Wednesday, July 30, 2008

From The Church Fathers

Those who labor for the vain things in life strive to make those who labor for God's sake stumble, that they might not be confronted with examples that accuse their consciences; but in so doing they only embellish the crowns of conscientious laborers.

St Eprhaim the Syrian, A Spiritual Psalter

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Michael Novak Examines Evil and the Atheism

First Things' On the Square today features an essay by Michael Novak that is worth your attention. It's titled Atheism and Evil. Here is a snippet to whet your whistle.

Could it possibly improve things to believe that the long pain of human evolution was set in motion by chance alone? The atheist view of the world is actually rather bleaker than that of Jews and Christians: Suffering under the weight of evil is meaningless, and so is any struggle against evil. Everything in the atheist’s world begins and ends in randomness and chance.
Read the entire essay here.

Incidentally, Mr Novak also has an interesting article recently printed in USA Today and available on his website. It's entitled, Reconciling Evil with Faith.

It's high time we all did some serious meditation on evil and suffering.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

St Athanasios on Music

Just as we make known and signify the thoughts of the soul through the words we express, so too the Lord wished the melody of the words to be a sign of the spiritual harmony of the soul, and ordained that the canticles be sung with melody and the psalms be read with the canticles.

Letter to Marcellunus, Saint Athanasios the Great (d 373)

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


Sometimes an image is worth a thousand words...
(This is very 'graphic')

And if words are still needed...

Monday, July 21, 2008

Two Stories - Interesting Contrast

I happened upon both of these stories this morning. They provide an interesting contrast in the one's assertion of the persistence of perception versus reality, and the other's observation of a reality that has historically been minimized or forgotten entirely.

Check out So Much for the 'Looted Sites' from the Wall Street Journal and Those Whitewashed Walls from First Things On the Square.

Reflect on both articles and consider the need for greater prayer and fasting in a fallen and corrupt world.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

St John Chrysostom on Contraception

Why do you sow where the field is eager to destroy the fruit, where there are medicines of sterility [oral contraceptives], where there is murder before birth? You do not even let a harlot remain only a harlot, but you make her a murderess as well…Indeed, it is something worse than murder, and I do not know what to call it; for she does not kill what is formed but prevents its formation. What then? Do you condemn the gift of God and fight with his [natural] laws?…Yet such turpitude…the matter still seems indifferent to many men—even to many men having wives. In this indifference of the married men there is greater evil filth; for then poisons are prepared, not against the womb of a prostitute, but against your injured wife. Against her are these innumerable tricks.

Homilies on Romans, 24 - .St. John Chrysostom

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Update on Bishop Nicholae

Catholic News Agency has the update....

Romanian Orthodox synod disciplines bishop for intercommunion with Catholics

Bucharest, Jul 11, 2008 / 06:03 am (CNA).- The Holy Synod of the Romanian Orthodox Church has decided to “forgive” two Orthodox bishops for their participation in religious rites with Eastern Catholics. However, it warned that no Orthodox cleric may celebrate sacraments or blessings with ministers of other religions on pain of excommunication.

Nicolae Corneanu, the Orthodox Metropolitan Bishop of Banat, had provoked controversy after receiving Holy Communion during a Greek Catholic Mass in Timisoara on May 25. The synod’s forgiveness has reportedly settled the controversy, according to the SIR News Agency.

“The Holy Eucharist is not a means and a stage towards the unity of the Christian Church, but the deepest manifestation of the unity of the Church, its highlight,” stated Patriarch Daniel of the Romanian Orthodox Church in a speech to the synod.

Patriarch Daniel reportedly intended to reassert the fundamental principle of Orthodox ecclesiology and ecumenism. He said that such gestures of “so-called inter-communion” in fact “reduce the dogmatic differences between the Orthodox Church and the Catholic Church and undermine the unity of faith as the foundation of the reconstruction of the communion between the two Churches.”

The Patriarch reiterated that it is forbidden for Orthodox believers to receive the Eucharist in a different Church.

He also said the decision does not intend to treat other Christians “with arrogance or contempt” or to interrupt theological dialogue.

“Through a sincere, deep theological dialogue, the dogmas that separate the Catholic Church from the Orthodox Church can be redefined,” he concluded.

Father Francisc Dobos, spokesman for the Catholic Archdiocese of Bucharest, responded to the decision, saying in a press release, “We believe it is right for every Church to solve its own problems according to its own principles and regulations. We are convinced that the dialogue between the two Churches will move on, towards a communion from the same chalice.”

The Romanian synod also “forgave” Bishop Sofronie of Oradea, another Orthodox prelate, who had celebrated the blessing of holy water with the Greek Catholic Bishop of Oradea, Virgil Bercea, on “Twelfth Night,” the evening of Epiphany.

“The Holy Synod disapproved of the non-canonical gestures made by the two leaders and accepted their change of mind and repentance as a first sign of their correction,” read a press release from the Romanian Orthodox Patriarchate.
And so it goes

Friday, July 11, 2008

Father Euteneuer on Exorcisims

Oddly enough, when I've tried to watch this, the picture has been void.