Saturday, January 29, 2011

Social Saturdays (1/29/11)

It's Saturday! That means we're chatting with the living and praying for the dead.

Prayer Requests:
  • For Father Deacon Stan to be restored to full health so that he may more fully serve the Lord.
  • For the infant Gregory, and his parents and doctors, that he be restored to the fullness of health.
  • For a special intention, that the Lord bring healing and peace and His will be done in all things.
  • For Debra, that she be restored to full health.
  • In thanksgiving for the Walk for Life and all who safely and prayerfully participated.
  • For Christians in Egypt, Somalia, China, the Middle East, and around the world who are persecuted for their faith.

Continuing Prayer Requests:
  • For the souls of the reposed, especially of Kaye, Tim L., Mother Nadia Baranik, Fr. Constantine Brown, Elaine Dorko, Helen Boytim, and George Michael Ritchey.
  • For an abused woman and mother, A, who is in desperate straits and in need of many prayers.
  • For Kat's family, including their current and future children, that they be restored to health and guided in discernment and finances in their next adoption. (Kat has other prayer requests at the link.)
  • For Francisco and his mother who are surrounded by violence that the Lord protect them and give them hope and peace as well as guide them to jobs that allow them to provide for their needs and glorify Him.
  • For all of our clergy, religious, and monastics that they be directed in strength, courage, patience, and fortitude to radically live God's will for their lives.
  • For mothers, that they not abort their offspring; for infants in danger of being put to death in the womb; for a change of heart of providers of abortions and of their collaborators; for human victims of stem cell research, genetic manipulation, cloning, and euthanasia; and for all entrusted with the government of peoples, that they may promote the "Culture of Life" so as to put an end to the "culture of death."
  • For Your Word From The Wise and all who are connected to it, that it may bring glory to God.
  • For the intentions of those who are praying.
Do you have a prayer request you'd like to add? Please put it in the comment box any time this week so we can pray with you.




What's going on at Your Word From The Wise?

  • I left the project in God's hands as we faced a family medical emergency. He hasn't told me what He accomplished, but I assume it was pleasing to Him so I'm cool with whatever He did.
  • We're establishing a new norm at home and are getting back to work to bring you more Eastern Catholic wisdom straight from the horse's mouth!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Stress-free pot-luck

I asked a few ladies to share some of their favorite recipes with me so that I could pass them on to you. I got a response that I couldn't wait to tell you about because it doesn't only contain a fabulous recipe, but also a sanity-saving tip for how to arrive at church on Sunday morning stress-free and well-composed with a pot luck offering that tastes great.

Marylouise leaves home around 8:20 AM on Sunday and might not get home again until 3:30 PM, depending on her other obligations. Her parish has a sit-down style pot-luck agape meal after Divine Liturgy every Sunday, which provides a great way to fellowship as they break their Eucharistic fast. It also means she needs to have her own dish ready to go early Sunday morning, which could translate to Saturday evening stress for many of us.

While individual adherence to the fasts varies from one household to the next, her parish's public meals have an expectation that the food will conform to the strictest fasting guidelines which are distributed to parishioners on a calendar each year. During non-fasting times, their priest generously brings meat and shellfish to the potluck, which will take the form of a Chinese dim sum demonstration this coming weekend to coincide with the region's celebration of the Chinese New Year. If you're near San Francisco, I encourage you to join them!

Marylouise favors vegetarian side-dishes that she can prepare in stages over several evenings, which keeps her from having a mad rush to fit it in on Saturday night. Here's one of her favorites: a Korean BBQ marinade she found in the October 1981 edition of Sunset Magazine which she's turned into a cold pasta salad that serves 8-10.

Ingredients:
1 C soy sauce
1/3 C sugar
2 ½ TB fresh garlic
2 ½ TB fresh ginger
1/3 C sesame oil

Extra firm silken tofu cut into 1/3" cubes

16 ounce package of angel hair pasta, cooked and refrigerated
2/3 C thinly sliced green onions

Instructions:
Mix the soy sauce, sugar, garlic, ginger, and sesame oil together well. Put the cut tofu into the marinade and let it soak in the refrigerator overnight. In the morning, toss the marinaded tofu on top of the refrigerated pasta, garnish with the green onions, and serve. The entire dish will fill a 2QT serving dish.

This recipe could also use a grain instead of the pasta and cooked meats or veggies could replace the tofu. Marylouise says that the church hall's chilly temperatures don't hinder the cold pasta salad consumption as she usually brings home an empty bowl. One other great tradition her parish has is to informally bring photocopied recipes to share in preparation for the four major fasting periods, so the empty bowl and full tummy isn't all she has to take home on Sunday afternoon.

Talented Tuesdays is a feature which focuses on art, architecture, music, culture, food, and the running of the domestic church. User submitted questions and solutions are welcomed.



Saturday, January 22, 2011

Social Saturdays (1/22/11)

It's Saturday! That means we're chatting with the living and praying for the dead. 

Prayer Requests: 
  • For the soul of Kaye, who unexpectedly died this week, and the comfort of her family.
  • For the soul of Tim L., who passed away this week with the benefit of the Mysteries, and for the comfort of his family.
  • For the soul of Mother Nadia Baranik of the UGCC's Missionary Sisters of the Mother of God, who passed away yesterday, and for the comfort of those who will grieve her absence.
  • For all women who have had an abortion, that they find comfort, support, and repentance.
  • For all fathers, siblings, children, grandparents and others who suffered the loss of a loved one through abortion or euthanasia, that they be comforted in their grief.
  • For all who encourage, assist with, or perform abortions or euthanasia that they turn from the culture of death and begin to promote life.
  • For all judges, that their decisions respect God's law as well as their nation's.
  • For our seminarians, deacons, priests, bishops, religious, and catechists that they be a constant witness to the culture of life.
  • For all doctors and scientists, that their research and work always respect and protect life.
  • For all couples who are infertile and desire children, that their sadness be healed and transformed into a passion for life.
  • For Christians in Somalia, China, the Middle East, and around the world who are persecuted for their faith. 

Continuing Prayer Requests: 
  • For those attending the Walk for Life events scheduled across the United States today that they be a prayerful witness to the dignity of all human life and be protected in their travels. 
  • For the United States and its leaders, especially those in politics, media, and business, that they seek in word and action to do God's will with the authority they hold. 
  • For an abused woman and mother, A, who is in desperate straits and in need of many prayers.
  • For Kat's family, including their current and future children, that they be guided in discernment and finances in their next adoption. (Kat has other prayer requests at the link.)
  • For all of our clergy, religious, and monastics that they be directed in strength, courage, patience, and fortitude to radically live God's will for their lives. 
  • For mothers, that they not abort their offspring; for infants in danger of being put to death in the womb; for a change of heart of providers of abortions and of their collaborators; for human victims of stem cell research, genetic manipulation, cloning, and euthanasia; and for all entrusted with the government of peoples, that they may promote the "Culture of Life" so as to put an end to the "culture of death."
  • For Your Word From The Wise and all who are connected to it, that it may bring glory to God.
  • For the intentions of those who are praying.
Do you have a prayer request you'd like to add? Please put it in the comment box any time this week so we can pray with you.




What's going on at Your Word From The Wise?
  • I wrote and sent an interview which is being answered this weekend, God willing. The plan is to post it next week. Yay!
  • I have three interview topics that I'm in the planning stages on, in addition to those out already. I want to make sure I'm in a place to give them the attention they each deserve before pitching them.
  • With two family emergencies this week, I was happy to get posts up every day. I don't remember what else I accomplished. I am thankful that this venture does not rely on my expertise but is accomplished only through God's grace and for His glory. I'm also very grateful for the community of people I've met through it who prayed for us. Thank you!
  • Want to join this great group of people? Friend me on Facebook. The downside is you get me, but the upside is the great group of people who are also there!

Friday, January 21, 2011

When there are so many who suffer

Friday's Fast: Focusing on the Cross 

Someone may say: "If I do all these things, I’ll have no possessions. What if a large number of people are in want, suffer cold, have been taken captive, or should die? If anyone thinks this way, he will deprive himself of his property in a single day! Shall I throw away the estate acquired by my own labor or by that of my ancestors? Must then I myself live by the pity of others?"

The answer: Why do you fear to turn a frail and perishable asset into one that is everlasting? Why do you fear to entrust your treasures to God as their preserver? For in that case you will not need to fear thief and robber — nor rust, nor tyrant. He who is rich towards God can never be poor. If you esteem justice so highly, lay aside the burdens that oppress you and follow justice. Free yourself from bondage and chains, so that you can run to God without any hindrance.
-Lucius Caecilius Firmianus Lactantius (ca. 240 – ca. 320)

Lactantius was an early Christian author who became an advisor to the first Christian Roman emperor, Constantine I, tutoring the emperor's son and guiding the empire's religious policy as it developed.

Friday's Fast features homilies, lectures, interviews, and biographies on topics such as prayer, fasting, almsgiving, and repentance. For in the cross of Christ crucified lies both the power of God and the wisdom of God for those being saved (I Corinthians 1:24).

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Opposition to Liturgical Renewal

Excerpt from Fr. Robert Taft, SJ's article
"Liturgy in the Life of the Church"
Eastern Churches Journal, Vol.7 No.2, Summer 2000
© Eastern Christian Publications 2000

Opposition to Renewal

Ironically, however, the Eastern Catholic liturgical renewal so strenuously fostered by the Holy See since Pope Leo XIII has been opposed every step of the way by those who should have welcomed it on bended knee as a great grace from God; I mean, of course, the Eastern Catholic hierarchy with a few notable exceptions like Andrij Sheptytsky (1865-1944), Archbishop of Lviv, Metropolitan of Halych, and primate of the Ukranian Greek Catholic Church.

Various reasons have been given for this opposition, but as usual in such matters, the real roots go much deeper. The real issue is not ritual practice at all. Many of the rubrical niceties that divide the clergy—the size and shape of the veil or diskos, the cut of a vestment, the amplitude of one’s sleeves, where to put the antimension—are of little or no significance in themselves. But these divergent ritual uses have become symbols of religious identity, much as the Ritualist Movement in late 19th century Anglicanism. At issue were not mere differences of rubric, but symbolic affirmations of the conviction that Anglicanism was not “Protestant” but “Catholic”.

At bottom, then, what we face is two different interpretations of a community’s past, two different historical visions. This is possible because history, of course, is not just a shared past, but one’s view of that past seen through the lens of present concerns. This vision is not a passive view of the past as an objective reality, but a pattern formed through a process of selection determined by one’s present outlook.

Some Eastern Catholic clergy see their history as a progress from schism and spiritual stagnation into a life of discipline, renewal and restored religious practice in the Catholic communion. For this group, the adoption of certain Latin—they would say “Catholic”—devotions and liturgical uses is a sign of this new identity. Such attitudes reflect an interior erosion of the Eastern Christian consciousness, a “latinization of the heart” resulting from a formation insensitive to the true nature of the variety of traditions within the Catholic Church.

Others, while not denying their commitment to the Catholic communion nor underestimating the obvious spiritual benefits it has brought to their Churches, see themselves as Orthodox in communion with Rome, distinguished from their Orthodox Sister Churches in nothing but the fact of that communion and its doctrinal and ecclesial consequences. They see the Latinisms that have crept into their tradition as a loss of identity, an erosion of their heritage in favor of foreign customs with which they can in no way identify themselves. For some, latinization is a sign of their identity, for others its negation, and both are right, because they perceive themselves differently.

Underlying these issues, of course, is the more serious question of Rome’s credibility: is the Holy See to be believed in what it says about restoring the Eastern Catholic heritage? The morale of some of the younger Eastern Catholic clergy has of late been deeply affected by this cul-de-sac: they feel mandated to do one thing by the Holy See, and then are criticized or even disciplined by their bishop if they try to obey.

The problem, as usual, is one of leadership, without which the hesitant or reluctant have no one to follow. What is needed is not just discipline and obedience, but also clergy education loyal to the clear policy of the Church on this question, and prudent pastoral preparation. This is the only way out of the vicious cycle that has been created: the proposed reforms are resisted because the clergy and the people are not prepared to accept them—yet some Church leaders do little or nothing to prepare the people for a renewal that the leaders themselves do not understand or accept.

Although I cannot pretend to read minds, I think there are two main reasons behind this deep-rooted reluctance to welcome the clear and unambiguous policy of Rome in its program of liturgical restoration of the Eastern traditions: 1) the restoration seems a pointless archaism; 2) its opponents are convinced in their hearts that some of the practices proposed are not “Catholic”, and hence, not “right”. That this directly contradicts the teaching of the Holy See is an irony that does not seem to dawn on them.

The first objection is easily dispensed with. The orientation of Catholic liturgical renewal is never towards the past but toward present pastoral needs. Of course, the liturgical scholar studies the past, but the purpose of such historical research is not to discover the past—much less to imitate it—but to recover the integrity of the pristine tradition which the past may well have obscured. The aim is not to restore the past, but to overcome it. For history is not the past, but a genetic vision of the present, a present seen in continuity with its roots. It is precisely those who do not know their past who are incapable of true, organic change. They remain victims of the latest cliché, prisoners of present useage because they have no objective standard against which to measure it.

The proposed restoration, then, is not a blind imitation of a dead past, but an attempt, precisely, to free Eastern Catholics from a past in which, severed from the roots of their own tradition, they were deprived of any organic development and could conceive of growth only as sterile servility to their Latin confreres. Can one seriously propose this as a program to be preserved in our day?

Hence the irony of those critics of the Eastern Catholic liturgical restoration who accuse its promoters of fostering a return to the Middle Ages. As we shall see in the next section, it is precisely in the Middle Ages that the practices like infant communion in the Latin rite are first called into question for typically medieval motives that no one with any sense would heed today. So it is not the proponents of restoration but its opponents that are behind the times, stuck in a medieval rut out of which the major Catholic scholarly voices in this field have been leading the Church in this century.

A short list of issues where renewal of the Eastern heritage has met most resistance would include dropping the Filioque from the Creed, the consecratory Epiclesis after the Words of Institution, the unmixed Chalice in the Armenian tradition, the Byzantine zeon or teplota rite in which boiling water is added to the chalice just before communion, infant communion, and, in the Syro-Malabar tradition, proleptic language, eucharist facing East, and the restoration of the bema and the so-called Anaphoras of Nestorius and Theodore. On each of these points, the Holy See’s efforts at restoration have met with massive resistance, either active or passive, from within some circles.

Theological Thursdays brings you homilies, lectures, interviews, and biographies on diverse topics including history, theology, spirituality, and philosophy as they pertain to the Eastern and Oriental Catholic Churches. 

 

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Ukrainian Holodomor

Wednesday's Wages 
Recalling that it was for only 30 silver shekels that Judas betrayed the Lord 

Running Man -
A Peasant Between Cross and Sword
Kasimir Malevich
~1932-34
There is great debate over the particulars of the Holodomor (Ukrainian: Голодомор). Was it an intentional artificial famine created by Stalin in order to force Communist collectivism on independent Ukraine? The unintentional result of the Bolsheviks' poor policy mixed with a poor harvest? Were Ukrainians specifically targeted for death or just coincidentally among the hardest hit? Just how many millions died? Did it even occur?

The Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church cannot be understood without understanding the history of oppression that Christian Ukraine has endured. One haunting piece of that puzzle that today's Ukrainian Greek-Catholics might directly recall is the Holodomor, though there aren't many who survived it.

In Ukrainian, the word holod means "hunger", and mor means "plague". The expression moryty holodom means "to inflict death by hunger." This is the story of how atheistic Communism achieved that in 1930s Ukraine:


It looks like a YouTube playlist bug is not allowing part 1 to show below.
It is therefore posted above as a workaround while the rest of the video is below.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Armenian Coffee and Fruit

In honor of the Nineveh Fast that the Armenian Catholic Church, among others, will soon undertake in memory of the three days Jonah was in the belly of the fish, I bring you this glimpse into Armenian culture and food. It is traditional for Armenians to completely refrain from food and drinks over the three day fast. Abstaining from meat, dairy, and fish during the fast are still considered minimal expectations.

Armenian food is distinguished from other Mediterranean diets by its heavy emphasis on using fresh and ripe produce, few spices, and a lot of bulgur. There's one fruit that stands out in the mix:
I like to eat many fruits and vegetables. Maybe this comes from the fact that I am from Armenia, the place that is rich in fruits and veggies. But there is one fruit that I like most of all, and which has a special meaning for me. I think the reason again is the fact that I am Armenian.  -Marina Hovhannisyan; Krupnick Essay Contest Winner, 2006 
Because the work is presumably still under copyright, I've only quoted a small portion of it. Make yourself a cup of Armenian coffee following the directions below, then settle in to read the short essay about Armenia's national fruit at the Los Angeles Valley College's website here.


Talented Tuesdays is a feature which focuses on art, architecture, music, culture, food, and the running of the domestic church. User submitted questions and solutions are welcomed.



Monday, January 17, 2011

Our Lady of Wisdom Italo-Greek Byzantine Catholic Parish

Monday's Map: We're traveling with the angels! 

Today we're flying over to Las Vegas, Nevada, USA where you'll find the Italo-Greek Byzantine Catholic parish of Our Lady of Wisdom.


The Italo-Greco-Albanian Catholic faithful primarily consist of the descendants of 15th and 16th Century Albanians who moved to the areas of Calabria and Sicily in Southern Italy. Our Lady of Wisdom is one of two Italo-Greek Catholic parishes in the United States. Since they have so few faithful in the US,  they are placed under the pastoral care of a local bishop, in this case His Grace, Bishop Gerald Nicholas Dino of the Ruthenian Eparchy of Phoenix. They therefore use Ruthenian liturgical books with some of their own retained customs such as touching their foreheads to the Gospels and chalice.

The parish is a dynamic mix of people from diverse backgrounds. Their activities include religious education, small groups based on age and/or interests, an Irish folk music night, festivals, a prayer tree, regular liturgical services, a traveling icon for vocations, weekly devotionals, a mission location, and much more.

Their website has a wealth of information including answers to many frequent questions. Check it out! http://ourladyofwisdom.net/

Liturgy schedule:
  • Saturday 5:00 PM (Vesper Liturgy)
  • Sunday 10:00 AM (Third Hour)
  • Sunday 10:30 AM (Divine Liturgy)
  • Wednesday 7:00 PM (Akathist and Anointing of the Sick)

The parish is currently served by the following:
  • Rt. Rev. Archimandrite Francis Vivona, S.T.M., J.C.L, Pastor
  • Rev. Deacon Stephen E. Casmus, M.A.
  • Ms. Rose Watkins, Christodoula
  • Mr. Joseph Cusumano, Permanent Counselor
  • Mr. William Griffith (Reigning Patriarch) and Ms. Kehaulani Harker (Reigning Matriarch)
  • Mrs. Toni Ritchey (Secretary) and Ms. Claire Lynott (Finance Officer)

And in cartography news, here's what's happening with the Universal Map:
  • Jack Liu added a number of parishes to the map, primarily in Canada and California. Thank you!
  • This link explains how to view all map pages on one page, how to easily reorder the listings to group them by location, and other similar how-tos. If there are any problems figuring it out, let me know. I'm going to try the re-ordering this week.
  • If you have a google associated ID that you'd like me to "invite" as a "collaborator" to the map, it might make editing easier. The map is set to allow anyone to edit it, but I'm not clear if it functions differently for those specifically listed. Let me know if you'd like me to add you. 

Monday's Map gives updates on the Universal Map project and highlights Eastern and Oriental Catholic institutions as well as those who run and serve them.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Social Saturdays (1/15/11)

It's Saturday! That means we're chatting with the living and praying for the dead. 

Prayer Requests: 
  • For Clyde--the father of Deacon Daniel of the UGCC--who is hospitalized, that the physician of our souls and bodies restore him to full health. 
  • For Francisco and his mother who are surrounded by violence that the Lord protect them and give them hope and peace as well as guide them to jobs that allow them to provide for their needs and glorify Him. 
  • For A, who is facing numerous assaults, that the Lord shelter and protect her and her family, restoring them to the fullness of physical, emotional, and social health. 
  • For Bishop Jia Zhiguo of the underground church and all Christians in China, the Middle East, and around the world who are persecuted for their faith. 
  • For the parish of St. John the Baptist Romanian Catholic Mission in Tustin, CA who are celebrating their patronal feast tomorrow (Jan 16, 2011). May the Lord bless them with many more years! 
  • For those attending the Walk for Life events scheduled across the United States next Saturday (Jan 22) that they be a prayerful witness to the dignity of all human life and be protected in their travels. 
  • For the soul of Archbishop Elias Zoghby of the Melkite Church who passed away three years ago this week (Jan 16, 2008).
  • For those who are planning the beatification ceremonies of Pope John Paul II (May 1 in Rome) and Sr. Marie de Mandat-Grancey (Jan 21 in Kansas City, Missouri) as well as those traveling to participate that the Holy Spirit grant them grace and peace. 
  • For the homeless and severely impoverished who are without heat or electricity, running water, or sufficient housing or clothes, that they be protected during the winter months. For those who are in positions to help that they do so without greed, malice, or expectation of return. 
  • For those who have addictions that they overcome them and are able to seek their consolation from the Lord. 
  • For marriage. That the institution of marriage be preserved and protected within our society. That those who are married be blessed with faith, perseverance, kindness, and fidelity as they seek God through their vocation. That those who are discerning marriage be guided to God's will for their lives. That those who are struggling in their marriages find support and hope. 
  • For the United States and its leaders, especially those in politics, media, and business, that they seek in word and action to do God's will with the authority they hold. 
Continuing Prayer Requests: 
  • Please continue to pray for an abused woman and mother, A (a different A than the one above), who is in desperate straits and in need of many prayers.
  • For Kat's family, including their current and future children, that they be guided in discernment and finances in their next adoption. (Kat has other prayer requests at the link.)
  • For all those affected by the continued Australian flooding, that the Lord provide for their needs.
  • For all of our clergy, religious, and monastics that they be directed in strength, courage, patience, and fortitude to radically live God's will for their lives. 
  • For mothers, that they not abort their offspring; for infants in danger of being put to death in the womb; for a change of heart of providers of abortions and of their collaborators; for human victims of stem cell research, genetic manipulation, cloning, and euthanasia; and for all entrusted with the government of peoples, that they may promote the "Culture of Life" so as to put an end to the "culture of death."
  • For Your Word From The Wise and all who are connected to it, that it may bring glory to God.
  • For the intentions of those who are praying.
Do you have a prayer request you'd like to add? Please put it in the comment box any time this week so we can pray with you.


What's going on at Your Word From The Wise?
  • I worked much more on the Universal Map project, updating locations, detail info, parish names, etc as well as collecting more locations to add. I had a helper send me the links to numerous Churches' Australian websites to get Oceania well-covered on the map. Thank you! (Want your area accurately covered? Send me some info and I'll get it on the map.)
  • I'm working on a blog button/image/logo for an Eastern and Oriental Catholicism web ring for the Links page. It's obvious that I'm not a graphic artist. If you know someone who is who would like to come up with an image of 150x225ish pixels then I'd use it instead of my amateur attempts. 
  • I was unable to make the follow-up phone calls I hoped to make last week. My husband--my biggest helper--will be home on Monday so I'll be able to lock the bedroom door and hide in the master bathroom and make the needed phone calls without any interruptions! :) 
  • I sent out one more interview request which was accepted. WOOHOO! I'll hopefully get it written this weekend. (It's a topic several asked me to cover.)
  • I continued researching for an accepted interview that is scheduled for late Feb/early March. I love it and can't wait to share with you!
  • I got the blog redesigned to be easier on the eyes. Blogger keeps adding random html to my posts. It turns a chunk of text white or adds numerous line breaks, despite my going in to the html source code and removing it. I save, refresh, and it adds it twice more! A helper pointed out a couple places it had done so and suggested some work-arounds, which I'm very grateful for because that was a little disconcerting. I still haven't figured out how to remove the extra line breaks on the Origen post. It lets me have none or two. I even started over with no formatting, adding it line by line. Hmmm... :/
  • I received a response from the 1-question survey I sent out. If a few more come in, I'll post them. The responder is working on some neat Eastern Catholic catechetical tools I can't wait to see, too. 
  • I got blog syndication setup to post to the Facebook wall and think I got the kinks worked out thanks to a helper.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Origen on Penance and Confession

Friday's Fast: Focusing on the Cross 

Origen of Alexandria lived around 185-254 AD and had a profound effect on the development of Christian theology and the Biblical canon. While this effect extended throughout all Christian traditions, he is especially acknowledged within the Alexandrian tradition which includes the Coptic Catholic Church and the Ethiopian Catholic Church who celebrate his feast on December 4th.

I was unable to locate an online original source for Origen's writings, though they are obviously in the public domain by now. Please let me know if you find one. The below compiles and primarily quotes from them. The direct quotes are italicized (original to the text).

PENANCE AND CONFESSION153

PENANCE AND THE HOLY TRINITY
The course of this purification, that is, conversion from sin, is divided into three parts. First is the offering by which sins are observed; second is that by which the soul is turned to God; the third is that of the fruitfulness and fruits which the one who is converted shows in works of piety. And because there are these three offerings, for that reason, it adds also that he must take "three tithe measures of fine wheat flour" (Cf. Lev. 14:10) that everywhere we may understand that purification cannot happen without the mystery of the Trinity154.

MODERATE WAY OF PENANCE
Origen believes in the practice of penance to a moderate extent, for “excess and lack of measure in abstinence are dangerous to beginners155.”

UNCEASING REPENTANCE
Origen states that believers are in need of unceasing repentance all their life.
Therefore the day of atonement remains for us until the sun sets; (Cf. Lev 11.25) that is, until the world comes to an end. For let us stand "before the gates" (Cf. Jas. 5.9) waiting for our high priest who remains within "the Holy of Holies," that is, "before the Father" (Cf. 1 John 2.1-2); and who intercedes not for the sins of everyone, but "for the sins" of those "who wait for him" (Cf. Heb 9.28) 156.


First is the one by which we are baptized "for the remission of sins” (Cf. Mark 1:4).


A second remission is in the suffering of martyrdom.


Third, is that which is given through alms for the Savior says, "but nevertheless, give what you have and, behold, all things are clean for you” (Luke 11:41).


A fourth remission of sins is given for us through the fact that we also forgive the sins of our brothers. For thus the Lord and Savior himself says, "If you will forgive from the heart your brothers' sins, your Father will also forgive you your sins. But if you will not forgive your brothers from the heart, neither will your Father forgive you” (Matt. 6:14-15). And thus he taught us to say in prayer, "forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors” (Matt. 6:12).


A fifth forgiveness of sins is when "someone will convert a sinner from the error of his way.” For thus the divine Scripture says, "Whoever will make a sinner turn from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins” (Jam 5:20).


There is also a sixth forgiveness through the abundance of love as the Lord himself says, "Truly I say to you, her many sins are forgiven because she loved much” (Luke 7:47). And the Apostle says, "Because love will cover a multitude of sins” (1 Pet 4:8).


And there is still a seventh remission of sins through penance, although admittedly it is difficult and toilsome, when the sinner washes "his couch in tears" (Cf. Ps. 6:7) and his "tears" become his "bread day and night" (Cf. Ps. 41:4) when he is not ashamed to make known his sin to the priest of the Lord and to seek a cure according to the one who says, "I said, 'I will proclaim to the Lord my injustice against myself,' and you forgave the impiety of my heart” (Ps. 31:5).

REPEATED PENANCE
Origen insists that penance for some serious sins cannot be repeated.
There is always an opportunity for recovery where, for example, some mortal guilt (culpa mortalis) has found us out, one which does not consist in a mortal crime (crimen mortale), as blasphemy of the faith, which is surrounded by the wall of ecclesiastical and apostolic dogma, but either in some vice of speech or habit... Such guilt can always be repaired, nor is penance ever denied for sins such as these. In more grievous sins, only one opportunity for penance is granted. But the common sins, however, which we frequently incur,-these always allow of penance and at all times are redeemed157.

CONFESSION
Origen reasons that the two sanctuaries found in the Tent of Witness are to be interpreted according to a mystical understanding. According to this understanding, the first sanctuary represents the Church. The second is the heavenly sanctuary where Christ continues to serve as High Priest158.

See what holy Scripture teaches us, that it is not right to bury sin in our hearts.... But if a man become his own accuser, in accusing himself and confessing he vomits out his sin, and dissipates the whole cause of his sickness.


But observe carefully to whom you confess your sins; put the physician to the test, in order to know whether he is weak with the weak, and a mourner with those that mourn. Should he consider your disease to be of such a nature that it must be made known to, and cured in the presence of the assembled congregation, follow the advice of the experienced physician159.


The Israelite, if he should happen to fall into sin, that is, a layman, cannot remit his own sin; but he needs a levite, a priest, indeed he seeks out someone who holds an even more eminent position: it is the prerogative of the bishop, that he should receive remission of his sins160.


If we do this, and reveal our sins not only to God, but also to those who can heal our wounds and sins, our sins will be wiped away by Him, who says: “I have blotted out your iniquities as a cloud, and your sins as a mist.” 161

CONFESSION OF SECRET SINS
Even when the sin is secret ought one to enter into penance, such as is customarily imposed on sinners. He says in the fourteenth homily on Leviticus: “Wherefore now if anyone of us is conscious of a grievous sin, let him fly to penance and voluntarily take upon himself the destruction of the flesh162.”

PUBLIC CONFESSION
In earlier years confession was made publicly, and Ambrose recommends that it be made before the people, but he also permitted a private confession. Origen also allowed the penitent to confess privately to the pastor, "to declare his sin to a priest of the Lord and to ask for the cure," St. Augustine recommends that confession "be made to the bishop163."

This public procedure was participated in by the whole community. It was a solemn function, and all took part in it. In his Homily on Psalm 37, he says that he who has sinned must suffer much when he converts to penance and to the amending of his life; and he must remember that his friends and neighbors will leave him. But if he is sincere he will not mind the shame before his friends. The shaming of the penitent before the congregation was considered not only necessary but even advantageous, in that it worked conversion and complete repentance. Origen calls on sinners to come out into the open and confess their sins: “if therefore there is some one so faithful that he is conscious of some sin, let him go out into the middle and let him become his own accuser164.”

Such a person disregards human respect and confesses his sin, even before the assembled congregation165.

A study of Origin’s words will show that all grievous sins had to be submitted to the public penance. In one of his homilies on the Psalms he seems to indicate just that, when he says166:
There is something marvelous in this mystery when it commands "to confess sin.” And indeed, everything we do of any kind is to be proclaimed and brought out in public. If "we do anything in secret" (Cf. John 7:4), also if we commit anything secretly either in a single word or even an inward thought, this is necessary for everything to be revealed, for everything to be confessed. Indeed, it is to be confessed by that one who is the accuser and inciter of sin. For now this one urges us to sin and also accuses us when we do sin. If, therefore, in this life we anticipate him and are ourselves our own accusers, we escape the wickedness of the devil, our enemy and accuser. For elsewhere, the prophet also speaks thus: "first tell your injustices in order that you may be justified” (Isa. 43:26). Does he not evidently show the mystery which we are dealing with when it says, "you speak first" to show you that you ought to anticipate him who was prepared to accuse you?167


He who for his sins makes confession to God, and in Spirit he is sorry while he does penance, knowing what punishment awaits the sinner after death says these things, explaining how much a man must suffer when he turns to penance and improvement of life, how his friends and neighbors desert him and stand away from him because he turns to exomologesis and sorrow for his sin... If therefore such a man, mindful of his sin, confesses the sins he committed and with human confusion he little regards those who abuse him while he confesses... and sneer at him; he however realizes that in this way he will receive pardon... so that he refuses to hide and conceal his stain, but he pronounces his sin; nor does he desire to be a whited sepulcher, which without appears beautiful to men, that is, that he might appear just to such as behold him, but within is full of every uncleanness and of dead men’s bones. If therefore there is someone so faithful that if he is conscious of some sin, let him come forth before the congregation and let him be his own accuser168.

Elsewhere Origen speaks of public confession. He says:
Consider then a man who is faithful but sick, who could be overcome by some sin, and because of this lamenting for his iniquities, and seeking however a cure and to recover his health. If therefore such a man, conscious of his iniquity, confesses whatever he has committed... disregards those who abuse him... so that he refuses to hide and conceal his stains, but he confesses his sin, that he might not be a whited sepulcher, which without appears beautiful to men... within however he is full of every uncleanness and dead men’s bones. If therefore there is someone so faithful that if he is conscious of a sin, let him come out before the community and let him be his own accuser169.

Further in the same homily Origen seems to demand public confession. He says:
Consider therefore what Sacred Scripture teaches us, that we must not conceal our sins in our heart. For as they who are troubled with indigestion and have something within them which lies heavy upon their stomachs, are not relieved unless it be removed; in like manner sinners, who conceal their practices and retain their sin within their hearts, feel in themselves an inward disquietude and are almost suffocated with the malignity which they thus suppress. But if he will only become his own accuser, while he accuses himself and confesses, he at the same time discharges himself of his iniquity and digests the whole cause of his disease... If he shall judge your disease to be such as should be laid open and cured before the whole assembly of the Church, for the possible edification of others and for your own ready healing, this should be done deliberately and discreetly170.

There is in the works of Origen another allusion to public confession. In one of his homilies on Jeremiah he says:
Consider therefore how candid the prophets are: they do not conceal their sins, as we do, but openly they proclaim their sins, not only to the men of their age, but to all generations. Indeed even I do not dare here to confess my sins before a few, because they who hear me would condemn me. But Jeremiah, when he had transgressed, is not ashamed, but rather puts his sin down in his writings171.

EXOMOLOGESIS
In one of his earlier works on the Psalms he says in his Commentary on Psalm 135, that exomologesis signifies a thanksgiving and glorification. But it is also used for the confession of sins, as in this place 172.”

The word exomologesis has a threefold meaning.

The first is a confession of sin to God alone.

The second is an avowal of one’s sins before men, in order to receive divine pardon.

The third is the exomologesis of the public and solemn penance as imposed on sinners by the Church. This is the type Origen refers to so often when he says that “chains are also the bonds of sins: which bonds are broken not only by divine baptism, but also by martyrdom suffered for Christ and through the tears of penance173.” He mentions the “severest penance,” and describes how the soul is converted to peace, “either through baptism, or through tears and penance174.”

BAPTISM AND FORGIVENESS OF SINS175
Origen stresses on different accessions that strictly speaking there is only one forgiveness of sins, that of baptism (Mark 1:4), because the Christian religion gives the power and grace to overcome sinful passion176. However, there are a number of means to obtain remission even of sins committed after baptism. Origen lists seven of them: martyrdom, almsgiving (Luke 11:41), forgiving those who trespass against us (Matt. 6:14- 15), conversion of a sinner (according to Jam. 5:20), fullness of love (according to Luke 7,47) and finally through penance and by a confession of sins before a priest. The latter decides whether the sins should be confessed in public or not.

That the thoughts out of many hearts may be revealed..." Luke 2:35.


There were evil thoughts in men, and they were revealed for this reason, that being brought to the surface they might be destroyed, slain, put to death, and He Who died for us might kill them. For while these thoughts were hidden and not brought into the open they could not be utterly done to death. Hence, if we have sinned we also ought to say," I have made my sin known to You, and I have not hidden my wickedness. I have said I will declare my unrighteousness to the Lord against myself" (Ps. 32:5). For if we do this and reveal our sins \not only to God but also to those who can heal our wounds and sins, our wickedness will be wiped out by Him who says, "I will wipe out your wickedness like a cloud," Isa. 44:2.


Certainly, the Christian should be under strict discipline (more than those men of the Old Testament times), because Christ died for him... Now listed to all the ways of remission of sins in the Gospels:
First, we are baptized for the remission of sins.


Second, there is the remission in the suffering of martyrdom.


Third, the remission given in return for works of mercy (Luke 11:44).


Fourth, the forgiveness through out forgiveness of others, (Matt. 5:14, 15)...


Fifth, the forgiveness bestowed when a man "has converted a sinner from the error of his ways," James 5:20.


Sixth, sins are remitted through abundance of love (Luke 7:4).


In addition, there is also a seventh way of forgiveness which is hard and painful, namely the remission of sins through penitence when "the sinner washes his bed with tears, and tears are his bread by day and night," Ps. 6:6, 42:3; and when he does not hold back in shame from declaring his sin to the priest of the Lord and asking for medicine (James 5:14)...177.

153 Quasten, p. 84. 
154 In Lev. hom. 8:10 (Gary Wayne Barkley- Frs. of the Church). 
155 Jean Daniélou: Origen, NY, p. 299. 
156 Homilies on Leviticus 9:5 (Cf. Frs. of the Church).
157 In Lev. hom. 15:2 PG 12:560-561; Earnest Latko: Origen’s Concept of penance, Laval 1949, p. 103.
158 In Lev. hom. 9:9.
159 Hom. on Ps. 37, 2:6. 
160 In Numb. hom 10:1 PG 12:635. 
161 In Lucan Homilia 17 PG 13:1846. 
162 In Lev. hom. 14:4. 
163 Sermon on Lev. 2:4; Carl A. Volz: Life and Practice in the Early Church, Minneapolis, 1990,
164 In Judices Homilia 2:5 PG 12:961; Earnest Latko: Origen’s Concept of penance, Laval 1949, p. 91-92.
165 In Psalmum 37 Homilia 2:1 PG 12:1381 
166 Earnest Latko: Origen’s Concept of penance, Laval 1949, p. 103. Laval 1949, p. 70.
167 In Lev. hom. 3:4 (cf. G.W. Barkley - Frs. of the Church). 
168 In Psalmum 37 Homilia 2:1 PG 12:1380-1381; Earnest Latko: Origen’s Concept of penance,
169 In Psalmum 37 Homilia 2:1 PG 12:1281; Earnest Latko: Origen’s Concept of penance, Laval 1949, p. 102.
170 In Psalmum 37 Homilia 2:6; Earnest Latko: Origen’s Concept of penance, Laval 1949, p. 103.
171 In Jer. hom. 19:8 PG 13:517; Earnest Latko: Origen’s Concept of penance, Laval 1949, p. 103. 
172 In Psalmum 37 Homilia 2:1 PG 12:1380-1381; Earnest Latko: Origen’s Concept of penance, Laval 1949, p. 70. 
173 Selecta in Psalmos PG 12:1577. 
174 Ibid. 1576; Earnest Latko: Origen’s Concept of penance, Laval 1949, p. 90. 
175 Quasten, p. 84. 
176 Exhort. ad mart. 30.
177 In Leviticum hom. 2:4.

Source:
Book two
ORIGEN
Preparatory edition 1995
FR. TADROS Y. MALATY
Coptic Theological College in Sydney, Australia
English text is revised by
ROSE MARY HALIM

Retrieved online: http://www.saint-mary.net/books/SCHLALX_2.pdf
PP 728-737

Friday's Fast features homilies, lectures, interviews, and biographies on topics such as prayer, fasting, almsgiving, and repentance. For in the cross of Christ crucified lies both the power of God and the wisdom of God for those being saved (I Corinthians 1:24).

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Live Broadcast Tonight - Wedding Epistle


Click on one to download
text with which to pray
along with Vespers:


Loving as Christ loved the Church 
St. John Chrysostom's homily on the epistle read at the wedding ceremony 
Lecture by Deacon John Evancho

Vespers at 6:30 PM Eastern Standard Time 
Lecture at 8:00 PM Eastern Standard Time 

"Saint John Chrysostom, the preeminent preacher in the Christian East, had a profound love for the Apostle Paul and his epistles. We will reflect on Chrysostom's inspiring homily on the Epistle reading for the sacramental Mystery of the Crowning in Marriage.

Deacon John Evancho serves at Annunciation Byzantine Catholic Church in Homer Glen, Illinois. He is a member of the Byzantine Catholic Seminary Board of Directors. He received a Master of Theological Studies degree from Harvard Divinity School and BAs in Theology from Duquesne University and the Catholic University of Louvain (Belgium), as well as a JD from Harvard Law School. He and his wife, Laura, and their three young daughters, Ruth, Julia, and Sophia, live in Peoria, Illinois."

Friday morning update: The talk was wonderful. It appears that a recording will be posted online. When it is, I'll post it here. 


Theological Thursdays brings you homilies, lectures, interviews, and biographies on diverse topics including history, theology, spirituality, and philosophy as they pertain to the Eastern and Oriental Catholic Churches. 

 

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Maafa 21: Genocide in the United States

Wednesday's Wages 
Recalling that it was for only 30 silver shekels that Judas betrayed the Lord 

Many Eastern and Oriental Catholics in the United States are direct targets of the American eugenics movement which seeks to eliminate poverty by eliminating the poor and desires to create a master race of healthy, attractive, fair-skinned, educated, wealthy individuals of northern European descent. They taught Hitler a large part of his eugenics theories and practices and they remain active in the United States today. This explains their why and how.

At that time, they did shift over to what they called "the quality of life." It was a philosophy unquestionably used to target the poor simply because what the quality of life at its core meaning was that poor people really didn't have a reason to live. Only the white--those with status--had any chance of a "meaningful" or "purposeful" life. The solution for the poor now was not to eliminate the circumstances that would cause poverty. Their solution now was to eliminate the poor--eliminate the impoverished--and just wipe them off the face of the earth. -Clenard Childress (Northeast Director of Life Education and Resource Network) 
Wednesday's Wages are a series of posts which highlight past and present struggles faced by Eastern and Oriental Catholics including the topics of bioethics and persecution. Do you know of a homily, lecture, interview or biography which you think should be featured here? Leave a comment to let me know.  

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Domestic Church

In Our Family and Home
by Father Romanos Russo of St. Ann's Melkite Greek-Catholic Church
Originally Published in Catholic Near East

Our mothers and fathers must rediscover their role as priests of the home. The parents bless their children, the food that nourishes them, and preach the most eloquent of sermons by the nobility of their conduct. They enable their family to celebrate the fasts and feasts of the year. The children, too, should learn to assume roles in the domestic church as soon as practical: they can help read the daily scripture passages, assist in the preparation of the foods proper to their tradition and tend the light before the icons.
Because the work is presumably still under copyright, I've only quoted a small portion of it. Read the entire article at St. Ann's website here.

Talented Tuesdays is a feature which focuses on art, architecture, music, culture, food, and the running of the domestic church. User submitted questions and solutions are welcomed.



Monday, January 10, 2011

Ss. Peter and Paul UGCC Cathedral in Melbourne, AU

Monday's Map: We're traveling with the angels!

Today we're flying over to Melbourne, Victoria, Australia where you'll find the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic cathedral of Ss. Peter and Paul.

The cathedral was featured in the 2007 book Windows to Heaven: the Icons of the Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul in Melbourne which was written in both English and Ukrainian.

Their eparchial website has a wealth of information including an Ask the Priest column and videos of services. Check it out! http://www.catholicukes.org.au/

Liturgy schedule:
  • Sunday 8:00 AM (Recited Liturgy)
  • Sunday 9:30 AM (Ukrainian Divine Liturgy)
  • Sunday 11:30 AM (English Divine Liturgy)
  • Weekdays 9:00 AM (Divine Liturgy)
The cathedral is currently served by the following clergy:
  • Most Rev. Peter Stasiuk C.Ss.R. (Bishop)
  • Rt. Rev. Mitrat Olexander Kenez (Chancellor/Protosynce), Fr. Felix Figureк (Administrator), Rt. Rev. Mitrat Zenon Chorkawyj, Very Rev. Fr. Peter Struk, Fr. Robert Stickland, Fr. Brian Kelty
  • Rev. Deacon Edward Kostraby
And in cartography news, here's what's happening with the Universal Map:
  • I updated several UGCC parishes in Australia, mostly changing the title from "Ukrainian Catholic Church" to the parish's full name.
  • I added several Australian UGCC parishes that weren't previously on the universal map.
  • I created place markers for five UGCC parishes that were not previously marked in Google Maps as businesses/churches.
  • I sent emails to the administrators of the 5 newly-added parishes to let them know that a postcard will arrive in the mail in 2-3 weeks with a pin number that I must enter in order for the church to be labeled on Google Maps. (If your priest receives one, please let him know it is legit.)
Monday's Map gives updates on the Universal Map project and highlights Eastern and Oriental Catholic institutions as well as those who run and serve them.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Social Saturdays (1/8/11)

It's Saturday! That means we're chatting with the living and praying for the dead.

Prayer Requests:
  • For the family of Gianna Caeli Henninger, an infant who died this week from complications due to Trisomy 18. She leaves behind her parents and seven siblings, among numerous other extended family. She joins 4 siblings who preceded her in death.
  • For an abused woman and mother, A, who is in desperate straits and in need of many prayers this week as she navigates police, courts, severe depression, and more.
  • For the souls and families of Elaine Dorko and Helen Boytim who died this week, as well as their parish family at St. Mary Byzantine Catholic Church in Marblehead, Ohio.
  • For the soul and family of George Michael Ritchey, as well as his parish family at St. George Melkite Church in Birmingham, Alabama.
  • For the soul and family of Father Constantine Brown of the Byzantine Catholic Church.
  • For Msgr. Sharbel Maroun who celebrated his birthday this week, that he may be blessed with many more years.
  • For Kat's family, including their current and future children, that they be guided in discernment and finances in their next adoption. (Kat has other prayer requests at the link.)
  • For all those affected by the Australian flooding, that the Lord provide for their needs.
  • For all who are persecuted for their faith, especially those in the Middle East. 
  • For Congresswoman Giffords and all who were hurt in an Arizona shooting rampage, that their physicians' hands be guided so that they may be restored to full health. For the souls of those who perished that the Lord may welcome them into His kingdom and for their families that the Holy Spirit bring them comfort and hope in their grief.
  • For all of our clergy, religious, and monastics that they be directed in strength, courage, patience, and fortitude to radically live God's will for their lives. 
  • For mothers, that they not abort their offspring; for infants in danger of being put to death in the womb; for a change of heart of providers of abortions and of their collaborators; for human victims of stem cell research, genetic manipulation, cloning, and euthanasia; and for all entrusted with the government of peoples, that they may promote the "Culture of Life" so as to put an end to the "culture of death."
  • For Your Word From The Wise and all who are connected to it, that it may bring glory to God.
  • For the intentions of those who are praying.
Do you have a prayer request you'd like to add? Please put it in the comment box any time this week so we can pray with you.





What's going on at Your Word From The Wise?
  • I added a new comment feature which allows commenting from multiple account types and not just Google accounts. It says it is installed and working, but it isn't showing up. Troubleshooting will be forthcoming.
  • I sent out a 1-question email request to a handful of people hoping for an easy aggregate post. No responses yet.
  • I updated the About page to include a schedule for posts, defining the focus of this project and giving names to each day which reflect the type of content that will be covered. Tuesday was a hard one to come up with! As promised, they are appropriately kitschy.
  • I sent interview requests to a handful of people, offering to tailor interviews to their areas of knowledge and interest. I heard back from one who is going to talk with me in a couple weeks. I will follow-up this week with phone calls to the others.
  • I heard from several people about topics or people they'd like me to cover. I was already able to incorporate two of those requests into interviews I was writing. (Do you have suggestions? I'd be grateful to hear them!)
  • I researched and wrote three interviews. I had a "little birdie" offer some much-appreciated musical knowledge to the research, for which I am very grateful. (5-10 minutes of information sharing made a huge difference. Do you have knowledge you could take 5-10 minutes to share?)
  • My hard drive suddenly and irretrievably crashed while I was working on the interviews. The last time that happened was when I was working on Your Word From The Wise videos. I thankfully had learned my lesson and was regularly making back-ups so I only lost a week's worth of work.
  • I re-wrote and sent out the three interviews.
  • I heard back on the two most involved interviews with positive results and am now coordinating those interviews. I'm excited! I think you will be, too! 
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