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Real Life Minute

Real Life Minute
Christ is Born!

Episode date: December 23, 2010
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In the midst of all the fun and presents of Christmas day, remember what St. Macarius the Great says about the importance of Christ’s birth:

Today the Lord is born, the life and salvation of mankind; today a reconciliation is made of Divinity to humanity, and of humanity to Divinity; today all creation has leapt for joy; those above sent toward those below; and those below towards those above; today occurred the death of darkness and the life of humanity; today a way was made toward God for man and a way for God into the soul.


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Real Life Minute

Real Life Minute
Why Do We Fast?

Episode date: December 26, 2010
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Have you ever wondered why Orthodox Christians frequently fast from meat and dairy products? St. Isaac the Syrian answers:

Fasting is the champion of every virtue, the beginning of the struggle, the crown of the abstinent, the beauty of virginity and sanctity, the resplendence of chastity, the commencement of the path of Christianity, the mother of prayer, the well-spring of sobriety and prudence, the teacher of stillness, and the precursor of all good works.

THAT is why we Orthodox fast!


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Real Life Minute

Real Life Minute
It’s Loving to Fear God

Episode date: December 27, 2010
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It can sound strange to hear that Christians are supposed to fear God: after all, aren’t we supposed to love God? St. Maximos the Confessor tells us that this love is integral to the fear of God:

Fear of God is of two kinds. The first is generated in us by the threat of punishment. It is through such fear that we develop in due order self-control, patience, hope in God and dispassion; and it is from dispassion that love comes. The second kind of fear is linked with love and constantly produces reverence in the soul, so that it does not grow indifferent to God because of the intimate communion of its love…The second kind,…

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Real Life Minute

Real Life Minute
Avoid Getting a “Big Head”

Episode date: December 28, 2010
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Most of us like to be complimented: it can feel great to have people say nice things about us, and we get a “charge” out of having our egos pumped up. But St. John Climacus warns us to avoid the trap of flattery:

The flatterer is a servant of devils, a guide to pride, a destroyer of contrition, a ruiner of virtues, a misleader. Those who pronounce you blessed, lead you astray, says the prophet (Isaiah 3:12).

This doesn’t mean, of course, that everyone who compliments us is serving Satan, but it does remind us to avoid getting a “big head” about ourselves.


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Real Life Minute

Real Life Minute
Three Types of Eating

Episode date: December 29, 2010
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We’ve just finished the second-longest fast of the Church year, and are enjoying all the Christmas goodies that people around us have been eating for the last month. That is great, but St. Gregory of Sinai also reminds us to have a moderate approach to our eating:

The partaking of food has three degrees: abstinence, adequacy and satiety. To abstain, means to remain a little hungry after eating; to eat adequately, means neither to be hungry, nor weighed down. But eating beyond satiety is the door to belly-madness, through which lust comes in. But you, firm in knowledge, choose what is best for you, according to your powers,…

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