The first of January is the beginning of the New Year, and in the same time the end of the old one. The Romans named this month January based on Janus, one of their pagan deities, the god of all beginning and all ends. He was represented with two heads, one old, one young, looking in opposite directions. Of course, this is a false god, he does not exist, yet his symbolism persists in our calendar and, every year, when we celebrate the New Year, we look in these two direction: the past and the future.
For us Christians, the only acceptable beginning and the end, the only alpha and omega, is the One True God, One in… Continue reading
Tags: commitment · faith · new year · orthodox · time
In case you haven’t been following the news, the Supreme Court has recently ruled in favor of the recognition of same-sex unions throughout United States. Does this come as a surprise? Absolutely not! We knew it was just a matter of time. But how did we get here? How come that we need a court of law to decide what marriage is?
Before we start pointing fingers at the state for changing our understanding of marriage, we have to admit first that even in Christianity, there are different views of what actually marriage is. Most Christians would agree that marriage is a union between a man and a woman that mutually agree to spend their lives together, but looking deeper… Continue reading
Tags: crowning · Greek · marriage · orthodox · redefinition · same sex · wedding
“Strong minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, weak minds discuss people.” – Socrates
There is a story that circulates in Christian and Jewish circles about gossip. I was not able to track its origins but the story goes like this.
“There was a woman that liked to talk about other people’s affairs and spread unkind words around. One day however she felt remorseful and went to the priest to confess her sin. The priest listened to her confession and asked her if she truly understood the consequences of such hearsay activities. She uttered a rather unconvincing yes. Reading between the lines, the experienced priest offered her a penance, a small feat, he said, that will… Continue reading
Tags: Confession · feathers · gossip · orthodox · pillow · priest
Living 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
Tags: budhism · Christianity · church · college · morality · orthodox · tao · teens · whatever · youth
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
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