Blogs

Dying to the World on Vashon Island

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What I had pictured as a peaceful and anticipatory trip to All-Merciful Saviour Monastery on Vashon Island was quickly thrown right out the window. My head in a bag for the first half of the trip, I found myself sorely seasick beyond measure as the Victoria Clipper bounced across the violent waves to Seattle. I had been told that the devil often did whatever[...]

Fear Not Little Flock

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To choose Orthodox Christianity here in North America is to immediately place oneself apart from the majority. I learned this firsthand the other night when I went to the local gathering of Christians at the pub known as Theology on Tap - an event where one could discuss theology and faith over a pint in a semi-organized fashion. The uncomfortable part wa[...]

ANTITHEISM IN MY LIFE, PART 2

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“I find no peace and I am not at war, I fear and hope, and burn and I am ice; I fly above the heavens, and lie on earth, and I grasp nothing and embrace the world.” – Petrarch In my view, the world was dying. The sheltered Seventh-Day Adventist apocalyptic bubble of my childhood to the liberalized evangelical flirtations of my early youth offered me no[...]

ANTITHEISM IN MY LIFE, PART 1

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"The entire devil is found here: in the desire to exclude God, in the desire to always be by himself, to always belong only to himself, to be entirely within himself and always for himself, to be forever hermetically sealed in opposition to God and everything that belongs to God." + St. Justin Popovich I was never an atheist. I could not, no matter how ha[...]

Last Men Standing

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As a former Roman Catholic, I used to always view the Orthodox with a kind of annoyance at what I termed their “crankiness”, their “stubborn nature.” I used to say to myself in frustration, “if they would only stop being so thorny towards us, maybe we could have unity” (this was a justification for myself really, as I was supremely drawn to the Orthodox Chur[...]

The Sacrifice of Nicola Yanney

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I have always felt that only God truly knows who the saints are until He chooses to reveal them to us, but how does this happen? One way that this happens is through local veneration, which attracts the attention of the regional church. It is my hope that Fr. Nicola Yanney of Nebraska will soon be glorified in this manner. I have a very close relationship[...]

The Point of a Monk

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"They wandered about in sheepkins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented - of whom the world was not worthy. They wandered in deserts and mountains, in dens and caves of the earth" (Heb. 11:38-39). The idea that the life of a monk is useless is not uncommon amongst Christians of today. The seeds of such thought can be found in Blessed Augustin[...]

An American Saint Faces the Communists

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Bishop Barnabas (Varnava Nastich), was born in Gary, Indiana in 1914. In the nine years he lived there, he gained an outstanding appreciation for our love of freedom. Eventually, he moved to Serbia, from where his parents had come. In Serbia, St. Barnabas worked diligently against the Communists regime and was eventually brought to trial in spite of his posi[...]

GENERATIONS AND TRUTH

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Generations I can barely count how many times I have muttered to myself about the generations of kids and early twenty-somethings, "These kids don't care about anything. They're zombies, zoned-out, beyond apathetic." But why is this? What has happened to this generation of kids, and why have they demonstrated the apathy and idleness that they are so often[...]

On Spiritual Healing and Legalism

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Many of us come to Orthodoxy broken and wounded - having lived in the world as prodigals outside of the house of God, we indulged in all kinds of sin, went down any and every dead-end searching for something that would point to some kind of meaning. In Orthodoxy we find the healing for these scars and wounds that we have accumulated. Christ the Saviour sa[...]