55 Maxims for Christian Living

Orthodox Ruminations

55 Maxims for Christian Livingfr.thomas_hopko
by Fr. Thomas Hopko

1. Be always with Christ.
2. Pray as you can, not as you want.
3. Have a keepable rule of prayer that you do by discipline.
4. Say the Lord’s Prayer several times a day.
5. Have a short prayer that you constantly repeat when your mind is not occupied with other things.
6. Make some prostrations when you pray.
7. Eat good foods in moderation.
8. Keep the Church’s fasting rules.
9. Spend some time in silence every day.
10. Do acts of mercy in secret.
11. Go to liturgical services regularly
12. Go to confession and communion regularly.
13. Do not engage intrusive thoughts and feelings. Cut them off at the start.
14. Reveal all your thoughts and feelings regularly to a trusted person.
15. Read the scriptures regularly.
16. Read good books a little at a time.
17…

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Hipsterdox≠Hyperdoxy

download (1)Some Hyperdox Hermans have decided to target Hipsterdox for my posting of Pope Francis’ comments on ecumenism and other sayings. They are relentless to the point of creating new Facebook accounts to harass me on my own private Facebook. Nonetheless, I digress. Let’s clear the air here.

Too bad for them I won’t engage them too much, and I won’t waste my time with Fundamentalism. Fundamentalism comes with these folks in their conversion or finds its way to them at some point if they’re cradle. Orthodoxy is a ideology to be defended to the death. Fundamentalism in any fashion is a disease. It’s easy to adopt an ideology or system of belief. That is all a Fundamentalist does. 

For those who know me personally or from other sources, I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that I do not support any false unity with anyone outside the Church. I have been know to lay out what the Orthodox conditions for unity are for those outside the Church. I have not once proposed false unity or compromising on that which is “the Faith has it was given”. 

However, I will not engage with bashing the non-Orthodox, calling them heretics, questioning their salvation, nor refusing to engage with them in dialogue. 

I will not question the sincerity of those holding faith in Christ outside the Church. In fact, in many cases I admire it and wish my faith was as strong and as devoted. 

That’s it pretty much. I’m aware some Saints have said pretty hardlining things about Roman Catholics and others. I have not seen anything that supports these sayings as official doctrine. Last I checked not everything a Saints says is dipped in the gold of doctrine/official doctrine. There are also Saints who took not such strong stances against the heterodox. Blessed Seraphim Rose has some beautiful thoughts to say about the heterodox and how to treat them and engage with them. I recommend looking up his advice. I follow it here and will not deviate from those convictions.

I will not take a unkind approach filled with zealous hatred for those outside the Church. I simply will not. If this is offensive or makes you angry, then this page and blog is simply not for you. 

I say all this in love and respect, which I hope the tone is conveyed. Facebook is hard to communicate that sometimes. If it isn’t sounding that way I apologize. Pray for me, a sinner.

 

“A lot of people today who have strong convictions are not very civil and a lot of people who are civil don’t have very strong convictions. What we really need is convicted civility…Too often in life we proceed with a hermeneutic of self-assuredness and criticism of those for whom we disagree rather than a hermeneutic of self-criticism and grace for others.” -Richard Mouw 

An Ecumenism of Blood

Orthodox Ruminations

ImageNo matter what convictions you have religiously as one professing Christ, may these words cause you to ponder and think and above all else, pray: 

Yes, for me ecumenism is a priority. Today there is an ecumenism of blood. In some countries they kill Christians for wearing a cross or having a Bible and before they kill them they do not ask them whether they are Anglican, Lutheran, Catholic or Orthodox. Their blood is mixed. To those who kill we are Christians. We are united in blood, even though we have not yet managed to take necessary steps towards unity between us and perhaps the time has not yet come. Unity is a gift that we need to ask for. I knew a parish priest in Hamburg who was dealing with the beatification cause of a Catholic priest guillotined by the Nazis for teaching children the catechism. After him, in…

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Vending Machine “Christianity”: The Church Created in Our Own Image (Mini-Blog #6)

Orthodox Ruminations

vendingFr. Benedict Simpson, a Facebook friend, posted this deeply thought-provoking, but yet sharply critical status about Americans and how they “church hop”. One thing I have learned in my journey into Orthodoxy is that my preferences do not matter, the preferences of those in the early Church and throughout the ages did not matter, and neither does yours. This is where the Orthodox sharply disagree with some about spirituality, ecclesiology, and above all worship. Christianity isn’t  a vending machine where you get to pick and choose things. Nor is it a menu where you pick what is in line with your tastes. This is deeply out of line with both the New Testament and the Fathers.

I’m a drummer, and I’ve played in worship teams before. Of course, I wouldn’t mind some instruments in worship, but that isn’t how the Church has approached it and still approaches it (note, there…

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Genesis 1 Is Ancient Cosmology

Orthodox Ruminations

gneI was with my wife this morning attending to some matters when I came across my friend’s, Father Dale Brown, Facebook status in regards to his reading “Paul and the Faithfulness of God” by N.T. Wright. His status caught me attention: 

The problem with N.T. Wright’s new book is that he throws out about 1000 different minute things that make you wish that you had a whole book on that bit as well and he spends only a paragraph or two on it. Like how Genesis 1 could have been understood in the ANE world as the construction of a ‘temple.’ How the Temple in Jerusalem was seen as the beginning of that restoration, for in Jewish theology the Temple was a microcosm of all Creation. Consequently, in Christ the Temple, his body, resurrection and those constituted by us through baptism is the realization of the renewed Creation which was…

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chocolate papaya cookies / spicy mango cookies

If you’re into vegan foods/diets and such, the Orthodox fasting diet is pretty much the same thing. Some great ideas here! And these look sooo good!

Oh, she cooks!

Forgive me, but I don’t quite feel up to making a long post tonight, I’m trying to snap out a drowse after a short hibernation on this snowy day. So, for this recipe, start by finding a chocolate chip cookie recipe on the back of a bag of chocolate chips. They’re all pretty much the same. To make them vegan/Lenten, just use Ener-G Egg Replacer instead of eggs, and margarine instead of butter.

20131208 chocolate papaya spicy mango cookies
Cream the ingredients you are supposed to cream. Now, I divided the creamed ingredients into two bowls so I could do two half recipes.

20131208 chocolate papaya spicy mango cookies2
I also divided the dry ingredients into two bowls. So, let’s begin with the spicy mango cookies. I made something like this before, but these are a little different since I’m out of my Trader Joe’s Chili Spices Mango. And these are without tortilla chips.

20131208 chocolate papaya spicy mango cookies3
To the dry ingredients I added ginger, cinnamon…

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The Eucharistic Dimension of Death

Orthodox Ruminations

Minolta DSCSome more profound insights from Father John Behr’s (Dean of St. Vlad’s Orthodox Theological Seminary) “The Mystery of Christ: Life in Death” (A great review here):

There is clearly a close relationship between the dynamism and the fruitfulness of the Spirit and the action of the Word operative in the processes that lead both to the Eucharist and to the resurrection. It is by receiving the Eucharist, as the wheat and the vine receive the fecundity of the Spirit, that we are prepared, as we also make the fruits into the bread and wine, for the resurrection effected by the Word, at which point, just as the bread and wine receive the Word and so become the Body and Blood of Christ, the Eucharist, so also our bodies will receive immortality and incorruptibility from the Father. As such, death, within the overall economy of God seen…

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