Even the very best choices in life come with temptations. Temptations to take things to excess, or to approach things with the wrong motives. Visiting a monastery is no exception. While monasteries are holy places and visiting them can prove a great blessing, it can come with temptations.
Blog Tag: Spirituality
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Over the years I’ve noticed that some visitors to Orthodox services feel uncomfortable and uncertain about kissing the cross at the end of the Liturgy Service. I’d like to try to explain why we do it. Kissing the Cross of Jesus We have to admit, that from a modern perspective, it is a really a strange thing to do. Kissing the depiction of a man being executed could, in fact, be seen as grotesque. The reason we do it, however, is because of what this particular person means to us.
Pietism or Activism? By Frederica Mathewes-Green Both extremes wrong It seems to me that there is something wrong with both the traditional extremes - the people who emphasize personal spiritual growth, and the people who emphasize engagement with the world and social activism. The labels are usually "pietist" and "activist." The same thing is wrong with both of them: the temptation to vanity.
The symbol of the Christian Faith has always been and always will be the sign of the cross, because it is the sign of our Redemption by our Lord Jesus Christ. When we wish to show that something is dedicated to Christ it is marked with a cross, whether it be church buildings, the Holy Gospel, the sacred vessels or the graves of the departed. Christians wear baptismal crosses to show that they are dedicated to Christ.
The Jesus Prayer was discovered by people desiring to enter into a constant remembrance of God. The words of the prayer are: Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner. After frequent use of this prayer, many people find it changes their heart.
Prayer and fasting are spiritual disciplines to increase our sensitivity to God’s Presence and to reduce the cravings that can sometimes control our bodies. Let’s learn some more about fasting, the biblical basis for fasting, and the circumstances under which people should not fast. Fasting During Lent, many people may choose to fast. Abstaining from animal products (meat) and dairy foods is considered to be fasting in the Orthodox Church.
Spirituality by Frederica Mathewes-Green Life in Christ. I don't like the category "spirituality." It sounds so external. It sounds so *optional*. It isn't a concept I find in the first millennium, or anywhere in Eastern Christianity. As far as I can tell, what people today mean by "spirituality" is what St. Paul meant by "life in Christ."
Christ calls us to meet with Him, and to be united to Him with cleansed hearts. The Orthodox respond through obedient and reverent worship, which brings praise and honour to God. Let’s discover a little more about the beautiful, reverent worship of the Orthodox Church.
Orthodox believe that our calling as Christians is to undertake a journey that leads to union with God, and by the grace of the Holy Spirit, become partakers of the Divine nature. Sometimes this is referred to as “theosis” or “deification.” Let’s learn more about the path to union with God: the sacraments, prayer, and love. Union with God A study of 2 Peter 1:3-4 helps us to understand this: