34. 2007 Trip, Part 2: Patmos – Revelation, Nektarios (on Patmos?!), True Religion

The Revelation I came home from Patmos with a great tan which must have been a miracle, because my last post implied that I spent all my time there in church – yes? No. Afternoons I found this little beach ‘way away from town – usually had it to myself – and I read. My spiritual project on Patmos was to ponder John’s writings, especially the book of Revelation, his Apocalypse, to…

33. 2007 Trip, Part One: Patmos, the Island of Saint John the Theologian

Homesickness: an unnecessary Introduction which has nothing to do with Patmos When I’m at home I’m homesick for Greece. When I’m in Greece I’m homesick for home. I think the Greeks have a word for this, which I’ve forgotten. Maybe the Germans too. I love home. I love my family. I love Wisconsin. I think I’m really a Wisconsin patriot. “The rocks and rills, the woods and templed hills”, the clean open countryside…

32. Orthodoxy and Other Faiths, Part Two: Non-Monotheistic Faiths

A woman from our parish who taught comparative religion just stared at me, when I told her that in twenty minutes I was going to cover Atheism, Agnosticism, Primitive Religions, Hinduism and Buddhism. Little wonder. (I forgot to tell you that this series is based on talks I gave some years ago at Saint Nicholas, Cedarburg.) However, I don’t want this series go on till after the Second Coming. (“Next Week: the…

31. Orthodoxy and Other Faiths – Part One: Introduction – How to deal with other faiths honestly but respectfully

When Christians think of other religions, sometimes they call them demonic and condemn their members to hell. Don’t do that. When Christians deal with members of other religions, sometimes they beat them over the head with Christianity. Don’t do that. When Christians deal with members of other religions, sometimes they keep their mouths shut about Christ and the Church, for fear of offending them. Don’t do that. There is another option. This…

30. Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew: Orthodoxy and the Environment

The Way We Were As I recall it was in 1969 when Cleveland’s Cuyahoga River caught fire that protecting the environment became a popular cause in America, supported by almost everyone. Today many of our lakes, rivers and streams are cleaner. (I think. Cedarburg’s picturesque Cedar Creek is just now being dredged so that people can again eat fish from it. And Lake Michigan has an ongoing problem with smelly algae.) When…

29. What I’ve Learned in 79 Years, Part Three

“Everybody loves good advice. Nobody takes it.” But I’m just sharing here because I love you. Take for it for what it’s worth. This is the last of this 3-part series. None of what follows is political. Or is it?  What I’ve learned about the World 18) You may think I’m crazy, but I have come to believe that competition is generally a bad thing. I know: Our whole culture, business, economics, politics,…

28. What I’ve Learned in 79 Years, Part Two

This is the second of what has somehow become a three part series. Proverbs 26:12 says, “Do you see a man who is wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.” Uh oh. However that advice was obviously written by someone who was sharing his wisdom! So… let’s continue this fool-ish endeavor.` But first, Happy Orthodox New Year! In the Roman/Byzantine Empire, on September 1 every 15 years the…

27. What I’ve Learned in 79 Years, Part One

It is the duty of the old to pass on their wisdom to the young (that would be you) whether they want to hear it or not. Therefore: This is an update of a talk I gave as I hit my 70th birthday and thought I was old. Little did I know. I was going to wait till I was 80 to post it here, in hopes I might learn a little more,…

26. 2006 Trip, Part Three: Forming Authentic Eastern Orthodoxy in the West

As I flew West from Greece I got to thinking about the experiment we are conducting here in America and everywhere in the West. We are taking an Eastern form of Christianity and trying to express it in a way that is accessible to the Western world. Let me give some background to that thought. Christianity’s Middle Eastern Roots Christianity has two chief sources, the first of which is Middle Eastern, Semitic.…

25. My Travels: 2006, Part Two – Exploring Crete

Return to Crete The night after Saint Nektarios did it again, I took the overnight ferry to Crete. In those long ago days of more primitive home computers, I’d had trouble getting my reservation through to the Crete ferry company, so I kept trying and trying. When I got to the ferry office, I discovered that all my attempts had gone through, and I had booked ten rooms! The agent was kind…