26 February 2007

be informed

This video was posted today on Google and was so popular on Digg that we couldn't view it right away because so many people were watching it at once. This evening as soon as we finished watching it, we went back to Digg to rate it and couldn't find it. It had already been pulled off Google Video and therefore is also unavailable on Digg. This is weird because these sites like popular videos because they bring a lot of traffic.We'll see if it stays on LiveLeak.com.

22 February 2007

as we fast

O Lord and Master of my life!
Take from me the spirit of sloth, faint-heartedness,
lust of power, and idle talk. (prostration)
But give rather the spirit of chastity, humility, patience,
and love to Thy servant. (prostration)
Yea, O Lord and King!
Grant me to see my own errors and not to judge my brother;
For Thou art blessed unto ages of ages. Amen. (prostration)

O God, cleanse me a sinner. (x12 with prostrations)

--prayer of St. Ephrem the Syrian

Ancient Faith Radio
thanks for the link, Xenia!

15 February 2007

Humility, part 2

I just want to revisit my post on humility because I found a couple more quotes relevent to the post.

“Those who seek humility should bear in mind the three following things: that they are the worst of sinners, that they are the most despicable of all creatures since their state is an unnatural one, and that they are even more pitiable than the demons, since they are slaves to the demons. You will also profit if you say this to yourself: how do I know what or how many other people's sins are, or whether they are greater than or equal to my own? In our ignorance you and I, my soul, are worse than all men; we are dust and ashes under their feet. How can I not regard myself as more despicable than all other creatures, for they act in accordance with the nature they have been given, while I, owing to my innumerable sins, am in a state contrary to nature.”
-- St. Gregory of Sinai, Philokalia, Vol. IV.

"Humility is above everything else the victory of truth in us, the elimination of all lies in which we usually live. Humility alone is capable of truth, of seeing and acepting things as they are and therefore of seeing God's majesty and goodness and love in everything. This is why we are told that God gives grace to the humble and resists the proud."
--Fr. Alexander Schmemann

This quote really put to words some original thoughts I had about the previous quote. The deep, pure humility of St Gregory is not destructive nor depressing. It is just the recognition of reality. As Fr Alexander says, recognizing the truth about ourselves and where we stand before God then allows us to fully feel the joy of God's grace and goodness and love. We then are encouraged and motivated to work toward holiness, toward existing in harmony with our true nature...which brings me to the next passage:

"but it is also our natural duty [to obey His commandments], for since we were originally created by God as 'very good' (Gen 1:31), we owe it to God to be such. Although sin entered us through our negligence and introduced into us what is contrary to nature, we have been reclaimed through God's great mercy, and renewed by the passion of Him who is dispassionate. We have been 'bought with a price' (1 Cor. 6:20), namely by the blood of Christ, and liberated from the ancient ancestral sin. If, then, we become righteous, this is nothing great; but to fall from righteousness is pitiavle and deserves condemnation."
--Philokalia (Vol.2, pg 14)

Our present state is not hopeless. Everytime I repent and renew myself with the Eucharist, I am freed and can continue my work toward holiness. I believe along with the Fathers that we can achieve holiness in this life. It's said that it is no great thing to become righteous because that is our true nature; it's how we're supposed to be in the first place. Many may disagree with me here, but I ask where is the power of Christ's blood and why would he tell us to be holy if it weren't possible? This is why the saints are so precious: Christ showed and told us how to live as recorded in the Scriptures, and He has also given us His saints who continue to show us the way with their own lives as examples.

But the journey to holiness must begin with absolute humility before God and our fellow man.

13 February 2007


I miss the mountains. I'm thinking that one day I'd like to have a small place in or near BV ('cause that's where my beloved ones live) and live there for a while. Admittedly I am a city girl. But it's getting old not seeing any natural nature. Sure there is a big landscape of cleared land, planted trees trying to grow a little taller, and a resevoir nearby. I'm thankful that we have at least that. But it's not the same. And it's hard to get out of town for a trip. When we have free time, we just want to rest at home. BV has WiFi right? See, I can't totally leave behind the conveniences, plus my man's gotta work somehow!

I'm planning it out as I type. He'll work at his leisure, keeping his businesses running. I'll begin taking midwifery courses. Taisia will have play-dates with my favorite adopted niece/nephew (who will it be?!). We'll go on walks all the time. I'd miss my church so we'd make trips to Denver every other weekend. Maybe come down on Saturday evening, stay with Grandma Jo, go to church on Sunday, have coffee with friends and then head back up in the evening. OK. That's the plan. I haven't even told my husband yet, so keep it quiet. :) I think he'd agree with me, though.

02 February 2007

our future

Had another wake-up call last night. It's all stuff I already pretty much knew, only I never thought about it long enough to look at the big picture. Basically because of the way our country has chosen to conduct business, we're on the way down.

We are a militant nation feeding our captialist appetite in the name of democracy. We stand alone, do not follow international laws, and you better accept it or else. We rule the world, or didn't you know? In our country, everyone is equal, but some are more equal than others. Right to privacy, a speedy and fair trial, freedom of speech and free press say goodbye. Don't worry it's for the best...for our country's mighty 1%.

Sound extreme? It's not. One terrorist act and suddenly the nation willingly gives up the above rights out of fear of the unknown. (Don't get me wrong, it was a massive, terrible tragedy to say the least.) It even gives up its power of reason and discernment. Outright lies are not noticed or just plain ignored. We support a war for which we are given no good reason, only ideas. What will we agree to if one more bomb goes off in America?

I know many people will think that I'm just getting all fired up when really things are going fine--that I need to stop watching these liberal videos. But as I said, they talk about things that anyone could figure out for themselves if they thought about it for 5 minutes. I don't want to naively think that my dreams will come true in magic America no matter what the government is up to. When a government falls, we all suffer. What will the fall of America look like? Probably economic. There goes the Dream. I don't know what I can possibly do about it at this point, but I figure I want to be an informed citizen so when an opportunity arises I'll notice it and take action.

You should watch Why We Fight or go to the website. I know there are different ways to view all this, and I certainly don't have a great political mind so let me know what you think.