Saturday, July 24, 2021

Letters to My Children - Final Letter

In these twelve Letters, I have tried to give you the benefit of what I have learned about life and the glory of our Triune God. It took me many years to understand what was the real purpose of this worldly life that seems to come to an abrupt and unfair end in death, but in fact is one the is eternal. As I told you earlier, my faith in Jesus Christ and obedience to the teachings and practices of the Orthodox Church developed over many years. What I have shared does not come from some ideological belief or philosophy, but from a faith in the Gospels and on experience clarified by the teachings of the Church over the last 2000 years.

I know these letters may not have been of much interest to you now, because the worldly life in these days is devoid of true spirituality and filled with so many temptations that pull all of us away from a God fearing life. I am confident that there will come a time when you will want to go back and read these letters because you received an awakening through a spiritual experience of some kind. God is always present, and, when the time is right, He will poke you in a way you cannot forget. Then you will have a desire to live an true Orthodox life and you will want to learn more than is contained in these letters and want to share them with others. Here is the link to all of them:
Shortly I will prepare a small booklet containing them to send to you to keep in a place that you will remember when this awakening comes.

I love you dearly and pray for your awakening always.
Dad

Saturday, July 17, 2021

Letters to my children - Letter 12: Death and Afterlife


In today’s world we try to avoid talking about death. To often, when someone dies there isn’t even a funeral. The body is quickly disposed by burning and grinding up the bones in a process called cremation. Then sometime later the family and friends come together in what is called a celebration of life. This gathering usually involves speeches like in a retirement party and may not have a paster present.

Death is treated much differently in the Orthodox Church as you have already experienced with the death of mom’s mother and  father. Death for Orthodox Christians is a most important event. It is a transition from a worldly life to an eternal one. It is when the soul separates from the body. The soul immediately goes to a place awaiting the Second Coming of Christ to be reunited to a new spiritualized body, and then face the final judgement. The body is treated as something sacred as it was the temple of God. It is buried and there is a beautiful funeral service in the church with an open casket. 

When the soul separates there is what is called a particular judgment. Everything that was done in the earthly life is exposed for all to see. Nothing is hidden. The souls of those who lived a God seeking life will find great joy, anticipating the future life in heaven. Those who have not been seeking God will be separated from God and will be tormented living in anticipation of their life to come separated from God. After death there is no possibility of repentance. The character we die with is the character of the soul after death. When Christ comes again the process of transition is completed and we are given a renewed immortal body. Then, we face the final judgment by Christ. This is not an arbitrary judgment but based on how we lived our earthly life. Because all has already been exposed to you and others there will be no surprise at this judgment.

The important thing to remember is that death and this coming transition is what determines the purpose of our earthly life. Our current life is intended to be a process of perfection, to develop a love of God, and to learn to become like Him. Christ came, God incarnate, to show us the way to full union with Him with eternal life in His kingdom. How we live our life will determine what takes place in this transition after death.

While the Church always places the emphasis on God’s mercy and supports the faithful to live a life of repentance, we must not forget that in our death there are consequences based on how we have lived and the nature of the relationship we have developed with God. Because of this, there should be an element of fear of God. This is why in the liturgy when the communion cup is presented the priest or the deacon exclaims, “With the fear of God, faith and love draw near.”

My advice to you is to never forget that your aim in this life is your death and resurrection. Your true purpose is to live in a way to become united with Him and to do His will. Being close to God will enable you overcome the fear of death, knowing there is a future life in Paradise. Once you have mastered the fear of death you life will be filled with love and joy of God’s presence.

With Love,
Dad

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Letters to My Children - Letter 11: Confession


My dear children, I hope you have kept up with me on these letters. I know there will come a time, as it did for me, when you will have an intense desire to know God and to have communion with Him.  Then, you will surely find these letters useful. This letter is about confession.

Let’s start with the idea of sin. This was a word that I did not want to hear for many years because it had a negative connotation. I saw sin as something to be punished for. But this is an error in thinking. Sin is when we have failed to live up to the teaching and example of Christ. Christ loves us and only wants us to love Him. He is not in the business of handing out punishments to hurt us. The word “sin’’ literally means in Greek missing the mark. In this sense it is a positive thing, because when you discover sin in your life, you have recognized an event or pattern of action that does not conform with your faith and separates you from God. When you know your sin, you can improve and come closer to God. Beware if you think you are not a sinner. Everyone is a sinner and the closer you come to being united with God the more sinful actions you will recognize.

Confession is a process of overcoming our sinful nature. You begin by asking God for his forgiveness, make a commitment to make changes in how you think and act, and seek the help of the Holy Spirt to do so.

Every night in your prayers you should review what happened during the day and acknowledge where you missed the mark. Then ask God for forgiveness and for His help to change how you act in the future. In addition to this daily activity there is a sacramental act that Christ has given us to totally cleanse our soul and conscience and erase any heavenly record of your errant actions. I
t is the sacrament of Confession. It is like the renewal of our baptism. The Greek Orthodox Church teaches that you should participate in this sacrament whenever you feel burdened by your sinfulness and at least once or twice each year.

The sacrament is normally done in the church or a chapel of the church with a priest who has been given the office of confessor by the bishop. When the time appointed comes to do this with a priest, you will meet with him in the church and stand in front of an icon of Christ, often on the solea facing the iconostasis and in front of the icon of Christ to the right of the royal doors. The priest is by your side as your witness and it is with joy that he hears your confession. He knows how important this is for your spiritual progress. He is not there to punish you, reprimand you or judge you. He is there to help you become reconciled with God. He will ask you, while facing the icon of Christ, to say out loud looking while at the icon of Christ, 
"what is the sin you have committed that you want to eliminate from your life." Then, after you have made a sincere confession, if moved by the Holy Spirit, the priest will ask you to kneel, place his stole over your head, and read the prayer of absolution. Afterwards he may give you some guidance to help you overcome this type of sin. Remember he is doing this with love, all for your benefit. 

When you are finished he will remind you that God has forgiven you these sins and will help you in your efforts to change. You must then be sure to forgive yourself. If you don’t, you are making another error, because you are taking upon yourself the role of God. If you brought a paper with notes to assist you, he will ask you to respectfully burn it. Walking out of the Church, you are at that moment sinless. But you must remember that you still harbor passions and desires that give you the tendency to miss the mark again. Remembering this will help you to stay focused on the work you need to do with God’s help.

Repentance through confession is central for life as an Orthodox Christian. When the time comes for us to leave this world you may not be perfect, but if you have sincerely and continually sought through repentance and confession to become more like Christ, you will be embraced by a merciful and loving God. This process must be more than a ritual or obligation. It must be done out of your love of God and combined with a dedicated effort to follow everything He has taught.

If it’s been a while since you have participated in this sacrament, talk with your priest or spiritual father and arrange for a time to do this. You will be surprised how it will benefit you.

With much love,

Your Father 

Saturday, April 24, 2021

Letters to My Children - Letter 10: Learning to Follow Fasting Guidelines

I hope you are benefiting from these letters. There is another practice that you should begin if you become serious in developing an Orthodox mind in order to come closer to a union with God. This is fasting. I can imagine that you are thinking, “Oh no! Not fasting! Nobody does this anymore.” The reason you and many others resist this practice is precisely why it is so important. Remember, this is not something new, but a tradition that precedes the time of Christ. This is a practice aimed at controlling your self-will. When you understand the nature of your salvation and what is required, you realize that it is essential to become obedient to a God’s will. Therefore it is essential, mandatory, to learn to control the passions that seem to drive your current life style. This requires a disciplined will. The passion of hunger is one of the most basic passion you have. Being able to deny your desire to eat whatever you want, whenever you want, helps you learn to exert your will in a way that leads you to developing the ability to control all your passions. Eventually you must learn to merge your will with God’s will. Don’t we all now we live mostly only according to our own will? Discover this and you will find a path to life in Christ.

I know when you were growing up as children, I am ashamed to say, that we did not fast as a family. For me this was a practice I only accepted after I chose to focus on becoming united with Christ. When I began a regular practice of fasting, I struggled. I wanted to make up my own rules and allow many exceptions. But very quickly I realized that for the path I had chosen I needed to commit to the the way taught by the ancient church. I then sought out the official guidelines on fasting. (They are called guidelines because a rule orientation is not part of the Orthodox way). I chose to stop making up my own plan and to make the Church guidelines my rule. I have pretty much followed this since then. It’s really not difficult. In the beginning you will discover that you may have some pretty intense desires attached to food. You may have some preconceived ideas what is necessary for your body. 


As Mom and I began this regular practice, all of our church related activities became more regular. Because we were required to struggle with our desire for certain kinds of food during a fast, our inability to live up to the commandments also became clearer. It was an important step in our spiritual growth.


Fasting is a disciple to help you master all of the passions, not eliminate them, but to bring them under control. This involves more than controlling excessive eating. It aims at helping to control things like lust, anger, selfishness, and many others. One of our most basic desires is our desire to eat. This is both good and bad. We need to eat to nourish the body, but over eating or eating the wrong things destroys the body. Often our desire is for what we like. We may even spend excessive amounts to get the food we like. Or, we may make a fuss when the food is not what we want causing stress and extra work on those who are preparing the food for us. So it’s not just about choosing what is nutritious. As we limit our choice in foods during the fast it is also like making a sacrifice. We become more conscious of the blessing of good food and life given us by God.


To become like Christ it is essential that we learn to use our will to control our passions. When they take over we are totally self-centered and unable to think of God or the needs of others. It’s all about ME. So fasting is considered essential if we are going to be able to live a Christ centered life. We we give effort to this, Christ will help us through His grace. 


Fasting is not intended to harm your body. This discipline will actually lead you to a healthier diet. It’s not proper to do it for this reason, but many will resist because they fear it will harm their health. There is flexibility for adjustments to the guidelines if you have an underlying health condition like diabetes or are on some kind of medicine that requires you to eat something special. To make these deviations we should not make these choices on our own, but should discuss them with our spiritual father first, and then chose to deviate.

Here are the fundamental guidelines. We fast every Wednesday and Friday, and also during specific periods in the liturgical calendar, like Great Lent when we focus on repentance and our preparation to celebrate the Ressurection of our Lord and savior.


When Wednesday or Friday comes along how are we to fast? The guidelines say we do not eat any meat or dairy products and avoid the use of olive oil and any alcoholic drink. There is an exception for boneless bottom feeding sea creatures like shrimp. The church calendar has on the specific guidelines for each day. Also the daily email I suggested earlier that you can receive from the Archdiocese will tell you the guideline for that day. I found that once I chose to follow these guidelines, I was drawn closer to following a life in Christ. My desire and ability to control other passions increased. It’s not really a burden, but it can be difficult in this age where we are so used to demanding my will be done now. As you discover this conflict you will begin to discover one of the greatest things that separates us from God, our self-will.

Some spiritual fathers will suggest you start slowly, like only avoid meat in the beginning. I am not sure about this approach. The discipline necessary to control a passion is only learned when you choose to be obedient to the guideline and struggle with your food desires. You may not be totally successful in the beginning, but this struggle has much benefit. 

Remember Christ’s burden is light. He lis loving and merciful. If you try but make mistakes he will understand. He will appreciate what you are trying to master.


Begin now. You will be amazed at what you will learn and how you will benefit. 


Sunday, April 18, 2021

Letters to My Children - Letter 9 - The Divine Liturgy


Hopefully you have seen your priest by this time and have found a way to begin a disciplined activity of daily prayer and are reading a little Scripture each day. These are not difficult things and don’t take a lot of time, but they can have an significant impact on your daily life. All that is necessary is a desire to be united with Christ. As I mentioned earlier, the awareness of these simple steps I am sharing with you did not come to me until I was almost fifty. It’s never to late to begin this search for the true God which you all have within you since your baptism. 

The next basic activity I want to share is not difficult either, but is also essential. This is making a commitment to attend the Divine Liturgy every Sunday. This is one of the Ten Commandments, but it’s best to do this out of your love for Christ and your desire to commune with Him. Being able to participate in the divine liturgy is a real blessing.

An Orthodox mind understands that the Church is the body of Christ on earth.

It is much more than a building. It’s a sacred space. When we all gather together for worship, we are uniting with the angels and saints in our prayers to worship and glorify God. It is a union of heaven and earth. When I enter the church  and look up at the dome and see the face of Christ, and then I see all the images on the iconostasis and smell the lingering scent of incense, I know that I have entered a divine space, it feels like this is heaven. The physical church is meant to lift our heart and soul to heaven. It’s a space quite different from any other I experience during the week.

When I enter the church I feel humbled, being so insignificant and yet seeking to be with Christ. I do so knowing that I am not worthy of this, but I enter with a strong yearning, with zeal, to receive Him. I enter with the knowledge that through the sacraments, His teachings, and the practices of the Church, I will grow spiritually. I enter with my mind and heart wide open to the mysteries of the spiritual realm. I am in awe of this space and filled with joyful anticipation of what is about to take place.

When I enter I have to stop and pause in the narthex to remind myself that this is God’s house I am entering. Realizing that this is a sacred space where we commune with Him, I along with most Orthodox Christians feel it’s important to light a candle before entering the naive and offer a little prayer as I do so. This helps me make the transition from a busy and hectic secular world to a peaceful and sacred one, one where the Holy Spirit dwells with strength. It’s a place where the sacraments take place to nurture and heal my soul. I enter  even in my unworthiness knowing than soon I will participate in a mystical union with Christ when I receive the Body and Blood of Christ into my own body. Afterwards I feel renewed, cleansed, energized, and stronger to take on the trials and tribulations of the coming week’s activities.

The Orthodox church is a space totally different from the Methodist church I experienced in my youth. After embracing an Orthodox mind it is difficult for me to go back to the church of my youth. There it feels more like a lecture or concert hall. In the Orthodox church when the service begins I feel it’s mystical nature while at the Methodist church feel like the mystical nature has been stripped away.

I encourage you to come every Sunday to enter into this sacred space and participate in the Mystical supper. When you do come to the church make sure you enter before the service starts. You don’t want to feel rushed entering. Make this time on Sunday from your awakening your arrival at the church a more peaceful time than you experience on a work or school day. Make it a special day dedicated to glorifying God. I have noticed that many parishioners have a habit of coming late. Don’t be like them. Show your commitment and love for God, and your desire to commune with Him by coming at the beginning or earlier when there is a service called Orthros or Matins taking place. Show God your respect honor and your love and desire to be close to Him. You would not think of coming to work or school late. Honor God with your discipline, your love to be there with Him. Come seeking to bring peace to your soul. Once there, set aside all your worries. Listen to the beautiful hymns. Keep an open mind to be instructed by the Scripture. Follow the prayers in the pew book provided or one of your own you bring with you, trying to understand their meaning. It’s a commitment of less than two hours, no more than a full length movie. Come to hear the first words the priest who exclaims, “Blessed is the kingdom of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.” Participate by singing the responses and the hymns you know along with the chanters or choir.

While we may find social benefits of joining a church, this social activity is not the purpose of the Orthodox Church. It is better described as a spiritual hospital where we come as individual members of a special community of believers in Jesus Christ, who are all in need of spiritual healing. For a long time I was not able to see that I am a sinner nor recognize my need for help or to be healed to become more capable of living with love by the example of Christ. By joining the assembly of Orthodox believers in Jesus Christ, I discovered this healing and was shown a step by step process whereby I could receive God’s help to come closer in union with Him. I found regular attendance inspired and offered spiritual nourishment for my soul, much more than anything I experienced in my years of meditation.

The Holy Spirit is alive and active in the Church and provides spiritual nourishment through the sacraments of the Church. I discovered how important it is to come prepared to participate each Sunday in Holy Communion. Previously I would only take communion several times a year and did not feel a commitment to be there every Sunday. (This is a misguided habit that too many follow due the past times in Greece where regular worship was difficult because of the occupation of the Muslims of the Ottoman Empire for hundreds of years.) I realized I was lost and turned away from the church, failing to seek help from my local priest. I sought other ways to nourish my inner craving for the divine. This led to a regular practice of meditation. I eventually learned that these so called “new age” approaches only reinforced my ego centeredness. I feel I wasted many years. I don’t want you to do the same. The gift to do differently is in your hands. I am showing you the simple but true path to inner peace.

Knowing the benefits of regular attendance and participation in the sacrament of Holy Communion from experience, I encourage you to make a special effort to set aside Sunday as a day to commune with God by participating with other Orthodox Christians in this most beautiful, heavenly and mystical Divine Liturgy.

Here is an except from a sermon by one of my favorite elders, Archimandrite Aimilianos of Simeopetra.

Each time we come, let it be in order to take hold of Christ, and pull Him mystically and invisibly within ourselves. And when we leave, let it be with souls rejoicing, and let us “entrust our souls, and deliver our life to Him.” Let us entrust our souls to Christ, whom we have seen, and let us dedicate our life to Him, and “let us se our hearts ablaze with the fire of His love,” Let us e set our hearts on fire with the flame of His love, with a fire which burns up within us everything that is rotten, and which will cleanse us in preparation for eternal life. 
From The Church at Prayer

I would feel I have accomplished my mission in writing these letters if you did no more than have a talk with you priest asking for his help, to say a short prayer each day and attend the Divine Liturgy every Sunday. I know from experience that your soul will be nurtured in this way and your love of Jesus Christ will grow. However, there are still two more topics I want to cover before I end these letters: confession and fasting.



Saturday, April 10, 2021

Letters to My Children - Letter 8: Reading Scripture Everyday

I am continuing with the discussion about how to develop an Orthodox mind where we pursue a union with God with the desire to be made worthy to enter His kingdom with eternal life. There are a few things that can easily be integrated into your daily life that will be of great help based my lived experience and the teaching fo the Church.

In addition to a short prayer every day, reading a little bit of Scripture each day will also help you develop your spiritual life. Don't think of this as a time-consuming lengthy task. There is a very useful tool that I have shared with you before that makes this task easy. Each day you can have sent to your email address the Scripture lesson that is being read in Church services on this day.  All you need to do is to go to  https://www.goarch.org/chapel. You will find a place to sign up for this daily email in the lower right corner of this web page. You don’t need to have a specific time to read this email. You can fit it in when you have the tendency to go to Facebook or Instagram, or surf the internet, or when you are catching up on your emails. Just remember to read it every day. The lessons read in the Church all contain a complete message. In addition to an Epistle and Gospel lesson you will find a short write-up on the saints being celebrated on this day.

It is important read Scripture prayerfully. Don’t try to be analytical or make up your own interpretation. Scripture is to be absorbed in the heart and only interpreted through the Church. Remember the story of Philip coming in contact with the Ethiopian reading the Bible in his chariot? Philip asks him, “Do you understand what you are reading?” The Ethiopian replied, “How can I unless someone guides me”. This is the same attitude you should have. Scripture is not always self-explanatory. When you are at different stages of your spiritual growth, passages will take on different significance and often have a deeper meaning. 

When I started to read Scripture each day I made two mistakes. I would read it like I was reading a novel, trying to read an entire chapter or more, often skimming as you do when reading novels. The second is I would try to pick out what was seemed true to me and discount the rest. This is an understandable mistake as there is so much in Scripture that is hard to understand with our normal rational mind. At times I would try to analyze bits and pieces by seeking online commentaries. Just keep in mind that Scripture is the word of God and it is meant to speak to your heart. As you grow spiritually, the Bible has more and more to teach you. It is best to not try to judge it or analyze it. When you read the Bible let your understanding be illuminated by the Holy Spirit. That is why we are advised read prayerfully. If you don’t understand what you have read, assume that you are not yet ready for this passage. It is still speaking to your heart and in time the meaning will become clear.

If you have questions or opinions, submit them to your spiritual father for clarification. I recommend using the Orthodox Study Bible because it contains commentary from the Church Fathers that can at times be helpful. Using this source you can have the confidence that the comments provided are consistent with the Holy Tradition of the Church. Just be careful about being overly analytical. Read prayerfully.

You should also read the Bible for a personal application. Saint Mark the monk (5th-6th century) says, “He who is humble in his thoughts and engaged in spiritual work, when he reads Holy Scriptures, will apply everything to himself and not to his neighbor.” Do not ask, “What does this mean?” But, instead ask “What does this mean for me?” When reading the Bible, first bring to mind that Scripture is a sacred history of the world from the time of Creation through the formation of the early Church. Then observe the particularity of this history where we find God intervening at specific times and places and entering into dialogue with specific individuals. After reliving this spiritual history, apply it to yourself. You need to bring these distant places and times into your own place and time and see that these stories include you. The Orthodox mind is integral and encompasses all time, heaven and earth, and what is visible and invisible.


Just read a little every day. It will teach you.


Orthodox Study Bible: 

Hard cover or Kindle 

App Store 

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Letters to My Children - Letter 7: Daily Prayer



Once you contact a spiritual father he will guide you. There are some simple basics that I will continue to give you based on my experience that can help you along the path toward an Orthodox mind and coming closer to God.

The first priority should be to set aside some time for prayer and spiritual reading. I have tried to do this every day. 

You can start with only a short period. Make it one that you know you can keep every day. I found this is easiest to do in the morning. Just arrange to get up a few minutes earlier, of course this means you need to go to bed a few minutes earlier too.

First, establish a regular time and a private place. You should have a specific rule for both morning and evening. Don’t try to “wing it.” This is not a relaxation exercise, but a path of communion with your God. You will benefit from having a specific set of guidelines that you follow each time with no excuses for shortcutting them. Use prayer books and written prayers, the ones included as s sample prayer rule in the booklet, Ten Points for an Orthodox Way of Life. The Orthodox prayer books are filled with prayers that have been well-tested and used for hundreds of years. Prayer does not need to be a creative activity. Above all, you need to be sincere.

I learned the proper way to pray from Saint Theophan the Recluse (see link below). He tells us that before you start your prayers, take time to quiet yourself and to concentrate your energies in your heart. Christ says, “Enter into thy closet and ... shut thy door” (Mt 6:6). Remove all activities that could disrupt your inner descent. Set aside, to the best of your ability, all of your problems of the day and your worries for tomorrow. This is not a time for thinking or worrying. When you are preparing to pray, stand, sit or walk a few minutes and steady your mind to concentrate on God. Reflect on who it is that you will be addressing. Remember, it is God Himself, the Creator of All, with whom you are about to talk. Try to hold in your heart a feeling of humility and reverent awe. If you are able, make some prostrations before you begin. As you can see, all these things are easier to do after you first get up in the morning.

As you begin to pray, read the prayers and enter into every word of the prayer. Bring the meaning of the words down into your heart. Do not rush through the prayers like you are in a hurry to finish them. Let the words of the prayer slowly drop into the depths of your heart with humility and awe of God. You need to slow your mind down so you can concentrate solely on your prayer. It’s somewhat like driving a car. When you are going 90 miles per hour down the highway, you may feel exhilarated, powerful and in control. But, at high speeds things can go wrong quickly. But, when you slow down and drive at a speed of twenty-five miles per hour, the car handles easily and if someone makes a dangerous maneuver you can easily avoid it. The mind works the same way. You want to train it to slow down so it will not cause you an unneeded accident and you can open your heart to God’s presence. So, in prayer say the words slowly so you can gain the full meaning of them and allow them to penetrate your consciousness and to bring to your heart feelings of love and reverence for God. 

Beware of the tendency to rush to complete them hurriedly. When this happens you have turned your prayer into an obligation, another task to complete, and it is no longer true prayer. Don’t worry if you catch yourself doing this. It is normal at first. Just stop, slow down, and then continue after asking God’s forgiveness and help. You will eventually find the right pace for yourself. 

Also, study the prayers before you use them so you know the meaning of each word. Eventually you will want to memorize them.

After you begin to recite your prayers, you will find that your mind will want to wander. I still struggle with this tendency. Work constantly to improve your ability to concentrate your attention on God and your prayer. God will allways be distant until you can learn to focus your concentration in prayer. When your mind does wander, be gentle with yourself. Think of God and how He loves you and go back to recite again what you said while your mind was elsewhere. Bring yourself back to concentrate on God and the words of the prayer. Sometimes it helps to say your prayers out loud for a while to help you concentrate. The mind is quite skilled at trying to do more than one thing at a time. But in reality, you only concentrate on one thing at a time. You can easily be deceived by the mind as it leaves prayer to focus on other matters. These wanderings of the mind show you the dimensions of your busy life and where you need to find ways to make it quieter so you can be always mindful of God. Prayer is NOT the time to focus on these worldly activities, because this will only further distract you from prayer. Work to concentrate your attention more and more each time you pray. Each day you will gain in your attentiveness during prayer.

When you finish your prayers, stand for a few moments. Consider to what your prayer life commits you. Try to hold in your heart what has been given to you. Treasure it for a few moments.

It is important to make your prayer life one that is a firm rule, a desired habit, and not something that is done occasionally, sporadically or casually. Pray each and every morning and evening for fifteen minutes at a minimum. Your prayer rule should include specific prayers. Commit to doing your rule each and every day, just like you are committed to daily personal hygiene tasks such as brushing your teeth. You don’t forget to do them each day. You need to make prayer a similar habit, one that you never forget. Just like brushing our teeth is essential for the health of our gums and teeth, prayer is essential for the health of our soul. Persistence and patience in prayer will prepare you for God’s grace to work within you.

This is a very simple thing you can do. All that is needed is your desire to become closer to God and choosing to alter your daily routine by a few minutes.


Saint Theophan’s guidance on prayer.  https://orthodoxprayer.org/Theophan-Homily1.html

A sample beginning prayer rule. https://orthodoxprayer.org/Prayer%20Rule.html

Ten Points for an Orthodox Way of Life https://stgeorgegreenville.org/our-faith/tenpointprogram/ To request free booklet email c joiner @ mac . com