God So Loved the World

[Ancient Faith Radio; October 16, 2008] Frederica: Well, here I am. Today I am in the back seat of a Camry (so it feels very familiar- my husband has a Camry, too). This one is a 2000 Camry, ours is a 2004, and the driver is Fr. Ted Stylianopoulos, and lovely Presvytera Faye is sitting in the front seat with him. We are leaving their cabin in the gorgeous town of Alstead, New Hampshire, where the leaves are turning, and it just looks like the glory of God ablaze in the woods here. It’s something else. So we went on a walk through their woods this morning, and feel very invigorated, yet still a little bit out of breath. I’m not in great shape here. I was saying to Fr. Ted that I’d love to interview him for the podcast, as he’s such an expert in so many things. Perhaps the Scriptures, or how the Scriptures are interpreted, Orthodox spirituality, the state of the Church- let me start, Fr. Ted, by asking, how long have you been a priest? Fr. Ted Stylianopoulos: I was ordained a deacon on a Saturday and a priest on a Sunday back in 1965. So it’s been something like forty years plus.

Transfiguration

[From The Good, the True, and the Beautiful, ed. Harry and Rebecca Poe, Chalice Press, St. Louis, 2008] “We Will Be Like Him” (I John 3:2) England can be delightful in early August, when the mornings are cool and the afternoons bright. At home, on America’s mid-Atlantic coast, it’s so hot and gummy that the dogs are sticking to the sidewalks. This is one of those rare patches of year when Americans might like to come to England for the weather.

A Voice in the Public Square

[Ancient Faith Radio; October 9, 2008] Frederica Mathewes-Green: I’m in the nave of the Church of Holy Ascension in Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina on Route 17, just north of Charleston. I’m talking with the pastor, Fr. John Parker. Tell me a little about your journey to Orthodoxy, Father, as we get started. Fr. John Parker: Sure. Well, it all began during my Episcopal seminary experience in Ambridge, PA, when the library there had a sale on duplicate books. So they were 50 cents for paperbacks and a dollar for hardback books.

Byzantine Architecture in Charleston, SC

[Ancient Faith Radio; October 2, 2008]   Frederica Mathewes-Green: Today is a Sunday, and I am in Holy Ascension OCA Church in Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina, right outside of Charleston. This is a very unusual church building. This was just consecrated last May, and I am speaking with the architect, Andrew Gould. You look to me like quite a young man, Andrew. Is this your first church building?

September 12

[Ancient Faith Radio; September 11, 2008] On the day after the tragedy on September 11th, 2001 I had an appointment for confession, so I drove down from Baltimore to meet with my spiritual father, Fr. George Calciu in his church, Holy Cross church, in Alexandria Virginia. And on the way, I went through Washington and even passed the Pentagon, and really didn’t know what I would find on that Wednesday, September 12th. It was not congested, the city was not congested and it felt pretty peaceful as I drove along. I went past the Pentagon and could see they were trying to conceal the damage which was actually on the other side of the building from the road, but they were already getting things in place to begin to seal up that big opening on the building and do what needed to be done to rebuild it. All along that part of I-95 where you could kind of crane your head around and see the damage to the Pentagon, the cars were moving very, very slowly, just a few miles an hour.

Native Americans and Orthodoxy

[Ancient Faith Radio; August 28, 2008] Frederica Mathewes-Green: Here I am, I’m in Anchorage, Alaska. My first visit to Alaska, this completes my visiting fifty states. This is my fiftieth state, so it’s wonderful to be here at last. I am on the grounds of the Alaska Native Heritage Center, speaking to Steven Alvarez, who is- what is your role here at the center? Steven Alvarez: I am Director of Strategic Initiatives and Media.

Tender Love and the Dormition

[Ancient Faith Radio; August 15, 2008] My mother lives far from me, many states away; it takes me about twelve or thirteen hours to drive there. So I don’t get there that often. I usually fly down about once a month. I didn’t used to go that often, but she had emergency surgery last January, and ever since then she’s been in a nursing home, and her mind is a little fuzzier than it used to be. She’s never quite gotten her strength back, never gotten on her feet again. Eighty-two years old, and it’s hard to foresee what the future holds. At present it looks like she just might continue being in that nursing home. I’m grateful that my two sisters live closer, so they can go there frequently, and one of them goes every day.

Transfiguration, Light, and an Icon

[Ancient Faith Radio; August 8, 2008] I’m looking at an icon of the Transfiguration—and it’s beautiful. Now, you’ve seen icons of the Transfiguration. You can imagine what it looks like. In the center, there’s an image of Christ transfigured in white robes, light streaking from Him. He is standing in an oval that is blue, it comes to a lighter shade of blue on the edges, and that’s meant to suggest a full-body halo. It’s called a mandorla, these large sort of oval halos. And, of course, on the left and right are Elijah and Moses speaking to Him. In these images they have their hands raised, sort of like philosophers, as they’re talking to Him. And around and beneath Him are scattered James and John and Peter, falling on their faces in awe at this amazing scene that they’re witnessing.

A Golden Bell and a Pomegranate: Beauty and Apologetics

[Again; Spring 2008] Back when I was attending seminary—this was an Episcopal seminary, in Virginia—every time I went to chapel I’d see this Scripture painted on the back wall around the window: “Go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel.” I had plenty of time to study those words (especially when the sermon was boring). As I read and reread that saying of Jesus, I thought about what it takes to spread the Gospel. What tools do you need? First, obviously, you need to know what you’re talking about. You must be thoroughly familiar with your faith, with its teachings and practices, with the Scriptures. You need information, knowledge stored up in your head. As St. Peter says, “Always be prepared to make a defense to anyone who calls you to account for the faith that is in you” (I Pet 3:15).

The Akathist [Annunciation] Hymn of St. Romanos

[from The Lost Gospel of Mary, Paraclete Press, 2007;translation and footnotes by Frederica Mathewes-Green]  The Akathist [Annunciation] Hymnof St Romanos the Melodist  Oikos 1 An Archangel was sent from heaven to cry “Rejoice!” to the Theotokos; [1] and, O Lord, as he saw you taking bodily form at the sound of his bodiless voice, he stood still in amazement [2]