I Have Never Fasted Before, How Do I Get Started?

I have told this story many times, so forgive me as I repeat it. A number of years ago, I served as the priest of a parish of new converts who were not accustomed to fasting. Even the idea of fasting before receiving Communion on Sunday was new to them. A father relayed to me that his son, who would … Read More

How do we fast, are there any shortcuts?

About 20 years ago, a parishioner asked me if her family could keep the fast on Tuesdays and Thursdays instead of Wednesdays and Fridays. When I asked why she made this request, she replied that it was easier to fast on those days. The simple response on how to fast is to just follow the rules. In doing so, fasting … Read More

Fasting, Hunger, Desire, and Prayer

Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And He fasted forty days and forty nights, and afterward He was hungry. And the tempter came and said to Him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” But He answered, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live … Read More

Praying on the Run

“Be pleased, O God, to deliver me! O Lord, make haste to help me!” (Psalm 70:1). Is there another way prayer can be incorporated into a busy schedule? Too often we equate prayer with standing before an icon corner with a prayer book and reciting prayers. While this is certainly an aspect of keeping a prayer rule, there is more to … Read More

What do you do when you first get up?

In the late 1970s, I was a childcare worker at a Catholic Home that provided care for physically and emotionally disturbed children, who followed a morning routine that started with a simple limit. After waking up, before they could leave their rooms, they had to make their beds and get dressed for school. They then called for a room check. … Read More

Why Are We So Busy?

At present, I am in Saint Louis, where I am attending the 19th All-American Council of the Orthodox Church in America.  Monday morning’s plenary session of the Fellowship of Orthodox Christians in America’s 92nd annual national Convention is about to begin.  As its members seek to find answers as to how they can grow in their ministry to the Orthodox … Read More

The Life Saving Confession of the Thief on the Cross

One of the criminals who were hanged railed at Him, saying, “Are You not the Christ? Save Yourself and us!”  But the other rebuked him, saying, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation?  And we indeed justly; for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing … Read More

Capital Punishment

In previous reflections, I alluded to inconsistencies with regard to sanctity of life issues (i.e. being pro choice/against capital punishment and vice versa). Today and next week I will address capital punishment. Here is a text from the Gospel of John, concerning the woman caught in adultery, upon which I will comment. Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. Early in … Read More

Talking about Hard Issues

It has been three months since I began issuing weekly reflections on themes related to acceptance and sanctity of life. What does this have to do with the theme of this web site, which sees “the Family as a Little Church?” I wrote these reflections primarily for parents. You have the awesome responsibility to form your children in the Orthodox … Read More

A Fallen World

One of the difficult challenges of living in a humanistic, secular society is that there seems to be little or no understanding that we live in a “fallen” world. For the Church of course, the notion of a “fallen world” is an important tenet of our faith. The humanistic mindset acknowledges that human beings are “flawed” and that people make … Read More