Programs or Relationships?

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I cannot stress how important it is that family life is the main place where Christian formation takes place. The epistle reading from Romans for last Sunday speaks to this theme: But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, and, … Read More

Miracles Do Happen

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I posted this on my Facebook page back in April of 2016. It is a story of racial and human reconciliation between a crooked cop and a man he put in jail for a crime he did not commit. The story is amazing and worth sharing again given today’s issues on race. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/on-the-road-innocent-michigan-man-ends-up-working-alongside-crooked-cop-that-locked-him/ The news piece says it all. Forgive … Read More

Some Lights that are out there

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I mentioned previously how there are some good things going on in the Diocese to talk about when it comes to breaking down barriers. Not all of our parishes have left the inner city to flee to the suburbs. We have at least five parishes in particular that have made conscious commitments to redefine their mission and work with the … Read More

Being Afraid to Love

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But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a custodian; for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in … Read More

Masks, and Other Changes

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These are stressful times for us. We are in the process of cautiously re-opening our churches. When I issued my May 5th directives along with those of the Holy Synod, I said we were going at 10mph. Now that number has gone up to 20-25 mph – a faster speed but still not at the speed limit of many roads … Read More

Guarding our Heart

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Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. (Matthew 10:16) The character of a serpent according to Scripture (Genesis 3:1) is that he is sly, cunning, devious, subtle, clever, or smart. But the “innocence” of a dove can often be understood as “harmless.”  So why is Jesus … Read More

Keeping Calm in the Midst of a Storm

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Last week’s post told the wonderful story of a monk who both cursed and praised a tomb of a dead person. The point was to show what it meant to acquire a spirit of dispassion in living the spiritual life. The writer of last week’s story said something important: “Indeed, I would go even further and say that acquiring dispassion … Read More

Dispassion in the Spiritual Life

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Here’s a story from a Desert Father that helps us to understand Dispassion: There was an elder living in the desert. One day, a young man came to visit him and asked, “Abba, what can I do to be saved?” The old man thought for a moment, and then said, “Go to the cemetery and curse the gravestones.” The young … Read More

We Do Not Live in a Vacuum

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How do parents help their children make sense out of what is going on in today’s world? What do I mean? Children, when they are younger, ask innocent questions. When they ask, they expect to get a truthful answer from their parents, and they (children) want to do the right thing. We have all been taught in the Orthodox Faith … Read More