Gladsome Light Dialogues – An Orthodox Blog

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

Gladsome Light Dialogues – An Orthodox Blog header image 2

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

May 29th, 2013 by Fr. Vasile
Respond

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

Twitter

Tags:   · · · · · · · · · · 1 Comment

Holy Week and Pascha 2013

May 8th, 2013 by Fr. Vasile
Respond

Enjoy the photos from our first Holy Week and Pascha in the New Church

Twitter

Tags:   · · · · · · · 1 Comment

A Year of Firsts

April 26th, 2013 by Fr. Vasile
Respond

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

Twitter

Tags:   · · · · · 1 Comment

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

April 8th, 2013 by Fr. Vasile
Respond

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

Twitter

Tags:   · · · · · · · 1 Comment

The Last Temptation

March 29th, 2013 by Fr. Vasile
Respond

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

Twitter

Tags:   · · · · · · · · 1 Comment

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

March 1st, 2013 by Fr. Vasile
Respond

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

Twitter

Tags:   · · · · · · · · · 2 Comments

The Great Confusion – reflections on the disruption of God’s order in our lives

February 1st, 2013 by Fr. Vasile
Respond

The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them (Gen 1:21)

The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them (Gen 1:21)

Last night I went to a talent show at my kids’ school. It was enjoyable to watch an entirely random blend of performances unfolding in front of a room full of parents eager to applaud at the slightest hint of aptitude showing on the stage. I know this because I was one of them. There really was true talent to applaud and, even when talent was not really present, there was a lot of courage to be praised.

The one thing that set… Continue reading

Twitter

Tags:   · · · · · · · 7 Comments

The First Sermon of Christ

January 14th, 2013 by Fr. Vasile
Respond

Theophany IconAny classical public speaking training would tell the aspirant lecturer to always start with a little warm up for the audience, in order to get them engaged, then introduce the topic, present the topic and then a short recap at the end. It is all about building up to your main subject.  This is pretty much what I’m doing now.

There is an old story with a priest in a convent that loved to preach. He always used well thought out  phrases, nice metaphors, parables, comparisons,  his subjects were always good, but he would tend to take a little more time than others. The abbess was a little upset about that because this would cut out the… Continue reading

Twitter

Tags:   · · · · · · · · · · · 3 Comments

Everyday Saints

November 29th, 2012 by Fr. Vasile
Respond

This article marks the beginning of my collaboration with the OCN blog, the Sounding. So there we go!

The recent book of Archmandrite Tikhon, “Everyday Saints and other stories”, is one of those books that fulfill the prophecies on their back covers: it was impossible to put down and I felt very sorry when it ended. What is so special about this spiritual book, that made it into a major bestseller and almost a pop phenomenon in Russia, is that it brings the elements of faith right where they belong: in real life. I’ve read many books about the unmatched spiritual battles of the saints from the desert of Egypt… Continue reading

Twitter

Tags:   · · · · · 1 Comment

Beyond Semantics

October 26th, 2012 by Fr. Vasile
Respond

One of the interesting linguistic phenomena is semantic change, or in layman terms, the change in one of the historical meanings of a word. Archbishop Dmitri of blessed memory, for example, was always making waves during pan Orthodox Lenten Vespers when he was blessing the fasting meal using the prayer “Our Lord Jesus Christ bless Thee the meat of Thy servants”. He always enjoyed clarifying that the original meaning of the word meat in Middle English was actually food, of all varieties, not just of animal origin. It made for sure an interesting conversation over baked potatoes.

There are other changes, however, that occasionally can draw attention to cultural shifts in the society. Take for instance the word holiday… Continue reading

Twitter

Tags:   · · · · · · · 1 Comment