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Archive for April, 2006

Why Byzantine Catholics?

Posted by Eric (April 7, 2006 at 3:27 pm)

Holy Trinity Cathedral (Orthodox Church in America)Here is pictured one of the towers of Holy Trinity Cathedral in Chicago, a sight I cannot behold without some feeling of sorrow.

I took this picture a couple of weeks ago when I happened to be passing through the Chicago neighborhood that is home to several Eastern Christian churches. Only a few blocks away from this church, which is the cathedral church of the Diocese of the Midwest of the Orthodox Church in America, is St. Nicholas Church, the Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral. Same liturgy, same spirituality, two Cathedrals

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“Like Eating God”

Posted by Eric (April 4, 2006 at 3:54 pm)

Adam and Eve?Twice this past weekend I caught the end of a segment on the public radio program This American Life which was apparently some kind of retelling of the story of Adam and Eve and the Garden of Eden. I happened to tune in right at “the Fall”—an appropriate moment here in the thick of Great Lent.

The piece, what I heard of it, sounded irreverent, even somewhat mocking, but it was interesting nonetheless, especially lines like this one, where Adam is reminiscing about the Garden long after the banishment:

“When you ate the fruit in Eden, it was like eating God,” he would say, “and God was delicious. When you wanted him, you just grabbed him.” Now when he ate fruit, he could only taste what was not there.

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Have Mercy on Me, O God!

Posted by Eric (April 3, 2006 at 2:50 pm)

St. Andrew of CreteLast Thursday, we chanted the Great Canon of St. Andrew of Crete at St. George Church. This matins service, typically done on Thursday morning in the fifth week of Great Lent, takes about three hours and includes some 220-odd prostrations—down on your knees, face to the floor. Through haunting odes, refrains, litanies and canticles, St. Andrew reminds us, first, of our own sinfulness despite the example of the patriarchs, prophets and holy men of old, and then of the hope offered us in Christ.

It’s a pretty hard-core, Marines-boot-camp sort of service. Not being a complete idiot, I did have a Clif bar and a tankard of coffee before hand. Pretty hungry by the end and scarcely able to walk—going downstairs was particularly difficult.

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Insert Da Vinci Pun Here

Posted by Eric (April 3, 2006 at 1:40 pm)

Mona Lisa (detail, posterized)Looks like all the clever Da Vinci Code puns are taken—”Decoding Da Vinci,” “The Da Vinci Con,” “The Duh Vinci Code,” etc.

No, I haven’t read it. Life’s too short. I tend to agree with Barbara Nicolosi that “we should all just agree to ignore it, and put our efforts into praying for the people who hate Jesus and us, His disciples, so much that they would make this film.”

My entire commentary on the Da Vinci phenomenon is this: that having failed to “prove” that Jesus never existed, that the Gospels are a fraud, that Christianity is a plague upon mankind, and all the rest, the enemies of the Church have resorted not just to making stuff up out of thin air, but to declaring that, really, this whole “truth” business, this slavish submission to “facts” and “historical data” is just so narrow and, let’s face it, intolerant of “alternate views” and “new ways of understanding.”

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