Voices from Russia

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

28 February 2012. Yes, Virginia, There WAS Life in the Metropolia Before Schmemann…



These images are from the 50th anniversary celebration of Metropolitan Feofily Pashkovsky’s (1874-1950, First Hierarch of the Metropolia, 1934-50) ordination held in 1947. The top photo shows Vladyki with students from St Tikhon’s. Archbishop Leonty Turkevich of Chicago (1876-1965, First Hierarch of the Metropolia, 1950-65) is to the left of Metropolitan Feofily, and Bishop John Shakhovksoy of Brooklyn (1902-89) is to his right. In the second image, Vladyki Feofily is confabbing with Fr Vladimir Prislopsky of Cleveland OH.



28 February 2012. Matushka Natalie Kiryluk Breyan… Вечная память!


28 February 2012. Sergei Yolkin’s World. “Bat” Virus

“Bat” Virus

Sergei Yolkin



An article published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences stated that bats can carry influenza virus type A, which is the same group as avian and swine flu, but the new “bat” virus is very different from the known types, it could potentially mutate into a strain dangerous to humans.

28 February 2012

Sergei Yolkin



28 February 2012. “Boom Go the Canons”, Part Deux


One of the hardest skills to learn is the art of “listening”. We’ve all heard some dreary sort drone on and on, quoting this and citing that, and we all realise that such sorts don’t want to listen to us at all. Why should they? They “have all the answers”. There’s no need to listen to the nudniks around you when God has revealed the Absolute Truth to you (and to you and your set alone)… and given you the mission of enlightening all the darkened souls that you might run across. Grounded Orthodox will recognise the symptoms of this lot… they’re forever quoting the canons and the Fathers… and telling you that you don’t know your own faith. Another symptom is an emphasis on peripheral non-issues such as tithing and “perfect attendance” that have never been part of Orthodox Life. Oh, yes… we shouldn’t forget their “serious and pious” expressions at Liturgy. They’re caught up with God, dontcha know!

Well, St John of Damascus had their number way back when… “If you see a young monk advancing by his own efforts, pull him down to earth, for his own good”. Am I the only person to note that the prideful and hubristical canon-crunchers NEVER quote this Patristic nugget? Let’s not be coy… none of these jabronies jabbering on the ‘Net about the canons or the Fathers has any call to do so. They’re neophytes, mostly. I remember reading a site maintained by a fellow who had been in the Church two years, but he was expatiating on the Fathers as though he had something worthwhile to say about them. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again… the Fathers are contradictory. They aren’t dogma or doctrine… they’re OPINION. In some cases, its weighty opinion, but it’s NOT obligatory on the faithful. The canons are tricky, unless one’s a trained canonist, you can go right off the road if you don’t watch out. Real canonists have told me that one needs to read the canons in the original New Roman Greek to trick out the real meaning, and, on top of that, you need training in an actual Orthodox university setting (such as the MDA, PSTGU, Thessaloniki or Belgrade, not heterodox venues)… none of the konvertsy “experts” bloviating on the canons has that. I don’t have that… and you’ll note how often I quote the canons as weapons against my opponents. NOT AT ALL…

However, let’s get back to my original point. These people are so busy “quoting”, that they don’t hear the people around them. Let me give you an example. Two Sundays ago, I listened to a friend of mine. She didn’t say anything, but there was concern and worry in her voice. It’s not important what the discussion was about… the fact was I caught her concern because I was LISTENING. Because I listened, I was able to “go the extra mile”… and was able to help out in a given situation in a small way. Let’s keep it simple, guys. That’s what Christianity’s all about. It’s not about making an insufferable bastard of yourself by quoting this or that. It’s not about tithing… that leads to more pride than anything else and it sets up a two-tier membership that Our Lord Christ did NOT intend (you see, those who don’t tithe are “lesser”, and it’s made bloody clear). It’s not about being at every liturgy or being “pious”.

It’s about forgetting yourself and getting down to the task at hand… and you can’t do that without listening. It’s about finding truth where it is… not where you think it is. It’s about finding wisdom in Lazarus Long and Groucho… and thanking God for all the ways that He speaks to us. Most of all, it’s the PEOPLE… that’s the Church to me. It’s not the building… it’s not the clergy… it’s not found in a book. You only find it if you LISTEN… carefully. God has a still small voice, and how in hell are you going to hear it if you’re forever loudly quoting this or that?

Think on that…

Barbara-Marie Drezhlo

Tuesday 28 February 2012

Albany NY

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