Archive for November, 2010

Our Christian Life

Sunday, November 14th, 2010

In a recent edition of Unirea-Canton, the monthly newsletter of the Romanian Catholic Diocese in America, Bishop John Michael (page 3) and Hieromonk Maximos (page 14) give us insightful “food for thought” for how we live our Christian lives. His Grace talks about how we live in the world and respond to the continual temptation of sin. Father Maximos makes this same topic personal by connecting our actions to the Gospel of Christ. How many of us have really thought about this—really thought about it deeply?

Do we reveal Christ through our actions in every day activity to our family, co-workers, friends, neighbors, or even strangers? Did we vote in this past election according to the teachings of Christ and His Church? Do we truly take the Gospel of Christ home from church on Sunday, after the Divine Liturgy, and live according to His commandment—to love one another?

The Sunday of the Last Judgment is commemorated on the Sunday before the Great Fast, Lent. The icon depicting this event shows Christ as Judge over all of creation, and is one of the few icons that depicts God the Father. I find it to be a useful reminder to live the life that Christ wants me to live, the reason I was put on this earth. He commands us to spread the “good news” of salvation through Him. We are to reveal Christ to the world by acting according to His teachings, and by being the image of Him in all things that we do or say or even think.

Going to church on Sunday is edifying and a wonderful experience. But, to truly experience the Kingdom of God, we must take that experience into the world, revel in God’s creation, and shape it in our small way. Small actions may have a huge impact on someone else; we’ll probably never know. But God will know, and we’ll be judged on the Last Day according to how we live our lives EVERY day, not just on Sunday!

Video Recordings with Metropolitan Kallistos

Sunday, November 7th, 2010

Over the last few years, OLTV has been producing recordings of past Orientale Lumen Conferences, both plenary lectures and liturgical services, as well as several special events around the world. We have also been making special recordings by scholars and theologians on various related topics dealing with liturgy, spirituality, theology, history, and ecumenism. The idea of these lectures is to preserve the wisdom and knowledge of key Church figures not only through their writings in books, but also in their person by video and audio recordings.

During my visit to Oxford last weekend to see Metropolitan Kallistos, we recorded six lectures on Church ecclesiology, or the study of the Church. His Grace entitled the series “The Mystery of the Church” and they are arranged into the following six lectures:

1: Why the Church? (57min)

2: The Church According to the Greek Fathers, Part 1 (53min)

3: The Church According to the Greek Fathers, Part 2 (46min)

4: The Church in 19th Century Russian Thought (33min)

5: The Church in 20th Century Orthodox Thought (47min)

6: The Church in Present-Day Dialogues (49min)

This series of lectures by Metropolitan Kallistos discuss various aspects of Eastern ecclesiology as it has developed through the ages. He begins with a discussion on the importance of the Church and its role in the world, and then moves on to discuss the theology of the Church as found in the Greek Fathers, Russian thought, and finally modern thought. Particularly emphasized is the theology of communion. This series is wonderful for all who desire to deepen their understanding of the ecumenical dialogue today.

In addition to these lectures, His Grace also recording a 45 minute talk on The Holy Icon: A Door Into Eternity. This reflection discusses the definition of an icon, their purpose, how they are used, and how they related to the Church doctrines of Incarnation, Creation and the Human Person. I found this lecture particularly educational that could be used as a Lenten program for personal enrichment or a parish day of recollection.

All of these programs will be available for purchase as CD or DVD recordings from the OL Conference online catalog or by calling 703-691-8862.