Thursday, September 11, 2014

an Orthodox gathering

I read, inter alia, a few Orthodox blogs and websites. It recently occurred to me (like, five minutes before I began writing this post ... although some time longer before I actually posted it) that there doesn't seem to be any compilation blogs dealing with Orthodoxy ... by which I mean, a blog that picks out the best from Orthodox sites and blogs that they have come across that day/week/fortnight/whatever and then presents a post on that with links. So I thought I'd give it a whirl. Today's my birthday so consider this my birthday present to me (52 today, thanks for asking, which as my wife says is the mirror image of 25 which as Marilyn Monroe said makes you think ... ok, she actually said 'makes a girl think' but you know what I mean). 


1. Trouble fighting off the 24/7 distractions of the world that make holy living difficult? Daily Prayers: The Battle with Extraneous Thoughts by then read what Metropolitan Hilarion (Alfeyev) has to say  ...

2. After you realise you've done a bad job off keeping your thoughts away from all that tempts you, these words from Abba Poeman may be of help ... 

3. Ever wondered why people convert to Orthodoxy, a form of Christianity that stubbornly refuses to agree that one must 'move with the times' to be 'relevant' (and has some pretty strict rules on fasting - none of your 'what are you giving up for Lent?' 'Oh, I thought I'd try thinking more happy thoughts this year' here!)?  Fr. Stephen Freeman offers some suggestions over at Journey to OrthodoxyAnd here's the story of how he found Orthodoxy from Death to the World's John Valdez ... 

4. Want to experience Orthodox liturgy, but think there'd be a language barrier? Perhaps you're lucky enough to have a Western Rite Orthodoxy parish nearby, which uses English ... 

5. In an era of disposable marriages (when a relationship even gets that far) some words of wisdom from Coptic Mom & Dad ...

6. Happy New Year! Belated that is ... but perhaps not as belated as you perhaps think I mean, I'm only a few days late ... did you know that September 1st is the beginning of the Orthodox Church's New Year?

7. Finally, from this from the Orthodox channel on YouTube ... I just love it when at around the 30 second mark, the interviewer asks the venerable monk how to fight against desire and Elder Cleopa just bellows out the answer DEATH! DEATH! DEATH! (I'm not poking fun, here, by the way - I totally agree that keeping the thought of death before you at all times is a sure way to keep on the path to salvation.)



OK that's it. But I'm reckoning that there's probably all kinds of stuff out there that I'm not familiar with (a 'man's got to know his limitations,' as that wise and ancient father Harry Callahan aka Dirty Harry aka Clint Eastwood once said), so if you have suggestions for any further posts like this I might do, would you let me know? Thanks.



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