Daily Meditations

Dying to the “I” Before You Die

All religions in their own way talk about “dying before you die”! They are all indeed saying that something has to die. We all know this, but often religions have chosen the wrong thing to kill, which has given us a very negative image. In almost all of history it was always the “other,” the heretic, the sinner, the foreigner that had to die. In most ancient cultures it was the virgin daughters and eldest

My Rage and Spirituality from Below (Part IV)

By contrast, spirituality from above reacts to the rage that boils up in us by repressing or crushing it: “Rage is not supposed to happen. As a Christian I’ve got to be friendly and balanced at all times. So I have to control my rage.” Spirituality from below would mean questioning my rage, questioning what God wants to tell me with it. Perhaps my rage is pointing to some deep injury. Perhaps in my rage

Spirituality from Below (Part III)

For the monks humility is the courage to face the truth, the courage to accept their own earthliness, their humanity. The monks test one another in humility, so as to find out whether someone really is a man of God. “A monk was highly praised to Anthony by the brothers. Then Anthony took him and put him to the test, to see if he could endure insults. When it became clear that the man couldn’t

An Independence Day Message from the Founding Fathers

Without Religion the Government of a Free People Cannot Be Maintained. Americans of the twentieth century often fail to realize the supreme importance which the Founding Fathers originally attached to the role of religion in the structure of the unique civilization which they hoped would emerge as the first free people in modern times. Many Americans also fail to realize that the Founders felt the role of religion would be as important in our own


BUT I SAY TO YOU THAT HEAR, LOVE YOUR ENEMIES, DO GOOD TO THOSE WHO HATE YOU. —LUKE 6:2.7 When you are in love you find yourself looking at everyone with new eyes; you become generous, forgiving, kindhearted, where before you might have been hard and mean. Inevitably people begin reacting to you in the same way and soon you find yourself living in a loving world that you yourself have created. Or think of

Father Maximos on the Role of an Elder

After a few seconds, a young seminarian took the microphone and spoke in accented Greek. He was clearly born and raised in America. “Last year we had a debate at the seminary in regard to the role of an elder. We wondered whether each one of us must have a spiritual guide and whether we should obey unconditionally the instructions of such an elder. This is a real problem for us when friends pose such

The Feast day of Saints Peter and Paul

On the 29th June of every year our Orthodox Church celebrates the feast day of Saints Peter and Paul. So important is this celebration in the Orthodox Church that it is marked by a preparatory fasting period – called the fast of the apostles – beginning from the Monday after Pentecost and lasting until the eve of the feast day of Sts Peter and Paul. Following the practise of the early Church, where the first

Our Darkness and God’s Love

There is a darkness that we are all led into by our own stupidity, by our own selfishness, blindness, or by just living out of the false self. And there is a darkness that I believe God leads us through for our own enlightenment. In both cases, we have to walk through these dark periods by brutal honesty, confessions, surrenders, letting go, forgiveness, and often by some necessary restitution, apology or healing ritual. I still

Persons in Communion: Singular and plural (Part II)

The idea of a truly trinitarian anthropology is chiefly associated with St Gregory of Nyssa, the most speculative of the Cappadocians. In little tracts dismissed rather hastily by his detractors as works of philology he attacks the ‘erroneous custom’ whereby Man is spoken of in the plural and God in the singular; in both cases personal plurality is quite consistent with unity of essence. We ought to say that in Christ, the new Adam, ‘Man

Persons in Communion: Singular and plural (Part I)

Personal existence has a ‘vertical’ dimension, a desire to be plunged into the fullness of God. And this fullness is not a solitude but an ocean already alive with the movement of infinite love. The depth is not unrelieved gloom; it contains reciprocal activity, interchange, the presence of the other, while duality is avoided in the communion of the Three in One. The depth itself suggests the inexhaustible character of the Persons and of their