March 31, 2006

Repose of St. Innocent

I was asked by a parishioner at Church to answer the following questions based on my position about corporal punishment and raising children. I'd be interested to hear your point of view.

Here’s the exchange…

I have to write a paper for my Child and Adolescent Studies Class about
different forms of childrearing or discipline and I have to ask two
different mother or fathers I know (who are not my parents) with differing opinions about the subject that I choose. I chose you and one other person. I won't discuss anything you say or what they say with either of you or anyone else for that matter and feel free not to answer.

The subject I chose was spanking as a form of discipline.

Now the questions:

How do you feel about spanking?
I feel that it is appropriate for some children, based on personality and disposition.

How do your children respond to spanking?
They respond positively, in that the behavior I seek to be modified, is.

How do you think they would respond if you did not spank them?
I feel that all forms of discipline seek to teach the child the greater good, and the constructive outcome for this weighs primarily on the character and nature of the parent. Given my character and nature in harmony with those of my children, if I were to forego spanking them it would prove to be detrimental to their rearing by not demonstrating appropriate behavior.

What kinds of behavior necessitates spanking?
Any behavior that is dangerous to themselves or others and is done out of a willful and roguish intent.

How young do you spank a child?
That varies from child to child I'm sure, but I didn't start with mine until they were about 3.

What made you decide to choose to spank your children?
First and foremost - neccesity. My motivation is based on what proved to be effective for me during my childhood, along with the behavior qualities found in my children's personalities. The two pieces of truth I can pass along to prospective parents are 1. Yes indeed, they do grow up fast. and 2. You get what you are.

And, lastly, do you think spanking changes your relationship with them?
Yes it does, and that's the point. Here's the thing...God has granted me the grace and responsibility for these little souls and I have to make an account for them. If they grow up not having any type of healthy fear for their parents, they will, in turn, grow up not having any type of healthy fear for anything, God included.

December 28, 2005

Through His Grace and Love for Mankind…

Glory to God for all things! Although it seems like ages ago, it has only been two weeks since our newest family members’ arrival. Cassian came to us at 2:41 PM on Wednesday, December 14 and weighed in at 9 lbs. 6 oz. measuring 21” long.

Thank you all for your much cherished prayers!

Christ is born…Glorify Him

September 23, 2005

The Conception of the honoured, glorious Prophet, Forerunner and Baptist John

At Lord, I have cried…
Tone 4 - Called from the highest…
…Strange you appear to me in aspect and manner, strange too in words and tidings, answered Zachary. For I have come to ask salvation for the people, not to gain a child, as you announce…

Tone 6
…Wilderness rejoice, humanity dance; the herald of repentance begins to take flesh in his mother’s womb…

At the Aposticha
Tone 6 - Having laid aside…
…Away with you, for I am beseeching the salvation of the people, not to obtain a child, a thing hard to admit…

Tone 4 - Speedily anticipate…
Be glad, O barren one, who before did not bear child, for see, you have conceived for the sun a lamp that is about to enlighten the whole inhabited world, sick with blindness. Dance Zachary, cry aloud with boldness: The one to be born is Prophet of the Most High!

Tone 4 - Speedily anticipate…
The desert-loving dove, the sacred Baptist, who preached repentance and revealed Christ become man, has been born, a patron for all who sin, unfailingly helping all who are storm-tossed. At his entreaties, O Christ, save your world.

The Canons
Ode 3 - None is holy…
The barren woman today conceives a sacred fruit, which afterwards is going by grace to cut out with the spiritual axe all fruitlessness of souls…

As he recognised Christ being carried in the womb of the Virgin, the issue of a barren woman leapt, foretelling the joy that had come to dwell on earth to ransom all from despair.

Ode 4 - Christ my power…
…With the axe of your supplication, O Forerunner, pluck out the thorns of my passions and the stumbling blocks of my thoughts, and make my mind fruitful with virtues, O all-blessed.

The womb of the Virgin was carrying you who carry the universe, when the Baptist, being carried in the womb, worshipped you, O Christ, and leaped rejoicing.

Ode 6 - As I watch the sea of life…My mind is full of doubt and I do not believe your words, the priest said to the Archangel; for I asked salvation for the people, not fruit from my loins…

The lamp, recognizing the Sun hidden in the cloud of his mother’s womb, himself in the sombre dwelling of the womb, rejoicing worshipped him and leapt for joy.

Ode 7 - The Angel made the furnace like dew…
…United to the moon, Elizabeth, Zachary, shining brightly like the sun, begot the resplendent lamp of the light which shines for us who are dreadfully held fast in the darkness of the passions. Using his leapings as words, Christ’s great Prophet worshipped you in the Virgin’s womb…

The moon, Elizabeth, carrying within her a divine star, the Forerunner, worshipped Mary, the cloud of light, who bore the Sun, Christ, incarnate of you to save us.

Ode 8 - You poured dew from the flame…
The friend of the Bridegroom is being made ready, the voice of the Word begins to be, and is nourished by barren loins, he the great soldier of the universal King. A husbandman has flowered for barren hearts, the axe of the passions is already being forged, the august calf is being fattened by self-mastery, the great Forerunner. Peoples rejoice.As of old you loosed the bonds of sterility, O Baptist, so loose the stiffness of my mind and make me sprout with fruits of repentance and live to the ages.

As Elizabeth contemplated you, O Maiden, bearing child, inspired by God she rejoiced, while the unborn child within her leapt as he recognized his Master.

Ode 9 - No human can see God…
…Like a soldier he will come forth ahead of the universal King to prepare his ways. Prophet of God, old man, dance, you will have a son, than whom no greater among mortals has arisen, John the Lord’s Forerunner. Elizabeth, leap for joy; all the earth be glad as you bring your praise to God the Maker of all things. As we sing your praise with faith, now remember us, Prophet and Forerunner of the Lord, rescuing us from passions of the soul, saving us from dangers and in a manner fitting God guiding us to heaven’s path, O ever-blessed.

Exapostilarion - With the Disciples let us go...
The glorious conception of the Forerunner foretells the King who is to be born of a Virgin, as he from the fruitless and barren Elizabeth and the old man and priest, the famous Zachary. At their prayers and those of the Mother of God and John your Baptist, Lord, save and take pity on us all.

At Lauds, Prosomia
Tone 1 - Joy of the heavenly hosts...
…The lamp prepared by God of the eternal light, the friend of the Bridegroom, the great Morning Star of the Sun of glory, the living voice of God the Word, the Forerunner of the coming of the Lord is now conceived at the message of an Angel.

Glory. Both now.
Tone 6
Elizabeth conceived the Forerunner of grace, the Virgin the Lord of glory. The mothers greeted one another and the infant leapt for joy. For within the slave was praising the Master…

August 29, 2005

Speaking of the Beheading of the Holy Glorious Prophet, Forerunner, and Baptist John…

This photo was taken in the library of St. Herman Monastery two weeks ago.

The Beheading of the Prophet, Forerunner of the Lord, John the Baptist: The Evangelists Matthew (Mt 14:1-12) and Mark (Mk 6:14-29) provide accounts about the martyric end of John the Baptist in the year 32 after the Birth of Christ.

Following the Baptism of the Lord, St. John the Baptist was locked up in prison by Herod Antipas, the Tetrarch (ruler of one fourth of the Holy Land) and governor of Galilee. (After the death of king Herod the Great, the Romans divided the territory of Palestine into four parts, and put a governor in charge of each part. Herod Antipas received Galilee from the emperor Augustus).

The prophet of God John openly denounced Herod for having left his lawful wife, the daughter of the Arabian king Aretas, and then instead cohabiting with Herodias, the wife of his brother Philip (Lk 3:19-20). On his birthday, Herod made a feast for dignitaries, the elders and a thousand chief citizens. Salome, the daughter of Herod, danced before the guests and charmed Herod. In gratitude to the girl, he swore to give her whatever she would ask, up to half his kingdom.

The vile girl on the advice of her wicked mother Herodias asked that she be given the head of John the Baptist on a platter. Herod became apprehensive, for he feared the wrath of God for the murder of a prophet, whom earlier he had heeded. He also feared the people, who loved the holy Forerunner. But because of the guests and his careless oath, he gave orders to cut off the head of St. John and to give it to Salome.

According to Tradition, the mouth of the dead preacher of repentance once more opened and proclaimed: "Herod, you should not have the wife of your brother Philip." Salome took the platter with the head of St. John and gave it to her mother. The frenzied Herodias repeatedly stabbed the tongue of the prophet with a needle and buried his holy head in a unclean place. But the pious Joanna, wife of Herod's steward Chuza, buried the head of John the Baptist in an earthen vessel on the Mount of Olives, where Herod had a parcel of land. (The Uncovering of the Venerable Head is celebrated (February 24). The holy body of John the Baptist was taken that night by his disciples and buried at Sebastia, there where the wicked deed had been done.

After the murder of St. John the Baptist, Herod continued to govern for a certain time. Pontius Pilate, governor of Judea, later sent Jesus Christ to him, Whom he mocked (Lk 23:7-12).

The judgement of God came upon Herod, Herodias and Salome, even during their earthly life. Salome, crossing the River Sikoris in winter, fell through the ice. The ice gave way in such a way that her body was in the water, but her head was trapped above the ice. It was similar to how she once had danced with her feet upon the ground, but now she flailed helplessly in the icy water. Thus she was trapped until that time when the sharp ice cut through her neck.

Her corpse was not found, but they brought the head to Herod and Herodias, as once they had brought them the head of St. John the Baptist. The Arab king Aretas, in revenge for the disrespect shown his daughter, made war against Herod. The defeated Herod suffered the wrath of the Roman emperor Caius Caligua (37-41) and was exiled with Herodias first to Gaul, and then to Spain.

The Beheading of St. John the Baptist, a Feast day established by the Church, is also a strict fast day because of the grief of Christians at the violent death of the saint. In some Orthodox cultures pious people will not eat food from a flat plate, use a knife, or eat food that is round in shape on this day.

Today the Church makes remembrance of Orthodox soldiers killed on the field of battle, as established in 1769 at the time of Russia's war with the Turks and the Poles.

...from the OCA website