Imagination is more important than knowledge.
Albert Einstein

«— Burn Me Not as I Partake
—» A Mystical Pasch

CBS Finally Embraces Its Tabloid Nature

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CBS News has now officially left mainstream media to become the first of the Big Three to embrace tabloid journalism. As proof, see this article: Abdullah-Bush Stroll Strikes Nerve. Completely lacking in objectivity whatsoever; nothing but pandering and hysterics.

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Filed under: — Basil @ 5:13 am

«— Becoming a Ragamuffin Again: Lenten Reading
—» CBS Finally Embraces Its Tabloid Nature

Burn Me Not as I Partake

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Check out a new blog sent to me via email: “Partakers of the Divine Nature.” It is by a Coptic Orthodox Christian, Nader Abadir. There are some great posts on film and literature, although the post linking a recent school shooting to Darwin was quite a stretch.

Coptic Christianity, which does not accept the Council of Chalcedon and those which followed, is centered in Alexandria, Egypt.

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Filed under: — Basil @ 4:07 pm

«— Abp Iakovos Falls Asleep in the Lord
—» Burn Me Not as I Partake

Becoming a Ragamuffin Again: Lenten Reading

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We’re back.

I’ve been reading The Ragamuffin Gospel by Brennan Manning for Lent. The main thesis is: Modern Christians are crypto-pelagians, consciously and unconsciously believing we must earn the love and forgiveness of God. Yet, there is nothing that we could ever do to earn Abba’s love. Ragamuffins recognize the unmerited love of God because they have received it in the worst of circumstances; prostitutes and thieves, drunks and tax collectors — they all know that they could not have possibly earned God’s love, favor and forgiveness, but they experienced it anyway. When they were covered with mud, slime, excrement and pig fodder, Abba ran to them, surprised them, threw his arms around them, and threw a feast for them.

We try to box it in, lock it up. We try to tame Abba’s love. But it is untamable; he is outrageous in his love for us. I deeply needed that word this Lent.

That experience of Abba’s love for us must be prior to our repentance, otherwise we are trying to earn acceptance and forgiveness from God. I have been contemplating how we can experience Pascha before embarking on Lent, but we already do. The first two Sundays of pre-lent are the Publican and the Pharisee and the Prodigal Son. In the Russian tradition, the Great Fast begins with a service of forgiveness with the hymns of the resurrection chanted softly in the background. The problem is that we don’t focus enough on these as examples of our Father’s outrageous, unmerited love.

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Filed under: — Basil @ 7:11 pm

«— Bravery Via Nichole
—» Becoming a Ragamuffin Again: Lenten Reading

Abp Iakovos Falls Asleep in the Lord

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Archbishop IakovosRecent converts may not recognize the name of his emminence Archbishop Iakovos (Jacob), but it was synonymous with the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of North and South America for several decades. That is, until he advocated uniting the jurisdictions of American Orthodoxy at a conference of 29 bishops at Ligonier, Pennsylvania, in 1994. At that point, he became the target of his all-holiness Patriarch Bartholomew‘s wrath, who forced him to resign in 1996.

Abp. Iakovos fell asleep in the Lord yesterday of a pulmonary ailment. It is perhaps understandable that the venerable OCA.org website still has a photo of the Tome of Autocephaly. OK, it’s not really understandable at all, but the webmaster has amply demonstrated that nothing on that site is understandable any longer.

It would be interesting for the Orthodox Church in America to glorify Iakovos. I cannot imagine that the Ecumenical Patriarchate ever will.

In any case: Memory Eternal! (HT: A World of Speculation)

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Filed under: — Basil @ 4:49 pm

«— Synod Meets
—» Abp Iakovos Falls Asleep in the Lord

Bravery Via Nichole

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Been thinking about some things I want to blog about, but this one made me stop the press.

Nichole Nordeman has a new album due out on May 24, entitled Brave. The interview discusses why she waited nearly three years between this release and her last studio project, Woven and Spun. What is interesting for me is that recently I’ve been rediscovering her music.

Her first two albums were simply astounding in their honesty and sensitivity, both to human searching and to the majesty and mystery of God. Unfortunately, those two CDs were stolen from me (along with others) in a back alley in Wilmore, Kentucky. It would be funny if it weren’t my own story (and if I hadn’t lost so many CDs). So, when I bought the Mac and started wasting all my paychecks on iTunes, I bought both the albums that I hadn’t heard in years. The music was still fresh, just like the first day I heard it. So, a week ago, I bought Woven and Spun, which was weaker than the first two, but still grabbed me. So, tonight, I Googled for her to see what she was up to.

Now I’m really psyched.

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Filed under: — Basil @ 11:56 pm

«— Fr. Thomas Hopko in Lexington, Again
—» Bravery Via Nichole

Synod Meets

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The Holy Synod of the Orthodox Church in America recently met, and the results of their meeting are online at OCA.org.

Good news: The synod will be electing a bishop for the Diocese of New England and has elected Archimandrite Alejo Antonio (Alexis Anthony) to head the exarchate of Mexico.

Bad news: Protopresbyter Robert Kondratick “emphasized the positive response to the recently redesigned OCA web site….” Notice that there was only one positive response, and it had to be emphasized. We’ll deal with you later, James.

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Filed under: — Basil @ 6:28 pm

«— Do I Know My Bishop?
—» Synod Meets

Fr. Thomas Hopko in Lexington, Again

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Thanks to Clifton Healy for pointing this out on Blogodoxy: Asbury Seminary is hosting a seminar on worship in the emerging culture. Protopresbyter Thomas Hopko will be speaking on Eastern Orthodox worship.

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Filed under: — Basil @ 1:15 am

«— An English Primer for Orthodox Christians
—» Fr. Thomas Hopko in Lexington, Again

Do I Know My Bishop?

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Earlier today, an Orthodox brother was trying to help me put the Roman Pontiff’s failing health into perspective. “What if,” he said, “it was our bishop? How would you feel?” I’ve met his emminence Dmitri, as well as other bishops: his emminence Job and his grace Nikon. However, I have never spent quality time with my bishop, as many of my brothers and sisters in my parish have. I remember him as a kind, gentle sort of man, but I find myself at odds with some of his policies in our diocese, particularly in the liturgical sphere. Perhaps my ability to relate to him as a bishop would be improved if I had been able to spend some time with him last May.

Sometimes I wonder what obedience to my bishop should look like. I tend to have rather strong opinions (as previous posts attest), and I think sometimes I appear disrespectful of authority or even rebellious. Some of the same prinicples of authority and obedience apply in the Church as in the military. I’m learning that I understand submission to authority much better than I thought I did. Yet, the Church is not a military organization. Obedience and submission proceed from love, not power or fear. I think this is part of what I’m missing.

Perhaps if I had been able to spend time with him, as the rest of my parish did, I could more easily submit to my bishop out of love. Instead, I find that I associate my bishop with my return to a home parish where everything is changing liturgically. Before I left, we used mostly standard OCA texts and music. This made the parish I worship with in Connecticut very familiar — much of the texts were the same. I loved being able to step into another parish and feel at home. Now I don’t feel at home when I return home! Since my connection with my home parish is deeply important to me, this disconnect really angers me.

Thus, it’s hard for me to relate to his emminence Dmitri as a loving father; I tend to relate to him as the guy who came in and changed everything back home. Very perplexing emotions for an Orthodox convert, to say the least.

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Filed under: — Basil @ 12:42 am