Imagination is more important than knowledge.
Albert Einstein

«— Seeing Old Friends, Part II
—» It Brings a Smile to My Face

St. Basil

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Today’s not my name day — I take January 1 — but it does commemorate a St. Basil: The holy Vladimir the Great, grand prince of Kiev and equal of the apostles, in baptism named Basil, enlightener of the Russian people.

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Filed under: — Basil @ 1:43 pm

«— Contentment and Godliness
—» St. Basil

Seeing Old Friends, Part II

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My icons — which I had left at the church while I was in Boot Camp — arrived yesterday, thanks to Lisa. Praying with them last night and this morning was very much like seeing old friends again — wonderful. The icons are of St. Basil, the holy Archangel Raphael, and a deisis of Christ, the Theotokos and St. John the Forerunner and Baptizer. It’s good to have old friends around again.

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Filed under: — Basil @ 2:00 pm

«— Violators
—» Seeing Old Friends, Part II

Contentment and Godliness

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The other day, my priest told me in passing that he had just returned from the wedding of another priest’s daughter. The groom, too, was a priest’s kid. My reaction is typical: I was depressed. This shows just how deeply selfish I am. Someone tells me about a wonderful, joyous event, a cause for universal celebration, and I react with sadness because I’m not the one being married.

Ultimately, selfishness grows out of pride. I deserve to be married because I’m so special. Furthermore, I am deprived by not being married to someone perfect and wonderful. As we say in the Navy, “Negative, shipmate.” You are exactly where God intends for you to be.

“Godliness with contentment is great gain,” the Apostle tells St. Timothy, warning him against those who use godliness as a pretext for financial profit. However, contentment in general has been a foundational virtue of the Christian ascetical tradition since the first century. Our Lord said to St. Peter, “If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou me.” Do not worry about others, nor about what will come, follow the Lord without reservation.

More recently, the Priest Alexander Elchaninov wrote in The Diary of a Russian Priest:

Our continual mistake is that we do not concentrate upon the present day, the actual hour, of our life; we live in the past or in the future; we are continually expecting the coming of some special moment when our life will unfold itself in its full significance. And we do not notice that life is flowing like water through our fingers, sifting like precious grain from a loosely fastened bag.

Constantly, each day, each hour, God is sending us people, circumstances, tasks, which should mark the beginning of our renewal; yet we pay them no attention, and thus continually we resist God’s will for us. Indeed, how can God help us? Only by sending us in our daily life certain people, and certain coincidences of circumstance. If we accepted every hour of our life as the hour of God’s will for us, as the decisive, most important, unique hour of our life — what sources of joy, love, strength, as yet hidden from us, would spring from the depths of our soul!

Let us then be serious in our attitude towards each person we meet in our life, towards every opportunity of performing a good deed; be sure that you will then fulfill God’s will for you in these very circumstances, on that very day, in that very hour. (Quoted in “The Handicapped Convert” by Priest Joseph Huneycutt)

I read that quote on Laura’s Front Porch recently, perhaps just after my pity party over the wedding that was not mine. God has been trying to convince me of this attitude for many years now. It is funny how some things require a slow, gentle drilling until they finally penetrate my proud heart which thinks itself wise.

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Filed under: — Basil @ 2:26 pm

«— Seeing Old Friends
—» Contentment and Godliness

Violators

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Some pretty significant violations going on in the world.

Me: gmail terms of service
gmail’s terms of service exclude me from using their service. Too bad, really, because I have been enjoying it immensely. It is a very well designed, usable web application.
Kid Rock and possibly President Bush: United States Flag Code, USC Title 4.
There are some very specific ways to respect the flag, and some pretty specific ways the flag can be disrespected. Wearing the flag as clothing and marking the flag are specifically mentioned as disrespect in the code.
Jeffrey Jones: failing to register as a sex offender
Jones, best known for portraying the principal in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, “pleaded no contest last July to a felony charge of employing a 14-year-old boy to pose for sexually explicit photos. The actor was sentenced to five years’ probation and ordered to register as a sex offender and undergo counseling.” Last Thursday, he was arrested and charged with failing to register as a sex offender.
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Filed under: — Basil @ 1:12 pm

«— I Give It One Star — One RED Star
—» Violators

Seeing Old Friends

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How good to see old friends again. Some very dear friends walked in Lexington’s Independence Day parade, and Dr. Bacchus caught them in living color. Here are some photos:

The little girl in the stroller has grown a lot in the last six months.

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Filed under: — Basil @ 1:40 pm

«— Interpreting Saint Maximus
—» Seeing Old Friends

I Give It One Star — One RED Star

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Seraphim Danckaert has a scathing review of Fahrenheit 9/11. He concludes that it is primarily disingenuous political propaganda, but he gets there by honestly judging the film as a film. Bravo, Seraphim.

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Filed under: — Basil @ 1:29 pm

«— Shocking
—» I Give It One Star — One RED Star

Interpreting Saint Maximus

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I have been reading The Cosmic Mystery of Christ, a series of translations of St. Maximus the Confessor. I have always wanted to read the Confessor because his anthropology is hailed as the best that the patristic era has to offer. I am delighted with his doctrine that the passions can be sublimated by refocusing them from earthly objects to divine objects.

However, I am deeply disturbed by the doctrine that sexuality in any form is a result of the fall. I am looking for someone with a thorough understanding of patristic thought to help me out here: Is this consistent in the fathers, or are there dissenting voices with a different perspective? Give me specific sources to read. If you can point me to a secondary source that would show me that I’m actually misreading St. Maximus, that would be even better.

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Filed under: — Basil @ 6:57 pm

«— Not Much of a Leap
—» Interpreting Saint Maximus

Shocking

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Did I just read Tim blog positively about tabbed browsing in Firefox?

In other news, I think I just saw Satan ice-skate to work.

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Filed under: — Basil @ 5:12 pm