Some documents, and as well some thoughts on this blog and the coming summer

God has ascended with a shout, the Lord with the sound of a trumpet!

As this is the evening after the Vespers for Ascension I greet you all on the Feast. Following Liturgy tomorrow morning, my family and I will be going on vacation, but I have some podcasts already in teh queue for everyone, including a great one with Fr. Anthony Perkins. Below you will find all the documents for the last several episodes of the podcast (for which there are documents to be had).

In a few weeks I will be moving all of my postings to a new website. I will cross post for the time being, but I purchased a website, and so shall be using that for my blog (it allows me to do a lot more). I will keep you all posted. The site is up, it just needs some refinement.

I pray the documents help all of you.

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The Show Notes for the last Athanasian Episodes

From Episode 56 to 59

I hardly need to speak of the bishops of Egypt and Libya and of the people of these lands and of Alexandria. They all assembled together and their joy was unspeakable, for not only had they received their friends back alive, which was beyond all their hope, but they were delivered from the heretics, who were like tyrants and raging dogs. Great was the delight of the people as they gathered in worship and incited each other to virtue. How many single women who were previously preparing themselves for marriage remained virgins for Christ! How many young men, witnessing the examples of others, fell in love with the monastic life! How many fathers urged their children and how many were persuaded by their children not to shirk back from the ascetic discipline in Christ! How many wives convinced their husbands and how many were persuaded by their husbands to “devote themselves to prayer,” as the apostle said (1 Cor 7:5)! How many widows and orphans, who were previously hungry and unclothed, received both food and clothing through the great zeal of the people. In short, the contest for virtue was such that one would have thought every family and household to be a church, on account of the virtuous nobility of its members and their prayers offered to God. There was a deep and wonderful peace among the churches, as the bishops wrote from everywhere to Athanasius and received from him the customary letters of peace. St. Athanasius, History of the Arians

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Episode 55 The Trials and Travails of St. Athanasios

This episode, The Trials and Travails of St. Athanasios, is up.

I hinted earlier at something big for the website, and I hope by next week I can reveal it. Time moves slow in the world at the moment. God bless you all as you begin Lent.

When the Arians lied, claiming that he {Antony} held the same views as they, he became indignant and astonished when he heard about it. Then, on the request of the bishops and all the brothers, he came down from the mountain to Alexandria. He publicly condemned the Arian heresy, saying that this heresy was the last and the precursor to the Anti-Christ. He taught the people that the Son of God is not a creature and did not come into being from nothing but is the eternal Word and Wisdom of the being of the Father: “So it is impious to say that ‘there was when He was not’. The
Word exists eternally with the Father. So do not have any thing to do with these most impious Arians. ‘For light has no fellowship with darkness’ (2 Cor 6:14). You are pious Christians but they, who say of the Son who is from the Father and is the Word of God that He is a creature, differ in no way from the pagans, worshipping a creature instead of God the Creator (cf. Rom 1:25). Rest assured that the whole creation itself is indignant at them, because they number among created beings the Creator and Lord of all, in whom all things came into being.” So all the people rejoiced to hear so great a man anathematizing the heresy which fights against Christ.
(St. Athanasius, Life of Antony 69–70)

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Notes and links from 53 and 54

You can find the links for the podcast, 53 (The World Groaned to Find Itself Arian) and 54 (St. Athanasios: An Introduction) at their usual haunts.

The docs for this are minimal, just St. Jerome’s recollections about the sad state of the empire under Constantius II.

After these proceedings the Council (Ariminum, 359, adopting Sirmium) was dissolved. All returned in gladness to their own provinces. For the Emperor and all good men had one and the same aim, that the East and West should be knit together by the bond of fellowship. But wickedness does not long lie hidden, and the sore that is healed superficially before the bad humour has been worked off breaks out again. Valens and Ursacius and others associated with them in their wickedness, eminent Christian bishops of course, began to wave their palms, and to say they had not denied that He was a creature, but that He was like other creatures. At that moment the term ousia was abolished: the Nicene Faith stood condemned by acclamation. The whole world groaned, and was astonished to find itself Arian. Some, therefore, remained in their own communion, others began to send letters to those Confessors who as adherents of Athanasius were in exile; several despairingly bewailed the better relations into which they had entered. But a few, true to human nature, defended their mistake as an exhibition of wisdom. The ship of the Apostles was in peril, she was driven by the wind, her sides beaten with the waves: no hope was now left.
St. Jerome, Dialogue Against Lucifer.

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Documents and Links for Episodes 51 & 52

Sorry for the hurly burly of my life. Hopefully no witches have been shaping the blogs destiny, though there are some big announcements ahead. Part of my “laziness” in keepint the blog in fighting trim has to do with a project that will greatly change this blog (all for the better) with more content and more media.

Here are the links to episodes 51 (The Council of Nicaea II) and 52 (St. Constantine the Great).

St. Constantine’s Remarks to the Bishops at Nicaea

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Man am I Behind (or catching up with episode docs).

With all due apologies, below are my notes for episode 46, episode 47, episode 48, and episode 50 (as 49 was a round of addressing questions and comments from listeners).

So, going with the oldest first, Episode 46, which was a continuation of episode 45, and touched on the question of St. Constantine’s conversion, I have but the note on the riot in Nicomedia from Lactantius.

The next day, the edict was published. lt commanded that throughout the whole Empire churches were to be destroyed, and sacred books handed over to be burnt. Christians in the public service were to be removed from their offices: in civil life the honestiores were to lose their important privileges of birth and status, and no Christian might act as accuser in cases of personal injury, adultery and theft. Christian slaves might no longer be freed. Only the lives of the sectaries were spared; otherwise they were to be outlaws.

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Who has Brought Life & Immortality to Light

I love Christmas. I love the story of the shepherds, the angels, and the Magi. Luke 2:1-20 was one of the first longer passages ever I had memorized. I love the hymns, both the ones I grew up with (which, given my Fundamentalist upbringing was one of the few times real theology actually crept into my life), and the ones I now sing as an Orthodox. I love being with family, the good cheer, the anticipation of the coming year, and the taking stock of the past year.

When I read myself into Calvinism as an undergraduate I gained an understanding of Christmas a bit different than the one I had grown up with, a skewed view that Jesus came to be the king of Israel, but once the Jews rejected him, his mission turned to the Gentiles. I was not really sure whether he would have faced the cross, but one branch of my upbringing actually thought he wouldn’t.

With Calvinism I’m not sure I was a lot better off: Christ comes to satisfy God’s wrath against my sin, to endure as a man God’s wrath, and to propitiate the divine justice. His life was for the keeping of the law Adam had failed to do, and his death erased the debt my sin and guilt owed. All rather tidy, wouldn’t you say?

But once I started reading Orthodoxy I came up against a completely different understanding. Yes, God was still a God of wrath, angered by my sin, and yes, Christ as the second Adam came to complete what Adam had failed to do, but the similarities largely ended there (if similarities they are).

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Never Enough of Man-Slaughtering Hektor

The Feast of our Lord’s Nativity will soon dawn upon us, and we who have sat in darkness shall see a great Light. While this Feast so near, I should note that we have, counting today, ten days still to this calendar year. I hope that is enough for everyone both to enjoy the holidays, and also to take stock of the past year in preparation for the new.

Tomorrow is promised to no one, and our best-laid planes often come to naught, but, as my high school teacher John Weathers used to say, if you fail to plane, you are planning to fail.

At this point last year I had no idea what the new year would bring. I had no thought that I would have my one knee replaced, and after six months of rehab, I am very happy that I did.

Further, I could not have seen that one very anticipated endeavor would rather, and seemingly unhappily, end.

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Two behind, plus something else, but in the next post.

The most recent iterations of the podcast are up, namely Episode 44 on the beginning of the Great Persecution, and Episode 45 on the question of whether Constantine converted the Church, or the Church converted the empire. Below are the notes and items for each of them.

I will also have another post later today on things I am working on.

Constantine’s Vision

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Episode 43: The Theban Legion

Episode 43 treats the story of the Theban Legion (and it detractors).

You can listen to the episode here.

You can find O’Reilly’s book on the Theban Legion at Amazon.

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