Inner prayer

It has been said many times already that real prayer is inner prayer, performed not only in words but also with mind and heart. Prayer of this kind captures the whole attention and keeps it within, in the heart. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

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Nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord

There is a “texture of life” that cannot be reduced. It has a richness that rational descriptions cannot capture. Though we battle with powerful forces that draw us towards the destructiveness of sin – there is written deep within us a hunger for wholeness and the capacity for God. In the words of St. John, “Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world” (1 John 4:4). Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

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Τimidity…

“…Timidity leads the soul into confusion and a certain unsteadiness, and a soul which is unstable can very easily fall. Yet self-satisfaction and conceit are the very enemies which one has to fight. Anybody who has let them in has fallen already, and is predisposed to further falls because they make a man inactive and negligent.

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The Commandment to Love

By Bishop John (Kallos) of Thermon

The first and great commandment of Christ was the commandment to love. “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself.” Luke 10:27. This commandment of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ passed through my mind as I read the book “Why Pray” by Fr. Mark Gibbard. In the chapter entitled, ‘Praying is Exploration,’ he says, ‘Seldom in the history of mankind has there been such real concern for our fellow man, than there is today. There are the demands that poverty should be wiped out. There are the protests against the horror of war. There are the struggles against unjust racial discrimination. Concern about man and unconcern about God. Demand for action and disregard for prayer.’ Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

To Live in Wonder

Concepts create idols; only wonder grasps anything – St. Gregory of Nyssa

St. Gregory’s marvelous dictum is among a handful of things that describe what is required for the Christian life. So much of Christian history has been marked with a bifurcation – a split between those who study the faith and those who live it. It is not a necessary split – only a common one. Of course there is the larger number of Christians who do neither.

But wonder is an essential attitude of heart – without it – we will see nothing as it truly is.

The Scriptures tell us that we are “fearfully and wonderfully made” – which also means that other human beings should be approached with awe and wonder. We will not see them nor love them as we ought if our heart is dwelling in some other mode.

I tend to see wonder in two particular places – in children and in those of older years. My own children have always been a revelation of the world about me – a chance to see the world as though for the first time. To watch the wonder of a child beset with the jaded cynicism of our culture is surely to see one of the most crucial battles of our age. Cynicism is generally always correct, but it lacks the wonder that alone would reveal its error.

The wonder of older years has been something of a new revelation for me – if only because I barely qualify for “older years.” I will turn 57 later this year. But I have been around long enough to see my last child enter college. I have been blessed with 34 years of marriage. With those years comes an increasing sense of wonder at how things have worked together to be what they are. I am less impressed with my choices and the power to choose. Rather I am overwhelmed at the good that has come to me that I did not know to choose (and it came unbidden). Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

What is Primary to Orthodox Spirituality?

by Rick Burns

We would think that this would be an easy question to answer … but if we ask around, we will get many different answers. Some will tell us that we need to know the Traditions of the Church. Some will say that we need to know the Bible, others may say we need to know the Saints, while still others recommend that we need to know the liturgical services. While all of these answers are excellent, how much do we need to know about these things to begin the Orthodox journey? Certainly, as we mature as adults, our understanding of these and many other important topics regarding the Orthodox faith should increase. But what is primary to begin and live the faith that will count us among the Orthodox believers?

Consider this primary thought: We must know who we are in our hearts.

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Angel in my dreams

A loving angel came to me in dreams,

And showed me life’s not always what it seems,

And brought me to a place where sweet dreams live,

And gave to me a gift that I now give: Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »