The Psychopath

The problem of evil in God’s creation We’ve all read news reports of horrid cases of people being imprisoned for long periods of time by perverted individuals who have been later diagnosed as classic psychopaths. By definition, psychopaths are individuals who are hateful towards others, and incapable of empathy. Sometimes known as Dissocial Personality Disorder, or Narcissistic Personality Disorder (alternate…

Experiencing God

Experiencing the reality and presence of God My own experience with God is many fold, with everything from witnessing the healing of illnesses of many people, including my own heart condition (I was on the operating table, awaiting bypass surgery, but was healed), to standing before numerous myrrh streaming icons, watching the myrrh well up. I once witnessed a cross…

Theosis

The meaning of salvation in the Ancient Church According to Protopresbyter George Metallinos, Dean of the Athens University School of Theology, “For we Orthodox the unique and absolute goal of life in Christ is theosis, our union with God, so that man – through his participation in God’s uncreated energy – may become “by the Grace of God” that which…

Embracing Monastic Community

In monastic obedience, the self is replaced by the will of God Holiness is not something that is just about the saints, whose icons we venerate and whose lives we read about. Holiness is better understood as wholeness, made whole, or healed. We seek healing from the darkness and estrangement that we’ve inherited as a result of the fall. We…

Police and Fire Chaplains

First Responders to First Responders Chaplains are called to be for police officers, medics, and fire fighters, what these officers cannot be for themselves. Chaplains must be advocates for their police officers and fire fighters, before their chiefs, and with the community. Police Officers, by their vary nature, have to be tough, often forced to swallow the pain and evil…

Despondency

When despondency seizes us, let us not give in to it The renowned 19th century Russian saint, Seraphim of Sarov (1759-1833), said of himself, “I don’t know anything”. These words were remarkable coming from a hermit who was the most sought after spiritual adviser of his age, with even the Tsar seeking out his counsel. Yet Saint Seraphim recognized that…

Keeping the Sabbath While Worshipping on Sundays

The Orthodox practice of resting on the Sabbath while worshiping on Sundays Although early Christians inherited a sabbath practice from the Mosaic Law of remembering the sabbath day on Saturday, the position of both the Eastern and Western Churches came to observe the Lord’s Day as Sunday. Thus supplanting the Sabbath commandment of the Jews, they chose to celebrate the…

Incense

Let my prayer arise as incense before Thee From Old Testament times believers have burned incense as an offering when worshiping God. The ancient temple in Jerusalem even had priests whose sole duty was to keep the censer burning twenty-four hours a day. Ancient pagan kings were often escorted with large fans of peacock feathers and burning incense when entering…

In the Midst of Battle

Our enemy is not of flesh and blood The Church Militant, which is the Church of Christ here on this earth, is in the midst of a battle. Our enemy is not one of flesh and blood, but one of darkness and evil. The survival of humankind is not dependent on the number of people who accept or reject the…

The Bee or the Fly?

Looking only for the good in others Saint Paisios of the Holy Mountain said there are two types of people. There are the bees and the flies. The bees are attracted to flowers and sweet smells, whereas the flies are only attracted to dirt and stench. Ask a bee where there is stench, and he will say “what is stench”.…

Love

And the acquisition of holiness As Christians, we know the struggle against the passions must be a daily battle, if we are to live according to biblical standards. This quest to defeat the passions is impossible without love, for a loveless heart desires nothing beyond supporting its own ego. The Lord told His disciples of the impossibility of loving God,…

Encountering the Ancient Faith

Encountering the peace and holiness of the Ancient Faith The very first time I entered an Orthodox church, I felt drawn to Her. There was a tangible, inner tug, and an overwhelming sense of peace, holiness, and awe, emanating from the very walls of the temple. The serving clergy were not the focus of the service, as I’d experienced in…