Under the banner of “personal choice,” the State of Victoria is winding the clock back. Way, way back to the social ethics of Ancient Rome. While Australian society has been the envy of the world, Victoria is willingly walking away from the Christian influence in law, morality, ethics and religion that has contributed so much to the great society in which we presently live.
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When couples come to ministers to talk about their marriage ceremonies, ministers think it’s interesting to ask if they love one another. What a stupid question! How would they know? A Christian marriage isn’t about whether you’re in love. Christian marriage is giving you the practice of fidelity over a lifetime in which you can look back upon the marriage and call it love. It is a hard discipline over many years. — Stanley Hauerwas
On the weekend of Palm Sunday, six adults were joyfully received into the fellowship of Holy Orthodoxy through baptism and chrismation. Taking their stand with Christ and His Church, four received the grace of baptism and two of chrismation. They join an increasing number of people whose lives are being transformed by “the grace of the Lord, the Love of the Father and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit.”
St. Symeon was the Abbot of St. Mamas Monastery in Constantinople. His writings date from around 1003 AD. He came from an influential political family that was swept from government when he was six. Trained to be a government official, he was leading a religious but worldly life in his early twenties. One night while saying his prayers, His life was dramatically transformed by a vision of the uncreated light. Wanting to follow the calling of God into a monastery, his spiritual father advised him to stay in his courtly role.
The genius of Orthodoxy is its ability to grasp such apparently paradoxical teachings as: God is one and three. Christ is fully God and fully man. The faithful are both sinners and saints. The following article, by Abbot Tryphon of the All-Merciful Saviour Monastery on Vashon Island, explores the reality of the holiness of the Church in the face of apparent evidence to the contrary.
Growing in Orthodoxy Joining the Church was only the start of a wonderful journey of discovery. Archbishop Paul had me undertake three years of Orthodox theological training. I learned by correspondence with the Antiochian Village in America, which offered the St. Stephen’s Diploma of Orthodox Studies. That was brilliant. I discovered that there are many subtle theological shifts I needed to get my head around. I had no difficulty accepting them all.