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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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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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Tuesday
Dec222009

Avatar

[National Review; December 20, 2009]

In Avatar’s opening moments, hero-to-be Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) is waking up on the planet Pandora after a cryogenic journey, and reflecting on the twists of fate. Here he is, a paraplegic Marine, filling in for the twin brother who actually trained for this mission. But right before Tommy was due to ship out, “a guy with a gun put an end to his journey, for the paper in his wallet.”

 

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Wednesday
Dec092009

Building a Temple

[Ancient Faith Radio; January 21, 2009]

 

F: I’m here in Macon, Georgia, being driven to the shuttle that’s going to carry me back to the airport so I can fly home. I’ve been speaking this weekend at Mercer University and Wesleyan University, and also last night at St. Innocent OCA Church. My driver this morning is Tom Kehayes. He was telling me last night about how this church happened to be built. We’re driving at dawn, and it’s lovely; the mist is rising, and I’m sure the deer are stalking around in the woods on this two-lane road. Suddenly out of nowhere there’s an opening and there’s a Georgian church—a perfect replica of a church in the nation of Georgia, is that right?

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Wednesday
Dec092009

Abbot Seraphim

[Ancient Faith Radio; January 14, 2009]

 

F: I’m here at Holy Cross Monastery in Wayne, West Virginia. A Russian Church Monastery here in a “holler”—a sort of bowl in the mountains, where a valley comes to an end with the mountains rising on all sides. It’s a lovely monastery. Fr. Seraphim, you were saying that it was founded in 1986 in St. Louis, and then moved to this location. Would you say something to listeners—those who are new to Orthodoxy or outside Orthodoxy—on the question, “Why monasticism?” It can look like a self-indulgent choice—you just go off, take it easy, and other people support you—but it’s very much not that way.

 

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