Abbâ Muthues used to say that there were three brethren who were in the habit of coming to Abbâ Antony, and that two of them used to ask him questions about the thoughts, and about life, and redemption, and the discretion (or intelligence) of the soul, whilst the third one held his peace continually. And after a long time Abbâ Antony said unto him, “Brother, thou comest here each year, and askest nothing!” And he answered and said unto the old man, “It is sufficient for me to see thee.”
The Paradise or Garden of the Holy Fathers (Vol. 2, p. 189)
This is not meant to be a political post, nor is it an angry rant that the US Supreme Court ruled in favour of homosexual marriage. This has been expected for a long time, so really, nothing shocking occurred. Rather, it’s a personal rumination and critique over how in our being so cliché, we are actually being very inconsistent and harming society. I want to get at the reasoning behind the ruling, and why it is not carried forward to other types of ‘love’. This blog is more explicit than I am usually comfortable with, so reader discretion is advised.
I am not interested in debating whether or not I think it should be legal or not for homosexuals to marry, as I’m not online to discuss the human rights aspect of things. The same freedom that allows homosexuals to marry is the same freedom that allows me to practice Orthodoxy in North America. Really, I want to get at the issues underlying everything: total superficiality, a worship of ‘rights’ and a forgetting of ‘wrongs’.
The Truth is not afraid of discovery, because it helps us inform us more about God.
Last Friday you find out from watching the news that Hany Shenouda, prominent steward of the Service (amin el khidma) at your church, is found guilty of the murder of Hermonia Grangeria in an alley near his house. To most people in the church, he has only been an image of piety. He’s at every church service, he’s the go-to deacon for mid-week anything, and he’s at every tasbeha/psalmody every week. He taught you how to make korban. He taught the kids Sunday School. Everything about him points to, “this guy is clergy material.”
Continue reading Cold-blooded murder: are you afraid of the truth?
Many of us look around us today, and take in the culture, the liberality, the lack of morals, and we groan. In my lifetime, and I’m not that old, I’ve seen many changes. I remember when it rebellious to publicly get drunk, today one need only browse Facebook to see people boast of their revelries. I remember when it was a sad occasion when people got divorced, and there was a general belief that people should try to keep it together. Today they are discussing auto-expiring marriage licenses in Mexico, ones that you need to actively renew if you want to remain married. At one point, virginity and then monogamy were valued and extolled, today we usher in an era of “friends with benefits”, “open marriages” and we do not need to look far to see the sexual explosion and exploitation. The list could go on. What scares me is that underneath all of this is the spirit of ungodliness: a pluralistic, secular, atheist world.
From discussions with various people, chats in church basements, and random correspondences, a topic that seems to be important is differentiating being being “a fanatic”, and just being “a Christian”. There seems to be two polarly opposing groups: those who feel that we have a bunch of Pharisees being loud about their faith and forgetting what it means to be a Christian, and those who think that “in the end, we’re all the same”. There is a group in between, but it’s easier to discuss by studying the extremes.
If you were born anywhere from the 1980s on, it is almost impossible to believe that you never met an atheist in your life. It is also difficult to believe that there has never been a time in your life where you experienced some doubts of your own. These doubts may be about the church and/or her authority, about the truths of the Bible, or even, for some of us, the very existence of God.
+Christ is risen!
So, this is between meditation and venting, so bear with me. I invite you all to comment and discuss below.
It did not bother me until recently, the double standard of society. We know that we live in a society that says, “Believe what you want, it’s cool, it’s your personal conviction. To each his own, dude.”