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Hearts and Minds

  1. The Root of it All2018/11/26
    Fr. John Oliver offers three questions that help us trace the root of both the good and the bad in our lives. Am I being loving? Am I being accepting? Am I being appreciated?

  2. You Are Not Your Passions2018/11/12
    Fr. John Oliver helps us to see that even on the days that we absolutely act pig-like, we are not our passions.

  3. Holy Week2018/10/29
    Fr. John Oliver reminds us of what lies ahead of us during Holy Week for our salvation.

  4. This Doesn’t Feel Like Home2018/10/15
    Fr. John Oliver invites us to consider the unhealthy family patterns that we have been handed through birth and have a choice whether we carry them into our future.

  5. Kind Words Are Like Honey2018/10/01
    Fr. John Oliver reflects on what it means for God to speak a Word, and how our own words can drip with the honey of truth and love.

  6. Context Matters2018/09/17
    Fr. John Oliver explains the stages of grace in the spiritual life, in the context of the journey of Great Lent.

  7. God is in the Details2018/09/03
    Fr. John Oliver reflects on the Feast of the Circumcision of Christ (January 1st) and how God is to be found in the details of life.

  8. Stories Toward the Sacred: Anna Harris2018/06/26
    Kurt Harris interviews his oldest daughter, Anna Harris, about her story of how God brought her into the Orthodox Church, in this series titled "Stories Toward the Sacred" on the Hearts and Minds podcast.

  9. Stories Toward the Sacred: Dan Naes2018/05/14
    Kurt Harris interviews Dan Naes about his story of how God brought him into the Orthodox Church, in this series titled "Stories Toward the Sacred" on the Hearts and Minds podcast.

  10. The Healing Power of Forgiveness2018/04/30
    Fr. John Oliver paints a hope-filled picture of the healing power of forgiveness.

  11. Freedom Through Ascetic Discipline2018/04/16
    Fr. John Oliver describes the purpose of our ascetic disciplines as believers - to be set free and partake in the glory of God!

  12. Transfiguration2018/04/02
    Fr. John Oliver reminds us that the Christian heart wants to taste of the incomparable heavenly banquet of the Kingdom of God.

  13. Stories Toward the Sacred: Charles Chusuei2018/03/19
    Kurt Harris interviews Charles Chusuei about his story of how God brought him into the Orthodox Church, in this new series titled "Stories Toward the Sacred" on the Hearts and Minds podcast.

  14. The Wilderness2018/03/05
    Fr. John Oliver offers a view of the pain of the "wilderness" stage of the Christian life while journeying with God to the Promised Land.

  15. The Four Rhythms of Life in the Church2018/02/19
    Fr. John Oliver explores the four cycles or rhythms that are embedded in nature and in the Church.

  16. The Three Powers2018/02/05
    Fr. John Oliver explains the Three Powers of Thinking, Desiring and Acting. He describes the impact on our lives when one or more of theses powers are sick in our lives, and shares how we can experience healing of these powers.

  17. Ecumenism: The Autoimmune Disease in the Body of Christ2018/01/22
    As Orthodox Christians in a non-Orthodox culture, we have questions: Who are we? What is "the Church"? What is our relationship to friends and family of other faiths? What is ecumenism? Who will be saved? In this special edition of Hearts and Minds, Fr John Oliver offers a few reflections.

  18. Stories Toward the Sacred: Kurt and Nancy Harris2018/01/08
    Fr. John Oliver interviews Kurt and Nancy Harris who share their story of how God brought them into the Orthodox Church. The Harris' will in turn interview others in this new series titled "Stories Toward the Sacred" on the Hearts and Minds podcast.

  19. The Virtue of Failure - Part 42017/12/25
    Fr. John completes his series (Part 4) by describing how failure can become a servant of God for the renewal of our lives.

  20. The Virtue of Failure - Part 32017/12/11
    Fr. John continues his series (Part 3) by reflecting on the goal of interior renewal.

  21. The Virtue of Failure - Part 22017/11/27
    Fr. John continues his series (Part 2) by redefining failure and describing the ways that we react to our own failures.

  22. The Virtue of Failure - Part 12017/11/13
    Fr. John begins a four part series on the virtue of failure by describing the inevitability and purpose of failure.

  23. The Benefits of Prayer2017/10/30
    The story of Baker Sullivan reveals the importance and significance of the life of prayer.

  24. St. Elizabeth the Grand Duchess and New Martyr2017/10/16
    The death of St. Elizabeth the Grand Duchess and New Martyr tells us about how she lived her life lived long before her martyrdom.

  25. The Transfiguration of Jesus2017/10/02
    The Transfiguration of Jesus shows us the purpose of human life and how to taste of the incomparable heavenly banquet.

  26. Praying on the Way of the Cross2016/11/16
    Every Sunday morning, the six Psalms of Matins carries us on a descent into our brokenness and ascent with a cry of faith. Gently taking us on the way of the cross.

  27. Take Up Your Cross2016/11/02
    "Life is full of small opportunities to baptize these inevitable daily pains in the mystery of the cross."

  28. Politics2016/10/19
    "This is how the Church address politics every Sunday. Not by endorsing or opposing candidates, but by dealing with the spiritual roots of all the issues that affect all citizens. We locate the heart, then work our way out from there."

  29. The Fear of Change2016/10/05
    "Like a scared child on the first day of school, fear turns us into isolated, self-protective individuals. Like an ever-tightening cocoon."

  30. When Words are not Enough2016/09/20
    "A 'thank you' toward Heaven is nice, but how much more does it mean when it flows from sincerity—from a changing life? The human being says 'thank you' to God by becoming more like him."

  31. The Good Shepherd2016/09/13
    "He keeps looking. It is what love does."

  32. Fire2016/09/06
    "Heaven is the experience of the illuminating energy of God. Hell is the experience of the burning energy of God. The one sun has two properties. It can illumine, and it can blind. It can warm, and it can burn."

  33. The Vine and the Branches2016/08/30
    "The branches are unique but all attached to the one Vine who gives them life."

  34. The National March for Marriage2016/08/17
    Fr. John shares his speech from the The National March for Marriage in Washington D.C., and reflects upon his experience with the counter demonstration.

  35. The Journey2016/08/01
    The journey of Christ-likeness ends in the cross where Christ dies in love for all of His enemies.

  36. Lazarus2016/07/25
    Nothing in life matters more than the purification of our souls and bodies, so that when we meet Christ in death he recognizes Himself in us.

  37. Our Shared Brokenness2016/07/18
    Together, we are connected by the forgiveness we all need.

  38. Disappointment2016/07/11
    Let us remember to lean on each other. "A burden shared is half the burden. A joy shared is twice the joy."

  39. Suffering2016/07/04
    The struggle is what we bring to God, only what we bring, because deliverance his His job.

  40. Sharing Our Stories2016/06/27
    Our Lord's desire is for each of us to have experiences with Him, to be able to say, "My Lord and my God," and to share that experience openly and freely with others.

  41. Purpose in Life2016/06/20
    The purpose of your life is to become by grace what God is by nature.

  42. The Priesthood: Biblical, Crucible, Miracle2016/06/13
    Fr. John shares his reflections on the priesthood in anticipation of the 2016 Antiochian Archdiocese Clergy Symposium to be held at the Antiochian Village in Bolivar, PA.

  43. God Is Love, but Love Is Not God2016/06/06
    Love is too precious, too powerful, and too popular to mean anything we want it to. Instead, love needs definition and contour so that we may know what love is not, just as we may know what love is.

  44. Martyrdom2016/05/30
    A martyr for Christ is someone who has good reasons to live, but a better reason to die.

  45. The Waves2016/05/23
    God does not always remove the wave, but he does always give us himself.

  46. Excuses2016/05/16
    Why work on ridding ourselves of excuses in this life? So we won't face the consequences of our excuses in the next.

  47. Miracles2016/05/09
    "It's not the size of the crumb that turns it into a miracle; it's whether we can see it as a miracle at all."

  48. Truth and Love2016/05/02
    We need both truth and love to row through the fog of this world.

  49. Works2016/04/25
    An old proverbs says, "When you light a torch for another, you illumine your own path too."

  50. Forgiveness2016/04/18
    "The soul can not know peace unless she prays for her enemies. If you will pray for your enemies peace will come to you." St. Silouan the Athonite

  51. Communion2016/04/11
    In Communion we meet the God of love and judgment. Are you ready?

  52. The Art of Arguing2016/04/04
    St Gregory Palamas said, "Every argument has a counter-argument, but who can argue against life."

  53. Unity, Liberty, Charity2015/01/19
    Working together as Christians can be a challenge which is why Fr. John encourages us to examine a maxim that has stood the test of time. In Essentials, Unity. In Non-Essentials, Liberty. In all things, Charity.

  54. Morally Wrong? Politically Right?2014/11/03
    How does the Faith proclaim when life begins? It might surprise you and help inform you as some of you go to the polls tomorrow.

  55. Responding To Same Sex Marriage - Part 32014/06/03
    In part 3 of his series on same sex marriage, Fr. John reflects on what a civil right is and how that applies to the question of same same unions.

  56. Responding To Same Sex Marriage - Part 22014/05/26
    Fr. John sees our sexuality as a gift from the Divine Logos.

  57. Responding To Same Sex Marriage2014/05/13
    As our culture grows more and more accepting of things that trouble us as Orthodox Christians, Fr. John Oliver shares the example of St. Paul to guide our response.

  58. The Essential New Year’s Resolution2013/12/30
    What are your goals for 2014? Lose weight? Save more? Stop smoking? Get organized? Fr. John would like to remind us of the one goal that surpasses all others.

  59. Foolish Controversies2013/12/13
    Fr. John Oliver reflects on the importance of keeping justice, mercy, and faithfulness preeminent, as opposed to foolish controversies, genealogies, and dissension.

  60. Reading God’s Books2013/12/03
    A talk Fr. John Oliver gave at a symposium titled "God's Books: Reading Scripture in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam" held at the Murfreesboro Mosque in November.

  61. Our Words and The Word2012/12/13
    The words that come out of our mouths have a direct connection to the Word that became flesh and dwelt among us.

  62. Black Friday and the Desires of the Heart2012/11/29
    Each year on the Friday after Thanksgiving, shoppers and stores gear up for the busiest day of the shopping year. Fr. John reflects on what drives the passion for that day and how it relates to our quest for peace.

  63. Advent - Bridging the Chasm to the Divine2012/11/16
    As we begin the Advent Fast, Fr. John Oliver reflects on the chasm that divides us from the Divine and the uniqueness of Christianity in bridging that gap.

  64. Let His Enemies Be Scattered2012/05/09
    Fr. John relays a story about a Monk in Greece struggling with alcohol and relates it to the Psalmist's words and the words of the Paschal hymn, "Let God Arise and Let His Enemies Be Scattered."

  65. Intercessory Prayer: The Last Hope for the World - Part 102012/04/02
    In this final reflection on the petitions in the Divine Liturgy, Fr. John gives some alarming statistics of those "in tribulation, wrath, danger, and necessity."

  66. Intercessory Prayer: The Last Hope for the World - Part 92012/03/28
    As Fr. John continues through the litanies of the Divine Liturgy he reminds us of the quote, "we are saved together but we are damned alone."

  67. Intercessory Prayer: The Last Hope for the World - Part 82012/03/19
    All around the world there are droughts, famine, and disease. How do our intercessory prayers at the Divine Liturgy on Sunday mornings touch the people impacted by them?

  68. Intercessory Prayer: The Last Hope for the World - Part 72012/03/12
    Fr. John now reflects on the litany for those in civil authority and our armed forces.

  69. Intercessory Prayer: The Last Hope for the World - Part 62012/03/05
    In the next litany of the Divine Liturgy, we pray for our Bishops, Priests, and Deacons. Fr. John tells us why this is so important.

  70. Intercessory Prayer: The Last Hope for the World - Part 52012/02/27
    In the 4th litany of the Divine Liturgy, we pray for this Holy House, and those with faith, fear, and reverence enter therein.

  71. Intercessory Prayer: The Last Hope for the World - Part 42012/02/20
    In the 3rd litany of the Divine Liturgy, we pray for the "good estate of the holy churches of God." This is a global as well as a local prayer for our parishes. As we take in new members to our parishes, what are our responsibilities to them?

  72. Intercessory Prayer: The Last Hope for the World - Part 32012/02/13
    In our Divine Liturgy we pray "In peace let us pray to the Lord." We all want peace but what does it mean to be a peace maker?

  73. Intercessory Prayer: The Last Hope for the World - Part 22012/02/06
    In part 2, Fr. John connects the opening prayers of the Divine Liturgy to the real life issues facing our world. He begins with a typical family preparing for church on a typical Sunday morning.

  74. Intercessory Prayer: The Last Hope for the World - Part 12012/01/30
    In this new 10 part series, Fr. John introduces his topic which relates the necessity of intercessory prayer to the world circumstances we face.

  75. Be Merciful2011/10/10
    Fr. John reminds us that "we are not God," and that it is better to use discernment in situations where we do not know the whole story than to leap to judgment.

  76. What True Faith is2011/08/24
    Fr. John tells us that faith is an active expression where we offer, fill, untie, explain, rise, walk, and follow.

  77. What Only God Can Give2011/05/26
    Fr. John reminds us that while we all seek from another person to be fully known and fully loved, this is something that only God can give.

  78. Difficult Questions2011/05/04
    Fr. John Oliver asks difficult questions in the wake of the death of Osama Bin Laden.

  79. The Least of These2011/02/28
    Fr. John shows how the Bible's answer to "What must I do to be saved?" differs from the world's.

  80. Start with the Eagles2011/01/18
    Fr. John exhorts his listeners (despite being a published author himself) to read the saints first.

  81. Human Nature2011/01/04
    Fr. John uses the great feasts we are celebrating as evidence against excusing our deviant behavior.

  82. The Word Became Flesh2010/12/22
    Fr. John explains how all the Church's words are full of grace and truth—an example for us all as we celebrate the birth of the Word.

  83. A Great Banquet2010/12/21
    Fr. John uses the parable of Jesus to show us what Christian life is supposed to be.

  84. The People who Sat in Darkness Have Seen a Great Light2010/12/08
    Fr. John examines how the advent season prepares us for the Nativity of Christ.

  85. A Special Occasion2010/11/03
    Fr. John summarizes the parable of Lazarus and the rich man in just two words.

  86. Power Made Perfect in Weakness2010/09/14
    Fr. John notes the differences between problems and crosses to bear.

  87. The Bridge Between Heaven and Earth2010/08/17
    During the afterfeast of the Dormition of the Theotokos, Fr. John reflects on the mystery that is Mary.

  88. We Are Responsible For The World2010/06/23
    Fr. John offers a reflection on the recent tragedy in the Gulf of Mexico.

  89. The Summer House2010/06/16
    Fr. John makes the obvious (?) connection between summer and the Northern Kingdom of Israel in the 8th Century, BC.

  90. Upon Those In The Tombs2010/05/03
    Fr. John looks at tombs we all fall into—the sins, beliefs and habits that drain the life out of us.

  91. What Must I Do?2010/04/13
    With the glorious Paschal season upon us, Fr. John examines the questions being asked of Christians by today's world.

  92. Slowing Down for Holy Week2010/03/23
    Fr. John shows how Holy Week answers the question of "What happened?" between Christ's entry into Jerusalem and His glorious Resurrection.

  93. Below the Water Line2010/02/16
    Fr. John shows how, like the ecosystem of Guam was damaged by an unseen predator, so also what we keep hidden within us can destroy our relationships without repentance.

  94. What Now2010/01/15
    Fr. John uses the thoughts of St. Nikolai Velimirovich to reflect on the tragedy in Haiti.

  95. Disappointments Not Healed in This Life2009/12/01
    Fr. John examines the life and faith of the Holy New Martyr and Grand Duchess Elizabeth.

  96. Gratitude In Action2009/11/25
    Fr. John notes the deeper meanings of remembrance and of giving thanks.

  97. Bowing to the Great Suffering2009/11/18
    Fr. John illustrates how Christians are those who reach out to people in pain

  98. The Sower And The Seed2009/10/15
    Fr. John examines the well-known parable in answer to the question, "Are you saved?"

  99. Imitation and Participation2009/09/28
    Fr. John shows how participation in God's sacraments are a necessary part of our salvation.

  100. Our Lord Come2009/09/17
    Having previously looked at new beginnings, Fr. John now discusses the end times and those who foolishly try to predict them.

  101. New Years and New Beginnings2009/08/31
    Fr. John explains why the new church year begins on September 1, then tells of a birthday party like no other.

  102. Commending Ourselves and Each Other to Christ Our God2009/08/21
    What do those words in the liturgy mean? And how do we accomplish this? Fr. John enlightens us with the answers.

  103. Glorifying God In Our Bodies2009/08/04
    Are our physical bodies evil? Are they good? Fr. John explores these questions in light of Christ's Transfiguration.

  104. Descending in Humility2009/07/08
    Fr. John illustrates how lowliness and self-condemnation should be our goal, rather than pride and self-esteem.

  105. Adam’s Lament2009/06/09
    In this Pentecost season, Fr. John looks to "Adam's Lament" by St. Silouan to show that the loss of the Holy Spirit is the source of our sorrows.

  106. Qualities of Worship - Part 42009/05/30
    Fr. John shows that it is not modified behavior that makes us people of God, but changed hearts.

  107. Qualities of Worship - Part 32009/05/11
    Fr. John turns to answering what happens to us over time when we gather as the Body of Christ.

  108. Qualities of Worship - Part 22009/04/24
    Fr. John mourns the loss of the Christian male and how it runs counter to the necessity of collective worship.

  109. Qualities of Worship - Part 12009/04/01
    In the first part of his series, Father John speaks of liturgy as sacred assembly.

  110. A Circle of Quiet2009/03/14
    Fr. John examines St. Gregory Palamas, who taught that interior stillness was the path to knowing God.

  111. Jenny2009/02/25
  112. God, be Merciful to Me, a Sinner2009/02/12
  113. Does God Love the Devil and the Demons Like He Loves Us?2009/01/22
  114. The Mystical Garden2008/12/27
  115. You Are Wanted2008/12/15
  116. A Sacred Hunger2008/12/01
  117. Election Special2008/10/29
  118. Do You Want To Be Healed?2008/10/16
  119. Thou Shalt Not Covet2008/09/23
  120. Society And The Soul - Part 102008/09/03
  121. The Mercy of God2008/08/16
  122. Society And The Soul - Part 92008/07/31
  123. Society And The Soul - Part 82008/07/03
  124. Society And The Soul - Part 72008/06/16
  125. A Reflection On Natural Disasters2008/05/30
  126. Society and the Soul - Part 62008/05/15
  127. Seeing the World in an Iconographic Way2008/05/02
  128. Society and the Soul - Part 52008/03/27
  129. Society and the Soul - Part 42008/03/09
  130. Society and the Soul - Part 32008/02/20
  131. Society and the Soul - Part 22008/02/02
  132. Society and the Soul - Part 12008/01/16
  133. The Synaxis of the Holy Theotokos2007/12/26
  134. And The Soul Felt Its Worth2007/12/11
  135. Passing the Time2007/11/22
  136. Babies In The Biosphere - 32007/11/07
  137. Babies in the Biosphere - 22007/10/29
  138. Babies in the Biosphere - 12007/10/18
  139. An Airport, A Hospital and the Book of Psalms2007/09/26
  140. The Grandeur Of God2007/09/12
  141. Four Miles and Three Days2007/08/28
  142. Rising Above Violence And Revenge2007/08/17
  143. The Mystery of God2007/08/03
  144. What Is Your Governing Dynamic?2007/07/20
  145. The Vulnerability of Love2007/07/07
  146. Tradition2007/06/27
  147. Joni and Superman - Two Worldviews2007/06/16
  148. A Tale of Two Worldviews2007/06/06
  149. The Christian Worldview2007/05/23
  150. The Value Of One Life2007/05/15
Hearts and Minds
Fr. John Oliver's thoughtful perspective on culture, society and the Orthodox faith.

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