Hope In God’s Mercy

Experiences of God’s mercy increase our hope.  However in the midst of difficult times, we don’t remember these experiences.  We don’t remember the times in the past when God saved us out of difficult circumstances.  Or worse yet, we have come to remember past deliverance from difficult or dangerous circumstances as luck, as accidental coincidence.  Or worst of all, we have come to remember past deliverance as examples of our own prudence,…

Tools For Theosis

This summer I had the privilege of serving two Orthodox youth camps, one in Idaho, USA and the other in Alberta, Canada.  The spiritual theme of both camps was the same:  “What’s in Your Toolbox?”  The idea was to talk to the youth about the tools the Orthodox Church provides to help them grow spiritually and morally. On the first day of the first camp, I asked the group—there were about fifty,…

Stretching Out Our Hands In Mercy

In this season of repentance, let us stretch out our hands in works of mercy; and then the ascetic struggles of the fast will bring us to eternal life. For nothing saves the soul so much as generosity to those in need, and alms giving combined with fasting will deliver a man from death. Let us do all of this with gladness, for there is no better way, and it will bring…