Thursday, January 20, 2011

Baptism / Epiphany

"A Russian Orthodox Christian crosses himself in 9-degree weather as he emerges from a cross-shaped ice hole in a traditional Epiphany celebration in Moscow."


Pic from

Monday, January 17, 2011

The Sun Does Not Hide Itself

"God is good, without passions and unchangeable. One who understands that it is sound and true to affirm that God does not change might very well ask: 'how, then, is it possible to speak of God as rejoicing over those who are good, becoming merciful to those who know Him and, on the other hand, shunning the wicked and being angry with sinners.' We must reply to this, that God neither rejoices nor grows angry, because to rejoice and to be angered are passions. Nor is God won over by gifts from those who know Him, for that would mean that He is moved by pleasure. It is not possible for the Godhead to have the sensation of pleasure or displeasure from the condition of humans, God is good, and He bestows only blessings, and never causes harm, but remains always the same. If we humans, however, remain good by means of resembling Him, we are united to Him, but if we become evil by losing our resemblance to God, we are separated from Him. By living in a holy manner, we unite ourselves to God; by becoming evil, however, we become at enmity with Him. It is not that He arbitrarily becomes angry with us, but that our sins prevent God from shining within us, and expose us to the demons who make us suffer. If through prayer and acts of compassionate love, we gain freedom from our sins, this does not mean that we have won God over and made Him change, but rather that by means of our actions and turning to God, we have been healed of our wickedness, and returned to the enjoyment of God's goodness. To say that God turns away from the sinful is like saying that the sun hides itself from the blind" (St Anthony the Great, Cap. 150).

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Cap'n's Log

I'm currently reading two books. The first is Catholicism: Christ and the Common Destiny of Man, by Henri de Lubac, and the second is Why Evolution Is True, by Jerry A. Coyne. Both books are quite good. I can't read but a few pages at a time of Lebac, who constantly knocks me on my metaphorical butt with his thoughts on the Church and unity. Unity is what brought me into the Church, but it has been a while since I've actually thought much about it as it relates to life in the Church, unfortunately, and it's been a wonderful reminder. (Thank you, Fred, for the suggestion.)

The second book is about evolution, which you may have deduced from its title. It's actually quite good, if you like learning about evolution, but the author does make the mistake (in my opinion) of sometimes pushing his science into his metaphysics. But maybe he backs off later in the book. We'll see.

We had the entire week off, due to the snow and ice. Monday is MLK Jr. Day which gives us a grand total of 10 days. A little ice age, or at least a secondary Christmas break. Which means, likely, that we will get very little of our spring break. C'est la vie. That's what happens, and how it happens, in the South.

Anna turns 10 on Monday. What a beautiful girl. Looking forward to having the day off with the family. Because, you know, we haven't had much time together lately.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Snow Days

This is our second day off school here in North Carolina. We had freezing rain last night, though fortunately with no power outage or broken limbs through the roof of the house. The kids will be off Wednesday as well, and, at best, we'll have a two-hour delay on Thursday. Though with the temperatures they're forecasting, my guess is that it will be Friday before any of them see the inside of their school again. Laura has been off too, of course, though with her teaching in a different county what is called off and what is not usually is somewhat of a nail-biter. When she has to be at school and the kids are off, well, that's just not even funny. I get enough of that every summer.

I need to write here more often, but have gotten away from it and have spent more time with small posts via Facebook. But FB doesn't allow one to really write - and no one there really wants to read anything, so I'd like to breathe some life back into this little blog. Though it is hard to get the time to write. After two months, my upstairs computer has come back to life - for some odd reason. Raised from the ashes. I don't know how long she'll last, but I hope it's a long while. I love this old Mac.