Monday, April 9, 2018

Force of AI and Social Media

This is an important video to watch. Prof. Tufekci captures the essence of the massive new force being thrust on all of us via social media and tech giants like Facebook and Google. They are creating the data bases for machine intelligence to nurture our worst temptations just like the demons. It is the most significant force of our age which is just now being imposed upon us. We must take time to understand it and learn how to deal with it or our cultural values will continue to degrade to the lowest possible levels.  It is a force devoid of all spirituality. 
It’s not a long video but it will make you think. It is particularly pertenent with the current Facebook controversy under investigation.



https://www.ted.com/talks/zeynep_tufekci_we_re_building_a_dystopia_just_to_make_people_click_on_ads/up-next?language=en

Friday, March 2, 2018

Gregory Palamas on Noetic Prayer - Foundation of Orthodox Spirituality


Saint Gregory is one of the great heroes of the Orthodox faith. He stood against the logic of western scholastic thinking and defended the age old truth that man can know God through His energies. While the West rejected this reality in man and put all their faith in reason and philosophy, in the East knew that man can seek and have an intimate real experience in union with God's energies. This is commonly called noetic prayer. His teaching was confirmed in a council and is in agreement with the earlier Church Fathers.

Below are three videos that explain in simple terms ;what Saint Gregory taught.








Reference for this series of videos is the article by Metropolitan Hierotheos: Rationality & Mysticism

Monday, February 26, 2018

Why Do We Fast?


Fasting is an essential and important discipline for Orthodox Christians. We find the importance of fasting taught by Moses, the Prophets, Jesus Himself, His Apostles, Church Fathers, Church Canons, and reaffirmed in the recent Great Synod of the Church.

The reason it is so important is that it is an essential exercise to strengthen the soul, the will to do God’s will. 

Fasting is aimed at control of one of the most powerful bodily passions, hunger. What is it like when you hunger? We say we have hunger pangs. This pain in our stomach moves us to eat something. When we deny this pain or desire, what part of us is acting? It is our soul, our will. As we engage in this discipline out of our love for God and our intense desire to do His will, our soul becomes more capable of controlling the passions of the body that keep us from doing so. As we fast with faith and love of God we attract divine Grace that nurtures our soul and makes it stronger to do His will. Our connection with God is strengthened. In this way we become better able to overcome all the passions of our body, not just hunger.

This is why fasting is such an essential spiritual discipline.
In athletics, preparation is necessary to compete. Exercises are required to develop the muscles of the body. The same for the soul. Exercises are needed to develop the will of the soul to do God’s will. It must become strong enough to overcome evil forces and the temptations of our current day culture.

We are all fallen beings and find ourselves separated from God, struggling to regain our soul’s control over the body so we can live in union with Him. Our aim is to be reunited with God with eternal life in His Kingdom. To do so we must overcome our sinful nature and live according to His commandments. But we are like Paul who wonders why it is that he does what he does not want to do, and what he wants to do he does not do. He also says, using athletic analogies, that he must harden his body like a boxer to compete in the struggle he calls Spiritual warfare.

With our intense love of God, our desire to be untied with Him and to do His will, we are taught to fast regularly on Wednesdays and Fridays and participate in four fasting periods during the year.

It is important to see fasting as a positive effort in cooperation with God. It’s a proven means to bring us closer to Him when done out of our love for Him. If you make a commitment to follow the teachings of His Church you will experience how your soul is strengthened by this discipline.

Fasting cannot be seen as a virtue. It is the control of the passions that are virtues. Fasting is only a means necessary to develop virtues with the help of God’s Grace. 

Friday, February 2, 2018

Watchfulness - Foundations of Orthodox Spirituality 3


Watchfulness is how the Church Fathers teach us to purify our heart so we can see God as Jesus told us. This is the third video in the series on the foundations of Orthodox spirituality.


Complete series

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Way of the Heart - Foundations of Orthodox Spirituality 2


This is the second video in the series on Orthodox Spirituality. This video discusses the heart, the center of our soul. It is what Jesus was referring to when He told us that to see God we must have a pure heart. Too often we find our spiritual heart clouded by our intellect and all our desires and passions. The heart is the entrance for the uncreated energies of God, His grace, the Holy Spirit.



The next video will be on Watchfulness - Orthodox Neptic Theology

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Spiritual Nature of Man - Foundation of Orthodox Spirituality


This is a 10 minute video from a recent class at Saint George that explains the foundation for Orthodox saying they have the fullness of faith. It explains the fullness of our understanding of human nature which is basis for our Orthodox way of life as taught throughout the centuries by the Church and the Church Fathers.

https://youtu.be/08Kop8w9iIo