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Showing posts from March, 2008

The Meaning of the Resurrection of Christ

Ok, I know it's still lent for us Orthodox Christians. But for the other half of Christendom, Easter has come and gone, leaving some souls asking the question: "So What?"

I offer the following words, not by me, but by St. John Chrysostom:

If any man be devout and loves God, let him enjoy this fair and radiant triumphal feast. If any man be a wiser servant, let him enter rejoicing into the joy of his Lord. If anyone has labored long in fasting, let him now receive his recompense.

If anyone has worked from the first hour, let him today receive his just reward. If anyone has come at the third hour, let him keep the feast with thanksgiving. If anyone has arrived at the sixth hour, let him have no misgivings;

Because he shall in no way be deprived. Therefore, if anyone has delayed until the ninth hour, let him draw near, fearing nothing. If anyone has tarried even until the eleventh hour, let him also, not be alarmed of his tardiness; for the Lord who is jealous of …

Digging

The earth was wet this afternoon, after much heavy rain. The perfect time for digging. We garden-clawed four new holes: Two by the back porch and two to the right hand side of the yard if viewed from the back porch. What went in them?

Raspberry bushes!

Right now they are still wee little baby raspberry bushes, mere sticks protruding form the ground. But as well as all the weeds do back there, I have high hopes that so will these intentional plants.

It especially brought me great joy to see my two oldest daughters working together on this project, side by side. It was very peaceful and wonderful.

We are all learning how to garden together, each of us brand new to the knowledge and tasks required of us.

The baby spinach is coming up, too. Teeny little specks of two-leafed green peeping up through the ground.

I did not remain crummy-feeling all afternoon like I'd feared after that konk on my head and subsequent nausea. I'm such a whiner, really, when I ought just to…

Konk!

Putting away groceries.

I'm crouching down with the refrigerator door open, rearranging stuff to make room for the eggs we are going to blow, (freeze the innards) and decorate.

Suddenly from above, directly onto my head falls a can of Fix-A-Flat. Someone who was enthusiastically trying to help put away the cake mixes knocked it off to top shelf and onto my head. It was, of course, an accident.

Now I'm nauseous and I almost threw up.

Not how I wanted to spend the afternoon.

Don McLean - The meaning of American Pie (UPDATE)

Wouldn't it be neat to teach a class, or sit in a class called "20th Century American Transitions" or somesuch, whose syllabus was based around this song? ...Just dreaming, of course.

Annunciation

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Today is the Feast of the Annunciation. God hinged His entire plan for our salvation on the will "Yes" of his handmaiden, Mary. And she said "Yes." "Be it done unto me according to God's will."

Isn't this what every Christian wants to learn how to say, all the time? I know it is for me, and yet I so often find myself saying it, and yet chafing against the will of God at the same time. God have mercy.

In Orthodoxy, Mary is not considered the "great exception", but rather the great example. Where she goes; in saying yes to God, in becoming the tabernacle of Christ himself, in being the "God-bearer", the Theotokos in Greek, aka "the mother of God"...so we become as well. She is our mother, since we are called brothers and sisters of Christ, adopted by God, co-heirs. And she is his mother, so our mother as well.

Imagine the cleansing and purifying capacity of carrying God Himself in one's own body for nine …

Thoughts on Fasting

HandS asks:

So are you saying that one can't partake of the Eucharist unless one has kept the fast all morning? (I'm not Orthodox - yet!) Yikes! I get extremely faint and dizzy when I don't eat breakfast.

Answer:

That's the standard: The Eucharistic fast starts at midnight the night before, if liturgy is served in the morning, or for an evening liturgy, such as presanctified, the fast starts at noon. If you have health problems, need to take meds with food, hypoglycemia (dizziness and fainting), etc, you talk with your priest and get permission to take care of your physical needs. If the fasting will keep you from driving safely, you eat something so that you don't crash your car, etc. The point is to do it under the direction of your priest, and don't go making up excuses for yourself by yourself.

For years I had permission to eat something before liturgy. Then I went to a service of holy unction (healing service) last Nativity Fast, and since then, I'…

Complicated

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Tomorrow is the feast of the Annunciation, and I'm having trouble deciding what to do. "Go to Church, of course!" Well, yes, but that's the problem. There is much collegiality between the various parishes in our area, as many folks who attend my home parish work in Lexington, and some of us live here, too. So, we pretty much have a blessing to go and worship at any of the parishes we want to for the weekday/lenten services, as long as it means we are keeping the feast somewhere.

So, should I go to Vespers at the OCA parish (my home parish, which through rush hour traffic means an hour long drive to get there), or at the Greek Church (nice and close), or Vesepral Liturgy at the Antiochian parish (not quite so close as the Greek parish, but not as far as my home parish) tonight?

If I decide not to go to vesperal liturgy at the Antiochian parish tonight, then should I go to Divine Liturgy tomorrow at my home parish, or at the Greek parish (unless of course, I'…

Silk Baptismal Gown

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Here it is!


This silk was so fine that I had to leave it plain lest I ruin the perfection of it. This baptismal gown is fully lined, and I did the teeny tiny buttonholes by hand. I think I shall do ALL buttonholes by hand from now on.

...And the wee plain bonnet...sigh...

Shivers of delight and joy!

(I get somewhat attached to my sewing projects...)

This is what happens...

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...when I read good books: The pile is actually much bigger than it appears in the picture, but the good news is, these clothes are clean. And the sunlight slanting on them like a beatific vision just adds the right touch, don't you think?

And I've stuffed some of Fr. John Meyendorff's ideas into my brain.

Now where did I put my house elf?

History in the details

Check out the opening line of the Paris Peace Treaty of 1783:

"In the name of..."

And don't get me wrong. I'm SO not a "The Light and the Glory" type.

Reading Lists

I recently finished up reading _Russia and the Soviet Union_ by John M. Thompson.

I read this just for fun, because I love history. I also wanted to learn enough about Russian history so that I could read Dostoyevsky and have it make sense from a cultural standpoint. I do know it's possible to pick up an awful lot just from inferences and references, but there's something foreign enough about Russia to make it worth delving into.

The Thompson volume is very concise and readable. I recommend it, although the author has a very low view of the Orthodox Church. Oh well. It's full of sinners, what can I say? Perhaps I will read Brothers Kharamazov poolside this summer.

Currently I'm plowing through a little book by Fr. John Meyendorff called _Orthodoxy and Catholicity_, which is really a series of lectures, articles, essays...that sort of thing, compiled together into a rather oldish volume that explores some of the issues around the ending of the East/West schism.…

Family Feud

Two girls were fighting at my house tonight. At issue: What are the rules pertaining to the usage of library books that are checked out on someone else's card?

Yes. This is a BIG QUESTION around here.

Needless to say, one girl was busy reading a book she had not checked out. The other girl desperately NEEDED to read THAT book that she HAD checked out, that her sister was currently reading.

A fight ensued.

(Setting aside the fact that the kid doing the reading was thereby setting aside a page turner of literary value in favor of something Amelia Bedeliesque and way below her level.)

Neither kid wanted to give in.

The one insisted that it was her book since she checked it out. The other insisted it was her book because she started reading it first.

Glowers. Frowns. Grimaces. ANGRY EYEBROWS!

And I'm tired. It's been like this all week long. Today in particular, I've been extra grumpy from not having an afternoon snack, and so have the kids. Glowers. Fro…

This is what happens when I don't blog....

I just can't stand it. Must. Blog! Feels like I'm going to burst if I don't.

Last week, of course, was exhausting, but good nonetheless. There are some things it's worth it to get worn out on. I won't say more. But I am happy to report fitness levels improved to the extent that Forgiveness Vepsers did NOT make me sore!

It seems that my special work this lent is at my sewing machine. I have a huge pile of projects that MUST be done before Pascha: White paraments for my parish, three easter dresses and a baptismal gown for a baby who is being baptized in a few weeks.

Oh, I just love baby stuff. Especially in delicate white shantung silk. Baby's mother gave me free reign to be creative, but I think plain as can be, with that yummy silk is going to be the way to go. The bonnet is TDF, so tiny, and so soft. No brim, no adornment, just plain white silk inside and out.

The gown of course will be fully lined, plain short sleeves, and an overly long skirt gath…

Hurt

I am the worst of sinners. And every once in a while, this becomes crystal clear to me. I thank God for the instruments who show me my sins. Please forgive me, as I sin constantly, and cannot avoid hurting people, even when it's not on purpose. If you, dear blog reader, read my blog, then there is a good chance that at some point I have hurt you. Please forgive me, a sinner.

And now, blog silence for Lent.

Meme

I lifted these questions from Carmen's blog over at momtothescreamingmasses.typepad.com

1) What is the last movie you saw in a theater? Was it good?

That would be Waterhorse, and yes, it was good. It featured Ben Chaplin, which is very good, water stuff (I have a thing for marine/submarine movie themes) and was set in the 1940's which i like.

2) What is your favorite tv show? Such a thing does not exist.

3) What is the last album you bought (or stole from the internet, or burned from a friend) that you loved?* That would be "Confessing Between the Lines" by Justin Matthews

4) If you were in charge of People Magazine’s Sexiest Person Alive, who would win? Impossible to choose just one....It's a tie between Keanu Reeves and Ben Chaplin, with Ben Chaplin edging out in the front because he can actually ACT.

5) Who is your favorite artist? (Like art artist) I hate art in general. Truly, it is a genre that does not speak to me. Monet fails to offend me the way so…