Gladsome Light Dialogues – An Orthodox Blog

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

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Miley Cyrus and the Beheading of St. John the Baptist

August 29th, 2013 by Fr. Vasile
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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 by Fr. Vasile
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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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’s Christianity">Zooms and Primes in Todays Christianity

June 25th, 2013 by Fr. Vasile
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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 by Fr. Vasile
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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 by Fr. Vasile
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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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Holy Week and Pascha 2013

May 8th, 2013 by Fr. Vasile
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Enjoy the photos from our first Holy Week and Pascha in the New Church

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A Year of Firsts

April 26th, 2013 by Fr. Vasile
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Following Christ_smallIt 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

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’s Entertainment – How The Bible Series Fails to Deliver to the Christian Community">Its Entertainment – How The Bible Series Fails to Deliver to the Christian Community

April 8th, 2013 by Fr. Vasile
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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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The Last Temptation

March 29th, 2013 by Fr. Vasile
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bloom_snowComing 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

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Lent – an intimate journey to God. Lessons from the sermon on the mount

March 1st, 2013 by Fr. Vasile
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Crucifixion_of_Jesus,_Russian_icon_by_Dionisius,_1500What 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

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