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
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
Coming back home from spring break was always a joy in my childhood. Somehow over the break the nature was magically starting to come back to life. White blooming cherry trees, budding branches with baby leaves, the green starting to fill the dried lawns were all signs that the dominion of winter is past and the rule of spring has begun. In some years however, in the midst of this resurrection of nature, winter was sending its last unexpected snowfall over the land. The tragedy was that any trees caught in bloom were doomed to a fruitless season, as the unmerciful cold destroyed their delicate flowers. It was the last temptation of winter, sweeping away any impatient tree, too eager to… Continue reading
Tags: bloom · Christ · christian · Judas · last · orthodox · spring · temptation · winter
What is Lent? By most popular definitions lent is a period of abstinence, total or partial, from food. It is basically a diet. If it is not understood as a diet, then is often considered a period of renunciation to some of our guilty pleasures like tv, chocolate etc. The Christian understanding of fasting however and especially the Orthodox one, is much more complex than simply “giving up” something .
So what is Lent? Of course during Lent we renounce some types of foods like meat, dairy products etc. This is an important part of our lenten journey, not to be forgotten or neglected; it helps the body become swifter and, less encumbered by heavy foods, it can rise faster to prayer… Continue reading
Tags: alms · almsgiving · boasting · christian · Fasting · Great Lent · intimate · orthodox · personal · prayer