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Entries Tagged as 'Lent'

Frightened by Confession Part 3-My first Confession?

February 23rd, 2011 1 Comment

As the Great Lent is about to start, and Fr. X speaks again on Confession, Nick begins to realize that Confession should be part of his regular Christian life as a divine given tool that is indispensable for his continuing spiritual growth and the strengthening of His relationship with God. Overcoming the anxiety that is common before a first Confession, he sets up an appointment with Fr. X. However, the more he thinks about it the more he realizes that he does not really know what to say or do during Confession...

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Loosing weight and saving your soul in the process

January 27th, 2011 No Comments

There is no secret that I could loose some weight. I’ll admit it. Getting back into my ideal measurements is as much of a challenge for me as for anyone despite the claims of the insatiable industry that has developed behind this apparently simple goal. From the classical low calorie diet to the latest fashion in Hollywood dieting, we are sold out of the box, unfailing solutions that will miraculously make us loose those unsolicited extra pounds. But they all fail in most people with, of course, some notable exceptions.

I always wandered why this is and couldn’t find a satisfying answer until a few days ago when I stumbled over a book written by a “diet survivor”… Continue reading

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Hitting the wall – What happened with St. Mary of Egypt?

March 25th, 2010 No Comments

The expression “Hitting the wall” refers to an athlete, usually a marathon runner or cyclists that during a race they deplete their muscles glycogen reserves and they experience sudden loss of energy and extreme fatigue. In other words they can’t go on with the race, they’re stuck.

This is what happened with St. Mary of Egypt in the church in Jerusalem when she was stopped by an unseen wall to enter the nave. It was like all her spiritual “glycogen” has ran out and there she was, unable to take one more step and enter the Church. Of course you are going to tell me it was God who stopped her because she was unclean, and living in terrible… Continue reading

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Fasting abundantly

January 30th, 2010 3 Comments

The idea that any Westerner has about fasting is strongly linked with renunciation, with giving-up, with sacrificing something for God. In the Eastern Orthodox Church however, fasting achieves a much richer meaning. Fasting is not only about giving-up, but it is actually more about gaining, about being able to reach things that are possible only through this spiritual exercise.

In a legalistic understanding of salvation some believe that Christ has come on earth to fulfill a duty, to repair an offense that man has brought unto God. His sacrifice on the Cross satisfies this need and mankind enters again in God’s favors. From this perspective fasting is a similar symbol: a personal sacrifice that one makes to step back… Continue reading

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Frightened by Confession Part 2-Overcoming Shame

August 13th, 2009 No Comments

Ashamed WomanOn a bench besides John, Mary is also deep in thought. “Hmm… I think I start understanding why I should go to Confession. But what do I say when I get there? I know I’ve done some things that I am not proud of, but here is a scary thought: how can I tell all this to another person, especially a man? He’s going to judge me and probably will never look at me with the same eyes again. Plus, how do I know he’s not going to tell anyone? I don’t think I could overcome this shame.”

Shame is a common feeling for anyone that prepares for Confession, especially at the beginning. It is

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Fasting and the revelation of our shortcomings

August 10th, 2009 3 Comments

VeggiesMost of the Orthodox people have a hard time fasting. Every beginner realizes sooner rather than later that fasting is difficult, and the discipline of the stomach is not easy to master. The struggle of fast has however another curious secondary effect: the amplification of all our other shortcomings. When we fail in fasting we feel guilty and unworthy.

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The Postmodern Truth of Resurrection

April 21st, 2009 No Comments

chora_lgAs citizens of the post-modern world we got so used to relative truth that we are quick to label any one that supports a fundamental truth of any kind as a fundamentalist. But there is no shame in upholding a fundamental truth. Imposing it on others yes, this could be a problem. But there is no evil in standing by it

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The Vanishing Pascha Multitudes

April 21st, 2009 1 Comment

Pascha_multitudesIt is always uplifting to see the multitudes filling the Church for the beautiful services of Holy Week and Pascha. At this time most of the Churches seem too small to accommodate all the people wanting to receive God's blessing. There is however one question that arises naturally: where are these people during the rest of the year?

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The Orthodox Nativity Fast Can Help Prevent Holiday Blues and Christmas Depression – Lisa C. DeLuca

November 28th, 2008 1 Comment

Much of the post-holiday blues and Christmas depression that occur in the United States may have something to do with the way Americans celebrate Christmas. The Orthodox Nativity fast may be the remedy many people need. When people are suffering in their lives with things like divorce or other losses, financial stress, aging or illness; the sudden onset of pre-Christmas cheeriness may leave them feeling even more isolated and deprived, because the rest of world is portrayed as happy and fulfilled in stark contrast to how they feel. Others who do embrace pre-holiday celebrations often feel let down and weighed down by food and debt shortly after Christmas day. The novelty of the new material things wears off quickly, friends and family go home, and people may be left feeling blue. This is the feeling known as post-Christmas let-down. The Orthodox way of celebrating Christmas can yield completely different results.

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