If I Should Descend to Hades

If I Should Descend to Hades

Humanity has always searched and strived to avoid discomfort, pain, sorrow, and boredom.  However, we in the 21st century have perfected this avoidance.  As soon as we are hungry, we eat, and never has it been more convenient.  Boredom has become untenable in our culture.   Boredom must be kept...

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Conversations with Abba Isaac: Spiritual Neurosis

Conversations with Abba Isaac: Spiritual Neurosis

About a month ago, returning from a funeral in northern Alabama, I decided to turn on the radio.  Driving down a very rural country road, I began to listen to a local broadcast where people would call in and speak with the host/Pastor of the show about the Bible.  I...

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Loving to Fast, and Fasting to Love

Loving to Fast, and Fasting to Love

And when you fast, do not look dismal, like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by men. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, that your fasting may not...

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Conversations with Abba Isaac: Saint Paisios and Positive Thinking

Conversations with Abba Isaac: Saint Paisios and Positive Thinking

There are few, if any, who have been more devoted to Abba Isaac than the Blessed Elder Paisios who recently was incorporated into the registry of Saints (1/13/15). Not only did the Holy Elder deeply love the teachings of Abba Isaac, but even more importantly, he lived and incarnated all...

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Conversations with Abba Isaac: For the Health of Body and Soul

Conversations with Abba Isaac: For the Health of Body and Soul

For the past week a disturbing phenomenon has been taking place.  The usually quiet and relatively uncrowded gym of which I am a member has been full of people and excited chatter! When I heard one of the regulars whisper to another about how all these “New Year resolution types”...

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Conversations with Abba Isaac: Kung Fu and the Way of the Ant

Conversations with Abba Isaac: Kung Fu and the Way of the Ant

As was the case with many young men who grew up during the 80’s and 90’s, I went through a period of deep fascination with Kung-Fu movies.  There was something intrinsically appealing about a story where a young man could spend a few days with a Kung-Fu master or read...

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Orthodoxy’s Thanksgiving

Orthodoxy’s Thanksgiving

In the early Church, the primary word used to describe the celebration of the Mystery of Christ was Eὐχαριστία-Eucharist (thanksgiving). This “Thanksgiving” was an attitude which defined early Christian worship and praxis. It was a thanksgiving for every part of creation from the beauty of the stars to the bounty...

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Conversations with Abba Isaac: Screen Asceticism

Conversations with Abba Isaac: Screen Asceticism

I am not a Luddite. I am sitting in front of a computer screen, I have an iPhone in my pocket, and I watched the news this morning on the television. I enjoy a good film now and then, and I have been known to binge watch a favorite television...

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Conversations with Abba Isaac: A Culture of Condemnation

Conversations with Abba Isaac: A Culture of Condemnation

We live in a culture of condemnation. We make ourselves champions of moral, political, and religious issues. We divide ourselves along political lines, and we jump upon every chance to point our finger at those who do not agree with our views. This has become all the more endemic with...

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Conversations with Abba Isaac: Violence in the Middle East

Conversations with Abba Isaac: Violence in the Middle East

In June of 2014, the city of Mosul fell to the militant Islamic group known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). As most are aware, Mosul is but one of many cities that has fallen victim to demonic violence in recent months. Among the victims of...

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