Clicking here goes to information on the icon.Welcome to the St. Luke Web Page.
Search the site.Listen to Father Borichevsky's restored radio programsSee What St. Luke Orthodox Church has planned.Visit and sign our guest book.Contact the St. Luke Orthodox Church Web Development Team.
Find something on the site in a hurry.
St. Lukes Orthodox Church Home PageDonate Now!Shop for Orthodox goods from your Computerchurchdirectory Pages that deal with St. Luke the Evangelist Orthodox Church. What's the news at St. Lukes.View all the previous and current Evangelist newsletters.View the Sunday bulletin.Information about St. Luke Orthodox Church including the Mission and Vision statements. Pages for 'keeping in touch' with God. Information on prayers and prayingView the prayer of the week and all other previos prayers of the week.Need to pray for something? What is the Orthodox Church and how/why do Orthodox Christians worship? What is the Orthodox Church of America?Who were the Saints, and why do we honor them?Find and explore many different liturgical texts we have available, including the Divine LiturgyWhat is Pascha?  See what it's like at St. Luke's.How is Orthodoxy playing a role in the present times?Learn what are icons and how are they used in the Orthodox Church today.BellsSee what we have to offer!Current Issues Pages for Organizations of St. Lukes. Christian Education, Youth Group, Music, Church Resource Center, Adult Education, and Junior Olympics.Maintenance, New Building, Strategic Planning, Cell Phone Tower, Inventory, Cemetery/Memorial Book, and Historian.Outreach, Charities, Internet, Evangelist Newsletter, Media, Prison, Sanctity of Life, and Mission.Liturgical, Altar Servers, Bell Ringers, Cemetery, Readers, Greeters, Choir, and Vestments.Fellowship, Supply Coordinator, Prayer, Women's Ministry, New Americans, Sunshinem, Flowers, and Vestments. Some stuff Study the bibleSearch the bibleOrthodoxy on the lighter side...Words of Wisdom...If you've got the taste for great Orthodox foods, this is the place to be.Children friendly section of the pageMessages

Mind, Body and Soul
By V. Rev. Fr. Howard E. Sloan

In the beginning, God formed man from the earth and breathed His spirit into him to give us life. Jesus instructed us to love God with our whole heart, soul and body. The Apostle Paul wrote to the Thessalonians that our whole spirit, soul and body be preserved blameless and to the Ephesians that we should be renewed in the spirit of our mind. Man, therefore, is a trinity of mind, body and soul.

Of these three parts what is the most important? Without a right mind, how are we to learn or comprehend? If our body is sickly, how are we to function normally? And what does it mean to have a right soul or spirit?

The scriptures don’t differentiate the importance of one element over another. Paul writes that we are to glorify God in our body and spirit (1Cor. 6:20). It would be wrong, therefore, to advance one and ignore another. We should strive to maintain a proper balance of our mind, body and soul. Each is essential that we may fulfil our call to love God and one another.

An athlete trains themselves by watching their diet and conditioning their body. Likewise they condition their mind to envision success in whatever event they participate. They learn the rules of the event and study films in preparation for competition. The Apostle Paul drew similar comparisons for those in the church to “prepare” for living a life in Christ as if they were running a race!

One of the reasons the church fathers stressed fasting, was to condition our body and help us to focus on the spiritual. Fasting takes both mental and physical discipline. Yet, Jesus said that it isn’t what enters our body that defiles us, but what comes out of our mouth! Doing the one, assists us in accomplishing another.

But what if we are not in good health or suffer a physical or mental ailment that is not medically correctable? At the age of 70, my father was diagnosed with a tumor in his spinal cord which was inoperable. This resulted in him becoming a paraplegic and restricted to a wheel chair for the remaining 23-years of his life. Dad was an outdoors man who enjoyed a very active life prior to his illness.

Rather than complain or be bitter, my dad accepted the reality of his condition and made the best of his years. He continued to use the gifts of mind and spirit in engaging family and others. He became a powerful witness that despite his infirmity, he remained faithful and cherished each day as a gift. We need to be realistic in assessing ourselves and not just see limitations, but the gifts and talents that are God given.

Jesus told us that we are to know the truth and truth will set us free. We should set our minds to understand the principals of our faith so we may incorporate them in our life and act on them. He further said that if we have faith the size of a mustard seed, we could do the unimaginable. It is easy to be distracted or complacent. That is way we must be balanced in our approach. The mind maybe willing, but the body is weak. Oh how true!

How can we become more balanced in life? Jackie Mason, the comedian, was once asked how someone could possibly eat an elephant? His answer, “one bite at a time”. We need to take deliberate steps to achieve our goals and avoid over reaching one’s ability.

Mark Owen, a retired member of Seal Team Six, discussed the “three foot” rule in a recent interview on 60 Minutes. Mr. Owen stated the single most important hand hold or foot support in rock climbing was the one within three feet of your reach. Anything beyond that was foolish and could lead to disaster. I believe that lesson equally applies to everything we do in life. Over reaching one’s understanding or ability, despite our good intentions, may not be wise or beneficial.

If I decide, for example, to schedule a time for daily prayer and scripture reading, I need to be reasonable on when or how long I’ll spend on doing each. It isn’t prudent to say I ‘m going to set aside one hour, when I can only manage 15 minutes. Over reaching leads to frustration, discouragement and abandonment of objectives.

Maintaining a proper balance between the physical and spiritual is so important. Jesus taught us concerning the Kingdom of God by speaking in parables. Each parable related the practicality of everyday life. Whether it was the sowing of seed, drawing water from a well or embracing a rebellious son.

God has created us in His image. Our mind, body and soul are a unique gift given to us for a purpose. Let us glorify Him in all three!

Back to Previous Article
Back to Evangelist Listing
Go to Next Article