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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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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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Friday
Jun182010

Toy Story 3

Toy Story 3 is as good as any movie Pixar Studios has made, and better than a few of them. But when you consistently achieve excellence, there’s this problem: people start expecting more. A merely excellent movie is not enough. Each one must be more suspenseful, surprising, original, hilarious, and emotionally satisfying than the last. Each success becomes a rack on which the next attempt is measured.

 

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Friday
May142010

Letters to Juliet

This is the dilemma of movie reviewing: a critic who has honed professional discernment by studying the cinematic arts will not be as generous toward a film as a happy audience that is just looking for a good time. When I picked up my daughter for the screening, I said, “I don’t know why I wanted to review this; it looks awful.

 

That opinion did not change—but while Meg and I were rolling our eyes and whispering witty critiques, hundreds of people around us, who had filled every seat in the theater, were having a ball. They laughed, they sighed, they cheered, they grew thoughtfully silent approximately 30 seconds after Meg whispered to me, “Now something devastating is going to happen.”

 

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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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Friday
Mar052010

Alice in Wonderland

This is not your grandmother’s Alice. Though the title is the same, director Tim Burton did not film a new version of the classic novels by British clergyman and logician Lewis Carroll (1832-1898), Alice in Wonderland and Alice Through the Looking Glass. Instead, Burton and screenwriter Linda Woolverton have moved the action forward 13 years. Now Alice, almost 20, is attending a garden party where the unappealing son of a local lord intends to propose marriage. Fleeing him, and pursuing a white rabbit, Alice kneels at the base of a tree and peers down an immense hole. Then she falls in.

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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
Jan172010

How to Make a Twirly Dress

In December, 2009, I made “Twirly Dresses” for my four granddaughters.

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