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Other Topics / Re: Stupid meme of the day thread
« Last post by Justin Kissel on Yesterday at 10:00:11 PM »
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Other Topics / Re: I wish these people were still posting
« Last post by TheMathematician on Yesterday at 09:54:25 PM »
Those who I would like to see more of:

Gebre
Cognomen
The Mathematician
Pasadi

I'm still kicking, and would love for the first and last to return.

Also, Yesh
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Other Topics / Re: Stupid meme of the day thread
« Last post by xariskai on Yesterday at 09:33:21 PM »
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In the Coptic Church, I can think of two instances where alternate modes of monastic life have been introduced.  Bishop Serapion in the Diocese of Los Angeles has given his blessing to the Brotherhood of St. Paul, which consists of five or so celibate priests who basically live and function as friars or canons regular, who are not members of St. Anthonys monastery and not hieromonks, but who take vows of poverty, stability, obedience, and service.  In like manner, in addition to the regular Egyptian convents which operate according to the usual Coptic monastic customs (whoch I believe were somewhat regularized under Pope Shenouda, but involve a minimum three years novitiate followed by solemn vows, stability, obedience, and the memorization and/or daily recital of the entire psalter,), there are also nuns in Egypt whoch serve in an organization, whose name I forget, which was modelled directly on the Sisters of Charity, and involves itself in humnitarian relief projects rather than the interior life that most Orthodox convents specialize in.

I myself regard this as a positive development, in that I think one of the few areas where the Romans have historically had a leg up on us are in terms of having specialized religious orders for certain kinds of Christian service beyond the normal monastic life.  So the majority of Orthodox monastics are basically something like Benedictines, but Rome, primarily after the great schism, began developing orders like the Trinitarians and Mercedarians who focused on ransoming captives, friars like the Dominicans and Franciscans, who were initially committed to peaceful conversion of heretics (later these orders were comopted and the Dominicans especially became associated with the Inquistion, although evidence suggests that to some extent the scrupulosity of the Dominicans is one reason why the Inquistion itself only killed at most 3,000 or so, compared with for example the mass murder of 16,000 Waldensians fleeing Italy for Switzerland which transpired outside of their purview), and in more recent times, orders associated with medical care, education, and so on, in particular the Missionaries of Charity who were most impressive.

However there is a risk to this, and that is a deprecation of monastic life.  It is an insidious fallacy to regard monks as idle do-nothings compared to members of mendicant orders providing direct services to the poor.  I was just reading an interview of Abbot Paisius and Elder Cleopas of Romania, in which one Patristic saint was quoted as saying that it is better to master ones passions than to raise the dead.  St. Seraphim of Sarov said "Acquire inner peace, and thousands around you will be saved."  I really do believe that the work done by the Oriental Orthodox monks at places like St. Anthonys in Egypt, the Syrian Monastery, the Monastery of St. Paul the Hermit, and especially the besieged monastery of Dayro d'Mor Mattay mear Mosul, and also the work of our EO brethren on Mount Athos, at St. Catharines of Sinai. and elsewhere, is more valuable than any charitable operations that occur outside the monastic enclosure.  It is also harder and more dangerous, especially for the abbots and confessors.  These traditional cloistered monasteries are centers of extreme prayer and holiness and bless the world and everyone in it by their mere existence.   However, of late from what I understand the Coptic Church has not been wanting in vocations at any of its monasteries, and thus is in a position to provide for more specialized vocations, than, for example, the much smaller Syriac Orthodox Church in the Middle East, where I believe none of the monasteries other than perhaps the seminary and patriarchal monastery of St. Ephraim's near Damascus has more than ten monks.

Yet another historical use for these kinds of orders is education and academic work (although one could argue that this is itself a form of humanitarianism). There's a group called the Society of Ordained Scientists (who are priests, not necessarily monks) within Anglicanism. Within the Roman church, the Jesuits have often filled this niche. I think something like this is especially needed now, as it would help refute the New Atheist canard that religion is antithetical to knowledge and scientific exploration.
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Faith Issues / Re: The Millennial Reign of Christ: Christendom
« Last post by Justin Kissel on Yesterday at 09:28:01 PM »
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Faith Issues / Re: The Millennial Reign of Christ: Christendom
« Last post by minasoliman on Yesterday at 09:19:01 PM »
The Orthodox Church is so-called amillenial, that is, not believing in a literal one thousand year reign of the physical person of Christ on earth. The millennium is interpreted in a non-literal sense for the age of the Church as the Kingdom of God on earth. However, have you ever considered that the millenial reign occured from, say, the time of Constantine (d 337) or Theodosius (d. 395) when Christianity became the state religion of the Roman Empire to the fall of Christendom (1453 in the East; and in the West began crumbling soon afterwards)? The number 1,000 is still symbolic but its pretty close here. So to put it simply, the millenial reign occurred in the age of Christendom.

A Roman Catholic priest from the sixteenth century, who has been declared Venerable, suggested this theory. Have you seen any suggestions like this from the Orthodox?

I hold to a theory that the Christian empire fell to enforce Orthodox Christians to stop thinking about the worldly kingdom, but the heavenly kingdom, to which there is no end.

The kingdom was intended by Christ to be a full social establishment in this world.

In this world, but not of this world.
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Other Topics / Re: Post your favorite quotes!
« Last post by scamandrius on Yesterday at 09:14:03 PM »
With the recent passing of Rowdy Roddy Piper (RIP), I love this quote from his role in John Carpenter's They Live:  "I've come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass. And I'm fresh out of bubblegum."
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Reviews / Re: What's everyone listening to?
« Last post by scamandrius on Yesterday at 09:12:49 PM »
Anton Bruckner:  Mass No. 1 in d minor, Kyrie.
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Other Topics / Re: Post your favorite quotes!
« Last post by xariskai on Yesterday at 09:12:35 PM »
“A fish that is alive swims against the flow of water. One that is dead floats down with the water. A true Christian goes against the current of sinful age. A false one is swept away by its swiftness.”

+St. Philaret of Moscow
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Faith Issues / Re: The Millennial Reign of Christ: Christendom
« Last post by Perennial1 on Yesterday at 09:05:43 PM »
The Orthodox Church is so-called amillenial, that is, not believing in a literal one thousand year reign of the physical person of Christ on earth. The millennium is interpreted in a non-literal sense for the age of the Church as the Kingdom of God on earth. However, have you ever considered that the millenial reign occured from, say, the time of Constantine (d 337) or Theodosius (d. 395) when Christianity became the state religion of the Roman Empire to the fall of Christendom (1453 in the East; and in the West began crumbling soon afterwards)? The number 1,000 is still symbolic but its pretty close here. So to put it simply, the millenial reign occurred in the age of Christendom.

A Roman Catholic priest from the sixteenth century, who has been declared Venerable, suggested this theory. Have you seen any suggestions like this from the Orthodox?

I hold to a theory that the Christian empire fell to enforce Orthodox Christians to stop thinking about the worldly kingdom, but the heavenly kingdom, to which there is no end.

The kingdom was intended by Christ to be a full social establishment in this world.
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