Latest Thoughts

Recent Blogs

Anxiety

“Do you feel anxiety? ‘No. But why do I have this uneasiness?’ Blessed child, there is restful restlessness and there is also restless rest. Good restlessness always needs to be within us, but not anxiety. When one struggles properly, he is never satisfied with himself.” (St. Paisios) 


“Anxiety can be a frightening feeling, but it is also the feeling of fear itself. Those two truths are at the core of what can make our anxiety much worse by snowballing into something that gets bigger to the point of it causing impairment in our lives. In reality, everyone has anxiety. In fact, we could not live without it. The goal is not to have zero anxiety; for if we did, we would not function. We would have no motivation to get anything done. We also do not want to have our anxiety to be (say from a 0-10) at a 7 or an 8 all of the time. The truth is, we want it to be between 1 and 3.” (Fr. Joshua Makoul)


“St. John Chrysostom was right: we fear 1) poverty; 2) illness; and 3) death. We can call this (fallen) human nature or the human condition.  Any such terms are applicable. If our anxieties and fears have been heightened to a greater of lesser degree during this coronavirus pandemic, it need not cause us further anxiety concerning our faith, or a debilitating discouragement that we are not being faithful enough. To see our weaknesses is not meant to discourage us. In fact, it should encourage us to be honest about ourselves, so as to face and wrestle with our fears. Perhaps like the patriarch Jacob in that mysterious event when he wrestled with an angel, that is how we can overcome them.” (Fr. Stephen Kosoff)


“What is the difference between legitimately becoming energized for work and being addicted to stress? The answer is simple. The answer is the amount of anxiety associated with the process. Is there anxiety or not?  Is there peace or is there not? Focused work in the Lord is accompanied by peace, whether we feel energized or not. Part of the addiction to stress is the addiction to mental drama, the need for novelty and dissatisfaction with the ordinariness, or the tension, of the present moment. All addictions produce a dopamine squirt in the brain that needs to be fed over and over, along with increased adrenaline…The person addicted to stress will create projects, usually good projects, just to feel somewhat overwhelmed, to then get the dopamine infused, and feel anxious about having so much work to do. In the meantime, some of the work was self-created to generate stress.” (Albert S. Rossi, PhD)


“Saint Anthony said to Poemen, ‘expect trials and temptations until your last breath.’ I am convinced that not even the apostles, although filled with the Holy Spirit, were therefore completely free from anxiety…Contrary to the stupid view expressed by some, the advent of grace does not mean the immediate deliverance from anxiety…every generation, regardless of the progress of civilization, feels anxiety if they are not careful to trust in God. The desire for security for the future is very strong, not only in the underprivileged one, but to anyone, regardless of wealth. The only way to overcome anxiety ("anguish or fear coupled with uncertainty, or of the anticipation of impending misfortune, disaster or the like") is to dedicate oneself without any reservation to the providence of God and His loving care…The growth in our dedication to God and moving from unhealthy anxiety to decreasing, manageable, and healthy anxiety doesn’t happen overnight. We need to gentle with ourselves in this process as God is gentle with us.” (St. Makarios of Egypt, Rev. George Mastrantonis, Sacramental Living Ministries)


“We move through each day, trying to engage our life by the completion of tasks and tending to responsibilities. As each day passes, we tend to accumulate emotions that pile up because we are too busy to stop and process what’s going in the deep recesses of our heart. Layer upon layer of daily tasks and responsibilities cover over the deeper places within us, such as the “nous”; the seat of the heart or soul. Eventually this catches up with us. As a result of this, we might find ourselves a bit more anxious, depressed, or even not sleeping as well. We can also easily feel like our life is out of control. This is the universal effect the chaotic nature of this world and our modern 21st century life can have on us.” (Fr. Joshua Makoul)


“Do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on” (Matthew 6:25). Do we hear the point Christ is making? In these few verses, our Lord reveals that His foremost concern is for the state of our inner life. He begs us to integrate our thoughts and energies so that they center first of all on our relationship to Him, our Master (vs. 22-24). In verse 22, Christ calls the eye the “lamp of the body.” Truthfully, whatever occupies our hearts and minds can bring either darkness or light. When we focus on attaining union with God, who is light, our whole being fills with light. Conversely, by concentrating on earthly concerns, we increase the darkness within. In order to integrate our inner life so that it centers around Christ our Lord, we must quiet our anxiety and lay aside “all earthly cares…” (Dynamis 6/28/2020)


“ …we have heard all sorts of talk about c