Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Princess Diana, Her Greek Friend, and Metropolitan Paul of Siatista

The late Metropolitan Paul of Siatista (+ 2019) for years served as Hierarchical Commissioner of Mantoudi in Evia and was always dear to the people.

In September 1996, Yiannis Kalyviotis, who suffered from cystic fibrosis, passed away. The 27-year-old Yiannis was the eldest of the four children of the Kalyviotis family from Limni in Evia. He had finished law school and was a practicing lawyer in Halkida when he was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis. He went to England in 1995 where he remained for twenty whole months in treatment at Royal Brompton Hospital in London. He was accompanied to London by Father Paul Ioannou, the future Metropolitan of Siatista.

Thursday, February 18, 2021

English Author Paul Kingsnorth Baptized in the Romanian Orthodox Church

A few weeks ago I was sent a link to the OAQ page on author Paul Kingsnorth's website, where he writes the following:

I have never been a scientific materialist. My suspicion that there is more to the world than modernity will allow for has informed my sensibility since I was a child, and was the backdrop to all my environmental activism and writing.

Over the last decade, I have been on an increasing determined search for Truth which – as for so many lost Western people – has taken me to all quarters. For five years I studied and practiced Zen Buddhism; I’m still grateful for the insights that accorded me, but there was something missing. In search of what that something might be, I explored Daoism, mythology, Sufism, traditionalism, Alexandrian Wicca and all sorts of other bits and pieces. They all taught me something, but not enough.

Then, in 2020, as the world was turned upside down, so was I. Unexpectedly, and initially against my will, I found myself being pulled determinedly towards Christianity. It’s a long story, which I might tell one day. Suffice it to say that I started the year as an eclectic eco-pagan with a long-held, unformed ache in my heart, and ended it a practicing Christian, the ache gone and replaced by the thing that, all along, I turned out to have been looking for. In January 2021 I was baptised and received into the Eastern Orthodox Church. I don’t know where the path leads from here, but at last I know how to walk it.

Saturday, February 13, 2021

Yes, Whataboutism Can Be a Fallacy, But Not Always, and Even Then It Is Usually Quite Rare

"Physician, heal thyself." 
(Luke 4:23)

"Why do you look at the speck of dust in your brother’s eye, 
and not notice the log in your own eye?" 
(Matt. 7:3)

Yesterday the term "whataboutism" was trending on social media, because during the impeachment trial of Former President Donald Trump, Democrats were anticipating for Trump's lawyers to issue forth a series of whataboutisms in their response to the accusation that he incited an insurrection on the Capital Building. At the end of the day, Democrats felt vindicated, because while Trump's lawyers presented their evidence and pointed out the hypocrisy of his accusers, they in turn were believed  to have also committed the fallacy of whataboutism, which they thought invalidates all their arguments. But should they feel vindicated? I would say no, because whataboutisms when you think about it are very rare, and not as common as accusers would like to think.

Tuesday, February 2, 2021

"So Shines a Good Deed in a Naughty World"

"How far that little candle throws his beams! 
So shines a good deed in a naughty world."
- William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice 

Thursday, January 28, 2021

A Shocking Movie Scene With a Tangible Reality

By Metropolitan Prodromos of Toliara and South Madagascar

I have loved cinema since I was a child. Those two hours of images and sounds, moments, special effects, profound thoughts that sweat to capture intangible nature through images. Screenplays and books that dared to elevate art for art's sake, or art for profit's sake, or both. I can say that I have seen a huge number of movies, so many that if the hours I spent in front of screens equaled that spent in prayer I would already be in Abraham's Bosom.

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Dostoevsky's Pandemic

[Raskolnikov] was in the hospital from the middle of Lent till after Easter. When he was better, he remembered the dreams he had had while he was feverish and delirious. He dreamt that the whole world was condemned to a terrible new strange plague that had come to Europe from the depths of Asia. All were to be destroyed except a very few chosen. Some new sorts of microbes were attacking the bodies of men, but these microbes were endowed with intelligence and will. Men attacked by them became at once mad and furious. But never had men considered themselves so intellectual and so completely in possession of the truth as these sufferers, never had they considered their decisions, their scientific conclusions, their moral convictions so infallible. 

Friday, January 8, 2021

Short Film: "Naaman and Elisha" (2013)

According to the Bible (2 Kings 5:15–19), Naaman was a commander of the army of Syria. He was a good commander and was held in favor because of the victory that God brought him. Yet Naaman was a leper. Naaman's wife had a servant girl from Israel who said that a prophet there would be able to heal him. Naaman tells his lord this and he is sent to Israel with a letter to the king. The king of Israel didn't know what to do, yet the Prophet Elisha sent a message to the King, advising that the King tell Naaman to come to see him. Elisha then told Naaman to go bathe in the Jordan seven times and he would be clean. Naaman was angry and would have left, but his servant asked him to try it and he was healed. A servant of Elisha, Gehazi, seeing Naaman being turned away from offering God offerings in thanksgiving for his healing, ran after him and falsely asked for clothing and silver for visitors. And the leprosy that had previously been on Naaman fell on Gehazi and remained in his descendants.

Monday, January 4, 2021

Short Film: "Maria of 11" (2018)


The following short film by Babis Kiliaris, titled "Maria of 11", is a tragic fictional story that portrays in a simple and beautiful way the true story of many who suffered with leprosy. The lead actress portrays a newly-married woman named Maria who was 21 years old when she was diagnosed with leprosy. Immediately after her diagnosis in 1946, she chooses to be admitted at the Lovokomeio of Chios, which served as a leper colony. In Room 11 she lived by herself for 11 years until she died and was buried in grave number 11. To add to the tragedy, she dies just a year before a cure is found for leprosy (Hansen's disease).