Class - On Silence
Release Date: 11/02/2019
In this homily on the woman at the well (St. Luke 4:1-42), Fr. Anthony describes how Jesus Christ taught us to do evangelism by leading with love. Enjoy the show!info_outline Homily on the Sunday of the Paralytic
Christ healed the paralytic. St. Peter healed Ananias and raised Tabitha from the dead. We sure could use some of that kind of power now, right? Enjoy the show.info_outline Homily on the Myrrhbearers and our reaction to death
In this homily on the Sunday of the Myrrhbearers (St. Mark 15:43-16:8), Fr. Anthony compares our reactions to deaths caused by COVID-19 to the reactions of various groups at the time of Christ's death. He finishes by encouraging us to imitate the witness of the Myrrhbearers who reacted in the noblest way possible: love.info_outline Talking about evangelism with Fr. Robert Holet
Join Fr. Anthony on his back porch in Hartwell, Georgia as he talks with his mentor and friend, Fr. Robert Holet (UOC-USA) about how we can take this opportunity to meet the evangelical challenges of today and prepare for those of tomorrow. This is the audio from Fr. Anthony's daily YouTube livestream (Fr. Anthony Perkins). Enjoy the show!info_outline On the back porch: cultivating a gentle spirit
Join me on my back porch in Hartwell, Georgia as I make a case for optimism, boundaries, and the virtue of having a generous spirit. The last bit ends up being pretty profound (through no fault of my own, I assure you!). From my daily livestream on YouTube (Fr. Anthony Perkins). Enjoy the show!info_outline On the Back Porch: Diversity, Optimism, and Aliens
This is the audio from my daily YouTube livestream ( In it, I talk about the value of diversity in risk-adversity and areas of expertise and describe how our culture's willingness to tolerate diversity will allow us to make it through this crisis better than if we only had people who thought correctly. I also talk about the value of optimism and use the example of a recent MP article on aliens to describe how NOT to evangelize people who know how to think critically. Enjoy the show!info_outline Prydain, Word-Smithing, and the Old Testament
Join Fr. Anthony on his back porch in Hartwell, GA, as he talks with Fr. Gabriel Rochelle (UOC-USA) about breadmaking, cycling, Celtic spirituality, and the Old Testament. Enjoy the show!info_outline Promoting A Healthy Family Environment During the Quarantine
Join Fr. Anthony Perkins on his back porch in Hartwell, Georgia, as he talks with Julianna Golas (Human Development and Family Studies, University of Rhode Island) about parenting during these hard times. Themes addressed will include finding your family rhythm in chaos, the power of routines, and recognizing the signs of mental health distress.info_outline Finding Comfort Here and Now
Join Fr. Anthony on his back porch in Hartwell, GA as he talks about connection, story, and a simple way to find comfort and joy even in the midst of a trial. This is the audio from Fr. Anthony Perkins' YouTube livestream (YouTube channel: Fr. Anthony Perkins). Check it out!info_outline Homily - The Coronavirus and the Psychology of Missing the Mark
Fr. Anthony shares a lesson that both the Apostles Luke and John and St. Mary of Egypt learned: that our default setting may make us feel right and good, but our feelings are a poor indicator of truth. Our experience with the Coronavirus helps us understand this and why the world groans in agony as a result. Enjoy the show!info_outline
Our Faith: Orthodox Christianity
Asceticism III: on Mysteries, Love, and Silence
Review. We have been called to a great purpose. In Christ it is possible. We need Him to be saved; we need Him to live the kind of lives we were meant to live. Lives of meaning and contented peace. Lives free of spiritual disease. Christ has the medicine that heals what truly ails us, but we need to have a relationship with Him to receive it. In the case of normal doctors, the mechanisms are things like conversation, prescriptions, and a healing touch. Through these, our relationship with our doctor gives us the opportunity for greater health. Christ is our Great Physician; what does a relationship with Him bring to us? What is the medicine He shares with us? Is it “work” to take the medicine?
- The Medicine of the Mysteries. This may be the easiest one for us to see. They look like medicine!
- The Medicine of Love. This isn’t just the way God heals others, it is how He heals us!
- The Medicine of Silence. Silent prayer is a test of our spiritual state and, done correctly, can be part of its healing.
We are sick. Our minds have become warped. We confuse our will with God’s and make an idol of our pride. We need to heal our minds. We cannot do this by reading books, even the right ones (although we can certainly make things worse by reading the wrong ones). Nor can we simply “try harder” to be good. Both of these simply act as offerings to our pride, trying to make it stronger so that it can overcome everything else. What we need to do is to quiet that pride and lower the mind to Christ. Hesychasm. God in us. Quiet. Peace. Restores truth and beauty to the center of our lives with the mind in its proper place as the executive of this beauty and truth.
So how do we achieve this peace? First, we have to immerse yourself in the Mysteries of the Church and you have to dedicate yourself to selfless love of and service to your neighbor (to include you spouses, your parents, your children, and even those people who unjustly seek to do you wrong). Next, you have to develop and follow a prayer rule. Spending five-ten minutes each evening and morning in prayer over an extended period of time is a prelude or warm-up for the way of silence.
The problem of thoughts – and the difficulty of finding silence. It’s hard, but you certainly won’t find it if you don’t try! And if you don’t, there is a real risk that the other two modes – being religious and being nice – will become distractions, taking us right back to where we were at the beginning of the story.
Which is why, my dear brothers and sisters, we need to develop the tools to bring peace to our lives and to those around us. “The creation waits with eager longing for the sons of God… because the creation itself will be set free from its bondage and obtain the glorious liberty of the children of God.” (Romans 8:19&21)
“Suppose you read about a pill that you could take once a day to reduce anxiety and increase your contentment. Would you take it? Suppose further that the pill has a great variety of side effects, all of them good: increased self-esteem, empathy, and trust; it even improves memory. Suppose, finally, that the pill is all natural and costs nothing. Now would you take it? The pill exists. It’s called meditation.”~ Jonathan Haidt from The Happiness Hypothesis
How do you meditate?
- What brings you peace? What quiets your mind?
- Meditation (silent prayer) is not just for monks. It is for US! The ones who need peace.
- Set yourself up for success.
- Quiet comfortable place.
- No distractions (your mind will provide plenty!)
- Deep breathing. Why? I use an app to train me for this.
- Match the words of your prayer to the movement of your breath.
- Periodically check your shoulders and relax(!)
Don’t get frustrated or upset or worry if you cannot keep focused on these prayers for very long. If you make this a regular part of your daily ritual, you will train your mind for peace. In times when you are losing your calm, a couple of deep breaths will be enough to bring you back to yourself.
Next Week: The Rhythms of Life and Worship