12/08/2013 05:00:00 AM
Download pdfNext Sunday we celebrate the Forefathers. These are the Old Testament patriarchs, prophets and religious men and women. They are the ones who prepared the way for the coming of Christ. Through them God worked great signs.
12/01/2013 05:00:00 AM
Download pdfRead Luke 13:10-17Next Sunday we hear the story of another handicapped person, a crippled woman whom Christ heals.Think about how you feel when you meet person who has a handicap or deformity. How do you think he or she feels? As you read
11/24/2013 05:00:00 AM
Download pdfDuring this week during our preparation for the feast of Christmas we have the great American feast of Thanksgiving. This is one of the holidays that has not been totally taken over by commercial interests and is a beautiful time when fam
11/18/2013 10:25:00 AM
download pdfAs we continue our preparation for the coming of Christ on December 25th, this week we turn our thoughts to the Mother of God. Mary, the Theotokos, gives us the perfect model of humility and silent expectation that we can use as a model d
11/12/2013 10:04:00 AM
The following study guide is based on the liturgical readings during this advent period of the Nativity fast. I will be posting one for each week of this period of preparation for the coming of Christ on December 25th.Download as pdf fileWeek One: Be
11/07/2013 14:47:00 PM
Next week we enter into the period often called Advent.
10/24/2013 13:41:00 PM
The practice of our faith does not end at home but must be part of our whole life.
10/17/2013 05:00:00 AM
Many people to day do not find satisfaction from their work.
10/14/2013 05:00:00 AM
Choosing a profession these days is often difficult for young people as there are so many options and we are often find a conflict in choosing what we enjoy versus what will earn us lots of money. How can a parent help guide a child in this choice?Fi
10/10/2013 12:19:00 PM
"Better to wear our your shoes than your blankets"Elder Paisios quotes this old saying and asks, "What does it mean?" Clearly it is saying that it is better to work, which in earlier times would wear out your shoes, than to be lazy and to spend your
09/30/2013 05:00:00 AM
A common issue in a couple relationship is about their spiritual life. One can be very spiritual following the way of life prescribed for Orthodox Christians and the other not making any attempt to follow the practices of the Church. If not dealt wit
09/26/2013 05:00:00 AM
The power of prayer cannot be underestimated.
09/23/2013 05:00:00 AM
Hesychia means silence. This is important as it is in silence that we commune with God most easily. Silence is not just about being in a quiet pace, but having a mind that is empty of worldly thoughts. Elder Paisios tells us that silence is very help
09/19/2013 12:04:00 PM
How does God teach us humility and Patience? Our daily life is filled with such lessons.
09/16/2013 05:00:00 AM
Why is it that there is so much anxiety in daily lives? Usually anxiety arises when things are not going the way we think they should. To take a very simple example, we were troubled by a new refrigerator that made some loud and unusual noises. The o
09/12/2013 11:59:00 AM
Have you noticed how some people are always grumbling?
07/24/2013 10:12:00 AM
One of the challenges of parenthood is giving or child the freedom to act on their own.
07/15/2013 11:48:00 AM
One of our biggest worries and sources of anguish as parents is when our children leave home and then fall away from the teachings of the Church. This is true especially in regards to sexual behaviors. Let's assume for this discussion that the parent
07/08/2013 05:00:00 AM
Today we lead such busy lives that many say, "I don't even have time for prayer.
07/01/2013 11:42:00 AM
As parents, one of our greatest responsibilities is the upbringing of our children so that they, like ourselves, will develop a love of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We have hopes that they will grow up to live according to the commandments, to b
06/27/2013 21:17:00 PM
Recent scientific research shows: Prayer and spiritual practice reduce stress and anxiety.
06/13/2013 05:00:00 AM
We believe life begins at the time of conception.
06/10/2013 05:00:00 AM
I found this conversation with Elder Paisios to express what I have observed in the role of mothers I know.He says,It isn't enough to merely love another, we must love the other more than ourselves. A mother loves her children more than she loves her
06/06/2013 05:00:00 AM
It is natural for man and woman to be attracted to one another.
06/03/2013 05:00:00 AM
What are we to do when faced by an angry family member?
05/30/2013 05:00:00 AM
Making the decision to get married is one of the most important decisions we make in life.
05/27/2013 05:00:00 AM
Now is the time of graduation and new choices.
05/24/2013 09:38:00 AM
What is it that makes a marriage endure? It's not that both are the same character.
05/22/2013 14:10:00 PM
Many ask, "How do I find the right path for me?" This is especially true for young adults who are wondering how to spend their lives while following Christ.
05/14/2013 09:41:00 AM
Too often we place our hopes in words and human thinking.
05/10/2013 05:00:00 AM
Anonymous 6th century...when you stand in prayer sign yourself with the cross, collect your thoughts to gather and prepare yourself properly; concentrate on him to whom you are praying, and take care that your thought does not depart from him until y
05/09/2013 15:34:00 PM
By Saint Jacob of SerughPrayer reveals the profundities of the Divine,by it one enters to behold the mystery of hidden things.It is the key able to open all doors.From it one can clearly espy what is hidden,by it the soul can approach to speak with G
04/30/2013 13:24:00 PM
This article is from the blog
04/22/2013 11:32:00 AM
We are all involved in a life long struggle against our sinful tendencies.
04/15/2013 05:00:00 AM
When Elder Paisios was questioned about whether he struggled as a novice he answered, "Every time something happened in my struggle, or if others told me something, I never allowed things to just roll off 'untaxed." This leads to the question, what i
04/08/2013 09:40:00 AM
Is it right to do good so we can get to Paradise where we will be protected and comfortable?
04/01/2013 05:00:00 AM
In Scripture Jesus tells us "The Kingdom of God is within you." (Lk17:21) How do we know this? We know it
03/29/2013 11:53:00 AM
Does it make a difference if we sin unintentionally or intentionally? The Elder Paisios says that the "errors we fall into through carelessness are of a less serious nature."
03/18/2013 11:13:00 AM
Is everyone aware of their sinfulness?
03/11/2013 05:00:00 AM
The story of Adam and Eve is one of the foundations of Christian life. In this story we seen how we are separated from God.
03/04/2013 05:00:00 AM
Do you seek self-satisfaction or union with God?Do you seek out self-help programs for your self-satisfaction? I did. I have had experience with many of the self-help programs that continue to be offered.
02/28/2013 05:00:00 AM
When caught in this snare, a person thinks and claims he is acting according to spiritual principles, but in actuality he is following his own will, satisfying and preserving his own ego, and remaining hardened in his own opinions. A web of
02/25/2013 05:00:00 AM
Many of us get stuck in a rut in our spiritual lives. Usually this comes down to one thing: we have our central sins, our favorite passions, that we just do not want to give up. These passions have become so much a part of us that we think it is impo
02/20/2013 05:00:00 AM
The key to controlling thoughts during prayer is to attack the wandering mind immediately. The moment you detect a stray thought, rise up, be strong and snuff it out. Be firm and aggressive. As we said before, it takes much effort.Here is more advice
02/17/2013 16:12:00 PM
01/15/2013 10:16:00 AM
Jesus said, "If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free." (John 8:31-32)What is the truth and what does it mean to be free? What holds us in bondage? Frankly it seem
12/31/2012 05:00:00 AM
The Elder Sergei taught that prayer is most important for an Orthodox Way of LIfe. Prayer is of two types. One is asking for Gods help. The other is giving thanks, always remembering that everything comes from God with His help. This attitude is e
12/25/2012 05:00:00 AM
Blessed be that Child, Who gladdened Bethlehem to-day! Blessed be the Babe Who made manhood young again to-day! Blessed be the Fruit, Who lowered Himself to our famished state! Blessed be the Good One, Who suddenly enriched our necessitousness and su
12/17/2012 05:00:00 AM
Jesus told his disciples, Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. (Luke 9:23)
12/10/2012 05:00:00 AM
Eighty-one years ago in 1931, the Philoptochos was founded in the Greek Orthodox Church as a philanthropic organization to benefit the poor and disadvantaged. and is now comprised of 27,500 members in 485 Chapters nationwide. Through this massive eff
11/30/2012 19:31:00 PM
Elder Sergei was born in the Netherlands in 1903. Most of his life was spent in France. His is a spiritual Child of Igumen Chariton the last abbot of Valaam before it was closed by the Communists. He spent his life in a country where there were few O
11/22/2012 18:01:00 PM
Sunday is the day set aside to honor God and should be spent differently from all other days. It is a day we raise our minds and hearts to God with deep reverence towards Him and with profound gratitude and prayer. In the Old Testament it was the Sab
11/16/2012 19:56:00 PM
Our work is different for each of us, but we must all seek to do it as God's work.
11/05/2012 09:53:00 AM
We can expect illness and troubles as we live in a fallen world. But, what are we to do when we become ill? Metropolitan Gregory of St. Petersburg gives us some excellent advice from his classic book, How to Live a Holy Life.1. His first point is tha
10/29/2012 05:00:00 AM
My father used to always tell me, "Remember you are part of a family and what you do reflects on the reputation of our family." My dad was not a model Christian, but was always an exemplary citizen and lived by Christian principles. I respected him and always remember this simple
10/22/2012 05:00:00 AM
Saint Seraphim of Sarov says "the true goal of our Christian life consists in the acquisition of the Holy Spirit."
10/15/2012 05:00:00 AM
A major issue highlighted in a recent WSJ article is job stress.
10/08/2012 05:00:00 AM
When can we say we are rich? Most of us in the United States are rich compared to peoples in most of the world. The basic way to think of being rich is having more resources that you need to support the basic needs of life. A third world development agency that I am familiar with, Sarvodaya in Sri Lanka, identified the following ten basic human needs
10/04/2012 05:00:00 AM
As Orthodox Christians, how are we expected to relate to one another?
09/28/2012 10:37:00 AM
In the first chapter of Genesis after creating heaven and earth God creates light to overcome darkness. This was before the sun or any of the stars, so what is this light and what is its
09/17/2012 05:00:00 AM
Pope Shenouda III of the Coptic Church gives us nine points to strengthen our faith.1. Confidence in God's qualities:Pope Shenouda suggests that we "put in our heart that God is a doer of benevolence." He quotes St. Paul, "All things work together for good to those who love God." (Rom 8:28) We should view God as a living Father who treats all his children with tenderness and gives them good gifts. We must have confidence in God's ability to do anything. Remember that He "loves and wants benevole [..]
08/27/2012 05:00:00 AM
What is the faith that will bring us salvation? Is it enough to believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God?St John Chrysostom writesHe that believes in the Son has everlasting life." Is it enough, then, to believe in the Son,' someone will say, 'in order to have everlasting life?' By no means! Listen to Christ declare this himself when he says, 'Not everyone who says to me, "Lord! Lord!" shall enter into the kingdom of heaven'; and the blasphemy against the Spirit is alone sufficient to cast him in [..]
08/23/2012 19:28:00 PM
The Two-fold Significance of a Clockby St. Nikolai VelimirovichEvery device of which man boasts as an invention of his mind is revealed by Divine Providence and every invented device has its two-fold significance one physical, the other spiritual. Even the clock is a wonderful device but it was not invented merely to tell us the time of day and night but also to remind us of death. This is its spiritual significance. When the small hand completes its rounds of seconds and minutes then the large [..]
08/14/2012 12:39:00 PM
This is a common concern among parents. We wonder, "Will our children grow up to become self sufficient, able to deal with the tribulations of life, provide for themselves in a fast changing world, and maintain their Orthodox faith?" Children need to be nurtured, but as they grow older they also need to have limits set for them, learn to participate in family routines and be obedient to their parents directions.
08/06/2012 12:00:00 PM
By St. John ChrysostomThe remembrance of the name of Jesus rouses the enemy to battle. For a soul that forces itself to pray the Prayer of Jesus can find anything by this prayer, both good and evil. First it can see evil in the recesses of its own heart, and afterwards good. This prayer can stir the snake to action, and this prayer can lay it low. This prayer can expose the sin that is living in us, and this prayer can eradicate it. This prayer can stir up in the heart all the power of the enemy [..]
07/30/2012 05:00:00 AM
07/26/2012 05:00:00 AM
In our spiritual life we are asked to continually grow becoming more and more like Christ. Saint Basil the Great tells us that if we are advancing in virtue we are ever changing. This change involves an inner change. This is a change that affects our attitude towards the world, our friends and our enemies, our entire world view.He writes,'When I was a child' it is said, I spoke as a child, I felt as a child, I thought as a child. Now that I have become a man, I have put away the things of a chil [..]
07/16/2012 05:00:00 AM
A common theme in the teaching of the church fathers is stillness. This is not a call to idleness but to a task that is very difficult: to quiet our minds. Our minds are too often controlled by our brain and its association with all our bodily needs. It is constantly bombarding us with thoughts, good and bad. It is these thoughts that keep us separated from God and our greatest spiritual challenge is to learn to still the mind so it is able to listen to God. If we are serious about doing God's [..]
07/09/2012 05:00:00 AM
Saint Isaac the Syrian offers simple and clear advice on the proper way to follow the spiritual path. Often we pick up a book written by one of the Church Fathers on prayer or theosis and begin to put it into effect. We may read the Philokalia and begin to practice the Jesus Prayer. But St. Isaac gives us a big warning about the dangers in this approach. He is clear that there is a step by step apprach to union with God. First we have to tame the passions before we engage in contemplative ac [..]
06/29/2012 15:44:00 PM
I have always wrestled with the term "wrath" knowing that God is unchangeable and a loving God. How can I understand this term and still believe in a loving God?Fr Patrck Reardon gives a good perspective on this term in his commentary on Psalm 6 (LXX).Divine wrath is not some sort of irritation; God does not become peeved or annoyed. The wrath of God is infinitely more serious that a temper tantrum. It is a deliberate resolve in response to a specific state of the human soul. In Romans, where th [..]
06/25/2012 05:00:00 AM
One of my struggles in prayer has been distractions due to thoughts that interrupt my efforts to establish a relationship with God. After many years of struggle I was awakened the other day by an article on prayer by Heiromonk Peter Seregin.
06/18/2012 13:44:00 PM
When we normally think of virtue we tend to think of ethical behavior, following the rules, obeying the commandments. Saint John Chrysostom reminds us that virtue is much more than just being a good person living according to the rules.He writes,Virtue is to scorn all human affairs, to keep the mind on future realities at each hour of the day, to seek no present good but to know that everything human is a shadow and a dream or even worse. Virtue is to adopt the attitude of a corpse in regard to [..]
06/11/2012 05:00:00 AM
Today consumer debt is 2.5 trillion dollars indicating how far we have moved from Gospel traditions.
06/04/2012 05:00:00 AM
Often I mistakenly think that my primary effort should be directed toward social activity through some kind of service to society when my most important task is something quite different. Saint Isaac the Syrian says,Do not compare those who work signs and wonders and mighty acts in the world with those who practice stillness and knowledge. Love the idleness of stillness above providing for the world's starving and the conversion of a multitude of heathen to the worship of God. He is advising us [..]
05/29/2012 05:00:00 AM
Recently there was an article in the Wall Street Journal about lying that I found interesting. Dan Ariely and his colleagues have conducted research on lying. What they found is that everyone has the capacity to be dishonest and almost everyone cheats if only just by a little.
05/22/2012 05:00:00 AM
I was recently moved by reading an article by Saint Maximus the Confessor. I was surprised at its clarity and simplicity, yet its completeness and elegance. I had always thought of Saint Maximus as one to avoid reading because he was so hard to grasp. What I found was the opposite. It will try and capture the essence of this article which is a dialogue between a brother and an old man.It is titled "the Ascetic Life".He begins with a question asked by one of his spiritual children who asks, " [..]
05/17/2012 05:00:00 AM
When we become aware that it is a loving God who makes all happen in the world and that we as individuals are powerless then our life becomes one of prayer.Archimandrite Vasileios of the Iveron Monastery on Mount Athos says,When he spiritually matures, when he recognizes his own powerlessness and the ineffable love of God, he becomes calm and everything proceeds on its own.
05/14/2012 05:00:00 AM
05/10/2012 05:00:00 AM
Mary has the title of Birth-giver of God or Theotokos.
05/07/2012 05:00:00 AM
There is no question that only Christ is able to save us from sin. So, how can saints aid us? When we honor saints and ask them to pray for us we are not putting them in the place of Christ. They are close to God, so when they pray for us they seek our salvation from Christ.Elder Cleopa puts it this way,When the saints pray for us, it is precisely our salvation that they seek from Christ. They interceded with Him for our salvation. From Christ they entreat our salvation. This is what we mean whe [..]
05/03/2012 05:00:00 AM
There are some who say Baptism should only be given to adults because we must first have repentance and faith. Earlier I was asked to comment on this subject and recently found the teaching of Elder Cleopa on this topic.The Elder begins his explanation by pointing out the precursors to Baptism found in the Old Testament. He writes,There in [the Old Testament] we read how God appeared to Abraham when he was ninety-nine years of age and, among things, told him to circumcise all the men and to circ [..]
04/30/2012 05:00:00 AM
When you die you will face what is known as the partial judgment. This will include a complete examination of your life.
04/27/2012 09:32:00 AM
From Scripture we know that's Christ did not abide by the Fourth Commandment according to Jewish Law. It was on the Sabbath that Christ did most of His miracles. Neither did the Appostles abide by this Law as we know they plucked and ate ears of corn on this day. Christ made a new covenant though His Crucifixion and the example of His life, instructing us to no longer observe the day of the Sabbath as a religious observance. If you examine the New Testament you will find that all the commandmen [..]
04/23/2012 05:00:00 AM
04/19/2012 17:00:00 PM
Reading the paper this morning I was awakened by an article titled "Zen for Highschoolers." The subtitle was , "Notice the Anxiety. Notice the Fear." Here was an article in a major national publication, The New York Times, with large photograph of students meditating and almost a full page dedicated to this topic. I wondered why is that we do not have such publicity about the Christain traditions that truly lead us to life that relives us of anxiety and fear? Why do we not teach the ascetic prac [..]
04/17/2012 05:00:00 AM
I found the following statistics from the Center of Disease Control to be quite thought provoking: only 15% felt calm and peaceful during the last 30 days; only 19% say they are satisfied with their life; 21% say their life has a clear purpose;13% felt full of life during the last 30 days.My guess is that this may not be startling news to most of you who read this blog. So, what is needed to improve our appreciation of this short life we have been granted on this earth? Do we need better healt [..]
04/03/2012 05:00:00 AM
We often tell our Protestant friends that one of the differences in the Orthodox faith is that we rely on Holy Tradition and not solely on Scripture.
03/29/2012 05:00:00 AM
Much of what we do in life is done by habit. This is necessary because we otherwise would be flooded with decisions, overloading our neural circuits. As you examine your life you will find that are routines that you automatically go through during the day and in differing circumstances. Once established, habits are hard to break and it is difficult to introduce new habits.Daily prayer is a habit that can help us in the darkest of times.
03/27/2012 05:00:00 AM
Marriage in the Orthodox Faith is one of the major paths for our salvation. In marriage couples can aid each other in their journey towards salvation. The other major path is celibacy found in the monastic life. Both are recognized at valid paths for salvation.Saint Paul reminds of the following,I...beseech you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and meekness, with long suffering, forbearing one another in love, being eager to keep the unity of t [..]
03/22/2012 05:00:00 AM
Observe All ThingsChrist died and was resurrected showing that death is no longer the end. He told His disciples that he would come again to judge the whole world. He said he would take up to heaven and bestow the kingdom of heaven on those who are justified. Christ then instructed His disciples to baptize in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit and go and make disciples of all nations. (Matthew 28:19, 20). There was more than Baptism. Jesus expected those who were baptized to teach othe [..]
03/19/2012 05:00:00 AM
One thing my wife has taught me is the necessity to always settle an argument before you go to bed at night. When we live closely with another person and share everything we have as one, there will undoubtably come up arguments in which one person becomes incensed and angry. We found that if we committed ourselves to resolving this difference before we go to bed at night, even if it means staying up latter than normal, our next day begins in harmony and our differences do not accumulate.Robert [..]
03/16/2012 05:00:00 AM
St. Basil the Great left us with a lament for sin in which he recognizes many sins and identifies with them as the writer.
03/15/2012 05:00:00 AM
When one undertakes to examine Scripture in an idle, intellectual way, he creates hatred and quarreling. Why? Because the intellect approach to Scripture does not help us to turn and reflect on our sins, but instead makes us focus on problems and concepts related to the study of
03/12/2012 05:00:00 AM
A central element of the Orthodox way of life is repentance. We are continually recognizing our shortcomings in our life as lived when compared to the life God calls us to live. As Orthodox Christians we grow by continually seeking forgiveness and committing ourselves to change in our behavior. We fast, pray and participate in the Sacraments of the Church to help us in this life long effort. We know that we cannot do this by our now efforts alone but we need the grace of God to become like Ch [..]
03/08/2012 05:00:00 AM
When this question was posed to Elder Cleopa of Romania he said the following:No, it is not sufficient to guide man to salvation, inasmuch as , firstly, it wasn't given to man from the beginning and , secondly, when it was given it wasn't the only authentic text, with regard to salvation of human souls, because before there was Holy Tradition. Many years before Moses began writing the first books of the Old Testament, there was a sacred piety in the community of people of Israel. Similarly, th [..]
03/05/2012 05:00:00 AM
According to a 2000 report published in American Psychologist, 26% of Americans felt "an impending nervous breakdown." Many say this is a feeling most people nowadays experience periodically. This seems frequently to be triggered by a divorce, a death, or financial and job stress. In addition to the feeling of going crazy, some of the symptoms include heart palpitations, chest pains, shortness of breath, uncontrollable crying, dizziness, disorientation, exhaustion. Unfortunately this condition i [..]
02/29/2012 14:41:00 PM
It is not uncommon for Orthodox Christians to participate in a yoga class. It is normally seen as good exercise for the body. But are you aware of the source of this practice and the purpose of many of its exercises?There was an article recently the NYT about yoga and sex scandals. It was about the founder of Ansura one of the world's fastest growing yoga styles who is accused of sexual impurities with female students. But this is not why I reference this article. It goes on to highlight the na [..]
02/27/2012 12:08:00 PM
The Prophets FastedMoses: When I went up into the mountain to receive the tables of stone...I was in the mountain forty days and forty nights, I ate no bread and drank no water. Deuteronomy 9:9 (LXX)Prophet Jonah: It was by fasting among other things that the people of Nineveh were saved from his prediction of peril. Jonah 3:7 (LXX)Prophet Joel: Fasting associated with repentance: Now, says the Lord your God, turn to Me with all your heart, with fasting and with wailing, and with mourning. [..]
02/23/2012 05:00:00 AM
The following report indicates that prayer does change the nature of our brain. This is important as we have many neural connects that continually lead us to sinful activities giving the brian dominance over the godly desires of our soul. With the practice of the Jesus Prayer and other worship activities our brains are rewired, putting our soul back in control, so that we are more likely to to counteract our sinful tendencies.Michael W. Taft writes the following in "Science 2.0":An "Ask the Bra [..]
02/20/2012 05:00:00 AM
When we decide to join the Church we are joining a community of believers in the Trinitarian God who promises us eternal life. As we come together in worship, we come as equals of all differing backgrounds, occupations, and ages. There are no earthly status parameters in this gathering. We are all equal in our quest to be united with God in eternal life. We realize that it does not matter what worldly success we achieve, but that our relationship with God is what is most important. The place [..]