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by Theodosios Palis

As we approach the New Year, with all the various joys and struggles it may bring, may we proceed with simplicity and warmth of heart. In this way, we can encounter and be bettered by every situation.

One New Year’s tradition that takes place in the United States of America is the making of new resolutions for that year. This attempt to try to better oneself, to strive for something not yet attained, is something we Orthodox Christians also do. However, we do not only try this at the beginning of the year, which is a good a starting place as any. We try this every day. We call this repentance. Μετάνοια. Literally: “A change of mind”.

We fall and we get up. Just like when we do a full prostration, (in Greek this is also referred to as a μετάνοια) where you kneel and touch your head to the ground and then stand up and make the sign of the cross, we get down and we get up. We never stay down but always rise up. This mindset is something that has been very helpful to me in my life. It can seem easy to slip and fall into sin, but the falling isn’t important, it is the getting up that is important. We can turn away from the sin, and turn to God for help.

We can make this our daily resolution. No matter how much we fall, or turn away from God, He is still waiting with open arms to run to us like the Father in the Parable of the Prodigal Son, who saw his Son heading towards Him from afar and ran to meet him. God also runs to meet us when we turn away from sin and head towards Him.

In closing I would like to offer a few simple questions that we can use in our self- reflection, to help us see where we are on the journey of life. These questions are for us to ask ourselves and not to be applied to anyone else.

  • 1. Do we have a spiritual father that can guide us towards Christ?
  • 2. How often do we clean our bodies (by taking a shower)? With that in mind, how often do we clean our souls (by going to Holy Confession)?
  • 3. Do we see positive changes taking place in our lives?
  • 4. Are we maturing?
  • 5. How long have we been in the Church? All these years with Christ have we achieved authenticity in our lives and simplicity in the way we live?

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, it is up to us. It’s our choice. If we want, our souls can live with the joy of Christ. It’s all a question of how we look at things. Christ will help us to see everything differently. It is Christ who will enable us to discover a spiritual life in the midst of our daily routine, and we will be beloved by all, compassionate, a human being. A saint.

Christ is Born! Glorify Him!

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Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church
64 Hershey Avenue
Lancaster, PA 17603

Phone: (717) 394-1735
Fax: (717) 394-0991


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