Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Pope Benedict XVI Arrives at the Phanar

I pray that some understanding and needed changes between the two churches will be gained from this visit:

Pope Benedict XVI Arrives at the Phanar

ISTANBUL, Turkey - After the welcome of Pope Benedict XVI by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, the Pope arrived at the See of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. There he was welcomed again by Patriarch Bartholomew at the airport, the Hierarchy of the Throne, clergy and numerous faithful from around the world.
The Pope's arrival to the Phanar was accompanied by the festal ringing of bells and was followed by a Doxology in the Patriarchal Cathedral of St. George. At the end of the service the Ecumenical Patriarch welcomed Pope Benedict XVI, who responded accordingly.
Before advancing to the Hall of the Throne, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and Pope Benedict XVI venerated the relics of Saints Gregory the Theologian and John Chrysostom, both former Archbishops of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and predecessors of Patriarch Bartholomew.
The relics of the two saints were taken to Rome in the 1204 sacking of Constantinople during the Fourth Crusade. It was a request from Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew to Pope John Paul II, who wholeheartedly accepted, that initiated the return of the relics two years ago to their original resting place of the See of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, who was elected in 1991, personally attended the service at the Vatican for the return of the relics in November 2004. At that time, Pope John Paul II formally apologized for the sacking of Constantinople. The Ecumenical Patriarch also personally attended the funeral of the late Pope John Paul II last year.
Following the welcoming ceremony at the Patriarchate, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and Pope Benedict XVI met privately to discuss issues regarding Orthodox and Roman Catholic relations, including interreligious dialogue, world peace and mutual understanding.
On Thursday (Nov. 30), Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew will preside at the Patriarchal and Synodical Divine Liturgy at the Cathedral of St. George on the occasion of the feast day of St. Andrew the Apostle, the founder of the Church of Constantinople. This is the annual Thronal feast of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
Pope Benedict XVI will be attending personally with his entourage the Divine Liturgy where an "exchange of the kiss of peace" and the reciting of the Lord's Prayer in Greek will take place. After an exchange of addresses and gifts, the two religious leaders will offer a joint blessing to the numerous faithful present in Greek and and Latin.

Friday, November 24, 2006

My thoughts on Agape

Love is one infinite mass. It flows in and out of each of us encompassing our entire being. It is an not an activity limited to the heart but of the mind and the soul and the flesh, as well.

Love connects us to our source GOD . . . and to each other.

All love is the fundamentally same. The Greeks have several words for love:
the love for ones child - storgyi
the love for a friend - filia
the love for a lover - eros
the love for mankind - agape

It is all the same – it is the intention behind the love that makes it feel differently.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

What am I?

Journal Entry: “What am I?”

The lake affects me differently than the ocean . . . especially Lake Michigan. There is an ancient magic in Lake Michigan . . . timelessness . . . a quietly powerful energy that evokes contemplation and inspires creativity. While the ocean calls out from the ends of the Universe, the lake calls out from within my soul. The lake brings me peace and serenity . . . the ocean ignites my fires and passions.

I lay on the white sand with my face towards the sun, and I listen to the water. I rise and walk into the lake, feeling her force push against my body . . . until the water not longer ebbs at my flesh, but passes through me as if I did not exist.

I ask God, “If I am nothing that this water can pass right through me, what am I?” God speaks simultaneously, “You are the water.”

Monday, November 20, 2006

Where Once a Pythia

I've been asked, "What is a Pythia?" A Pythia was the priestess at Apollo's ancient oracle in Delphi (once considered the center point of the Earth). The name comes from Python, the dragon that was slain by Apollo. A believer would make a sacrifice and present a question to a male priest. The male priest would then present the question to the Pythia. The Pythia sat on a bronze tripod in the adytum, or inner chamber of Apollo's temple. In this sacred chamber the spirit of Apollo overcame the Pythia and inspired the prophecy. Some mythic traditions say the Pythia's trance was induced by vapors from a chasm below the temple or from chewing laurel leaves. According to some stories, the oracle spoke on only one day of the year. Below, is a poem I wrote in honor of the Pythia:
Where Once a Pythia ©

Sacred oracles of Delphi
‘Tis here I’ve heard the answers be.
Amongst the whispers of the oak,
Goddess of earth – I do invoke.

This very spot, two birds traverse:
The center of the Universe.
Holy naval of mother Gaia,
Open up and speak to me.

On this one day of this one year,
When mortals dare speak to God’s ear,
I’ve traveled far within my depth,
For the anointment of thy breath.

Upheaval winds of Typhon’s rage!
Unlocks the door to Python’s cage.
Dormant dragon coiled within,
‘Tis time to wake and shed thy skin.

Armor falls into abyss . . .
I lay here in my nakedness.
Helios burns right through my soul.
Phoenix rises with spirit whole.

Sacred oracles of Delphi,
Where once a Pythia was me,
Apollo spoke the word of Zeus
‘Tis here I come to find my truth.