On Messianic Judaism

24 October 10

Romans 7

1 Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth?

2 For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband.

3 So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man.

4 Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.

5 For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death.

6 But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.

On Islam and the Trinity

24 October 10

“Despite being one of the higher religions Islam can in no way whatsoever accept the teaching concerning God as a Holy Trinity. In the Qur’an this teaching is ridiculed. At the Omar mosque in Jerusalem the following commandment is engraved on the wall, “O faithful, know that Allah has no Son.”   Precisely for the reason that, according to this religion, God does not have a son there is no mention of God’s love within the Qur’an, only of mercy and justice.  This, of course, perverts man’s whole life. Since, someone’s love for their own self is not love, but selfishness and egotism. This is why Muhammad never mentions love with regard to Allah, at all. He only mentions justice and mercy.”

(Metropolitan Hierotheos Vlachos, Metropolitan of Nafpaktos in “Entering the Orthodox Church”)

The Final Word on Circumcision

24 October 10

Galatians 6:11-18 (Epistle)

11 See with what large letters I have written to you with my own hand!
12 As many as desire to make a good showing in the flesh, these would compel you to be circumcised, only that they may not suffer persecution for the cross of Christ.
13 For not even those who are circumcised keep the law, but they desire to have you circumcised that they may boast in your flesh.
14 But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.
15 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but a new creation.
16 And as many as walk according to this rule, peace and mercy be upon them, and upon the Israel of God.
17 From now on let no one trouble me, for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus.
18 Brethren, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.

The Eucharistic Miracle of Lanciano

24 October 10

Reposted from here.

In the city of Lanciano, Italy, around A.D. 700, a Basilian monk and priest were assigned to celebrate the Divine Liturgy in the small Church of St. Legontian. Celebrating in Greek and using leavened bread,* that monk had doubts about the real presence of Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist.

During the Divine Liturgy, when he said the Words of Consecration (“This is my body”; “This is my blood”.), with doubt in his soul, the priest saw the bread change into living flesh and the wine change into live blood, which coagulated into five globules, irregular and differing in shape and size (this number corresponds to the number of wounds Christ suffered on the cross: one in each hand and foot from the nails, and the wound from the centurion’s spear).

Since 1574, various ecclesiastical investigations of varying degrees of detail have been conducted upon the miracle. The first appears to consist of a weighing, in which each different globule though varying in size, all each weigh the same and always produced the same weight no matter what the amount of these globules was. Thus all of them put together was the equivalent to any one of them or any three or any four all equaled the same weight no matter what combination. Also an examination in 1971 conducted by Professor Doctor Odoardo Linoli which were confirmed by Dr. Bertelli. The flesh was found to be human striated muscular tissue of the myocardium (the heart wall), type AB, and to be absolutely free of any agents used for preserving flesh. The blood at Lanciano has divided into five irregularly shaped pellets. At scientific examinations conducted in 1971 these pellets were found to be human blood, type AB (“the universal receiver”), with proteins normally fractionated and present in the same percentage ratio as those in normal fresh blood.

– February 17, 1574 by Bishop Rodriguez
– 1636 by Father Serafino from Scanno
– October 23, 1777 by Bishop Gervasone
– October 26, 1886 by Bishop Petrarca
– 1971, by Professor Odoardo Linoli

This most recent examination was performed by Professor Odoardo Linoli, Professor in Anatomy and Pathological Histology and in Chemistry and Clinical Microscopy, and Professor Ruggero Bertelli of the University of Siena. The report was published in Quaderni Sclavo di Diagnostica Clinica e di Laboratori in 1971.

The following conclusions were drawn by Odoardo Linoli:

– The flesh is real flesh and the blood is real blood.

– The flesh and the blood belong to the human species.

– The flesh consists of the muscular tissue of the heart.

– In the flesh we see present in section: the myocardium, the endocardium, the vagus nerve and also the left ventricle of the heart for the large thickness of the myocardium. The flesh is a heart complete in its essential structure.

– The flesh and the blood have the same blood type, AB.

– In the blood there were found proteins in the same normal proportions (percentage-wise) as are found in the sero-proteic make-up of fresh normal blood.

– In the blood there were also found these minerals: chlorides, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, sodium and calcium.

The flesh and blood of the alleged miracle can still be seen today. The flesh, is fibrous and light brown in colour, and becomes rose-coloured when lighted from the back. The blood consists of five coagulated globules and has an earthly colour resembling the yellow of ochre.

* The piece today is deceptively stretched out to appear as if it was unleavened according to later Catholic practice.

Source with photos

Read also:

Eucharistic Miracle

The Eucharistic Miracle of Lanciano, Italy

Lanciano, 700’s A.D.: The Heart of Christ

Physician Tells of Eucharistic Miracle of Lanciano

Important note from the Russian Sluzhebnik (Priest’s Service Book):

“If after the consecration of the bread & wine a miracle is revealed, ie, if the bread manifests the appearance of a child or the wine the appearance of blood, and if in a short time this appearance does not change, ie, if they do not appear again under the form of bread & wine, but if they remain thus without change, then let the priest not take communion because it is not the Body & Blood of Christ, but a miracle from God manifest only because of the lack of faith or some other reason.”

The instruction goes on to say that if the Body assumes another appearance then the priest must make another Lamb as he did at Proskomedia. He then resumes the Liturgy with the prayer “With these blessed hosts…” which is the prayer said at the Anaphora while the choir sings, “Holy, holy, holy…” If the Blood changes appearance, then he must pour new wine into the chalice. The purpose of this is so the faithful may still receive the Body & Blood of Christ at the Liturgy.

Things To Memorize #2

22 October 10

Bless my enemies, O Lord. Even I bless them and do not curse them.

Enemies have driven me into your embrace more than friends have.

Friends have bound me to earth, enemies have loosed me from earth and have demolished all my aspirations in the world.

Enemies have made me a stranger in worldly realms and an extraneous inhabitant of the world. Just as a hunted animal finds safer shelter than an unhunted animal does, so have I, persecuted by enemies, found the safest sanctuary, having ensconced myself beneath your tabernacle, where neither friends nor enemies can slay my soul.

Bless my enemies, O Lord. Even I bless them and do not curse them.

They, rather than I, have confessed my sins before the world.

They have punished me, whenever I have hesitated to punish myself.

They have tormented me, whenever I have tried to flee torments.

They have scolded me, whenever I have flattered myself.

They have spat upon me, whenever I have filled myself with arrogance.

Bless my enemies, O Lord, Even I bless them and do not curse them.

Whenever I have made myself wise, they have called me foolish.

Whenever I have made myself mighty, they have mocked me as though I were a dwarf.

Whenever I have wanted to lead people, they have shoved me into the background.

Whenever I have rushed to enrich myself, they have prevented me with an iron hand.

Whenever I thought that I would sleep peacefully, they have wakened me from sleep.

Whenever I have tried to build a home for a long and tranquil life, they have demolished it and driven me out.

Truly, enemies have cut me loose from the world and have stretched out my hands to the hem of your garment.

Bless my enemies, O Lord. Even I bless them and do not curse them.

Bless them and multiply them; multiply them and make them even more bitter against me:

so that my fleeing to You may have no return;

so that all hope in men may be scattered like cobwebs;

so that absolute serenity may begin to reign in my soul;

so that my heart may become the grave of my two evil twins, arrogance and anger;

so that I might amass all my treasure in heaven;

ah, so that I may for once be freed from self-deception, which has entangled me in the dreadful web of illusory life.

Enemies have taught me to know what hardly anyone knows, that a person has no enemies in the world except himself.

One hates his enemies only when he fails to realize that they are not enemies, but cruel friends.

It is truly difficult for me to say who has done me more good and who has done me more evil in the world: friends or enemies.

Therefore bless, O Lord, both my friends and enemies.

A slave curses enemies, for he does not understand. But a son blesses them, for he understands.

For a son knows that his enemies cannot touch his life.

Therefore he freely steps among them and prays to God for them.

(St. Nikolai Velimirovic)

Today From the Prologue

22 October 10
Saint James the Brother of the Lord

Saint James the Brother of the Lord

Commemorated on October 23

Holy Apostle James, the Brother of God (Adelphotheos) was the son of Righteous Joseph the Betrothed of the Most Holy Theotokos (December 26). From his early years James was a Nazarene, a man especially dedicated to God. The Nazarenes vowed to preserve their virginity, to abstain from wine, to refrain from eating meat, and not to cut their hair. The vow of the Nazarenes symbolized a life of holiness and purity, commanded formerly by the Lord for all Israel. When the Savior began to teach the nation about the Kingdom of God, St James believed in Christ and became His apostle. He was chosen as the first Bishop of Jerusalem.

St James presided over the Council of Jerusalem and his word was decisive (Acts 15). In his thirty years as bishop, St James converted many of the Jews to Christianity. Annoyed by this, the Pharisees and the Scribes plotted together to kill St James. They led the saint up on the pinnacle of the Jerusalem Temple and asked what he thought of Jesus. The holy Apostle began to bear witness that Christ is the Messiah, which was not the response the Pharisees were expecting. Greatly angered, the Jewish teachers threw him off the roof. The saint did not die immediately, but gathering his final strength, he prayed to the Lord for his enemies while they were stoning him. St James’ martyrdom occurred about 63 A.D.

The holy Apostle James composed a Divine Liturgy, which formed the basis of the Liturgies of Sts Basil the Great and John Chrysostom. The Church has preserved an Epistle of St James, one of the books of the New Testament.

In 1853, Patriarch Hierotheus of Alexandria sent to Moscow a portion of the relics of St James. The Church distinguishes between the holy Apostle James the Brother of God, and St James the son of Zebedee (April 30) and St James the son of Alphaeus (October 9).

Things To Memorize..

15 October 10

Prayer of the Optina Elders

Am I Overreacting?

14 October 10

I am not quite sure what to think. I was a part of a group on Facebook called “NAU Resistance.” There were a lot of weird things on that site, but also some good stuff as well.

Today they reposted something regarding the existence of aliens and such, and as part of the reposted article they had a cover image of an Orthodox icon with an alien head superimposed where the saints head would/should be.

As such I was rather offended and so I said so in a comment to the article. At that point I seemed to get bashed by others, calling me holier than thou and such. I wasn’t worried about the comments honestly, more just offended that someone would deface an icon to make some sort of mundane point.

Am I overreacting or would others feel the same way?


14 October 10

So, today after work we made the trip to Scottsdale/Osborne Hospital where we wanted to attend a birthing tour. The location was good, seeing as how it is really close to home. They accept our insurance, even if it changes.

We were going to waffle between this hospital and St. Joseph’s because of their midwifery ward, but we are 3 weeks away from the birthday as of this Saturday. I had no idea we were this close. At this point we are thinking it is best to get seen by a doctor, make sure all is well with the baby and just stick with it.

We liked the hospital and now we have to find a doctor, hopefully a female, from the list that the hospital gave us, that will allow us to follow our birth plan providing there are no issues with the birth that require some sort of intervention.

Rach is gonna call the doctors on the list and screen them and hopefully we can get some sort of a checkup before it is time for birthday. I am relieved thatw e have made some sort of a decision on what we are going to try and how this is going to work out.
I just cant believe that we are at this point already. It was sort of a shock when I calendared this all and realised how soon it really was. I cant wait til I can meet our little guy. Its almost time!

My Little Princess

10 October 10

As hard as life can get these days with stress from work and going to school and all of the extra stuff I do during the week there is always one thing that is guaranteed to get me through all the drama and frustrations.

I take one look at my little girl and as easy as rain on a windshield it all just rolls away. She is so sweet and innocent and she sees the world in such a beautiful manner that it just sort of silences all of the other things that I seem to think are obstacles in my life.

The unconditional love of a child is one of the most special and unique aspects of parenthood, and for me it is just the most special connection that I share with my little girl. I get frustrated and angry and act like a dork sometimes and she just looks at me with those little brown eyes as if to say “its ok daddy, I still love you” and I just melt. I love my wonderful little almost three year old Talia Noelle “Big Baby Nemo.”

And in a matter of weeks it will start all over again with my son. In 4 weeks or less my life will be absolutely complete and lacking in nothing, but in all things overflowing with love. I have waited so long for this and soon it will be here. I can not wait.