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



Monday, April 27, 2009

Doubting Thomas? I Doubt It

Do you get tired of seeing the hackneyed discussions of Doubting Thomas around St. Thomas Sunday? I do.

Let's look at the facts. St. Thomas didn't witness Christ's return when the others did. When the others told St. Thomas about the resurrection, his attitude was "Prove It". Would the others have believed in Christ's resurrection if Christ hadn't visited them and hadn't shown them the nail holes in his hands? I doubt it.

Let's look at the Gospel. Jesus said that he performed miracles so that folks would believe. Would anyone have believed that Jesus was the Christ if he hadn't performed such miracles, especially the raising of Lazarus? I doubt it.

The Orthodox Church, in her unnatural wisdom, refers to St. Thomas as Believing Thomas. Jesus encouraged belief by presenting evidence and engaging in rational arguments.

Certainly, believing solely by faith is blessed, but I suspect that St. Thomas didn't doubt God's miracles, including the Resurrection, more than anyone else. Why he's singled out as a doubter is something I don't understand. Maybe someone will explain it to me.

Meanwhile, I like this sermon about Believing Thomas.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

The Antipascha












From the sealed tomb, You shone forth, O Life!

Through closed doors You came to Your Disciples, O Christ God.

Renew in us, through them, an upright spirit,

by the greatness of Your mercy, O Resurrection of all!


Troparion, Tone 7


Thomas touched Your life-giving side with an eager hand, O Christ God,

when You came to Your Apostles through closed doors.

He cried out with all: “You are my Lord and my God!”


Kontakion, Tone 8

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Inculturation

I just posted this comment over at Gabriel's:

"Orthodox inculturation in America will take place only over many centuries owing to the tension between old-country Orthodox who hate American values and less-traditional Orthodox who think that old-country values are out of touch.

"The only solution to this impasse right now is co-existing in a bunch of separate jurisdictions until we're able to pay sufficiently close attention to what God wants.

"How long did the Church take to become decently inculturated with the Greeks? Many centuries and ecumenical councils.

"That's the Orthodox way."

Excuse me, but I posted another comment along the same line, but with less political correctness.

"If Orthodoxy cannot inculturate a "Protestant" culture, then Orthodoxy has no claim to being Christ's Church.

"Frankly, I have no interest in social engineering a solution. I like the spinster-like squabbling. If my priest weren't cranky, I'd feel like an antiseptic pape/prot."


Fast-Free Weeks Have Just Become Superfluous

No faster should be without this product.

Maybe someone should find a way to deep-fry this stuff.