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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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Real Life Minute

Real Life Minute
Lord, Give Me Strength!

Episode date: December 12, 2010
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I knew a person who, when she was particularly irritated, would say, “Lord, give me strength!” — she meant the strength to avoid losing her temper. Elder Antony of Optina says that this is a good prayer:

No matter what misfortune might befall you, no matter what unpleasantness might occur, say ‘I will endure this for Jesus Christ’s sake!’ Just say that, and you will feel better, for the Name of Jesus Christ is powerful. Before It, all difficulties abate, and demons disappear. Your annoyance and faintness of heart will abate when you repeat His most sweet Name.


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Real Life Minute

Real Life Minute
Slaying the Green-Eyed Monster

Episode date: December 13, 2010
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I recently needed to buy a car, and when I saw what people around me drove compared to what I could afford, I was struck by “the green-eyed monster” of jealousy.

St. Maximos the Confessor warns us that envy is what separates us from the love of friends, but he also gives advice for overcoming this emotion, “As for your own envy, you will be able to check it if you rejoice with the man whom you envy whenever he rejoices, and grieve whenever he grieves.”

Turning our thoughts to what is best for others will help us to slay “the green-eyed monster.”


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Real Life Minute

Real Life Minute
Taste and See

Episode date: December 14, 2010
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If you’re like me you love food—I like to cook, and I certainly like to eat good meals. But Lorenzo Scupoli gives us the secret for truly appreciating what we eat:

When you eat or drink, reflect that it is God, Who gives all food a taste which pleases us. So, delighting in Him alone, say: ‘Rejoice, O my soul, for, although you can find no satisfaction, delight or comfort in anything outside God, you can know Him and cleave to Him, and can find every delight in Him alone, as David invites, saying: ‘O taste and see that the Lord is good’’ (Psalm 34:8).


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Real Life Minute

Real Life Minute
You Can Live Forever

Episode date: December 15, 2010
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I am in my forties, and for the first time in my life I’m starting to, as the saying goes, “feel my age.” It’s therefore amazing to remember that, as Abba Epiphanios teaches, we can live forever:

We were created for eternal life by our Creator, we are called to it by the word of God, and we are renewed by holy Baptism. And Christ the Son of God came into the world for this, that He should call us and take us there, and He is the one thing needful. For this reason your very first endeavor and care should be to receive it.


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