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Trevor Peterson
hopefully, a human being
hopefully, a human being
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Tonight at vespers, Ian helped out in the altar, Jenna sang in the choir, and I got to worship without worrying about either of them. Woo hoo!
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Account us worthy of beholding the week of Thy passion, O Lover of mankind,
For we have finished the forty days of the fast;
May we glorify Thy mighty deeds, Thine ineffable dispensation for our sakes:
O Lord, glory to Thee!
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vanity: that moment, right about the middle of Lent, when you inadvertently discover that your belt has settled a notch to the right of its normal position (or is it when you decide to post that information online, framed in false humility?)
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I'm glad I don't have to spend more time looking at Congressional district maps. Around here, anyway, they're a twisted mess of nonsense that suggests some form of dementia. At least now I'm reasonably certain that I live in a different district from last year. Can't say I'll miss Sarbanes, but he did make my life easier. Now I'm not sure who to vote against.
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"At Antim there was a lot of discussion about the Jesus Prayer. We had an [anthology], brought by a Russian hieromonk, Ioan (Kulâghin). We used to call him Ioan 'the Stranger.' We were greatly influenced by him, as he was a great zealot. There was a father, George (Roşca), a great zealot as well, who, when he saw the monastic cross I carved, said that he would give me an [anthology] if I would make him a cross. But I told him, 'I'm not accepting any [anthology]; I'm not making any cross. Because I don't agree with what's being discussed here. Too much talking about the prayer of the heart. Say it (utter it in secret) and keep silent! This is everything. Why do you have to wait for instructions? Have you not felt, even by now, that you're a man of Christ?'

"Then a young man came to me, knocked at the door of my cell, and said humbly, 'I kiss your hand, Father! I would like you to give me the [anthology].' (Then only two or three copies of the book existed in all of Bucharest. Now it's published, but then it could not be found.)

"And I told him, 'Yes, I'll give it to you with pleasure!' And I took a prayer rope and gave it to him. I told him, 'Here you go! Shut up and say it [the prayer]: this is the [anthology]!'

"I was not ignoring the [anthology], but I was very zealous about saying the prayer, living it at all costs. This was my point of view: A deep silence means a deep prayer! 'Keep silent and say it!' You will not be saved by the fact that you have been in a spiritual environment with extraordinary, unheard-of examples and quotations, simply to satisfy your reason. You won't be saved! This is one of the big mistakes made by people who are sincerely pondering this question. They abandon, to a certain extent, [the real goal] and they do not aim by every means for the highest goal--conquering eternity every day, every moment if possible!"

Eternity Hidden in the Moment: The Life and Recollections of Elder Arsenie (Papacioc) Part I
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Goodnight, Mush

Tried to take the ultra-simple approach to the first week of Lent, so today was the day to start cooking. Dug some vegetable scraps out of the freezer that I'd been saving to make broth. It was my first attempt at turning garbage into an ingredient, so we'll see how it goes. Assuming it comes out OK, I think it will go into a batch of tortilla soup.

For more immediate consumption, I fished through the cupboard and found some lentils and millet to use up. Also threw in some barley and cajun seasoning that I think came with a package of beans several weeks ago. The seasoning didn't accomplish as much as I was hoping it would--gave them the tiniest bit of heat and not much flavor. Still, it wasn't bad with a little soy sauce on rye toast. I have a lot left, so I'm thinking it will go with the tortilla soup and some beans to make "Mexican gumbo."

In a shameless attempt to spiritualize the effort, it is remarkably close to a meal of boiled wheat (actually, if I'd really been thinking along those lines, I would have used up the wheat berries too); and in another tribute to St. Theodore, I made it entirely from ingredients that had been sitting around the house for quite some time (a few years, in the case of the millet). So take that, Julian the Apostate! You'd have to get up pretty early in the morning to sprinkle blood on my food in the market.
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I recently switched to using the new Jordanville Psalter (adapted from Coverdale). Some turns of phrase that caught my attention this morning:

"God is gone up with a merry noise, the Lord with the sound of the trump" (46:6).
" . . . and the righteous shall have dominion over them in the morning, and their help shall rot in hell . . . " (48:15)

[Note: chapter numbers in the Orthodox Psalter are typically one less than in Western versions.]
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Things you learn when the four-year-old is teaching the eight-year-old:

Ian: What's a chip taste like?
Jenna: Sour.
Ian: What's "sour?"
Jenna: "Sour" is, it makes your chip better.
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