Love Beyond Alliances

“So then you are no longer strangers or people far away. But you live with God’s people and belong to God’s family.” Ephesians 2:19 “We used to hate and destroy one another and refused to associate with people of another race or country. Now, because of Christ, we live together with such people and prayContinue reading “Love Beyond Alliances”

Living an African-American Orthodox Christian Life: Dealing with “Bumps and Bruises”

Originally posted on Desert Fathers Dispatch:
In a recent post on Facebook, I mentioned that “There will be some bumps and bruises in some parishes for black Inquirers.” Over thirty years after a wave of evangelicals converted to Orthodox Christianity under the Antiochians, the hurdle of ethnicity can still be daunting for anyone seeking the…

Judgement Is Coming

Lately, I have been watching and listening to a couple of YouTube videos of Negro spirituals about God’s Judgement. One is a classic “ring shout” from the Sea Islands of South Carolina and Georgia. Two others are from the sort of rural Baptist Church I grew up in (Baptist Liberty, King William County, VA). PerhapsContinue reading “Judgement Is Coming”

The Need for Spiritual Heroes: Ordinary People

When regular people deeply engage themselves in prayer and holy living, a whole society can shine in God’s grace. There is an admiration for Russia in the Orthodox Christian world. Saints such as Ignatius Brianchaninov, John of Kronstadt, and Theophan the Recluse are among the greatest writers of our faith. Kings and queens of theContinue reading “The Need for Spiritual Heroes: Ordinary People”

Embracing Struggles and Victories

 Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.  For if anyone thinks himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself.  But let each one examine his own work, and then he will have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another.  For each one shall bear his own load. Galatians 6:2-5 I had the blessing to visit theContinue reading “Embracing Struggles and Victories”

DEVELOPING A PRAYER RULE: BECOMING THEOLOGIANS

Originally posted on The Modern Monastic Order Of Saint Simon of Cyrene:
“If you are a theologian, you will pray truly.  And if you pray truly, you are a theologian.”  Evagrios the Solitary “We pray not to instruct or inform God, but to be intimate with Him.” St. John Chrysostom “In the Orthodox Tradition, one…

Matthias, the Bible, and Other Books

August 9th is the feast day of an overlooked Saint Matthias.  In the Book of Acts (1:12 to 26) he was chosen to replace Judas Iscariot to join the Twelve Apostles.  Peter takes the lead in the beginning of the book with Paul’s mission to the Gentiles occupying much of this scripture.  Deacon Philip’s evangelizingContinue reading “Matthias, the Bible, and Other Books”

Dormition Fast: Humility in Prayer

Orthodox Churches using the modern calendar began the 14 day fast observing the Dormition of the Theotokos (the Virgin Mary = “she who bore God) this past Sunday. Wise Christians of old often taught that we should remember our own mortality as we live and that we will have to face the Lord’s dread judgementContinue reading “Dormition Fast: Humility in Prayer”

The Importance of Your Cell

“But you, when you pray, go into your room and when you have shut the door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.” Matthew 6:6 “Go sit in your cell and your cell will teach you everything.” St. Moses from theContinue reading “The Importance of Your Cell”

Developing a Prayer Rule: Measurement for a Pure Heart

“Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God” (Matthew 5:8) said our Lord Jesus Christ in His great Sermon on the Mount (Matthew chapters 5 thru 7). Prayer is one of the most important tools that we can use to seek purification. Lacerations caused by anger, despondency, fear, lust, and other passionsContinue reading “Developing a Prayer Rule: Measurement for a Pure Heart”