Orthodoxy on the Internet: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

It’s always a good thing to be interested in learning more about the Orthodox faith. There are many ways to do this. For some people, it means buying and reading lots of books. For others, it simply means attending services or asking their priests lots of questions. Still others will make friends in their local parish, finding those at a similar place in their own spiritual journeys, sharing common discoveries. And many more…

The Modern Myth of Rights and How to Best Love Our Neighbors

When it comes to politicized, controversial, and otherwise binary issues in our world today, should Orthodox Christians pick sides? Or should we look deeper and live in a way that transcends the political divide? Global Warming and Voting Obama For example, whenever I share an interesting article about the climate on social media (whether in favor or opposed to an anthropogenic influence), the share is accompanied by a dizzying array of one-sided, emotionally charged…

Been There, Done That — Homosexuality and Church Tradition

In the wake of recent Supreme Court ruling Obergefell v. Hodges—legalizing same-sex “marriage” in all fifty states—a conversation among Christians regarding both potential consequences and the appropriate response has ensued. There are also conversations taking place between Christians and non-Christians as to the role of faith in the public square as it relates to marriage. Opposition, Not Hatred One dimension of these conversations is the question of how Christians have historically treated homosexuals, and whether or…

In Search of a Mother

The following is a reflection written ca. 2005 during my journey to Orthodoxy. He can no longer have God for his Father, who has not the Church for his mother. —St. Cyprian of Carthage Am I all so childish, so very naive and co-dependent, to feel as though knowing my Father is incomplete without being held in the nurture of my mother? My Father is the one whose voice I hear, in…

The Meekness of a Spiritual Father

St. Gregory the Great writes that a spiritual father should be both gentle and meek. If reproving a person who unintentionally sins, this is especially true. If a person is filled with malice and has sinned willfully, it’s a different story. But if a person has sinned out of “ignorance or infirmity,” then the priest is duty-bound to be gentle in offering correction. St. Gregory describes the importance of gentleness at length: Some things, however, ought to be gently…

Correcting Your Neighbor’s Sins

We are often told not to correct our neighbor’s sins. After all, doesn’t the Bible say, “Judge not, that ye be not judged?” Yet according to Scripture—and according to St. John Chrysostom—silence is not always a Christian approach. We have a duty to reprove our neighbors for their sins, and to bring their works of darkness into the light, so that they might repent. This is an act of love; an act of salvation. In his…

Annunciation and Choosing Life

Recent statistics indicate that about half of all pregnancies in America are “unintended,” and of those, four out of ten end in abortion. Perhaps most disturbingly, over 70% of women involved in an abortion report some sort of religious affiliation. In the Orthodox Church, we commemorate the Great Feast of Annunciation on March 25. Without coincidence, this occurs nine months before the Great Feast of Nativity or Christmas. In the Annunciation, we celebrate not only…

God Did Not Create Death

They say death comes in threes. And this past week, three people of personal significance to me were taken from this present life. First, I learned of my grandmother’s passing. Rose Ida Martini (April 13, 1927 – February 24, 2015) had herself lost her husband—my grandfather Vincent—only a few years ago. And in her final days, as my father reports, she was mindful of simply wanting to go home to be with him. I have…