Orthodox Thought for the Day


Friday, October 31, 2014

Sign of the season

This sign was created some years ago at my request by Brittany Michelle in Portland, OR.  It has faded a bit over the years, but the message is still good and it makes its yearly appearance on our door.  In short, our family will be happy to treat you (with gold foil covered chocolate coins) on St. Nicholas Day if you come knocking at the door.  
Pres. Candace

To date, I haven't had anyone come back of their own accord...but if they do, I'll be ready to give them gold foil covered chocolate coins.  Best bet--get your child to go out and round up his or her friends--they'll be so glad if you do! 

I think the sign is a gentle way to “put off” and not get involved in the Halloween trickery stuff.  I am happy to give kids candy on other days—St. Nicholas is a very good day to do that as he put gold in the stockings of impoverished young women so they would have a dowry to marry rather than be sold into slavery.  So there is a correlation.  There may also be an opportunity to talk a bit about the Saint’s life on that day. 

Another day to laden kids with goodies is during the Twelve Days of Christmas when they can sing carols—or as the Greeks say, “kalanda.”  Traditionally, kids go door to door and sing the carols and receive treats.  At our church, rather than go door to door, the kids perform the kalanda using triangles that are actual musical instruments (sweet sounding) and we have a fellowship hour where parishioners bring treats to put in kids’ decorated boxes in appreciation. The kids love it and so do the parishioners!  So it’s not necessary that kids go door to door at Halloween to get treats.  They can know there are other days for that.   

Hope these ideas are useful.
Pres. C.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Spiritual nourishment during education

If we should be involved with profane teachings during our education, we should not separate ourselves from the nourishment of the Church’s milk. 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

How to describe the Living God?

No matter what kind of language is used, it will be unable to speak of God as He is and what He is.  The perfection of learning is to know God in such a manner that, although you realize He is not unknown, you perceive that He cannot be described. 

Saturday, October 25, 2014

On the expulsion from Paradise

God drove them out of Paradise, separating them from the Tree of Life—not because He wanted to protect the Tree of Life from them, as some teach, but because God pitied them.  He did not want them to continue to live forever as sinners, or for the sin which had engulfed them to last forever, or for evil to have no end or remedy.  So, God set a bound to sin by interposing death, thus causing sin to cease (Rom 6:7). 

Friday, October 24, 2014

Thursday, October 23, 2014

On wasted time

What is more precious than anything in the world? Time! And what do we waste uselessly and without being sorry? Time! What do we not value and what do we disregard more than anything? Time! When we waste time, we lose ourselves! We lose everything! When we have lost the most trivial item, we search for it. But when we lose time--we're not even aware of it. Time is given by God to use correctly for the salvation of the soul and the acquisition of the life to come. Time must be allocated in the same way that a good housekeeper allocates every coin--each one is used for something. Each one has its own purpose. In such a way let us also allocate time profitably, not for vain amusements and entertainments, conversations, feasts and parties. The Lord will call us to account for having stolen time for our own whims, and for not using it for God and our soul. 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

On personal prayer

Every faithful man and woman, when they have risen from sleep in the morning, before they touch any work at all, should wash their hands and pray to God and so go to their work…Pray also before your body rests on the bed. 

About (St.) Hippolytus, c. 170-235 AD:  Bishop of Pontus (near Rome), was an eminent and learned scholar who wrote voluminously in the early third century.  Since he was unusually well versed in Greek philosophy, the Hellenistic mystery religions, and the teachings of the Apologists, it seems clear that, like (St.) Irenaeus, (St.) Hippolytus came from the eastern half of the Roman Empire.  He professed himself to be a disciple of (St.) Irenaeus and, like his teacher, (St.) Hippolytus wrote his works in Greek; indeed, he was the last Christian author in Rome to do so.  He died a martyr. 

(St.) Hippolytus’s writings include several widely different fields of Christian concern.  His Refutation of All Heresies engaged pagan culture and philosophy extensively.  In his Apostolic Traditions, (St.) Hippolytus handed on what had become customary practice within the Church by his day.  Topics covered include particulars regarding Christian life, details about the administration and celebration of the sacraments of baptism and the Eucharist, and some information about the responsibilities of clergy.