Thursday, November 29, 2012

7 Quick Takes 30NOV12

1. Today is the commemoration of St Andrew the Apostle.

2. So far I've posted 40 reasons I like our local Melkite parish (1-10, 11-20, 21-30, 31-40). I think I'll post another ten and leave it be.

3. Going to see Beauty and the Beast play tomorrow with Princess. I'm not sure how well she'll sit through it.

4. I found out about Ora et Labora et Zombies. I'm ordering the first few parts of the series and I'll let everyone know how that goes.

5. Go on and prosper! You are renowned throughout the whole world; Catholics revere and look up to you as the restorer of the ancient faith, and— which is a token of yet more illustrious glory — all heretics abhor you. (St Jerome in a letter to St. Augustine) source

6. It's an Orthodox vocations poster, but it's still awesome.

 7. O Jesus, our Good Shepherd, bless all our parishes with numerous priests, deacons, monks and nuns according to the needs of the entire world which You love and wish to save.
We especially entrust our Melkite Church to You. Grant us the spirit of the first Christian faithful so that we may be a cenacle of prayer in loving acceptance of the Holy Spirit and His gifts.
Guide the steps of those who have responded generously to Your call and are preparing to receive holy orders or to profess the evangelical counsels.
Look with love on so many well-disposed young people and call them to follow You. Help them to understand that in You alone can they attain complete fulfillment.
To this end, we call on the intercession of the Theotokos and ever-virgin Mary, mother and model of all vocations. We beseech You to sustain our faith with the certainty that the Father will grant what You have commanded us to ask. Amen.
Borrowed from here

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Sunday, November 25, 2012

Saints and Scripture Christ the King

"But the thing was displeasing in the sight of Samuel when they said, “Give us a king to judge us.” And Samuel prayed to the Lord.  The Lord said to Samuel, “Listen to the voice of the people in regard to all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me from being king over them.  Like all the deeds which they have done since the day that I brought them up from Egypt even to this
day—in that they have forsaken Me and served other gods—so they are doing to you also."
1Samuel 8:6-8

Today is the feast of Christ the King. Jesus Christ is king not only due to His divinity but He chose to become the stepson of Joseph a descendant of David, the ancient King of Israel.

As Zacharias so eloquently put it:
"Blessed be the Lord God of Israel,
For He has visited us and accomplished redemption for His people,
And has raised up a horn of salvation for us
In the house of David His servant—" Luke 1:68-69 (emphasis mine)

He chose to become a descendant of David and in so doing God again became King of Israel. Jesus Christ is our Heavenly King and the King of His Chosen People again.

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Friday, November 23, 2012

7 Quick Takes 23NOV12

1. Happy belated Thanksgiving to everyone! Has anyone ever wondered why summer sausages are only sold in the winter?

2. Its been a great week. My princess had the week off from school, her Mom had to work most of the week, and I had the week off from college so I got to spend every day this week except Wednesday and Thursday with her.

3. Maybe tomorrow I can get caught up on my readings for grad school.

4. I really like the troparion for the entrance of the Theotokos into the temple: Today is the prelude of the benevolence of God, and the announcement of the salvation of men. In the Temple of God the Virgin is seen openly, foretelling to all the coming of Christ. Wherefore let us cry to her in a loud voice, "Hail! O fulfillment of the Creator's plan!"

5. Our parish will have a new priest in January. We've been without our own priest for about a year and a half. Thankfully, our parish priest only moved as far as Atlanta and there is a Ukrainian Catholic priest in town and one of them has been around most Sundays to celebrate the Divine Liturgy.

6. This video is one of my favorite Christmas stories:

7.A thanksgiving prayer from St Basil:
We bless Thee, O most high God and Lord of mercy, Who art ever doing numberless great and inscrutable things for us––glorious and wonderful; Who grantest to us sleep for rest from our infirmities, and repose from the burdens of or much toiling flesh.  We thank Thee that Thou hast not destroyed us with our sins, but hast loved us forever; and though we are sunk in despair, Thou hast raised us up to glorify thy power.  Therefore, we implore Thine incomparable goodness: enlighten the eyes of our understanding and raise up our mid from the heavy sleep of indolence; open our mouth and fill it with Thy praise, that we may be able––without distraction––to sing and confess Thee, Who are God glorified in all and by all, the eternal Father, with Thine Only-begotten Son, and thine All-Holy and good and life-giving Spirit, now and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen

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Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

We have so much to thank God for!
I hope this day finds all of you well and safe.

May God bless all who read my ramblings,

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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Here's an interesting thought...

I was looking though my news feed and saw an article from EWTN called Family is the First Seminary.
From the article:
"...Archbishop Gomez encouraged his parishioners to use daily family prayer to pray for priests and seminarians, thus teaching their children the beauty and value of the ordained priesthood...
'We need to help our children develop habits of prayer and meditation. And this begins by simply getting them to be comfortable without distractions, so they can listen to the silent voice of God in their hearts.'
'So maybe in this Year of Faith, we can ask our children to make some time each day to turn off their smart phones and their electronic games and devices. To just be quiet with God.'"

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Things I like about our local Melkite parish 4

 31. Children receive the Eucharist from the time of their baptism. As it was explained to me, we feed our children before they can understand nutrition so in the same way we nourish our children body and soul with the Eucharist before they can understand it.
32. Melkite Patriarchate is Petrine. Patriarch of the Melkites is the Patriarch of Antioch and the first Bishop of Antioch was St Peter before he went on to Rome.
33. A mercy of peace, a sacrifice of praise. I'm not sure exactly what this means, but I really like hearing it every Sunday.
34. Magnificat. Mary's canticle after the Annunciation is sung every Sunday during Orthros right before the Divine Liturgy. The cantor sings two or three lines of it at a time and the people sing the refrain in between: "More honorable than the Cherubim and more glorious beyond compare than the Seraphim, you, who without stain, did bear God the Word. You are truly Theotokos. We magnify you." I like that last sentence since the beginning of the Magnificat is Mary declaring that her soul magnifies the Lord. We magnify her who in turn magnifies the Lord.
35. Womb more spacious than the heavens. Mary's womb is sung as more spacious than the heavens because unlike the heavens it contained God within. I forget exactly when we sang this hymn but it is so amazing how much there is to reflect upon in its words (As compared to songs in Latin Rite churches like King of Glory, et al.). The emphasis is mine.
All of Creation rejoices in thee, O full of grace:
the angels in heaven and the race of men,
O sanctified temple and noetic paradise,
the glory of virgins, of whom God was incarnate
and became a child, our God before the ages.
He made thy body into a throne,
and thy womb more spacious than the heavens.

All of creation rejoices in thee, O full of grace:
Glory be to thee.
36. No holding hands during the Lord's Prayer. I'm not really sure why I don't like the holding of hands during this prayer, I just know that I don't like it and I much prefer that we hold our hands in the orans position.
37. Celebrating the Entrance of the Theotokos into the Temple. I love this celebration of Mary going to the Temple. From the kontakion:
The most pure Temple of our holy Savior, and the most precious and bright bridal chamber, the Virgin, sacred treasury of the glory of God, openly appears today in the Temple of the Lord, bringing with her the grace of the Most Holy Spirit. Wherefore, the angels are singing: This is the heavenly Tabernacle!
38. Advent is a time of fasting. I've been told that Advent used to be a time of fasting in the Latin Church. I wonder why it still isn't? All the other major feast days have fasts leading up to them.
39. Troparions and Kontakions. We sing these songs which are specific to the feast, commemoration, and/or liturgical season instead of the same 10-15 songs that the choir chooses to sing from. It adds so much to the comtemplative nature of the Divine Liturgy and the catechesis of the people when the songs are all about the same thing as the readings, instead of just the same songs that the choir likes to sing from.
40. John the Forerunner. John, commonly referred to as John the Baptist, is called John the Forerunner. I like this change of perspective.

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Today is the entrance of the Theotokos into the Temple

Today is the day that we commemorate Joachim and Anne taking Mary to the Temple in Jerusalem. I love the idea that the Theotokos as a little girl went to the Temple. After all, the Temple held the Holy of Holies where God dwelled on Earth and she would in short order become the tabernacle that would hold the Godhead within her.
Unfortunately, we didn't have a priest in town to celebrate the Divine Liturgy but we had Great Vespers and a potluck dinner.
I really like the readings last night:
Exodus 40:1-5, 9, 16, 34-35
I Kings 8:1, 3-7, 9-11
Ezekiel 43:27-44:4 (I wrote a post about this prophecy before)
I found a great post about this great event here.
Here are a couple of icons depicting the event:


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Friday, November 16, 2012

7 Quick Takes 16NOV

1. No one got that Saint Quiz XVIII was St John Chrysostom. Saint Quiz XIX is now up. Can anyone guess this great musical saint?

2. I'm picking up my daughter today from Pre-K. I'm looking forward to spending a lot of time with her these next several days. Her mom is working and as a grad student I have this time off to spend with my princess. This is the two of us from a few years ago:

3. I found out Thursday night that my university offers a gifted endorsement for my Masters of Arts in Teaching program. That would be spectacular to put on a resume. It could sure use the boost. I don't have any background in teaching before the beginning of this semester.

4. Maybe this coming week I can take Princess to Georgia Southern's museum. She LOVES dinosaur fossils and they have some. She went into overload when I took her to the Smithsonian Natural Science Museum!

5. I'm also looking forward to an opportunity sometime this week (probably Thanksgiving Day) to finally see Skyfall, the new James Bond movie.

6. I saw this passage and reflected on how important it is to pray for the cities and governments where we live: "And seek the peace of the city, to which I have caused you to be carried away captives; and pray to the Lord for it: for in the peace thereof shall be your peace." Jeremiah 29:7

7. Blessed be Jesus Christ, true God and true Man!

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Friday, November 09, 2012

Saint Quiz XIX

Who can name this musical saint?

May God bless all who read my ramblings,

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Friday, November 02, 2012

7 Quick Takes 02NOV2012

1. Today is All Souls Day. I found out recently that the equivalent in the Byzantine Churches is Saturday of the Dead.

2. No one has figured out my latest Saint Quiz yet. Hint: He's one of the Eastern Doctors of the Church.

3. I used to go to a Young Adult Ministry in town. I'm thinking about going again. Is 30 too old for that?

4.The eparchy told me that to change my rite of ascription I had to be in a Melkite parish for 3 years. Its now been 2 1/2 this month.

5. My daughter is 4 and when she asked why we go to church on Sunday instead of some other day I explained that Jesus rose from the dead on Sunday. I don't think she really understands, but she parrots that idea every Sunday.

6. I forgot where I found this ridiculous image but its so amusing! Reagan was old...
Although honestly I think Teddy Roosevelt would have been a much better velociraptor rider.

7. My favorite of the Resurrection Troparia: “Let us, O Faithful, praise and worship the Word coeternal with the Father and the Spirit, born of the Virgin for our salvation. For He has willed to be lifted in the flesh upon the Cross, and to endure death, and to raised the dead by his glorious Resurrection.”

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Thursday, November 01, 2012