Sunday, August 28, 2016

featured blog: Every Home a Monastery

from Every Home a Monastery:
"I firmly believe it is important for us as Christians, as people, to work together and support one another. I do not think God intended us to be alone, extremely isolated, or wanted us to desire to need no one else. We were made for community. The Holy Trinity is a community. The desire to want to be completely self-sufficient and depend, rely on, or need no one else goes against how we were made. What a sad, cold world we would have if we all became self-sufficient.

My thoughts on this do not mean I am against homesteading. I think it is important for many of us to get back in touch with past skills lost: growing our own food, having farm animals (for those of us who can ), making our own bread, canning, etc. Wanting to move to the middle of no where in isolation and depend on no one else for anything, that idea is what I think is wrong. It is an idea that is popular among Christians, and large families, and one I think people should really think through. We’ve had to due to our circumstances and I am glad we have.

Besides the beautiful scenery and peaceful life I can imagine in Hobbiton, another appealing idea is the closeness of the hobbits. A closeness that is annoying at times, cumbersome even, but we see in Tolkien’s stories the beauty and true gift of friendship. Friendship is a constant theme and is woven throughout all of his writing. The need for community, the need to rely on others to get you through, the need to find hope through others when you want to give up.

“But it does not seem that I can trust anyone,’ said Frodo.
Sam looked at him unhappily. ‘It all depends on what you want,’ put in Merry. ‘You can trust us to stick with you through thick and thin–to the bitter end. And you can trust us to keep any secret of yours–closer than you keep it yourself. But you cannot trust us to let you face trouble alone, and go off without a word. We are your friends, Frodo.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

Part of forming friendships is supporting one another, working together, building a community with each other. Families and monasteries do this on small scales, and we also need to enter into the larger communities we live in. Building a better world will only happen if we strive to build it together.

Living by faith includes the call to something greater than cowardly self-preservation.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien

For now these wannabe Hobbits are going to keep learning homesteading skills, hopefully get a small garden growing this year, continue to try and support local businesses, and keep blogging our little adventure here in Saint Nazianz, Wisconsin. Right now, I am going to go plant my tomatoes. I’ll let you know how it goes."

Monday, October 12, 2015

featured blog post: preach the Gospel at all times...via kaiserwest excerpt from kaiserswest...."Our Church is universal, and made up of unique cultures, each one diverse and equal.  And each time an Apostle established a Church, it was established where they preached and where they were. What they did not do was change the cultural norms in the places where they established the Church. The beliefs are the same, but they were practiced in ways the local Church understood. One is not better than the other. They are different. We love our universal our Church is… Christianity is in itself a universal faith. If you wear a cross around your neck anywhere in the world, you are communicating your faith to others without saying a word. In the world of the Egyptian Coptic Christians, because there was such persecution, they took to having a small cross tattooed on their inner right wrists. It is a practice they still have, delineating themselves from other faiths in a very diverse culture. Even today, in the USA, Coptic Christians will be given a cross tattoo on their wrists, to let everyone know their faith. They speak volumes without saying a word.
I have been struggling with my anger when people do not respect the verbiage of the faith I practice, where they insert terminology that is not common to the practice of Eastern Catholicism. It bothers me when traditions are set aside because people are not familiar with them, coming from a western mindset. I majored in Anthropology and Biblical Archeology in college. I have a different mindset, in that I love learning new things, new cultures, new traditions. I love embracing new things. But I also realize that I am only a sojourner. I am temporarily on this earth. Even if I cringe when a term is used that should not be, a practice is done that should not be, clothing worn that should not be, I am struggling inside myself to offer up prayers and to also pray for understanding, while remaining silent. I have come to realize that essentially, we are all the same. It has been hard won, that knowledge. We are Christians and we want the same thing – we want to be granted an eternity with Our Lord. Our goal is to welcome and include, not to be exclusionary and isolating. Our words can have devastating effects when we say them in anger or out of frustration."

Sunday, March 2, 2014

featured blog: Melikite Eparchy of Newtown

SAD TO SAY, there are sincere believers who come to confession because they feel it is easier to repent before God than it is to apologize to people they have hurt! After all, God always forgives and the priest doesn’t try to make you feel embarrassed.
On the contrary, a sincerely repentant encounter with Christ, whether in confession or in the Eucharist, assumes that penitents have already repented to those whom they have offended. There is no greater sign of the authenticity of a person’s repentance than the willingness to do something concrete about it. Similarly there is no greater sign that a “penitent” is deceiving himself when he tries to apologize to God while avoiding the person he offended.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Royal Doors: Featured Blog

55 Maxims by Fr Thoma Hopko
1. Be always with Christ.
2. Pray as you can, not as you want.
3. Have a keepable rule of prayer that you do by discipline.
4. Say the Lord’s Prayer several times a day.
5. Have a short prayer that you constantly repeat when your mind is not occupied with other things.
6. Make some prostrations when you pray.
7. Eat good foods in moderation.
8. Keep the Church’s fasting rules.
9. Spend some time in silence every day.
10. Do acts of mercy in secret.
11. Go to liturgical services regularly.....