Monthly Archives: March 2011

Review posted on Amazon

5.0 out of 5 stars

Amazing book, unique perspective, February 15, 2011

By Mom in Bay Area (Redwood City, CA) – See all my reviews Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?) This review is from: The Pearl of Great Price: The Spiritual Journey of a New Age Seeker to the Light of Christ and the Eastern Orthodox Church (Paperback) When I first starting reading this book, I was thinking, yet another confessional book written by yet another screwed up baby boomer. I have to confess that I began to like this book more and more as I kept reading and I wasn’t able to put it down until I finished. The author’s journey is worth reading about, especially if you are a woman interested in spirituality and in Christianity. I appreciate that Paula Sivori (the author’s real name) could tell us this story with honesty. The book is not as well-edited as I would like especially in the beginning. There are lots of parts where the writing is awkward and amateurish (good editing would have fixed this!) Otherwise, I heartily recommend this book for anyone who has been searching for answers to the meaning of life and questioning God.

Why Lent must rise again, G. Jeffrey MacDonald

This is an amazing article our pastor read last Sunday – the second Sunday of  Lent.  It is truly a statement of our times and of the importance of the traditions within Lent that can help us in our daily lives.  Written by a Protestant – he illumined the struggles and joys that await by entering ‘into the fast’.

Novato Author to Talk about Spiritual Journey to Eastern Orthodox Life

Novato Patch, 3/17/11

Novato Author to Talk about Spiritual Journey to Eastern Orthodox Life

Marin Valley Mobile Country Club
100 Marin Valley Dr, Novato, CA

Veronica “Polly” Hughes was disillusioned with Catholicism as a teen and spent 25 years searching for fulfillment.

By Brent Ainsworth

What is Lent? The fall of Adam relative to reincarnation and Lent

“Adam became through the fall mortal, that is, both in soul and body … Since  a man has body and soul, therefore he has to guess of the body likewise, there are also two immortality’s one of the soul and one of the body … for the soul and the body are one man.”

St. Symeon the New Theologian.  The Sin of Adam, commonly 1,2.#76

By this passage from St. Symeon, we can see that reincarnation is an illusion.  Accepting the consequences of ‘the fall’ –  even that there was a fall – was a challenge for me.   By this passage we can see that there is but one life for both the soul and body, one physical death for each and no more.

The frightening thing about the seduction of reincarnation is that it takes us away from what we need to do now for the salvation of our soul. “The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom” (Proverbs)  Without this ‘fear of God’ we cannot begin to approach truly living, turning our thoughts and actions towards the living God, preparing ourselves for our soul’s immortality with God.  Even knowing all this, practicing gratitude for each moment and realizing how precious each moment is – is still a major struggle for me.

The wonderful thing about Great Lent is that everything I experience and do becomes so much more timely and present because we are fasting and praying more intensely.   I have a greater opportunity to strive in the pressure cooker of Lent!

Great Podcast interview on fasting and Lent

My husband Greg turned me on to this wonderful interview with an Orthodox nutritionist in Hawaii. For those of you that would like a more patristic (Church Fathers) view of the great fast and how to approach it from a healthy perspective this is a must listen to podcast. It is very inspiring and helps one to remember to give glory to God for everything including by how we are eating and what we are eating.

Fasting and Great Lent

The purpose of Great Lent is to prepare the faithful to not only commemorate, but to enter into the Passion and the Resurrection of Jesus. The totality of the Orthodox life centers around the Resurrection.[1] Great Lent is intended to be a “workshop” where the character of the believer is spiritually uplifted and strengthened; where his life is rededicated to the principles and ideals of the Gospel; where fasting and prayer culminate in deep conviction of life; where apathy and disinterest turn into vigorous activities of faith and good works. Lent is not for the sake of Lent itself, as fasting is not for the sake of fasting. Rather, these are means by which and for which the individual believer prepares himself to reach for, accept and attain the calling of his Savior. Therefore, the significance of Great Lent is highly appraised, not only by the monks who gradually increased the length of time of the Lent, but also by the lay people themselves. In the Orthodox Church, asceticism is not exclusively for the “professional” religious, but for each layperson as well, according to their strength. As such, Great Lent is a sacred Institute of the Church to serve the individual believer in participating as a member of the Mystical Body of Christ. It provides each person an annual opportunity for self-examination and improving the standards of faith and morals in his Christian life. The deep intent of the believer during Great Lent is encapsulated in the words of Saint Paul: “forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal of the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13-14).