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Real Life Minute

Real Life Minute
Too Slick for Our Own Good

Episode date: January 19, 2011
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Our culture has a certain fondness for the slick hustler who can “pull one over” on others. St. John Climacus, however, warns us of the terrible damage we do to ourselves when we fool others:

Guile is a perversion of honesty, a deluded way of thinking, a lying disposition, false oaths, ambiguous words, a dark secrecy of heart, an abyss of cunning, deceit that has become habit, conceit turned into nature, a foe to humility, a pretense of repentance, an estrangement from mourning, hostility to confession, a teacher of willfulness, a cause of falls…diabolical life.


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Real Life Minute

Real Life Minute
How to Kick a Bad Habit

Episode date: January 20, 2011
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Most of us have some bad habit that we need to overcome. St. Basil the Great tells us how we can do so:

An illness that has become chronic, like the habit of wrong-doing that has become ingrained is very hard to heal. If after that, as very often happens, the habit turns into second nature, a cure is out of the question. So the ideal would be to have no contact with evil. But there is another possibility: to distance yourself from evil, to run away from it as from a poisonous snake, once you have experienced it…Be careful not to be utterly overcome by it. If the sin is already weighing you down…then before you fall into…

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Real Life Minute

Real Life Minute
True Happiness

Episode date: January 23, 2011
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There are countless books—and some hugely popular daytime television programs—dedicated to helping people achieve happiness. Why, then, are so many people so unhappy? Staretz Macarius of Optina answers:

In answer to your question as to what constitutes a happy life…A life lived in humility and with an irreproachable conscience brings peace, tranquility, and true happiness. But wealth, honor, glory and exalted position often serve as the cause of a multitude of sins, and such happiness is not one on which to rely.


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Real Life Minute

Real Life Minute
How to Overcome Hatred

Episode date: January 24, 2011
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There are few things more destructive than hatred—not only does it lead to violence, but it even does damage to our own physical, mental and spiritual health.

St. Maximos the Confessor tells us how to overcome hatred:

If you harbor rancor against anybody, pray for him and you will prevent the passion from being aroused; for by means of prayer you will separate your resentment from the thought of the wrong he has done you. When you have become loving and compassionate towards him, you will wipe the passion completely from your soul.


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Real Life Minute

Real Life Minute
Pay Attention to Your Heart

Episode date: January 26, 2011
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In the previous episode I quoted St. Isaac the Syrian, who tells us to look for God in our heart. St. Seraphim of Sarov further tells us to pay close attention to what is going on in our heart, and compare it to what we learn from the Church:

He who is traveling the path of heedfulness should not trust only his own heart, but should verify the workings of his heart and his life with the law of God and with the active life of ascetics of piety who have passed through such endeavor. By this means one may the more easily both save oneself from the evil one and more clearly behold the truth.


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