Archive for July, 2011

I have, in my life, converted to any number of things, moved on, then reverted and converted again. I think I have finally settled down, and this is a very sharp analysis of the stages one goes through:


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The New Homeless

Recently the face of homelessness has changed; new homeless people are less likely to be mentally ill or addicted, and more likely to be people who have lost their jobs and their homes to foreclosure.

Homeless advocates find themselves helping a new group of people who are out on the street for the first time, said Richard Brown, chief executive officer of Monarch Housing Associates, a statewide nonprofit organization in Cranford, N.J., that helps the homeless find housing.

“This is their first experience falling through the cracks,” Brown said. “They can’t make ends meet and then end up living in motels, shelters and cars — or couch-surfing from one relative to another.

“These are scary times for all of us. If you don’t hear the voices (of the homeless), they’re hidden.”



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I stole this from the Deacon’s Bench (http://www.patheos.com/community/deaconsbench)

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One of my favorite prayers from the Divine Liturgy, sung at the beginning of the Liturgy of the Eucharist:

“Let us who mystically represent the Cherubim, and sing the Thrice-Holy Hymn to the life -creating Trinity, now set aside all earthly cares.”

Icon by Basil Lefchick

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“Our village of Taybeh is the only all Christian village that remains in Palestine twenty minutes outside Jerusalem before Jericho with 1300 residents all of whom are Christian and the majority is Greek Orthodox. All residents are Palestinians with a handful of outsiders. Following the l967 Israeli invasion of the West Bank approximately ten thousand people from Taybeh have emigrated to Australia , America and Europe due to the politics, bad economic situation and daily suffering faced under military occupation. The village is located between Jerusalem and Jericho in the biblical land of Judea known as the West Bank of Jordan and unfortunately does not exist on any modern map.

The village does exist here however since the time of Christ and it sits on the highest mountain region of Biblical Judea and Samaria called Mount Asur . On a clear day from the highest hill in Taybeh you can see the magnificent Dead Sea, the Jordan valley, the mountains of Samaria , the mountainous desert of Judea and also Jerusalem . It is really amazing and spiritually rewarding to stare down at the same valley where St. Mary of Egypt is said to have spent over forty years of her life in solitude. The village has five places of worship including the original St. George Greek Orthodox Church in ruins (built in the 4th century), the new St. George Greek Orthodox Church (rebuild in l929-1932), the Melkite Church (build in l964 but Melkite worship was founded in the village in 1869), the Roman Catholic Church dedicated to “The Last Retreat of Jesus” (inaugurated l971) and a small monastery build by a French monk Brother Jack Frant in l990.”



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“In the Hall of Paleontology, troops of schoolchildren and toddlers scurry, skitter and squeal among ancient dinosaur bones and Tyrannosaurus rex fossils.

But tucked away in a corner of the Houston Museum of Natural Science, amid hushed tones and an air of veneration, the glory and grandeur of a great cathedral awaits. Here, under arched ceilings and muted lights, are the finely crafted treasures of nine centuries of Ukrainian Orthodox Christianity. ”

An exhibit on Ukrainian Christianity, in Houston, of all places:


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Class Warfare

 “There’s class warfare, all right,” Warren Buffett told The New York Times two years before the 2008 crash, “but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning.”



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As an admitted sentimental Christian humanist, I have to admit that this looks pretty wonderful.

However, after my disappointment with the Most Wonderful Movie in the World (https://caelumetterra.wordpress.com/2011/07/13/the-most-wonderful-movie-trailer-ever/) I probably will not make the prerequisite trip to Cleveland to see it, and will wait for the DVD. I will  eventually let you know if the trailer lives up to the expectations it evokes:


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The cardinal recalled that the Jewish people received the vocation to “be servants of God’s mercy in all nations.”

Moreover, he added, “this word appears in each of the Surahs of the Quran, which always begins by invoking the merciful God.”

“It’s also present everywhere in the Gospel,” the 60-year-old prelate reminded. “I don’t know why we have neglected it.”



Icon by Daniel Nichols

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These guys are my new favorites:

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