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The Morning Offering

The Morning Offering

Other Christians

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Other Christians

Saint Silouan the Athonite was once traveling by train with an archimandrite who was a zealot [quick] to correct others about the True Faith. Coming upon a group of traveling Roman Catholics, St. Silouan’s traveling companion proceeded to tell them that they must become Orthodox because their faith was without grace.

The saint asked him if it were indeed a fact that Roman Catholics believed that Christ was true God and that he…

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The Morning Offering

The Cure

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The heart is not simply a natural operation that serves as a pump circulating blood. According to Orthodox patristic teaching, the heart is the center of our self-awareness and the place wherein resides the nous, which is the eye of the soul. Humankind’s mishandling of the memory of God led to the fall, and the reactivation of that memory through the healing of the nous is necessary for the restoration of that memory. We must be made whole—which…

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The Morning Offering

Fast From

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Once again I would like to share something that I came across a number of years ago that I think is a very wonderful way of approaching the Great and Holy fast.

Let us…fast from self-concern and feast on compassion for others.fast from discouragement and feast on hope.fast from lethargy and feast on enthusiasm.fast from suspicion and feast on truth.fast from thoughts that weaken and feast on promises that inspire.fast from shadows…

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The Morning Offering

The Non-Orthodox

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What about people who are not Orthodox?

It is always a pity when people who claim to be Orthodox make judgments against fellow Christians. In the tradition of Orthodoxy, wherever we find beauty and truth, it is of God, and it is our calling, as Orthodox Christians, to rejoice when we see others have at least some portion of the truth. Slamming others for what they do not have does nothing to further their journey into Orthodoxy and in fact may delay or sideline…

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The Morning Offering

Forgiving Others

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The decision to forgive another person a wrong done to us begins when we decide to let go of resentment and thoughts of revenge. To forgive someone does not mean that we forget what they did to us, for this may be impossible. The memory of the hurt might always remain with us, but when we decide to forgive the person who wronged us, the grip of resentment is put aside. When we forgive someone it is even possible to find ourselves filled with compassion and empathy…

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The Morning Offering

Theosis

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Theosis: Becoming by grace what God is by nature.

The Orthodox Church does not accept the doctrine of original sin as espoused in the West, yet this in no way suggests that we do not need to be born anew. We Orthodox believe, as did the early Church Fathers, that we inherit only the results of Adam’s sin, not his guilt. This is known as ancestral sin because the sin of our first parents, Adam and Eve, resulted in our inheritance of death, sickness, and…

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The Morning Offering

Christian Burial

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Cremation Versus the Orthodox Practice of Burial

The first time I ever attended a funeral service where cremation of the body of the deceased had taken place was in Portland, Oregon, many years ago. An Episcopal priest friend had died and had requested his body be cremated. Walking into the church and seeing a small box sitting before the altar was a shock for me. Cremation was always something only non-believers practiced, Christians having always viewed cremation…

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The Morning Offering

Guarding Our Hearts

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Our thoughts really do have an impact on our world. Negative thoughts about family members or fellow employees change our relationships. If we dislike someone at work and allow ourselves to think poorly of them, they are likely to fulfill our low expectations. If we pray for them and ask God to bless them, while asking the Lord to bless our interaction with them, they become changed for the good and so do we.

We’ve all heard the image of the one person…

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The Morning Offering

Bodily Suffering

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Elder Ambrose of Optina Monastery said:

We should not forget that in our age of sophistication, even little children are spiritually harmed by what they see and hear. As a result, purification is required and this is only accomplished through bodily suffering. You must understand that paradisal bliss is granted to no one without suffering.  A person has salvation, not only by his good deeds, but also by his patient suffering of various griefs,…

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The Morning Offering

Guarding the Heart

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The lifeless things of this world offer no spiritual satisfaction, yet we often sell ourselves off to things or people by giving them power over our hearts. It is easy to feel abandoned or hurt by those to whom we've given power. If we need affirmation from others, we take the chance that we empower demons who would use our personal needs to keep us from focusing on that which is of eternal importance.

The lifeless things of this world offer no spiritual satisfaction, yet we often sell ourselves off to things or people by giving them power over our hearts. It is easy to feel abandoned or hurt by those to whom we’ve given power. If we need affirmation from others, we take the chance that we empower demons who would use our personal needs to keep us from focusing on that which is of eternal importance.

Ownership of my heart should be reserved for God…

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