“Launch out into the deep” – the first great catch of fish teaches about the Jesus prayer!

Synopsis: When Jesus commanded Peter to “Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught;”, He was giving a principle, by which, and only by which we will stand in the presence of God, even in this life. This principle is all over the Scriptures. It involves patience, courage, obedience and INTENSITY. Although prayer is not explicitly mentioned, it is also about prayer, and especially about the Jesus prayer. How and why must we “launch out into the deep”?

A Spiritual reflection regarding Prayer of an Orthodox Christian priest in front of a late term abortion clinic during the Dallas 40 days for life campaign.

The personal experience of an Orthodox Christian and priest praying in front of a late term abortion clinic during the 40 days for life campaign, Wednesday, Oct 19, 2011. This is difficult and heavy prayer because outside, on the street, things look normal, but inside some lives are terminated, and many other lives are perhaps irrevocably damaged in terrible ways. A spiritual reflection, including whether we should pray for “them” or “us”, and that a Christian must feel responsible for all sin and act upon his inner impulses from the heart, and about praying “one hour”, and personalizing the “Akathist for a Woman Who Has Aborted a Child”

Forgiveness Sunday And Cheesefare Sunday. The Triodion teaches us how to think.

An exposition of two hymns from the Triodion for Forgiveness Sunday, after Vespers. It is important to know how to think about ourselves and God, and how to approach God in prayer. More than any other season, the Triodion teaches this in almost every hymn. We look in detail at the hymns:

“Adam was cast out of Paradise through eating from the tree. / Seated before the gates he wept, / lamenting with a pitiful voice and saying: / ‘Woe is me, what have I suffered in my misery! / I transgressed one commandment of the Master, / and now I am deprived of every blessing. / O most holy Paradise, / planted for my sake and shut because of Eve, / pray to Him that made thee and fashioned me, / that once more I may take pleasure in thy flowers.’ / Then the Savior said to him: ” and

“O Master, Guide to wisdom, / Giver of prudent counsel, / Instructor of the foolish and Champion of the poor, / make firm my heart and grant it understanding. / O Word of the Father, give me words, / for see, I shall not stop my lips from crying out to Thee: / I am fallen, // in Thy compassion have mercy on me.”

NB: Just one resolution for Great Lent. Fasting and prayer

Many people make some sort of resolution when they enter Great Lent. Usually it is something we have not done before, or perhaps done poorly. The one who has fasted poorly in the past may decide to keep the fast better – to not eat any meat or animal products, and some may even be zealous to keep the fast from oil and wine and fish. The one who keeps the fasts may be zealous to not eat anything at all for the first three days of Great Lent, or eat only one meal a day, which, according to the strict typikon, is “after the ninth hour” (about 3 in the afternoon).

In my pastoral experience, most people make some sort of fasting related resolution. I applaud their intentions, but sometimes their emphasis on fasting obscures for them the real purpose of the fast (it is not fasting!), and trying something that is beyond their spiritual and physical capabilities sets them up for failure, and sometimes, despair. Even if they succeed in their fasting goal, they miss out on improving themselves in more important ways. Remember: Nobody is saved because of fasting (but those who are being saved fast).

There is only ONE important resolution to make for the Great Fast. It is mentioned (in so many words and images) constantly in our services. We will mention that one in a little bit. …

Murphy’s law and molebens. Logismoi. How to think about personal intercessory prayer.

We all know about “Murphy’s Law” – “If anything can go wrong, it will”. It has many corollaries, and is sometimes funny in context. But it is not funny when applied to real life – and by this I mean our inner life, in which we gain our salvation.

There is an “occupational hazard” in the pastoral life, which, I believe afflicts all but the truly humble and perfected. It consists of “Murphy’s law type of thinking – “logismoi” – negative thoughts.

I have these thoughts, and they are like mosquitoes – very hard to get rid of – and the best way to deal with them is to ignore them and just keep doing the right thing….

To Pray For Someone More Diligently. Prayer Of St Silouan Of Mount Athos For All People. Audio talk and prayer texts.

This is another in our short after liturgy catechetical talks. We discuss 2 prayers that everyone should have for their personal prayer rule. The prayer of St Silouan is especially important. St Silouan prayed for all the people of the world. This is a sure sign of love. We must cultivate habits that build this kind of love. The audio explains a little about these prayers and quotes them. The word document contains these two prayers. It can be printed and cut into quarters to have 4 sheets with both prayers.

NB: Just one resolution for Great Lent. Fasting and prayer

Many people make some sort of resolution when they enter Great Lent. Usually it is something we have not done before, or perhaps done poorly. The one who has fasted poorly in the past may decide to keep the fast better – to not eat any meat or animal products, and some may even be zealous to keep the fast from oil and wine and fish. The one who keeps the fasts may be zealous to not eat anything at all for the first three days of Great Lent, or eat only one meal a day, which, according to the strict typikon, is “after the ninth hour” (about 3 in the afternoon).

In my pastoral experience, most people make some sort of fasting related resolution. I applaud their intentions, but sometimes their emphasis on fasting obscures for them the real purpose of the fast (it is not fasting!) …