June 10, 2016

Let Me Tell You a Story: Preface

The following is an excerpt from Yann Martel’s, Life of Pi, when the protagonist has finished telling his extraordinary tale of survival: “If you stumble at mere believability, what are you living for? Isn’t love hard to believe?” “Mr. Patel–” “Don’t you bully me with your politeness! Love is hard to believe, ask any lover. Life is hard to believe, ask any scientist. God is hard to believe, ask any believer. What is your problem with hard – …

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February 15, 2016

In the presence of holiness.

Abbâ Muthues used to say that there were three brethren who were in the habit of coming to Abbâ Antony, and that two of them used to ask him questions about the thoughts, and about life, and redemption, and the discretion (or intelligence) of the soul, whilst the third one held his peace continually. And after a long time Abbâ Antony said unto him, “Brother, thou comest here each year, and askest nothing!” And he – …

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November 14, 2015

I don’t want to be ‘that guy’.

“He who walks with wise men becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm” (Proverbs 13:20) So, it used to be that people had a group of friends from Church because they had things in common: their faith, their values, their heritage. You could count on your church crew to keep you in check when you felt like you were doing something, or at least, tempted to do, something wrong. In fact, often when – …

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September 5, 2015

‘NSync, Losses, and Memory Eternal…

Kareem Elgawly: February 1, 1992 – September 5, 2014 Bye Bye Bye, baby, bye bye bye! blasted on the sound system as I entered Vons a few hours ago. Yeah, it was ‘NSync, a boy band that I never really got into, but they had a couple of big hits that stuck with me throughout the years. That one and “This I promise you”. A strange melancholy gripped me right away, but not the bad gloom, it was – …

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August 21, 2015

What a Woman

Every mother has a story. Every mother came from somewhere, and where she came from affects how she raises her children and interacts with her husband. One mother, however, the mother of all of us, has a story that I think is awe-inspiring. The volumes that are written and could be written about our blessed mother, the Theotokos, the God-bearer and the Christ-Bearer, are countless. She’s not just some lady that got lucky. No, we know that God – …

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August 4, 2015

It takes a whole village: a reflection.

+ In a room, at the outskirts of a city, a young woman, 21 years, is giving birth to her first child, her baby girl. Her sisters,  mother, and  female cousins and friends are all around her. They console her, they squeeze her hand, and they also laugh that “knowing laugh”, while she screams in pain. They are all familiar with the joy of motherhood, the joy that comes after the pain. Some of the girls have not yet – …

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July 30, 2015

Think for yourself.

Do you really think for yourself? Take a read through these random comments and responses, and please think about what they mean. Please think about what the questions that I am asking on each one for a few moments before going from one to another. Youth: “So, you guys are into promiscuity and stuff, I get it. I want to save myself for marriage.” World: “You’re a prude. Sex is just an expression of love, – …

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July 16, 2015

Q&A: What do I do when I don’t feel like striving anymore?

Q&A: What do I do when I don’t feel like striving anymore? I know I’m supposed to, but it’s brutal. Response: What an honest question. You’re right, sometimes friends and counsellors or others sometimes emphasise the need for us to strive. Often we know that we need to strive, but the issue is not knowing it, the issue is sometimes simply getting through it. a) Where there’s purpose, find it. Think of the flight of – …

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June 30, 2015

The Authentic Addict, Atheist and Saint: Moses

Today is the eve of the feast of one of the most inspiring Saints of the Church universal. He belongs to the whole church, irrespective of nationality, denomination, or biases. What makes so many people fall in love with him, I think, is the relatable nature of this man. St. Moses was real. Most people are familiar with his story, so I am going to go through just a few aspects of his with which – …

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June 27, 2015

“Love is love”, why not 3?

+ This is not meant to be a political post, nor is it an angry rant that the US Supreme Court ruled in favour of homosexual marriage. This has been expected for a long time, so really, nothing shocking occurred. Rather, it’s a personal rumination and critique over how in our being so cliché, we are actually being very inconsistent and harming society. I want to get at the reasoning behind the ruling, and why – …

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May 27, 2015

Gabriel: announcing the good news.

+Christ is risen and ascended! This post may seem cliché, but it’s true in this present moment. My family welcomes to the world Gabriel Macarius. He comes just two years after the loss of his older brother, Anthony Paul. To express in words the happiness and joy at Gabriel’s arrival would trivialise the real meaningfulness within us. Sadness is more common than it ought to be. Stuff happens. Illness, disease, suffering, woundedness and yes, death – they all happen. – …

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April 9, 2015

And who would you be?

+ …if you were alive during the blessed time in which God Incarnate walked among men, would you have done anything differently this week? It is Holy Thursday. Most of us are anticipating a beautiful Liturgy, a moving Paschal evening, and looking with eagerness toward Great Friday and then the conclusion of the Pascha. Hopefully this week is more than just feeling good about being in church so much. Hopefully we do not take a – …

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