What is paradosis? | bloghome | paradosis website | contact

Subscribe to
Posts [Atom]

[The Creation of the Chicken]

An unworthy Deacon, named for the brother of God: James, striving to "work out his salvation with fear and trembling" within the Tradition (paradosis) of the Eastern Orthodox Faith. It is a strange and marvelous journey, and I am accompanied by the fourfold fruit of my fecundity. My wife, the Matushka or Diaconissa Sophia, is my beloved partner in the pursuit of Theosis, and she ranks me in every way.
<
[Consider Supporting]
[Our Farm]
[The Past]
05/01/2002 - 06/01/2002
06/01/2002 - 07/01/2002
07/01/2002 - 08/01/2002
08/01/2002 - 09/01/2002
09/01/2002 - 10/01/2002
10/01/2002 - 11/01/2002
11/01/2002 - 12/01/2002
12/01/2002 - 01/01/2003
01/01/2003 - 02/01/2003
02/01/2003 - 03/01/2003
03/01/2003 - 04/01/2003
04/01/2003 - 05/01/2003
05/01/2003 - 06/01/2003
06/01/2003 - 07/01/2003
07/01/2003 - 08/01/2003
08/01/2003 - 09/01/2003
09/01/2003 - 10/01/2003
10/01/2003 - 11/01/2003
11/01/2003 - 12/01/2003
12/01/2003 - 01/01/2004
01/01/2004 - 02/01/2004
02/01/2004 - 03/01/2004
03/01/2004 - 04/01/2004
04/01/2004 - 05/01/2004
05/01/2004 - 06/01/2004
06/01/2004 - 07/01/2004
07/01/2004 - 08/01/2004
08/01/2004 - 09/01/2004
09/01/2004 - 10/01/2004
10/01/2004 - 11/01/2004
11/01/2004 - 12/01/2004
12/01/2004 - 01/01/2005
01/01/2005 - 02/01/2005
02/01/2005 - 03/01/2005
03/01/2005 - 04/01/2005
04/01/2005 - 05/01/2005
05/01/2005 - 06/01/2005
06/01/2005 - 07/01/2005
07/01/2005 - 08/01/2005
08/01/2005 - 09/01/2005
09/01/2005 - 10/01/2005
10/01/2005 - 11/01/2005
11/01/2005 - 12/01/2005
12/01/2005 - 01/01/2006
01/01/2006 - 02/01/2006
02/01/2006 - 03/01/2006
03/01/2006 - 04/01/2006
04/01/2006 - 05/01/2006
05/01/2006 - 06/01/2006
06/01/2006 - 07/01/2006
07/01/2006 - 08/01/2006
08/01/2006 - 09/01/2006
09/01/2006 - 10/01/2006
10/01/2006 - 11/01/2006
11/01/2006 - 12/01/2006
12/01/2006 - 01/01/2007
01/01/2007 - 02/01/2007
02/01/2007 - 03/01/2007
03/01/2007 - 04/01/2007
04/01/2007 - 05/01/2007
05/01/2007 - 06/01/2007
06/01/2007 - 07/01/2007
07/01/2007 - 08/01/2007
08/01/2007 - 09/01/2007
09/01/2007 - 10/01/2007
10/01/2007 - 11/01/2007
11/01/2007 - 12/01/2007
12/01/2007 - 01/01/2008
01/01/2008 - 02/01/2008
02/01/2008 - 03/01/2008
03/01/2008 - 04/01/2008
04/01/2008 - 05/01/2008
05/01/2008 - 06/01/2008
06/01/2008 - 07/01/2008
07/01/2008 - 08/01/2008
08/01/2008 - 09/01/2008
09/01/2008 - 10/01/2008
10/01/2008 - 11/01/2008
11/01/2008 - 12/01/2008
12/01/2008 - 01/01/2009
01/01/2009 - 02/01/2009
02/01/2009 - 03/01/2009
03/01/2009 - 04/01/2009
04/01/2009 - 05/01/2009
05/01/2009 - 06/01/2009
06/01/2009 - 07/01/2009
07/01/2009 - 08/01/2009
08/01/2009 - 09/01/2009
09/01/2009 - 10/01/2009
10/01/2009 - 11/01/2009
11/01/2009 - 12/01/2009
12/01/2009 - 01/01/2010
01/01/2010 - 02/01/2010
02/01/2010 - 03/01/2010
03/01/2010 - 04/01/2010
04/01/2010 - 05/01/2010
05/01/2010 - 06/01/2010
08/01/2010 - 09/01/2010
09/01/2010 - 10/01/2010
10/01/2010 - 11/01/2010
03/01/2011 - 04/01/2011
04/01/2011 - 05/01/2011
05/01/2011 - 06/01/2011
06/01/2011 - 07/01/2011
10/01/2011 - 11/01/2011
11/01/2011 - 12/01/2011
12/01/2011 - 01/01/2012
02/01/2012 - 03/01/2012
03/01/2012 - 04/01/2012
04/01/2012 - 05/01/2012
05/01/2012 - 06/01/2012
06/01/2012 - 07/01/2012
08/01/2012 - 09/01/2012
02/01/2013 - 03/01/2013
04/01/2013 - 05/01/2013
07/01/2013 - 08/01/2013
11/01/2013 - 12/01/2013
02/01/2014 - 03/01/2014
03/01/2014 - 04/01/2014
07/01/2014 - 08/01/2014
[Orthodox America]
Antiochian Archdiocese
Greek Orthodox Archdiocese
Orthodox Church in America
Serbian Orthodox Church in America
Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Church in America
[monasteries]
Valaam
Holy Myrrhbearers
Saint John
Saint Theodore
New Skete
Saint Herman
Saint Anthony, AZ
Balamand Monastery
[mercy]
Zoe for Life
In Communion
IOCC
Missions
[orthodox bloggers]
Notes from a Hillside Farm
Bishop Seraphim
This is Life
Fly in the Holy Oil
The Violent Munkee
The Blue Canopy
Sophia Says
Notes from a common place book
Pithless Thoughts
Photios
[I am a Rusyn]
[Slovakia]
[Kosovo]
[Mmmmmm]
[Where in the World?]
Locations of visitors to this page

Monday, December 01, 2003

Olaf

…with my friend and brother’s permission, I relate his story to you.

William sat destitute in his Arizona residence at 2am watching a program about Alaska on PBS. He knew that his life was coming apart - being addicted to alcohol – and he was desperately concerned for the lives of his sons who lay asleep beside him and were being equally affected by his disease. He had to do something…anything.

As he watched the program with all these thoughts in his head, he saw something that really struck him. He says he remembers vividly standing to his feet as an image of a small church was being shown; a “strange looking church with weird bulbs on the top and funny looking crosses all over.” He was further mesmerized as a “holy man” wearing all black and sporting a huge beard came out “swinging something with smoke coming out.” Inside the church, William relates that all he could remember was that it was filled with pictures. Something or (someone), in this moment of desperation (which I imagine few of us have ever experienced), called to William and compelled him. He had to go to Alaska…to see that funny church.

Money in his pocket was only enough for bus fare to Seattle. He went and as it turned out, this would be close enough. Wandering the streets of downtown he found himself weeping in a park when two men approached him handing our sandwiches. They talked, and William explained to them about his pilgrimage (though he could not at the time know to use such a word.) To say the least, the two men where amazed because they were laypersons at St. Paul Antiochian Orthodox Church and it was Holy Saturday.

It was my first Holy Week and my mind was all-awash in the splendor of Orthodoxy when I saw the strange burly man walk into our Church. I was particularly touched because he was obviously in dire straits and also had no idea what to do or what was going on during this great Paschal vigil. (Apparently he’d not had time to read Frederica’s 12 things!) But I watched in amazement as he approached the central icon and not knowing what to do, he fell to his knees and laid his hand gently upon it…weeping. I leaned over and asked my wife if she knew who it was…she shook her head, we were still fairly new ourselves.

Months later I would find myself standing next to this burly man holding candles and being received together into the Holy Orthodox Church. He had, and would continue to become a beloved member of our Parish. William was in many ways, gone as he struggled through the catechumenate and into sobriety. No doubt he readily embraced the Orthodox tradition of taking a new name, and even now has to frequently remind me to call him by his Christian name: Olaf.

I have nothing but admiration for people who fight alcoholism (or really any serious addiction). Someone once said that the greatest victory is over one's self. Nothing could be more true...and it is in many ways a never ending battle: one day at a time (as they say.)

He would eventually make it up to Alaska for a visit (he ended up calling the greater Seattle area home for a couple of years now)- though I'm not sure he ever saw the exact church he'd seen on TV - but he had found THE Church, and it made all the difference in the world. One cannot help but believe that God was behind all of this.

Olaf has now reached a milestone in the process of his healing and has decided that it is time for him to return to Arizona, to no doubt face many demons (both literally and figuratively), and to begin to help his sons out of a very bad situation which has apparently developed during the time of his neccesary absence. He needs both our spiritual and our material support, and I am going to ask those of you who read this blog to consider helping as well…which is especially appropriate in this season of Advent. If you would be interested in helping Olaf, please email me at the address in the menu above and I will give you further specific instructions on how you can do so. If you cannot help materially, please take a moment now and pray for Olaf?

I know that we will miss him greatly, he was indeed an inspiration and a model of Christian humility and love to me. God speed my friend…hurry back.

...offered by Dn. James Ferrenberg, a sinner at 8:20 AM [+]
+++
0 comments


0 Comments:

Post a Comment




This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?