Friday, August 06, 2004
Wednesday, August 04, 2004
Devout Roman Catholics: 11 (mostly Filipinas)
Less devout/lapsed/cultural Roman Catholics: 6
Devout Orthodox: 2
Less devout/lapsed/cultural Orthodox:2
Devout Baptist: 2
Cultural Baptist: 1
Anglican (from Kenya):1
This group of people each gave their presentations on current bioethical issues. Everone of them, except the cultural Baptist, came down hard as anti-abortion, anti-euthanasia, anti-IVF, anti-cloning, anti-assisted suicide, anti-embryonic stem cell research. I was amazed!
Here are a few of quotes from the presentations:
From a devout Baptist: "I am opposed to doctors killing their patients. If my doctor killed the person in the bed next to mine, why should I trust him to try to help me?" "There was a time when people who killed others covered their heads in black hoods. Killing people is shameful. The people who heal us should not be the people who kill us."
From a cultural Catholic: "My husband had a stroke and was unconscious and on a ventelator for 3 weeks. The doctor's said he wouldn't get better. During that three weeks he had a heart attack. All the doctors kept asking me if I wanted to pull the plug. They never told me to but I could tell they wanted me to. But I didn't want the weight of that decsion on my shoulders. After three weeks he woke up. After two months his mind was back. Now he even has a beter memory than me. He is paralyzed on one side, but that doesn't stop him from doing anything he wants to do."
From a Hindu: "There is no excuse for using embryos for research. They are are not able to give their consent to it."
From cultural Orthodox: "It is wrong to kill yourself. It is wrong to ask someone to help you kill yourself. The government should not encourage it."
From the Anglican: "Africa is dying."
Most of the people in this class are in their early 20's. The professor who thinks IVF, abortion, and euthanasia are acceptable is in her 50's. I think this bodes well for the future.
In other matters....
A few days ago I had a conversation with my friend Mateo about something or other, and the doctrine of the Trinity came up. He said that RCs believe (I hope I am not mis-stating what he said) that the Father and the Son love each other and that the love is the Holy Spirit. I said that Orthodox would not go that far, but would say that because the love of the Father and the Son is perfect there can also be love for the Holy Spirit without jealousy or resentment.
But last night, I was reading "The Bible and Holy Fathers for Orthodx". The reading for the 9th Wednesday after Pentecost (Liturgucally speaking, Wednesday starts on Tuesday evening.) The assigned passage from the Apostol was 1 Cor. 13:4 - 14:5. One of the comentators given to explain the passage was St. Augustine of Hippo.
He said in his book "On the Trinity": "What is charity which the divine Scriptures praise and preach, but the love of God? Now love is felt by a lover, and by love an object is loved. So here we have three things: a lover, a beloved, and love. And what is love but a kind of life whice links, or seeks to link some two things, the lover and the loved?...We are not now talking about heavenly things of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, but about man, the image of God, an image on a different plane, but still God's image ... When I love anything there are three things: myself, the object I love, and the love. But ... when a man loves himself there are two: the love and the loved." (If I hadn't stopped my reading of the Church Fathers at the end of the 3rd Century I would have read this book. It is now on my list.)
And that is when I realized that the thing I told my friend the Orthodox belive, I really learned from Francis Schaeffer's book, "He Is There and He Is Not Silent" when I was a kid of 14 years.
So, now I wonder, how much of what I believe and think is Orthodox is tainted by my Protestant upbringing? How do I lay the ax to the root?
One more thing: Last night after reading I prayed for all of my sons. (I have three.) Now that in itself is not unusual, I pray for them all the time. But last night I prayed to Mary, the Mother of God. And I KNEW, absolutely KNEW that if she asked her Son for something He would not deny her. And it was an amazing experience. I think it was the first time I had prayed to her and had a "heart experience" and did not just pray to her out of head knowledge. So, I need to thank Karl, thanks for posting that thing about the Queen Mother. (See my post of August 2nd if you do not know what I am talking about.)
Oh, one more thing: In my reading of the Prologue of Ohrid yesterday I read about St. Salome the Myrrh-bearer. I mention it because it informs the discussion Jeff and I were having on the Ever-virginity of Mary. Here is what it says:
"Salome was the mother of the Apostles James and John, the wife of Zebedee, and the daughter of Joseph the betrothed of the All-holy Theotokos. She served the Lord during his earthly life, and was deemed worthy to be among the first to proclaim His Resurrection."
I am noly now beginning to see how what a family affair the early church was. I think I need to make a line diagram to understand this.
Tuesday, August 03, 2004
1 cup lentils
1 sprig thyme, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon olive oil (but during the Fast use soy oil)
2 carrots, chopped
3 tablespoons parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons oregeno, chopped
2 tablspoonsarrowroot (disolved in 1 tablespoon water)
1 teaspoon sea salt (or other non-iodine table salt)
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3 cups water
8-inch sautee pan
2 quart sauce pan
Wooden spoon or other stirer
2 bread pans
In the 2 quart sauce pan, cook lentils, parsley, bay leaf, salt, and time in 3 cupswater until water is absorbed (about 20 minutes).
While lentils are cooking, sautee the onions and garlic in small amount of oil, until soft. Add carrots and stir for a few minutes until they are soft, too. Then add carrots, onions, and garlic to lentils and cook another 10 minutes, stiring well, and adding black pepper.
Put all ingredients into the food processor and puree. Return mixture to the sauce pan.
In a small bowl, mix 1 Tbsp arrowroot in 2 Tbsp water. Then add the arrowroot/water mixture to the pan. Stir well.
Place whole mixture in a oiled breadpan, smooth it out in the pan, cover with parchment paper, and put the second bread pan into the first one, pressing down HARD!
Put in 300 degree (F) oven for 20 minutes.
Take out of oven and chill in refrigerator.
For a more beautiful presentation, make the patee as described above but use "green" lentils. But before putting parchment papaper over the patee, make another batch with "red" lentils and put it on top of the first batch. Then do the parchment paper, pressing, baking and chilling steps.
If you want a less stiff patee, you can skip the baking step.
Monday, August 02, 2004
"The world is trying the experiment of attempting to form a civilized but non-Christian mentality. The experiment will fail; but we must be very patient in awaiting its collapse; meanwhile redeeming the time; so that the Faith may be preserved alive through the dark ages before us; to renew and rebuild civilization, and to save the world from suicide."
T.S. Eliot, Thoughts After Lambeth
Friday, July 30, 2004 ::
The Queen Mother and the Dormition
Starting next week Orthodox Christians will begin the two week fast in preparation for the Feast of the Dormition. I thought what Silouan posted on a discussion group a few weeks ago was pertinent.
Traditionally, next to the throne of the King was a second throne. Many would assume that the second throne belonged to the wife of the King, but in ancient Israel it belonged to the mother of the king.
There is an Aramaic word, "Gebirah", which means "Queen Mother". The Gebirah was an official position, one with which everyone (Jesus and His disciples included) was entirely familiar. Her role was as an advocate of the people. Anyone who had a petition or sought an audience with the King did so through her.
This role is mentioned in several passages from the OT:
1 Kings 15:13--"He also deposed his Maacah from her position as queen mother."
2 Kings 10:13--"We are kinsmen of Ahaziah," they replied. "We are going down to visit the princes and the family of the queen mother."
Jeremiah 13:18--"Say to the king and to the queen mother: come down from your throne."
Her specific place of honor and intercession is dramatically illustrated in the following passage from 1 Kings 2:13-21--
"Adonijah, son of Haggith, went to Bathsheba, the mother of Solomon. "Do you come as a friend?" she asked. "Yes," he answered, and added, "I have something to say to you." She replied, "Say it." So he said: "...There is one favor I would ask of you. Do not refuse me." And she said, "Speak on."
He said, "Please ask King Solomon, who will not refuse you, to give me Abishag the Shunamite for my wife." "Very well," replied Bathsheba, "I will speak to the king for you." Then Bathsheba went to King Solomon to speak to him for Adonijah, and the king stood up to meet her and paid her homage. Then he sat down upon his throne, and a throne was provided for the king's mother, who sat at his right. "There is one small favor I would ask of you," she said. "Do not refuse me." "Ask it, my mother," the king said to her, "for I will not refuse you."
Of particular import are the following observations:
1.Adonijah assumed that the queen mother would approach the King on his behalf; he trusted her.
2. The reaction of the King is noteworthy: he stood up to meet her and paid her homage.
3. A throne was provided for her and she sat at his right.
4. Her power as intercessor is stressed by the repetition of the idea that the king "will not refuse her".
Doxos reminds us of the Second Canon, Ode 9, 8th tone: "In Thy majesty ride forth victoriously, Son of the Mother of God. Subdue the people of Ishmael that fight against us. Grant Thine invincible cross to Orthodox Christians who call on Thee for Help.
I am the lone perfect score in my Medical Law and Ethics class. The other person who also had a pperfect score lost 20 points last thursday. I have a final next thursday. If I fail the final I will get a B in the class. Of course, my goal is not a B, or even an A. My goal is 800 out of 800 points.
Went to Angel Island on Saturday morning. We saw an Amphibious Assault Ship sail in under the Golden Gate Bridge. I love riding the ferry across the bay. Then most of the afternoon was spent at church waiting around for a contractor to show up. I do not understand contractors who keep you waiting like that. They are worse than physicians and dentists.
Oh, about the changes. Looks like My friend George is too busy to blog with me and Jeff. But BryGuy wants to be part of the blog. He will have access later today. I think he will add a certain something to the blog that one does not often see outside of Silicon Valley. (Although, for some reason that I do not understand, he lives in Idaho.)
Dormition Fast Started yesterday. Loving it. Also, yesterday was the Feast of the Procession of the Cross.
No one signed up to make lunch after the Divine Liturgy yesterday. And coffee was not enough to sate our hunger. So, we went to the old neighborhood and popped in at We Be Sushi, where we ate their fabulous home meade miso soupebi nigiri, tako nigiri, kapa maki, abd steamed soy beans. It was very good. San Francisco is the best place for Orthodox fasting.
Oh, George, you ought to check out this church in L.A.. I heard a story about it on KQED-FM the other day. Apparently, it is one of the most beautiful churches in California.