Correcting Myself

And amendment is made to a small part of the Church Whenever we hear of problems in the Church it is our natural inclination to want to read all about it, and root out all the details. Yet if we really want to benefit our soul, we should take the advice of the Saint Paisios of Mt. Athos. His advice:…

My Countries

I pray for America, and I pray for Russia I am not a Russian, and I’ve sometimes felt like a stepchild in the Russian Church, not because I’ve not been welcomed, but because the ethnic identity, as well as the language, of many of my brothers and sisters is not something I share. As a man whose roots are in…

Hammi

Our beloved Norwegian Forest Cat Our beloved Norwegian Forest Cat, Hammi, was most happy when the entire monastic brotherhood gathered together with him in our library/community room. We all considered him an important member of our community, and Hammi was the only cat I knew who had his own facebook fan page, started by a woman who’d met him on…

The Banquet of the Lord

The importance of preparing for the Divine Liturgy That the Church requires us to prepare to receive the Holy Mysteries of the Body and Blood of Christ, prior to the celebration of the Divine Liturgy, by saying the Pre-Communion Prayers, is a given. The Church also requires us to fast from midnight on, abstaining from either food or drink, until…

Avoiding Despondency

Despondency is the tool demons use to distract us from the goal It is often the case that we fail to keep God’s commandments and find ourselves despondent, unable, as it seems, to make progress in the battle over our sins. When the same sins constantly plague us, despondency is our enemy. Despondency is the tool demons use to distract…

The Three Disciplines

The Three Disciplines: Prayer, Fasting, and Almsgiving Jesus Christ called for a thorough conversion of our heart and mind, and a complete turning away from the old man (our fallen nature). The main act that begins this conversion is metanoia, which means thorough change of mind.  This happens when we become aware that we have sinned, and that we are…

God’s Love

God’s Love is Without Measure “We have all sinned and fall short of the Glory of God (Romans 3:23).” We Orthodox often miss the mark in understanding and ministering to this world. We fail the words of Christ, “to love one another as God has loved us”, and forget we are charged by Our Lord to bring healing and wholeness…

How to Support Your Priest

You can better help your priest by understanding this one thing Parish priests feel pressures that are found in no other profession. The type of man that generally is drawn to the holy priesthood is one who has a heart for serving others. Priests are often expected to do far more than is humanly possible. Priests, as fathers to their…

Silence

Silence is the sacrament of the world to come When radio was first introduced on the American scene, an important element in daily living was to be lost forever. No longer was silence a part of everyday life. With families gathering around the radio, often listening to shows or music that were far from edifying, the loss for the human…

The All-Consuming Love

We must submit to God’s All-Consuming Love If we cultivate true self-knowledge, and thus see our own weaknesses clearly, we will advance so that  soul is established with the mind in the heart. We must remember, as we struggle to open the heart, that God is powerless before our human freedom. God cannot violate our human freedom since it flows from…

A Thriving Church

Will the Church thrive into the twenty-first century? For Orthodoxy to thrive into the next century, we must see a return to the very roots of our faith, where the Church proclaims the Good News of Christ in all its purity, and centers herself in the mystical and sacramental core of her very being. She must offer the transformational healing…

Holy Tradition

Holy Tradition is the Memory of the Church The fact that protestants, by and large, have traveled far from the faith and traditions of the Apostolic Church, is testament to what happens when one departs from the “memory” of the Church. This “memory” is kept alive through Holy Tradition, from which came the very Canon of the New Testament. Deciding…