04 May 2016

Everyone Calm down, the sky is not falling (yet)

Ah, the internet, both a place of wonderful knowledge, and epic stupidity....and there somehow needs to be a voice of reason in all of this, so I guess I'll use this very small platform to actually speak to some issues.

a. Trump winning the nomination for the Republican Party

The internet is all filled with horror stories about how this nomination is the end of the world as we know it. Of course while there's an element of truth to this point, we need not make it into something way out of proportion as such....let's start by understanding the Constitution....

The President does not write any laws at all. The president's powers are outlined in Section  II of the Constitution..According to his oath he upholds as follows:

 "I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States."

Let us notice what it does not say....It does not say: The president shall write laws. It does not say the president shall be a nice guy who we all like....(And we can definitely have a discussion as to whether any of the recent presidents have even followed this oath...but that's besides the point)

It is not the job of the president to impose his personal opinion (regardless of which direction of the political spectrum it is), simply his job is to protect, defend, and preserve the Constitution of the USA.

The people that one needs to look at for their pro-Life credentials are the ones that actually pass and write the laws. (Congress), not so much the president....but of course this post is not about them so much...but rather the end of the world, sky is falling predictions of those that are against Trump.

(I of course as you know, only give official endorsement to Grumpy Cat 2016, the humans have let us down, so why not felines?...that, and if Grumpy Cat does get elected, I will go to DC and pet her :D)

In all seriousness, the battle is not over. It's more important that people that surround the president be supportive of a culture of life, than the president, as such, if he does decide to impose his own opinion, he can be overruled...

 b. Bathroom wars:

For those that are on the left of the spectrum need to realize something, the whole movement against allowing Transgenders in the opposite bathrooms really is for one reason: The safety of children, and for those that might take advantage of the law. Those that are on the right on this issue need to realize, while you've been arguing this point, many Transgender people have already used the bathroom and have left. For an extremely small part of the population, most of them just wish to do their business and leave. The solution to this has long existed....unisex restrooms with exactly one stall. And of course in many places this is the case. One can't have a situation where one is uncomfortable using a public bathroom if one needs to use one. (I'm of the mind, simply completely avoid the public restroom if possible and wait until one reaches home)....Why do we feel the need to point out every exception to what's normal within law, or within our society? Should it not be obvious anyone with a special need, should be able to take care of those needs and move on? There are bigger fish to fry than bathroom wars in my opinion.

c. The dissertation 2.0 (AL) Pope Francis' new document

As a friendly reminder, the Pope has zero, nil, nada, power to change Church teaching. Insert however many documents one wants, the Pope CANNOT change the teaching of the Church, for the teaching is not the Pope's but Christ's and it is the Pope's job to preserve said teaching, and not impose his own thoughts.

Yes, the Pope can undermine said teaching by changing praxis, The Pope can even have opinions that differ from the official Magisterium, but again, it's not his job to impose his personal opinions.

The sky is not falling (yet) and people need to relax. Of course it doesn't mean being indifferent to what's happening in Rome, but your salvation should not depend on the disposition (or lack there of) of the Pope. Our eyes always need to be on maintaining unity with the Holy Trinity.

If a statement ex cathedra is made contrary to what the teaching of the Church is, then it is time to start panicking. The Faith is not such that one needs to be a gnostic and attempt to depose the pope when one has zero authority to do so. We do not even have the authority to declare anyone above us a formal heretic publicly...(Tis the job of the hierarchy)...

d. Well, some people want to leave the country over *candidate x*

Well, I'd hope that one has a reason other that. I've made no secret about when I do go for my doctorate I will do so in Minsk. By. I figure when I leave the country, best in a place that isn't popular, and any chance to use my Russian language skills is a bonus. :p...The fact that this may coincide with the election of the new president....just mere coincidence.

e. Safe spaces/ shut down of dissenting opinions

No, we don't need safe spaces. People need to grow up, and learn how to defend themselves. And more importantly, be able to listen to a different argument for once. Virtually all of academia is filled with those who are on the left on the political spectrum, our special little snowflakes should have zero complaints, they'll hear something that conforms to what they've been taught already. If we could learn to listen instead of other things, that'd be great.

08 April 2016

The Joy of Love

If you have the patience.(as I do not have that kind of patience (well, I do, but I'd rather not exercise it on this)...read it for yourself here

I hope that all are doing well...

10 March 2016

Today would have been my mom's birthday in your charity can you remember myself, my mother, my sister and dad in your prayers. :)

01 March 2016

Some thoughts on Election 2016

This goes regardless of whether someone is in the liberal or conservative camp...and applies to all things really, but for this specific instance I'll use it to apply to politics...

One thing I must say that I'm sick and tired of are people using the reactions, the headlines to form opinions of the candidates, aka letting the media form their opinion.

Instead of going to the actual source, the candidate themselves....they use the reactions to what was said....For example the whole situation about building walls to help curtail illegal immigration. Does building a wall suddenly make one magically anti-Latino, or suddenly not Christian? Certainly not...(Lest anyone get confused, I'm certainly not going to be voting for Trump, but I do think it's a matter of justice to actually listen to what people are saying before forming an opinion)

This of course isn't to say that we can't listen to interpretations....Often times interpretations help us to see things that we may have not originally seen from the words themselves, but the primary source, should be the original texts, transcripts, and not interpretations there of.

I'll use an example from physics, many people wonder why I'm so strict in my interpretations of the laws of physics, it's precisely because going back to the original sources, one can see exactly what was said..Prop 24,  Theorem 19, book 2 states: For the velocity that a given force can generate in a given time, in a given quantity of matter is as the force and time directly, and the matter inversely. (or v/t = F/m...)...hence the law should be written as a = F/m, rather than F = ma....

For any decision that we make this 2016 election season, let us, use the words of the candidates as our base, and not the media interpretations as our base. ...The point, primary, rather than secondary sources should be our point of reference for education and learning....

This whole election cycle has been a complete joke...if these are the people we're stuck with, I officially give my endorsement to the following candidate:

22 February 2016

Thought of the day

Rome does not have a monopoly on the expression of the Faith, Theological schools of the East are valid as well. Sadly, many in traditional circles have yet to learn this lesson.

21 February 2016

Reflection on the Troparia and Kontakia of the 3rd Sunday of Lent

The Troparia for This coming Sunday are:

You have destroyed Death by your cross, you opened paradise to the thief, The sorrow of the myrrh bearers you turned to joy. You commanded your apostles to proclaim: Christ our God, you have risen, granting great mercy to the world.

Save your people O Lord, and bless your inheritance. Grant victory to your Church over evil and protect your people by your Cross

The Kontokian for this coming Sunday is as follows:

No longer does the flaming sword guard over the ages of Eden, for the tree of the cross has come to quench it wondrously. The sting of death and the victory of Hades have been driven out. For you, O my Saviour, stood and called out to those in Hades, Enter again into paradise.

On this the Third Sunday of Lent, we venerate the Holy Cross,

In the 1st Troparia, which is the Troparia of the resurrection, we see Jesus remembering the good thief on the cross.

We recall the words of the good thief in the prayer before Holy Communion, "Remember me, O Lord when you come into your Kingdom." Why do we pray these words? We beg for the mercy of God (as we have been throughout the Liturgy)....These are not just empty words on a page, they are quite significant. We beg for God's mercy to not eat and drink our own condemnation in the reception of Holy Communion. We pray for the forgiveness of all of our sins, God is good and loves us all, and all things are possible through the Holy Trinity.

To proclaim: Christ is Risen, granting great mercy to the world. As St Paul alludes to, the Faith is in in vain if the resurrection did not happen. Great mercy, the latin word misericordiae, literally means o have a place in the heart....

My Bishop Gerald puts it this way "...mercy has a much deeper, more profound meaning. I did not simply mean to feel sorry for a person. The word "mercy" mean to have the ability to get inside the "body" of a person so that you can see things as he/she sees them. It meant to possess the ability o think with their minds and to feel with their feelings."

Our Lord did exactly this by taking flesh, being born of a woman (cf Eph 4, 4-6, Phil 2, 1-12). Taking on human nature in all things but sin. Our God is very personal and not someone that is far or abstract as some would like to say. For some this can be quite a challenge, how could God be so personable? I is definitely a great mystery and something we could dwell upon forever.

It sometimes seems that evil is going to conquer the Church. Whether it's ridiculous statements by *insert clergy member here* or some type of scandal, we know our God who loves us all, keeps His promises, the gates of hell will not prevail against the Church. (Mt 16, 19), we pray the grace of Our Lord guide the Church through the various storms that attack the Church.

After the ancestral sin of our parents Adam and Eve, the tree of Life, the Cross restores what was lost. Death has been trampled by Death, by His grace are we able to enter eternal life.  Those that died before Christ were called on his decent into Hades.

Today in addition to the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, we in the Byzantine church chant "We bow to your Cross, O Lord, and we glorify, your Holy Resurrection. In place of the Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy and Immortal.  3 times of course.

It is through the Cross that we are able to have Life after death, let us focus upon the mystery of the cross, and do our best, so that Our Lord will indeed, remember us when we come into His Kingdom.

17 February 2016

Thoughts on a Weds Evening.....

  • Regardless of who gets elected...We're screwed....It's a matter of pushing the accelerator or pushing the brakes with an inevitable crash into a wall. Many people think I'm being sarcastic with my support of Grumpy Cat for president....I'm actually serious, I'm 100% sure the cat will say no to everything, and not sell us out....So, yes, Grumpy Cat 2016, and for VP, that's still up for debate.
  • Mercy, or having a place in the heart, does not simply mean do as one wishes. We do not deserve anything, but in His love for us, and His mercy for us, gives us everything. It is by no coincidence that we pray in response to our petitions, Lord, have mercy. It is never us, it is the Lord working through us. 
  • The Pre-Sanctified Liturgy is quite a physical workout, multiple prostrations, plenty of kneeling, If you have never been to a pre-sanctified Liturgy, I encourage you to go....you'll not need a gym membership afterwards.....
  • There is nothing quite like receiving love. This weekend I had a very powerful moment in my relationship, and something I'd never trade for the world, I'm so glad, for everything, I hardly deserve such good things happening. From the mouths of babes, no kidding :)
  • I'm notorious for not wanting to re-visit painful situations....Unfortunately, I must revisit something that happened several years ago, I ask for prayers for a smooth process. 
  • The picture is the Jesus prayer in Russian and Greek (my two favourite languages to write in)