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theophan #420795 12/26/20 08:19 PM
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Thanks again Bob,

Is that the Monastery in W. Virginia?

s.o.d.

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Christ is Born!!

s.o.d.,

Did you take down your post? I had an email asking that I approve it but it is not here. No, Holy Trinity is in Jordanville, NY.

You might find this book on Amazon. I think that's where I bought mine.

Bob
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Last edited by theophan; 12/26/20 09:37 PM. Reason: Added comment
theophan #420799 12/27/20 11:16 AM
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Hi Bob,

No, I did not take down any post. I am "all thumbs", technologically speaking, to do anything beyond clicking the reply and post reply buttons! I will check out the Jordanville Press for that book. Thank you my friend. Pray for me.

s.o.d.

theophan #420800 12/27/20 11:32 AM
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Bob,

One other thing. Do you use the Psalter from Jordanville in tandem with a prayer book? If so, which one and how do you go about it? The Psalter looks great and I am going to order it. But I was just wondering how during the flow of my prayer time to use it. Right now I pray from "Orthodox Christian Prayers". I am sure that the Psalter can be dovetailed with this book. How does it break down which Psalms to pray? According to a cycle, days of the week, canonical hours? The listing on the website really doesn't give that information. Thank you my friend. Pray for me.

s.o.d.

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Christ is Born!!

First of all, I did find your post and approved it.

The Jordanville Psalter is one that does not need a prayerbook with it. There are prayers at the end of each Kathisma that are sufficient. The book is modeled on that used in Slavic monasteries both in community and in cell from what I gather from using it. The explanation about its use is in great detail in the forward pages. I'm not sure I have mastered that part yet.

If I may, I have found that one ought not to get too far involved that one cannot sustain the prayer rule one sets out on. The Enemy is at work here. If one takes on too much, it can become too much to sustain in the lay state. Then the temptation is to modify and often that leads to abandoning the project altogether. I suggest reading "A Layman in the Desert," by Daniel Opperwall before getting too deeply involved in adding to one's prayer life. He has as his thesis that the lay state is equal in dignity to the monastic and that in our state we ought not to think that we are second class monks or that we are less than. He suggests that we can become frustrated and, as a friend of his has done, abandon the attempt at building a prayer life and our relationship with Christ.

Bob

theophan #420802 12/27/20 03:53 PM
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Bob,

Amen and thanks again! Spot on regarding the condemnation of the enemy when seeking one's own rule of prayer. The suggestion is well taken and received. One must never strive to be a "Junior Monk", but rather faithful as the Holy Spirit lays it down to that individual. The overburdening you mention, is a constant temptation. Once one find's one's own rule of prayer, THAT is what one sticks to. As for me, I am tired of seeing the Holy Scriptures politically corrected so as to not offend gender sensibilities. I believe in praying the Psalms to the Lord, which is why I was interested in this book, but was not sure about how it plays out in the larger scheme of a prayer life. I have learned that the Holy Spirit is the Master Teacher of Prayer. A rule of prayer is a disciplinary thing, not a spiritual ball and chain, or "one more thing" to do. The discipline of prayer gives the life of prayer form, from which contemplation may in fact spring. After all, this is not about being a monk wannabe...but about finding God. Thank you my friend. Your points are received with gratitude and love. Pray for me.

s.o.d.

ps: I will look into that book you mention. Thanks!

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Christ is Born!!

s.o.d.,

There is another book I highly recommend and have given to people as a gift. Entitled "Beginning to Pray," Metropolitan Anthony (Anthony Bloom), a Russian metropolitan who worked with the French Resistance during WW2, He talks about how to begin and sustain a life of prayer. There are also two other works by him on prayer, one of which I have entitled "Living Prayer." They are both available on Amazon.
Bob

Last edited by theophan; 12/27/20 06:41 PM. Reason: additional comment
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Christ is Born!!

s.o.d.,

After all the books and essays and discussions, remember that a prayer life is one of the four ways in which one builds one's communion with Christ. It is a relationship process; it is a love affair. One begins with the use of prayerbooks and regular times to establish a pattern that will sustain a person over time--through thick and thin; through good times and dry times. Don't lose sight of this essential quality.

bob

theophan #420805 12/28/20 11:46 AM
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Once again thanks Bob,

Both posts were wonderful. I have BOTH books by Metropolitan Anthony. One of which, "Beginning to Pray", given to me in October. I started it last night after reading your post.

Second post was highly instructive by way of reminder. It is always about seeking the Lord. In our desire to relate to Him, and the struggle to find the way there, we sometimes forget about the real reason we do any of this. Thank you my friend.

pray for me
s.o.d.

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Bob,

I happen to notice your location. Our daughter and her husband live in Pittsburgh. When we go to visit the area we pass right by your location. I also think that I saw your profession referred to in another post. My best friend has the same profession. Would it be possible to message me to discuss these things? I don't really know the protocols for such things on this website. But I did want to reach out as I have been very blessed to know you and the other wonderful people on this board. If you'd rather not, no worries. I totally understand.

pray for me,
s.o.d.

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Christ is Born!!

s.o.d.,

You don't yet have private message privileges but you may email me at fd25cpc5@aol.com.

Bob

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Originally Posted by son of the desert
Hello my friends,

I attend a Roman Rite parish that is down the street from my home. There is a Ukranian Byzantine parish approximately 40 miles from here. I have not been there yet. However, what stops me is that as much as I am in love with the Eastern approach to the Faith, I love the people of my parish more. For me to switch rites at this point is impossible...
To really make a "switch" is to make a commitment and to change enrollment to a different canonical (Catholic) church. I'd say a preference or affinity for a rite is more of a private devotion, good but noncommittal. We are members of churches; we observe rites.

Originally Posted by son of the desert
... for how can I abandon those to whom I have been given and who have been given to me by God? Till we eventually move to the Pittsburgh area I will have to content myself with my Orthodox prayer book, the Jesus Prayer, the Philokalia and the writings of the Saints of the East.

This brings me to a realization I had at Mass yesterday. During Mass it came to me that the possession of the Kingdom is given to the "poor in spirit" (Matt 5:3). Poverty of spirit is essential, therefore all that we do, in my opinion, should have the shade of repentance over it. I find this approach prevalent on every page of my prayer book and of course in the Jesus Prayer. It is there that my soul calls out to the Lord. However it seems to me that in the Roman Rite repentance is hardly ever mentioned except for the penitential rite at the beginning. This is ok but does nothing to emphasize a life of repentance in the hearts of those in attendance, in fact it almost generates the unspoken idea of a spiritual fire extinguisher ( "just in case you sinned before Mass here's a chance.."). I am grateful for this chance and have taken up on it many times, but again it does nothing to spur me on to a life of repentance.
What are the aspects of repentance that stand out as differences, East vs. West, liturgically and in the respective theological emphases or spirituality?

Originally Posted by son of the desert
The difference and my frustration became clear. We, in the Roman Rite since Vatican II, have emphasized the celebratory (ie: "celebrating the Sacraments"), giving the connotation of a big religious shin dig, complete with dancing, a "meal" and hip music (please know that none of these things exist in my parish as my Pastor is a fine priest).. The liturgical abuses that followed the Council demonstrate this quite clearly. For instance, a nun once told me that "we get together and make Church". Nothing could be further from the truth. In my opinion, we offer ourselves to the Lord, He offers Himself to us and as a result we meet! On the other hand the East emphasizes repentance, or perhaps poverty of spirit in approaching the Lord. In that moment I realized that my spiritual home (the Roman Rite) was offering me the way of celebration while my heart was calling out for the way of poverty.
A general impression -- the one usually encountered ???-- is that the Byzantine Divine Liturgy emphasizes the joyous participation in the Kingdom of God made present while the Mass emphasizes the Sacrifice of the Cross, Atonement etc. -- more eschatological or more historical/soteriological respectively. I too think it wise to be cautious about "enthusiastic" utterances of contemporary Catholics of the Western Church. However, the space behind the iconostasis, the Altar, has the Holy Table as its center, and de Lubac’s dictum that “the Eucharist makes the Church” is prominent in Catholic, Orthodox, East-West ecclesiology (see “Does the Eucharist Make the Chur...Theological Quarterly 51:1 (2007): 23-70) The Divine Liturgy is in its essence directed -- offered -- to the One God, the Father, by the Son who, as Christ, includes us through baptism, and in the Holy Spirit. I don't know what Sister had in mind but consider:
Quote
The celebration of the eucharist by the primitive Church was, above all, the gathering of the people of God epi to auto that is, both the manifestation and the realization of the Church. Its celebration on Sunday the day of the eschata as well as all its liturgical content testified that during the eucharist, the Church did not live only by the memory of a historical fact the Last Supper and the earthly life of Christ, including the cross and the resurrection but it accomplished an eschatological act... It was there, in the presence of all the people of God and of all the orders, in an event of free communion, that the Holy Spirit distributed gifts "by constituting the whole structure of the Church." Thus the eucharist was not the act of a pre-existing Church; it was an event constitutive of the being of the Church, enabling the Church to be. The eucharist constituted the Church's being.
John D. Zizioulas, Being as Communion (Crestwood: St.Vladimir s Seminary Press, 1993), 1, 20-21

Originally Posted by son of the desert
... and our own struggle for divinization, but for others. Perhaps theosis has as much of an evangelical quality as it does a mystical one. It is my sincerest hope that should I make it all the way to theosis in this life, ...
I would say that theosis is a journey to and not an arrival at a destination. It is actualized, sealed in baptism and then grows with God's grace toward the perfection, completeness that we are instructed to seek (Mt 5:48; Mt 19:29). It is the harvest that "grows the more by reaping" and is never exhausted.


A general question to all: How important, how essential is the liturgy to spiritual growth and perfection?

ajk #420809 12/29/20 12:14 PM
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Thank you so much ajk!

You bring up many good points for consideration. I will read the article that you suggest. As for the question regarding the importance of the liturgy to spiritual growth and perfection, that is really the key issue. How does one find the balance between private and communal devotion? As far as I know, the Desert Fathers sometimes made long treks to receive the Eucharist once a week. That in and of itself should tell us something. The Catechism of the Catholic Church calls the Eucharist "The source and summit of the Faith". As for me, I am not sure about the balance between private and communal devotion other than the example of the Desert Fathers. The Father seeks those that worship "in spirit and in truth". It is always a BOTH AND, NEVER AN EITHER OR. It is never one to the exclusion of the other. How that lays for me I am still trying to figure out. Thank you may friend. Pray for me.

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s.o.d,

In the East, the Psalter is usually divided into 20 "Kathismata". And each "Kathismata" is further divided into 3 "stasis". So the Psalter is divided into 60 "stasis".
Traditionally, the psalter is recited in total once per week with two Kathisma prayed in the morning and one Kathisma prayed in the evening. However, you can pray at your own pace. If you recite, one stasis a day, it would take 60 days to go through the entire psalter. If you pray two a day, it would take a month.

This is how the Ancient Faith Psalter is divided.

Here is the link for the Publicans Prayer Book. https://melkite.org/products-page/prayer-books/publicans-prayer-book
The pictures they have for the table of contents are for the first edition though and the current is the 3rd edition.
Of note, it contains a small horologion (liturgy of the hours) and troparia for every day of the year. If you google for reviews and search Facebook you may find pictures from various editions.

Peace and Blessing for Christmas, Theophany and the New Year,

Devin

Devin1890 #420813 12/30/20 12:43 PM
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Thank you so much Devin!

That prayer book looks wonderful as does the site of the Eparchy of Newton! Unfortunately, the book is out of stock due to the pandemic. I am trying to find a used copy.

The home page of the Eparchy is absolutely wonderful and is everything I had hoped to find in Eastern approach to the Faith and yet still in Communion with Rome, not from a position of superiority and as a "nod" toward the East, but rather as a legitimate approach to the Faith. They also highlight the continuing struggle against "Latinizing" their approach. This was probably one of the best websites of the East, properly related to Rome, that I have found. Thank you my friend.

As far as the Psalter from Ancient Faith, I am going to order it. I see a way to use it in my prayer life, in conjunction with what I presently do. Again thank you and pray for me.

s.o.d.

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