Romanian Traditional New Year Dress-up
All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful; all things are lawful for me, but not all things edify. (1 Co 10:23)
Spending all my childhood and early youth in native Romania, I have to admit that I am not (yet) emotionally involved with all the major American Holidays. I am working on it, especially since my family has been naturalized a few years ago, but I find myself a bit of a stranger around these days. This fact, however, offered me the opportunity to research their meaning with fresh inquiring eyes and to not just take them for granted. I take for granted only the Romanian holidays that I grew up with, just like every American does with theirs.
The holidays we grow up with become so engrained over the years, to the point where, although we keep all the rituals, decorations and foods, they start to lose their meaning to us. We celebrate them because that’s what we do, but we rarely bother to recollect their deeper significance. Even great Holidays like Christmas, Pascha or Thanksgiving are rapidly losing their meaning to consumerism and marketing.
The situation gets even more complicated when a Christian Orthodox comes to America, or when an American born joins the Orthodox Church.
The fall-winter season is particularly challenging. First comes Halloween….
Read the entire article here
Tags: American · convert · halloween · orthodox · struggle · Thanksgiving · traditions
The greatest plague of the 21st century is not AIDS, nor cancer, nor the H1N1 flu, but something that affects much more people in ways we can barely start to understand: depression. Reportedly one in ten Americans suffers from one or the other forms of this malady. The rates of anti-depressant usage in the United States are just as worrisome. A recent poll unveils that one in eight Americans is using them. Prozac, Zyprexa, Cymbalta are not strange alien names anymore, but familiar encounters in almost every American household. Even children approach the usage rates of adults. These are very high and paradoxical numbers in a country where all are free to enjoy “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”… Continue reading
Tags: cure · Depression · Fr. Sophrony · Mount Athos · orthodox · plague · Sacharov · St. Silouan
The entire Internet is still in a state of consternation after the recent performance of Miley Cyrus at the MTV Video Music Awards. Since I am way past the MTV viewers median age, I found out about it from a post on a social network. Although I was bracing myself for something inappropriate, I was in for a surprise. In fact, it was so painful that I could not watch more than a few seconds of the recording. It hurts deeply to see a beautiful young woman like her descending so low on the scale of decency. The only thing on my mind was: why? I saw in her all the lost daughters of the world that allowed themselves to be… Continue reading
Tags: Baptist · beheading · cyrus · Fasting · Forerunner · generation · John · miley · MTV · orthodox · Salome · young
Recently Pope Francis made a couple of affirmation in an impromptu press conference that made the headlines of all major news agencies. They deal with the very “hot” issue of the Christian view on homosexuality. In the context of the building pressure from the secular society, the recent development in the United States’ Supreme Court and the lawsuit against the Anglican Church that is coming up from a same sex couple in Britain, one can understand why the press was so eager to find out what the Pope had to say about it. The headlines wrote things like: Pope Francis: The end of ‘fortress Catholicism’, Pope’s gay tolerance no shock and so forth, implying that the Pope… Continue reading
Tags: christian · Francis · homosexuality · humility · love · orthodox · perspective · pope
Warning: This article contains some details about photography techniques. However, reading it until the end will prove highly beneficial.
There is no secret for anyone that I like photography. I have always been and I always will be fascinated by the mystical revelations of the dark room, where all your dreams of light and shadows take life under the gleaming shine of the red safelight. When seen through the camera lens, even regular life becomes something special, according to the vision of the photographer; the singular moment is glorified and preserved for eternity; a lifetime can be contained occasionally in a frozen frame.
There is however an unspoken myth among photographers, more of a misconception really, that… Continue reading
Tags: Christianity · lens · orthodox · photography · prime · zoom
Summer is again upon us we start again to dream of exotic vacations, foreign cities, singular experiences, new friends and so on. We want to escape the mundane drag of everyday life and discover the unknown, leaving behind us all that is responsibility and work and enjoy the time just for ourselves.
The work-hard-play-hard paradigm has shaped us in this form, to work, work, work and then when you feel you can’t take it anymore we try to forget all of it by going in the opposite direction, looking for more and more extravagant forms of entertainment. The exacerbation of this phenomenon, especially with newer generations, moved a lot of people into extreme experiences: climbing vertical cliffs without ropes, crawling… Continue reading
Tags: christian · faith · Greek · hard · orthodox · play · reengage · staycation · Vacation · Work
Talk given at the North Texas Orthodox Missions 2013 event called “How to Talk with Your Children and Grandchildren About God”.
You can also listen to the live recording of the talk on Ancient Faith Radio here. Note: The live version differs a bit from the written version.
In preparing for this talk I had some interesting conversations with a couple of friends regarding the possible conflict between science and, for a lack of a better world, religion or spirituality in general. Comments varied from saying that religion has no right to interfere with scientific truth and religion is only a way to cope with yet… Continue reading
Tags: christian · conflict · earth · galileo · orthodox · religion · revolve · science · sun · urban · war
Enjoy the photos from our first Holy Week and Pascha in the New Church
Tags: aint · album · Euless · Greek · John · orthodox · Pascha · Phto
It is the custom in the Orthodox Church on August 6th, the day of the Transfiguration of our Lord on Mount Tabor, to bring the first fruits of the fall harvest into church, as a first offering to God from the gifts that He so richly bestows upon us. Of course He personally does not need any material goods from us, as the Creator and Sustainer of the Universe, but He so desires to see us displaying a giving and loving heart “a humble and lowly heart, God will not despise” (Ps. 50).
What God hopes is to see that we stop for a minute and reflect on the relationship the exists between us
Tags: Easter · Eastern · Golgotha · orthodox · Pascha · Resurrection