From the Rector: How to Become a Good Orthodox Christian

From the Rector: How to Become a Good Orthodox Christian
 
Often times the Rector is asked, “What must I do, or how must I live, to be a good Orthodox Christian?” One of the keys to understanding the answer to this question is to realize that we are not saved alone, but rather within the Church. This is why it is essential to be a member of a parish or a monastic brotherhood (or sisterhood). There is no such thing as a “free agent” or “independent” Orthodox Christian. No one is in a “special category” with some level of independence from the brethren as thinking that way about oneself only leads to self-delusion (“prelest” as the Fathers call it). So, with this important proviso in mind, here are the Rector’s “top ten” things to do in order to be a good, faithful Orthodox Christian.
 
1.      Attend Liturgy every Sunday (and be on time standing attentively ready for the priest to proclaim: “Blessed is the Kingdom of the Father, and the Son, and of the Holy Spirit…”).
 
2.      Go to Confession and Communion regularly.
 
3.      Pray every morning, evening, and before and after every meal.
 
4.      Read the scriptures daily.
 
5.      Fast to the best of your ability according to the Church Calendar.
 
6.      Tithe to the parish.
 
7.      Offer your time to the parish and to your brethren.
 
8.      Be grateful, cheerful, and cultivate a simple way of life.
 
9.      Do not gossip or get unnecessarily involved in controversies.
 
10.  Do not be self-directed in spiritual things, but rather seek guidance from your priest and faithfully work to follow his counsel.
With much love in Christ,
Fr Mark