Discover Orthodox Christianity

 Each link below will take you to a series of articles pertaining to the selected topic.  These are authored by various people .  This series is hosted on the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese website.

The Single Heart

Our heart is incomplex, single, and therefore cannot "serve two masters: God and mammon" – that is, riches. This means that it is impossible to serve God truly and at the same time to be attached to earthly things, for all such things relate to mammon. Besides, it is unworthy of a man to serve riches, for they are earth and dust. All earthly things, if our heart attaches itself to them, make it gross and earthly, turn us away from God, from the Mother of God, and all the saints, from everything spiritual, heavenly, and eternal, and from love for our neighbour, and bind us to that which is earthly, perishable, and temporal. To complete that which has been said, it must be added that the spirit of attachment to earthly things, of sparing and grudging earthly things, is the spirit of the Devil, and the Devil himself dwells in the man through his attachment to earthly things. He often enters into our heart as an insolent conqueror, through some momentary attachment to earthly things, not immediately renounced, darkening, crushing, and deadening our soul, and making it incapable of any work for God, infecting it with pride, blasphemy, murmuring, contempt for holy things and its neighbour, opposition, despondency, despair, and malice.

Sergieff, Archpriest John Iliytch; St John of Kronstadt (2010-05-26). My Life in Christ, or Moments of Spiritual Serenity and Contemplation, of Reverent Feeling, of Earnest Self-Amendment, and of Peace in God (Kindle Locations 5206-5215). . Kindle Edition.

St. John of Kronstadt

It is easy for a believer to attract the Holy Ghost to himself, as it is easy to draw air into one's self; like air, He fills everything and penetrates everything "Who art everywhere present and fillest all things."  He who prays fervently, draws the Holy Ghost into himself, and prays by the Holy Ghost.


What is our life?  The burning of a candle; He Who gave it has but to blow -- and it goes out.  What is our life?  The journey of a traveller; as soon as it reaches a certain limit, the gates are opened to him, he lays aside his travelling dress (the body) and his staff, and enters into his house.  What is our life?  A prolonged bloody war for the possession of the true country and true freedom.  When the war is over we shall be either conquererors or conquered; we shall be called from the place of combat to the place of reward, and obtain from the Recompenser either eternal reward, eternal glory, or eternal punishment, eternal shame.


God rests in the saints and even in their very names, in their very images; it is only necessary to use their images with faith, and they will work miracles.

On the Soul’s Thirst for God

My soul thirsts for God, for the Living God: When shall I come and appear before God? (Psalm 42: 2)

When only a spark of love for God shines in the heart of man, he should not extinguish it but let it burn, and he will see a miracle. That spark will flare up into a torch of unseen radiance, and the light and its warmth will be very great. In the light of his love for God, a man will feel his life in this world to be as darkness; and from the warmth of his love for God, he will feel an unquenchable thirst for God, a thirst to be closer to God, a thirst for seeing God. David, the lover of God, compares this thirst to the thirst of a deer who races to springs of water. My soul thirsts for God, for the Living God. Is not everything around us infirm? Does not everything around us quickly decay? We grab at shadows, we embrace corpses. We pay today for tomorrow’s stench— we pay with gold and silver, sometimes with our honor and conscience, and at times even with our life— for the stench of tomorrow’s decay! This is not love but animal lust. A great soul seeks a subject worthy of love, seeks a subject not susceptible to destruction, decay, decomposition and the filth of transient bodies. That is why King David, the lover of God, emphasizes the Living God. For who, in truth, is mighty and alive save God? God endowed His angels and saints with strength and life: yet all of it is His, and from Him. When shall I come and appear before God? Here is the irresistible yearning of true love for God. Shame on all who say that they believe in God, and love God, while the very thought of death— of leaving this world— drives them wild with fear. O Lord our God, holy, mighty and living— the Source of holiness, the Source of strength, the Source of life— illumine us and warm us with love for Thee. To Thee be glory and praise forever. Amen.

Velimirovic, Saint Nikolai (2012-09-01). The Prologue of Ohrid (Kindle Locations 22056-22064). Sebastian Press Publishing House. Kindle Edition.

HOMILY on the Will of the Righteous in the Will of God

But his delight is in the Law of the Lord and on His Law doth he mediate day and night (Psalm 1:2)

Brethren, blessed is that man — thrice blessed is he — whose will is submitted to the will of God; whose mind thinks of nothing contrary to the counsel of God; and whose heart desires nothing contrary to the will of God. The mind is the rudder of both the will and the heart. If the mind is permanently directed toward God, then it will eagerly meditate day and night on the Law of God, and will not walk in the counsel of the ungodly (Psalm 1:1) but will seek the truth and the revelation of all that is in God’s Law. If the mind is so directed to God, then, swiftly, the heart and will of man will also be directed toward God. Then the will, as the implementing organ of the inner man, will carry out only what is in accordance with the will of God and what is written in the Law of God. Then man will not stand in the way of the sinners (Psalm 1:1), and will not sit in the seat of the scornful (Psalm 1:1); he will not commit sin, nor will he draw other men to sin. At the beginning of this Psalm, the Prophet David praises the man who does not commit three specific evils, and now he continues to praise him when he does two good things. The three evils are: to seek wisdom of a sinner, to live the life of a sinner and to corrupt others by one’s evil example. The two good things are: to conform one’s will completely to the Law of God; and to direct one’s mind to meditate day and night on God’s Law. O my brethren, how lamentably shallow are the minds of all those who do not know the Law of God! The depth of man’s mind is measured by the depth of his knowledge of God’s law. The mind of him who meditates on the mysteries of God’s law is deep, wide and exalted; and the mind is the rudder of the heart and will. O my brethren, how shallow, unstable and dissolute is the will of him who does not subordinate his will to the will of God! Indeed, it is lamentably shallow, unstable and dissolute. What is the Law of God, brethren? It is the expression of God’s will. Where is that expression to be found? In Holy Scripture and in the Tradition of the saints of the Church of God. Blessed is he who knows the will of God and fulfills it. O Lord God, great and powerful, merciful and just; enlighten our minds by Thy holy law, so that we may conform our wills to Thy man-loving and saving will. To Thee be glory and praise forever. Amen.

Velimirovic, Saint Nikolai (2012-09-01). The Prologue of Ohrid (Kindle Locations 20692-20704). Sebastian Press Publishing House. Kindle Edition.


The Bond Between God and Man

What kind of bond should there be between man and God? An unbreakable and continual bond. “Adhere to God as a son adheres to his father,” counseled St. Anthony. And St. Alonius said: “If a man is not set in his heart that there is no one else in the world but himself and God, he cannot find peace in his soul.” The one God is enough, and more than enough, for all that the heart of man can desire. Without a single protest, Blessed Theodora received a stranger’s child, given to her by slanderers, as if it were her own. Theodora raised this child with love, and reared it in the fear of God. Before her death, this is how she counseled the child: “What is more necessary for man than God and His divine love? He is our refuge, He is our treasure, He is our food and drink, He is our raiment and shelter, He is our health and strength, He is our happiness and joy, He is our hope and our trust. Strive then, my son, to gain Him. If you succeed in gaining the One God, it will be sufficient for you; you will rejoice more in Him than if you had gained the entire world.” In saying this, St. Theodora did not speak from a book or from someone else’s words, but on the basis of her own personal experience. She lived for seven years, driven out and scorned by all men, and during that time she learned by experience that God was everything to her, and that the One God was sufficient for all that the heart of man desires.

Velimirovic, Saint Nikolai (2012-09-01). The Prologue of Ohrid (Kindle Locations 19164-19166). Sebastian Press Publishing House. Kindle Edition.


Watch Your Thoughts

When a man once truly repents, he needs to avoid thinking about the sins he committed, so that he will not sin again. St. Anthony counsels: “Be careful that your mind be not defiled with the remembrance of former sins— that the remembrance of those sins not be renewed in you.” He also says: “Do not establish your previously committed sins in your soul by thinking about them, so that they not be repeated in you. Be assured that they were forgiven you from the time that you gave yourself to God and to repentance. In that, do not doubt.” It is said of St. Ammon that he attained such perfection that, in his abundance of godliness, he no longer recognized that evil even existed. When they asked him what is that “narrow and difficult path,” he replied: “It is the restraining of one’s thoughts, and the severing of one’s desires, in order to fulfill the will of God.” Whoever restrains sinful thoughts does not think of his own sin or the sins of others, or of anything corruptible or earthly. The mind of such a man is continually in heaven, where there is no evil. Thus,

Velimirovic, Saint Nikolai (2012-09-01). The Prologue of Ohrid (Kindle Locations 17511-17518). Sebastian Press Publishing House. Kindle Edition.
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