The Nativity Fast

Can we be a Christian without fasting? The Nativity Fast is already in progress for those on the Gregorian (New) Calendar, and the Julian (Church) Calendar. During this period of prescribed fasting we are to abstain from all meat, dairy, eggs, cheeses, and all animal products. The Church does allow for fish on the weekends during the Nativity Fast. Fasting…

The Holy of Holies

The link between the Old and New Testament Temples Orthodox temples have kept to the same form and function since ancient times. Using the Old Testament Temple model, Orthodox churches are divided into several courts or spaces peculiar to their function. The Holy Table, upon which is celebrated the Eucharist, is situated at the east end of the building behind…

Joyful Living

Don’t ignore the little things that bring you joy If we pay attention to our health, family and spiritual life, everything else will take care of itself. We shouldn’t let life be so full of work that we don’t have time to focus on the things that bring us joy. We must pay attention when the Lord is calling us…

Mary the Mother of God

The place of the Holy Virgin in our lives The Holy Virgin is a stumbling block for many protestants looking into Orthodoxy. The idea that this woman described in the Gospels in such humble terms could be called the Mother of God seems unbiblical to them. She was never called Mother of God in the Bible, they say, so why…

Ambassadors for the Orthodox Church

On the importance of representing the Orthodox Church to the world It was relatively late in my life when I embraced Orthodoxy. Already forty-one, I found myself wandering in a spiritual wasteland, knowing I was drying up spiritually, but hoping there was something out there that would fill the void. Orthodoxy had not been in my scope, seeming, as it…

Peace of Heart

Disappointments are meaningless when we have peace of heart We often find ourselves disappointed in life. The job we really wanted is given to another person. An associate at work doesn’t invite us to the dinner party, yet invited a coworker and his wife. A person we’d love to have as a friend shows no interest and we feel rejected.…

Noetic Science and Natural Science

The theological vision of God and natural science Orthodoxy does not exclude from the theological vision of God the findings of natural science. Science and faith can be in concert with one another and our desire to reinstate our communion with God can involve both natural science, and the science of the soul. An Orthodox Christian does not have to…

Our Common Enemy

It is not our persecutors and detractors who are our enemies Sometimes the humiliation we experience at the hands of others can be daunting, to say the least. Those moments when we are confronted with hatred, sometimes based on the jealousy of another, are often the most difficult to bear, for we know the origins of the abuse, and naturally…

The Church Militant

The Orthodox Faith must be shown to be relevant for this age When a priest makes a concerted effort to relate to his parishioners, demonstrating a real interest in their lives, discovering what is important to them, and taking the time to actually instruct them in the Orthodox faith, there is a good likelihood they will remain pious Orthodox Christians…

Thanksgiving

A day set aside for giving thanks to God Thanksgiving has officially been an annual tradition since 1863, when during the Civil War President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national day of thanksgiving. The word Thanksgiving has its roots in the Greek word, eucharistia, where the Church gets the word Eucharist. For we Orthodox Christians the ultimate giving of thanks to God…

Are We a Bee or a Fly?

We must look only for the good in others Saint Paisios of the Holy Mountain said there are two types of people. “There are the bees and there are the flies. The bees are attracted to flowers and sweet smells, whereas the flies are only attracted to dirt and stench. Ask a bee where there is stench, and he will…

It’s a Wonderful Life

Let us be signposts pointing toward a bright and happy future One of the most beloved movies ever made was Frank Capra’s, “It’s a Wonderful Life”. Staring Jimmy Stewart as George Bailey, the movie tells the story of an ever optimistic man, who, while facing life’s hardships, set aside his own dreams in order to help others, only to witness…