Orthodox Christians face modern mores
An interview with priests at St. Vladimir's Orthodox Seminary
Religion: June 2004 Archives
Orthodox Christians face modern mores
over at GetReligion
Rescuing Paul from himself
check the links and comments too.
from St. John Chrysostom
In my younger life, I just did not get Ephesians 5 - and it is to my great regret that it took me so long. Maybe if I had heard or read teaching like this on it.....
Mary at Ever New invokes the names of all the saints who were beheaded. It is quite long, and rather telling.
The political and news blogs were alerted yesterday by Rod Dreher that the Dallas Morning News will be running a major story starting Sunday. You can go over to Bettnet for the heads-up from Rod. Warning - the connection might be a little slow or flaky - he's been getting lots of traffic on this item.
This is not a news blog. I do not plan to post a bunch of stuff about this. But for today, I have a few musings that I want to share.
This morning on NPR's Morning Edition was an interview with the reporters from the DMN. It runs in the second hour of the program stream in the first segment (between 6-620 and 8 to 820 Eastern time) if you want to try to wait for it.
It is more about 'the scandal'. Apparantly the reported have found that not only the US bishops but the powers that be among various religious orders have been engaged in the same sorts of behaviors. Persons accused or convicted of engaging in sexual exploitation have been shuffled from one place to another. From listening to the NPR interview, it seems that the news in this is the international scope of the shell game. The Salesian order was particularly accused, maybe because their particular focus has always been on youth evangelization. Don Bosco and Domenic Savio were always pictured with crowds of boys and young men following them around.
Side note - the Salesian sisters have a beata whose story includes fighting off sexual abuse from her mother's live-in lover, who died from the injuries rec'd in the struggle.
Anyhow, I wonder why I am not more surprised or shocked. I really am not. I guess that I have thought all along that the problem has been more deeply embedded and harder to fight. Sexual exploitation of the powerless has been a human sin and a problem since the Fall, I think. One has only to really read the Old Testament.
It is truly scandalous that priests were not outed and disciplined as it happened. But I think the more significant scandal is that we have reached a point where we call all kinds of sin (including sexual)good, and that is across the board. The public focus has been on the sins of priests, and maybe that is understandable, because in addition to the sexual sins there is also the sin of scandal. Still, it remains a sad truth that the most common sexual sins against the young are committed by family members - not by priests, not by teachers, not by scout leaders, or youth ministers, or strangers in the park. Sexual abuse from fathers, grandfathers, uncles, big brothers - rarely by women (though it does happen) is still (and sadly) predominant.
I have to wonder how much of the anger (justified, let me say) at priests who break their vows and become sexual exploiters is actually also a reaction to other forms of sexual abuse. There are many survivors who have not and will not speak out of their personal struggles from being molested by family members. Abuse survivors may well believe that they are powerless to stop the abuser in their personal life, but that getting active in one way or another to stop abusive priests may expiate in some way the complex feelings of guilt and anger stemming from their own trauma.
I also have to wonder how many of these abusers were themselves abused in the name of 'love'.
Addendum - the Salesian beata is Blessed Laura Vicuna
Here is the link to the NPR item
My sister in law died this morning. I am told that she had been breathing on her own off the ventilator, took a turn for the worse, and the decision was made not to re-intubate her. She never recovered consciousness, and her bodily functions were becoming increasingly unstable. I continue to pray for her soul, and for the well-being of those let behind to mourn and grieve. I firmly believe that she is in either heaven or purgatory, more likely heaven, and I will ask her to intercede for us here below.
I don't know what will happen next. I am still going to take my planned trip - the continuing education is important. And as far as I know, I will still be getting together with another esteemed blogger Sunday. But beyond that, who knows?
Please also pray, if you would, that we are able to pull together whatever is needed in the way of travel arrangements to the other coast.
Her name was Janice, and she was a mother, a wife, a Boy Scout mom. She helped in her parish in all the little ways that make things run well. She had a wonderful sense of humour, and she was truly 'the other half' for her husband. We will all miss her.
From the The New York Times , no less.
Today is the feast of the Trinity, the beginning of a long stretch of Ordinary (counted, as in ordinal in math) time. When I was a child, these were the "Sundays after Trinity" in the Anglican calendar.
I used to think of this as the "long green season" because of the liturgical colors. The hymns settled down into a fairly predictable rotation of favorites as the choir and the organist took summer vacations, and the congregation was left to sing as best they could.
Today at Mass the music was the choir director on the organ, our pianist on the keyboard, the choir director's husband singing melody, me singing alto, and my husband singing baritone. We were at the right front corner of the church, where we could barely see Father at the altar through the columns. As it gets summery, we tend to stay out of the choir loft because it gets hot and stuffy up there. Here is what we sang:
Holy Holy Holy (nicaea)
All Hail Adored Trinity
How Great Thou Art
Holy God we Praise Thy Name
We sang harmony on the psalm and the mass parts.
What was wonderful about singing these more traditional hymns was that the congregation joined in at full voice. I hate it when it feels like the choir is performing for an audience, instead of leading the congregation. But today we were all singing together, singing praise to our God, to the mystery of the Trinity, to the beauty of the Eucharist. It was a grace filled moment, and one could almost see the Spirit moving among the people.
There was something in the readings today that really struck me, given that I have been praying and worrying about so many things lately, from Nathan's 'apostasy' to my sister-in-law's health, to our family's ability to keep things on an even keel. I've been fussing and fretting like Martha, having a rough time remembering that Mary chose the better part. I want to do, not just be!
Romans 5:3-5 (NAB)
3 Not only that, but we even boast of our afflictions, knowing that affliction produces endurance,
4 and endurance, proven character, and proven character, hope,
5 and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the holy Spirit that has been given to us.
Boast of our afflictions, hmmm.
We are all afflicted by many things. For some, the affliction is an almost overwhelming desire to indulge in various sins of the body - and in a culture which is "anything goes" between 'consenting adults', it takes great grace to resist these urges. And yet, here we are told to boast in our affliction (but not in our sins!) because this affliction (fighting one's besetting sin) will bring endurance, leading eventually to the hope that does not disappoint.
The apostles remind us in another place
2 Consider it all joy, my brothers, when you encounter various trials,
3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.
4 And let perseverance be perfect, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing
I guess it's time to get back up on the horse.