avail themselves to the missionary and pastoral needs of the Church, as needed. Although a primary role of monasticism is to be…

Greater Virtue

The great virtue of forgiving those who offend us There is the story of Saint Epiphanius of Cyprus who invited Hilarion the Great to dinner, and in order to show his hospitality place fried chicken on the table. Hilarion, when he saw the fried chicken, asked forgiveness, but said he had not eaten meat since his tonsure as a monk.…

Microcosm

We are all a microcosm of the 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 separated us from that which God had…

Memorial Day

Remembering our heroes Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation’s service. Memorial Day is a time for all of us to reflect on those who have sacrificed their lives for the security, peace, and freedom, of the people of this great nation. It is important that we all…

Orthodoxy

A religion for the sick Our Orthodox Church has always seen herself as a hospital for the soul, the place where her children can seek healing. It is within her walls that we find the medicine we need to make us holy (whole), and where we can find the means for transformation that opens the doors to the Kingdom of…

Unbelief

The ultimate sickness Humankind’s ultimate sickness is that of unbelief. This world is the place of preparation for our life in eternity, the place where we are prepared for the Kingdom that is to come. Within this world, Our Lord Jesus Christ established a hospital in which the medicine for the cure of our sickness is available, and this hospital…

Discovering God

The importance of discovering God for oneself Some time ago I had the mother of a boy of about thirteen arrive at the monastery, son in tow. She was upset because her son had declared himself an atheist and she was afraid he was in danger of eternal damnation. I sat down with the boy and told him that each…

The Ascension

The Feast of the Ascension of Christ Today we celebrate the Feast of the Ascension of Christ. The importance of this historical event, is that Christ ascended into Heaven as man and as God. Having condescended to take on our flesh, becoming both perfect man, and, at the same time, perfect God, he never put off His manhood, but deified…

The Temple

The link between the Old and New Testament temples Orthodox temples have kept to the same form and function since ancient times. Using the Old Testament Temple model, Orthodox churches are divided into several courts or spaces peculiar to their function. The Holy Table, upon which is celebrated the Eucharist, is situated at the east end of the building behind…