Archive for the ‘Reflections’ Category

Coming out to our Orthodox Priest

September 26, 2015

By a Handmaid of God

Softly, the candles glowed in the dimly lit temple.

We found ourselves, my wife and I, alone on this Friday evening, standing in front of the altar of our church. Our priest was gathering holy water and the brush of hyssop to sprinkle us with.

Gently, I leaned over to my beloved and whispered in her ear, “Don’t lock your knees. You wouldn’t want to faint.” She smiled, with a slightly ironic twist to her full lips. “You forget,” she whispered back, “I’m former military. I know how to stand.” Read the rest of this entry »

In light of the Supreme Court decision

July 29, 2015

Guest Reflection by Kristen

Kristen is a reader and supporter of this website.

Supreme Court rainbow
Drawing by Bob Englehart

Over the past week, I have seen and heard many comments by friends who are celebrating the recent Supreme Court decision, and many who are lamenting it. Almost all in the latter category are Christians. I have also seen comments asking why Christians, who theoretically preach love and acceptance, are the most avid opponents of gay marriage and often the promoters of discriminatory activities. I have thought a great deal about these issues, prayed, and consulted with multiple priests. The following opinions are my own. I am sure these opinions will be rather unpopular with many people I know, but I do not care. I have been an Orthodox Christian my entire life, and attend church regularly. I have taken adult theology courses, read Christian authors (and, of course, the Bible), taught Sunday school, actively participated in youth and young adult groups, sang in choirs and volunteered I strive every day to follow the example of Christ, though being human fall short. Read the rest of this entry »

The Beauty Within Us

Posted by andre under Reflections

The beauty within us

July 3, 2015

Metropolitan Anthony of Sourozh
Metropolitan Anthony of Sourozh

“Unless we look at a person and see the beauty there is in this person, we can contribute nothing to him. One does not help a person by discerning what is wrong, what is ugly, what is distorted. Christ looked at everyone He met, at the prostitute or the thief, and saw the beauty hidden there. Perhaps it was distorted, perhaps damaged, but it was beauty none the less, and what He did was to call out this beauty.” (Metropolitan Anthony (Bloom) of Sourozh of blessed memory).

What is beautiful about a person? Most of us are often quick to judge others. We look at people’s clothing, height, race, weight, age, occupation, home and car and numerous other aspects about them, and judge them based on these very superficial and fleeting features. Read the rest of this entry »

No greater agony, the untold story

June 9, 2015

In memory of my friend, “Luke”

Maya AngelouRecently I found out that a friend of mine from high school, someone I knew over thirty-five years ago, passed away not so long ago. We were close friends in high school, mainly because we did not fit in with other groups of our peers. Neither of us were jocks, or overly brilliant, or cool enough to be part of the various cliques in high school, and so we found a kinship in our ostracism. One day, I decided that I was going to tell “Luke” that I was gay. It was a deep secret that I had hidden inside of me, never telling anyone. Since we were both seniors in high school at the time, soon to be off to out of state colleges, I thought that I could risk telling my best friend that I was attracted to other guys. Luke was not someone I was attracted to, but thought that he might also be gay, and so I risked it. I got the shock of my life, when he told me that he thought that there was something wrong with me. He then threatened to go immediately and tell my parents what I had said. I panicked, and with the best acting I could possibly muster up at the moment, tried to laugh the entire thing off as a big joke. I am not sure if he bought it, but it certainly bought me freedom from any embarrassment or ill treatment from my parents. Read the rest of this entry »

Prejudice can’t survive proximity

May 10, 2015

pride_ver6_xlg“Prejudice can’t survive proximity, it melts away when you meet and speak to those you fear”.[1] This statement is from an interview with Stephen Beresford, the screenwriter for the movie, Pride. The movie was inspired by a real story about a group of lesbians and gay men who supported striking miners in Britain in the early 1980s. After the group of gay men and lesbians came to the aid of the miners in their cause, the miners later supported significant changes to the political platform of the British Labour Party, urging the party to adopt a pro-gay stance. Completely opposite bedfellows, they found respect and mutual support, but first they had to get to know each other. The initial reluctance and even open dislike and mistrust, was turned into mutual respect and admiration once they got to know each other. Prejudice could not survive proximity. Read the rest of this entry »

Christ is Risen! Indeed He is Risen!

April 12, 2015

ResurectΧριστός ἀνέστη! Ἀληθῶς ανέστη!

Христос воскрес! Воістину воскрес!

Хрыстос уваскрос! Сапраўды ўваскрос!

Христос възкръсна! Наистина възкръсна!

Христос васкрсе! Ваистину васкрсе!

Hristos a înviat! Adevărat a înviat!

Христос воскрес! Воистину воскрес!

المسيح قام! حقا قام!‎  المسيح قام! بالحقيقة قام!‎

ქრისტე აღსდგა! ჭეშმარიტად აღსდგა

Read the rest of this entry »

We have no right to humble and victimize the image of God

April 2, 2015


Metropolitan John of Pergamon

Metropolitan John of Pergamon

“We have no right to humble and victimize the image of God.”[1] Do you find those words offensive or un-Christian or un-Orthodox? Surprisingly, many bishops of the Orthodox Church do. These words were spoken, according to sources, by the Metropolitan of Pergamon, John Zizioulas, a representative of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, at a February 2015 meeting at the Patriarchal Center of Chambesy, Geneva, Switzerland. The meeting was a gathering of the Inter-Orthodox Special Committee established to prepare for the Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church. The Great Council, according to the Synaxis of Primates, will take place in Istanbul in 2016.

In his speech, His Eminence Metropolitan John spoke of the need for sexual minorities to “be protected from any kind of discrimination and injustice.” In his remarks to the group of bishops, the Metropolitan is quoted as further elaborating upon his views on a much neglected topic, homosexuals in the Orthodox Church: “Let us ask ourselves if we need to consider homosexuals scapegoats who deserve to suffer persecution. And if we don’t want to establish that these people must be protected, it means that we want to be punish and imprison them.”[2] Read the rest of this entry »

What does the voice tell you?

March 1, 2015

If you tell someone that you hear voices, they will probably want to call the nearest mental health facility in order to have you medically evaluated, admitted and treated. While it may be a favorite symptom of those pleading insanity in a defense trial featured on the TV series “Law and Order”, hearing voices, possibly telling someone to commit a crime or harm oneself, should never be taken lightly. This particular psychiatric disorder, auditory hallucination, is one of the most common mental disorders. With the care of medical professionals, medicine, therapy and support, many people suffering from the hearing of voices can live fairly normal, productive lives. Disregard the medical advice and the person, others, and even society, might suffer the consequences. Read the rest of this entry »

Holy Trinity Cathedral Boston

Holy Trinity Cathedral Boston

A priest who gets it, but as a voice crying in the wilderness

February 8, 2015

Rainer Maria Rilke, the early twentieth century Bohemian-Austrian author, captured the age of intense anxiety in many of his works. Perhaps most famous is a collection of letters, Letters to a Young Poet, published posthumously in 1929, some three years after Rilke’s death. The letters were written to a 19 year old military cadet, Franz Xaver Kappus, who wanted the more famous Rilke’s opinion on his own poetry. The young man was contemplating his future and deciding if to pursue a career as a writer or begin training for the officer corp. In one of the most famous and often quoted letters, written in 1903, Rilke writes the following words to young Franz:

Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given to you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.[1] Read the rest of this entry »

Finding Love, how lucky and blessed

January 25, 2015

In Nikos & Andre Wedding 2008 028the PBS television series “Call the Midwife,” there is a wonderful line spoken by one of the characters, Jenny: “If we are lucky, we find love. If we are blessed, we understand its meaning.” This line struck me on many levels. Many of us have been lucky in life to have or have had parents who loved us. Perhaps only later in life are we blessed enough to understand the hardships they endured and the sacrifices that they made for us, because they loved us. An even greater blessing is if our parents loved us unconditionally, and if we returned that same level of love. Read the rest of this entry »

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