Father Michael’s Blog


Exchanging Compassion for Clarity

One of the greatest tragedies we can encounter is this life is that of suicide. Death is the ultimate tragic result of sin, and suicide is the ultimate tragic death, since, unlike disease or accident, it comes avoidably. Only those who have been touched by the unspeakable sorrow that accompanies a suicide can truly understand […]

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A Saint from…California?

This past Sunday we celebrated All Saints Sunday, which always follows Pentecost and demonstrates the working of the Holy Spirit in the life of the Church, specifically most powerfully in the lives of the Saints. These are the ones who “live and move and have their being” in God (Acts 17:28). In the Slavic traditions, […]

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A Time for Every Matter

There was wonderful, pious woman in my first parish as a priest, who got upset with me when, on the Feast of Pentecost, I announced that the coming week was fast-free, just as we are currently enjoying following this past Sunday’s celebration of the Great Feast of Pentecost. After kissing the cross and kindly touching […]

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The Lessons of Santa Fe

We Orthodox Christians have a beautiful faith with a beautiful tradition. The entire span of our human experience is seen in splendid glory, from the Blessing of a Newborn Baby on the first day of life, continuing through the sacraments of Holy Baptism, Chrismation, Communion and Confession. We have a glorious wedding service as well […]

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Holy Fire

The appointed Gospel reading for today, the Leave-taking of Pascha, begins with the words of Christ: “While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light.” These words were made all the more poignant by the fact that we heard these words while bearing candles that were lit from […]

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Reach Out and Touch Someone

Some of us are old enough to remember Diana Ross’ anthem, urging everyone to “Reach out and touch somebody’s hand.” If not, maybe you’re old enough to remember the AT&T commercial to “Reach out and touch someone” (Note: for those of you too young to remember this, don’t be alarmed by the cords that used […]

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I am not an Ecumenist. I am an Ecumenist.

OK, this one could get me into some trouble. Not real trouble, mind you, but the kind where you say things that you know some people just won’t like, (especially if—as often happens on the internet–people read what someone didn’t write and don’t read what they do!). Let me say from the beginning that I’m […]

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Getting to the Other Side of Holiness

Christ is risen! I’ve heard many of our parishioners share what a blessed experience Holy Week was for them this year. All kinds of theories have been shared on why it may have felt different, but I think there’s only one reason why so many thought it was so wonderful. To me it was the […]

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The Healing Power of Unction

In our Antiochian practice, tonight we take a break from following the events in the life of Christ as we do the rest of Holy Week in order to receive the Sacrament of Holy Unction. We do this once a year as a culmination of our Lenten efforts of repentance, and in preparation for receiving […]

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Our Most Surprising God

When was the last time God surprised you? Maybe that strikes you as a strange question, but I think we believe in a most surprising God. Perhaps too often we go unsurprised, and if we allow ourselves the honesty, maybe we’ll even admit that we’re too often bored with Him. I think, however, that if […]

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People Can (and do) Change

Let’s be honest: We’ve all been frustrated with someone, and in a fit of hopelessness we declare with all certainty that they will never change! But it’s not just other people. We all have qualities, habits or even addictions that we’d like (or even crave) to change, but in similar moments of hopeless despair, we […]

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The Cross in the Life of the Believer

We were blessed today with the arrival in Grand Rapids of His Eminence, Metropolitan ANTONIOS of Zahle, who will preside at tonight’s Presanctified Liturgy, bringing together all four West Michigan Antiochian Churches and some other Orthodox as well. His Eminence has had a wide-ranging ministry, from his time as a Monk and eventually Abbot, a […]

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