Fr. Michael Gillis reflects on the inner life of Orthodox Christians. Drawing on the wisdom of both ancient and contemporary Church Fathers, Fr. Michael ponders the struggles, the ironies, and the disciplines of the spiritual life.
Why Don’t Temptations Go Away?
In homily 69, St. Isaac reminds us that temptations to sin come upon all people, even the “perfect.” Quoting freely from St. Macarius of Alexandria, St. Isaac reminds us that our inner state is rather like the weather. “There is cold, and soon after, burning heat, and then perhaps even hail, and after a little, fair weather.”
Raising Lazarus and Seeing with Faith
Some of us may be facing death at this time—just as Lazarus did. Some of us may have a loved one who has or will soon die—as Mary and Martha did. And some of us, most of us probably, are just largely inconvenienced. And with the Churches closed, all of us may be wondering with Mary and Martha where Jesus is, for if Jesus were here, surely He would not let this happen. But Jesus is here. The same Jesus who raised Lazarus from the tomb, also first allowed him to ‘fall asleep’ in the tomb.
Luke 16 contains one of the most difficult to understand parables of Jesus. It is commonly called the parable of the Unjust Steward. For most of my life the parable offended me. Like the Pharisees in 16:14, I want to deride Jesus for telling a parable that, on the face of it, advocates embezzlement. The servant in the parable gets sacked for “wasting” his master’s goods, so the servant decides to earn favor with his master’s debtors by writing off a large part of the debt they owe the master. And what makes this parable particularly hard to stomach is that the master actually commends his servant for doing this. After sacking the servant for wasting his funds, the master commends him for embezzling them. How does that make sense?
Finding Peace Despite Sinful Thoughts
Fr. Michael Gillis uses a gardening analogy to discuss dealing with the deep-rooted sins in life.
Success Through Failure In Lent
Fr. Michael Gillis reminds us, "Like the prodigal and the harlot and the publican, we bring nothing except failure and a strong sense that we are not worthy to be received. But we come nonetheless. We come because the greatness of our Father’s love extends to the lowest hell of our misery. We come expecting nothing, but asking our merciful God for mercy. We come knowing that we are a compete mess, but that we are God’s nonetheless. We are God’s, mess and all."
Knowing Your Measure
Fr. Michael Gillis reminds us that our salvation lies in living humbly within our measure, pushing a little during lent, perhaps, but always judging ourselves unworthy of a higher or stricter measure. This kind of fasting will be to our spiritual benefit.
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I am Coptic Orthodox and have been listening quietly for about 2 years now. I find that Father Michael Gillis can make deep spiritual truths very easy to consume for laymen like myself. His style is approachable and full of humility. This podcast has been a life saver many times when I drifted away from interest in spiritual things. Father Gillis has a way of striking the center of my heart and reawakening a desire for the things unseen.
God bless your service Father, I would only ask humbly that you post as frequently as you used to! Folks like myself benefit greatly from your content!
I love Fr. Michael’s podcast and look forward to each new episode. God bless you, Father.
Enjoyable & peaceful
From a different perspective the narrator explains Christianity in a calming ,relaxing way to focus on understanding the Word 😀🍃💞