Gladsome Light Dialogues – An Orthodox Blog

A journey through our Orthodox faith as we live it every day

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Entries Tagged as 'The world around'

We remember and we honor because it matters

March 8th, 2014 1 Comment

20140308-235337.jpgSunday of Orthodoxy 2014

We all take Orthodoxy for granted and we forget all about Synods, Saints and Holy Fathers. We are mostly ignorant that torture, prison, exile, even death were things experienced by previous generations, even close to us, just to keep the faith. Persians, Turks, Communists, even modern secularists all tried to break the faith but all failed.

However the greatest danger comes always from within: heresies. The most dangerous are things that seem right, are apparently well intended but are actually not. In the First ecumenical council one iota (the letter i in Greek alphabet) made the difference between Orthodoxy and heterodoxy (homoousios vs homiousios).

The last ecumenical council argued over what a kiss represents. What do I believe when I venerate an… Continue reading

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The Tao of Whatever and the Abolition of Man

February 25th, 2014 No Comments

Entrance in JerusalemLiving in a multi-cultural, post-modern world brought to us by the new era of rapid communication, we are more and more exposed to cultures that are, or at least seem to be, very remote from our own. Although many of them are in fact foreign, there are times when we find in them something that strikes a sensitive chord with us. Take for instance the concept of “Tao,” found in the homonym religious movement, Taoism, but also in Buddhism, Confucianism, and even in Eastern Martial Arts.

An easy explanation of Tao would be a path or way of life. James Legge, a famous researcher of Chinese culture, described Taoism as “the exhibition of a way or method of… Continue reading

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Honey, what shall we do with our kids on Halloween?

December 10th, 2013 No Comments

Romanian Traditional New Year Dress-up

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… Continue reading

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A Cure for Depression from St. Silouan the Athonite

December 10th, 2013 No Comments

st-silouan-and-elder-sophrony-in-sept-1933The 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

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Miley Cyrus and the Beheading of St. John the Baptist

August 29th, 2013 2 Comments

beheadingThe 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

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A Humble Perspective

August 2nd, 2013 1 Comment

IHS X HumilityRecently 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

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Zooms and Primes in Today’s Christianity

June 25th, 2013 3 Comments

leica_bressonWarning: 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

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Staycationing with God – Looking for meaning right here and right now

June 5th, 2013 1 Comment

staycationSummer 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

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The conflict that never was – How science and Christianity can live together in harmony

May 29th, 2013 1 Comment

Creation_heavensTalk 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

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It’s Entertainment – How ‘The Bible’ Series Fails to Deliver to the Christian Community

April 8th, 2013 1 Comment

Resurrection Chora Monastery ConstantinopleThe recent TV mini-series on the History Channel, “The Bible,” proved to be a big hit as it cleverly coincided with the preparation period before the Western celebration of Pascha. No less than 10 million people followed through each of the 5 episodes of what was supposed to be a sort of Reader’s Digest version of the history contained in the sacred scriptures.

Ten million people is a lot of people to follow a Bible-based show, and I wondered how come, in a society that is as secularized and cross-cultural as ours, we can still find that many people to be still interested in what the old Bible has to say?

I found the answer

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