Praying In The Rain



Reflections on the Inner Life from Canada's Pacific Coast - Fr. Michael Gillis reflects on the inner life of Orthodox Christians. Drawing on the wisdom of both ancient and contemporary Church Fathers, Fr. Michael ponders the struggles, the ironies, and the disciplines of the spiritual life.


  • Thoughts, Passions, Gardening


    Someone recently asked me about how to understand the evil thoughts they experience.

  • Death Does Not Come for Coffee


    What will we finally say when death visits us - and not for coffee?

  • The Problem With Vainglory

    01/02/2024 Duração: 11min

    One of the problems with vainglory, according to St. Isaac the Syrian, is that “it hands that person over to” either fornication or pride. But before we can talk about how vainglory hands one over to either fornication or pride, we need to understand what vainglory is. Nowadays the word vain means to have a high opinion of oneself, but that is not what it originally meant, nor what it means in the Bible or in the hymnology of the Church. This is why many English-speaking Orthodox Christians have no idea what vainglory means.

  • The Art of Humility

    18/01/2024 Duração: 10min

    There is strength in humility.

  • How Could God Allow…

    12/01/2024 Duração: 11min

    "How could God let his representatives get away with such things?"

  • Same Sex Attraction and Three Desert Fathers

    28/08/2023 Duração: 10min

    We live in a generation that has been taught to tie their personal identity to their imagined sexual preferences. Consequently, it is difficult to help people who struggle with sexual passions to find hope and repentance. However, the teaching of holy fathers such as St. Isaac the Syrian and St. Barsanuphius of Gaza provide a very helpful alternative to the world’s way of thinking about such passions. For these saints, same-sex attraction is a passion like any other. It is not part of one’s identity, but is a parasitical passion, resisted and struggled against as all other passions are.

  • A Bit on Illumination


    "We have to read with discernment and humility."

  • Forgiveness on a Snowy Day

    28/02/2023 Duração: 13min

    Just about any discipline that has to do with the body, if you really think that discipline is important, is mostly just a matter of making yourself do it; but forgiveness is not merely a bodily matter. Forgiveness is a matter of the soul, of the heart. Forgiveness is not so easy. On its most basic level, forgiveness means that you will not seek revenge. It means that you are letting go of your right to get even. When you forgive someone, you stop punishing them in your mind. It means that you stop rehearsing in your mind how much they hurt you.

  • Theosis: Women Vs. Men

    01/12/2022 Duração: 11min

    Is there a difference between men and women in regard to theosis? Short answer: No. Long answer: Every human being is unique. Gender is part of that uniqueness.

  • Prostrations and Depression

    28/10/2022 Duração: 15min

    Acknowledging the ugliness in our heart is like taking out the garbage. When we pretend it’s not there, it doesn’t go away. It just festers. But when we confess our sin by acknowledging before God the ugliness of our heart, a ray of light shines there and we take a step toward healing.

  • For Beginners Only: Building Our Spiritual House

    26/09/2022 Duração: 15min

    For those of us who are still working on getting that first few rows of stones around the foundation of faith, focusing on acquiring a little bit of every virtue helps us to keep picking up the stone (of virtue) that is needed at a given moment and putting it down at the correct place in our spiritual house. Baby steps for baby Christians. May God grant that we are all found to be children in His Kingdom.

  • Faith and Moral Freedom

    11/08/2022 Duração: 09min

    Just as surely as there is a time of sowing, there is a time of reaping. God changes us and touches the hearts of others through our prayers, our giving and our service to others. Seeds become trees and trees change the environment. Sowing is hard. Trees grow slowly, almost imperceptibly. It requires faith and often tears.

  • The Interactive Work Of The Holy Spirit

    08/06/2022 Duração: 12min

    The work of the Holy Spirit in our lives always takes place on two levels, both on the level of what is outside us or what comes to us, and on the level of what is within us or how we receive what comes to us.

  • Family Life and Spiritual Warfare

    18/05/2022 Duração: 16min

    Fr. Michael Gillis answers the question of “how to overcome thoughts of pride in our hearts that inevitably come after labouring on good works for our families and people around us.”

  • Good’s Disfigured Face

    04/05/2022 Duração: 16min

    Fr. Michael Gillis reflects on the life and writings of 20th century Catholic author, Flannery O’Connor. "Good in this broken world is always something under construction. The grotesque—physical, moral and spiritual—that presents itself to us as the terribly deformed face of a cancer ridden child very often hides from us the Grace of God at work constructing good in that person’s life. How many people have I dismissed because I have connected the visible cancer of a terribly confused and broken moral or spiritual life with the “grotesquerie of sin”? How often have I failed to see, failed to even look for the good under construction, the glimmer of Grace at work in a life disfigured by the brokenness of sin? Truly the thought of this question overpowers me sometimes."

  • Arguing

    17/02/2022 Duração: 12min

    In St. Paul’s famous passage about spiritual warfare in 2 Corinthians 10, he specifically mentions arguments as one of the high things that must be cast down because they exalt themselves against the knowledge of God. Arguments, St. Paul tells us, along with every other “high thing” must be brought into obedience to Christ. Forcing myself to turn away from the argument in my mind and to return to Christ in my heart is the only way I have found to recapture the peace which fled when I accepted the devil’s bait and began to argue.

  • Two Rich Men

    21/01/2022 Duração: 11min

    To begin with, we must remind ourselves that salvation is a mystery, and that discerning principles and rules in the scriptures and self consciously applying them to ourselves is no guarantee that we will find salvation. In fact, it seems that this approach to seeking to discover and apply the correct formula or law to his life is exactly the approach used by the ruler who fails to find salvation.

  • The Muskox Response to COVID-19

    14/01/2022 Duração: 10min

    Fear and anger, however, seem to trump common sense and faith in God. Fear and anger open in us a floodgate of animal passions making it seem appropriate to demonize (or de-humanize) those we disagree with. Fear and anger release our inner muskox ready to trample those who are less clear thinking than we are, less concerned for liberty or the common good than we are, less eager to create a just and safe society than we are—or at least that’s how it appears to us. And we don’t have time to listen, truly listen, to one another. Fear and anger create urgency so that we don’t have time to listen, we don’t have time to care, we don’t have time to be Christians.

  • Self-Importance

    22/12/2021 Duração: 17min

    Self-importance is a tricky disease to diagnose, not in others, but in oneself. The problem lies in the fact that often (but not always) those who suffer from the spiritual sickness of self-importance are in positions that are actually important. Those of us who teach and/or lead in the Church or in politics or in education or in medicine or in business are indeed in positions of importance. However, it’s not the fact that we are in positions of importance that causes us to suffer from self-importance, but being in such a position does make it much harder for us to diagnose our disease.

  • Love and Self Righeousness

    03/12/2021 Duração: 10min

    I want to make clear to everyone that we will not be asking anyone about vaccination status. As in almost all matters, so with government health mandates, it is possible (probable) that very godly, intelligent and well-meaning people will disagree. Let’s not let self righteousness—and her children, fear, anger, and judgement—keep us from loving one another and believing the best of one another, even if we don’t see eye to eye on this or any other political or medical matter.

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