Pascha and Doubt

Pascha and Doubt

Holy Week and Pascha present a real temptation to live one’s faith in a way that seeks to be externally perfect rather than beautiful for Christ. Orthodox Christians see this when we boast about the length of our services and the strictness of our fasting. How much pressure do we...

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The Crucified Jesus: A Book Review

The Crucified Jesus: A Book Review

Holy Week is the prime time for our spiritual life. It is when we spend more time at Church, increase our privet prayers and, for many people–especially those who do not often read–we usually pick up a spiritual book to peruse. The following is a quick review of a book...

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Finding and Asking for Forgiveness

Finding and Asking for Forgiveness

My first Forgiveness Sunday in 2000 left me feeling sore but satisfied, even though at the time I did think it was a bit redundant. After all, I was a Christian, so of course I was going to forgive everyone. But over the years, I realized words are easy; actions—not...

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Understanding and Living Our Faith:  The Holiness of Condescending to One Another

Understanding and Living Our Faith: The Holiness of Condescending to One Another

“God condescends whenever He is not seen as He is, but in the way one incapable of beholding Him is able to look upon Him. In this way God reveals Himself by accommodating what He reveals to the weakness of vision of those who behold Him.” (St. John Chrysostom) We...

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Holistic Faith

Holistic Faith

The term holistic means working with nature rather than against it. And faith is belief that calls one to act. When we cooperate with God, His mercy becomes more apparent to us. God’s mercy enables one to fathom the natural meaning of life: belonging to Jesus Christ. One’s will to...

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Understanding and Living Our Faith: How We Experience Lent and Fasting

Understanding and Living Our Faith: How We Experience Lent and Fasting

“Many Christians, unaware of the great value of fasting, either keep the fast with difficulty or reject it altogether. We should not be afraid to fast but embrace it with joy.” (St. John Chrysostom) Fasting is so much more then abstaining from certain foods. Christ reminds us in the Gospels...

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What’s in the Name?

What’s in the Name?

During my last visit to the monasteries in Egypt, I was asked by family members to baptize their child at the monastery. When I went there the day of the baptism, the monk priest in charge of baptisms asked me to baptize all the kids that came that day—which totaled...

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Top 5 Destinations for Orthodox Jet-Setters

Top 5 Destinations for Orthodox Jet-Setters

Jet set—it’s an old fashioned, 1960s term for those who had money to burn and could just hop on a plane and travel wherever they wanted, whenever they wanted, and stay for however long they wanted. It implied a rootless, aimless, pleasure-driven existence that had no purpose except to amuse...

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Are We In the End Times?

Are We In the End Times?

Scriptures of the Triodion First Saturday of Souls Jesus said, “Take heed that you are not led astray; for many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am he!’ and, ‘The time is at hand!’ Do not go after them.  And when you hear of wars and tumults, do not...

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Understanding and Living Our Faith: Dealing with the Noise and Pace of Life

Understanding and Living Our Faith: Dealing with the Noise and Pace of Life

“When God the Logos created human nature, He did not make the senses susceptible either to pleasure or pain; instead, He implanted in it a certain noetic capacity through which men could enjoy Him in an inexpressible way.” (St. Maximos the Confessor) It is impossible to experience God’s presence in...

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My Church’s Centennial Celebration

My Church’s Centennial Celebration

Photo courtesy of Kathleen Marvin Sickles. This past October, I had the honor of being the co-chairperson of my church’s Centennial Celebration. It was an amazing experience to be part of the excitement leading up to the grand weekend. Seeing old friends and family come together to honor a rich...

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Scripture’s Most Valuable Secret

Scripture’s Most Valuable Secret

During one of our Wednesday morning Bible studies, our group tackled the famous verse John 3:16, which reads: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” Scholars have cleverly labeled this pericope the...

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