A Spiritual Journey Away from Social Media: In Good Company

Originally posted on The Modern Monastic Order Of Saint Simon of Cyrene:
Fasting from foods is a struggle for me. Before I became an Orthodox Christian, it was fairly easy to make up my own rules and only give up beef and pork during Lent. Dairy and fish became my dietary refuge. However, even these…

A Spiritual Journey Away from Social Media: My Beginning

Originally posted on The Modern Monastic Order Of Saint Simon of Cyrene:
I absconded completely from Facebook from the Dormition of the Theotokos Feast (August 15) until the Ecclesiastical New Year (September 1). Since then, I have made only one general post and posted a blog article and haven’t spent any time scrolling, checking for…

Striving for Total Illumination

I watched all of the available episodes of the Vice Channel’s series, “Dopesick Nation.” One of the lead characters, Frankie Holmes, dropped a description of his struggle with heroin that makes me think of our addiction to sin. He said (in episode 11) that he is only 18 inches away from being a total dopeContinue reading “Striving for Total Illumination”

Of Desert Fathers & Maroons: Congolese Christian Experience

Originally posted on Desert Fathers Dispatch:
Usually when we think of African-American Christian leaders who spoke and acted out against injustice, a number of Civil Rights era figures come to mind; MLK (of course), Fannie Lou Hammer and the like. Or, if we want to talk about self-help leaders in our community, Elijah Muhammad and…

How to Develop a Prayer Rule: Being Sober Minded

Wherefore, gird up the loins of your mind. Be sober and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. I Peter 1:13 I have to credit St. Nikolai Velimirovich’s homily for July 5th in the Prologue of Ohrid as my inspiration for thisContinue reading “How to Develop a Prayer Rule: Being Sober Minded”

How to Develop a Prayer Rule: The Necessity of Humility

 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus,  who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God,  but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men.  And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death,Continue reading “How to Develop a Prayer Rule: The Necessity of Humility”

How Christianity Came to Africa: Foundation of Nile Valley Gods

Originally posted on Desert Fathers Dispatch:
The deities and religious thought of Egypt and Nubia also prepared the way for the Christian faith to come into Africa. The region’s polytheist faiths had high expectations that were to be embodied by the pharaohs and embraced by all. The sun god, Ra, was the source of all…

How Christianity Came to Africa: Hebrew Preparation

Originally posted on Desert Fathers Dispatch:
As in the Levant, Christianity in Africa has roots in the Israelite/Jewish religion. The story of Noah’s descendants populating the earth has the descendants of Ham settling Egypt and points west and southward along the Nile River (Genesis 10:6~20). An ancient name for the Nile is Gihon, one of…

How to Develop a Prayer Rule: Repentance

“From that time on Jesus began to preach, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.’” Matthew 4:17 “If you cannot become like us, sit in your cell and weep for your sins.” Sayings of the Desert Fathers* A prayer rule without honest self-examination and humble repentance is will not produce fruitful virtues orContinue reading “How to Develop a Prayer Rule: Repentance”

How to Develop a Prayer Rule: Spiritual Guidance

“Lord, teach us to pray as John taught his disciples.” Luke 11:1 Seeking oneness with God was not left to chance by early Christians. Catechist and baptized believers sought spiritual guidance from clergy, monastics, and wise elders in their communities. Bishops, priest, and deacons were ordained through the succession from the Apostles and Christ. MonksContinue reading “How to Develop a Prayer Rule: Spiritual Guidance”