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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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Real Life Minute

Real Life Minute
Take a Note!

Episode date: December 30, 2010
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For some time now I’ve maintained a collection of quotes from Church Fathers and Orthodox teachers. St. Peter of Damascus tells us that he took notes as part of his spiritual discipline:

Often a thought has occurred to me, and it was by writing it down that I committed it to memory. Thus in time of spiritual struggle I had it as a source of aid or relief or gratitude, supported as it was by the testimony of divine Scripture. Had I been negligent about writing it down, I would not have found it when I had need of it, and I would have been deprived of its help by that greatest of evils, forgetfulness.


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Real Life Minute

Real Life Minute
We Need to Be Forgiving

Episode date: January 02, 2011
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It can be difficult to forgive others when they’ve done something that hurts us. But St. Philotheos of Sinai reminds us that being forgiving is essential to our relationship with God:

Do we forgive our neighbors their trespasses? God also forgives us in His mercy. Do we refuse to forgive? God, too, will refuse to forgive us. As we treat our neighbors, so also does God treat us. The forgiveness, then, of your sins or unforgiveness, and hence also your salvation or destruction, depend on you yourself, man. For without forgiveness of sins there is no salvation. You can see for yourself how terrible it is.


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Real Life Minute

Real Life Minute
Baptism Gives Us Free Will

Episode date: January 03, 2011
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Some non-Christians think the Christian life consists of being a “robot” without any free will. St. Symeon the New Theologian, however, says that true free will is only possible for those who are baptized:

Baptism does not take away our free will or freedom of choice, but gives us the freedom no longer to be tyrannized by the devil unless we choose to be. After baptism it is in our power either to persist willingly in the practice of the commandments of Christ, into Whom we were baptized, and to advance in the path of His ordinances, or to deviate from this straight way and to fall again into the hands of our enemy, the…

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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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