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Real Life Minute

Real Life Minute
How to Overcome a “Hair-Trigger Temper”

Episode date: January 04, 2011
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Have you ever known someone who has a “hair-trigger temper?” It seems like anything at all can set that person off into an out-of-control rage.

St. John Climacus gives us the three stages of learning to control our anger:

The beginning of freedom from anger is silence of the lips when the heart is agitated; the middle is silence of the thoughts when there is a mere disturbance of soul; and the end is an imperturbable calm under the breath of unclean winds.

In the end, he says, “Freedom from anger is victory over nature and insensibility to insults, acquired by struggles and sweat.”


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Real Life Minute

Real Life Minute
Our Friends Influence Our Habits

Episode date: January 05, 2011
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When I was growing up I was often told what the Holy Apostle Paul says about the people around us, “Evil company corrupts good habits” (1 Corinthians 15:33). St. John of Karpathos gives us a similar warning when he says,

Never form a close friendship with someone who enjoys noisy and drunken feasts, or who likes telling dirty stories, even though he may have been a monk for many years. Do not let his filth defile you; do not fall under the influence of people who are unclean and uncircumcised in heart. We should be like the psalmist, who said, “I am a companion of all who fear You and keep Your commandments” (Psalm…

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Real Life Minute

Real Life Minute
A Goal for the New Year: Generosity

Episode date: January 06, 2011
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When people think of their New Year’s resolutions, they often think of things they need to stop doing: They need to go on a diet, quit smoking…things like that. But here’s something you can add to your life: imitating God by being generous with others.

St. John of Kronstadt says, “Look at all the earth supplies in summer and in autumn! Every Christian, especially the priest, ought to imitate God’s bountifulness. Let your table be open to everybody, like the table of the Lord.”

God has blessed us with many things: use the New Year to start sharing them with others.


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Real Life Minute

Real Life Minute
Did Anyone Ask for Your Opinion?

Episode date: January 09, 2011
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Most of us know people who are always giving their opinion and advice on everything, regardless of whether they know what they’re talking about, or whether anyone asked for their input.

St. Peter of Damascus warns us against giving unsolicited advice, even if we think it’s for the person’s salvation, when he says,

…unless questioned by the brethren the fathers said nothing that might contribute to the soul’s salvation; they regarded unsolicited advice as vain chatter. This is quite right; for it is because we think that we know more than others that we speak unbidden.

Sometimes the…

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Real Life Minute

Real Life Minute
God is Good to Us

Episode date: January 11, 2011
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Asaph, the music director of the Holy Prophet and King David, proclaimed that God is good to the upright in heart (Psalm 72: 1 OSB), and our Lord says God gives good things to those who ask (Matthew 7:7-11).

St. Gregory Palamas extends this point to remind us that God even gives us good things that we don’t know we need:

...since to the highest possible degree He loves, knows and is able to effect what is profitable for us, everything that comes to us from Him, even though it be without our wanting it, will certainly prove to be to our profit.

In other words, as we used to say in a church I attended…

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