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
14

On the Priesthood, Book 4 – On the Danger of Unworthy Ordination (St. John Chrysostom)

St. John Chrysostom (St. Michael Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Woonsocket, RI)

Treatise on the Priesthood.Saint John Chrysostom(source: www.ccel.org/fathers) Book IV.  On the Dangers of Unworthy Ordination Basil heard this, and after a little pause thus replied: If you were ambitious of obtaining this office on your own, then your fear would have been reasonable; for in being ambitious of undertaking it, a man confesses himself to be qualified for its administration, and if he fail therein, after it has been 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…

Feb
06

On the Priesthood, Book 3 – On the Power and Temptations of the Priesthood (St. John Chrysostom)

Mosaic of St. John Chrysostom in Hagia Sophia

Treatise on the Priesthood. Saint John Chrysostom (source: www.ccel.org/fathers) Book III.  The Power and Temptations of the Priesthood 1. Chrysostom: As regards the insult to those who have done me honor, what I have already said might be sufficient to prove that in avoiding this office I had no desire to put them to shame; but I will now endeavor to make it evident, to the best of my ability, that I was not puffed up by arrogance Read more…

Feb
01

On the Priesthood, Book 2 – On the Qualities of a Good Pastor (St. John Chrysostom)

St. John Chrysostom (Archangel Icons)

Treatise on the Priesthood, by St. John Chrysostom(source: www.ccel.org/fathers) Book II.  On the Qualities of a Good Pastor. 1. Chrysostom:  That it is possible then to make use of deceit for a good purpose, or rather that in such a case it ought not to be called deceit, but a kind of good management worthy of all admiration, might be proved at greater length; but since what has already been said suffices for demonstration, it would Read more…