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[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.
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Friday, April 22, 2005

On the Brink of Holy Week with Cesar Millan

Well Lent is ending, and Holy Week beginning. Am I ready?

Seraphim has a fantastic post over and Now and Ever in which he writes about the importance of an "untamed" Church. Oddly enough, (and hopefully Seraphim will not take offense, recognizing that anything said or written to me must in fact - lamentfully - be filtered through me) it made me think about "The Dog Whisperer."

Cesar Millan is a professional dog behaviorist who rehabilitates troubled dogs...but if you watch a few episodes you quickly learn that he is actually doing more to train the owners than the dog, because 9 out of 10 times the dog's problems are traced to the fact that the owners are not fulfilling their roles as "alpha males" in the pack.

Thus the dogs are left in a completely unnatural environment in which they either become the "alpha males" themselves and/or delve into some of the most bizzarre compulsive and destructive behavior that you can imagine. Because dogs make their families their packs and because families do not generally behave like dog packs it is critical that a calm and confident leadership be developed by the people in the home so that the dog isn't forced to try and lead what is to them a foreign and insane environment. It literally drives them to doggy despair to not be in a subserviant role within the context of human environments.

The happiest and most balanced dogs are those whose subserviant role is most clearly defined in the home. Dogs that are catered to or treated like a child inevitably become problem dogs, despite the oweners very best intentions of being loving to the dog and providing for their needs. But you see, they are misinterpreting the dog's needs.

And I think we often do the same to ourselves in terms of our religious environments. We misinterpret our needs and then seek to have them catered to. I have heard Cesar say to dog owners: "Your dog does not need recognition right now, he/she needs to be led." And I ask: are we all that different from dogs? (though I don't think I smell all that bad when I get wet.)

It is amazing to watch Cesar begin to work with these dogs, because often within a matter of minutes you can literally see the most troublesome dogs have their problems melt away before your eyes as they submit to Cesar's calm and confident leadership. Usually it happens within the simple context of a stroll down the sidewalk.

Well, here comes Holy Week and I am ready for my walk Lord. Lead me. The Church is calm and confident.

...offered by Dn. fdj, a sinner at 7:34 AM [+]
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