To Carry Your Cross

We are about halfway through the Great Lenten journey. Orthodox churches mark this point with the Veneration of the Holy Cross at the end of the Divine Liturgy. The Church Fathers saw it was good for Christians to have a special commemoration to remind us of why we endure this time of fasting, almsgiving, repentance,Continue reading “To Carry Your Cross”

Seek The Desert

January 17th is the feast day of the man recognized as the father of Christian monasticism, St. Anthony the Great. During the last Roman persecution under Diocletian, Anthony visited Alexandria in the hopes that he would be martyred for his faith. To have the courage to be killed for declaring oneself a Christian was theContinue reading “Seek The Desert”

Theophany: Transition to the Fullness of God

When Thou, O Lord, wast baptized in the Jordan, the worship of the Trinity was made manifest; for the voice of the Father didst bear witness unto Thee, calling Thee His beloved Son. And the Spirit, in the form of a dove, didst confirm the truthfulness of His word. O Christ our God Who hastContinue reading “Theophany: Transition to the Fullness of God”

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 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”