Monday, November 14, 2016

The 2016 Presidential Election

Oh boy. Another political post! I felt that this election was a bit of importance and that I wanted to just compile my thoughts into a publicly open format, because the internet is great at feeding narcissism.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

The Magical Properties of a Freely Acquired Firepit

The other day, on the way to dropping my oldest off at school, I saw that someone was getting rid of a firepit - it had a sign saying "Free". I let the wife know and she picked it up on her way back from work. 

Friday, September 16, 2016

On Unitarianism

Unitarianism is the belief that God the Father is the only person of the Godhead, or rather that Jesus is not a distinct person of the Godhead and not God. This belief is similar to that of Judaism, Islam, Mormonism, Arianism, and Jehovah Witness(ism). It should be said that Unitarianism beliefs are in fact a heresy.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

The Rule of Saint Benedict: Chapter 44

We have now seen some of the everyday governance that takes place in a monastery. Being in a monastery, however, things will always have a spiritual slant to them, and when the Church is involved there is always the possibility - no matter how sad and heartbreaking - of being excommunicated.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

The Rule of Saint Benedict: Chapter 43

We move now back into things dealing with the spiritual side of things. This is, after all, a Rule for monks. 

Monday, August 22, 2016

The Rule of Saint Benedict: Chapter 42

We now know the times when monks should eat - and interestingly enough I recently read an article that talked about the health benefits of skipping breakfast and doing intermittent fasting. Yes, we know when the monks should eat, but how should they conduct themselves afterward?

Saturday, August 20, 2016

The Rule of Saint Benedict: Chapter 41

We have read about how much food to eat. We have read about how much wine to drink. And we have even read about allowing the sick, the elderly, and the children to have a bit more as they need it. Now we will read about when the brothers should eat. It sounds immeasurably strange, but I hope to explain below the text why this should be something written about.

Friday, August 19, 2016

The Rule of Saint Benedict: Chapter 40

Continuing on with the everyday life we now go into the proper amount of drink. This sounds ridiculous at first - thinking that surely the monks are allowed to drink when they are out working and get thirsty. But, a closer look at what the monks are drinking sheds a little light on this issue.

The Masculine Appeal of Paganism

I've seen a disturbing trend across social media lately. Many of the men that I know were Christian - even if nominally so - are seemingly leaving their faith and embracing Paganism and Asatru (belief in the Norse gods). Why would this be so? What is causing these men to leave behind Christianity and pick up these different beliefs?

Thursday, August 18, 2016

The Rule of Saint Benedict: Chapter 39

Yesterday we read about the Reader during meal times. We have previously mentioned that monks eat less food and that the sick, the elderly, and the children get more food than the other brothers. What then is the proper amount of food?

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

The Rule of Saint Benedict: Chapter 38

We've been covering some of the everyday life in the monastery lately. This next chapter covers some more of the spiritual, but still everyday life.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

The Rule of Saint Benedict: Chapter 37

I apologize for not posting over the weekend. I had a birthday in the family, and then a migraine the following day. Anyway, moving on.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

The Rule of Saint Benedict: Chapter 36

We have seen that there are exceptions to be made for the brothers in need. It is good for us to allow these weaker brethren exceptions because we are being merciful, just as God is merciful to us in our own weakness. This charity extends also to the brethren who have taken ill.

Religion is the Root of All Evil

I've been seeing around social media (ugh) so many people decrying the evils of all religion. There are claims that religion is the number one reason for war. There are claims that religions were made up to control the masses. And there are claims that religions are the biggest money making scams out there. Let's review these claims.

Friday, August 12, 2016

The Rule of Saint Benedict: Chapter 35

It is good for brethren to come together and dwell in unity. And it is good for the brethren to serve each other, so that all are made humble and equal.

The Passing of Clyde Morris

My Father-In-Law passed away last night around 10:30. He will be missed.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

The Rule of Saint Benedict: Chapter 34

We have seen how to choose a cellarer, how to deal out good and tools, and what to do with property ownership. These things, while seemingly menial, are done in these ways for the betterment of the community. But, what if the brothers have certain needs? How is that dealt with?

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

The Rule of Saint Benedict: Chapter 33

Rules, rules, rules. Why all of these rules? Rules help us govern our lives, and when we dedicate our lives to Christ we have rules to follow that govern our lives the way He wants us to live.

Saint Laurence of Rome

Saint Laurence of Rome was martyred on August 10th in the AD 258.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

The Rule of Saint Benedict: Chapter 32

We keep moving along with the daily administrative routine of the monastery. I know that we may think that these details are boring, or just menial things added, but there is wisdom in each chapter.

Monday, August 8, 2016

The Rule of Saint Benedict: Chapter 31

It has been a while since I've updated, I know. I have been rather busy with life, though not too busy to disregard my spiritual life, just my blog. You can read in my update from earlier today what I've been busy doing, if you so choose, or you can stay right here and continue on with our journey through the Rule of Saint Benedict.

Update from Anchorage

I know that I have been absent from my blog for some time; I had a lot going on in my life with my wife finishing up her Master's degree, me dealing with the military some more, and the family getting ready to make a massive move!

Friday, March 25, 2016

Annunciation of the Theotokos

Today on March 25th we celebrate the Archangel Gabriel visiting the Theotokos and telling her she was going to give birth to the Messiah. This was six months after Elizabeth found out she was pregnant with John the Forerunner, and in 9 months Jesus would be born

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

The Rule of Saint Benedict: Chapter 30

This is the last chapter that talks about correction. This is slightly different in that it speaks of reproving boys.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

The Rule of Saint Benedict: Chapter 29

I want to say that I am sorry for the late posting today; things were a bit hectic this morning. 
Yesterday, we finished dealing with excommunication, which we saw was not an ultimate punishment but is a tool to help bring about repentance. Today we will read about readmitting monks who have left the monastery.

Monday, March 21, 2016

The Rule of Saint Benedict: Chapter 28

We have reached the end of dealing with the excommunicated. This chapter covers what to do if a monk has been excommunicated and yet still refuses to change his ways.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Sunday of Orthodoxy

Today we celebrate 1) the first Sunday of Great Lent, and 2) the Sunday of Orthodoxy - when the Church celebrates the triumph of the use of icons.

The Rule of Saint Benedict: Chapter 27

The last few chapters we have read about diverse things dealing with excommunication. One thing I keep repeating is how the excommunication is a tool for repentance, it is used to help bring people back into the fold; excommunication is almost similar to having a child sit in the corner on a spiritual level. During this whole period, the abbot is making sure to take care of the excommunicated much in the same way a loving father would care for his wayward child.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

The Rule of Saint Benedict: Chapter 26

After this chapter we only have one more that technically deals with excommunication. This chapter covers the unauthorized association with those who have been excommunicated.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Thursday, March 17, 2016

The Rule of Saint Benedict: Chapter 24

Last post we talked about excommunication and penance. In this post we cover more of the same.

Lenten Prayer of Saint Ephrem

The Prayer of Righteous Ephrem (Greek: Εὐχἠ τοῦ Ὁσίου Ἐφραίμ, Euchē tou Hosiou Ephraim), is a prayer attributed to Saint Ephrem the Syrian and used during the Great Lent by the Eastern Orthodox Church and those Eastern Catholic Churches that use the Byzantine rite. In the Byzantine tradition, this prayer is considered to be the most succinct summation of the spirit of Great Lent and is hence the Lenten prayer par excellence, prayed during all Lenten weekday services, such as the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts, and many more times in private. Wikipedia

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

The Rule of Saint Benedict: Chapter 23

Now we see what is to be done with monks when they are disobedient. Keep in mind everything is for correction and the monks salvation.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

The Rule of Saint Benedict: Chapter 22

Yesterday we read that deans were to be chosen to better help the abbot, and to govern the monastery more efficiently. Today we will read about how the monks are to sleep. Why have a rule set out for sleeping? Because everything is ordered to help maintain peace.

Monday, March 14, 2016

The Rule of Saint Benedict: Chapter 21

We have finished with the rules for praying, and we go into the governance of the monks at a monastery. Just like at a business, or even the military, the brother monks have some placed over them to help govern the monastery and ensure things run smoothly.

Benedict of Nursia

This Saint, whose name means "blessed," was born in 480 in Nursia, a small town about seventy miles northeast of Rome. He struggled in asceticism from his youth in deserted regions, where his example drew many who desired to emulate him. Hence, he ascended Mount Cassino in Campania and built a monastery there. The Rule that he gave his monks, which was inspired by the writings of Saint John Cassian, Saint Basil the Great, and other Fathers, became a pattern for monasticism in the West; because of this, he is often called the first teacher of monks in the West. He reposed in 547.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

On Faith and Works

Then Jesus went thence, and departed into the coasts of Tyre and Sidon. And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou Son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil. But he answered her not a word. And his disciples came and besought him, saying, Send her away; for she crieth after us. But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel. Then came she and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me. But he answered and said, It is not meet to take the children's bread, and to cast it to dogs. And she said, Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters' table. Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.
Matthew 15:21-28 KJV

I find these verses slightly reassuring and also very relevant to our times today.

In this passage from today's daily reading we see that this Canaanite woman comes to Jesus because her daughter was being vexed by a demon. At first Jesus simply ignores her, but through her faith she keeps asking for His help. Finally, even after telling her that He was here for only the lost sheep of Israel, Jesus helps the woman and saves her daughter.