Christ is Born! Glorify Him!

Christ is born! Glorify Him!

We thank you all for taking the time to read this blog, for commenting and for engaging in lively discussion. Speaking for myself, it’s been a joy!

I pray to our Lord and Saviour that you continue to reap His blessings in the upcoming New Year!

Comments

  1. Monk James says:

    Christ is born, glorify Him!

    All the blessings of this holy day to George Michalopulos and to everyone reading or contributing to this blog.

    And the same blessings to everyone here who will observe the feast two weeks from now!

    With love and prayers,

    Monk James

    • George Michalopulos says:

      Thank you.

    • George Michalopulos says:

      On this, the fifth day of Christmas, please enjoy Alison Krause and Yo-Yo Mah performing “The Wexford Carol”.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yxDZjg_Igoc

      • Well after being the “don’t worry guy”, in regards to all you conspiracy theorists my warning lights are turning on bright red! We now have Obama turning on Israel, no big deal. BUT when we have a prez. three weeks out from removal of office, removing Russian Diplomats, and stating more is to come?! Not Good! Now McCain and Graham on the war path tour on all the news channels sitting side by side, as if they are prez-elect, and his vice- elect, promising to also go after Russia. Really Not Good. Trump so far is playing it cool, but how long will that last, until he counter punches the clowns? Mean while our country looks weak, and divided, right before the transition of power. At the very least, Trump needs to tell the senators to back down, and shut the hell up. Next Trump should tell Putin to be patient for three more weeks. My last warning light, before panic, will be The Dow Jones. If that begins to tank, prepare for the worse, and hope for the best. Lord have Mercy!

        • George Michalopulos says:

          Yup. Something big is brewing. The Oligarchy is going to pull out all the stops (including war with Russia?) to prevent Trump from taking the oath of office. At least it looks that way.

          Lord have mercy!

          • All Putin has to do is wait 21 days and try not to react if at all possible. I think he knows that. It will all take care of itself. When Trump comes to power, Russia will be very happy to fulfill its role as a partner with the United States and regional hegemon of Eurasia. The United States still remains the most powerful actor on earth, both economically and militarily. Russia has no problem with this. The countries are far enough apart, at least in terms of population concentration, that they do not bump into each other.

            I don’t see a problem.

            I do see a common enemy: ISIS, et al.

            Think of it as Pjotr and Pavel.

            • Agreed, Isis would or at least should poop themselves if we, and Russia teamed up against them. Correct me if I’m wrong but every since the school, and theatre massacres by terrorist in Russia, we have not heard much from the Chechens. Russia doesn’t play, and if America teamed up, and did not complain in their methods, ISIS will be gone. Blessed, and Happy New Year, also Xronnia Polla to all Vasilis, and Vasilikis!

        • Gail Sheppard says:

          So staging an incident and blaming it on Russia does not seem so far-fetched anymore, does it? Remember those stories I told you about Russain spy planes (that weren’t Russian) taking out the computer systems at LAX (twice) and my concern over the Administration amping up our preparedness for martial law? Tell me I’m crazy now. (Not that you did, Dino, but like the others, you might have thought so!)

          • Gail, never thought crazy, just a good imagination. Yes my warning lights were bright from the events of the week, but The Dow does not seem too concerned just a 50 point drop, which is only about O.25% drop. Obama, McCain, the fake House Speaker, and Graham cracker I believe are just jackasses, who want Trump to look bad, so they will look wise. I don’t believe Obama has the guts, to start a civil war, example non action in Syria, the senators yes, they have more to lose, but no power to start a civil war, or attack Russian. Aside from an assassination, Trump is in. Even then Pence would be the President.

            So all watch the Dow, it is the pressure gauge of the world, if it tanks, perhaps so will Trump. Blessed, and Happy New Year to all!

  2. Francis Frost says:

    George:

    A Merry Christmas to you and your readers!

    Well, it has been a very interesting few days, quite apart from the Holy Days.

    President-elect Donald J Trump, Fr Alexander Webster’s, “divine gift” is proving to be the gift that keeps on giving; for his entertainment value if nothing else.

    Eerlier last week, Mr. Trump tweeted his call for an expansion of U.S Nuclear capability, following remarks by Vladimir Putin in which Putin called for Russia’s “need to strengthen the military potential of strategic nuclear forces”. Last Friday, Trump doubled down on his previous remarks during s an “off-air conversation” with Mika Brzezinski on MSNBC’s Morning Joe. “Let it be an arms race … we will outmatch them at every pass and outlast them all,” he said. Of course, Putin has already engaged in a robust modernization of Russian nuclear arsenal and has violated the ABM treaty by substantially increasing the number of warheads targeting American cities. It may well be that this is what Mr. Trump cryptically referred to a “ a big problem” after his briefing by President Obama. What is clear, is that Mr Trump has declared his willingness to match and supersede any Russian nuclear build-up.

    At the same time, Mr. Trump has declared his wholehearted support for the Gush Emunim Israeli settler movement, and the full bore construction of even more settlements in the occupied West Bank. Mr. Trump has broken with 50 years of U. S. policy declaring his intention to move the U. S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. His nomination of David Friedman to be the next U.S ambassador to Israel signals a support for the israeli settler movement and abandonment of the Oslo “two state” paradigm. Friedman runs a nonprofit that raises millions of dollars for Beit El, a settlement of religious nationalists near Ramallah. Beit El was built on land stolen from the Christian Palestinians of Ramallah.

    Mr. Trump has declared his readiness for a full on nuclear arms race with Putin’s Russia and an Israeli de-fact annexation of the West Bank with no hope left for a Palestinian State.

    Could it be, that Fr. Alexander’s “divine gift” is really a stealth agent of he dreaded “neo-cons”? Be careful what you ask for, since you just might get it.

    Of course, having secured the presidency, Mr Trump is now steadily shedding those Republicans that supported his candidacy. First, Chis Christi, then Rudi Giuliani, and this last week, New Gingrich. Trump has jettisoned his social conservative supporters with his declaration that Obergefell is “settled law”, and while Trump still calls himself “Pro-life”, he continues to support “the great work” done by Planned Parenthood. Should we be surprised if his “paleo-con” supporters are next in line for the ejection seat?

    Of course we have to keep in mind Trump’s chameleon like ability to change his political convictions and his policy prescriptions faster than he changes his clothes. Speaking of which, despite Trump’s threat to penalize companies that manufacture abroad, neither DJT nor Ivanka Trump have made any plans to move their own couture production back to the U.S. Obviously, patriotism and economic nationalism are for the “little people”.

    Mr. Misha, when not indulging in his after life concubinage fantasies, claimed that St. Paisios predicted a war between Russia and Turkey. The Mystagogy web-site has a post about fictitious prophecies ascribed to St. Paisios. Indeed, St. Porphyrios warned the holy Elder to restrict his prophecies as they were being mis-quoted and abused for political purposes. The prophecies about Russia, Turkey and the US cited by Misha are among those specifically rebutted in the Mystagogy article.

    As for Putin’s Russia, it now appears to be wearing the “Enemy of Islam” target thanks to the brutal carpet bombing of civilian targets in Aleppo, which has enraged the 1 billion Sunni Muslims around the world. The assassination of Ambassador Karlov in Turkey may just be the start of a wider assault against Russian targets at home and abroad. Saturday’s downing of the Russian military flight after takeoff from Sochi is eerily reminiscent of the ISIS bombing of Metrojet Flight 9268 over Sinai, although Russian officials are trying to down play that possibility. The fact remains that The Tupolev disintegrated just minutes after take off from Sochi in good weather with experienced pilots on board and equipment that passed recent inspections. If this does prove to be a terrorist act, it bodes ill for Russia since it means that jihadists can carry out such an operation on Putin;s own front porch. No doubt, this flight would be a high value target as it was was carrying 64 members of the famed Alexandrov military music ensemble (The Red Army Chorus) who were to perform for Russian troops in Syria.

    A Happy New Year to all.

    If nothing else, the coming months should prove quite interesting. As the late Bette Davis said in ‘All about Eve’: “Fasten your seatbelts, it’s going to be a bumpy night”

    • http://www.thecollegefix.com/post/30492/

      “Mr. Misha, when not indulging in his after life concubinage fantasies, claimed that St. Paisios predicted a war between Russia and Turkey.”

      Francis, you are a liar, I claimed no such thing. I do think that Russia and Turkey will be at odds and I do recall linking to something about St. Paisios’ prophecies, but I made no such claim myself.

      But look at the above link.

      Gentle readers, you should be aware of a few things.

      First, American blacks are livid at the way American politics has played out because many of them bought into the Matriarchal/Entitlement/pseudo-Gangsta [hereinafter “MEG”] culture of perpetual dependency on the Democratic plantation that was being sold to them by the ProgLibs. Now the Progressive Liberalism is in its death throes, they feel slighted when, in reality, they simply chose poorly. Decent God-fearing blacks will have an easier time adapting to the new order, but MEG’s are going insane – cognitive dissonance on acid.

      It is truly delicious.

      You can expect racial unrest in the United States as a result of the current political development. If you are in areas with large concentrations of blacks, and you are white, you would be well advised to move as soon as possible. It will not be pretty. I am guessing it will make the riots in the 60’s look like a Disney vacation.

      Second, the feminazis are not going to go quietly either. They will be less violent than the MEG’s, but still dangerous. Do not become entrapped by them. They will attempt to fight back with false allegations of mistreatment at the hands of men, particularly white men. Be forewarned that it is all smoke, mirrors and political bs – essentially psyche warfare.

      Finally, a word about Sunni Muslims. Muslims Arabs and other Sunnis did not ask to be born into a false religion which functions as a tool of the evil one. But God has allowed these events to transpire. He has a reason. I suspect I know what it is. It has to do with free will. However, regardless, we have to play the hand we’ve been dealt.

      While feminism and racial entitlement are formidable enough enemies that need to be crushed mercilessly, the big dragon is Sunni Islam. They must be converted, contained or destroyed (when they attack us). As the Russians have shown us in Aleppo, we can be merciful as well as decisive in defeating them. But we cannot shrink from the podvig of defeating this evil ideology of the devil. We must continue until Christ Himself appears and calls a halt so He Himself can have the honor of casting the Antichrist and the False Prophet into the Lake of Fire.

      People have been stressing over this “arms race” thing with Trump and Putin.

      Silly.

      The nukes aren’t meant for fellow Christians.

      • George,

        If you are concerned about the ramifications, you can delete the above comment or, alternatively, everything after my initial response to Francis regarding Elder Paisios. I’m not interested in fanning any flames, just in warning people about what I expect to come. However, there is a fine line and there is also the consideration of your reputation, etc. So, feel free to edit or delete as you think necessary and I will try to post about something other than this stuff for awhile.

        It is important, but it is all going to work itself on God’s schedule and we need to enjoy life.

        • It is difficult to say regarding the reaction of the MEG’s and feminazis. I have not seen the future in the sense of seeing riots or violence. What I am saying is that there is much potential for mischief there. However, God is merciful. I do not know to what extent these groups will rise in reaction but there is an ideological motivation for them to do so.

    • Is it not true? says:

      Mr Frost,

      The esteemed Russian Orthodox Church website has also published about St Paisios’s prophesies concerning war between Russia and Turkey. So Mr. Misha did not make it up.

  3. I have looked on the internet for the specifics of the disagreement over 3 issues between Met Kryil of Moscow and the EP of Constantinople concerning the Consul of Crete, and cannot find them. I cannot determine my position on these 3 issues. I do agree, that the whole 14 Orthodox patriarchs must be in agreement, for it ever be considered to have the spiritual clout the 7 agreed upon Ecumancial Consuls carry. He is of the 7 and is an 8th, could qualify as an accurate prediction fulfilled in the Revelation. This issuse needs be watched and understood. It would be disaterious to have this be the Truthful interpetation of the Here is a Mind that has Wisdom Holy Scripture ignored

  4. Sean Richardson says:

    A most blessed celebration of the Nativity. Thank you George, for allowing us to share in this endeavor.
    This past week I was having lunch with some of my Orthodox friends and a couple former-Orthodox converts were there also. We were seated next to a table from a local (Protestant) church and at that table they were discussing their favorite Christmas carols.
    One of the men at our table, who had converted from a Protestant church to Orthodoxy, and then left Orthodoxy said that one of the things he found most difficult to deal with in Orthodoxy was the lip-service Orthodoxy gave to conversion, but then their absolute prohibition of adopting any western Christian traditions (even ancient ones), demanding that converts not only accept the faith, but the foreign culture as well. To him, and he had been a member of an Antiochian, OCA parish, and a ROCOR parish, he felt that for Orthodoxy to truly grow in this country, it needed to be willing to accept not only English as a language, but some selected traditions of American culture as well. I asked him if he had ever been in an Orthodox church where he felt “at home” and his answer was “No”. He noted that even in Orthodox churches where they used English and where the people were welcoming and friendly, they still used Middle Eastern or Russian liturgical and musical forms.
    As a convert I empathized with some of what he said, although it pained me to think that anyone would leave Orthodoxy. Yet, he had a point too, that I felt the Orthodox church needs to listen to. Not everyone has roots in a traditionally Orthodox country, and not everyone is comfortable in an Arabic or Russian cultural milieu.
    In Western Europe there are a vast number of places and dates that were “Christianized”. Even December 25th (regardless of which calendar one celebrates it on) is an example of Christianizing something pagan. Maybe we need to be willing to select places, practices and traditions where this can be carried out …. that is, if we still believe and have the confidence that Christ can overcome evil, that Christ can transform anyone and anything.

    • As to the canard about December 25th Christianizing something pagan:

      http://www.orthodoxytoday.org/blog/2012/12/calculating-christmas-not-based-on-pagan-festivals/

      As to liturgy, language and music:

      It makes perfect sense to use English in the liturgy for English speakers. The liturgy is Orthodox liturgy, not Eastern liturgy. There were Orthodox liturgies in the pre-schism West and occasionally they have been adapted for use in Western rite parishes. If people want this, by all means. But it is much simpler to just get used to the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom and St. Basil. All the same stuff is covered.

      As to the music, Russian Orthodox music is westernized. That is why it is so easy for people to sing along. The modes are the same as those of central and western Europe. So there is no real “otherness” there, if the language is English.

      Now, Byzantine music is indeed “other” to many Western ears. I suppose one could ask, “Yes, it is different. But what is wrong with it?” I mean, that’s the implication. But some prefer “anything but Byzantine”. That’s fine, there are alternatives.

      As to Western hymns, I suppose if we want to go through them and make sure that there isn’t any heterodox teaching in them, and usually there isn’t, then we could use them. But we already have an Orthodox system and cycle of Church music. We follow the ochtoechos, et al. The hymns aren’t haphazard but written specifically to convey the message of the day in question. There are some Western hymns that correspond, and if there are no theological problems, by all means.

      But I do have to ask the obvious question, “Did you convert because you believe literally in the Orthodox Christian faith as it is explicated in Scripture and Tradition, or did you convert because you think Orthodoxy is cool?”

      If the first is the case, then the appropriate attitude would be one of grateful reception of the words of life. For if Orthodoxy is true, Protestantism and Roman Catholicism are false. That may be a bit bold for some folks, but that’s the way it is. If the second is the case, then we can discuss how to make it more “American”, but I’m not sure how far you will get.

    • Michael Bauman says:

      Sean The Church does indeed need to assume things in our culture and transform them but what you are suggesting is the opposite. We have to be transformed. It is not about “conversion” but about dying. That also means dying to the unnecessary attachments to the old country. We need to die together.

      The American culture, if you can call it that, is profoundly at odds with anything else the Church has ever faced. The three areas on which we can draw, the Christian slave experience, the Native American and the early Appalachian culture are not usually even considered. The dominant culture is anti-sacramental, C-major, Enlightenment garbage.

      Orthodox music is liturgical and singing the hymns outside the full liturgical context seems strange o me. I have a few I sing but very few. Thanks love the religious Christmas songs and sing them frequently. They are fun and even joyous but have nothing of worship in them.

      I am afraid your friend is not yet ready to die.

      • Michael,

        I thoroughly agree with your assessment of American culture. I also agree that we must allow the Church to enlighten and transform us FIRST (and this takes far longer than probably any of us realize) before we will possess the wisdom and discernment actually to baptize the culture as opposed to allowing it to influence us, supposedly in the name of evangelism.

        However, there is a place for American Christmas music, just as there is for Serbian, Russian, Romanian, and other non-liturgical, though thoroughly and truly Christian, Christmas music. They all have a place. It’s just that their place is not in the Liturgy. Some parishes sing them after the dismissal. Others also go caroling together and sing them. I think it is a bit much to say that all are devoid of worship and the wondrous theological truth appropriate to an Orthodox Nativity celebration.

        Some of American/English examples of this include the following:

        Veiled in flesh the Godhead see
        Hail the incarnate Deity
        Pleased as Man with men to dwell
        Jesus our Emmanuel
        Hark the Herald Angels sing
        Glory to the newborn King!

        “Why lies He in such mean estate
        Where ox and ass are feeding?
        Good Christian fear for sinners here
        The silent Word is pleading
        Nails, nails shall pierce Him through
        The Cross He bore for me, for you
        Hail! Hail! The Word made flesh
        The Babe the Son of Mary”

  5. The choir at the Church of the Annunciation in Oregon did indeed perform the most beautiful rendition of Silent Night I have ever hear. The Heavens themselves responded, with Their Holy Presence which causes the heart to leap in High Places with hinds feet. A most Joyful Christmas where good will toward men was showered profoundly, which causes deep humility with undying devotion. Authentic Christianity is matchless in It’s Mystical life. I hope all Christians felt it too, all It makes you do is want to share it. Good News Indeed.

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