Here love truly does not seek its own, even if this be the salvation of one’s own soul.
Saint Marie Skobtsova of Paris

«— Many Years to Sophia
—» Petra Retires After 33 Years

Shelby Foote Dies at 88

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photo of Shelby Foote


Shelby Foote

Shelby Foote, Historian and Novelist, Dies at 88 – New York Times

Shelby Foote deeply impacted me when I was transitioning from high school to college. His massive, three-volume history of the War Between the States remains on my list of, “I should get this someday, but all together and in hardback.” (Don’t ask me what else is on that list, by the way.)

May his memory be eternal.

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Filed under: — Basil @ 9:22 pm

«— Little Update
—» Shelby Foote Dies at 88

Many Years to Sophia

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An old web friend of mine is getting married today. She probably doesn’t read my blog, or even know that she is still in my buddy list. (We became acquainted back in 1997 when I was a member of the infamous Indiana List-Serv Orthodox mailing list. Hey, at least I got out when it was clearly not edifying.)

May God grant many years to his servant Sophia.

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Filed under: — Basil @ 6:17 pm

«— Church School Picnic Photos
—» Many Years to Sophia

Protected: Little Update

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This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

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Filed under: — Basil @ 2:21 pm

«— Book Meme
—» Little Update

Church School Picnic Photos

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people at a picnic


athanasius_picnic – 2

Originally uploaded by Kevin Basil.

I posted photos from last Sunday’s Church School picnic. I’m beginning to really like Flickr a lot.

Synopsis of the last week:
10JUN: checked out of NAVSUBSCOL and began the long trek south. Travelled until 2330 or so, then got a motel room. Pennsylvania traffic was insane; two multiple car accidents in a row.
11JUN: continued to head toward Lexington. Arrived at Dmitri and Anna’s around 1430. Almost ran out of gas at Daniel Boone National Forest. Had supper with the Powells. Good to see them again.
12JUN: birthday, and someone remembered. Wow. Now I’m 32 — THAT’S CRAZY. Picnic noted above, then pizza at Walthers. Went over to Powells to help Naughton watch The Two Towers and babysit.
13JUN: went into town to see recruiter. My recruiter has transferred; this was a huge letdown, mostly. Then to Joseph-Beth Booksellers. Good to see old friends. Watched BSG outtakes at Powells. Said good-bye to Timothy.
14JUN: went to prayers and breakfast with Fr. David. Bought a wireless router. Burned CDs of chant for the parish. Travelled 3 hours south; hail in south Kentucky. Beef Stroganoff for dinner — my favorite. Got router working; awesome!
15JUN: mostly putted about while Mom and Dad were in Knoxville for some chiropractic stuff.
16JUN: helped dad on a walkway project. Bought a new camera when I heard the amazing price of $150 for a 4.1 megapixel Fujifilm. Got TN driver license; now I have two proofs that I am a resident of TN so that DFAS won’t keep sending my money to Frankfort. Went to dinner with Dad. He took me to church to show me off; I think I took it well.
17JUN: continued to do walkway project. Took lots of photos with new camera. Finished walkway — as far as my contribution is concerned; Dad will need to do more later.

Later tonight, we’ll see Cats at a local playhouse, then tomorrow I’ll get on the road to Indianapolis to see friends there. Close friends, you know what awaits me there. Please pray for the Lord’s will to be done.

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Filed under: — Basil @ 5:14 pm

«— The Path
—» Church School Picnic Photos

Book Meme

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Although I have five posts being worked on currently, Bryan Peter infected me with a meme. I want to answer before I forget the correct answers.

  1. Total number of books I’ve owned
    What bibliophile could possibly answer this question? I don’t even know how many books I currently own, much less how many I’ve owned over the course of my life!
  2. Last book I bought
    Two in tandem: The Priest’s Service Book, by Archbishop Dmitri, and Book of Akathists, published by Holy Trinity Monastery, Jordanville.
  3. Last book I read
    Harder to see, that answer is. Either Beauty and Unity in Creation: The evolution of life by Gayle Woloschuk, or Against Heresies Book I by St Irenaeus.

    I can’t really recommend either of these very much. The book on evolution attempts to argue for the compatibility of science and faith, a position I favor, but the arguments felt like a badly edited Star Wars movie: everything went by so fast, with little actual argumentation to bolster her positions, with which I actually agreed. Against Heresies is several books long, and the translation I received from Amazon (which is in the Ancient Christian Writers series published by Newman Press) is merely Book I. I would recommend Proof of the Apostolic Preaching instead.

    Of course, I skip around a lot, so there are a ton of other books that I’ve started in the meantime.

  4. Five books that mean a lot to me
    1. The Bible, by the hand of God through the prophets and righteous men and women of the old covenant, the evangelists, apostles and bishops of the new.
    2. Tie: The Orthodox Way and The Orthodox Church, by Bishop Kallistos
    3. The Quest for Community, by Robert Nisbet
    4. For the Life of the World, by Protopresbyter Alexander Schmemann
    5. Christ the Eternal Tao, by Priest-monk Damscene (Christensen)
    6. Honorable mentions: Chronicles of Narnia, by C. S. Lewis; Brothers Karamazov, by Theodore Dostoevsky; The Journals of Father Alexander Schmemann, 1973–1983, translated by Matushka Julianna Schmemann; Orthodox Spirituality, by Lev Gilet (alias a monk of the eastern Church); The Catechism of Holy Trinity Orthodox Church (EOC), by Randall Evans (self-published for local use); Christianity and Culture, by T. S. Eliot; The Ragamuffin Gospel, by Brennan Manning; The Shattered Lantern, by Ronald Rolheiser, OMI; The Galileo Connection, by Charles Hummel; Abusing Science, by Philip Kitcher.
  5. People I will infect with this meme
    Timothy, Dmitri, Reader Gideon, Reader Theophan, Juliana, DrBacchus, Erich, Dawn, Victoria, Peter Sherry, Philippa, Reader Andrew, Priest Joseph Honeycutt
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Filed under: — Basil @ 11:22 pm

«— Elder Porphyrius on Children with Reactionary Characters
—» Book Meme

The Path

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When you wish only to be held and comforted, but you sleep alone again, remember that God was abandoned by his friends and hung to die. When you take up a cross that you do not think you can bear, another has borne a cross greater than yours. When your heart is pierced, one prays for you whose heart was pierced far more deeply.

Where do you get the idea that the afflictions on the path do not belong to the path? Do you not wish to follow in the footsteps of the saints? Do you want to travel by some special path of your own, one that does not involve suffering?

The path to God is a daily cross. No one has ascended to heaven by way of ease. We know where the easy way leads! —Saint Isaac of Syria

When you most feel that you are alone, know that you are not.

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Filed under: — Basil @ 12:25 am

«— On My Way to the Canaan Land
—» The Path

Elder Porphyrius on Children with Reactionary Characters

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Elder Porphyrius on Children with Reactionary Characters:

If you have a child with a reactionary character, whatever you want to say to him, say to God first. Kneel before God and through the grace of God your words will be conveyed to your child….

Don’t pressure your children. Whatever you want to say to them, say it with your prayers. Children don’t listen with their ears. They’ll only listen to what we want to tell them when divine grace appears and enlightens them. When you want to say something to your child, say it to the Panagia [Mother of God] instead and she will do all the work. Your prayers will become a spiritual hug, which embraces your child and captivates them.

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Filed under: — Basil @ 11:34 am

«— Rearranged Too Late
—» Elder Porphyrius on Children with Reactionary Characters

On My Way to the Canaan Land

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Well, Lexington may not be Beulah Land, but it will be joyful to reconnect with my brothers and sisters at Saint Athanasius, my home parish which I helped found.

I am most of the way there, blogging wirelessly from a hotel room in Morganton, West Virginia.

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Filed under: — Basil @ 12:24 am

«— Please Do Not Press the Big Red Button
—» On My Way to the Canaan Land

Rearranged Too Late

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desk with icons and booksI should have seen this all along. Now that I’m packing, I realize how I should have had my desk arranged for the last nine months.

Maybe I’ll be able to tuck this epiphany back into my brain for use the next time.

Also note that I’m testing Flickr.com to see what I think.

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Filed under: — Basil @ 12:07 pm

«— A Kinder, Gentler Priest-monk Seraphim
—» Rearranged Too Late

Please Do Not Press the Big Red Button

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Update: As I said on #orthodoxy: “When one jumps to conclusions, one must be damned sure there is a proper conclusion there upon which to land.”

My original post:
I just learned a fact I find deeply disturbing. One of the bishops of our Church had a perfectly good English name before being tonsured a monk and elevated to the episcopate, but he was given an ethnic variant of the exact same name upon his tonsuring! Something akin to Fr. John taking the name Ioannos. Or Fr. Nicholas taking the name Nikolai. Something like that.

Can I be frank? THERE. IS. NO. PLACE. FOR. THAT. This is truly outrageous. My heritage, I feel, has been insulted.
</rant>

I was wrong. I based my original conclusions on a livejournal article by a St Tikhon’s Seminary graduate, which said:

How did it come about that you will go to Sitka and Russia now?
Simple answer=Bishop NIKOLAI.
His Grace was once my parish priest in Las Vegas. Like you, I was homeschooled–which allowed me to be more involved in the Church during the week. (Then) Fr. Nicholas really took me “under his wing” and significantly contributed to my desire to become a priest. Now that His Grace is a bishop I have the opportunity to continue to work “under his wing”.

Well, there seems to be a discrepancy here. The bio on the OCA.org website says this about his tonsuring:

On August 8, 1970, he was tonsured a monk of the Lesser Schema and given the monastic name Nikolai. The following day, he was ordained to the diaconate. He was ordained to the priesthood on June 4, 1972 at Saint Stevan Serbian Orthodox Cathedral, Alhambra, CA.

Which was well before he was assigned to St Paul mission in Las Vegas:

In 1988, Father Nikolai received a canonical release and was received into the ranks of clergy of the Orthodox Church in America. On November 13, 1988, he celebrated the first Divine Liturgy for the newly-founded Saint Paul the Apostle Mission.

So, his grace Nikolai was given his name at his tonsuring as a monk. (Orthodox monks are given new names to emphasize their break from the secular world. They also do not use their family name any longer for the same reason; this is why monks and bishops put their surname in parentheses.) This is quite the opposite of what I originally concluded; apparently his grace went by the name Nicholas, in spite of having the monastic name of Nikolai, prior to being raised to the episcopate. I apologize for my previous statements, and I applaud his grace for doing the right thing in the mission context of Las Vegas. That is actually quite extraordinary.

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Filed under: — Basil @ 7:47 am

«— General Defends Treatment Of Detainees
—» Please Do Not Press the Big Red Button

A Kinder, Gentler Priest-monk Seraphim

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Orthodoxy of the Heart – Chapter 86 from Father Seraphim Rose: His Life and Works

This amazing chapter reveals a little more of the real Priest-monk Seraphim, the flesh-and-blood man who won so many followers. Perhaps if I had encountered more of this man, and less of the reactionary Priest-monk Seraphim who decries everything modern, I would have more love and respect for his memory.

A recent comment by Paige got me thinking about what, specifically, I find so distancing in Priest-monk Seraphim’s writing.

Read the rest of “A Kinder, Gentler Priest-monk Seraphim”

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Filed under: — Basil @ 7:58 am

«— Fanboys
—» A Kinder, Gentler Priest-monk Seraphim

General Defends Treatment Of Detainees

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General Defends Treatment Of Detainees

Tacitly acknowledging that the Geneva Conventions are not being followed to the letter, Air Force General Richard Myers disputes allegations of abuse nevertheless.

Terrorism suspects held in the U.S. Navy prison camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, are being dealt with “humanely” and with “dignity,” the nation’s top military officer says in disputing reported abuses. In television appearances Sunday, Air Force Gen. Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff also said U.S. officials believe al-Qaida leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi is wounded, but it’s not known how badly.

Which essentially is what I have said in previous articles, along with others.

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Filed under: — Basil @ 5:33 am

«— Shedding Tears for Strangers by Frank Schaeffer
—» General Defends Treatment Of Detainees

Fanboys

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fans in window and bedside junkThe powers controlling the HVAC in the barracks have not yet seen fit to kill the heat and resurrect the A/C. It’s been a sweltering pit in my room.

Until today. I augmented Little Boy there, which was admittedly doing little in terms of pulling outside air in. What can I say? Big Boy is a stud. Within an hour, it was cool in the room.

Ah, relief.

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Filed under: — Basil @ 8:42 pm

«— Trent Reznor Awarded Nearly $3 Million – Yahoo! News
—» Fanboys

Shedding Tears for Strangers by Frank Schaeffer

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FrontPage magazine.com :: Shedding Tears for Strangers by Frank Schaeffer

Before my son went to war I never would have shed tears for them. My son humbled me. My son connected me to my country. He taught me that our men and women in uniform are not the “other.”

I have had a similar experience by becoming a serviceman myself.

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Filed under: — Basil @ 5:55 am

«— Army Priest
—» Shedding Tears for Strangers by Frank Schaeffer

Trent Reznor Awarded Nearly $3 Million – Yahoo! News

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Trent Reznor Awarded Nearly $3 Million – Yahoo! News

Is a photo of Trent Reznor smiling a sign of the apocalypse?

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Filed under: — Basil @ 5:53 am