United Together

The pandemic lockdown can not separate us from one another As we struggle during this pandemic, it is good to remember that we are all united as one. We find our place of silence, sequestered in our homes and apartments, but in our aloneness, we encounter God. Even in our separation from one another. Even in our isolation from one…

What Does the Lord Require of Us?

We must become full of justice, kindness, love, and mercy As we examine how we live our lives as Christians, we look to those who leave an impression of goodness, kindness, and humility, as examples of the person we would like to become. That saintly person, by their every example, exudes the humility of the Lord, and love seems palpable…

Godly Friendships

We need godly friendships on our spiritual journey It is easy to feel trapped by our bad habits. We don’t like certain behavioral patterns that have become habitual, and we feel helpless in our attempt to change. Growing as Christians is often fraught with failure, and we find ourselves stuck. Our spiritual progress feels more like a treadmill, only seemingly…

The Salt of the Earth

The Gospels must leaven our relationships with others The lifeless things of this world offer no spiritual satisfaction, yet we often sell ourselves off to things or people by giving them power over our hearts. It is easy to feel abandoned or hurt by those to whom we’ve given power. If we need affirmation from others we take the chance…

Noetic Faculty

The energy of the mind inside the heart In the patristic tradition the heart is the center of our self-awareness. This self-awareness is the energy of the mind inside the heart, something the holy fathers referred to as our “noetic faculty”. There is an important distinction that must be noted concerning the difference between the Western and Eastern understanding of…

Negative Thoughts

Is our cup half empty, or half full? Our thoughts really do have an impact on our world. Negative thoughts about family members or fellow employees, change our relationships. If we dislike someone at work and allow ourselves to think poorly of them, they are likely to fulfill our low expectations. If we pray for them and ask God to…

Transcendent Joy

In the Divine Liturgy we experience transcendent joy As Orthodox Christians, we know that whenever we enter into the Divine Liturgy we can experience a transcendent joy that leads to a deep sense of gratitude, and this in turn translates into a profound happiness that connects us to the Eternal Kingdom. We walk out of the service with a renewed…

My Mom

Grateful for the love and guidance of my mother The most important gift I received from my mother was the gift of love. She loved me, and demonstrated her love for me throughout my childhood. She also showed me how to love others, and that ability to be willing to be open to love, and to demonstrate love, eventually allowed…

Aggressive Secularism

The aggressive secularization of America As an American I have watched with sadness, the eroding of our Christian values and standards of living. When I was in grade school, each day began with the reading of the Bible, broadcast over the intercom system (yes, we had the technology when I was little). At my graduation from high school, there were…

Consolation

Consolation follows repentance True repentance and Christian living proceeds God’s consolation. We reach out to God in every act we do, and in every activity we perform, all the while seeking to acquire a sense of contrition. We strive to love God with our whole being, and in every moment. In every sorrow, every concern, and in our joy, we…

Silence

Entering into silence before the Lord All Orthodox Christians are aware of the importance of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving, in our journey to God. These three practices are at the heart of the Great Lenten Fast. Prayer is our way of communicating with God on a daily basis, and fasting days (Wednesday and Friday) are called for throughout the Church…

A Peaceful Heart

Turning to Christ as our refuge from the storm These difficult times are causing more and more people to lose hope. The struggle just to stay the course has become increasingly stressful for ever increasing numbers of people, and Christians are no exception. When we are down it is good for us to turn our face towards Christ, remembering the…