Confessor

[Ancient Faith Radio; June 28, 2007] Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 st1\:*{behavior:url(#ieooui) } /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-qformat:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;} Frederica: I’m sitting here with my friend, Father Gregory Czumack, who’s the pastor of Four Evangelists Ukrainian Orthodox Mission, in Bel Air, MD, near the Pennsylvania border.  And feeling light and joyous and teary-eyed because we just had my confession here in the icon corner of my living room.  And I asked Father Gregory if we could talk for just a few minutes, if he could tell me what it’s like to be a confessor.  It was something you were saying then, as we finished the prayers, about what a privilege it feels like, and of course for laypeople, when we look at priests and we think about hearing confessions, we think you must be very depressed about the state of the human race, or you must hear things that just make you furious at people, and we sort of project those ideas onto the clergy. What is it like to actually be hearing confessions?

The Wounded Torturer

[Review of Faith and International Affairs; Summer 2007]“It was during this part that the majority of us tried to kill ourselves.” They buried my spiritual father last November. I have never seen a body in a casket look so not-there; the indistinct pale husk he left behind looked like something a breeze could lift up and carry away. It was the contrast, I suppose. Few people in life are as radiant and vigorous as Fr. George Calciu, or as full of joy. He was a few days short of his 81st birthday, still full-time pastor of a church in the Washington, D.C. suburbs, still traveling world-wide to those who sought him as a teacher and spiritual father, still diligently reaching out to the poor and unchurched around him.

Catechumens on the Way to Dinner

[Ancient Faith Radio; June 1, 2007]Frederica: Let me introduce it: I’m in a car with my husband and we’re going to lunch with some friends in Washington, so we’re driving along here and my husband, Father Gregory Mathewes-Green, pastor of Holy Cross Orthodox Church outside of Baltimore. We’re talking about catechumens, the catechetical process and how people coming over from another kind of Christianity often have more re-thinking to do than they expect, certainly it was more for me than I thought I would have to do. It took many years, I think, to realize the depth and the range of how Orthodoxy was different. So of course my husband takes in many catechumens and counsels and prays and talks them through to Chrismation, and I wanted to get his feedback about what are some of the flags that you see going up that tell you that things are going well or are not going well.

Spiritual Disciplines for a Fragmented Culture

[Christian Vision Project email newsletter, Spring 2007]As a writer and culture critic Frederica Mathewes-Green has landed stories on National Public Radio, in the pages of major magazines and newspapers, and in bestselling books on culture and Christian spirituality. Like all public figures who challenge the assumptions of mainstream culture, she has had to learn how to stay focused and humble in the midst of both success and hostility. There are few Christians who model grace and creativity better than this grandmother of four. In this interview she describes two basic spiritual disciplines that lead to a life of integrity in a fragmented culture.

“What’s Your Spiritual Exercise?”

[ExploreFaith.com, May 2007] We sat down recently with Frederica Mathewes-Green to talk about spiritual practice… Explorefaith: Your spiritual journey has taken you from growing up Catholic, to practicing Hinduism in your twenties, to Anglicanism, and finally, conversion into the Orthodox Church. Would you say it was primarily belief, or practice, that drew to you to Orthodoxy? FMG: Strangely enough, I had finished most of those changes by the time I was 21; the “wilderness wandering” was brief but intense in my teens. When I came home to Christianity my husband and I went to Episcopal seminary and enjoyed being part of the “renewal” movement in that denomination. In the late 80’s we were concerned about theological drift in that church, and that is why we set out to examine alternatives.

Rediscovering Mary

[National Review Online, April 5, 2007] Interview about “The Lost Gospel of Mary” Q. Frederica, you have a new book out about Mary. Have you discovered a new gospel? Where was it hiding? A. I feel ambivalent about the title — kind of lurid, isn’t it! But my point was that there are many, many ancient Christian texts that are fully orthodox; it’s not only a matter of New Testament versus gnostics. Earlier generations of Christians read the same kind of supplemental and devotional works we do today: biographies, commentaries,

The Lost Gospel of Mary: Who Was She?

[excerpted from “The Lost Gospel of Mary,” Paraclete Press, 2007] The Beloved Virgin Mary Who was she? It is hard to see Mary clearly, beneath the conflicting identities she has borne over the centuries. To one era she is the flower of femininity, and to another the champion of feminism; in one age she is the paragon of obedience, and in another the advocate of liberation. Some enthusiasts have been tempted to pile her status so high that it rivals that of her Son. Others, aware that excessive adulation can be dangerous, do their best to ignore her entirely. Behind all that there is a woman nursing a baby. The child in her arms looks into her eyes. Years later he will look at her from the cross, through a haze of blood and sweat.

What’s Wrong with “Spirituality”

[Gifted For Leadership, January 2007] I don’t like the category “spirituality.” It sounds so external. It sounds so optional. It isn’t a concept I find in the first millennium, or anywhere in Eastern Christianity. As far as I can tell, what people today mean by “spirituality” is what St. Paul meant by “life in Christ.”

Women’s Ordination

[Beliefnet, Jan 10, 2007]  In recent decades, some Protestant denominations have undergone heavy fighting over the question of whether women should be ordained. A woman holding a worship service or preaching was once so rare that the 18th century English author, Samuel Johnson, could say: “a woman’s preaching is like a dog’s walking on his hind legs. It is not done well; but you are surprised to find it done at all.” This controversy hasn’t gained a high profile in the Orthodox Church, probably due to our way of approaching such issues: if the early church was in agreement on a matter, if that consensus continued unbroken over the centuries, then that seems to be the Holy Spirit’s leading. Jesus said, “When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth” (John 16:13).

Holman Study Bible: Orthodox Entry

[Holman Study Bible, 2007]Orthodox Entry for Chart of Comparative Religions (see also, Definitions, below) Supreme Being:One God, creator of all, existing eternally in 1 essence and 3 Persons (Father, Son and Holy Spirit). We are made for union with God (“partakers of the divine nature” 2 Pet 1:4), accomplished through his grace (Heb. 12:28 ) and the work of Jesus Christ.