Trials

God allows difficulties to come our way for purification When we hear the words, “all is sent down by you” this does not mean that God wills anything evil to happen but only that we always need to be open to God’s presence, grace and mercy, no matter what. God allows difficulties to come our way as a means of…

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…

Pride

The enemy of faith is pride The absolute necessary element for salvation is faith. Faith saves us because faith brings us into communion with God, and the source of faith comes as the freely given grace that is a gift from our loving Lord. The enemy of faith is pride, for pride destroys faith. Pride makes us believe we do…

The Seal of Confession

Important for both Confessor and Penitent The Seal of Confession is a hard and fast rule throughout the history of the Orthodox Church. Since the priest, in Orthodox theology, is but a witness to the confession, since the confession is given to Christ Himself, confidentiality is an absolute must. The secrecy of this Mystery of Penance is vital, for one…

Happiness

Gratefulness makes us happy We all know that money can’t buy happiness, yet many are not aware that practicing simple gratitude does bring about happiness. Being grateful for the people we have in our lives, and for the things that we have, brings about a happiness that can not come about by endlessly trying to acquire things. Researchers testing gratefulness…

Grace

The true Christian life is built on grace Many people sail through their life thinking happiness is something they have created for themselves. Good fortune, and success in work and play, is something they’ve brought about, either through struggle, or by pure luck. Yet when they experience difficult times, or loss of the things that brought them comfort, they despair.…

Where is God?

How do we find God in an unbelieving world? God is a merciful God, quick to forgive, quick to show mercy, quick to embrace us when we turn to Him. In all of eternity our God chose to create humankind in His image and likeness, offering His creatures the opportunity to commune with Him in the endlessness that is time.…

The Lenten Struggle

Lent is the perfect time to struggle with the ego Modern psychology has told us we must feel good about ourselves and instructed us to reject the idea of guilt and sin. Sin is seen as religion’s instrument for keeping people in line, making them dependent on an institution that should be relegated to the Dark Ages. In an age…

Forgiveness and Love

The capacity to forgive and the capacity to love The capacity to forgive is directly related to the capacity to love, and it is in our act of forgiving others, that we find forgiveness. For it is in the turning away from our own self-concern, and our own self-will, that we begin to see that our salvation is directly linked…

Sunday Off?

Let us not, out of laziness, miss the Sunday Liturgy It seems we all go through periods in our lives when our church attendance drops off. Work and home life can seem hectic, and we fall into the trap of letting ourselves feel overwhelmed. Given the fast pace of our active lives, and feeling like we just don’t have enough…

Overcoming Disinclination

The soul requires discipline to overcome disinclination My soul suffers from a certain blindness when it comes to itself. In its desire to be more relaxed, indolence, insensitivity and deceit rule the soul. In my refusal to master the work of salvation, complacency sets in. Since no one can enter into my inner life but me, I am the only…

Closed Communion

Closed Communion in the Orthodox Church   When a stranger approaches the Holy Gifts during the celebration of the Divine Liturgy it is the norm in the Orthodox Church for the priest to ask the person to “kiss the chalice”. Not knowing if the person is Orthodox, or whether they are in good standing with the Church, the priest can…