The first of January is the beginning of the New Year, and in the same time the end of the old one. The Romans named this month January based on Janus, one of their pagan deities, the god of all beginning and all ends. He was represented with two heads, one old, one young, looking in opposite directions. Of course, this is a false god, he does not exist, yet his symbolism persists in our calendar and, every year, when we celebrate the New Year, we look in these two direction: the past and the future.
For us Christians, the only acceptable beginning and the end, the only alpha and omega, is the One True God, One in… Continue reading
Tags: commitment · faith · new year · orthodox · time
I 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
Tags: change of heart · christian · faith · orthodox · religion · religiosity · way of life
Summer 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
Tags: christian · faith · Greek · hard · orthodox · play · reengage · staycation · Vacation · Work
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
Tags: corruption · Eastern · Eglish · faith · meaning · orthodox · semantics · Western