Cactus flowers, appropriately, during Bright Week 2011!

This cactus was taken from “Little Mount Athos” which is a rock outcropping on Possum Kingdom lake, during the St Peter the Aleut Summer Camp, 2010. I grew it outside for a while, but is was in a place where it got trampled, so I transferred it to one of my favorite pots, a used coffee can from my favorite coffee.

The flower appeared on Bright Week, 2011

Meditations on the Paschal Canon, Ode I

The Paschal Canon by St. John Damascene (8th century) is an amazing mediation on the Resurrection of our Lord, and is (together with the Paschal Stichera) the heart of the Paschal services. This is a short reflection on the content and meaning of Ode I of this canon.

Thomas Sunday. Homilies and Questions and Answers.

SYNOPSIS:Of all the resurrection stories, perhaps the one concerning St Thomas is the one we can most relate to. He is the “common man”, who was later able to do uncommon things. We are just like him, so our path of life must also be like his, which is the Christian life in microcosm. He, like us, was a complex indivicdual, believing, then faint of heart, couargeous, then full of fear. The one thing that he did that we must do to be saved is to endure, and “believe in the midst of our unbelief”. If we do this, we are not far away from the supernatural exploits of St Thomas, the Apostle

This is one of several homilies offered.

Bright Thursday. The Encounter with Nicodemus. Two homilies.

A new homily about the encounter of Jesus with Nicodemus, which is an exegesis of the entire passage.

Another homily on this encounter is available also:

The story of Nicodemus meeting with Christ is our story. We are Nicodemus, and Peter, and Mary Magdalene, and Thomas, and the Blind man, and the Paralytic, and all the rest, whom we have read about or will read about in this season; for them and us, illumination comes over time, and always with great effort and waiting on our part.

There is a constant theme throughout this Paschal period, up to and including Pentecost. It is the sure and certain aspect of everyone?s life ? we come to an understanding of holy things slowly, and only if we struggle and endure. …

Bright Monday: Important truths are rarely said absolutely unambiguously. “No man hath seen God at any time, the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him”, and “Make straight the way of the lord.”

The effect of the incarnation and the absolute necessity for a moral life is declared inn the Gospel for Bright Monday. As is the usual case, profound truths about the Christian life are stated, but not with absolute clarity. The fullness of the meaning of Scripture is not apparent to the casual observer, but only to those who struggle foe righteousness. We look at the whole passage, but particularly the two phrases: “No man hath seen God at any time, the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him”, and “Make straight the way of the Lord.”

Rocking “Christ is risen” troparion from Africa

‘I am not in favor of changing our tradition regarding musical instruments (and if I could, I would create a virus that destroyed every organ in every Orthodox church), but I WOULD LIKE TO MAKE AN EXCEPTION HERE: Christ is risen troparion, sung with drums, in Africa. Note the priest conducting! It starts out conventionally, then really gets your feet tapping!

Categorized as Pascha