He who places his hope on thee, O Virgin all-glorious, will prosper in all he does.

Inscription on Byzantine coin during reign of Romanus III

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Me Loves Maxim

Och praises Maxim, and so do I.
Now We're Seeing Some REAL Christianity

Serbia's parliament overwhelmingly voted to tie the issue of EU and NATO membership to the status of Kosovo-Metohija. It's about time, and it's just what the doctor ordered.

Few Westerners have heard of the Metohija part of Kosovo-Metohija, and it's too much for anyone to expect that vapid network journalists would perform any intellectual heavy lifting, despite their pretentions.

Metohija means "Church lands", and this is the part of Kosovo-Metohija that is so rich in Orthodox history, churches, and monasteries.

Feast your mind on this writer and and this wonderful piece.

Incidentally, for all of the trash-talking about Vladimir Putin, he's been steadfast in his support of the Orthodox solution in Kosovo-Metohija.

As a personal aside, I am particularly fascinated with Serbia and Serbian Orthodoxy since Serbia's variation on Church/State symphonia involved a limited monarchy, rather than the more archetypical absolutist variety. I really get tired of Orthodox folks who think that Czars and such are the only truly Orthodox rulers.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Little Lent Arrived Too Soon

A promising discussion was brewing over at Och's blog, but the Calendar will force me to cut my participation way short.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Another Useless Comment, Perhaps

I don't know why I even got involved in this one. Maybe it was the sloppiness of the syllogism. Maybe it was reference to majority votes and the Will to Power. Hmmmm, do you think that the Vatican knows something about the latter?
Just Walk Away and Pretend It Didn't Happen

Och is ready to sign the commitment papers....

Monday, October 29, 2007

Folks, He's On A Roll

Gabriel has surpassed himself with his latest post. Wow, I believe that he's becoming positively visionary. Being visionary is part of being Orthodox, of course. We aren't wordsmiths; we're imagesmiths.

I don't understand his guilt thing, but as long as he sticks to the program, he'll get over that soon enough.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Ecumenism, Again

I'm glad we're just talking about it.

Get comfy; it's a long post.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Technolust Abstinence

I'm getting a little impatient with guys' hunching over computer monitors denouncing technology. Maybe by making that statement I'm presenting an unjust caricature, but sometimes the amorphously sentimental utopianism gets so thick that I can't see something more noble.

Someone diverted the issue with a reference to spousal abuse, and I took hold of that opportunity with gusto.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Potter Prattle

I couldn't resist. I had to ask Gabriel whether those popular stories are off-limits to his new flock.
Letting off Ecumenical Steam

I get so tired of the Latinist folks who profess to desire ecumenism with the Orthodox but continue to prattle on about defined doctrines, canonical validity, and such. The plain fact is that they don't understand Orthodoxy. If there's such a thing as a Latinist mindset, is its source to be found in the filioque?

Ad Orientem mentioned the Traditional Anglican Communion's talks with Old Rome. I had heard some time ago that TAC was looking for a Uniat-style relationship. Then again, maybe they need to trade in that jalopy for a wholly new model.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Just Call Me Uncle Dutch

You know, just when I've resolved to be more pleasant and charitable in my Internet interactions, someone says something that stimulates me to issue a strong response. This time, Gabriel hit a couple of my hot buttons, and I thank him for the opportunity to sort out some of these issues in my own mind.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Usually, this blog is ten leagues above my head, but I felt comfortable today, with Fr. Paul Tarazi's erudition keeping me afloat.

Yeah, it's not widely known, but Orthodox actually read the Bible.
Speculative Me

I've blessed Fr. Stephen with another comment. This time, I'm talking about finitude and scarcity. It seems obvious to me that finitude and its material counterpart, scarcity, is an inescapable part of both fallen and unfallen man's existence. I opined that fullness could signify the irrelevance of scarcity.

Monday, October 01, 2007

East is East, and West is West

Give me a break. I am so tired of the East vs. West argument that gets argued as if it's about something other than the acceptance of theological error by the Patriarch of the West. In my mind, this issue is really pretty simple.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Theologians ≠ Quants

Who'd have thunk it? Theologians aren't known for their quantitative orientation.

I was treated to a
brief discussion of Orthodoxy by a noted quant, Nassim Nicholas Taleb.

Better yet, read the whole thing.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Catechisms and Anglicanisms

Fr. Stephen has expressed his intention of writing an Orthodox catechism. I commented in forthright fashion.

Well...at least he'll be able to testify at Judgment that I once gave him a cup of cold water.

While I'm on the subject of Fr. Stephen, let me sing his praises for a moment. He's a good example of what I love about Anglican-tradition believers and, especially, Anglican-tradition converts to Orthodoxy. He and I agree on little other than Orthodoxy, but he brings to the table articulate erudition, good humor, and collegiality. He's a real pastor, and, as a bonus, his parish's nave is pewless.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Sympathizing with the secularists

The Ochlophobist opened up the evolutionism/creationism can of worms, and I couldn't resist voicing my meager opinion. I further made my sympathies known over at Gabriel's site.

I congratulate Gabriel on his new employment.

I'm sorry to hear that the Ochlophobist is becoming anti-science. You know, I think a lot of confusion about science and Orthodoxy would be solved if we were able, through some simple technique, to erase the unwholesome influence that the Western heresies have had in framing the religion/science issue. The solution, of course, is more Orthodoxy, but that isn't implemented simply.

My view is that the evolutionism/creationism controversy is simple, rather than grandiose. It only seems grandiose because of the disingenuousness of some folks involved in the controversy.

Let me be plain about this: my sympathies lie with Truth and with particular truths. Scientists who endorse evolutionism are merely picking the best explanation out of a sorry lot, and man's life in the created world often involves such tradeoffs. Man is endowed with reason, not omniscience. Scientists necessarily hold a truncated view of reality--that is, a view of reality that includes only the created world--because they are doing science, not theology.

The creationism and ID folks aren't grappling with issues like intellectual honesty, but rather foisting their perversely nominal Christianity on every endeavor, including science.

Give me the sparkling prose of an anguished soul like Christopher Hitchens. For that matter, I like Camille Paglia, too.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Maybe I love absolute monarchy after all?

Yeah, right, but I posted this little comment about the OCA scandal over at The Ochlophobist. I wish someone would tell me something about the scandal that would upset me, because, right now, I am yawning.

Perhaps I should read some Fr. Schmemann so I can contribute to the real discussion.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Coming off the Dormition Fast, I thought that I'd agree with the Ochlophobist about having less in a world of more. Don't count on any other agreements, however.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Am I being dull-minded about particular rarified topics? For example, I don't see a lot of good coming out of evil, but some folks do. I don't see a lot of higher meanings, either.
I've come across a new blog wherein the owner expounds on man's free will and God's foreknowledge. Good stuff for folks who have their metaphysical priorities straight.

With new ground to explore, my empirical antennae began to quiver. I asked questions here and here. It doesn't take me too long to get down to brass tacks.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

The Ochlophobic Economic Manifesto

Gosh, our Ochlophobist works hard. I'll post a short comment on his blog after awhile.

By the way, I like one of his suggestions about proper attire in Church. After all, we are not of this world, especially in Church. With respect to the logo ban, however, parishes may have to stock up on those white adhesive paper nametags--you know, the ones handed out at conventions--to cover the golf shirt logos.

Many years to our good friend!

In response to a commenter's question, I wrote a brief explanation of interest rates for loyal Ochlophobic readers.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Tell Me What You Really Think Departmental Memo: Sometimes I almost feel sorry for Fr. Stephen's having to put up with me. No doubt about it; he's a patient man.
Just when I thought I'd be able to take life easy, the Ochlophobist posted a modicum of weltschmertz. Ah, Arturo's artistic sensibilities...can't live with 'em, and can't live without 'em.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

This a a gold coin issued in Byzantium during the reign of Michael III (842-867). The coin bears the image of Christ Pantocrator. What a wonderful reminder of the important role that honest money plays in the progress of human civilization.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

I recently posted comments to Fr. Andrew about the Western Rite over at Christ in the Mountains.

I am delighted to learn that Fr. Andrew is a Western Rite priest, and I look forward to reading more of his and his colleagues' views.

I didn't say anything new, and I had expressed some reservations about the Western Rite over at Julio's excellent blog, Hispania Sancta.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Thursday, July 12, 2007

I'd like to be polite, but this is another useless question to which I vainly responded.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

I honestly don't know why some folks don't like freedom...

I almost forgot about this one. Gabriel shamed me into becoming talkative, and the legendary Ochlophobist always gives me a fair hearing....
An honest Vatican? Maybe....

Fr. Stephen is such a nice person, I almost hate to disagree with him....
Liturgical confusion at the Vatican...what else is new?

I don't know why folks make such a big deal about the Tridentine mass. I prefer the pre-Tridentine masses, you know, when the polyphony was so dense, one could hardly hear the filioque.

I inserted a little plug for clergy compensation. Maybe my Confessor will be gentler to me next time.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Interesting discussion of papal infallibility

First-rate Ortho theologians reside at this site. I certainly hope these guys have my back.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Constructive Synallelia

Fr. Stephen Freeman has posted an important entry on his blog about the role of freedom in permitting a believer to uncover his true self. Although his entry pertains directly to the field of psychology, it could apply also to the role of state compulsion in permitting or denying persons' ability to discover themselves.

The quotation from Fr. Dumitru Staniloae is instructive:
“To the extent that man does not use his freedom, he is not himself. In order to emerge from that indeterminate state, he must utilize his freedom in order to know and be known as himself.”

I am optimistic about the emergence of an alternative to commonly-held Orthodox opinions about Church-State symphonia.

Friday, May 18, 2007


Christus resurrexit de mortuis,

morte mortem calcavit,

et entibus in sepulchris vitam donavit.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Dunstan, Archbishop

By thee, O Dunstan, hath the whole land of England been wondrously adorned, for thou didst labor unceasingly to restore all the monastic houses laid waste by the heathen, to people them again with zealous monks and nuns, and to provide them with strict rules of pious order wherewith to govern their lives. Wherefore, the Church of Christ doth ever praise thine all-honorable name, O holy bishop.

Troparion, Tone 8

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Petar (Zimonjic), Metropolitan of Dabro-Bosnia, Hieromartyr

Because of your faith in God and His Righteousness,
you have suffered in the flesh.
The earth sorrows, yet you have saved your souls, Heaven rejoices!
Your ancestors sang aloud with the Heaven,
greeting you at the gate of Paradise with song:

"Your names are in the Book of Eternity,
enter into Paradise, O children of immortality!"
We your posterity on earth, cry out in unison:
Holy Serbian New Martyrs, pray for us!

Troparion, Tone 8

Friday, February 16, 2007

George of Ioannina, Martyr

Let us praise George, Christ's Martyr,
Ioannina's boast and protector.
For he contested steadfastly and conquered the enemy in power of the spirit.
He now intercedes unceasingly that our souls may find mercy.

Troparion, Tone 5

Alexis Toth, Confessor and Defender

O righteous Father Alexis,

Our heavenly intercessor and teacher,

Divine adornment of the Church of Christ!

Entreat the Master of All
To strengthen the Orthodox Faith in America,
To grant peace to the world

And to our souls, great mercy!

Troparion, Tone 4

Friday, January 19, 2007

Peter the Aleut, Martyr

Today Alaska rejoices and America celebrates,
For the new world has been sanctified by martyrdom.
Kodiak echoes with songs of thanksgiving,
Iliamna and Kenai observe the festival of faith.
The Apostle and martyr Juvenaly is glorified,
And Peter the Aleut is exalted by his voluntary sacrifice,
In their devotion and love for the Lord,
They willingly endured persecution and death for the Truth,
Now in the Kingdom of Heaven they intercede for our souls!

Troparion, Tone 1