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Born to Serbian immigrants in San Francisco in 1863, Archimandrite Sebastian Dabovich has the distinction of being the first person born in the United States of America to be ordained as an Orthodox priest,[1] and also the first native-born American to be tonsured as an Orthodox monk. His greatest d... Read More

Living Sacrifices

With this in mind, let us look more closely at St. Paul's exhortation: Be not conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind. This is part of an entire chapter of Scripture that discusses spiritual transformation. In examining this chapter, I will rely first of all on the co... Read More

Not Conformity but Transformation

Now we are ready to look at today-s theme in its full context. First comes sacrifice, then comes transformation. That is why, in Romans chapter 12, the first precedes the other in direct sequence: Present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God—and be not conformed to this world, but... Read More

On Getting Out of Ruts

How can Fr. Isaaky's words not inspire us toward spiritual transformation? What hinders us from growing unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, as St. Paul says (Eph. 4:13)? It is our egos, our passions, that hinder us. Many of us get stuck in a rut in our spiritual lives. Usually... Read More

On Not Measuring One's Progress

In conclusion, I would like to make one more point concerning the theme of transformation. The Holy Fathers counsel us that we are not to try to measure our spiritual progress. Trying to measure our progress can lead to pride on the one hand, and to despair on the other. If we think, "I'm making gre... Read More

The Primary Mark of Spiritual Transformation

Now, having looked at the nature of spiritual transformation and the way to that transformation, let us examine more closely the marks of transformation in a Christian. We have already discussed in some detail the first two verses of Romans, chapter 12. St. Paul devotes the remainder of this chapter... Read More

The Renewal of the Mind

Be transformed by the renewal of your mind. What does St. Paul mean by renewing the mind? According to St. John Chrysostom, he means repentance. We are told to be transformed, but, as we look at ourselves, we see that we sin every day. This could lead us to despair, to the thought, "I'm not transfor... Read More

Transformation, Salvation, Deification

The theme of this Conference—"Be not conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind"—is a rather daunting theme to talk about, because it is so vast and all-encompassing. It touches on the whole purpose of our lives as Orthodox Christians. Our Lord Jesus Christ said: I have ... Read More

Watchfulness and Prayer

The healing of our sick nous begins with what we have just been discussing: the sacrifice of our "old man," the cutting off of the passions, repentance. In speaking of the healing of the nous, the Holy Fathers place much emphasis on the practice of watchfulness. We must at all times watch over our t... Read More


The topic of today’s talk—what Christ accomplished on the Cross—is of course a prime subject of contemplation during the Lenten season, as we prepare to prayerfully commemorate Christ’s passion, death, and the inevitable consequence of His death: His holy Resurrection. As we call to mind and repent ... Read More

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