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Archive for the 'Faith' Category

A Brand New, Fancy Jesus

Posted by Eric (May 3, 2006 at 12:08 pm)

Original by Fr. Tom LoyaYesterday I dropped by the Borders in Champaign, IL after a special Divine Liturgy there to pick up Rod Dreher’s book Crunchy Cons (more on that in a future post). While roaming around the store looking for Dreher’s book I saw no fewer than three editions of The Da Vinci Code, including a thick, new “Illustrated Edition.” There were also several books on the so-called Gospel of Judas, and a number of other books purporting to tell us the “true story” of Jesus.

What all these books have in common, of course, is the consoling news that Jesus is not who the canonical gospels say he is, the Son of God who is one with God the Father, through whom the Father sends forth his Holy Spirit to transform the world. I suppose nothing so capsulizes the hubris of this age than such books, which claim to have discovered the “truth” about Jesus that was somehow hidden from his disciples and their closest friends, those who wrote the first “True Story of Jesus” books—the ones you’ll find in the New Testament.


Posted in Culture & Society, Faith | 1 Comment »

“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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Forgive Us Our Debts

Posted by Eric (March 21, 2006 at 5:54 pm)

The unforgiving servantThis morning I walked down the block to the local Latin Rite church for Mass and Confession. The Gospel for today was Matthew 18:21-35, the parable of the unforgiving servant.

I wonder why the servant whose massive debt was forgiven was so ready to demand repayment of the debt he was owed by his fellow servant. I would think he’d be walking on air after his interview with the master, whose mercy gave him a new lease on life. But he’s not—somehow, his heart is full of bitterness.


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“By Bread Alone”

Posted by Eric (March 20, 2006 at 7:03 pm)

“He humbled you and let you hunger . . . that he might make you know that man does not live by bread alone.” (Deuteronomy 8:3)

Loaf of BreadWe are nearly at Mid-Fast, and I’d like to return to Alexander Schmemann’s comment, quoted in my last entry, that “fasting is the only means by which man recovers his true spiritual nature.”

At first this statement might appear contradictory. Doesn’t fasting make ever more present to us the fact that we do, indeed, rely on bread most utterly? Doesn’t fasting show us that we are but flesh and bones—hungry flesh and aching bones?


Posted in Byzantine, Faith | 2 Comments »
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