The Catholicity of the Church

The Church is catholic because Christ is catholic Christ’s presence in the Church, which is His Body, by it’s very nature requires us to manifest His catholicity by fully living out our faith by the way we live, and by the way we love. The fact that Christ transforms us by grace, negates that which separates us from one another.…

Our Struggle Against Sin

The struggle against the passions and our victory in Christ As we struggle with anger, gluttony, with judging others, sexual impurity and a myriad of others passions, it is easy to feel overwhelmed and powerless. We find ourselves feeling defeated and tempted to give up the battle. Sometimes we even tell ourselves that we have no choice, for we were…

Self-Centeredness

Christ came to heal us of our self-centeredness The communal nature of salvation is directly traced to the fact that God created us, not in isolation from one another, but involved in an interpersonal relationship with His love, and with all other humans. Because we are all created in God’s likeness, we are united in the Source of all goodness…

Our True Vocation

When we work on strengthening our relationship with God, our love increases for all those around us. By increasing our faith we diminish the estrangement between ourselves and others, while increasing the bond between ourselves and God. This is our true vocation, that we decrease while Christ increases. As we begin the Great and Holy Lenten Journey, I ask you…

Persuasion

Correcting the stumblings of others Christians, above all men, are forbidden to correct the stumblings of sinners by force…it is necessary to make a man better not by force but by persuasion. God gives the crown to those who are kept from evil, not by force, but by choice. –Saint John Chrysostom The use of force in the correction of…

Orthodox Evangelism

Sharing Orthodoxy with the world around us Everyone who knows me is aware of my passion for missionary work. My blog, The Morning Offering, was begun as a pastoral and missionary tool. My use of facebook, with over 25,000 “friends” on my Abbot Tryphon page, has been vehicle for my on-line missionary efforts in sharing Orthodoxy. Additionally, I do a…

The Church’s Next Generation

How do we keep our youth in the Church? We are living in an age that has witnessed changes on a massive scale as never before. The way we communicate has changed with the coming of the internet, with information available that would have required a library and advanced degrees to access in the past. Ideas and information are available…

Natural Disasters

Natural disasters and the human condition God does not cause natural disasters, we do. We have fallen short, and there are consequences. Before the fall there was no death, no suffering, no earthquakes, no hurricanes. After the fall we did not inherit the sin of the First Born, but rather the result of their sin, death. Death entered our world…

Guarding Against Self-Worship

Don’t let your acts of charity become self-worship Food is a common problem for many people, for food so often fills a void, and becomes a way of comforting oneself when faced with the stresses that are a part of our modern age. Yet food is not the only addiction that can overtake the believer. The need for love and…

Ancestral Sin

Ancestral sin resulted in our inheriting death The fact that we Orthodox do not accept the doctrine of original sin as espoused in the West, does in no way suggest that we do not need to be born again (born anew). We believe, as did the Early Church Fathers, that we inherit only the results of Adams sin, not his…

Fasting

When fasting becomes false piety I once knew a new convert to Orthodoxy who proudly related to me how he had kept the Fast strictly while visiting family for a major holiday feast. He kept strictly the fast to the point of eating virtually nothing, since even the vegetables had butter in them. Can you imagine the image he left…

Forgiveness

Forgiveness is a two way street Psychologists have often made the observation that the one thing they lack, when it comes to their profession as psychological healers, is the ability to pronounce absolution. Yet many Orthodox Christians, making a good confession and receiving absolution, remain in a state as though they were still needing forgiveness. This is because, even though…