What is Family Happiness: An Orthodox Christian Understanding

Sts. Peter and Febronia a married couple who later lived in the monastic rank by Fr. Gleb Grozovsky –
What is family happiness? When you hear the word “happiness,” a bright feeling of the joy of living, of participation, is born in the soul from the word itself. Happiness is harmony of spirit, soul, and body. It is when the body submits to the soul, and the soul to the spirit. Not the swan, the crab, and the fish, as in Krylov’s fable, but when the feelings and movements of the flesh are in submission to the reason. Just look at what catastrophic consequences can come from a bodily movement that is not in submission to the spirit. The body sees a beautiful woman and goes off in answer to the call of lower demands not in submission to the spirit. His reasoning says, “Family happiness is not in this…” But the body does not ask anyone for advice; it just wants something, then goes and does it, without thinking about the consequences.

In Trinity Leaves From the Spiritual Meadow there is a story. One day a woman learned of her husband’s unfaithfulness. She cried bitter tears and asked God to forgive her husband’s sin. When her husband left for work, his wife, not saying anything, with tears in her eyes, blessed her husband as she usually did. When they said good-bye, the husband could not bear it, and fell on his knees asking his wife’s forgiveness—so sincerely, that he never sinned again. This was the true repentance of the husband. Thanks to the wife’s long-suffering, the marriage was saved, and happiness and harmony returned to their relationship. [Read more…]

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

Liberalism Makes It Easier to be Bad

Dennis Prager
Dennis Prager
by Dennis Prager –
There are many liberals who lead thoroughly decent lives. And there are conservatives who do not.

But that is not the whole issue.

There is something about liberalism that is not nearly as true about conservatism. The further left one goes, the more one finds that the ideology provides moral cover for a life that is not moral. While many people left of center lead fine personal lives, many do not. And left-wing ideals enable a person to do that much more than conservative ideals do.

There is an easy way to demonstrate this.

If a married — or even unmarried — conservative congressman had texted sexual images of himself to young women he did not even know, he would have been called something Anthony Wiener has not been called — a hypocrite. [Read more…]

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

God Recognized and Honored at Texas Graduation

Fr. Seraphim Holland - Orthodox priestby Fr. Seraphim Holland –

Proof that I live in Texas and not Massachusetts:
1. My daughter’s nursing graduation ceremonies began and ended with prayer.
2. Most autobiographies (probably 60 out of 70) thanked God.
3. They recited the Florence Nightingale Pledge at the end.

“I solemnly pledge myself before God and in the presence of this assembly, to pass my life in purity and to practice my profession faithfully. I will abstain from whatever is deleterious and mischievous, and will not take or knowingly administer any harmful drug. I will do all in my power to maintain and elevate the standard of my profession, and will hold in confidence all personal matters committed to my keeping and all family affairs coming to my knowledge in the practice of my calling. With loyalty will I endeavor to aid the physician in his work, and devote myself to the welfare of those committed to my care.” [Read more…]

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

It’s a Great Day in America

Duck Dynasty Conservative Values Pro Gun Pro Familyby Dr. Ileana Johnson Paugh –
“It’s a great day in America.” The atheist left is rejoicing that an NBA player is out of the closet and Tim Tebow, “the often-polarizing quarterback,” as the Washington Post describes him, is gone. Sport analysts and other NFL teams did not think he was good enough as a pro quarterback but he was a very popular player. His overt Christianity was offensive and annoying to the liberal PC police.

We are living in the “Great Diversion” era, one unresolved real or manufactured crisis after another and a disastrous economy, yet an NBA player’s sexual orientation, which should be nobody’s business, demands accolades and public speeches.

The word “courage,” which MSM uses loosely to describe such public disclosure, has lost its meaning entirely. Courage is fighting in battle when everyone else retreats, saving another human being from peril when the rest are cowards, and sacrificing heroically and bravely to the betterment of mankind.

No wonder people are turning away from the ugly and terrible reality to the “pane et circenses” (bread and circuses) reality TV, not just any reality TV, but Duck Dynasty. [Read more…]

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

Go and Repair My House, Pope Francis I and True Humility

Pope Francis I and True Humilityby Peggy Noonan –
I’ll tell you how it looks: like one big unexpected gift for the church and the world.

Everything about Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio’s election was a surprise—his age, the name he took, his mien as he was presented to the world. He was plainly dressed, a simple white cassock, no regalia, no finery. He stood there on the balcony like a straight soft pillar and looked out at the crowd. There were no grand gestures, not even, at first, a smile. He looked tentative, even overwhelmed. I thought, as I watched, “My God—he’s shy.”

Then the telling moment about the prayer. Before he gave a blessing he asked for a blessing: He asked the crowd to pray for him. He bent his head down and the raucous, cheering square suddenly became silent, as everyone prayed. I thought, “My God—he’s humble.” I wasn’t sure what to make of it and said so to a friend, a member of another faith who wants the best for the church because to him that’s like wanting the best for the world. He was already loving what he was seeing. [Read more…]

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

Tearing Down Public Education

Education communist brainwashing by Daren Jonescu –
On the subject of public schools, some conservatives and libertarians are inclined to speak as though they cannot wait another moment to spring into action — and then act as though they need the hand of God to point the way ahead before they do what we all know in our hearts must be done. This is not meant as harsh criticism. These good people embody an innate human flaw defined for all time in one of our greatest archetypes: they are Hamlet.

At a moment as historically important as this one, two all-too-human dangers lie in wait for those who understand the seriousness of the situation. The first is that they should undermine their own cause with reckless outbursts and the resulting disarray. The second is that they should cocoon themselves against the clear imperative to act by lamenting the lack of a perfect plan. [Read more…]

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

Not Sermons but Stories – Engaging in Culture the Right Way

Christians Engaging Culture Through Stories by Eric Metaxas –
If you’ve read The Chronicles of Narnia, you know they are loaded with Christian themes and symbols. That’s why many assume that C. S. Lewis wrote them in order to send some kind of Christian message.

But Lewis himself insisted otherwise. The tales, he said, started as a series of pictures that came into his mind and set his imagination working. The result was not sermons, but stories—beautiful stories loved by believers and non-believers alike for decades.

There’s a lesson in here for all of us. Conservative Christians today often feel alienated from the larger society, and for good reason. The vast majority of the stories that permeate our culture are told by people whose worldview is diametrically opposed to ours. We can hardly watch a TV show or read a magazine without seeing ourselves portrayed as villains, and our cultural opponents held up as the epitome of righteousness. [Read more…]

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

Christians Must Not Retreat from the Culture, We Must Work for its Conversion

Christians Must Convert the Cultureby Deacon Keith Fournier –
Two years before becoming Pope, Karol Cardinal Wotyla spoke to the U.S. Bishops. His observation was republished in the Wall Street Journal on November 9, 1978:

“We are now standing in the face of the greatest historical confrontation humanity has gone through. I do not think that wide circles of the American society or wide circles of the Christian community realize this fully. We are now facing the final confrontation between the Church and the anti-Church, of the Gospel and the anti-Gospel. This confrontation lies within the plans of divine providence. It is a trial which the whole Church must take up.”

And take it up we have. However, there is much, much more to do. The ground has shifted and the struggle is intensifying. Our cultural mission lies at the heart of what it means for us as Christians to be leaven, light, salt and the soul of the world. This is no time to retreat from culture, we must work for its conversion. What is needed are men and women of Christian courage. [Read more…]

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

Big Business Is Not Conservative

Dennis Prager
Dennis Prager
by Dennis Prager –
Big business has often been at ideological odds with conservatism.

For example, many big businesses did business with the Soviet Union. A well-known example was Occidental Petroleum’s Armand Hammer — a major donor to the Republican Party, no less — who did business whenever possible with Soviet dictators. And Pepsi-Cola began selling its product in the Soviet Union at the height of the Cold War.

How is one to explain the lack of conservative principles among big businessmen? There are two things at work here.

One is an absence of thought.

Whenever I read about multi-millionaire and billionaire businessmen advocating and financially supporting left-wing causes, I am reinforced in my belief that most businessmen are proficient at one thing: making money. [Read more…]

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

Hobby Lobby’s Christian Owners Fight $1.3 Million-Per-Day HHS Mandate Fine

Hobby Lobby CEO David Green and his wife Barbara
Hobby Lobby CEO David Green and his wife Barbara
by Kathleen Gilbert –
The Obama administration is set to levy as much as a $1.3 million per day fine against a Christian retail business based on their religious objection to abortifacient drugs, according to a lawsuit filed this week.

Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., with more than 500 arts and crafts stores in 41 states and over 22,500 employees, is reportedly the largest for-profit business yet to file suit over the Health and Human Services (HHS) mandate requiring businesses to provide free abortion-causing drugs, such as the “week-after” pill Ella, as non-negotiable “preventive services.”

Lawyers for the private retail chain filed a lawsuit in the US District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma, where the company is based. [Read more…]

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

We Applaud the Republican Platform: No ‘Abortion Rights’, Only a Right to Life

GOP Republicans Pro-Lifeby Deacon Keith Fournier –
To the consternation of those who oppose the Right to Life the Republican Party passed a Pro-Life Plank in Tampa, Florida on Tuesday, August 21, 2012. The platform will come before the delegates next Monday for a vote. The platform committee is chaired by the Pro-Life Governor of Virginia, Bob McDonnell.

The language of the Republican Platform is refreshingly clear: “Faithful to the ‘self-evident’ truths enshrined in the Declaration of Independence, we assert the sanctity of human life and affirm that the unborn child has a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed. We support a human life amendment to the Constitution and endorse legislation to make clear that the Fourteenth Amendment’s protections apply to unborn children.”

Sadly, the opponents of the fundamental Human Right to Life of our youngest neighbors in the first home of the human race control much of the media. [Read more…]

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

Chick-fil-A’s Defense of True Marriage Stirs Controversy

Chick-fil-A Defense of True Marriage by Catholic Online –
Fast food chain Chick-fil-A takes pride in espousing Christian values, closing all of its 1,600 restaurants every Sunday. The chain also handed out fliers in protest of the controversial Bible epic “The Last Temptation of Christ” in 1988. Now, Chick-fil-A’s President Dan Cathy’s recent comments on defending true marriage have stirred controversy – on online communities and elsewhere. …

“Guilty as charged,” Cathy said when asked by the Baptist Press about his company’s support of the traditional — as opposed to gay marriage.

“We are very much supportive of the family – the biblical definition of the family unit. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that,” Cathy said.

Response to Cathy’s comments has been vituperative online. The comments have made Chick-fil-A the top Google trend as the company’s Facebook and Twitter pages were burning up with arguments. [Read more…]

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

Charles Colson: 1931-2012. May His Memory Be Eternal

Charles Colson Memory Eternal by Fr. Johannes Jacobse –
Charles Colson died today. He was 80 years old. I first met Colson at a conference at Washington, DC and was struck by his magnanimous character and intelligence. Everyone knows his story. Colson was a ruthless political operative in the Nixon administration, got caught up in the Watergate imbroglio during the Nixon administration and went to jail.

I heard him explain his experience in prison during one of his talks. It was the lowest point in his life where he had lost everything and began to question purpose, decisions, and direction. He was visited by a friend (former Minnesota Governor Al Quie) who shared with him how Jesus Christ came into the world to redeem man. Colson listened, cried out to God for help and, as his life would later prove, God heard him. His repentance was deep and lasting.

Prison opened his eyes not only to God, but the desperate conditions of other prisoners. He founded Prison Fellowship, an organization they helped prisoners while incarcerated, after they got out, and their families. The Russian Orthodox Church called on Prison Fellowship after Communism fell to help them build viable prison ministries in Russia. [Read more…]

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

Remembering Chuck Colson: 1931-2012

Chuck Colson Memory Eternal
Evangelical Christianity lost one of its most eloquent and influential voices today with the death of Charles W. “Chuck” Colson. The Prison Fellowship and Colson Center for Christian Worldview founder died at 3:12 p.m. on Saturday from complications resulting from a brain hemorrhage. Colson was 80.

A Watergate figure who emerged from the country’s worst political scandal, a vocal Christian leader and a champion for prison ministry, Colson spent the last years of his life in the dual role of leading Prison Fellowship, the world’s largest outreach to prisoners, ex-prisoners and their families, and the Colson Center, a teaching and training center focused on Christian worldview thought and application. [Read more…]

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

Bleeding Heart Tightwads

Liberal Tightwads Hypocrites by Nicholas D. Kristof –
The problem is this: We liberals are personally stingy.

Liberals show tremendous compassion in pushing for generous government spending to help the neediest people at home and abroad. Yet when it comes to individual contributions to charitable causes, liberals are cheapskates.

Arthur Brooks, the author of a book on donors to charity, “Who Really Cares,” cites data that households headed by conservatives give 30 percent more to charity than households headed by liberals. A study by Google found an even greater disproportion: average annual contributions reported by conservatives were almost double those of liberals.

Other research has reached similar conclusions. The “generosity index” from the Catalogue for Philanthropy typically finds that red states are the most likely to give to nonprofits, while Northeastern states are least likely to do so. [Read more…]

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail