Everyday Ironies: Finding Salvation In The World

One of the biggest stumbling blocks many of us in the world face (by “in the world” I mean “not in a monastery”) is that almost all of the Orthodox spiritual advice written in books is written by monastics for monastics.  Therefore, a certain amount of discernment is called for, a certain amount of adjustment is needed, a kind of retuning of the material to fit a different key.  Those who are…

Sinful Dreams and Spiritual Warfare

A catechumen once asked what he could do to get victory over bad dreams: especially lustful dreams that roused his passions and often led him into temptation. I told him that this is one of those aspects of life in a fallen body that must be resisted and endured. One of the ways satan seeks to weary and wear out the saints (or those who strive to be holy) is through the…

But What Did Jesus Actually Say?

You can’t read the Sermon on the Mount (Matt. Ch. 5 – 7) without coming away disturbed. Perhaps that’s why we don’t hear too much sermonizing based on Jesus’ longest sermon (and perhaps his only sermon recorded in the Gospels if you count Luke’s version as a different telling of the same sermon). We don’t hear many sermons based on these words because in the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus seems to…