Grace

The true Christian life is built on grace Many people sail through their life thinking happiness is something they have created for themselves. Good fortune, and success in work and play, is something they’ve brought about, either through struggle, or by pure luck. Yet when they experience difficult times, or loss of the things that brought them comfort, they despair.…

Where is God?

How do we find God in an unbelieving world? God is a merciful God, quick to forgive, quick to show mercy, quick to embrace us when we turn to Him. In all of eternity our God chose to create humankind in His image and likeness, offering His creatures the opportunity to commune with Him in the endlessness that is time.…

The Lenten Struggle

Lent is the perfect time to struggle with the ego Modern psychology has told us we must feel good about ourselves and instructed us to reject the idea of guilt and sin. Sin is seen as religion’s instrument for keeping people in line, making them dependent on an institution that should be relegated to the Dark Ages. In an age…

Forgiveness and Love

The capacity to forgive and the capacity to love The capacity to forgive is directly related to the capacity to love, and it is in our act of forgiving others, that we find forgiveness. For it is in the turning away from our own self-concern, and our own self-will, that we begin to see that our salvation is directly linked…

Sunday Off?

Let us not, out of laziness, miss the Sunday Liturgy It seems we all go through periods in our lives when our church attendance drops off. Work and home life can seem hectic, and we fall into the trap of letting ourselves feel overwhelmed. Given the fast pace of our active lives, and feeling like we just don’t have enough…

Overcoming Disinclination

The soul requires discipline to overcome disinclination My soul suffers from a certain blindness when it comes to itself. In its desire to be more relaxed, indolence, insensitivity and deceit rule the soul. In my refusal to master the work of salvation, complacency sets in. Since no one can enter into my inner life but me, I am the only…

Closed Communion

Closed Communion in the Orthodox Church   When a stranger approaches the Holy Gifts during the celebration of the Divine Liturgy it is the norm in the Orthodox Church for the priest to ask the person to “kiss the chalice”. Not knowing if the person is Orthodox, or whether they are in good standing with the Church, the priest can…

The Journey of Joyful Sorrow

The journey of joyful sorrow in the expectation of the Resurrection The main reason Christianity spread so rapidly following the Resurrection of Christ, was the power behind the resurrection. The truth of Christ’s resurrection empowered believers to joyfully embrace martyrdom, knowing that they would be joined in eternal bliss with their resurrected Saviour. Although their martyrdom would involve both mental…

Our Journey

Our journey to God begins with our first step The Church has guidelines governing the many periods of fasting, but we all need the discernment that can really only come from having a close relationship with our confessor or parish priest. To move beyond the standard fasting rules, the importance of keeping a prayer rule, and reading the daily scripture…

Incense

Let my prayer arise as incense before Thee. Psalm 141:2 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…

Attaining a Healthy Soul

During the Lenten Fast we must work for inner peace During the Great Lenten Fast, each day brings on new challenges regarding the health of our soul. Trials and temptations, especially during this fast period, confront us. But we must struggle to bring about a peaceful heart, and bring forth the healing we need, that our soul gain spiritual strength.…

Becoming Like Christ

What does the Lord require of me? 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 humbleness of the Lord, and love seems to be palpable when…