Life’s often not fair and we all suffer from illness and affliction at times that are not of our own making. It is then we are often confronted with a choice – to continue to want to be with God even though we don’t understand why certain things are happening to us; or to let the seeming unfairness of our circumstance drive us away from Him. Join Michael as he uses a whimsical episode of the Brady Bunch to illustrate and discuss this profound truth we all experience.
Join Michael as he takes a deep dive into what mercy is, why we often misunderstand it, why we sometimes misperceive God as harsh or even vengeful, and what we need to understand to open our hearts to God’s ever-present mercy.
It feels awful when we break an object we love and it is beyond repair. Yet Christ loves us and tells us we as persons must be broken for Him to “repair” us. He tells us we have no choice and that the alternative to not being broken is to be crushed. What does He mean? Join Michael as he explains Christ’s teaching and what brokenness looks and feels like.
How do we know if we are having a mystical experience versus just an experience of awe and wonder. Does it even matter if it is one or the other? How can we trust our experiences and what are their value? Recounting his own special experience at St. Paul’s church in Rome, join Michael as he tells his story and addresses these important questions. This episode also features Metropolitan Kallistos Ware sharing his earliest recollection of his own religious experience.
Join Michael as he discusses the principle of losing to gain, and what it is we need to lose about ourselves to gain Christ. Focusing particularly on cynicism, he explores why it is ‘sin-a-cism’ and draws on biblical examples to illustrate how and why we need to change this attitude for our spiritual health.
Join Michael as he uses science and examples in everyday life to discuss order and disorder, why it is important to understand what they mean spiritually, and how we must be deliberate and committed in our choices to be holy and grow in Christ.
Love, joy, worry, and anxiety are just some of the emotions we experience intensely as parents. Join Michael as he offers a personal story and reflection about the complex world of parenting, and our need for Christ to be the best parents we can be.
How should we fast as Orthodox Christians? Is there really a right and wrong way? What is the real intent and purpose of fasting? Join Michael as he discusses the deeper meaning of fasting and compares the various ways people fast, how we often misunderstand fasting, and how it relates to our awareness of God’s presence in our lives.
How do we understand God’s grace and providence in the direction of our lives? Is there such a thing as chance and coincidence, or is it simply our lack of spiritual perception that makes it seem so? Join Michael as he thoroughly explores this topic and shares personal examples, thoughts and the insights that apply to all of us.
Being spiritual and having no religious affiliation is a rapidly increasing segment of society. We hear people say they’re spiritual but religious all the time, but what does it really mean? How do people understand “spiritual” and “religious” when they describe themselves this way? Join Michael as he thoroughly explores this topic and shares personal examples and insights to help us understand this growing movement.
Many of us can remember when we learned the truth about Santa Claus, but what truth did we learn? Using examples from J.R.R Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, the Polar Express and our Orthodox Christian understanding of mystery, join Michael as he shares a recent conversation about Santa and what the story of the Christmas gift giver may actually be teaching us.
Mindfulness is a growing movement in the United States. It’s finding its way into schools as well as into the daily practice of the lives of many. So what is mindfulness and what are its many benefits? How is it different from prayerfulness, or is it? Join Michael as he discusses prayerfulness and mindfulness, nepsis or watchfulness, and what some Orthodox Christians who are also priests, professors and psychologists have to say about mindfulness.
Are we living now in the Divided States of America as opposed to the United States of America? Does the political divide we see and hear about it each day in the news speak to who we are now as persons and a society? What can it teach us about ourselves and our own hearts? Join Michael as he discusses wholeness and division from a spiritual point of view, and what we need to do to be Christ-like in today’s current climate.
Have you ever felt so bad about something you said or did, or something you continue to say and do, something you know is wrong but can’t seem to help yourself and you feel wracked with guilt? Do you judge yourself as a result? Join Michael as he uses examples from the Gospels and everyday life and discusses the difference between healthy guilt and lingering guilt, and the dangers of self-judgment that lead us to cutting ourselves off from God.
One of the big challenges we face in today’s post-Christian era is the near complete erosion of seeing and understanding reality sacramentally. So how do we teach this reality to our young people who live in a society that rejects it? Focusing on the sacramental reality of sin, sickness and spiritual growth, Michael uses simple examples from everyday life and popular culture to offers strategies, thoughts and lessons that can help guide us to meaningful conversations with our youth.
In conjunction with the Feast of the Universal Exaltation of the Precious and Life-Giving Cross, Michael shares some thoughts about what we can teach our young people about the Cross and our personal transformation; the Cross and Understanding Christ as our doctor rather than our lawyer; and the Cross and the Commandments.
In Orthodoxy we often hear and read about the Uncreated Light of God. What is this Uncreated Light? Can we experience this Divine Light or is it something only Saints can experience? Join Michael as he explains certain Scriptures that illuminate our understanding of God’s Uncreated Light, and shares thoughts and experiences that demonstrate how all of us can partake of the Divine Light and experience the Transcendent in our ordinary daily lives.