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Real Life Minute

Real Life Minute
I Heard it Through the Grapevine

Episode date: January 12, 2011
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I love the Motown song, “I Heard it Through the Grapevine,” which has a line, “People say believe half of what you see, and none of what you hear.”

St. Maximos the Confessor tells us that this principle is essential for our salvation when he says,

Give no ear to the slanderer’s talk nor let your talk run on in the fault-finder’s hearing, by readily speaking and listening to things against your neighbor; otherwise you will fall from divine charity and be found a foreigner to eternal life.

So to add to that Motown song, we not only need to avoid gossip, but also to avoid gossiping.


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Real Life Minute

Real Life Minute
Self-Improvement?

Episode date: January 13, 2011
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It’s popular in our society to take things like the spiritual disciplines and turn them into a program of “self-improvement.” St. Gregory of Nyssa, however, points out that we can only be truly “improved” through the grace of God:

For truly the assistance which God gives to our nature is provided to those who correctly live the life of virtue. This assistance was already there at our birth, but it is manifested and made known whenever we apply ourselves to diligent training in the higher life and strip ourselves for the more vigorous contests.

Remember with everything you do that you’re not…

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Real Life Minute

Real Life Minute
Develop an Attitude of Gratitude

Episode date: January 16, 2011
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Psychologists have determined that developing an “attitude of gratitude” is a key to true happiness. St. John the Solitary gives us a method for truly thanking God each day for all the blessings we receive:

When evening comes, collect your thoughts and ponder over the entire course of the day: observe God’s providential care for you; consider the grace He has wrought in you throughout the whole span of the day; consider the rising of the moon, the joy of daylight, all the hours and moments, the divisions of time…When you have pondered on all this, wonder of God’s love toward you will well up within you,…

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Real Life Minute

Real Life Minute
Grief Over Sins Leads to Comfort

Episode date: January 17, 2011
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St. Gregory Palamas tells us that grieving over our sins can lead to our being comforted:

Do you see what grief arises in a humble soul and the consolation that ensues: indeed, self-reproach on its own, when lying for a protracted time upon the soul’s thoughts like some intellectual weight, crushes and presses and squeezes out the saving wine that gladdens the heart of man, that is to say, our inner self. This wine is compunction. Together with grief compunction crushes the passions and, having freed the soul from the weight that oppresses it, fills it with blessed joy. That is the reason why Christ says, ‘Blessed…

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Steve the Builder

Steve the Builder
If I Were a Rich Man… Dadadadada….

Episode date: January 17, 2011
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It came down to the wire. I was supposed to leave for St. Michael’s to insulate and sheetrock the Abbot’s cell, but with Christmas, all of our kids and the grandchild staying with us for the holidays, the youngest’s 18th birthday bash, and a new daughter-in-law to be to celebrate, our finances got stretched thinner than angel hair pasta.  Fortunately, I picked up a couple last minute jobs that I could collect a daily check so I could afford to buy some winter clothes, pay for gas to get to the Monastery and leave a few dollars for the Wifey to buy groceries and electricity while I was gone.  I should have had my truck checked…

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