In the Orthodox teaching, sin is not only the transgression of a rule leading to punishment; it is always a mutilation of life given to us by God. It is for this reason that the story of the original sin is presented to us as an act of eating. For food is means of life; it is that which keeps us alive. But here lies the whole question: what does it mean to be alive


[Not everyone] can attend the entire cycle of lenten worship. Everyone can attend some of it. There is simply no excuse for not making Lent first of all the time for an increased attendance of and participation in the liturgy of the Church. Here again, personal conditions, individual possibilities and impossibilities can vary and result in different decisions, but there must be a decision, there must be an effort, and there must be a “follow-up.”


In regard to Lent, instead of asking fundamental questions—”What is fasting?” or “What is Lent?”—we satisfy ourselves with Lenten symbolism. In church magazines and bulletins appear recipes for “delicious lenten dishes,” and a parish might even raise some additional money by means of a well-advertized “tasty lenten dinner.” So much in our churches is explained symbolically as interesting, colorful, and amusing customs and traditions, as something which connects us not so much with God and

Father Maximos on Spiritual Practice

“What do you mean by ‘things of this world,’ Father?” Maria asked. “Material possessions, career, success, ideological fixations, everything that steals the heart. The result is one: our passion for God is transformed into the passion for created things of no ultimate and eternal value, be they power, fame, politics, smoking, sex, money, and so on.” “This is the meaning of idolatry,” I added. “We worship our own creations.” “Yes, precisely.” “Is fasting a way


Once two brothers went to visit an old monastic. It was not the old man’s habit to eat every day. When he saw the brothers, however, he welcomed them with joy and said: “Fasting has its own reward, but if you eat for the sake of love you satisfy two commandments, for you give up your own will and also fulfill the commandment to refresh others.” It’s not something that most of us like to admit,

Lenten Retreat 2011

This post focuses on the GOYA Lenten Retreat that we attended on April 9 &10. We had other events for the different age groups, but I really felt the need to share this ministry. It was such an amazing experience that the entire post is devoted to this retreat.