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'

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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’s order in our lives">The Great Confusion – reflections on the disruption of Gods 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 7 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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’s spot or what do we do when no one is watching?">Parking in the priests spot or what do we do when no one is watching?

December 1st, 2011 No Comments

 

Most parishes in the United States have a designated parking spot for their priest, usually somewhere close to the Church’s entrance.  The reasons are understandably practical. In reality this space proves to be an apple of discord and a stepping-stone for many that dream to park just inches away from the building. Nobody dares however to park there if they know the priest might be stopping by. But as soon as the danger of being caught ebbs away there will always be someone that will take up that spot.

You might already be asking yourself at this point, is it I that Father is complaining about? Guilty or not, this article is not about my frustration of finding out that my spot was taken. I don’t care… Continue reading

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The Freedom of Morality and the Imorality of Freedom

November 4th, 2011 No Comments

The recent overthrowing of the authoritarian governments from the Middle East countries has brought up again the importance of freedom as an essential human value. The notion of freedom however is not as easy to define as one would think. In general we understand that freedom means the capacity to act without any outside restraint. As J. Rufus Fears, professor of Classics and chair in History of Liberty at the University of Oklahoma, asserts, this concept can be applied to a nation for example that is free from any outside domination, can be applied to a political system, meaning that one can elect its own choice of government, but most importantly can be applied to the individual that is… Continue reading

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Drought and redemption – The Lessons of Global Warming

September 30th, 2011 No Comments

 

“And the LORD shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.” (Isaiah 58:11)

October 2010 to July 2011 was the driest of any 10-month period on record for Texas. Scorching heat, wildfires, crops destroyed, cattle herds relocated seem to be the new norm for the Lone Star state. But we are not the only ones suffering this, Asia, Africa are also experiencing similar weather patterns, bringing millions to the brink of starvation.

Who is to blame? Some say the global warming, others argue that is a natural variation of… Continue reading

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Spiritual Ground Zero

September 14th, 2011 No Comments

Many people would agree that the September 11 terrorist attacks changed not only New York, not only America, but most of the world in many ways. We are involved in a 10 years war in which countless people have lost their lives, soldiers and civilians together; our travel experience hase deteriorated tremendously; our watchfulness level has been raised to paranoid heights; even some people report that church attendance, at least in the United States, might have slightly increased as a result.

The main reason for all this change is that the horrible events in New York shook us all to the core and inflicted a wound that cannot be healed without a visible scar. From an emotional point of… Continue reading

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Always forward looking

July 15th, 2011 No Comments

One of the issues that philosophy has spent a lot of ink on is the answer to the question: who we are? Many thinkers have tried to give a proper answer to this basic question, and yet , despite their efforts, the world is confronted with a huge identity crisis with profound effects at all levels of our society.

In Christianity however, this question is already answered and answered in a very fulfilling way. We know who we are: the Creation of the Most High, fashioned out of His boundless love. Our origin is in Him and this suffices for us. The more important question, as Christians, should be however:  where are we going?

The human life should… Continue reading

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