The crowd was unusually hushed.....as they had gathered excitedly to hear the announcement of December's POM winner, in December.
As January, February and March came and went, the boisterous crowd.....had fallen asleep.
The squire stepped gingerly over the sleeping bodies, as he made his way to nail up the long awaited announcement.
As his hammer hit the nail on the head....the crowd awoke. One by one, rubbing their eyes, they rose to their feet...and squinted at the names written for all to see and admire.
The quiet of the morning was replaced by the din of the voices excitedly raised in congratulations, as they proclaimed the glory of the two winners.
The sign read:
Announcing the winners of the December 2013 POM!
Mor Ephrem for:
A powerful message on many topics. Clear and unambiguous on our Church's moral teachings.
For some reason, this encyclical felt longer when I heard it read in Greek than it did when I read it in English. But I agree, on many levels this was a great message.
Personally, one thing that I find touching from my side of the fence is the underscoring of the communion we share in suffering. Whether I pray in an OO church or an EO church, these days I hear prayers offered regularly and continuously for both of the kidnapped Archbishops of Aleppo, the kidnapped Orthodox nuns, and all the other suffering faithful. We may be far from the day when we can pray together at the same altar and drink from the same chalice on earth, but in some small way, even if it is at the point of a gun, we are already sharing that unity, and the child Jesus is with us.
If you are not familiar with the posting history of Theo, you might be in the unfortunate position of getting a bit conflated with him.
So you really want to know what authority is?
That which is proper to that which causes growth.
I can understand how you might find the Talmud helpful in understanding certain question and the like, but authority is proper only to one, that one is God for God is the cause of all. So if you believe God became man and lived with other persons, authority would be found with those who lived in the communities who lived with those who knew God in his incarnate form, which is to say those who were responsible for collection of writings we call the New Testament.
Further authority was granted to that community by the Holy Spirit by indwelling in that same community which people around here call the early Church.
This is not to say there is no authority outside of the writings and behaviors of such a community, but if you believe in orthodox Christian thought, that is where you are going to God's revelation in its clearest form.