Mar
30

Priests, you don’t have to like your parish either

Slide1

In my post, “You Don’t Have to Like Your Priest”, I built on Brother Patrick’s essay to describe some of the reasons that people don’t like their Orthodox priests, making the general point that all of his foibles pale in comparison to the One Thing Needful which He serves and shares. Another dynamic of this relationship is the attitude of the priest towards the people he serves. Sometimes priests have a hard time liking them, Read more…

Mar
19

You Don’t Have to Like Your Priest

Chapter Seven of Fr. David's book has a chapter on how to relate to your priest: he uses the models of Lawyer, Doctor, Teacher, Artist, and Manager to help.

A reader recommended Brother Patrick Mary Briscoe's article "You Don't have to Like Your priest" (published on March 7, 2014 at Dominicana)   It is an excellent article and I recommend it, too.  Imitation is the highest form of flattery.  The following is patterned on Brother Patrick's essay.  Why do I like it?  I know that my parishioners struggle with this; not only have they benefitted from the service of saintly priests, their own Read more…

Feb
19

Some Good Advice on (NOT) Taking Offense

Joseph kissing Benjamin (source; wikipedia commons)

If you aren't following Dn. Michael Hyatt (blog, Twitter, podcast, Facebook), then you have a wealth of practical wisdom waiting for you!  In this episode of his podcast, he takes on a critical skill: avoiding taking offense.  Let's face it: clergy have plenty of opportunity to get upset: they hear all kinds of criticism being directed against them, their parish, their bishop, their families, even Orthodoxy itself.   Dn. Michael argues Read more…

Feb
11

Prayer as an Antidote and Cure for Burn-out

Icon scanned from a church bulletin. Bulletin is copyright(C) 1973 by God With Us Publications.  Found at http://maryimmaculate.tripod.com/sorrow1.html

One of the topics that has drawn the most comments to this and other pastoral blogs is that of clergy burn-out.  I have met well-meaning and venerable pastors who claim that burn-out can only happen to those who have not completely given their lives over to Christ.  They believe that kenosis and the Holy Spirit can sustain pastors through even the darkest of valleys.  Certainly kenosis is part of the answer... but it's not enough.  The Read more…

Jan
29

12 Reasons Why It Is Good To Be A Church Bully

Are sandbox bullies destroying the peace of your parish?

Being a priest is a blessing, but it's not always easy.  Rev. Erik Parker addresses one of the challenges of ministry: dealing with people who assert their fallen wills in unhealthy ways.  I have no doubt there are such people in our parishes; the question is how to deal with it.  They cannot be allowed to poison the parish, but how, exactly should we follow Rev. Parker's example and "stand up" to them?   As always, there Read more…

Jan
06

Something to understand about the priesthood…

Abbot Tryphon, All-Savior Monastery

Abbot Tryphon says at the end of his essay;"I'm sharing all of this with you because I know your priest will not."  He's right; I'm reluctant to post it myself.  I've never countenanced whining, especially when it seems to cheapen the "One thing Needful."  But it's a good essay and worth sharing for at least three reasons; 1) those considering a vocation need to adjust their expectations to match the realities of life in clerical Read more…

Dec
20

On the Need to Approach Ordination with Humility

Ordination to the priesthood. Photo by Anton Pospelov / Pravoslavie.ru

How to Avoid the Priesthood Priest Sergei BegianPravoslavie.ru  (16 December 2013) Whoever has been to an ordination knows how grace fills the church at the moment of the imposition of hands…. Joy fills the hearts of those praying, even if they do not personally know the person being consecrated to the priestly rank. With what stateliness and joy do they sing the troparia “Holy Martyrs,” “Glory to Thee, O Christ God,” and “Dance, Read more…