Voices from Russia

Friday, 20 October 2017

20 October 2017. Monastics and Clergy are Real People First, Last, and Always


I’ve never put clergy on a pedestal. Firstly, there are too many rum sorts in riassas. “You have to respect me because I’m a priest”… yadda, yadda, yadda. These men are the greatest recruiters for atheistic secularism that I know. They make Christ’s Church look like a cheapjack personality cult (or an Anti-Christian Evangelical conventicle).

Secondly, clergy and monastics are real people. They aren’t special. They don’t have anything that the rest of us don’t have. They have the same feelings and urges that the rest of us do. They’re as capable of friendship as any of us are (and of hate, too). Unfortunately, too many people only see the riassa. They don’t see the real person in the riassa! They think that they have to be “religious” with clergy and monastics. That’s absolute bullshit and hooey. Be REAL with clergy and monastics. That’s showing them real respect. Interact with them as people. Don’t make them into something that they’re not. You’ll find that decent clergy and monastics will thank you for that. As for the rest, what need I say? Ignore them, for the most part, and oppose them if you must.

Remember… real people EARN real respect. Anyone who “demands” it is rather dubious (some men are in the clergy because they know that they couldn’t do as well in the secular world). Have a care. There be rum sorts afoot…



Tuesday, 13 October 2015

13 October 2015. REAL Monks are JOYFUL…

00 A Real Monk... Vladimir Davydenko. The Joy of Life. 2006


If you hear of a “Monastic” putting on a long face and making a public show of their asceticism… they’re NOT real monastics. REAL monastics are EUCHARISTIC people… full of thanks for all the real things that God has given us. Even a babe can tell the difference… do note well that the konvertsy can’t do it… what does that tell you about them?


Saturday, 2 March 2013

2 March 2013. Something That I Saw on the Web About Mother Theodora…

Yelena Cherkasova. The Righteous Soul Enters Heaven. undated

The Righteous Soul Enters Heaven

Yelena Cherkasova

undated (2000s?)


My Saturday morning began with a cup of coffee and a review of unopened e-mails. I opened one e-mail with a subject line indicating sad news, one that had been sent by one of my fellow church parishioners… I got hit with some news I really wasn’t expecting or ready for. Our sister in the faith, Mother Theodora passed away yesterday at Saratoga Hospital [in Saratoga Springs NY].

I always referred to Mother Theodora as “my nun friend”. More often than not, she was the first person I talked with at the conclusion of Sunday Liturgy. Our conversation would range from a discourse on that day’s Scripture reading, readings we had engaged in over the course of the previous week, to me sharing various epiphanies in my life and getting her feedback as to whether I “way out there” or actually on to something… in so many ways, she was much more than “my nun friend”.

Mother Theodora was a great teacher. Humble, serene, and friendly, she taught by example. She carried with her a notebook of names. This was her prayer list and she’d often break it out at the end of services and begin personal prayer. She’d take the time to remember in prayer each person on her list. I remember of couple times I asked her if she would mind adding people in my life to her list… my wife’s step-daughter Suzie, my nephew John. I explained the various challenges that each were facing in their lives. Mother happily added them to her notebook. She went beyond that, though. Six to eight months laterб she’d make sure to ask me, “How’s Suzie doing”, and, “How’s John”… you knew that she cared. Mother Theodora taught us by example how to live the commandment, “Love Thy Neighbour” . That’s a great gift to us all.

May her memory be eternal

Philip Melnik


I knew Mother Theodora Meyers… and I‘d say that she brightened every life that she touched. One day at liturgy, I saw her praying in secret in a corridor… I moved so that she couldn’t see me and I decided that I’d say nothing of what I’d saw. There are genuine people and there are “empty suits”… I needn’t tell you what Mother was… damn, I do miss her. She was always so genuinely kind to me. Oh, yes… she loved my Nicky’s borshch… that’s why so many miss the truly great and holy people… they look and act so heedlessly “ordinary”…

Вечная её память


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