All About My Sins

We should accuse only ourselves We see people’s sins, but we don’t know whether they have made peace with God. We don’t know if the person who has sinned regrets it, but we are not called to judge them, but only to forgive them. As we become aware of our own sins, and begin to realize how much forgiveness and…

Support Your Priest

Honor and love him, and refrain from judging him Parish priests feel pressures that are found in no other profession. The type of man that generally is drawn to the holy priesthood is one who has a heart for serving others, yet priests are often expected to do far more than is humanly possible. Bishops, as fathers to their people,…

Cloud of Witnesses

The saints are alive in Christ Jesus Vigil lights are placed before the icons of the saints, according to Saint Symeon the New Theologian, as a way of showing that without the Light, Who is Christ, the saints are nothing. It is only as the light of Christ shines on them that they become alive and resplendent. The saints show…

The Mother of God

The veneration of the Holy Virgin in the Ancient Church The biblical practice was to refer to all cousins as siblings, and none of the early Christians believed Mary had born any children other than Jesus. This modern protestant idea that she had many children was simply unthinkable to the protestant reformers, including Luther and Calvin, for they all believed Mary to…

Saint John the Wonderworker

Archbishop of Shanghai and San Francisco Today the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia celebrates the Feast of Saint John the Wonderworker. Saint John’s holy relics reside in the nave of Holy Virgin “Joy of All Who Sorrow” Cathedral in San Francisco. As he is the patron saint of our monastery, I wanted to post the following quotes from our…

Sycophants

True loyalty is never based on blind obedience The Byzantine Court was filled with sycophants, busying themselves with building alliances that would help them rise in status and influence. Many emperors were tricked into believing these sycophants were truly their friends, and could be trusted, when in actuality they were being played, and these flatterers were not their friends. These…

Frequent Communion

The healing medicine for what ails us Eternity is an everlasting banquet (the Divine Liturgy) that takes place in the heavenly realm. Every time we participate in the Divine Liturgy we are transported into a place where there is neither time nor space, and participate in that very banquet. As we receive the Holy Mysteries (Christ’s very Body and Blood),…

The Ancient Faith

The transformational power of a Faith unchanged In an age when many Christian denominations are trying to appear relevant and modern, I am finding that large numbers of people are drawn to the Ancient Faith by the beard and robe. I am constantly thanked for dressing as I do by people who appreciate symbols of faith in the midst of…

The Kindly Priest

The priest and the American tourist A protestant woman from Tacoma, WA. was on vacation with her husband in the Greek city of Athens. Each day she walked to a small sidewalk cafe near the hotel for her coffee and watched the locals pass by. One of these locals was an Orthodox priest who’d pass by the cafe on his…

My Monastic Vocation

A sixteen year old’s call to monasticism My paternal grandfather built a lakeside home during his summer vacations and weekends while I was in high school. My brother Dwayne and I spent many summer days camping in tents on that property, a newly opened area previously owned by the Idaho State Forest Service. Priest Lake was a few hours drive…

Confession

Recognizing the dar­kened state of our own condition It is only out of delusion we believe we do not need others to see, understand, and treat our spiritual sickness. Anyone who believes that he alone can cure his spiritual diseases has isolated himself from a Mystery of the Church and will come to ruin. Only with the help of others…

Witnessing for Christ

Sharing the truth in a world devoid of hope If you wish to share the truth of the Orthodox Faith, and Christ Who is her head, you must give witness to the love of Christ by loving everyone. Without Christ, Orthodoxy is just another religion, devoid of the power to transform and deify the human heart. Without Christ the Church…