Sure, evolution as such is not to be found in the book containing what God gave Moses as an explanation of origins suitable for illiterate nomads. No, and beer is not mentioned in the Bible either, though man has been making it for about twelve centuries.
Bishop Tikhon of San Francisco, Los Angeles and the West

«— You Ascended in Glory
—» Updates ‘N’ Stuff

Happy Anniversary to My Blog

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It’s been five years since I first blogged. Oddly, the first post wasn’t really the first.

It’s funny how you remember things. I thought I’d been blogging for longer than I’d been Orthodox. But my chrismation in the Orthodox Church in America predates my first post by three months. Fascinating.

Let’s look back on the last five years. Some of my top posts by hits:

Spooky
I consider this an aberration, yet it continues to be my most popular post. Quite humbling for someone who considers one of his primary subjects to be his Orthodox Christian faith.
Saint Emily
I am considerably prouder of this post. Previous to writing this, I was unable to find a comprehensive description of St Emily’s life. I compiled this one from various references to her in the lives of other saints, such as my namesake, St Basil the Great, and his sister, St Macrina the Younger. This article served as the basis for the article in OrthodoxWiki.
New Navy Uniforms
Not sure why my quote with a cropped photograph is so popular.

To be continued, with a look back at my favorite posts. If anyone still reads this, you may nominate your own favorites in the comments.

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Filed under: — Basil @ 5:10 pm

«— One Last Paschal Shout
—» Happy Anniversary to My Blog

You Ascended in Glory

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Having chanted the Paschal hymn “Christ is risen” for the past forty days, today we recall his ascension in glory. In our common and personal worship, we have replaced the hymn to the Holy Spirit, “O heavenly king,” with “Christ is risen.” Now, we chant this hymn instead until the Conclusion of the Ascension, a week from tomorrow:

Troparion, Tone IV
You ascended in glory, O Christ, our God, * having gladdened your friends with your promise of the Holy Spirit. * And your blessing confirmed their belief that you are indeed God’s son, * the redeemer of the world.

See more of today’s hymns: O Great Mystery

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Filed under: — Basil @ 5:26 am

«— Brother Lawrence
—» You Ascended in Glory

One Last Paschal Shout

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Christ is risen!

As today is the Conclusion of Pascha (apodosis / αποδοσισ), most of us bid farewell to the favorite greeting of the season. I cannot help but note that Saint Seraphim of Sarov, among others, favored using this greeting year-round. Perhaps someday I will decide that I, too, like this greeting to much to say good-bye.

Χριστοσ ανεστι!
Христос воскресе!

Indeed, he is risen!

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Filed under: — Basil @ 10:58 am

«— Sabbath
—» One Last Paschal Shout

Brother Lawrence

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Having reached the end of the introductory writings that accompany this “critical edition” of Brother Lawrence, as well as the Eulogy written by his original publisher, Joseph Beaufort, I will report: Brother Lawrence was an extremely intelligent and insightful monk who was raised with a minimum of education. He was able to write, but he was not a scholar. His method indicates a familiarity with the patristic consensus as it would have been understood by a Discalced Carmelite of the seventeenth century. His writing is consistent with the fathers, but he does not quote them.

He was beloved by Archbishop Fénelon, who was implicated in the Quietist controversy of the seventeenth century. Fénelon’s Maxims of the Saints and other writings were condemned by the pope as Quietist. It would be interesting to see an objective discussion of Quietism from an Eastern Orthodox perspective — one free of any anti-Roman rancor.

The Eulogy is rather saccharine and bears unfortunate similarity to medieval and Byzantine hagiography, without the fantastic embellishments of miracles and asceticism which stretch credulity and remove the subject from the realm of the mundane in which the reader lives. The editors include it because it represents an honest, if stylized, portrait of Brother Lawrence by one of his peers and the man who (most likely) originally published the writings which we have preserved.

Next, I hope to report on some actual writing by the monk himself.

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Filed under: — Basil @ 5:10 am

«— Technological Terror
—» Brother Lawrence

Sabbath

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I am going on a blog sabbatical. I am not speaking of a rest from writing; I need a break from reading blogs so I can read something enduring. It has been a long time since I read a hardcopy book, and I have been given several recommendations by my spiritual father: The Practice of the Presence of God, by Brother Lawrence of the Resurrection, a Discalced Carmelite of the seventeenth century, and The Mountain of Silence by Kyriakos Markides, about his encounters with a monk from Mount Athos. Along with these, I purchased and hope to read Scott Cairns’ Short Trip to the Edge about his pilgrimage to Athos.

I hope to find some time to write about these here, but I need to stop reading the ceaseless torrent of blogging to get there.

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Filed under: — Basil @ 5:02 pm

«— Saint Athanasius
—» Sabbath

Technological Terror

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Star Wars: Episode IV | Technological Terror

With a hat tip to Binary Bonsai, I point you to this hilarious little piece about the irritation of mobile phones in movies.

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Filed under: — Basil @ 5:38 am

«— Facing Death Unmedicated
—» Technological Terror

Saint Athanasius

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Joyous feast! (S’prazdnikom / С праздником!)

To all my brothers and sisters at Saint Athanasius, I miss you very much, and I’m sorry I was not present for the first ever liturgy on the land.

Tropar hymn, Tone III

Like a pillar of orthodoxy you supported the church with your teaching, O holy hierarch, * refuting the nonsense of Arius by insisting that Father and Son share the same nature. * O venerable father, beg Christ, our God, to grant us his great mercy.

Kondak hymn, Tone II

When you sowed the teaching of true faith and cut away the weeds of falsehood, * you made the seeds sprout forth in great abundance by the showers of the spirit. * For this, we sing your praises, Athanasius, holy father.

I had two wonderful posts written. I killed them both inadvertently (ie, by my own stupidity).

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Filed under: — Basil @ 5:21 pm