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I'll Come Speak

    I write and speak on all sorts of topics: ancient Christian spirituality and the Eastern Orthodox faith, the Jesus Prayer, marriage and family, the pro-life cause, cultural issues, and more. You can contact Cynthia Damaskos of the Orthodox Speakers Bureau if you’d like to bring me to an event. This Calendar will let you know when I’m in your neighborhood.

 

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Entries in Christian Life (167)

Wednesday
Oct132010

American Grace

When people with strong religious convictions live alongside people who hold different but equally strong views, the results can be explosive. That’s not only a matter of historical record, but a global tragedy as fresh and raw as today’s headlines. The United States, however, somehow defies both human history and faith-based brutality all too common in the contemporary world. What is America’s secret to maintaining social peace, relatively high levels of religious engagement, and increasing diversity?

To answer that question, American Grace: How Religion Divides and Unites Us, just published by Simon & Schuster, draws on the most comprehensive surveys yet on American religion and public life, taken under the auspices of the Templeton-funded Faith Matters project.

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Friday
Aug132010

No Regrets

[Frederica Here and Now; June 4, 2010]

This week, I just had a pretty short thought. I get an email, an Orthodox Quote of the Day everyday, and it’s always something wonderful. And there was something about this one that really jumped out at me. Today’s quote is from St. John Chrysostom. I’m not sure where in his writings this comes from. And the quote is:

A fearful thing is sin. Fearful and the ruin of the soul, and the mischief, oftentimes through its excesses, overflowed and attacked men’s bodies also. For since for the most part, when the soul is diseased, we feel no pain, but if the body receive, though, but a little hurt, we use every exertion to free it from its infirmity because we are sensible of the infirmity. ThereforeGod, oftentimes, often punisheth the body for the transgressions of the soul so that by means of the scourging of the inferior part, the better part also may receive some healing.

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Wednesday
Jul212010

Marriage and Cohabitation

1. What does the marriage ceremony grant exactly to a couple that would help form a lasting relationship?

The marriage ceremony is a Holy Mystery, a Sacrament, which means that something happens beyond what the human participants bring to the event. God intervenes with his Holy Spirit and creates something holy, something that did not exist before. The marriage ceremony is essential for Christians, so that this immensely significant relationship in our lives may be upheld and blessed by God.

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Monday
May032010

Kyria: The Jesus Prayer

[Kyria; May, 2010]

 

“Rejoice always, pray constantly, give thanks in all circumstances” (I Thess 5:17)

 

Have you ever wondered what St. Paul was talking about? How can a person pray constantly? Yet this wasn’t the only time St. Paul urged his hearers to constant prayer.

 

“Rejoice in your hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer” ( Romans 12:12).

 

“Pray at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance” (Eph 6:18).

 

“Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving”  Col 4:2.

 

If he took the trouble to say this to four different communities, he must have thought it was important. And he must have thought it was possible. He wouldn’t have kept urging his hearers to do something that was completely beyond their capability.

 

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Monday
May032010

Listening Skills

[Frederica Here and Now Podcast; October 1, 2009]

 

Frederica Mathewes-Green: I’m sitting at my kitchen table today with my friend Katherine Mowers, a member of my church, Holy Cross Orthodox Church in Baltimore. She wanted to interview me about listening skills, and I’m recording our conversation for my podcast as well.

 

Katherine Mowers: Here’s the first question: How can you do reflective listening in a manner that is more than just listening, but actively supporting the person?

 

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Tuesday
Mar232010

Big Family, Special Needs

F: Of course, you have an unusual family, and people notice that right away. You have ten children, and six are your own…

 

M: They’re all my own!

 

F: Oh, God bless you, that’s true, they’re all your own. Six are biological children, four are adopted children. You put the words to it, tell me about your children.

 

M: We like to say that our six biological kids are the ones we made all by ourselves—our “homemade” ones—and the other four we picked out of the catalog. [laughing] Our four adopted ones have special needs, although our oldest one has resolved most of his special needs.

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Tuesday
Mar232010

Why I Abandoned "Choice"

I was the first feminist in my dorm. It was 1970, and there wasn’t a lot of feminism in South Carolina, noteven at the state university. I was proud to be one of the pioneers.

One of our goals was to repeal the laws against abortion. I had a bumpersticker on my car: “Don’t labor under a misconception: Legalize abortion.” A couple of my friends who had unplanned pregnancies went to New York for an abortion, at the time the closest place where it was legal. I cheered them on. Abortion was to me proof of feminist commitment, evidence that you would lay your body on the line for the cause of liberation.

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Wednesday
Mar032010

Lent--Why Bother?

Lent is a time of year to remember that God has seen fit to make us, not airy spirits, but embodied human beings living in a beautiful, material world. The soul fills the body the way fire fills a lump of coal, and what the body learns, the soul absorbs as well. Spiritual disciplines, like fasting, are analogous to the weight-lifting machines at a health club. One who uses them in a disciplined way will be stronger, not just when he’s lifting weights, but for every situation that he meets.

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Sunday
Nov222009

Remembering Fr. George Calciu

[Holy Cross Orthodox Church; November 22, 2009]

This weekend we are remembering the repose of Fr. George Calciu, who died on November 21, 2006, just two days before 81st birthday. He died of pancreatic cancer, a fast-moving and painful cancer, and had barely survived long enough to complete one last trip to his homeland, Romania.

 The news reached us on a Sunday evening that he had taken a turn for the worse. Father Gregory and I were hosting a gathering for Orthodox young people at our home that night, but I left our guests and went with Chris Vladimir to the hospital.

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Wednesday
Jan072009

Surviving the Economy

[Ancient Faith Radio; January 7, 2009]

FMG: Well, I’m at home, of all things. Occasionally I am at home. It’s Sunday morning at Holy Cross Antiochian Orthodox Church in Linthicum, Maryland, just south of Baltimore. If you’ve ever been to Baltimore Washington International Airport, BWI, we’re just two miles from BWI. And it’s coffee hour, and I’m sitting in the basement in the parish hall, and I’m talking with somebody who’s travelled to be here with us. I’m not the one travelling this week. Deacon Tom Braun, from, is it St. Barnabas Church in San Demas?

 

Dn. Tom Braun: It’s St. Barnabas in Huntington Beach, California.

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