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Real Life Minute

Real Life Minute
Do You Discriminate?

Episode date: December 05, 2010
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Do you discriminate? Before you answer, “Of course not,” know that I’m not talking about bigotry, but discriminating between good and evil.

Here’s what St. Diadokos of Photiki says:

The light of true knowledge is the power to discriminate without error between good and evil. Then the path of righteousness leads the intellect upward towards the Sun of Righteousness and brings it into the boundless illumination of spiritual knowledge, so that henceforward it will grow more and more confident in its quest for love.

So you see, the full Christian life requires true discrimination.


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Real Life Minute

Real Life Minute
Avoid Distractions in Prayer

Episode date: December 06, 2010
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Here’s what it’s often like when I pray:  “Our Father…” did I respond to that email? “Who art in…” I’m hungry, what should I have for lunch?

People like me need to remember what St. Theophan the Recluse says:

If the practice of prayer is to proceed successfully, it is always essential at the outset to lay everything else aside, so that the heart is completely free of distraction. Nothing should obtrude on the mind: neither face, nor activity, nor object. At such a time all is to be driven out.


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Real Life Minute

Real Life Minute
Which Matters More - Belief or Actions?

Episode date: December 07, 2010
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Which is more important: believing the right thing, or doing the right thing? St. Cyril of Jerusalem tell us that both things are essential:

For the method of godliness consists of these two things, pious doctrines, and virtuous practice: and neither are the doctrines acceptable to God apart from good works, nor does God accept the works which are not perfected with pious doctrines. For what profit is it, to know well the doctrines concerning God, and yet be a vile fornicator? And again, what profit is it, to be nobly temperate, and an impious blasphemer? A most precious possession therefore is the knowledge of doctrines.


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Real Life Minute

Real Life Minute
Are You a Dog?

Episode date: December 08, 2010
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I love dogs—they can be faithful companions, help people move around, herd livestock, and guard homes. St. Ambrose of Milan points out there are things about dogs we should imitate in our lives:

To dogs…is given the ability to bark in defense of their masters and their homes. Thus you should learn to use your voice for the sake of Christ, when ravening wolves attack His sheepfold. Have the word ready on your lips, lest, like a silent watch dog, you may appear because of your unfaithfulness to abandon the post entrusted to you.

So, are you as loyal and vigilant for Christ as a dog could be for you?


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Real Life Minute

Real Life Minute
Dealing with Spiritual Dryness

Episode date: December 09, 2010
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Looking at many Christian books can give the impression that the spiritual life should be a continual “rocket ride” of excitement. So what’s the problem when your spiritual life seems a little dry?

Elder Macarius of Optina tells us to adjust our expectations:

Pray simply. Do not expect to find in your heart any remarkable gift of prayer. Consider yourself unworthy of it. Then you will find peace. Use the empty cold dryness of your prayer as food for your humility. Repeat constantly: I am not worthy; Lord, I am not worthy! But say it calmly, without agitation.

Those “dry times” are a period…

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