Friday, June 29, 2007

Prayers, A Plug, and a Feast Day...

...for my wife, who will (Lord willin' and nothing happens before then), be induced on Monday morning, July 2nd, to give birth to our second daughter, Katherine Ruth.

Thank you.

UPDATE (hence the title change): While wanting to keep the above prayer request at the top of the blog throughout the weekend, I also wanted to direct attention to the (very long) post directly underneath which I've just finished. Forgive any shortcomings in my words.

Thirdly: Happy Feast Day! (Lives) (Hymns)

Monday, June 25, 2007

Αδης / Γεεννα, The Second Coming, and Prayer for the Departed

For those of you who haven't already done so, I recommend that you start browsing the explosion of podcasts that has taken place over at Ancient Faith Radio as of late. I've particularly enjoyed a series of podcasts (recently concluded) by Dr. Clark Carlton on the Orthodox view of the afterlife, the end of all things, and prayer for the departed in light of the Last Judgment. This endorsement of Dr. Carlton may surprise some who read this blog, as they might remember that I've been turned off on past occasions by his at times dismissive approach to intelligent critiques from Evangelicals, but I think he does a good and honest job of putting forth the position of the Church on these subjects. You can hear the four podcasts here, here, here, and here. For those of you who are more the reading type than the listening type, however, I offer what I hope amounts to the main content of those four podcasts here, intertwined with my own comments, thoughts, and experiences.

Why pray for those who've already died? The question is brought up whenever we interact with folks from Protestant traditions and, I must say, was one of the first and most obvious issues I had to confront. I say "obvious" because, in reading the writings of the Church Fathers during the Roman persecutions, I was struck both by the number of references to an intermediate state of the dead as well as the detail given to the nature(s) of said state. My upbringing was one where, when a person died, they either went to live forever with Christ in perfect bliss in Heaven, or to die forever in the flames of Hell in utter agony. This idea of a "holding pattern" or "waiting period" was utterly unknown to me, so when I heard of a distinction between the two Greek words αδης (hereafter "Hades") and γεεννα (hereafter "Gehenna") which was based on a view of things which had at its center the Second Coming and Last Judgment, I was very intrigued, and not a little disturbed. Indeed, Dr. Carlton says, those two terms were made completely interchangeable by the time of the Medieval Period in the West. Hades was (rightly) seen as a place of punishment and torment, as was Gehenna, so both words were translated as "Hell" (this is also the unfortunate case in many of our liturgical translations in Orthodox parishes in the West). Rather, our understanding was that Hades referred to the state of the dead prior to the last Judgment, where those united to Christ began to feel the joy of God's presence, and the damned began to feel the dread and pain of their coming doom, yet neither group of people was understood to be in their "final place" precisely because the Last Judgment had not yet taken place. Said final place for the damned was what was called "Gehenna," or the lake of fire. Put simply, it is for this reason--that the dead are now in Hades, and not yet in Gehenna--that we pray for the dead.

Questions immediately arise at this point: Why would we pray for the dead if those in Hades already feel their inevitable doom? What difference would it make if those in the West (e.g. Tertullian, Cyprian) began early on to apply punishment to Hades if those therein already felt the effects of their sealed fate? Wouldn't the dead in Hades only have the inevitable delayed for a bit instead of thrust upon them, and therefore wouldn't prayer for the dead still be useless and (more importantly) a slap in the face of God's sovereignty in light of their fixed destiny?

Dr. Carlton waits until the fourth podcast to say this, but I think it bears saying outright: this life is the period given to us for repentance; postmortem repentance is not scriptural according to the Fathers. However, we do not rule out the possibility of a change of the state of a soul in Hades because a change could take place there based on events that happened in his/her life on Earth. Father Thomas Hopko has recently commented on predestination on the most recent broadcast of the Illumined Heart, saying that, yes, God foreknows and predestines some to be saved and others damned, but it is a predestination that is done from outside time, whose completion is, in a sense, already done (for God sees the whole span of time), and is a predestination that we, to a degree, influence now with our own prayers and actions, time-bound though they be. The same, he has said elsewhere, applies to our prayers for those in Hades. Our prayers for them are simply for God to do what He will do with them--for He sees what will/has become of them already--and we ask Him to comfort them, in whatever state they're in, knowing that our prayers in this life do reverberate in the eternal. In a nutshell, Dr. Carlton says that the so-called "problem" with prayer for the dead is the exact same "problem" some people have with prayer for the living: If God has already planned out His divine will in this world which He will bring to pass regardless of humanity's actions, what is the purpose of praying for the salvation of individual people or humanity in general? Are we asking God to override a man's free will? Are we asking Him to "change His mind" regarding what He has planned for us? Certainly not, and neither are we asking Him to do any such thing for souls in Hades.

We are, however, following the injunction of the apostles to pray, regardless of the outcome, for all members of the Body of Christ, which we believe are united one to another, even in spite of death. The connection of the people of God across the barrier of death is seen as being passable in the Old Testament (certain endings of Jeremiah show him praying for the people of Israel, and Judas Maccabeus prays "because of the Resurrection of the Dead" for the souls of possibly idolatrous fallen soldiers), after which it is expanded upon in the New Testament (Revelation shows angels and elders carrying the prayers of Christians on earth before the throne of God, and St. Paul, praying for comfort for the household of Onesiphorus, a man he references only in the past tense, asks that God might grant this possibly departed soul "mercy...in that Day" of Judgment (2 Tim 1:18)). While St. Paul's reference is definitely inconclusive--Onesiphorus could very well still have been in this life when St. Paul wrote--we need look no further into the patristic era than the martyrdom of one of the great Apostolic Fathers, Ignatius of Antioch, for confirmation that this belief was accepted and practiced in the early Church, for the account of his martyrdom shows him appearing to his flock, post-martyrdom, "embracing [and] praying for [them], and...dropping with sweat, as if he had just come from his great labor, and standing by the Lord." In spite of the firm belief that this life is the one given to us for repentance, the Church has never felt any contradiction in praying for those who await the second coming from beyond the grave.

Why do we insist on an intermediate state of the Dead if the departed are outside time? Would it not be redundant to speak of a "waiting" period? Are we not contradicting ourselves here? We have, however, a hint in Revelation 6 of the "timeless waiting" spoken of by Father Tom. St. John writes:
"I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained. They called out in a loud voice, 'How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?' Then each of them was given a white robe, and they were told to wait a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants and brothers who were to be killed as they had been was completed."
Even though those martyrs are in the presence of the Lord--among the righteous dead--they are clearly not in a state of final bliss, for they are painfully aware of the fact that judgment has yet to be exacted on the unrighteous. More than that, they petition the Lord to act on behalf of those who still remain on earth. This is, to us, a beautiful example of the communion of the saints that not even the cruelest of deaths--that of a martyr--can sever.

Why not just have an instantaneous meting out of rewards and punishment, of salvation and damnation, right at the moment of death? We would say that, were this to happen, such a system would have no need of a resurrection of the body, nor of a Last Judgment; to said way of thinking, all the judging that would need to be done would have already been done at the moment of the separation of soul and body. This is an immensely troubling problem for the Orthodox, as any attempt to portray the separation of soul and body as "natural," desirable, or anything other than horrible and "the last enemy" of mankind (1 Cor. 15:26) amounts to a denial of the significance of the Logos' incarnation. There must be an intermediate state of the dead prior to the General Resurrection, because that Resurrection and subsequent Judgment is the consummation not only of Christ's Incarnation as the God-Man, but of the creation of the whole Cosmos.

God, it must be said, created the world with the Incarnation in mind. Knowing that man would separate himself from the Source of all Life, thus bringing death upon him as a natural consequence of his freely chosen action (rather than as a punishment from an offended God), the Holy Trinity saw from before man's creation that the only way for man to be truly united to Them would be to send the Son to become one of mankind and, thus, all humanity. We say in the Creed that He was made "anthropos", or human, not just "male" or "a man". This affirmation of the intrinsic goodness of the psychosomatic union that is a living human being is the very thing that is affronted by the appalling mockery that is death, for it seeks to put asunder the very thing that God joined together and, indeed, appears to do so to one not looking through eyes of faith. For us, to say that upon the dissolution of this union of soul and body a person immediately receives his eternal reward (thus making permanent said separation) is tantamount to saying that a human soul can be everything he was created to be without his body. Most religions treat death as this very thing: a "liberation" of sorts from this "fleshy prison" that flies the soul off to incorporeal, Ideal parts unknown and, perhaps unwittingly, consigns this current existence to an unfortunate "halfway house" we must endure before being granted the reward of "real life"--that is, "the life beyond."

In his book, O Death, Where is Thy Sting? Father Alexander Schmemann calls the above heresy on the carpet, saying that "Christianity is not concerned about coming to terms with death, but rather with the victory over it." Furthermore, he continues:
"When Christianity speaks of the resurrection of the body, it does not speak about the vivification of bones and muscles, for bones and muscles and the whole material world, its whole fabric, is nothing more than certain basic elements, in the end--atoms. And in them there is nothing specifically personal, nothing eternally mine.

"Christianity speaks about the restoration of life as communion, it speaks about the spiritual body that over the course of our whole life we have developed through love, through our pursuits, through our relationships, through our coming out of ourselves. It speaks not about the eternity of matter, but about its final spiritualization; about the world that finally becomes truly a body--the life and love of mankind; about the world that has become fully communion with life."
And it is because of the reality of this communion--established beyond time yet still to be consummated at the end of it--which we "remember" in our Sunday Liturgy, having ourselves been brought out of time and "Remembering...all those things that have come to pass for us: the cross, the tomb, the resurrection on the third day, the ascension into heaven, the sitting at the right hand of the Father, and the second and glorious coming," that allows us to add our prayers for the eternal memory of those already-departed souls whose destiny is eternally foreknown yet influenced by prayers from all ages and who are nonetheless joined together with us in the Eternal Now of the Kingdom.

Dr. Carlton recounts a story from the Desert Fathers in which Abba Macarius, upon finding a skull in the desert, inquires of the skull as to its identity. The skull answers that it was a pagan priest who is now in Hades, where all the souls in that very full place are tied back to back, so they cannot see one another. "However," the pagan priest continued, "when you pray for us, we begin to see each other just a little." Our prayer for those waiting for the Resurrection and Judgment asks that God grant them "memory eternal"--that is, that they not be lost to αδης, the land of forgetfulness where the Rich Man in the parable had no name, bur rather that they be sheltered in Abraham's bosom, in the presence of Abraham's Lord, remembered by God and all the righteous as was the beggar Lazarus--whose name was known even by the doomed Rich Man--in anticipation of the coming Day on which the last Enemy will be destroyed through a final, permanent reunion of souls and bodies and on which men will finally feel, in all its "reckless, raging fury," the Judgment of Love that will be the resolution of an existence-long dissonance for those who have loved His appearing, and the fire of γεεννα for all those who are yet determined to resist Him. Such a love, given as it is from an Incarnate Judge, can only be fully received, one way or another, by those in the flesh. Until the time of that universal reunion, however, we all wait--some under the altar, others yet in the arena of this life--still united by a Love stronger than death and (as Fr. Schmemann says) in "loving Christ, [loving] all those who are in Him" and "loving those who are in Him, [loving] Christ...it is truly our love in Christ that keeps [the departed] alive because it keeps them 'in Christ,'" that they might receive "times of refreshing from the presence of the Lord" (Acts 3:19) instead of "
everlasting destruction" from that same presence "and from the glory of His power" (2 Thess. 1:9).

May the souls, then, of all the faithful departed (+) rest in peace, and may light perpetual shine upon them--and upon us--until the Day when Christ Himself will be our Light.

Friday, June 22, 2007

HAHAHAHAHAHA...what???

This is Hope. Hope is silly. Hope likes to laugh REALLY loudly, then stop. We don't know why. But we thought this was really, really funny.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

The Jesus Prayer

Fr. Tom Hopko has said that there are people who are interested in the Jesus Prayer who are neither interested in Jesus nor prayer.

May we never trade in ends for means.


Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, the sinner.
Señor Jesucristo, Hijo de Dios, ten piedad de mí, el pecador.
Κύριε Ἰησοῦ Χριστέ, Υἱέ τοῦ Θεοῦ, ἐλέησόν με τὸν ἁμαρτωλόν.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Love w/out Reaction, Condition

Fr. Stephen Freeman has, in his usual, peaceful style, put together a great post entitled, "Why is Love so Difficult?" I encourage you to read the post itself, but I thought I'd duplicate my entry in the combox here:
Love is also difficult because of our fear of the reaction (or lack thereof) of the one loved. Rich Mullins described it better than I ever could, so I'll just defer to him:

"God calls us to 'be strong' and we mistake that for a call to omnipotence. We confuse strength to endure trials with an ability to walk unfrustrated through life. We convince ourselves that if we were strong we would never fail, never tire, never hurt, never need. We begin to measure strength in terms of ease of progress, equate power with success, endurability with invincibility, and inevitably, when our illusion of omnipotence is shattered, we condemn ourselves for being weak.

"God has called us to be lovers and we frequently think that He meant us to be saviors. So we 'love' as long as we see 'results.' We give of ourselves as long as our investments pay off, but if the ones we love do not respond, we tend to despair and blame ourselves and even resent those we pretend to love. Because we love someone, we want them to be free of addictions, of sin, of self--and that is as it should be. But it might be that our love for them and our desire for their well-being will not make them well. And if that is the case, their lack of response no more negates the reality of love than their quickness to respond would confirm it.

"Love is a virtue and not a feeling. It is fed and fired by God--not by the favorable response of the beloved. Even when it doesn't seem to make a dime's worth of difference to the ones on whom it is lavished, it is still the most prized of all virtues because it is at the heart of the very character of God."

Friday, June 15, 2007

In the beginning was grammar . . .

Not sure where this originally comes from, but I really appreciate it, having majored in English Ed and Spanish and having been a Spanish teacher for five years...

In the beginning was grammar . . .

1. In the beginning my English teacher created nouns and verbs.

2. And the verbs were without form and voice; and darkness was upon the face of the deep—my teacher.

3. And she said, “Let there be grammar”, and there was grammar

4. And Teacher saw the verbs and laughed and said that it was good; and she divided the bright students from those who remained in darkness.

5. And Teacher gave the bright students A’s and kept the others after school. And the homework and the bell were the first day.

6. And Teacher said, “Let there be a sentence in the midst of the words, and let it divide the nouns from the verbs.”

7. And Teacher made the sentence and diagrammed it on the board; I looked and saw that it was so.

8. And the Teacher called the sentence declarative. And the capital and the period were the second day.

9. And Teacher said, “Let the noun words in the sentence be gathered together unto one piece, and let the verb words appear; and it was so.

10. And the Teacher called the verb words predicate; and the gathering together of noun words called she the subject; and Teacher was that it was good.

11. And Teacher said, “Let the predicate bring forth modifiers, the transitive verbs yielding objects, and the intransitive verbs yielding complements after their own kind, whose place is in itself, within the predicate.” And it was so.

12. And the predicate brought forth modifiers, and transitive verbs yielding objects after their own kind, and intransitive verbs yielding a complement whose place was in itself, after their own kind. The Teacher saw that it was good and confusing.

13. And the active and the passive were the third day.

14. And Teacher said, “Let there be modifiers in the firmament of the subject to further confuse and divide the students in the classroom; and let them be for proper nouns, concrete nouns, mass nouns, collective nouns, pronouns, and abstract nouns.”

15. “And let them give meaning in the subject and enhance the predicate.” And it was sooo . . . confusing.

16. And Teacher made two great words: the greater word, adjective, to rule the noun, and the lesser word, adverb, to rule the verb; she made the conjunction also.

17. And Teacher set them in the sentence in order to make it difficult to diagram.

18. And to make it easier for her to divide the bright students from those who remained in darkness; and Teacher saw that her system was good.

19. And the phrase and the clause were the fourth day.

20. And Teacher said, “Let the verbs bring forth abundantly the many verb forms, the gerunds, infinitives, and participles; the subjunctives; the auxiliary verbs, the linking verbs, and the phrasal verbs.”

21. And Teacher created moods for every living creature that moveth, and tenses for all time, and voices after their own kind. And Teacher saw that it was indeed good.

22. And Teacher blessed them saying, “Be fruitful and multiply in complexity, and fill young minds with bewilderment, and let the bewilderment multiply into chaos in their minds.”

23. And the lecture and the English test were the fifth day.

24. And Teacher said, “Let the nouns and verbs bring forth living sentences after their own kind, book reports, essay questions, and English themes for the students to write”, and it was very so.

25. And Teacher made all these things for the freshman English student to do, and everything that creepeth into her mind she gave to them to do; and Teacher saw to it that it was good.

26. And Teacher said, “Let us make one project in our image, after our likeness: and let the product have dominion over the other projects, and over every subject of the college student.”

27. So Teacher created the research paper in her own image, in the image of Teacher created she it; boring and difficult created she it.

28. And Teacher blessed it, and Teacher said unto the research paper, “Be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the supply of dropouts, and subdue the remainder of the college students, and have dominion over the other projects, and over the other subjects, and other every single grade that the students receive.”

29. “And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth into the classroom, wherein there is life, I have given every rule and principle for good English”, and it was so.

30. And Teacher saw everything that she had made, and behold it was very good.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Five Years and a Scotsman Saint

Celebrated five years of marriage with the love of my life last night. The little stinker spent the night at my mom's (BIG fun!) while Mommy and Papi went out for Salvadoran food and a movie. A great, kid-free and (best of all) grown-up time was had by both. Thanks be to God for declaring marriage an honorable estate.

Today is Gary's namesday, so this saint to the right, Columba of Iona, is thus commemorated. God grant Gary many years!
By your God-inspired life
You embodied both the mission and the dispersion of the Church,
Most glorious Father Columba.
Using your repentance and voluntary exile,
Christ our God raised you up as a beacon of the True Faith,
An apostle to the heathen and an indicator of the Way of salvation.
Wherefore O holy one, cease not to intercede for us
That our souls may be saved.
(Troparion, Tone 5)

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Article for Posterity

In case anybody missed the "Faith and Works" post from a little while ago (as well as the huge discussion the followed in the combox), the content of said post is now available as an online article, courtesy of OC.net, and is now listed in the sidebar of this blog as "Harmonious Salvation."

More Grumbling from Texas

Oooookay...rant comin' up....

Things have been up in arms lately here in North Texas regarding some decisions made in some (very) small towns. One decision in Farmers Branch looks to deny illegal immigrants the "right" to rent apartments and is being contested by a federal (no surprises there) Texas judge. Another proposition in Oak Point aims to make English the official language of the city, though it may not have enough council support to make it through.

I enthusiastically support both of these measures, wish their proponents all the luck in the world, and hope that more and more cities here in the South follow suit. Yes, it may sound a little strange coming from me, the Spanish teacher, but I am enthusiastic about closing our borders to illegal activity (as well as streamlining legal immigration processes -- see here, here, and here for past posts on this), as well as making English our defining language as a nation.

You see, I've worked with latino immigrants--legal latino immigrants--helped them find transportation, apartments, jobs. I have absolutely nothing against latinos, Russians, Irish, whatevers coming here legally to contribute to the growth and cultural enrichment, as we are a nation of immigrants. What bothers me--no, what infuriates me--are the ideas that

1. individuals can come in "under the radar" and receive free health care, shelter, government assistance in WIC or foodstamps, free education, and freedom from paying taxes, while those seeking to do things the honest way are punished by not being able to work, sometimes for up to two years, without a green card;

2. said lawbreakers feel no remorse but rather entitlement to all of the above benefits simply by virtue of their being (in the most prominent case) Mexican, and (adding insult to injury) legal Americans of Mexican descent--not to mention many liberal whites working under a false sense of White Man's Guilt and fear of the "r" word--add to said sense of entitlement through their continued support for this illegal activity in the name of "compassion," "tolerance" "open-mindedness" and even "multi-culturalism";

3. our country leaves our borders and our ports wide open so that any José or Abduhl can just waltz right in undocumented, carrying God-knows-what either into our out of this country scot-free (hey, why not put troops on the border? Oh...right...they're all...overseas...making us...safer...yeeah...thanks, George/Dick/Karl et al); and

4. no part of our government--state or federal--is doing anything to punish businesses (as in, fine them so heavily that they're summarily put out of business) who knowingly hire undocumented persons, and so the major incentive to the immigrant flow continues to go unchecked for the simple want of cheap labor and our sad, continued love affair with big business.

I hope I've made it clear that the key distinction here is legal vs. illegal. I make this statement across the board, regardless of whether the person immigrating is Mexican, Irish, Polish, Greek, Russian, Somalian, Filipino or Lebanese. I personally welcome any and all people who simply seek to come and find a better life for themselves, and I'd like to see us able to legally accommodate them more easily. My only stipulation is that said persons do the honorable thing and obey the laws of the nation from which they seek to benefit--i.e., enter legally, register for taxation of wages, obtain a social security card and state driver's license, carry minimum liability insurance (if they are to be driving)--and, yes, learn the English language to at least a minimally proficient degree.

It is my profession to teach the Spanish language to Americans who do not know it, and some may see this, at first glance, as a way to accommodate and enable those coming in from Spanish-speaking countries so that they might not have to acquire the English language very quickly, if at all. Yet this is not the case; legal immigrants who are recently-arrived will have a learning curve, and thus should have some provision in emergency situations (hospital, police, fire, etc) in their native languages. What is more, our nation trails behind the rest of the world to a sad degree in the number of people who speak multiple languages and, thus, are able to compete more aggressively in the global market. Our determination to be a multilingually-proficient society is not as high as it could or should be, and can only do us good.

Yet "multilingually-proficient" does not necessitate "officially multilingual"; in other words, we can have a citizenry that seeks to communicate with the rest of the world and still have one lingua franca (no pun intended) that serves both to identify and unite us as one country. China's official language is still Chinese, in spite of the many students of English there; Germany still has German as its official language, France has French, Britain has English, and Mexico has Spanish. Other languages undoubtedly exist in each of these countries, but their respective official languages serve to unify all nationalities within said country. Refusal to learn and use said language--insisting, rather, that the country one has moved to in order to benefit cater to you and provide you with your language on a regular basis--is the height of cultural arrogance and should be treated as such.

People do not have the "right" to benefit from a country whose laws they don't respect; to the right you'll see the side of the house of Farmers Branch's mayor, lovingly inscribed thus for calling lawbreakers what they are. Way to win some hearts and minds, compa's. I could go into how meddling Feds are once again getting involved where they ought to butt out, but suffice it to say that if Farmers Branch is using federal guidelines to determine the legality of prospective tenants, then the kowtow to Washington, D.C. has been made and no further intrusion is necessary on the part of those boys north of the Potomac. The folks down here have done what needs to be done--made a law with teeth in it--and it stands to reason that only the folks from 'round here would really get what's led up to the passing of a law like this--and now folks from "way far 'way" are trying to dictate how (or even if) this'll go down. Seems we've seen that somewhere before...but y'all know where I'd go with that...

Monday, June 04, 2007

Two Swim the Tiber for Apostolic Faith

Almost a month ago, I was alerted to the fact that Francis J. Beckwith, former President of the Evangelical Theological Society, had converted to Roman Catholicism; I've just been told (hat tip to EYTYXOΣ) that Rob Koons, professor of philosophy at the University of Texas in Austin, has done the same, as well as provided a lengthy and thorough case for the Catholic side of the Catholic/Lutheran justification debate. Good reading for the theologically-inclined with the time to spare. The rest of us have to skim where we can and make up for it later...

Professor Koons' reasons for choosing Rome over the East are, by his own admission, shallow and based on his own cultural inheritance as well as theological exhaustion, but the very comment itself is charitable in its recognition of our shared apostolic heritage -- indeed, the issues that separate the Orthodox from the Catholics are not clear-cut to objective observers, and understanding needs to be given on both sides. The post, though, has me thinking a lot about the fast in which we find ourselves for the next 25 days. Father Stephen stresses that we remember our Apostolic Faith during this time. Of particular recommendation is the quote by Irenaeus, as well as the work from which it comes (books I, II, III, IV, and V -- more reading for theology buffs).

Bit of a segue...re: the faith of the Apostles... Now that I've reconciled myself to this, it's actually comforting to know that God is glorified in His saints. Not just by His saints, through their praises, but in the actions of His saints for the good of the Church and all mankind...not the least of which are, we Orthodox believe, their holy prayers ascending before Christ on our behalf. The power to forgive sins, given to God alone in former times, was passed to these mere men by the Holy Spirit, men who were then led by that same Spirit into all truth in order that we could worship in Spirit and in Truth.

Holy Foremost of the Apostles Peter and Paul, pray to Christ our God for us.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Prayer...

For the military in Lebanon fighting against islamic militants in a refugee camps. The linked article says this is the worst (internal) fighting Lebanon has seen since its Civil War.

Yarob Burham...

Excited...


Tomorrow (Lord willing), I'll go up to Denton for the introductory class in an ongoing course in NT Greek that is being offered out of St. Maximus' taught--free of charge!--by our very own EYTYXOΣ. Very much looking forward to this. The books shown above shall be our texts.