God is a mystery to all beings. God is in us, and that is why we are a mystery to our own selves. God reveals Himself only to the meek and humble. He is present everwhere, and He is a mystery. We may learn a little about Him, or may gather some knowledge from nature, but for the most part, we are surrounded by mystery.
When a person is meek and humble, he will advance in knowledge. Continue reading Thoughts on Humility – Elder Thaddeus
Because the Orthodox Church was instituted by God to be the hospital for our souls, everything within it has been ordained through the Holy Spirit for our salvation. The upcoming season of Great Lent (the Great Fast) is no exception.
In her wisdom, the Church does not simply throw us straight into a difficult fast, but rather slowly steps us toward it: both theologically and practically. The Church readings on Sundays teach us important lessons about fasting, and on a practical level, the fasting begins slowly with Meatfare Sunday.
It is pertinent to ask why do we fast? Continue reading The Great Fast and The Pharisee
Some people tell me that they are scandalized because they see many things wrong in the Church. I tell them that if you ask a fly, “Are there any flowers in this area?” it will say, “I don’t know about flowers, but over there in that heap of rubbish you can find all the filth you want.” And it will go on to list all the unclean things it has been to.
Now, if you ask a honeybee, “Have you seen any unclean things in this area?” it will reply, “Unclean things? No, I have not seen any; the place here is full of the most fragrant flowers.” And it will go on to name all the flowers of the garden or the meadow. Continue reading The Fly and The Bee
If one enters into the prayer life of Orthodoxy, you will find a great emphasis on keeping Christ on your heart and mind at all times. The monastics and many laypeople strive to attain “prayer of the heart,” in which their heart speaks the name of Christ or what is known as the Jesus Prayer “Lord Jesus Christ have mercy on me” at every waking and sleeping hour.
Entering into this realm of life is exciting and transformative. It requires two things: first of all is grace from God. Without His grace, everything else is worthless. Secondly, it necessitates a readiness on our part to receive him. If our hearts and minds are full of the cares, attachments, and desires of this world and our flesh, then there is no room for grace within us. Of course, it takes the grace of God to remove these things, but we must make ourselves available and take the tiniest step of effort toward Him.
Releasing the desires and attachments of the flesh is a slow process. The more we dig around inside of us, Continue reading Prayer of the Heart and Humility