Blog Posts

The Answer to Rude Questions

Way back when I was writing Orthogals, we were asked for advice on how to handle inappropriate questions. We had a dozen real-life examples at the ready. A decade and a pandemic later, I have far more, and I was asked to update this article.

The short answer is that the best answer to rude questions is a refusal. We do not owe anyone intimate information.

Examples, all from real life:

Tervo pilgrimage 1

I was 33 years old before I made a pilgrimage to a monastery in my own country. Before then, I had visited numerous monasteries in the country of Georgia: Gareji, Saparo, Martqopi, and also Pechora in Russia, and I loved them very much. At that time, they were just coming back to life after the Soviet period. I could not understand why someone would stay isolated and pray all day, but I did find the idea attractive. 

St. Photini by Aidan Hart

On Monday, we honor St. Photini, one of the first of all people to proclaim the Gospel of Christ. St. Photini lived in first century Palestine and was the Samaritan woman who Christ visited at the well asking her for water. It was she who accepted the “living water” offered her by Christ Himself (John. 4:5-42). All her life, she would continue to draw from this well of life as she remembered His words to her, and shared this living water with others.

Girls Participation review

Axia has been working with St. Phoebe Center over the last year to create an online series to discuss the possibilities for a parish in creating a program for girls (and boys) to participate in the liturgy. A few weeks ago, we held Part 3, on January 28th.

Mothers of the Three Hierarchs icon

The Three Holy Mothers of the Three Hierarchs: Sts. Nonna, Emmelia, and Anthousa are commemorated on the Sunday after the Feast of the Presentation of Christ to the Temple 

Prophetess Anna

“Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace…”

This prayer of St. Simeon, sung to close many services and when welcoming a newly baptized infant into the Church, is familiar for most Orthodox Christians. But listen again to them closely. Can you hear a two-part harmony, adding layers of beauty and meaning that often go unnoticed? For standing beside St. Simeon on that very day was a woman, St. Anna the Prophetess. 

Luckovic pilgrimage 1

In April 2023, I traveled to Serbia to adopt my son.

He was ten years old and living with a foster family in Belgrade. Months away from returning to the orphanage, he had aged out of the stage where squishy cheeks and little-kid innocence meant adoptability. He was old enough to comprehend this ominous situation while acutely feeling the culmination of years of trauma, so he was acting out and refusing to do schoolwork.