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
Every year on Thanksgiving Day, we give thanks to God for our wonderful life. We rejoice in the fruits of the earth (with or without feathers) gathered around a table of abundance. A good thing indeed! Saint Basil the Great advised us to do this as early as the 4th century:
”When you sit down to eat, pray. When you eat bread, do so thanking Him for being so generous to you. If you drink wine, be mindful of Him who has given it to you for your pleasure and as a relief in sickness. When you dress, thank Him for His kindness in providing you with clothes. When you look at the sky and the beauty of the… Continue reading
Tags: All Things · American · christian · Greek · martyrs · orthodox · saints · Thanksgiving
“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
This is a talk I gave on January 31st at the NTOM conference “Falling Asleep in the Lord: An Orthodox Perspective on Dying, Death and Grief” at St. Demetrios Greek orthodox Church in Fort Worth.
Blessed is the way in which thou shalt walk today, O soul, for a place of rest is prepared for thee (Prokeimenon of the Apostle, Funeral Service)
Reverend Brothers, Beloved Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
When confronted with the reality of death most people reveal a deep-seated fear of such an event beyond any human control. This is especially acute nowadays when the science of medicine has made great strides in curing diseases that only a century… Continue reading
Tags: body · end · funeral · judgement · kolyva · life · memorial service · Resurrection · soul · suffering
An icon of all Romanian Saints
By Prof. Dr. Rev. Dumitru Staniloae
Romanian Christianity has given fruit to many and wonderful saints, even though, the humility characteristic to our nation, or other unfavorable historical circumstances in which they lived in, have not allowed our Church to canonize but a very few of them and only in 1955.
The Romanian saints were real and they have been recognized by popular piety, even though the Church has not formally canonized them and has not dedicated them certain calendar days; this is why their deeds have not been praised through special church hymns.
Actually, for the longest time, the saints have been… Continue reading
Tags: christian · church · local · national · orthodox · Romania · romanian · saints · universal
I read a very interesting article a few weeks ago that caught my undivided attention. The title was very daring to begin with: “Religious people are dangerous” and, on top of that, it was written by an Orthodox Bishop, so that made it even more thought-provoking. The following passage summarizes it best: “You who go to church, how has the Church benefitted you? As we said yesterday, we went to the shrines, you saw the fathers, you saw the holy relics, you saw Mount Athos, you saw the Panagia in Tinos, you saw everything, and now we have returned. Ultimately of what benefit will all these things be? Have our hearts transformed? Have we become more humble people? Are we… Continue reading
Tags: change of heart · christian · faith · orthodox · religion · religiosity · way of life