Pilgrimage to Alaska

With the blessing of Archbishop Kyrill of San Francisco and Western America, I have accepted the invitation of Archbishop David of Sitka and Alaska, to participate in the Saint Herman of Alaska Pilgrimage, and to deliver the Pastoral Retreat for his clergy. This trip to Alaska will be my first, and the knowledge that I will finally be able to…

Dressing for Church

Proper attire in 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 not be allowed to influence how…

Reverence in Church

God’s temple must be entered with awe and fear We must practice reverence in the temple, whether during services or when we step into the church to light a candle and venerate the holy icons. The temple is the place set apart for the worship of the Holy Trinity and is the place where the Bloodless Sacrifice is offered before…

Stop Complaining!

Complaining is in opposition to the message of the Gospels A bad attitude has the ability to keep us from growing spiritually, and can even impact the way we live, and hurt those around us. It is therefore important that we learn to keep a positive attitude, for negative thinking will not make anything better. Complaining is in opposition to…

Putting on Christ

We must free ourselves from the illness of religion The Church must act with an authority that is grounded in love. Since the Church has the authority to make her people the children of God, she has the authority to forgive, and the capacity to love. And just as her Head, Jesus Christ, she exists to serve, and not to…

In Memory of Hammi

Our Cat Hammi was a loving furry gift from God Every evening I tried to spend an hour or so in the library, sitting in front of the fire place with our beloved Norwegian Forest Cat, Hammi. He slept in the library, and was most happy when the entire monastic brotherhood was gathered together with him, before he curled up…

Faking Faith

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…

The Proof of Love

Faith without works is dead 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 of the man who is…

The Battle

Our common enemy is not of flesh and blood Many of us are horrified to be witnessing the massive changes that are taking place in our world. It would seem that there are attacks against the very soul of Western Civilization, with Christianity taking the brunt of this attack. At no time in history have we witnessed genocide against Christians…

Crucified to Self

I am crucified with Christ In our life, every undertaking, every action, every thought, must be a reflection Christ in our life. The Lord will grant us the strength and ability to accomplish good works and attain holiness, if we cooperate with His grace. Prayer alone is not enough if we do not reflect moral improvement. Change must take place…

THE INTERNET

Counteracting the Dark Side of the Internet I often google topics that interest me, finding information that would have required hours in the library in the past. I’ve visited Russian monasteries, watched videos of chanters in Greek monasteries, viewed Orthodox patriarchs serving the Divine Liturgy, all on the Internet. I’ve read the writings of some of the world’s most gifted…

Love and Mercy

Wherein the temporal and the eternal are connected We can be rich in liturgical correctness and wealthy in traditions, but if we do not have love and mercy, we are in reality bankrupt. Our Lord Himself made love and mercy the chief criterion whereby we will be judged on the Last Day. The fulfillment of the law is love, not…