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Real Life Minute

Real Life Minute
Knowledge and Ignorance

Episode date: February 09, 2011
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There are many great Orthodox resources we can read and to which we can listen, and many things we can—and even should—learn. But St. Peter of Damascus warns us that we need to be aware of what we truly know, and what we do not know:

As St. Maximos has said, ‘To think that one knows prevents one from advancing in knowledge.’ St. John Chrysostom points out that there is an ignorance which is praiseworthy: it consists in knowing consciously that one knows nothing. In addition, there is a form of ignorance that is worse than any other: not to know that one does not know. Similarly, there is a knowledge that is falsely…

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Real Life Minute

Real Life Minute
Illness: The Great Asceticism

Episode date: February 10, 2011
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As awful as illness of any kind can be, Amma Syncletica tells us that we can nonetheless benefit from such an ordeal:

If illness weighs us down, let us not be sorrowful as though, because of the illness and the prostration of our bodies, we could not sing, for all these things are for our good, for the purification of our desires. Truly fasting and sleeping on the ground are set before us because of our sensuality. If illness then weakens this sensuality, the reason for these ascetic practices is superfluous. For this is the great asceticism: to be self-controlled in illness and to sing hymns of thanksgiving to God.


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Real Life Minute

Real Life Minute
Smoke for the Head

Episode date: February 13, 2011
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We’ll often hear warnings about being careful with what we watch and the things we read; the problem is that violent or sexual content plays on our imagination, causing us to think about things that damage the spiritual life.

St. Theophan the Recluse warns us about the danger of the things we think about when he says this:

It is well known how powerfully corrupt images act upon the soul, no matter in what form they may touch it! How unfortunate is the child who, closing his eyes, or being left alone and going within himself, is stifled by a multitude of improper images—vain, tempting, breathing of the passions.…

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Real Life Minute

Real Life Minute
Your Great Destiny

Episode date: February 14, 2011
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The US Army used to run a promotional slogan saying, “Be all you can be.” The slogan was so popular because it tapped into the human desire to reach our full potential. But what, really, is our full potential?

St. Maximos the Confessor tells us the answer to this question can be found in Christ’s Incarnation:

If it was for us that the Word of God in His Incarnation descended into the lower parts of the earth and ascended above all the heavens, while being Himself perfectly unmoved, He underwent in Himself through the incarnation as man our future destiny. Let the one who is moved by a love of knowledge mystically…

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Real Life Minute

Real Life Minute
How Did You Pay for That?

Episode date: February 15, 2011
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There is a long-standing practice in many cultures for people to try to justify or cleanse themselves through making big donations or building public institutions. It can be surprising to learn how many monuments, buildings and the like were paid for by men who lived truly evil lives.

St. Kosmas Aitolos tells us that such generosity will do little for evil persons:

Those of you who earn your bread by means of your toil and sweat should rejoice, because that bread is blessed; and if you give a little of it as alms it is reckoned as much. But those who live by means of injustice and grasping should mourn, for what you…

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