I am Back

 

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Pantokratoros Monastery in Ntaou Penteli

Virginia: “When will you start writing in Greek? English comes difficult to me. I struggle with your posts. Please consider …”

And Gianna. And Kalliopi. And …

Christ is Risen! 

It seems this blog may soon become bilingual… Maybe I should alternate one blogpost in Greek, one in English? … Once, twice a week? Do you think this is a good idea? On the bus, on our way to Attica, my Greek friends asked me to share on the microphone a few of my experiences here. They gasped at the stories I told them. They did not know. How could they even begin to imagine? 

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St. Nektarios’ the Wonderworker monastery, Agia Triada (The Holy Trinity) in Aegina

I feel I owe this to my Greek and Cypriot brethren who should not be left behind. They need to recover Orthodoxy, expand their horizons and learn about Orthodoxy’s struggles in foreign lands. In so many ways, I have discovered more about Orthodoxy during my brief ‘exile’ in an un-Orthodox country than in a lifetime in an Orthodox one.

Besides, any missionary endeavour and blog require by their very nature more than one tongue. At Pentecost “every man heard them speak in his own language”(Acts 2:6). I still find writing in English a lot harder than in Greek my mother tongue, and there are a lot of texts yet untranslated in English. 

What is your opinion? Do you have any suggestions? I would be so grateful for any help.

 

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Pantokratoros Monastery in Ntaou Penteli, 179 Martyrs Reliquary

Christ is Risen! 

I am back. I can’t believe a whole month flew by so fast! Thank you for staying in touch through my inbox. So many emails to reply, questions to answer, stories to be told … Please be patient with me, as I am still unpacking. My pilgrimage to Attica, Aegina and Euboia lasted only a few precious days, yet had quite an effect on me. It felt like a landmark and a watershed. More in the posts to follow…

 

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The Kato Xenia Monastery at Almyros, near Volos – The Wonder Working Belt of Virgin Mary

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Monastery of Transfiguration near Rovies, island of Evia, constructed by Saint David, and served by the recently canonised St. Iakovos Tsalikis. + His grave

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13 comments on “I am Back

  1. Viktor B. Olshansky says:

    It’s God that decides whether to speak Greek or English and we should seek His will for our benefit and His glory. We must pray first to him for wisdom and understanding, not seek man’s opinions. For man knows not God’s will and purpose for us. We all must pray and wait for His answer through the Holy Spirit and Jesus Christ. Amen.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Emebest Tedla says:

    Hi, Please keep up the pace of postings in English even if you add one in Greek. We need you!

    Emebet

    >

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Emebet, thank you for your encouraging words and precious feedback. I wonder, though, why you would say that you need me. Aren’t there enough English-speaking Orthodox blogs on the internet?

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  3. Emmelea says:

    Dear Father
    I am in accord with Emebest. Our family are non-Greek speaking and second language English speaking Orthodox Christians from Africa. Our Church however, is Greek Orthodox with the Liturgy celebrated in Greek. Thus we are strongly reliant on printed books (difficult) and the internet (much easier and cheaper). Coming from Africa we (strangely maybe given our history?) have more affinity towards the English language blogs from Europe rather than those from the US. Thus: please do not forget us!

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    • Dearest Emmelea, I am not a Father, but I will certainly not forget you 🙂 You raise a very interesting/intriguing point in your message. Could you please elaborate more on this: “Coming from Africa we (strangely maybe given our history?) have more affinity towards the English language blogs from Europe rather than those from the US. “? I would like to hear more about this for so many reasons really. I feel this affinity too, and I have certain ideas as to why this is happening, but I would so much like to hear your insights in this matter. If I may also ask, do you now live in Africa? Maybe a more private communication through an email address would help? Please stay in touch and thank you for your encouraging words. I would really like to have some answers in my questions, but again, as you bless. Christ is Risen!

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  4. Emmelea says:

    Dear Father
    He is truly risen! Thank you for your reply and interest. Indeed, I will be very happy to elaborate more on my remarks, but rather by email as these remarks might not be relevant to your blog or of interest to the readers of the blog.
    I do however praise the Almighty that I, who are living at the Southernmost tip of Africa, can have community and contact with Orthodox Christians around the globe! Thank you again Father, may the Lord richly bless all your work.

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  5. little abouna says:

    John 8:12
    “Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”
    Thank you for sharing your experience of the Orthodox Christian Life.
    Such lovely photos- the One who is the Uncreated Light blesses us also with the light that He has created.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Indeed. Our whole pilgrimage felt like the fulfilment of St. John’s of Damascus Mystical Pascha captured in his Paschal Canon! of St. John’s of Damascus Paschal Canon! Such an outpouring of Light and Joy! But the Joy of Joys is that it is not Pascha only on every Holy Liturgy, and especially on Sunday. Paschal is always present, eternal and mystical. I cannot get enough of St. John’s of Damascus Paschal Canon! If only a tiny ray of his Illumination were to illumine our nous! His nous must have been only Light when he composed this canon. Just like Rublev’s when he wrote the icon of the Holy trinity. The Beauty of this composition, especially his Angels, is mystical. Touched with sparkling brightness. Christ is Risen!

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  6. Emebet says:

    Hello,
    I rely on your postings in English to get much needed inspiration. It is true that there are many Orthodox postings but what I love about yours is that it inspires me tremendously because it links me with information I would not otherwise have easily come across. For example, the video on the grace-filled priest of Georgia who was bathed in the light of the Holy Spirit while speaking to his congregation. How on earth would I have ever heard about this video or actually viewed it without you pointing me to it? I have shared it with others who were equally awed.
    I do not want to deprive your Greek audience from your wonderful posts but I feel that English is a widely spoken language and more people would be reached if you continued with English posts.
    I am being selfish but I cannot help it. I miss your posts.

    Emebet

    Like

    • Dearest Emebet, I have not reached any decision yet, as to the English and Greek language of my posts; I am still praying and reflecting on my fellow pilgrims’ input and feedback I am receiving either here or privately, at my email. Right now, with my new home moving, my new job and the new ministries recently assigned, I hardly have any left for posting in either language 🙂 But all this, God willing, will be sorted out very soon. Dear Emebet, no you are not being selfish, but practical. Now putting aside for now the real need for making Greek people aware of Orthodoxy missionary endeavours all over the world, my primary concern for using the English language is that I do not feel either comfortable or competent in English, as it is not my mother tongue. Very often, I am struggling with my posts or my replies to readers’ comments and emails. The irony of course is that I have to constantly interact in English here at the UK, especially in my academic teaching, more especially so at the translation work I often undertake, and in all the conferences I am attending. I honestly think I would be so much more clear and precise in what I am writing, even more gentle and kind, if that were in Greek. Also, more “real” in all the nuances of our e-interactions. I honestly don’t think I can properly express my feelings towards all of you in English! But of course: “English is a widely spoken language and more people would be reached if you continued with English posts”. And yes, I have noticed that quite a lot of the posting I am doing here cannot be found in other Western, especially British/American, websites or blogs. I often find in those too much ‘intellectualization’, liberalism, even ‘Protestantising’ ‘reflexes’. A certain kind of theological and moral liberalism is becoming a malaise and an ever-present worry for Orthodox in the United Kingdom and the US, all Western world indeed. It saddens me that some( a few) even within the Orthodox Church in the ‘West’, but the ‘East’ too, wish to challenge her purity and want to promulgate their ‘opinions’ as opposed to the Father’s tradition. I believe that clear, true and pure Orthodox teaching and tradition should be made accessible to English-speaking audiences. Please be patient and bear with me for just a little while, and my life will hopefully be soon back to normal, so I will resume posting more frequently in English 🙂 Thank you for your kind feedback and the encouragement. Christ is in our midst!

      Like

  7. MelissaBishop says:

    I love your posts and I share them with my sister. We both only speak English. I am happy you made it back safe from your trip and I look forward to reading about your adventures.

    Like

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