10 resolutions for a better spiritual life in 2022…

1. Praying Daily: Have a regular prayer rule that includes morning and evening prayer.

2. Worshiping and Participating in Sacraments: Attend and participate in the Divine Liturgy receiving Holy Communion regularly as well as regular participation in Confession.

3. Honoring the Liturgical Cycle of the Church: Follow the seasons of the church and participate in the fasts and feasts of the Church.

4. Using the Jesus Prayer: Repeat the Holy name whenever possible throughout the day or night.

5. Slowing Down and Ordering Your Life: Set priorities and reduce the stress and friction caused by a hurried life.

6. Being Watchful: Give full attention to what you are doing at the moment.

7. Taming the Passions: Overcome your habits, attachment to your likes and dislikes, and learn to practice the virtues.. Putting Others First: Free yourself from your selfishness and find joy in helping others.

9. Spiritual Fellowship: Spend time regularly with other Orthodox Christians for support and inspiration.:

10. Reading the Scriptures and Holy Fathers: Be inspired by the lessons of the Holy Scriptures, the wisdom of the Holy Fathers and the lives of the Saints of the Church.

Prayer:  O Lord, our God, in Thy goodness and love for men forgive me all the sins I have committed today in word, deed or thought. Grant me peaceful and undisturbed sleep. Send Thy Guardian Angel to guard and protect me from all evil. For Thou art the guardian of our souls and bodies, and to Thee we ascribe glory, to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.
*(Evening Prayer and Confession of Sins)


Elder Ephraim of Arizona on Love…
“The beautiful road of love is effortless, and there is neither blemish nor stain in love, but rather the conscience testifies that the soul has boldness towards God. But when there is no love, the soul has no boldness in prayer, and as one defeated and cowardly, it cannot lift its head because it feels remorse for not having loved as God has loved it; it is a transgressor of the, commandment of God. If we do not love our brother whom we have seen, how can we love God whom we have not seen? He who has true love has God; whoever does not have love does not have God in himself. The holy Fathers say, “If you have seen your brother, you have seen God; your salvation depends on your brother.”
– ‘Counsels from the Holy Mountain’

Prayer:  O come, let us worship God our King.
O come, let us worship and fall down before Christ our King and God.
O come, let us worship and fall down before Christ Himself, our King and God.


St. Nikolai Velimirovich on theTrue Nature…
“Mind, heart and will represent man’s triune nature. In a sinful and passionate soul those three things do not exist in unity and harmony of God, but are divided and disharmonious. In that case, man is like a home divided against itself which cannot stand but must fall. Such a spiritual home cannot be saved from perdition by nothing except repentance and faith in the Gospel. But if man comes to know the truth, that is, his true Lord and Savior, Messiah of the world and Heavenly Herald, then he starts giving himself to Him wholeheartedly and begins to open his heart in order to receive Him inside, along with the Fathei and the Spirit. In that case, Christ’s teaching stops being a theory or a philosophy and becomes a practical regime of healing, a fount or regeneration, a method of deification. Everything in it is then as real as the blood on the cross, everything in it as needed as bread and water and everything in it as practical a building a new house.”
– ‘Missionary Letters Vol. 3’

Prayer:  Soul of Christ, sanctify me, Body of Christ, save me Blood of Christ, inebriate me, Water from Christ’s side, wash me, Passion of Christ, strengthen me, O good Jesus, hear me, Within Thy wounds hide me, Suffer me not to be separated from Thee, From the malicious enemy defend me, In the hour of my death call me, And bid me come unto Thee, That I may praise Thee with Thy saints, and with Thy angels, Forever and ever, Amen.


Elder Paisios on Learning from Others…
“When we try to emulate the virtues of others by mirroring them in our own self, we edify ourselves. But even when we mirror their shortcomings, we are again helped, because their shortcomings help us recognize our own. And while, upon seeing the virtue of another I am motivated to struggle and imitate it, his shortcoming, likewise, motivates me to consider if, perhaps, I also have this shortcoming and to what extent, so that 1 may struggle to uproot it. For example, I see someone who is industrious. I am impressed and try to imitate him. I see curiosity in another person. I do not criticize him, but seek, instead, to see if I am also curious. And if I see curiosity in me, I attempt to excise it. If I see only my own virtues, but see only shortcomings in others while overlooking my own shortcomings or justifying them by saying “I am better than this one and that one and the other one,” well then, it’s over; I am sunk. Other people are our mirrors.”
– ‘Passions and Virtues’

Prayer:  Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thine intercession was left unaided.  Inspired by this confidence, I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins, my mother; to thee do I come, before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me.


Elder St Porphyrios on Zealots…
“The best form of mission is through our good example, our love and our meekness. We should be zealots. A zealot is a person who loves Christ with all his soul and who serves his fellow men in Christ’s name. Love for God and for our neighbor; they go together and cannot be divorced. Passion, yearning and tears along with contrition, not for a purpose, but all as an overflowing of the heart! Fanaticism has nothing to do with Christ. Be a true Christian. Then you won’t leap to conclusions about anybody, but your love will cover all things’. Even to a person of another religion you will always act as a Christian.”
– ‘Wounded by Love’

Prayer:  Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created. And You shall renew the face of the earth. O, God, who taught the hearts of the faithful by the light of the Holy Spirit,  grant that by the same Holy Spirit we may be truly wise and ever rejoice in His consolations, Through Christ Our Lord, Amen.


Elder St Paisios on the ‘Whole Story’…
“There are people who commit great crimes, but who have extenuating circumstances. Who can know how these people stand in the eyes of God? If God had not helped us, we, too, may have become criminals. A criminal may have committed twenty crimes for example, yet I condemn him without thinking of his past. Who can know how many crimes his father may have committed before him? And how many thefts he was forced to commit while still a young child? And then, while he was still young, how many years did he spend in prison where he was coached by other, more experienced prisoners? Yet, rather than committing not twenty, but forty crimes, this criminal withheld himself. I, on the other hand, considering my heritage, education and upbringing, should have been performing miracles by now. Have I done this? No. Therefore, I have no excuse.”
– ‘Passions and Virtues

Prayer:  With the Saints, give rest, O Christ, to the souls of Thy servants, where there is no pain, no sorrow, no sighing, but life everlasting.
*Kontakion of the Departed



Elder St Porphyrios on the Devil’s Snares…
“…the snares of Satan are many for those who worship God. Temptation manages very successfully to ensure that we pay no attention to the worship. We go to church frequently, only to continue our sleep. As soon as we hear the readings and the hymns, we close our eyes. We enter into a state of languidity and we are unable to follow the words of the hymns. It is a satanic thing, this soporific state, and very obviously so. Think what we are missing when we are in church in this thoughtless state! Although before you go to church you say to yourself, ‘I’ll pay attention, I won’t doze off again, I’ll be alert’, yet you don’t succeed. All these exhortations…are attempts to compel ourselves which provoke a negative reaction within us. And with compulsion we achieve nothing. On the contrary, the state of sloth overtakes us and ridicules us: ‘Concentrate hard now, force yourself, do what you like, but I, your old self, have you in my hand and I’ll keep a tight hold on you, and now, if you can, let me see you make your spiritual progress!’”
– ‘Wounded by Love’

Prayer:  Lord, I have cried to Thee, hearken unto me. Hearken unto me, O Lord. Lord, I have cried to Thee, hearken unto me.  Attend to the voice of my prayer, when I cry unto Thee. Hearken unto me, O Lord. Let my prayer be set forth as incense before Thee, the lifting up of my hands as an evening sacrifice.  Hearken unto me, O Lord.
*Psalm 140 (141)