Saturday, 31 May 2008

Yahnony Mouse Gets Fed Up with Orthodox Monk

Here are Yahnony Mouse’s last two comments:

*sigh*... the mouse will play no more. Well, at least you like the name 'Yahnony Mouse'... Why have I been asking you? Honestly, I don't know... maybe because I wanted to hear (read) your opinion? Or maybe because I've been thinking of becoming Orthodox? (No sarcasm here, as it may seem.) I feel kind of embarrassed; if you would be so nice as to delete your last two posts and forget about the whole thing? ... I won't bother you anymore. Goodbye.

- Yahnony

What I forgot to write in my last comment (that should've been my last)... I don't find it impossible to understand - one year ago I nearly went mad because of my pride.

- Yahnony

We do not plan to delete the last two posts. While Yahnony says he is embarrassed by them, there is no reason to believe that anyone knows who he is. There are many people named Theodor in Romania. We think the issues are important—as indeed Yahnony’s last remark shows. In cases such as this, there is only one road: obedience. Yahnony should find a sound priest and exercise blind obedience to him. Yahnony is clearly intelligent and blind obedience is a problem for the smart, but that is precisely why it must happen. We will say a prayer for you, Theodor.

With genuine best wishes—

Orthodox Monk

Yahnony Mouse Wants to Negotiate

One of the several comments and emails we have since received from Yahnony Mouse is the following, which seems nicely to sum everything up:

Just to make it clear:

1) I don't believe in aliens. I know of at least one Elder who said that they are 'demons taking physical form'.

2) I don't like oriental philosophy and I don't believe in any of their mumbo-jumbo. (I'm a Catholic born and living in Romania; the Orthodox influence is still strong here.)

3) I am against ecumenism.

4) I've read in an article about Ernetti's book 'The Likes and Dislikes of the Devil'—the devil's 3rd favourite thing is: "Priests and religious belonging to the Freemasonry and the Satan’s sects." And this happens too often these days!

5) I know that the Devil can take the form of an angel of light, or even that of Jesus Christ. (To come back to the book that I recommended - the editor wrote: "I do not of course believe that He whispered to them all that He intends to say for this generation. But I am confident that He opened their eyes to many things which they and this generation greatly need to know. I do not believe in the verbal inspiration of this or any book. But I do believe that these two women have been led and that much of what is written is very clear leading indeed.")

If you have some time, please write about these things—from the point of view of the Orthodox Church.

Thank you and sorry for disturbing you.

Theodor a.k.a. (Y)a(h)nonymous(e).

p.s.: It was me who sent you those e-mails. And by the way, anybody can post comments as 'Anonymous' on your blog.

So the mouse really is anonymous.

Let’s clear some things up here. We like the name ‘Yahnony Mouse’ and will use it.

First of all, we know quite well, Yahnony, who can and who can’t post comments on our blog. After all, we set the parameters in the software. When we say, ‘our old friend Anonymous’, we are being humorous. We have no idea which Anonymous is which. If we wished we could force people to use a Google ID but at the moment we see no reason to do that. All it would do is force each anonymous commenter to establish a Google pseudonym. Why waste our readers’ time?

Next, Theodor complains that we posted the phrase ‘you can pay by PayPal’ in reference to the text of private revelations he wants us to read whereas the text is free. He even gives us the direct link. Let us take it as given that Theodor is right. It is also the case that the site owners claim charitable status and in large type encourage donations for the upkeep of their site—it’s an important ministry, you see, they email things around the world. We are generally very sceptical of such operations. Maybe they’re legit, maybe not. However, we see no reason to play FBI to investigate. We leave such stuff alone.

Moreover, Theodor complains—rightly—that we did not go and read the text at all. There are two reasons for this, Theodor (have you considered changing your name to Yahnony?). First, such sites are notorious for loading your computer with spyware. We don’t want to have to sweep our computer with fifteen anti-spyware packages to satisfy Theodor in Romania’s curiosity what we think about a certain web text. Moreover, the description on the web site of the way the private revelations were received was so obviously foreign to the mind of the Orthodox Church that there was really no reason at all to go to the text to check it out. When someone sits down with a pencil and paper at a certain time of the day to await a revelation from Jesus Christ—does it really require reading his revelation to know that what is involved is delusion (plani, prelest)?

Next, Theodor is against ecumenism. Well, that’s his right. Why, however, is he asking our opinion? After all, we’re not Roman Catholic. Shouldn’t Theodor be asking the priest or even the bishop? Here, actually, Theodor, we think that this is a serious matter. The things you are occupying yourself with are going to lead you away from Christ. Get yourself to your priest.

Next, and this is important, we actually did give you a full explanation from the point of view of the Orthodox Church, Theodor: none of this stuff has anything to do with Christianity. It is foreign to the mind of the Church. To continue thinking about this stuff means that you are on the wrong road.

You say that we commented on ‘Second Life’ and on ‘World of Warcraft’ and they have nothing to do with Christianity, why can’t we comment on the stuff you list? Apart from the issues that we noted above, the situation is a bit like going to a psychiatrist and saying, ‘Hey look, the people in the house across the street from me seem weird. Maybe you should check it out.’ The psychiatrist takes some time off his lunch hour to go by the place the guy mentions. He sees a mental hospital. He comes back, says ‘You’re right, it’s a madhouse.’ But the guy says, ‘Hey, I want a full diagnosis of a certain four guys living in that house!’ The psychiatrist says, ‘Sorry, don’t have the time.’ The guy complains, ‘But you wrote articles on two of your mad patients, why can’t you diagnose four people in the house across the street from me?’ The psychiatrist says, ‘Look, Yahnony, tell you what: tell me what your problems are and I’ll try to do something about them. Leave the people across the street from where you live alone.’

So in the same vein: Yahnony/Theodor, we have no intention of going to those sites to check out what they say about the Illuminati and the other matters that interest you. If, however, you want to write us a detailed email from your latest email address telling us what’s on your mind, we’ll try to answer you here on the blog. But we think that we have already given you an answer—if you think carefully about what we’re saying.

Let us explain just what we mean. Your error, Theodor, is in thinking about these matters, not in having the right or wrong opinion on them. We realize that this is going to be hard for you to understand. The temptation is not to believe something that should not be believed. The temptation lies in occupying yourself with these things at all. The Devil is tempting you to a spirit of fanaticism—let it be Roman Catholic, Orthodox, Christian fanaticism, whatever, it’s still not the Holy Spirit. This is going to be very difficult for you to understand. We do not acquire the Holy Spirit thinking about whether someone’s views on the Illuminati are right or wrong. We acquire the Holy Spirit by humility, love, care, patience, long-suffering, obedience, humility (yes we know), all those things. We acquire the Holy Spirit by attending the sacraments, by praying, by listening to our confessor, by having a spiritual director and listening to him.

This is not to say that we should not have a clear idea of the beliefs of the Orthodox Church but that is not what is involved here. The Nicene Creed is silent on the issue of the existence of the Illuminati and their conspiracy to subjugate the world. They might exist. They might not. We don’t know. In the nature of things, it’s difficult to know whether an absolutely secret society exists—after all, they don’t advertise. But our salvation, especially if we are beginners who are wet behind the ears, does not consist in having the right opinions about the Illuminati and pounding the table; it consists in leaving these matters to those appointed in our Church to teach while we learn humility. We realize that you will find this impossible to understand.

Friday, 30 May 2008

While the Cat is away, Yahnony Mouse Will Play

We have received two emails or so from a ‘Yahnony Mouse’ concerning things like the Illuminati. Since this is the sort of thing that spam is made of, we deleted the emails without opening them—we don’t need viruses, thank you very much—and put a spam filter into our email. We then received comments on two different posts from our old friend Anonymous referencing the same works, and more, including web-sites, with a request that we check things out and make a post.

We think that ‘Yahnony Mouse’ is a pseudonym of Anonymous; otherwise we would not repeat Yahnony’s name. If we are wrong, please let us know Yahnony—but from a different email address because you’re blocked.

We went to two of the sites suggested by Anonymous. One was a promo for a book of private revelations to a couple of people from, supposedly, Jesus (you can pay by PayPal). The other was to a web-site that occupies itself with the Illuminati; ways to purify the atmosphere using devices that build on inventions of Wilhelm Reich, the inventor of the ‘orgone box’; blood electrification devices that cure AIDS; and so on and so forth—much of it for a price. We are not going to reference these things by name, nor the related web-sites, nor are we going to publish these comments because we are not in the business of promoting other people’s delusions or frauds or whatever. In general this stuff has nothing to do with Christianity.

With best wishes

—Orthodox Monk

Sunday, 18 May 2008

Gospel of the Vespers of Easter Sunday

It being, then, the evening of that day, the first day of the week, and the doors having been closed where the disciples were gathered together for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst, and said, ‘Peace to you.’ And, saying this, he showed them his hands and his side. The disciples, then, rejoiced seeing the Lord. Again Jesus said to them, ‘Peace to you. As the Father sent me, I also send you.’ And saying this, he breathed upon [them] and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of some, their sins are forgiven. If you retain the sins of some, they have been retained.’ Thomas, however, one of the Twelve, he who is called ‘the Twin’, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples, then, said to him, ‘We have seen the Lord.’ He said to them, however, ‘If I do not see in his hands the imprint of the nails and place my finger in the imprint of the nails, and place my hand in his side, I will not believe.’

(John 20, 19 – 25.)

Gospel of Easter Sunday

In the beginning was the Word and the Word was in the presence of God and God was the Word. In the beginning he was in the presence of God and without him not one thing came to be that has come to be. In him was life and this life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness and the darkness did not overcome it. There was a man sent from God, his name John. He came for a witness, so as to bear witness concerning the light so that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but so that he might bear witness concerning the light. He was the true light that enlightens every man coming into the world. He was in the world and the world came to be through him and the world did not know him. He came to his own home and his own people did not receive him. As many as received him, he gave to them, to those who believe in his name, authority to become children of God, those who were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of a man, but from God. And the Word became flesh and encamped among us and we have seen his glory, glory as of the Only-Begotten of the Father, full of Grace and Truth. John bears witness concerning him and has cried, saying, ‘This is he whom I said: “He who is coming after me has come to be ahead of me, for he was before me.” And we all have received from his fullness, even Grace in exchange for Grace. For the Law was given through Moses, Grace and Truth came to be through Jesus Christ.

(John 1, 1 – 17.)

Apostle and Gospel of Holy Saturday

(Note: Liturgy of St Basil for Holy Saturday from the beginning of the Apostle to the end of the Gospel, as given in the Lenten Triodion.)

Brothers, as many of us who have been baptized into Christ have been baptized into his death. We were buried together with him, then, into death; so that, just as Christ rose from the dead by means of the Glory of the Father, thus also we might walk in newness of life. For if we have become kindred to the likeness of his death, yet we will also be of the Resurrection; knowing this, that our old man was crucified together [with him] so that the body of sin be abolished, so that in turn we might no longer serve sin. For he who dies is justified from sin. If, however, we died together with Christ, we believe that we will also live together with him; knowing that Christ, having risen from the dead, will never again die; death no longer rules over him. For he who died to sin, died once only; he who lives, lives to God. Thus you also should reckon yourselves: being dead to sin but living to God in Jesus Christ, our Lord.

(Romans 6, 3 – 11)

We do not say ‘Alleluia’, but immediately chant the present verse, in the Eighth (Grave) Tone:

Rise up, O God, judge the earth, for you will receive an inheritance in all the nations.

We also chant the same verse to each one of the following verses of Psalm 81, which are recited in prose by the reader.

Verse. God is in the assembly of the gods, in the midst he judges the gods.

Rise up, O God, judge the earth, …

Verse: Until when will you (pl.) judge injustice and take the part of sinners?

Rise up, O God, judge the earth, …

Verse: Judge (pl.) for the orphan and the poor man, justify (pl.) the lowly and the hungry.

Rise up, O God, judge the earth, …

Verse: Lead (pl.) the hungry man and the poor man out, deliver (pl.) him from the hand of the sinner.

Rise up, O God, judge the earth, …

Verse: They did not know, neither did they understand; they go forth in darkness; let all the foundations of the earth be shaken.

Rise up, O God, judge the earth, …

Verse: I said: You are gods and all sons of the Most High. You, then will die as men and fall as one of the rulers.

Rise up, O God, judge the earth, …

And immediately, the Gospel according to Matthew.

On the evening of the Sabbath, which dawns on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to view the tomb. And behold! there was a great earthquake. An angel of the Lord, having descended from Heaven and coming forth, rolled the rock away from the entrance and sat upon it. His appearance, then, was as lightning and his robe white like snow. From the fear of him, those guarding [the tomb] were shaken and became as if dead. Having replied, the angel said to the women: ‘You, be not afraid; I know that you seek Jesus the crucified. He is not here. He has risen as he said. Come see the place where the Lord lay. And having gone quickly, say to his disciples that he has risen from the dead; and behold! he goes before you to Galilee, you will see him there. Behold! I have spoken to you.’ They, then, going quickly out of the tomb with fear and great joy, ran to announce the news to his disciples. As they were going to announce the news to his disciples behold! Jesus met them, saying, ‘Greetings.’ They, then, having come forth, held his feet and worshipped him. Then Jesus said to them: ‘Do not be afraid. Go, announce to my brothers that they should go to Galilee. There they will see me. While they were going, behold! some of the guard, coming into the city, announced to the High Priests everything that happened. And having gathered together with the Elders and taking counsel, they gave a considerable amount of silver to the soldiers, saying, ‘Say that his disciples, coming at night, stole him while we were sleeping. And if this is heard before the Ruler, we will persuade him and make you free of worry.’ They, then, taking the silver did as they were taught. And, until today, this word has been spread about among the Jews. The eleven disciples, then, went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had ordered them. And seeing him they worshipped him; some, however, hesitated. And coming forth, Jesus spoke to them saying, ‘All authority has been given to me in Heaven and on earth. Going, then, make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and behold! I am with you all days up to the end of the Age.’

(Matthew 28, 1 – 30.)