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”

How to Develop a Prayer Rule: Your Most Difficult Time

“… the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force.” Matthew 11:12 As I shared last week, most of us are most alert and attentive in the morning or the evening. Which ever is your best time of the day should be the anchor and base of your prayer rule. EarlyContinue reading “How to Develop a Prayer Rule: Your Most Difficult Time”

How to Develop a Prayer Rule: Your Best Time

“Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place where He prayed.” Mark 1:35 “… Jesus made His disciples get into a boat and go ahead of Him… He went up on a mountainside and prayed … About the fourth watchContinue reading “How to Develop a Prayer Rule: Your Best Time”

How To Develop A Prayer Rule: Location Matters

“But when you pray, go into your room, close the door, and pray to your Father who is in secret. Then your Father, who sees what you have done in secret, will reward you openly.” Matthew 6:6 Sometimes we modern Christians get sloppy when it comes to where we pray, both in physical and mentalContinue reading “How To Develop A Prayer Rule: Location Matters”

Religious People: What Kind?

Today is the Sunday of the Blind Man, the sixth Sunday of Holy Pascha (Easter). I was supposed to preach at St. Basil this morning. But, I damaged my left foot and have to let it rest for a couple of days. In the Gospel lesson in John 9:1-38, there are two types of religiousContinue reading “Religious People: What Kind?”

Religious & Spiritual: Be Both

It is common to hear of people describe themselves as ‘spiritual, but not religious.’ I see this regularly online from people who are devout Christians as well as those who don’t attend worship services. The word ‘religious’ or ‘religion,’ some would say, has too much to do with legalism and man made rules. ‘Spirit’ andContinue reading “Religious & Spiritual: Be Both”

A Need for Spiritual Heroes: Judging Ourselves

“For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged.” 1 Corinthians 11:31 “We have abandoned the easy yoke, that is self-reproach, and we have burdened ourselves with the heavy yoke, that is self-justification.” Abba Poemen (from the Prologue of Orhid*) Perhaps one of the main reasons why so many people made the journeyContinue reading “A Need for Spiritual Heroes: Judging Ourselves”

CHRIST IS RISEN! … (now what?)

This Sunday, Western oriented Christians will celebrate the resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We Orthodox Christians will worship and feast on Pascha the following weekend this year. I think everyone looks forward to Easter Egg Hunts, outdoor cooking, non-COVID restricted gatherings with family and friends. This holiday isn’t as commercially popular asContinue reading “CHRIST IS RISEN! … (now what?)”

Developing A Prayer Rule: Pray As You Can

Originally posted on The Modern Monastic Order Of Saint Simon of Cyrene:
“If you cannot pray ceaselessly, pray frequently”? St. Ignatius Brianchaninov There is no substitute for following a rule of prayer.  The Nativity Fast has come to an end and we (new calendar) Orthodox Christians begin 12 days of feasting the birth of Christ. …