“In life we make our way by a series of decisions: taking one step rather than another, acting or refraining from acting, entering or leaving situations, accepting or rejecting offers and opportunities. We constantly move, from moment to moment, on the basis of choices. Of all God’s earthly creatures, humanity alone has the personal dignity of choosing and shaping life…by God’s grace we strive not make decisions impulsively. Rather, we modify our actions in response to the pr
“…there is not one human being that has lost his conscience, for it is something divine and can never be eradicated totally….Always do everything according to your conscience!...it is within this inner stillness that our Father can speak to us most clearly. It is there alone with Him that He becomes real to our inner intuition of spirit. It is there we begin to “see” Him most acutely with the perception of our awakened conscience in response to His Word. There we sense and kn
010 - Blue Jacket, Yellow Boots: Author and podcaster Michael Haldas and Fr. Andrew Stephen Damick put on their bright blue jackets and yellow boots to talk the single most requested character study in all our feedback so far: Tom Bombadil! Just who is this enigmatic figure that never makes it into the movies? We close with a trivia game designed exclusively for Michael Haldas.
“In the hours of difficulty and doubt, in times of sadness and tragedy, and when it seemed that what I had to offer as a young man and priest would never be enough, I would sit at my desk, look up, and be reminded once again that this time of trial would also pass away. How consoling it was in the hour of my affliction, and how much it quieted my restless heart, to be reassured that nothing earthly goes on forever. On a deeper level, this piece of wisdom serves as a wonderful
“Death is the great leveler. People who have beauty, riches (Psalms 49:16–17), and power in this world will lose them all at death. They will be stripped of everything except their character or soul. This is why the Scriptures exhort us to pursue character development—God’s law, holiness, wisdom, and knowledge—more than anything else.” (Foundation Study Bible, Psalms 49:14) “The Book of Job deals with our relationship with God. It puts life into a perspective that is of param
“The source of afflictions is the sin of humanity. The purpose of afflictions, if we use them properly, may be our comfort and salvation, as the Father Himself preserves us through them (2 Corinthians 1:3). The means of facing our afflictions is a hope in God that allows us to enter into the afflictions of others in actual, experiential knowledge.” (Orthodox Study Bible, 2 Corinthians 1:3-11) “God comforts us for our own encouragement and also to make us comforters of others.
“In our human condition, we do not always see things as they are: the fog of war and pain sets in. It is helpful to remember that though spiritual blindness may be due to moral failure, it is also a component of the human condition, due to our fallen state…To eyes compromised by the Fall, appearances are often deceiving. Even if we accurately see part of the present situation, we do not see the beginning and the end, nor the nexus of our life with that of others: we miss the
“ ‘Now in the morning, as He returned to the city, He [Jesus] was hungry. And seeing a fig tree by the road, He came to it and found nothing on it but leaves, and said to it, “Let no fruit grow on you ever again.” Immediately the fig tree withered away’ (Matthew 21:18-19). The fig tree, a symbol of prosperity and peace, withers because it is fruitless…“The fig tree is a parable of those who have heard God's word, but who fail to bear the fruit of obedience…it is also a warnin
“The law of cause and effect is most convincing to human understanding and reasoning, and by it the human mind arrives at very definite conclusions…some conclusions are correct, others are not. This is why we can trust our rational thinking only to a point. Our rational thinking serves us best when we subjugate it to God rather than elevate it in our thought to the status of the supreme power in the universe (God tells us He will both reason with us while also telling us that
“How do we know we are acting with love (1 Cor 13:4)? This passage gives specific characteristics of love: (1) it suffers long, is patient (1Th 5:14); (2) it is kind, gentle, especially with those who hurt (Eph 4:32); (3) it does not envy, is not jealous of what others have (Pr 23:17); (4) it does not parade itself, put itself on display (Jn 3:30); (5) it is not puffed up, arrogant, proud (Gal 6:3); (6) it does not act rudely, brashly, mean-spiritedly, insulting others (Ecc 5