Into the Sanctuary: Psalm 73

Psalm 73 is one of my favorites. I will briefly comment on the different parts of this Psalm in order to explain why I like it so much. (I’m quoting the standard RSV translation.) 73:1 Truly …

Source: Into the Sanctuary: Psalm 73

Fr. C. I’ve been reading the psalms to my 98y father, who is probably dying soon. This was helpful to read now, for me.
“Coming into the sanctuary” is a great consolation for me to bring to him. The sanctuary is “in truth and spirit” as Jesus told the Samaritan woman, not in a place, not in our accomplishments. “The sanctuary” is the psalms, themselves. We’ve talked together of “taking stock,” as a means of understanding our lives and their significance (if any) before God, not measured by the others. What do we have left to give? It is probably more important to me than him; as a daughter I still want his blessing.

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Two Anniversaries

“Scope” in a profound dimension!

Ancient Answers

April 24th marks two very different anniversaries: the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Holocaust and Genocide and the 25th anniversary of the launch of the Hubble Telescope. The first anniversary represents the darkest side of human nature, while the second represents humanity at its most inspiring.

Armenian intellectuals who were arrested and later executed en masse by Young Turk government authorities on the night of 24 April 1915. Armenian intellectuals who were arrested and later executed en masse by Young Turk government authorities on the night of 24 April 1915.

The killing of Armenians by the Ottoman Turks began on April 24th, 1915, and took over 1 million lives by the time it came to an end. Armenians call it Medz Yeghern (“the Great Crime”) and it is acknowledged by most historians and governments of the world, but it continues to be denied by Turkey.

An article by the New York Times dated 15 December 1915 states that one million Armenians had been either deported or executed by the Ottoman government. An article by the New York Times dated 15 December 1915 states that one million Armenians had been either deported or executed by the Ottoman government. (click to enlarge)

Fundraising poster for the American Committee for Relief in the Near East. The United States contributed a significant amount of aid to help Armenians during the Armenian Genocide. Fundraising poster…

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The Gospel of Touch

I was with the Sunday School yesterday and didn’t hear your sermon. Today, I was able to hear this through the “miracle of technology,” Now, I am calm and receptive and grateful that I was able to receive it. The gritty audacity of Thomas has always perplexed me. I have spent a long time in a church where the whole mystery is outside of my reach and the gritty reality of my life. I am touched.

Ancient Answers

The place of the Gospel of John relative to the other three Gospels.

Its use in the Orthodox Church in the cycle of readings.

Midnight service of Pascha: We begin with Mark 16:1-8 and that amazing conclusion that trails off into the night: εφοβούντο γαρ. But at the Liturgy that follows we read John 1:1-17 with the climactic affirmation, The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. More properly and literally: The Word became flesh and pitched his tent with us.

stthomasxcIt’s all about touch. The Word became flesh. And now that flesh is the one Thomas is invited to touch – that divine flesh that took upon itself all the pain and suffering of humanity.

When responding to Thomas, Jesus said, “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe.” He didn’t say, “Blessed are those who have not touched and yet believe.” He couldn’t say that…

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The Heart is the Mediator

The Heart is the Mediator. That statement reaffirms what I was taught about using the Jesus Prayer: Stated in the mind, to the rhythm of the breath and pulsing into the heart.  I find it a very helpful image because that is what we need to process the world around us. If we use only our mind and analyze, our conclusions can be clever and insightful, but tend to be cold.

If we use our “gut” we can become impassioned and vengeful or emotionally dazzled. If we use our heart, we can “climb into the skin of another” (quoting Atticus) and have compassion for another’s reality. I find that the hands are a crucial component of making these connections. Only when we engage our hands in the conversation, can we SEE what we understand and make a mark that speaks. Jesus is the source and is woven into the total living act.