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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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Thursday
Sep112008

September 12

[Ancient Faith Radio; September 11, 2008]

On the day after the tragedy on September 11th, 2001 I had an appointment for confession, so I drove down from Baltimore to meet with my spiritual father, Fr. George Calciu in his church, Holy Cross church, in Alexandria Virginia. And on the way, I went through Washington and even passed the Pentagon, and really didn’t know what I would find on that Wednesday, September 12th. It was not congested, the city was not congested and it felt pretty peaceful as I drove along. I went past the Pentagon and could see they were trying to conceal the damage which was actually on the other side of the building from the road, but they were already getting things in place to begin to seal up that big opening on the building and do what needed to be done to rebuild it. All along that part of I-95 where you could kind of crane your head around and see the damage to the Pentagon, the cars were moving very, very slowly, just a few miles an hour.

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Thursday
Aug282008

Native Americans and Orthodoxy

[Ancient Faith Radio; August 28, 2008]

Frederica Mathewes-Green: Here I am, I’m in Anchorage, Alaska. My first visit to Alaska, this completes my visiting fifty states. This is my fiftieth state, so it’s wonderful to be here at last. I am on the grounds of the Alaska Native Heritage Center, speaking to Steven Alvarez, who is- what is your role here at the center?

Steven Alvarez: I am Director of Strategic Initiatives and Media.

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Thursday
Aug212008

The Same God

[Ancient Faith Radio; August 21, 2008]

I am in Anchorage, Alaska, a beautiful beautiful place, attending the Eagle River Institute. I am one of the speakers here, along with Fr. Michael Dahulich, who is the Dean of St. Tikhon’s Seminary. And this is sort of a series of study days that begins every year on August the 1st, and runs through August the 5th, and culminates with the feast of the Transfiguration. After that, many people go down to Kodiak to venerate the relics of St. Herman, and if the weather is fortunate, if the weather is agreeable, also to make a pilgrimage to Spruce Island. So we’re hoping that the weather will be with us and that my husband and I will be able to make that pilgrimage as well.

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Wednesday
Aug202008

The Rocker

The band called “A.D.D.” has a gig to play the high school prom, but they’re suddenly without a drummer. One applicant shows up at audition with an electronic drum simulator, and he’s grooving happily along when the pianist’s uncle objects. “But lots of bands play drum loops,” says the kid, and the uncle retorts, “Lots of elevators play Celine Dion. That doesn’t make it right.”

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Friday
Aug152008

Tender Love and the Dormition

[Ancient Faith Radio; August 15, 2008]

My mother lives far from me, many states away; it takes me about twelve or thirteen hours to drive there. So I don’t get there that often. I usually fly down about once a month. I didn’t used to go that often, but she had emergency surgery last January, and ever since then she’s been in a nursing home, and her mind is a little fuzzier than it used to be. She’s never quite gotten her strength back, never gotten on her feet again. Eighty-two years old, and it’s hard to foresee what the future holds. At present it looks like she just might continue being in that nursing home. I’m grateful that my two sisters live closer, so they can go there frequently, and one of them goes every day.

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Friday
Aug152008

Henry Poole is Here

“Henry Poole is Here” is a film that Christian moviegoers will yearn to embrace, if only from sheer gratitude; here, at last, is a depiction of Christian faith that portrays it as something other than the domain of cranks and loonies. And it’s not just theological theory that wins the film’s blessing, but something more substantive, verging on shocking: it proposes that miracles can happen—and supplies an audacious one for our consideration.

That daring premise is set in a simple story. Henry Poole, a thoroughly dejected young man, has bought an empty house in a California suburb, and it’s still mostly empty after he moves in, apart from the accumulating vodka bottles. On one side, he has a cheery neighbor, Esperanza, who keeps interfering with his goal of continual glumness. On the other, there’s a mysterious, elfin 6-year-old girl, Millie, who doesn’t speak but does tote a tape recorder, and her mom, Dawn, who bakes cookies and owns a variety of V-necked outfits.

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Friday
Aug082008

Transfiguration, Light, and an Icon

[Ancient Faith Radio; August 8, 2008]

I’m looking at an icon of the Transfiguration—and it’s beautiful. Now, you’ve seen icons of the Transfiguration. You can imagine what it looks like. In the center, there’s an image of Christ transfigured in white robes, light streaking from Him. He is standing in an oval that is blue, it comes to a lighter shade of blue on the edges, and that’s meant to suggest a full-body halo. It’s called a mandorla, these large sort of oval halos. And, of course, on the left and right are Elijah and Moses speaking to Him. In these images they have their hands raised, sort of like philosophers, as they’re talking to Him. And around and beneath Him are scattered James and John and Peter, falling on their faces in awe at this amazing scene that they’re witnessing.

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Thursday
Jul312008

Eastern Catholics

[Ancient Faith Radio; July 31, 2008]

 

FMG: Today I am at the Sheptytsky Institute Study Days at St. Paul University in Ottawa, Ontaria, Canada. This is the Metropolitan Andrei Sheptytsky Institute for Eastern Christian Studies, and I’m talking to the director of the Institute here, Fr. Stephen—can you pronounce your last name, please?

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Tuesday
Jul292008

When Mother Comes Home

[First Things, July 29, 2008]

Though I’m not very informed about the Intelligent Design debate, the idea sounded inoffensive enough: scientists have not discovered a Designer, and neither can they prove there’s no Designer, so why not leave the question open? But the concept of Intelligent Design was greeted with outrage; clearly, it struck a nerve.

When I tried to picture why, I thought of a page in Dr. Seuss’ “The Cat in the Hat,” one that comes near the end. “Sally and I” have been standing by helplessly while the hatted Cat, with his Thing One and Thing Two, made havoc of the house. The toy boat is in the cake and the cake is on the floor, the rake is bent and mother’s new dress has gone sailing through the room on a kite string. The fish has been trying to warn us, but we have stood by bewildered.

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Wednesday
Jul232008

Diminished Capacity

There’s virtually nothing harmful in “Diminished Capacity,” a mild comedy about the difficulty of selling a rare baseball card when you’re a picturesque old geezer with a faulty memory. The most appreciative audience will be, in fact, not the one that is interested in geezers, but the one that is interested in baseball; more specifically, interested in baseball fans and their fanaticisms (particularly the incandescence of those devoted to the “Lovable Losers,” the Chicago Cubs).

 

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