No Lives Matter

If you had any illusions about all these riots and the demonic spirit that is driving them, doubt no further: they were all orchestrated as part of a terrorist program to destabilize America. It’s that simple. The death of George Floyd, a pornographer, ex-con and drug addict was just the excuse needed to incite all the violence that is presently engulfing our nation.

The most obvious example of this program is the phrase “black lives matter”. What was once a noble sentiment has morphed into a giant grift of Al Sharpton-like proportions.

Last week, Jessica Doty-Whiticker, a 24-year-old single, mother, Jose Ramirez, her fiance, and two other friends got into an altercation with a BLM group regarding exactly whose lives matter.  The BLM group said, “black lives matter,” to which Jessica quipped, “all lives matter.”  According to witnesses, guns were fired on both sides.  Family members, however, say the BLM group laid in wait and later fired on first group.  At the end of the day, the details are unimportant.  Somewhere out there is a toddler crying for his mother.

When did “black lives matter” turn into “no lives matter?”  Not Jessica’s.  Not her son’s.  Not her fiance’s and not the people in either group who will be permanently marred by this event.  As Prince Escalus says at the end of Shakespeare’s greatest tragedy, “all are punish’d.”  (Romeo and Juliet) 

There’s so much to unpack here, not the least of which is the studied apathy that the mainstream media is displaying. Outside of a few news outlets (mostly local), the American people are largely ignorant of this atrocity.

Of course, we’ve known for years that the American corporate media is mainly a propaganda arm for the global aristocracy and its Democrat Party subsidiary here in the United States. They don’t so much report the news as massage it. In this, they are much more sophisticated than the news outlets of the old Soviet Empire, such as TASS and Pravda.

That’s a tangent, however, one that we can explore another day. For now, we mourn the loss of Jessica Doty-Whitaker, and all connected to her tragic demise, as well as the death of something that used to matter but no longer does:  No lives matter and this is proof.

But it’s not about the truth, is it?   Maybe all lives do matter and we should start reporting it like that.


  1. I’m not American, but I am afraid not only of the left winning the election but also of the left losing it. Their reaction could be ten times as violent as the one you see today. It will be a very close election, If Trump wins he would probably lose the popular vote again by a large margin and they will use that to attack American democracy. These are historical times that you are living. Best good luck and God Bless You 

    • Elias Young says

      Daniel wrote  on July 22, 2020 am 11:57 pm …I am afraid not only of the left winning the election but also of the left losing it. Me: Yes, it’s looking like the Left in general is planning for an attempted over-throw of the American political system… following the election. But that’s just an opinion. Regardless of who wins or loses. I live in a small conservative town in CO. So things still seem relatively stable. There are probably enough good ol’ boys around who learned to shoot a gun when they got just past the knee-high-to-a-grasshopper stage. Now they mostly likely have some other fundamental instincts which have kicked in and/ or will kick in if things get out of hand. Personally, my one sure comfort is that there’s an Orthodox parish in town (OCA) …with it’s share of good ol’ boys. “may you live in interesting times”.  I hope it doesn’t get too interesting.Elias

  2. Antiochene Son says

    I was disappointed to receive a fundraising letter from Holy Cross in West Virginia, an excellent monastery which God is blessing, and in it Abbot Seraphim was still on the “senseless murder of innocent black man by police officers” talking point from 4 to 6 weeks ago.
    As soon as the full video of the incident was released, a lot of the hullabaloo died down. Those who are still acting in the name of George Floyd are doing so because it’s provocative, not because they are seeking proportional justice. We now know that Floyd was fighting officers for several minutes in the back of the cruiser, and was complaining of being unable to breathe long before he was on the ground, because he was having a heart attack, which was his cause of death. It’s unfortunate his death happened to coincide with an officer placing a knee on him, but that is the extent of it.
    I have always been supportive of monastics and I think they frequently receive unjust criticism. But if you are going to comment on current events, you really need to stay up to speed with what’s happening. Because I don’t need Orthodox clergy preaching dated Antifa talking points to me, even though I am sure it was not intended that way.

    • George Michalopulos says

      True that: Floyd’s death was also exacerbated by the fact that he had significant quantities of Fentanyl in his blood system as well.

      • I am relatively high level Brazilian jiu jitsu/submission wrestling competitor. Anyone who thinks that a man’s weight on your neck – one of the most painful and debilitating control postures possible – will not kill a man, esp. over the time period Mr Floyd was subjected to is simply not dealing with reality. He may not have been a saint but no American – no human – should he subject to that kind of torturous death.

        • George Michalopulos says

          Just so you know, George Floyd had been complaining about not being able to breathe while he was still upright and being handcuffed. He had significant amounts of Fentanyl in his system and most likely died of a heart attack. The issue of whether he should have been restrained as he was is a separate one. I personally don’t think he should have been so restrained and for the length of time that he was but then again, I wasn’t there.

          • Johann Sebastian says

            He also had COVID and knew it. Wonder how many people he infected while passing around counterfeit $20s.

          • Greg Pavli says

            Its slowly murdering a man. I recommend seeing what 5 seconds of that experience is like – that will cure any illusions that is was somehow survivable (do not try if you do not have strong neck muscles and make sure your partner knows to release on signal immediately to avoid permanent harm).
            Might he have died from something else if he was not “restrained” that way? Who knows? He was however killed in an extraordinarily brutal way. I can not speak to how being for example disemboweled feels but I imagine your shock mechanism provides some protection. In this case, you will feel agony until you pass out or die, plain and simple. 

            • Johann Sebastian says

              COVID is 5 days of slow murder.
              Yet people will do what they want; “peaceful protesters” are allowed to riot for their “cause” and constitutionalist freedom fighters (while being ridiculed by the media and certain politicians) also insist on doing what they want.
              In the meantime, China giggles. And so do those who wish to push their “progressive” agenda, with the assistance of SJWs, neocons, and tin hat-wearing “‘Murica” types who give true conservatism a bad name.
              I thought only 10 people are allowed at funerals. Why the thousands for Floyd and Lewis?

    • Internet access is curtailed at the Hermitage of the Holy Cross.  Monks have to get a blessing to use computers and / or access the Internet for obvious reasons having to do with various temptations.  However, Fr. Seraphim keeps abreast of news in order to have a window on the world and what the faithful are dealing with socially, culturally, and economically.  He and I have talked about this and I know he is aware that there are activities “behind the scenes” on the part of deep state actors.  However, he doesn’t spend any time going down rabbit holes to research all the various angles on stories and gather information the MSM doesn’t report. 

      The fact that Floyd has been turned into a martyr for the revolution is not to be unexpected.  Every time someone mentions Floyd I notice they say “tragic death,” “senseless murder,” “indefensible killing,” etc.  More often than not, I think they say this because they assume their words are being evaluated by an angry nation ready to pounce on any hint of a lack of support for BLM.  There are so many angles on the Floyd death — for the tinfoil hatters, type “George Floyd” into an anagram checker and see what you get — so many bizarre, coincidental factors involved that, once noticed, it’s hard to accept what we’ve been asked to believe.  The fact that there has been no conversation on these elements suggests the degree to which our perceptions have been effectively controlled and managed.  As such, it’s not surprising that people continue to repeat the same thing regarding what was broadcast on the news for days on end.

      • MomofToddler says

        You are being charitable as St. Paisios taught which is a good thing. I hope you are right. But I also feel wary of what was written like others have posted. There were many popular buzzwords said in the article that didn’t need to be said. It felt like it was an article trying not to alienate anybody, but just obvious enough to be unsettling.

        On a related note, I am on the email/newsletter for a local ROCOR mission under Archbishop Peter and in the email the priest attacked the videos of Fr. Peter Heers and Fr. Savas quite harshly, without naming their names. The email had an even harsher tone than the one put out by the OCA and, I believe said some things that weren’t entirely truthful to my experience in watching the videos, but it’s possible I didn’t notice them in the same way. What does this all mean? Is it a coincidence that so many priests are taking the “mainstream” road, or is there something more “formal” going on? I don’t know…but I’ve been wondering this for a long time. Is it just God removing his grace away from people (because of certain sins or non-repentance) in the last days so they lack the “eyes to see” and “ears to hear”?

        • Few are the Orthodox clergy that launch into attacks on the Freemasons, Kabbalists, Talmud, pharmaceutical companies, CFR, Deep state, etc, etc, etc.  When they do, people start calling them crazy and  conspiracy theorists.  What are the real, deep structural problems here?   

          That George Floyd (anagram: “Edge of Glory”) knew Chauvin from working at a sketchy night club rumored to be involved in any number of shady things?  That “Chauvin” is the eponym for “chauvinistic,” meaning, “excessively nationalistic?”  That Chauvin quite ceremoniously “took a knee” on someone he knew from his side job but not once do either one call the other by name?  If you knew the person restraining you wouldn’t you say, “Hey Chauvin, get off me?”  Or “Hey Floyd, stop moving around?” 

          Why the picture of “the gentle giant” (Floyd) — never mind Michael Brown was also called a “gentle giant” — in the night club next to a picture of “corona” beer?  That Floyd died at the end of May under the sign of Gemini in Minneapolis, one of the Twin Cities and that ex-basketball player, Stephen Jackson (Stephen — Stefanos — Crown — Corona) quite vocally claimed to be Floyd’s “twin?”  That Floyd himself had corona virus?  That the press told us time and again that Chauvin kept his knee on Floyd’s neck for 8 minutes, 46 seconds — 8:46 was the time the first plane hit the “Twin Towers.”  That Floyd’s arrest was precipitated by a “911” call? 

          Is there anything to the fact that Nicholas Chauvin, a solider under Napoleon, was known to have suffered 17 injuries and Derek Chauvin just happened to have 17 complaints against him?  That the number 17 in the Rider-Waite Tarot deck is “The Star” and is esoterically known to refer to Sirius, the star revered by Masons for various reasons, a star that has a “twin” in Sirius B, the latter being obscured and occluded?  Is this all just crazy, tin foil hat coincidence or were we all witness to something else on that day? 

          If these layers of “the bizarre” and “weird” are too thick for us to penetrate, how are Orthodox monks and clergy suppose to shed light on what really happened and is happening? They may not be any better positioned to peel back the layers of deception than the majority of “regular folks.”  If any of them wrote anything like what I have here they’d be called crazy and dismissed —

    • Katherine says

      Antiochene Son, I was also disappointed by Abbot Seraphim’s “senseless murder” comment in the newsletter from Holy Cross Monastery.  I read and hear too much about that in the secular world.

    • Dear Antiochian Son:
      I was also extremely disappointed with that newsletter. Not only did he mention the Floyd talking points, but he reiterated that the monastery continues to be closed due to CV19 and the annual pilgrimage of St. Panteleimon is cancelled.  He also urged everyone to join them on live stream. I unsubscribed from the newsletter and I am going to halt my donations. We need a real Bishop to follow who will stand up to this garbage. Open the Churches and Monasteries without restrictions and live the faith of our fathers!!!

      • The monastery — and Fr. Seraphim — cannot simply make policy.  He has to follow what his Bishop(s) tell(s) him to do.  You know, if Fr. Seraphim — or any Bishop — wanted to to enforce the restrictions that govern when someone can take communion after certain kinds of sins or when someone is to be excommunicated, where would any of us stand? 

        Suppose you came to the monastery with a heavy conscience because of an habitual problem, terrible sin, or failure to adhere to church observances and they turned you away.  They would be within their right.  We hear all the time about how great economia is exercised for us in this day and age; otherwise, few would be able to stay within the Church according to the principles of the faith, as prescribed in ancient times.  

        And yet, they receive us, pray for us, and encourage us to keep getting up no matter how many times we fall.  When we need prayers said, loved ones commemorated, or someone to talk to about a difficult problem, they listen. So why don’t you exercise some “economia” for them? Why don’t you show them the same regard and understanding they show us when we, by all rights, should be barred from communion? How can you expect mercy if you don’t show it, especially to monks and priests? 

        But now, when they are put in a difficult situation and need the faithful to do what they can, you want to turn on them — all because they aren’t being “political” enough to suit your sensibilities.  Christ was amazed by the faith of the Centurion.  Do you not think the prayers of monasteries are effectual unless you’re physically there?  Do you think they aren’t praying for us?  Do you think they like closing their doors during this crisis?      

      • Antiochene Son says

        I agree on many points but I can’t begrudge the monastery for closing; I am sure monks at popular monasteries like Holy Cross are to some degree grateful for the solitude. It affords them more time to pray, their primary vocation.

    • Relatively new to the Orthodox Church, I was warned that Orthodoxy moves slowly, and–to be honest–this tendency for slowness is one of the many things that attracted me to the Church. But, in contrast to what I’d heard, this year I’ve found that She (at least the OCA) is actually swift to speak and take action–depending on the situation.
      For example, the OCA was swift to shut down worship; swift to send the message that corporate worship is important so long as it isn’t physically dangerous; swift to shut down and shame the voices of people who want to worship together or who want their children baptized; swift to publish articles calling for the cessation of church singing; swift to lock the doors on Pascha so that “naysayers” couldn’t celebrate Christ’s resurrection; in short, swift to follow the diktats of people who hate God.
      But the OCA is slow, just not in the way I assumed. She is slow to condemn rioting but swift to condemn supposed racism; slow to re-open churches but swift to shut them down; slow to give pastoral comfort in difficult times but swift to shame the faithful starved of communion.
      In short, I won’t hold my breath for the Orthodox Church to have any good word when it comes to the things that are important to me: corporate worship of the Triune God and a peaceful life in a society that punishes evil and rewards good. And here I am left wondering why I departed from progressive mainline churches thinking that the Orthodox would transcend any of this mess.
      Who will tell the truth if the Orthodox refuse to? Who will lead us if our leaders refuse to lead? How are we to worship together if our bishops excommunicate the faithful? What will become of us now that courage has fled our camp and left us alone in the dark?

      • Sage-Girl says

        forget OCA — so embarrassing, their No diff than mainstream Protestants – listen: while you look for a decent new church, start looking for a personal spiritual father to guide you. If you’re a man travel to Mount Athos – it’ll change your life!
        Immerse yourself in plethora of books on great Orthodox Elders like St. Elder Paisios the Athonite, Elder Ephraim of AZ, the Philokalia, the Desert?Fathers, Mountain of Silence by Kyriacos Markides.
        Seek + Ye Shall Find!

        • Sage-Girl, if my memory serves me correctly, you’re in the GOA? Am I right? (If I’m not, then I apologize.) If so, please don’t throw stones at the OCA as being ‘No diff than mainstream Protestants.’ The GOA is more like that as opposed to the OCA with all of those organs and choir members with robes, plus lots of pews. And, most OCA clergy wear cassocks, as opposed to sport coats and suits like Greek clergy do.

          • Sage-Girl says

            my apology — I threw baby out with bath water ? yes I’m with GOA + yes we had choir but no more, cause spittle from singing is Virus threat …
            Please do enlighten me more on OCA, don’t know anyone there

            • Apology accepted, Sage-Girl. Though, I am puzzled. You replied back saying: “Please do enlighten me more on OCA, don’t know anyone there.” Well, if you don’t know anyone there, how can you make statements like, ‘No diff than mainstream Protestants’? Just asking. And, I’m not sure how I can ‘enlighten’ you about the OCA. Perhaps you can visit a few parishes, and see for yourself? (Of course, with this goofy COVID-19 thing going on right now, the time is probably not optimum.) 

              • Sage-Girl says

                Yikes — Just realized my wacky mistake: I’ve confused OCA with OCL ! ? Somewhere, wires got crossed… I’m sorry. 
                I associated OCA with Orthodox Christian Laity – years ago I phoned OCL after seeing them online + curious as my former priest Fr. Frank Marangos was on their board. But man who answered the  phone sounded convoluted saying silly stuff that he was gay + that OCL was all for gay rights. Hope to eventually gain clarity on their differences 

      • WR, I feel for you very much. I’ve been in the OCA my whole life, and come from a long line or clergy families. I’m not overly pleased with how our hierarchy in the OCA has handled things either. It’s almost as if the OCA was being overly cautious from a legal point of view because of the troubles that it went through some years ago. (Dependence on lawyers and legal counsel can make one hesitant, I guess.) But in all fairness, the OCA hasn’t been the only one to drop the ball in this ‘pandemic’ scenario. Probably, with the exception of ROCOR (and to some extent the Serbs), all of the Orthodox jurisdictions have made bad moves—all of them. But why does the OCA stick out like a sore thumb? Most likely because they’re trying to be transparent. (Again, this is a probable result of past legal issues.) <i>Though, this is just my take on things. So, hang in there, WR. Hang in there.</i>

      • WR, “Who will tell the truth if the Orthodox refuse to? Who will lead us if our leaders refuse to lead? How are we to worship together if our bishops excommunicate the faithful? What will become of us now that courage has fled our camp and left us alone in the dark?”
        Oh brother, this is a very serious post and deserves very serious replies.
        just for the moment, I could write a few titles on who will lead us:
        (1) The Bible
        (2) Interpretation & Analysis of the Bible by the famous Fathers like St.John Chrysostom (GoldenMouth) et al.
        (3) Canons of the Church e.g. as in the “Rudder”
        (4) Few priests and fewer bishops who base themselves on (1) and (2) and (3).
        (5) Prayer without ceasing.

      • Katherine says

        WR, I read your post of July 23 at 1:06 pm and can only say that I am so sorry for your pain and confusion.  I understand and, regretfully, have to agree with you.  I have had the same feelings and questions and have had to rely on help from my confessor Father while I work through these problems.   I read Ioannis’ post of July 23 at 3:15 pm and believe that his advice is sound.  Please stay true to the holy Orthodox Faith through all of these difficulties.

      • Gail Sheppard says

        WR, I really enjoyed reading what you wrote and of course you are right.

        There is the Church and there are the people in the Church.

        The Church is ordered.

        The people in the Church are in chaos.

        Order and chaos.

        Unfortunately, being Orthodox requires one to be OK with this reality. It’s not easy. We all struggle with it. I think you’ll adjust. It’s our expectations that get in the way.  

        But don’t let the chaos distract you.  Be patient. You will see order coming through from time to time and you will be at peace.

        • Michael Bauman says

          WR, heck of a time to come into the Church. You must be a strong person. Just remember, the Truth is a person, not an idea. He is present in all things of the Church even the smallest. I was received back in 1987. I have lived through a lot of crap that was in the Church, but not of it from fellow parishoners and hierarchy. But there have all so been moments simple and profound in which the abiding presence of our Lord has been revealed. Many of them through icons–either the official painted icons or the messier icons of the folks in the pew. The proximity of those icons is lessened these days but we are still here. The official painted icons have never been more available. If you find one that reaches out and grabs you, you will know the Truth through it.
          The Church has always been messy and full of sin–She always will be but the healing of sin is also here in a manner that is simply not available any where else. I tried many other avenues before God’s mercy brought me to the Church. I have found that even the chaos can be part of the healing somehow. I am 72 years old. In 8 more years I will have been in the Church longer than I was not in the Church. I pray that I make it that long.
          I recomend the blog Glory to God For All Things written and maintained by Father Stephen Freeman of the OCA. Oh, Fr Moses recently discussed here is also of the OCA. It does not matter to our Lord.
          Romans 5:20 pretty much sums it up.
          The key ways is the dual discipline of repentance and forgiveness. It is impossible to have them separately.

    • Amen! Couldn’t agree more Antiochene Son. If I want political commentary, I can go any of about a million places in a few seconds. 
      I look to monastics for commentary on real life. 

  3. Antiochene Son says

    To the main point of the post, it is now open season on white people. That is the end of it. I know that if I happen to encounter a black person in everyday life, I steer clear if I can, or avert my eyes and get out of the situation as quickly and unobtrusively as possible if I can’t. Who wants to be accosted, have a phone whipped out and be accused of doing something?
    The diversity project is now proven beyond any doubt to be a massive failure. God created the world such that similar people live together. In the words of Mohammad Ali, “Bluebirds with bluebirds, red birds with red birds, pigeons with pigeons, eagles with eagles. God didn’t make no mistake! … I’d rather be with my own.”
    Diversity plus proximity equals conflict. It is the nature of our fallen humanity, and to attempt to bring about a utopian society through human means is always doomed to failure. The West has reached our Towel of Babel moment.

    • Sage-Girl says

      the Autopsy revealed Floyd (evil criminal who put gun to pregnant woman’s stomach) died of drug Fentanyl + other health issues — it was Not the knee

      • Gail Sheppard says

        The preliminary results of the Hennepin County medical examiner, found no evidence of traumatic asphyxia or strangulation. The medical examiner’s final report, however, did. The family had yet a third autopsy done that agreed with the medical examiner’s final report that said, he died of mechanical asphyxia due to compression of the neck. At least that’s the way I understand it.

        • Antiochene Son says

          The family’s medical examiner did not even examine the actual body. The final report reflects the outcry at the facts not caring about their feelings.
          Science, in the end, is a political weapon, not an objective measure of anything.

  4. Michael Bauman says

    George, Do not neglect the Prince’s words right before “All are punished”.  “For winking at your discords, I have lost a brace of kinsman… ” 
    The ironic think about that play is that the tragedy is so avoidable.  At so many points all it would have taken was someone telling the truth.  Perhaps the tragedy is that the truth is in short supply.
    Still the violence will subside at some point and we will be left with the sorrow of knowing our own situation was preventable: “A glooming peace this morning with it brings, the sun for sorrow will not show it’s head… ”
    May the mercy of our Lord sustain us in His forgiveness.  

    • George Michalopulos says

      Brilliant analysis Michael.

      • Michael Bauman says

        Thank you George but overstated.  Long ago I played the Prince in a local production of Romeo and Juliet. I struggled mightily with the final line: “Never was there a tale of more woe than this of Juliet and her Romeo”.  I said the line but without any conviction at all.  
        Their death was stupid and the result of an immature reaction to the  petty, unnecessary squabbles between sophomoric grandiose idiots fueled by lies, lies and more lies. Even their love is more rebellion and lust than love.   I once tried to count the number of lies but gave up.   Despite the Princes words at the end calling the animosity between the Montgues and the Capuletes “hate” it was not that really.  Just fussy irritation raised to an art form.  
        Even in the presence of the fruit of the lies, the lovers death, there was never any sense of repentance just narcissistic grief. Even the prince is more concerned with the fact that two of his kinsman died than anything else. His rage earlier in the play about the riots in the streets without concern for anything but that it reflects badly on him.  I defy anyone to name any character in the play who demonstrates any virtue at all.   
        Not my favorite play.   If it were thought of and played as a farce, it would be much better. I am not altogether sure that is not the way Shakespeare intended as a satirical farce aimed at the twin ideas of nobility and romantic love.  Much more akin to Molier than great tragedy.  

        • Archpriest Alexander F. C. Webster says

          Kudos, Michael, for taking on the Bard and demolishing Romeo and Juliet! The Broadway musical (and later film) West Side Story not only effectively adapted Shakespeare’s dramatic play to mid-20th century ethnic rivalies and gangs in New York City, it surpassed it, in  my estimation, by having Maria live to denounce the hatred between the gangs. The nilihistic death of both leading characters in Shakespeare’s play bothered me the first time I read it as a high school freshman.

          On the other hand, I have nothing but praise for Macbeth as a profound depiction of irredeemable personal evil. But Shakespeare met his match even here in Heath Ledger’s role as the Joker in The Dark Knight film. Ledger, a method actor, so embodied the evil of the fictional Joker that, according to most cinema experts that I have read, it led to his own tragic death.

          • Gail Sheppard says

            Oh, for pete’s sake! Deny thy father and refuse thy name, Or if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love, And I’ll no longer be a Capulet???? She most certainly did recognize and denounce the gangs. – You and Michael have no sense of romance!

            • Michael Bauman says

              Gail, happily my lovely wife disagrees.  Saturday will be our eleventh wedding anniversary.  I swept her off her feet and defied the direction, indeed the demand of my priest that I rid myself of her. I did so out of a deep love for her and a deeper trust in Jesus.  All after knowing her for four months and going on three dates and being unknown to her children.  Ultimately bringing her into the Church and to the point that my Bishop assures me that our marriage is blessed by God — three times he has told me that.  
              We take joy in that every morning even in the midst of our age related difficulties.  Healing some tattered lives (not just our own) in the ongoing process.  Seems pretty romantic to me.   Truly romantic–full of giddy hope and transforming joy. A never ending story that was preceded by betrayal and tragic death. 
              I pray and hope that you and George have an even greater romance in your never ending story.

              • Gail Sheppard says

                Sounds like a Romeo and Juliet story to me; albeit with a very happy ending! I like happy endings, don’t you?

                • Michael Bauman says

                  Gail, no ending yet but it is happy by the Grace of God. Frankly, I see nothing in it like R&J. My priest, working with our Bishop and the Holy Spirit brought us into the Church. I was blessedly restored to the Church after being excluded for several months on Holy Saturday the day of my wife’s first communion sealing our marriage as well as the beginning our life together in the Church.

                  There was never anything petty or vulgar and never any animosity. Struggles, frustration but never any animosity even when my priest directed me unequivocably to break up. He was being a good guardian. Nor was there any hesitation on his part to receive us despite my defiance. Goodness abounded.
                  God is good!
                  R&J: no grace, no morals, no truth, no life not even a tragic ending it just sinks into a morose filled pity party. It is a bad play impossible to act with honesty and conviction.
                  I really would love it produced as a satiric farce ala Monty Python. In fact I saw John Cleese’s performance as Petruccio in Taming of the Shrew.
                  A much more honest story.

                • George Michalopulos says

                  We should all like happy endings!

            • Archpriest Alexander F. C. Webster says

              Touche, Gail. In West Side Story, however, Maria denounces the gang warfare that led to the tragic death of her lover Tony and her brother Bernardo, and the gang members together lift up the slain body of Tony and escort it from the playground. Maria’s pathos and direct appeal transfigure the Jets and Sharks from mortal enemies into repentant brothers–at least for that closing scene. Shakespeare’s R&J leaves us only with a pair of dead lovers and a fragile, fleeting truce between the warring families. Give me West Side Story any day

              Full Disclosure: “There’s a Place for Us” from West Side Story was my high school class’s graduation song in 1969!

          • Michael Bauman says

            Father, West Side Story has much greater moral content and actual pathos. The attraction between the two lovers has a genuine sweetness that Romeo and Juliet never approach. The animosity between the two gangs real. Then there is the dance. That alone creates a depth and honesty beyond R&J. There everything is vulgar from the opening fight scene to the cloying tone of the final scene in the tomb. The sun may be hanging its head in sorrow but for the rest–Not so much.

            Never saw the Dark Knight. I do know it can be dangerous for actors to go mucking about in the darkness of the human soul without a strong recognition of and foundation the concomitant goodness.
            Of course the agent of evil in Macbeth was Lady Macbeth. But you cannot top the expression of utter hopelessness and despair that is Macbeth’s “Tomorrow” solioquy.
            That is where no lives matter and all degradation is possible.

            It seems a near perfect description of life without
            Christ that is inevitable if we give way so completely to the temptations. But Lady Macbeth does not have to work very hard to damn herself and her husband to hell… and the evil is overthrown and proper order restored.
            Plus that speech has spawned hundreds if not thousands of book titles. My favorite being Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury.

          • George Michalopulos says

            I agree with you Fr re Ledger’s Joker. That was one of the most memorable characters in all of film. Even though I’m a Marvel Cinematic Universe uber-fan, I must say that the Dark Knight trilogy was one of the best cinematic trilogies.

            Many of the darkest aspects of the human condition were brought out in depth. Personally, I liked how they handled the glorification of Harvey Dent at the expense of Batman, who became the scapegoat in order to make Dent’s “heroism” possible.

            • Fr. Alexander obviously has great taste in movies. The Dark Knight trilogy is an absolutely fantastic contribution to cinema and probably the best comic book movie alongside The Watchmen. Nolan is one of the few intelligent directors left.

              I grew up reading Marvel, but the movies suck, George.

              • George Michalopulos says

                HERESY! While I agree that the Iron Man/Thor trilogies are uneven, the entire Captain America/Avengers arc is the cinematic masterpieces of all time!

                • Nope. The only comic books adaptions that ever worked were the first two Batman movies, the Nolan trilogy, and the Alan Moore adaptions – with the exception of League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, which also sucked.
                  This is a hill I’m willing to die on.

                  • George Michalopulos says

                    Well! So be it! The entire arc that began with Captain America: Winter Soldier and ended with Avengers: Endgame was nothing less than sublime. I wrestle whether Captain America: Civil War was the climax of this narrative.

                    The weak point in Endgame was the you-go girl scene near the end where “Captain Marvelette” (the insufferable Brie Larsen) leads a group of women superheroes to save Spiderman. Weak and unnecessary. Having said that, the interpersonal conundra and interplays between several of the Avengers are thought-provoking. In my estimation the scene where Cap and Iron Man are duking it out is priceless. Of course it happens because Tony Stark (Iron Man) finds out that the Winter Soldier (the brainwashed “Bucky” Barnes) killed his parents in cold blood. To add further insult to injury, Cap (Steven Rogers) goes out of his way to save his best friend from legal wrath.

                    Along these lines I recommend The Black Panther because the newly-enthroned King T’Challa goes to the netherworld and meets his ancestors, especially his revered father and finds out that he had made several unfortunate compromises while he was king that T’Challa has to deal with. Almost Shakespearian in my opinion. In any event, neither narratives are good guy v bad guy. Nuance abounds.

                    But, I will submit that The Dark Knight trilogy is superb on many different levels.

        • George Michalopulos says

          Michael, I agree with your analysis regarding the superficiality of the love involved but we should not forget that we were talking about teenagers. As for their respective families, they were hot-heads as well. Hence, I cut the Bard some slack.

          • Michael Bauman says

            Wow, what an observation of Shakespeare: teenagers are stupid. Petty nobility is “petty” and easily offended. That is not the stuff of either romance or tragedy. It is a very common story. Not a story of unsupassed woe. It would still play better as a satirical farce. The really bad rhyme at the end was of no help especially coming after much more artful language. It was all I could do to not get sick.
            I mean “Montague, Capulet! See what a scourge is laid upon thy hate that heaven doth find means to kill thy joys with love!”
            That has substance, power, grace. Then it just peters out.

            • Tim R. Mortiss says

              We were teenagers when we were married 53 years ago now…..

              ‘Course, my ma used to say in later years: “[Tim], you were a very mature 19 year old….”

              Looking back, it was probably true. But back then we had to kill us a b’ar when we were only three. So we got a head start.

              • Michael Bauman says

                Tim, in other words you tended to live in a genuine world not the world of R&J that is a narcissistic fantasy to begin with. I had to wait until I was 61 to reach the same level as did my wife.  Thus all of the dying and betrayal that preceded our marriage.
                Your story is much more romantic.  God grant you many, many more years.  

              • Was it a white b’ar…?

                • Tim R. Mortiss says

                  I wasn’t that far north. To kill the b’ar was good, but to grin it into submission was the mark of a real backwoodsman.
                  I confess all that was before my time. But I was founder and president of the Royal Order of Mountain Beaver, and still have the leather-bound journal from when I was 13 years old, in 1961-62, documenting 17 excursions into local waterfront gulches and ravines, and the trapping and skinning of mountain beavers (Aplodontia rufa).
                  We were city boys, but we grew up in the woods.

    • Amen!

  5. Sage-Girl says

    ? “No one is more hated, than he who speaks the Truth” — Plato
    Just heard Roosh V’s videos on YouTube have been taken down… people we must call on Archangel Michael’s sword ? of Truth to surround God’s warriors in this harrowing time!

    • George Michalopulos says

      Roush as well as stefan molyneux as well. So much for freedom of speech.

  6. Sage-Girl says

    Antiochene Son:

    Yes – totally Spot On! ? Problem with some cloistered Monastics is – they’re Not cognizant of the ‘going’s on’ of outside world these types should keep Silence; they should do they’re Jesus Prayer … allow the more sophisticated, the more illumined, speak up like monk Fr. Peter Heers of Mount Athos.

    ?St. Silouan the Athonite said “Keep your mind in hell do not despair” … well maybe the satanic antics of BLM, Antifa lefty catastrophes on civilization, are similar to what all great Saints endured to reach Theosis? Read up how many Saints were physically attacked by demons – likewise, we are all collectively under attack

    • Fr. Peter Heers is married with five kids. He’s not a monk and doesn’t live on Mount Athos.

      • Sage-Girl says

        Thanks Basil ? mistaking him for another Monk …  can’t recall name, but good for Fr. Peter Heers anyway… and Bishop Athanasios of Cyprus is terrific too.
        Wish more Orthodox pilgrims would travel to Holy Mountain so they’d discover more charismatic monastics to speak on. There’s always gems among them  — including the 7 Invisible Masters that roam the mountain ?!

  7. Pat Reardon says

    Monastics should not, as far as possible, comment about secular events. The exceptions to this rule should be rare.
    Thomas Merton, the most famous monk of the 20th century, created a great deal of confusion by repeatedly flouting this rule.

    • Father Pat, would you expand Please on what events you would consider “secular”?   And does the word secular cover all or some of what is called “political”?  I ask because many events/actions have spiritual import and am hoping you can help us understand your distinctions.  Thank you for posting here!  Priests are most needed by all of us right now.  

      • Pat Reardon says

        would you expand Please on what events you would consider “secular”?  
        Such an expansion would probably lead to more useless controversy, Nicole.
        What I had in mind was simply what St Basil had in mind in the Longer Rule, where he compared the monk to the soldier. Both professions, St Basil wrote, require a degree of concentration that excludes other concerns.
        I include under the heading “secular” or “worldly” those activities that Basil included when he that expression. 

        • Thank you for the reference, Father Pat.  Will look for St. Basil’s  Longer Rule.  Always glad to avoid useless controversy ☺️?

    • Did he (Merton) not dabble with Buddhism?

      • Dear friends for over half my life with a monk befriended and formed by Merton, the monk tells me Merton ‘without a doubt’ would have become a Tibetan Buddhist, had he not been electrocuted in a south Asian bathtub.

        • Pat Reardon says

          Respectfully, this is raw nonsense.
          It is highly unlikely you know anyone who lived with Merton for last dozen years of his life. I did.
          I recommend the following article on this subject:

          • Thank you, Fr. Pat , for recommending your article on Merton .  I enjoyed reading it very much.

            • Pat Reardon says

              Thank you, David.
              Friends persuaded me that I had to write that article, because I am (now at age 82) among the very few living  witnesses who can still address Merton’s life and career first-hand.
              Last year, when I was again at Gethsemani to attend the funeral of Patrick Hart, Merton’s long-time secretary, I reflected that one hand has sufficient fingers to count the current Gethsemani monks knew Merton longer than I. 
              I can also think of a few more who live in other monasteries (John Eudes Bamberger at Genesee in NY, Linus Doerner at Miraflores in Chile, perhaps a couple of others), but that’s about it. Soon, none of us will be around.
              The earliest of Merton’s biographers, Ed Rice, the man who invented the myth of Merton’s imminent conversion to Buddhism, had very little contact with him during his later years. At the time, there was a great deal of resentment at Gethsemani over Rice’s irresponsible speculation. Especially was this true on the part of Patrick Hart, Merton’s secretary.
              I am confident, in short, that not a single living Trappist monk, among those who knew Merton first-hand, entertains the fantasy that Merton was on his way to Buddhism.

              Anyway, thanks.

              • Gail Sheppard says

                So Father, when you said: “It is highly unlikely you know anyone who lived with Merton for last dozen years of his life. I did,” I assumed you meant that you knew someone who lived with Merton the last dozen years of his life.

                Did I misunderstand you? Were you really saying it was you who lived with Merton the last dozen years of his life? If so, I sincerely apologize for misunderstanding you.

                What a blessing.

              • Fr. Patrick,
                Thanks for linking to your article. In your article you touched briefly on an issue related to his mysterious death when you wrote: “And then there was the paradox attending the return of Merton’s body to America… I never learned how the process of the return was arranged, but eventually the body of this life-long pacifist and conscientious objector was handed over to the United States Air Force. Thus, all that remained of Thomas Merton, ardent critic of the war in Vietnam, was brought home in a military transport plane, along with the bodies of American warriors who perished in that conflict.”A book came out a few years ago called “The Martyrdom of Thomas Merton”, and Edward Curtin’s review of the book is here:
                Speaking the Unspeakable: The Assassination and Martyrdom of Thomas Merton
                “This is an extraordinary book in so many ways.  First, because the authors prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Trappist monk and anti-war writer Thomas Merton was assassinated and did not die in a fabricated accident, as has been claimed for all these years. Second, because it is so meticulously researched, sourced, documented, and logically argued that it puts to shame and the lie to so many works, including academic ones, that purport to be profound but fall apart once carefully inspected, especially all those that have been written about Merton and his alleged accidental death.” (Review here:
                Perhaps you will find it interesting.

                • Pat Reardon says

                  All sorts of speculation surround the mysterious death of Merton.
                  Indeed, it was on his blog site, just some days ago, that I learned the suggestion that he was “electrocuted in a south Asian bathtub.” I had never heard that one before; nor do I think the bathtub appears in any of the biographies.
                  I hope you don’t mind if I refrain from commenting on The Martyrdom of Thomas Merton, a work that came to my attention after my article was published.
                  I simply do not know enough for sure, that I can comment on the work with any confidence. I was not in Bangkok at the time, and I have limited trust in those who were.

                  • Joseph Lipper says

                    Fr. Patrick, respectfully, I am very surprised that you only recently heard of the alleged accidental electrocution of Thomas Merton in a South Asian bathtub.  That was the official explanation given since his death in 1968. 
                    Please tell us, was there a different story about his death that you are aware of?

                    • Pat Reardon says

                      Respectfully, I was present when the “official explanation” was given in 1968, and I spoke with the physician who examined Merton’s body on its return to Gethsemani.
                      There was a large electrical burn on Merton’s chest, apparently caused when he pulled over a large electrical fan onto himself as he fell on the floor. The “official” cause of death was a heart attack, perhaps brought on by an electrical short in the fan. 
                      Merton had recently bathed, and there was speculation that his body was still damp from the bath.

                    • Joseph,
                      In the book review, Curtin notes that the two witnesses who discovered his body found him laying facedown with his arms by his side and his limbs lying straight as if he were placed in a coffin, with a bleeding gash in the back of his head, and with the fan wire across the thigh. In their report, they said that he was lying on the floor, not a bathtub.

                    • Joseph Lipper says

                      Father, thank you for clarifying.   In the appendix of  “The Asian Journal”, the letter from Bangkok informing Dom Flavian about Merton’s death is reproduced.  It says, “It is believed that he could have showered and then had a heart attack near the fan, and in falling knocked the fan over against himself; or again that being in his bare feet on a stone floor he may have received a fatal electric shock.”

                    • Joseph Lipper says

                      Father, thank you for clarifying. 

                      In the Asian Journal of Thomas Merton, the official letter from Bangkok informing Merton’s abbot about his death is reproduced.  This letter says, “It is believed that he could have showered and then had a heart attack near the fan, and in falling knocked the fan over against himself;  or again that being in his bare feet on a stone floor he may have received a fatal electric shock.”  So he wasn’t in the bathtub when he died (I stand corrected), but perhaps just coming out of the bath, and it was speculated then that electrocution by a faulty electric fan was what finally killed him.

              • “I am confident, in short, that not a single living Trappist monk, among those who knew Merton first-hand, entertains the fantasy that Merton was on his way to Buddhism.”

                From my memories of reading his journals, he indeed may not have been on the road to leaving Roman Catholicism outwardly for Buddhism, but he sure seemed to be pushing Buddhism and much more into Roman Catholicism, or at least, into himself.

                • Pat Reardon says

                  I agree with this. Some of Merton’s devotees have really gone off the deep end.

          • “Someone’s interpretation of events is different from mine, therefore it is nonsense. By the way, just read my article.”

            This is the kind of argumentation that Fr. Alexander tried a few weeks ago. It’s not good and I look forward to LonelyDn’s response to this.

            • Gail Sheppard says

              I’m in agreement with you, Basil.

              The delivery is as important as the message and if the delivery is haughty and dismissive, no one cares about the message or the messenger. Frankly, it is not possible for one person to know another person better, especially secondhand. Two people know the same person differently. A mom might think her axe murderer of a son is the best thing since sliced bread. Doesn’t make it true or mitigate what other people think of him.

              I apologize to you, LonelyDn and the blog for letting this stuff get through. It only gets people hot under the collar and invites retaliation and no one likes to see that.

              Thank you for keeping the cooler head. You were right to say this kind of exchange is “not good.” It’s not.

              • LonelyDn says

                Yes Gail, I want to assume this is a misunderstanding – it is important to give benefit of the doubt. Thanks for the apologies!

            • Pat Reardon says

              “Someone’s interpretation of events is different from mine, therefore it is nonsense. By the way, just read my article.”
              Well, reading the article would have cleared things up.

              • Not necessarily. If LonelyDn is telling the truth, then there’s someone out there who would disagree with your article. Someone has a different take on events. It’s not nonsense simply because it’s different from your perspective.
                As LonelyDn posted below, this was the monk’s impression. Either you or the monk has got it wrong, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

          • Gail Sheppard says

            Fr. Pat, one cannot know the voracity of what one person has told another so calling it “raw nonsense” because it doesn’t line up with what your acquaintance told you is, well, “raw nonsense,” as neither of you knew Merton, personally, or could have any way of knowing what his thoughts may have been at a certain point in his life.

          • LonelyDn says

            It might be highly unlikely that I know anyone who spent significant time with Merton, but it’s the truth. He’s one of my dearest friends and I have known this monk almost three decades. He still lives at Gethsemani, where I met him, outside Merton’s hermitage. This monk could be reading his own hopes INTO Merton, but he nevertheless told me this is his impression. 

            • Pat Reardon says

              There are two things I especially appreciate about this response, LonelyDn:
              First, your reluctance to name the monk in question. Let’s leave it that way, shall we? Let’s just pick a random designation and simply call him “Monk Q.”
              Second, your suspicion that Monk Q “could be reading his own hopes INTO Merton.” If this is the case, charity will prompt us to pray for him. 
              Now, I do know, of course, the identity of Monk Q. He is a very fine man and a dedicated monk, whom I have known since he was a teenager.
              Although I knew Merton a few years longer than Monk Q did,  I feel confident that Monk Q knew Merton better than I did, in the sense that he was personally closer to Merton, felt greater sympathy with Merton, and put greater trust in Merton.
              That was all quite impossible for me. It still is. My problems with the later Merton are deeply theological. 
              Merton would agree with this assessment, too, I think. From his few comments about me in the Journals (to say nothing of comments not permanently recorded), it is clear Merton did not regard me very highly. Indeed, this may have been one of things that Merton got right.
              With respect to Buddhism—Merton was no more a Buddhist than my cat. He explicitly disavowed all interest in Buddhist metaphysics, and, unless I am seriously mistaken, would never have agreed with the denial of the the permanence of the atman. Indeed, the “soul” was everything to Merton.
              No, Merton’s interest in Buddhism, as far as I could tell, was limited to certain artistic and psychological expressions of Zen. When he had the Zen garden constructed for the novices, this was, I think, the outer limit of Merton’s affinity to Buddhism.

              • Pat, thanks for the thoughtful and well-articulated response. Unless I’m reading sarcasm into it, I full appreciate your note…and I believe ‘Monk Q’ is a fine designation. When I first met Monk Q, we exchanged poetry on a hill near the old silo, discussing everything from Merton to Emily Dickinson, Rilke and Rumi.
                Attending a nearby all-boy’s Catholic high school, I really, really wanted to explore Trappist monasticism. My grandmother put me in touch with Monk Q and we became dear, close friends. This said, quite innocently, he encouraged me over the course of several years to explore Buddhism, and before I knew it, I was reading everything Buddhist and trekking Merton’s walk from Dharamsala to St. John’s of the Wilderness in north India. 
                When I returned, I headed straight to Gethsemani, and greeted Monk Q with open arms. I had a profound experience overseas, and couldn’t negotiate these experiences through Buddhism – or Roman Catholicism. I left the cold, stone walls of the abbey saddened – but discovered Orthodoxy later that winter. Monk Q remains in my prayers, and close to my heart. 

                • Pat Reardon says

                  Attending a nearby all-boy’s Catholic high school,
                  Goodness, this is a long time past. I think old St Joe’s closed many years ago.
                  I really, really wanted to explore Trappist monasticism.  . . . he encouraged me over the course of several years to explore Buddhism
                  Last year, when Father Timothy Kelly (my classmate in Theology and now a former abbot) spoke to me for a bit over an hour, he lamented the decline in Trappist vocations. Your narrative helps explain it, I think.
                  As I noted in the article, I was Merton’s first novice. Monk Q was among his last novices. He never knew the earlier Merton;  by the time Monk Q joined the abbey, Merton was “into” all sorts of dangerous stuff.
                  I appreciate your sharing all this with me. I have been concerned for Monk Q for some time, but I didn’t know things had gone this bad.

              • I can shed no light on this conversation other than to confirm Fr. Patrick’s assertion that Tiglath-Pileser (his cat) is no Buddhist, if indeed it is still the same creature I once knew.  He did, however, strike me as possibly being an agnostic. 

                • Pat Reardon says

                  I regret to announce that Tiglath Pileser III is no longer with us, Brian.

                  He passed away this past year, still uncertain about life’s big questions, though habitually worried about all of them

                • I have never thought of cats as agnostic – certainly not Macavity. He knew too much.

      • Sage-Girl says

        so is former Fr. Mark Arey, now dabbling in Buddhism ☸️ ? as he wrote on his blog since leaving priesthood to marry 2nd time. 
        Too bad Orthodoxy rules that a priest can’t remarry — we lost  a terrific orator 

        • I don’t think that his oratory would be very Orthodox if he was dabbling in Buddhism.

        • Antiochene Son says

          He knew the rules going in. If he couldn’t handle it, he shouldn’t have done it. Now he’s in real jeopardy.

          • Michael Bauman says

            AS, knowing the rules in theory and living with the consequences when they unexpectedly occur are two different things. When your spouse dies, it is like half of your soul is ripped out and you are a walking bloody stump–for awhile.  
            I know two priests who lost their wives. The struggle is ongoing rules or no rules and wanting to follow them is not enough.  
            The Buddhism is another matter.  No excuse for that.  

            • Sage-Girl says

              yes it’s a tough call for those widowed priests not to be free to remarry…
              for the record: former priest Fr. Mark Arey, originally an Anglican convert, only started dabbling in Buddhism ☸️ after he’d left church to remarry… 
              I’m sure it hurt him to be forced to leave … + we miss his great talks!
              I’ve talked to him since; he’s still loyal to Orthodoxy as he still visits priest friend’s churches 

              • Michael Bauman says

                Sage-girl not to be picky but a widowed Orthodox priest who remarries is laicized not “forced to leave the Church”.  Until his repose a few years ago there was a man in my parish who had been laicized and is a full member of the Church.  
                Even lay people who are widowed are encouraged not to remarry you know.  I intended to follow that path but could not. 
                Even with a joyous and complete marriage to my new wife my reposed wife and her reposed husband are a part of our marriage.  Plus the grief we have at their loss will always be in our hearts.
                I found the remark that “He knew the rules” to be in very poor taste.  For one thing it is not about rules.  It has to do with the combined inviolability of both the priest hood and marriage. A unique Cross.  Not all are able to carry that Cross without a human helpmeet.  No shame there at all. 
                However,whatever the reason, if he really started “dabbling in Buddhism” that is not healthy.   
                I also do not understand what you mean by “loyal to the Church”.  I have no emotional or spiritual cognate to comprehend what that means. 

                • Sage-Girl says

                  It was Antiochene Son who wrote “he knew the rules”…

                  as for Mark Arey’s Buddhism trip v. Orthodoxy, only God knows what’s in his or any of our hearts ?, right?

                  • Michael Bauman says

                    Sage-Girl sorry for my unartful reference. I know who made the “rules” comment.  As to knowing someone else’s heart that is actually possible. I do not claim I know Mark Arey’s heart but am merely commenting on the “dabbling in Buddhism”.  That is a bit like dabbling in porn.  Spiritual porn for a consecrated Christian.  It is dangerous and it will lead to sin and worse. 
                    As a friend of mine used to say “That is intuitively obvious to the most casual observer.”  Seduction can blind a man to the obvious however.   
                    May God’s mercy strengthen us to recognise and reject whatever seduction is in our lives. 

                • Antiochene Son says

                  I apologize for any pain or offense my offhand comment caused. Forgive me. I was so angry about the dabbling in Buddhism I lumped it all together.
                  The Church upholds the indissolubility of marriage even while permitting remarriage under certain rules. Laicization is that rule for clergy, but for some that might be a lesser cross than having no wife in this lifetime. 

                  • Sage-Girl says

                    Antiochene Son:
                    no big deal  … did you ever hear about Tibetan Buddhist leader, the Dalai Lama years ago went with a few of his monks to visit Mount Athos? 
                    I wonder why? Was the Dalai Lama opening his heart to Eastern Orthodoxy or spying on us? As a teenager I got to meet the Dalai Lama twice + he struck me as very warm lovely man + met many leaders from various spiritual traditions because of my “mentor” who interviewed them on his weekly radio ? broadcast.  Thereafter I studied + received initiation by one of his Lamas … but dropped it after a few months when novelty wore off just like all the others I was curious about, but remember feeling it only made me appreciate Jesus promise of  “abundant life” v. Buddha’s “empty Void” so much more! 

                  • Michael Bauman says

                    AS, indeed a lesser Cross that is why it is an option, a life giving option… Not a punishment.  Still doing what is described in Matthew 19:29 is not always easy. 
                    The temptation to Buddhism is a seduction in which the partial philosophy is offered as an alternative to the perceived failures of the Church.  
                    There is no compatibility and why I say there is no excuse for going there.. 

              • Being ‘loyal to Orthodoxy’ and dabbling in Buddhism do not go together. Orthodoxy isn’t simply turning up at some friend’s church now and then, it’s a complete way of living and thinking. Dabbling in Buddhism has no place.

    • Disagree. Some of the best takes on so-called secular events have come from monastics. Social and geopolitical events are not separate from movements in the spiritual plain, and those who are living focused monastic lives have a great way of sensing what’s going on.
      That’s not to say that we should listen to someone simply because they’re a monk – only those that are truly grounded in the Tradition, the spiritual life, and a certain degree of book knowledge.

  8. Kayleigh McEnany on her faith ~ what a great role model for girls (and misled women)!  I may start watching press conferences again for the joy of seeing this smart, articulate, courageous woman speak for freedom of religion and life:

    Afterwards try a couple of her press conferences! Axios! Apologies if a repeat but oh how well placed she is by the Grace of God! I love good news to offset well you know…

  9. It’s gotten to the point that only black lives matter and no one else’s. The one spot of hope is that liberals are starting to devour each other now. Look what just happened to the mayor of Portland.
    One thing that I’ve seen that has been concerning is that Trump is leading Biden by only 4 points in Texas of all places! Either we’re screwed or it’s a typically not accurate political poll (I pray to God it’s the latter)

    • No one wants to say who they are planning to vote for, lest they end up with a mob on their front lawn with mayhem in mind.

  10. MLB and NFL are now dead to me (NBA has always been dead to me). I pray that the NHL does not follow suit with these Marxists.

    • Sportsball always sucked. People should go to Church and read more books instead of wasting time with modern day bread and circuses.

      • Indeed.

      • Sage-Girl says

        It’s amazingly unfair – athletes rolling a ball ⚽️ ? are paid millions, while Police risk their lives to protect us, get chump change – as teachers too now risk their lives in PC world, get what? 

        • I’m with you Sage-Girl!  Happened to read this today by St. John Chrysostom in “Living Simply”:

          “Commerce in itself is not bad; indeed it is an intrinsic part of God’s order. What matters is how we conduct our commerce. The reason why commerce is necessary is that God created human beings with different ambitions and skills. One person is a good carpenter, another a good preacher; one person can make crops grow in the poorest soil, another can heal the most terrible diseases. Thus each person specializes in the work for which God has ordained him; and by selling his skills, or the goods he produces, he can obtain from others the goods which he needs. The problems arise because some people can obtain a far higher price for their work than others, or because some people employ others and do not pay a fair wage. The result is that some become rich and others poor. But in God’s eyes one skill is not superior to another; every form of honest labor is equal. So inequalities in what people receive for their labor undermine the divine order.”

      • Basil,
        I’ve been trying to find silver linings to the whole Covid thing. One of them has been being forced to realize what you already knew. I have been addicted to following sports my entire life. I’ve long known this was problematic, esp since the time in recent years when I was brought into The Church. But I just never turned away from following sports. But for me, God used Covid to help me see that my life is much better now without wasting time following sports. Thanks be to God. 

    • Michael Bauman says

      There is always rodeo. My wife’s family is a rodeo family.  Her nephew, Coleman Proctor, is one on the top team ropers in the world with various partners.  Her sister is a senior champion team roping champ with two artificial knees.  
      It is an egalitarian sport that rewards excellence.  Success or failure is based on the split second. The premier event, bull riding, has whites, Latinos and blacks competing. The premier event on the ladies side is barrel racing is both beautiful and compelling.  They still honor God and the freedom of the United States.  

  11. Anonymous II says

    Remember Andrew Breitbart?

    Particularly relevant right now…see:

  12. George Floyd at 16 years old appearing on Judge Judy TV Court House. Just follow his responses and reasoning and you will see the intellect of masses. Lord Have Mercy.

    • “George Floyd at 16 years old appearing on Judge Judy TV Court House.”

      Comment on the video, by TwoHandsNy 2 days ago:

      Wrong name (real victim GF was Jr. nor IV), wrong age (16 in 2010?), and Wong city (Chicago- GF was from Houston).

  13. It’s not the George Floyd recently deceased. He’s about fifteen years too young.
    Anyway, this boy’s problem problem is clearly not fatherlessness.
    It’s his friends, probably his school and the culture in which he moves.
    Well, that and his lack of interest in his victim (soon to be victims?).
    There is a tragedy waiting to happen there – if it hasn’t already.
    My heart goes out to the victim who is not out for vengeance.
    She just wants her loss repaired.
    And, of course, the poor father – who will probably end up paying.
    May God help them all.

  14. The Orthodox response to racism, life-affirming alternative to BLM:  Fr Moses Berry in 3 videos:

    1. We are all God’s flowers…

    2. What a little girl taught a black man about race

    3. Fr Moses Berry:  Preserving history to persuade and unite. Great youtube video whose link Google blocks me from sharing link with you. About his black history museum. Just search Fr Moses and museum (and Ed Gilmer). The part about the telling quilts as code for slaves to escape was new to me and fascinating. And please tell me why you think google made it impossible to share the link. I already objected to google who had done so apparently to protect children? Worth watching.

    • God bless Fr Moses

    • Michael Bauman says

      I am priviledged to have known Fr. Moses since 1973. We shared a similar path to the Church. I am also priveledged to have stood next to him twice as he put on the slave collar his great-great uncle was wearing when freed by union soldiers. Fr Moses wore the 25 pound horse collar with dignity, respect and even a kind of pride that, thanks to the mercies of Christ, he no longer had to wear it. Then I took it from him and put it on my own neck and felt the crushing weight and tears came to my eyes.  The only healthy response for both of us in that moment was mutual repentance and mutual forgiveness.  A remarkable witness.
      Unfortunately Fr Moses and Mat. Magdelena need your prayers,  He is not in good health.  Two years ago he had a kidney transplant and just a few months ago, had his left leg amputated.  While the surgery went well, he is not healing well and is suffering a lot of pain.  
      May our Lord continue to have mercy on him and strengthen and heal him. 

      • Thank you Michael for sharing such a healing moment. It must have meant the world to him when you voluntarily wore the slave collar.

        I was wondering how he is and very sad to hear.   I second your prayer  for him and Brendan’s. What a beautiful priest and witness.  

  15. George Michalopulos says

    More good news from Britain as regards to standing up to bullies:


    Not only did this guy not get his job back, but the Marxists who sacked him have been fired!  Hallelujah!


  16. Michael Bauman says

    As to the Church and Jesus in Her plus proper context for Buddhism read this:
    “Dabbling in Buddhism” is leaving the Church

    • Sage-Girl says

      Great story… I’ll forward to Mark Arey but he’ll just say, of course he’s still Orthodox — reading Buddhism ☸️ is just a curious thing 

      • Michael Bauman says

        Sage-girl perhaps a better course is to pray that the Truth be revealed in his heart. 

    • Dear Michael, Thank you so much for posting this link.

  17. Michael Bauman says

    I first read Thomas Merton back in the 1960s when I was in my “search and you shall find” mode.  His writing and his story were never more than vaugely interesting certainly not compelling.  I still do not understand all the fuss about him.  What I did read at the time left me with the impression that he was moving toward Buddhism but that was also the spititual gossip many “New Age” circles.. 

    • I’m with you Michael. I get that Fr Pat and others in this blog knew him personally, so that’s different. But for the rest of us….I too never understood all the fuss.