A Compassionate People

We must become a more compassionate people “In this way will the inequalities of earthly states be leveled out at God’s judgment (Saint Theophan the Recluse).” It is right that we consider the teachings of the Orthodox Church concerning our duties to those who have less than we. Saint John Chrysostom taught that, “the poor are not the spectacle of…

Simple Living

Living a simple life contributes toward inner healing Our monastery has a large organic vegetable garden, believing as Orthodox monks that we should give witness to sustainable living. Raising free range chickens, and eating only organic eggs, fits in with our overall goal of living as good stewards of the earth. We are hoping to come up with the needed…

The Poor

Our Christian response to the poor amongst us Americans are witnessing the widest gap between the highest and the lowest income families since officials began tracking the data more than a decade ago. It is thus prudent for us to examine the words of some of the greatest of the Early Church Fathers, spoken with the Mind of the Church,…

Day of the Holy Spirit

Comforter, Spirit of Truth, come and abide in us The historical fact of the Resurrection was to be proclaimed throughout the world because the Church had been given the power to do so by the Holy Spirit. We are able to give witness to this fact because the Father sent us the Comforter and Spirit of Truth just as had…

Pentecost

The Descent of the Holy Spirit Fifty days after the Resurrection, while the disciples and many other followers of Jesus Christ were gathered together to pray, the Holy Spirit descended upon them in the form of “cloven tongues of fire,” with the sound of a mighty rushing wind, and they began to speak in languages that they did not know.…

Men in Black

Monks: The original men in black The monastic vocation is a special calling from God that is all about relationships. It is a relationship that involves community (the monastic brotherhood), but primarily revolves around the monk’s relationship with God. Monks are not holy men who are living lives set apart from the world, but men who are seeking holiness by…

Spiritual Dryness

When our prayer becomes dry When we find ourselves struggling with prayer, and feel that it has become dry and lifeless, we are sometimes tempted to stop praying. When our prayer has become a struggle, it is good to remember that God knows our needs, and even knows what we want to say when we don’t seem to know. This…

The Right to Life

Standing firm for the rights of the unborn child We are living in a period of history that has seen the cause of human rights take the forefront as never before. We champion the cause of equality under the law for minorities, and continue the struggle for equal rights and equal pay for women, all the while ignoring the rights…

The Godparent

The awesome responsibility of being a godparent The institution of godparent (sponsor) is one that dates back to the first century of the Christian Church. Anyone approaching baptism, be they infant or adult, was required to have a godparent. In the case of an infant, it is the godparent that speaks for the child, answering the questions posed by the…

Teaching Children to Love God

Children learn love of God by the example of their parents Every Orthodox parent wants their children to grow up attending Sunday Liturgies and staying active in the life of the Church throughout their lives. Yet many parents don’t demonstrate the importance of having a personal relationship with God in front of their children. If you do not make God…

Artificial Christianity

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…

Disappointment

Building our endurance and confidence “Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise (Hebrews 10:35-36)” When we find ourselves caught up in what we want, or what we think we need, we become despondent that things…