Gladsome Light Dialogues – An Orthodox Blog

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

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Entries Tagged as 'Christ'

The Last Temptation

March 29th, 2013 1 Comment

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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The First Sermon of Christ

January 14th, 2013 3 Comments

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

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Everyday Saints

November 29th, 2012 1 Comment

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

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Who Am I and Who They Say I Am

August 31st, 2012 No Comments

Every time a new school year starts, I inevitably ponder upon the choices one has in education today. The beauty of living in a free country is that one can choose the best-suited education modality for their offspring. Public school is a basic choice opened to all, more refined private schools offer new avenues for the ones that can afford them and for those that don’t trust either, one can also adventure into home schooling.

This was not the case back in communist Romania where I grew up. You had to go to the only school system that was and be taught whatever they decided to teach you. There was not much choice involved. Among other things… Continue reading

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The Bond That Keeps the Bricks of the Our New Church Together

June 2nd, 2012 1 Comment

Jesus said to him, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.

(Mat 22:37-40)

St. John the Little, a disciple of St. Pachomious the Great, said once “Nobody builds his house from the roof down but from the foundation up”. Asked what he meant by this he said “our foundation is our neighbor; to him I should tend first, because on him hang all the commandments of Christ.”  The essence of… Continue reading

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Looking Death in the Face or The Aesthetics of Dying

August 31st, 2011 3 Comments

“Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your sting? O grave, where is your victory?” (1Cor 15:54-55)

As a parish priest one has the privilege to face all aspects of human life from birth until the final departure. In the eyes of a priest, humanity is exposed in its most glorious and most deplorable experiences. Among them one of the most challenging is death. Even writing about it is a difficult task because it is a very unpopular subject.  Nobody wants to die and even more so, nobody wants to talk about it, is a taboo, a place where you just don’t want to go… Continue reading

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The chronicle of a social death foretold

June 1st, 2011 3 Comments

A friend of mine died yesterday. He made a public announcement about it and then he committed suicide. Not physically, spare the thought, but for all practical purposes he is now dead to the world. How did it happen? Well, he officially announced that he is quitting Facebook for good, and, with this, his life has ended; no one will even remember that he ever was; he has passed into the World Wide Web oblivion.

He is not the only one to end like this. Today, if you do not have an electronic presence, you are a nobody to the world. If all your friends do not know what time you woke up and what you ate for breakfast… Continue reading

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Credo ergo sum – I believe therefore I am

May 3rd, 2011 No Comments

Last year there were rumors that the tomb of Jesus was found. The other day some claimed to have found the nails that were used to crucify Christ. More and more news like this surface today and, although most of them prove to be untrue, the people avidly read them because we, even as Christians, are not happy anymore with what the Holy Tradition has passed unto us for centuries and we want new proof for everything. We have ceased to believe in the catholicity of the Church, in the universal truth shared in the community of the ecclesia for generations and we trust more the intellect of man, despite its shortcomings, ignoring the divine Sophia, the Wisdom of God… Continue reading

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Loosing weight and saving your soul in the process

January 27th, 2011 No Comments

There is no secret that I could loose some weight. I’ll admit it. Getting back into my ideal measurements is as much of a challenge for me as for anyone despite the claims of the insatiable industry that has developed behind this apparently simple goal. From the classical low calorie diet to the latest fashion in Hollywood dieting, we are sold out of the box, unfailing solutions that will miraculously make us loose those unsolicited extra pounds. But they all fail in most people with, of course, some notable exceptions.

I always wandered why this is and couldn’t find a satisfying answer until a few days ago when I stumbled over a book written by a “diet survivor”… Continue reading

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Running our lives in circles

January 17th, 2011 6 Comments

The miracle of healing of the ten lepers, is generally perceived as an exposition of the importance of gratitude in our lives. There is however another aspect I would like to stress today. The essential piece for its understanding lays in Christ’s words addressed to the cured Samaritan returning to offer his gratitude for the healing: And He said unto him, Arise, go your way: your faith has made you whole” (Luke 17:19)

The other nine, ungrateful, lepers did not hear the same words, save a bitter reproof from Christ. They were not called “whole”, like the Samaritan, because they lacked a crucial virtue the Samaritan exhibited: faith.

Without faith, which is recognizing and trusting the power of… Continue reading

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