The Authority of the Bishop

A priest serves only with the blessing of his bishop The bishop is always the head of his diocese, and no Orthodox priest should ever dare to presume to serve within the diocese without the blessing of his bishop. A priest must always seek the blessing of his bishop before serving in any capacity within the diocese. This includes celebrating…

The Ascension

The Feast of the Ascension of Our Lord Jesus Christ Today we celebrate the Feast of the Ascension of Christ. The importance of this historical event is that Christ ascended into Heaven as man and as God. Having condescended to take on our flesh, becoming both perfect man, and, at the same time, perfect God, he never put off His…

Living Our Orthodoxy in a Non-Believing Society

The struggle to remain faithful Orthodox Christians in a society devoid of faith In this pluralistic society there are many Orthodox individuals who find themselves sharing their lives with non-Orthodox family members. Sometimes those around us are not even practicing Christians, or even hostile to the idea that someone is religious, so the struggle to keep to the traditions and…

Manifest Destiny

Versus the true evangelization of the First Nations Manifest destiny was the belief that the United States god-given right was to spread westward from sea to shining sea, spreading American beliefs across the continent. As we all know, the First Nations tribes (Indians) were seen as heathen, and fair game for the advancing peoples of European ancestry. Whole tribes were…

Do Not Weep

We must not surrender to hopelessness and despair I am in Rogue River, Oregon, where I came to serve the Divine Liturgy for my dear friend and concelebrant, Archpriest Seraphim Cardoza. Father Seraphim has been dealing with very serious heart issues, having suffered two heart attacks during the past few weeks. Due to his declining health, he needed me to…

Death is Inevitable

And the clock is ticking At seventy-four years of age I am no spring chicken, as the saying goes, and I’ve been confronted anew about my advanced age as I’ve witnessed my younger brother dealing with serious heart problems, and two aging priest friends facing serious health issues of their own. Although the clock is ticking for all of us,…

The Church is Like a Forest

The Church, like a forest, provides needed oxygen Growing up in Northern Idaho, I was surrounded by mountains and forests. I don’t remember a time when forests did not tug at my heart and fill my imagination with thoughts of adventure. As a small child my parents took my brother Dwayne, and me, on annual camping trips to a state…

That They Not Suffer Alone   

We must be willing to bear one another’s burdens If we are indeed to love one another we must be willing to suffer with others. The Lord tells us that we must “Bear one another’s burdens, and so be filled with the law of Christ” (Gal. 6:2). When we learn to love others our compassion is such that we are…

Marriage

The essential element for a salvific union of two people The western world has seen a terrible downward trend in the number of couples choosing to get married. Of those couples who do, almost fifty percent of their marriages end in divorce. Those marriages that do last, see only a tiny fraction produce more than one or two children. Many…

Love and Mercy

Through which the temporal and the eternal are connected Our liturgical rites and practices are not ends in themselves, but God-given vehicles by which we enter into a profound relationship with Him, Who is love. The very essence of our Christian faith is love because God Himself is love (1 John 4:8). Thus, our Christian morality, our ethics, and even…

Confronting Spousal Abuse

 Spousal abuse should never be accepted as normal There are times when distancing yourself from someone who is angry is necessary. There is absolutely no good reason for you to move towards another, when they are being abusive. For the wife of an abuser to remain in danger, in an attempt to transfer love, while receiving abuse, could easily be…

Monasteries

Centers for spiritual healing Monastics are an integral part of the Church and should not be seen as independent of the Church Universal. Monks are bound by the same Gospel as other Christians and need to avail themselves to the missionary and pastoral needs of the Church, as needed. Although a primary role of monasticism is to be found in…