On Animals…

How your Soul Differs from that of an Animal

The Orthodox Church teaches that animals have souls, although not the same as ours. When conceived, God bestows upon us the nous, which distinguishes us from the other animals. It is the nous that is the eye of the soul, intelligent and noetic, and by nature designed to commune with God. The nous is the center of man and is where true (spiritual) knowledge is validated.

Just as we are being redeemed and transformed, so is the entire cosmos. Animals are a part of this cosmos that is being prepared for the eternal Kingdom that will have no end. The kind treatment of animals reflects in an iconic way the truth that in Paradise God has called us to name our animals as Adam did, and live in communion with them. Saint Seraphim of Sarov even befriended wild bears.

Love in Christ,
Abbot Tryphon

I Think Canada…

is an inconsequential country and I mean that as a compliment. Nobody much cares what Canada thinks about any issue, what it does, or how Canadian policy will affect their situation. Canadians may hate to hear that, but its true.

And I admire that.

In the US we’re all over the place, a cultural, economic, and military titan. People in little countries in Africa have to think about us and we always seem to be on someone’s horizon. The truth is there are a lot of people who wouldn’t know where Canada is if it weren’t riding our northern border.

But what a cost.

Morally, financially, in lives, energy, and just plain soul being the US is very expensive and getting more so every day. We’re everywhere and nowhere. People have to pay attention to us, and yes, fear us, but we’re getting to be more and more like a punched out fighter. We pay everyone’s bills but our own. We take care of everyone’s problems but our own. We’re on the world’s stage every minute of every day but the act is getting old.

I think Canada has it right. Live within your borders. As best you can live within your means. Be out there in the world but not in everyone’s face. Do good things when you can and be careful about picking fights. Realize it’s not always important to be number one in everything there is to be number one.

Oh, Canada is hardly perfect. Too politically correct. Given to defining themselves by how they are different from the US. Sometimes unsure or unwilling. Yet I think they’ve got something up there, at least a direction that we just south might want to look at. Eat the fruit, spit out the seeds, and not be enraptured with the idea of being a world power all the time.

It has its benefits.

A Little Housekeeping…

From time to time I change the theme and layout of this blog. Call it boredom, call it experimenting. Perhaps its because I like orange and black (my first team colors in grade school).  I’m not sure exactly what drives it but I kind of like this new theme and hope you do as well.

Welcome Back Onion Dome…

“When I said, ‘Catechumens depart,’ I never thought he’d actually do it,” said All Saints’ pastor, Father John (“of Patmos”) Johnson. “I’m pretty sure I explained in the inquirer’s class that the whole ‘Catechumens depart’ thing was no longer enforced, since we no longer conduct our catechumens’ classes during the second half of the Liturgy. Maybe Phil was absent that day.”

Read more here

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