Spirituality

Watchfulness

  In Orthodoxy, one of the practices we strive for is something called nepsis which is Greek for “watchfulness.” It is based on Christ’s words to the disciples in the Garden of Gethsemene the night of his passion: “Watch and pray, lest you fall into temptation” (Matthew 26:41).  It is also repeatedly mentioned in other […]

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Repentance

Parables: Encountering the Heart

Whenever we hear one of the parables of Christ, we are invited to take a moment and reflect on what is being said so that we may understand its intended meaning. Parables can appear very simple in terms of the elements or characters they contain. And it’s possible to understand them at a superficial level […]

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Spirituality

Obedience to Christ and His Church

Calvin Coolidge, the 30th President of the United States, once said: Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination […]

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Spirituality

John 3:16 – For God so loved the World

One of the best known verses of the Bible is John 3:16, which was read as part of today’s gospel reading.  “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.” The notation of this verse, “John 3:16” appears in […]

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Spirituality

Authentic Christians

One of the first prayers you and I learned was the Lord’s Prayer.  We recite the Lord’s Prayer together at every Divine Liturgy.  It is a perfect prayer because it was given to us by Christ himself.  When you study it closely, you will notice that every line of the prayer was actually something that […]

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Q & A

Are we responsible for the sin of Adam and Eve?

We need to first make a distinction between personal sins and the sin of Adam and Eve. God created all things good. He gave human beings freedom because, as I said before, without freedom there is no authentic love. Because of his love, God created mankind with free will to both choose to love God […]

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Q & A

What makes Orthodoxy different?

Atheists prefer to see things from a scientific and rational stance. While that is fine, one would hope that they recognize and have experienced the limits and dangers of this approach as well. The problem with all these “isms” is that, in their myopic formulation of what constitutes value, freedom, power, success, etc., they end […]

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Q & A

How do we know God?

The task before us is not to know about God but to know God. The spiritual life is a marathon, not a sprint.  A sense of urgency is healthy, to be sure, as we are given a brief period of time here on earth.  But for what purpose?  St. Isaak said, “This life has been […]

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Q & A

Do Orthodox believe in the idea of universal reconciliation?

The idea of a universal reconciliation is one which the Church leaves to the realm of mystery. She has not made any dogmatic declarations regarding its validity or otherwise.  There are several Church Fathers who wrote about it, e.g. Origen, St. Gregory of Nyssa, and St. Isaak of Nineveh.  For each of them, the thought […]

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