Voices from Russia

Friday, 13 May 2016

13 May 2016. I Was Sick and You Visited Me

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“I was sick and you visited me”… one either incarnates Christ’s example or one is a hypocrite… full stop. Bishop Panteleimon Shatov of Orekhovo-Zuyevo is Chairman of the MP Synodal Department for Church Charity and Social Service (OTsBSS). He’s an all-round good guy… one of the best. Yet, he personally went to hospitals in Moscow on Christmas (and Easter) to visit with patients, bring them small gifts, and to show Christian compassion (without mawkish sentimentality or showy publicity). This is what the Christian Life is all about. It’s not about peering over the tops of toilet stalls or waving placards…

BMD

Thursday, 24 March 2016

24 March 2016. A Faith Based on “No” is No Faith at All

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One of the konvertsy boasted that the reason that people convert to Orthodoxy was that it says “No”… I find that both odd and troubling at the same time. I’m a believer because of what Orthodoxy says “Yes” to… not because of what it denies. I believe in the Christ Who opened His arms to everyone… I believe in the Church that embraced the Ethiopian eunuch and the fallen harlot Mariya Magdalene. I do NOT believe in the long (and seemingly ever-increasing) list of “Thou Shalt Nots” thundered forth by the konvertsy. God will save those whom He wills… He needs no assistance from me (or from you… or from the loud “experts”) in that matter. I even confess that the Lord wants to save the konvertsy… yet, shall they answer His call? I do hope that they shall in the end, but their present behaviour contradicts that, doesn’t it?

No matter how childish, mawkish, and wrongheaded they are, we Christians are under obligation to pray for the salvation of all and that all will attend to the Lord’s call and accept His Offer. We’re Christians; that’s what we do. However, we needn’t agree to or be passive in the face of their negative and hateful activity. The same is true here… we’re Christians; that’s what we do. After all, Our Lord Christ showed no mercy on the Scribes and Pharisees of His day, did He? Do reflect on the fact that the “religious” of His time wanted him dead… now, that’s a meaty Lenten reflection…

BMD

24 March 2016. Why the Incarnation?

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Yes… this impacts the Incarnation as well… if we can’t see our Fellow Man’s humanity and see that they have lives of dignity, free of want, how can we claim to love the Word Made Flesh?

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Christ became incarnate to glorify our Nature… not to satisfy some evil lust for satisfaction on the part of God the Father. There it is, simply put. That’s why it’s so important for us… if Christ didn’t become incarnate, He couldn’t have risen from the dead, glorifying all of human nature in His Resurrection. The Incarnation led to the Resurrection… the Incarnation means that our Human Nature isn’t mere dross…

That’s the meaning of Christianity, in all its simplicity and essentiality… anything else is either commentary on that or false…

BMD

Monday, 30 April 2012

30 April 2012. Advice from the Fathers to Priests Who Like Attacking the Laity in Public…

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