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 'christian'

Are we religious or are we faithful?

April 2nd, 2014 No Comments

Pascha_multitudesI 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

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The Great Fast – by Metropolitan Isaiah of Denver

February 28th, 2014 No Comments

Metropolitan Isaiah of Denver

Metropolitan Isaiah – photo courtesy of Vladimir Grigorenko

As we enter into the holiest period of the year in preparation for the glorious Resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, we ask ourselves, “Why should we follow the discipline of fasting, which in essence is abstinence?” What is the purpose of it? Obviously the purpose is that we may be ready to meet our Lord and to receive His promise of eternal life in His Kingdom.

We realize, according to Holy Scripture, that we were created to live forever; and that we will live eternally after the return of Christ to the earth, with our resurrected bodies reunited with our souls. The… Continue reading

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A Humble Perspective

August 2nd, 2013 1 Comment

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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Staycationing with God – Looking for meaning right here and right now

June 5th, 2013 1 Comment

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 1 Comment

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

March 1st, 2013 2 Comments

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

February 1st, 2013 7 Comments

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

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The Road Ahead

August 10th, 2012 1 Comment

During the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony, after the exchange of rings and the bestowing of crowns, the couple takes their first steps of married life led by the celebrating Priest that holds the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. Symbolically, this represents a promise to walk on the road that lays ahead of them together, seeking salvation by following Christ that opens the way into His Kingdom. This ceremonial walk is just the beginning of their journey through the rest of their lives, but they will remember these first steps forever; this is their “hochzeit” as the Germans call it, the “high-time” of their life.

On July 14th 2012… Continue reading

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In The Footsteps Of The Old Masters Of Byzantium

July 16th, 2012 5 Comments

The Beginnings

When Saint Constantine the Great moved the capital of the Roman Empire in the provincial but well positioned city of Byzantium, his aspiration was not only to transfer the power of Rome to the East but also to overshadow the eternal city with monuments of architecture that will find no rivalry in the world. Miraculously converted to Christianity, Constantine took the small city on the Bosphorus and built it from the ground into a Christian capital, erecting not idolatric temples but Christian churches with an architecture that no one has seen before.

The first Church commissioned by Constantine still stands today, Agia Irene, the Church of Holy Peace. The Church of the Holy Apostles, the… Continue reading

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