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Mystical Experience or Awe and Wonder

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.


The Lie Whisperer: Overcoming the Enemy in Your Head

Dealing with the negative voice in your head that holds you back, causes doubt and anxiety, and robs you of your peace and joy.


How Harry Healed My Inner Frodo: Reflections on the Mystery of Love, Sacrifice, and Choice

Exploring the characters of Frodo, Gollum, Harry, and Voldemort from these two great works beloved by millions, and what they remind us about concerning love, sacrifice, choice, and more.


Confession, Adulation, and Social Media

Exploring what the Sacrament of Confession teach us about the dangers of popularity and hero-worship in this age of social media.


Losing to Gain

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.


God and the Second Law of Thermodynamics - Thoughts on the Holiness of Order

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.


The Complex World of Parenting

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.


Lent, Fasting, and God’s Presence

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.


Grace and the Guiding Hand of Providence 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.


I’m Spiritual But Not Religious

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.


What Do You Mean Santa Isn’t Real?

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.


Prayerfulness and Mindfulness

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.


The Divided States of America: A Spiritual Reflection on Wholeness and Division

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.


Guilt and Self-Judgment

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.


Sacramental Reality - Explaining Sin, Sickness and Spiritual Growth

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.


Teaching the Cross to Our Children and Grandchildren

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.


Uncreated Light: Experiencing the Transcendent

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.


Disenchanted with Morality

Struck by the phrase “disenchanted with morality” in the pages of a book one morning, Michael shares his thoughts that came to mind. Why does it seem society often appears disenchanted with morality? Why is Christianity so often wrongly perceived and taught as a judgmental set of moral rules and rigid codes of behavior? Why is legalism doing so much harm to our faith? What truly is morality from an Orthodox Christian perspective? Join Michael as he addresses these questions and more, and...


Prophet or Profit: The Struggle to Keep Our Church Priorities in Order

Financial pressures in our Orthodox Churches are very real and often cause great worry and anxiety. As a result, we, both clergy and laity, can lose our focus and get our priorities out of order. Using the terms “Prophet” and “Profit” to symbolize two different mentalities (not suggesting Churches are trying to make a profit in the conventional sense) join Michael as he discusses what our priorities should be and what results proper focus on them would yield.


Comfort, Complacency and Spiritual Death

Comfort, and feeling comfortable, is a desire all of us have and we strive to fulfill this desire. But it can come at a cost because the root of our desire and the means by which we achieve it are not always in our best interests. Join Michael as he explains why comfort can lead to spiritually harmful complacency and blind us to the real purpose of our faith.


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