Prison Ministry

I was in prison and you came to Me (Matthew 25:36) I served eight years as a volunteer Orthodox chaplain within three Washington State Prisons in Monroe, WA. With the goal of bringing the love of Christ to those, who, for whatever reason, found themselves serving hard time, I found my eyes opened to the importance of truly believing in…

The Struggle Between Two Worlds

The democratic tradition and the world of submission The world is in a new struggle not unlike that  which happened during the Soviet Union and the cold war that was brought on after the fall of the Royal House of Romanov. This was followed by World War II when we saw the struggle between the free world and the fascism…

The Work of the Church

To prepare us for the vision of Christ in glory The work of the Church is to prepare its members to see God, not as an angry judge prepared to burn those who disobey His commandments, but to experience Him as a loving Father, prepared to join us to Himself in loving embrace, for all eternity. The Church centers on…

Worth the Struggle

Anything that is quickly obtained is also easily lost Americans are not a particularly patient people, as demonstrated by the fact that the fast food industry began with us. We don’t tolerate slow service, thus much of the food we consume is prepared before we order it. We drive our car to a window, order our food, and expect it…

Loving Our Detractors

When we are the occasion for another person’s disdain Because we are all brothers and sisters, we are responsible for the way we impact others. Often we are entirely innocent, yet by our very existence we become a source of great irritation and anxiety for other people. The only way we can change that is by loving them, and praying…

The River of Fire

An all-consuming fire and an illuminating light Upon Christ’s Second Coming, everyone who has ever lived will see Him in His uncreated light, forever. For “those who worked good deeds in their lifetime will go towards the resurrection of life, while those who worked evil in their lifetime will go towards the resurrection of judgment (John.5:29)”. All will be separated…

Sin as Illness

The Church as the hospital for the soul Our Orthodox Faith defines sin as an illness that is in need of healing, not as a crime that requires punishment. The Church is a hospital for the soul whose therapists (priests) first sought therapy and then became the therapists. As a healing institution the Church is the place for broken souls.…

A Saint in Our Midst

How hatred and jealousy can transform a man into a saint Much of how I struggle to live my life today, I base on my formative years as a monk. My beloved Elder and Spiritual Father, Archimandrite Dimitry of Santa Rosa, was a true saint in every way, and perhaps the humblest man I have ever encountered. When I first…

Hollow Orthodoxy

Taking Orthodoxy beyond the self-congratulatory We must guard against noticing when another parishioner seems careless in the making of the sign of the cross, while we go about demonstrating for all around us, the proper way. Making sweeping signs of the cross that are done in such a way as to be almost a caricature, following up with profound bows,…

Vashon Island

The island of my salvation Following my pilgrimage to the Holy Mountain of Athos, back in 1988, I realized our monastic brotherhood was faced with mounting bills, rising rent costs, and little income. It seemed clear to me we could not stay on this island. Additionally, my personal desire to return to Mt. Athos in order to continue my monastic…

The Virgin Mary

The God-bearer gave birth to the Word of God, and also became Christ’s first disciple As the Theotokos (God-bearer), how can Mary not be the Mother of God? She didn’t just bear the humanity of Jesus, but she bore the Son of God. Because Christ is both human and divine, His mother is therefore the Mother of God. The Holy…

The Beauty of God

Being the beauty of God in a darkened world When others see how we negotiate our life, how we treat our fellow workers, our neighbors, and our family, they should witness in us devotion and praise of God. Our deeds and our speech must reveal the love of God to all those who come in contact with us. Our whole…