Tempers Flaring During Final Days of Nativity Fast?
GREECE: MONKS FIGHT IT OUT Rival groups of monks wielding crowbars, sledgehammers and fire extinguishers clashed for control of the 1,000-year-old Esphigmenou Monastery on Mount Athos, in northeastern Greece. Seven monks were injured and taken for treatment from the castle-like fortress on the Aegean Sea by boat. No one was arrested. The monastery is the scene of a long-running dispute between Orthodox Church authorities and the rebel monks who occupy it. Both Bartholomew, the Orthodox leader, and Greece’s highest administrative court have ordered their eviction, but the monks — who vehemently oppose Orthodox efforts to improve relations with the Roman Catholic Church — have refused to budge. The fighting Wednesday broke out when a group of monks loyal to Bartholomew tried to force their way in to start construction of a new building. The Rev. Methodius, the abbot of the monastery, said his monks had been provoked. “We were attacked and had to respond,” he said. “They should be ashamed to call themselves men of the cloth.” (AP)
It's a little hard to tell to which faction Abbot Methodius belongs, but either way it seems very un-Christ like for a monk to say "we were attacked and had to respond."
What good is fasting from food when we continue to sin? Lord have mercy. Is it fair to say that neither party sounds in the right to me.
In other news, I listened to interviews today from Lebanon where there are large protests - and again we see strange alliances such as Christian pro-Hizb Allah Lebanese calling for the resignation of the current government, as well as a Sunni Muslim who belongs to a Christian political party. When the Shari'a is fully instituted in Lebanon, will these alliances be seen as fruitful in retrospect? The region of Greater Syria has been one of alliances of convenience, however, for countless centuries.
Please remember in your prayers Clifton, Anna, and their children, esp. their unborn child now in the hands of God after a frightful miscarriage.
Finally, this thought of the day from my Bishop's website:
"Remember, O my soul, the terrible and frightful wonder: that your Creator for your sake became Man, and deigned to suffer for the sake of your salvation. His angels tremble, the Cherubim are terrified, the Seraphim are in fear, and all the heavenly powers ceaselessly give praise; and you, unfortunate soul, remain in laziness. At least from this time forth arise and do not put off, my beloved soul, holy repentance, contrition of heart and penance for your sins."
-- St. Paisius Velichkovsky