We are all familiar with the need to convert our hearts and minds to become more fully Orthodox, and this most useful book, Blueprints for the Little Church: Creating an Orthodox Home, by Elissa Bjeletich and Caleb Shoemaker, helps us to also convert our homes and family life into living more fully as Orthodox Christians as well. Blueprints does an excellent job in helping the reader understand not only what the “Little Church” is all about, but also how to transform and convert our homes and ... [Read more]
This category contains 17 article(s).
Q: Stories about people with depression seem to pop up everywhere today: in print media, on the web, and on morning talk shows. Give us a working definition of depression, and tell us how it is different from just having the blues once in a while. Fr. Tom: Life is filled with many challenges and opportunities that create normal emotional ups and downs, sometimes referred to as “having the blues.” But when a person finds herself stuck in the “down” times for a long duration, she may be in the ... [Read more]
A native Seattleite and New York City transplant from 1997-2007, I was three months into a new job in Midtown Manhattan as a publicist to a classical music producer and conductor on 911. As I emerged from the subway platform that morning, silvery plumes of smoke billowed manically above in the clear blue sky. But in classic work-mode fashion, I paid little attention; I was too preoccupied with getting ready for the busy concert season ahead in Carnegie Hall. When I reached my office, I ... [Read more]
A key element in the success of any relationship is the ability to listen. Throughout our many years of marriage, raising a family, and interacting with other couples and families, we have seen a variety of listening styles that impact the ways in which couples and spouses relate to one another. These behaviors stem more from the needs of the listener than those of the speaker. Common listening behaviors Let me fix this: These kinds of listeners believe it is their duty to solve everyone’s ... [Read more]
The Orthodox marriage rite mentions the hope for offspring several times and asks that the couple “be made glad with the sight of sons and daughters.” The marriage rite is even jokingly referred to as the “Orthodox fertility rite.” Case in point: My non-Orthodox friends who attended my wedding some twenty years ago were taken aback by the many references to procreation. But there’s a reason for these references—the Church’s deep love for the human person and the sacredness it places on all ... [Read more]
Adolescents transitioning into college face a unique set of challenges. While this new adventure often brings a sense of autonomy and perhaps even invincibility, many young adults also experience unspoken feelings of self-doubt and fear. Having completed high school, many students might feel overwhelmed by questions from parents, teachers and peers alike on what they hope to do with their life now that high school is behind them. As they walk on stage, diploma in hand, even the most prepared ... [Read more]
Why Family Dinner Matters Studies have shown that kids who eat with their families frequently are less likely to get depressed, consider suicide, or develop an eating disorder. They are also more likely to have better grades, delay sex, and not abuse drugs and alcohol. Reclaim your family time together by gathering around the table and giving thanks to God. Make a family plan to intentionally DISCONNECT from cell phones at the table. Experience the transforming power of engaging in ... [Read more]