Monday, June 30, 2014

Priest Monk Christodoulos Agia Apolstoli Sts. Peter and Paul

Saturday, June 28, 2014

US CONGRESS H.R.4347, Billerakis, Cyprus and Halki

US CONGRESS H.R.4347 will be amended to include H.Res.188 which is Congressman Gus Bilirakis of Florida's resolution calling upon Turkey to facilitate the reopening of the Ecumenical Patriarchate's Theological School of Halki without condition or further delay.

We urge you to contact members of the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee and ask them to support H.R.4347, as amended, which demands Turkish accountability for the return, protection, and restoration of stolen and confiscated Christian properties in Turkey and in Turkish-occupied Cyprus; and calls for the reopening of the Halki Seminary.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Really Greg Pappas?

Gregg's gripe with the Holy Orthodox Church of Christ is erroneous.

Neptic teachings as a vehicle for existential or transpersonal psychotherapy (healing of the soul) has something to tell the world about the inner workings of the person. Gregory Pappas, the church is a hospital for all the afflicted and fallen. The church historically has never even understood "being gay" as an "orientation" but in terms of same gender sexual relations. Homosexuality as an orientation is foreign to the church. We are Christian orientated to the Lord.

Gregory if you were denied communion perhaps it is because of the flaunting of your sexual exploits outside of the sanctity of marriage and your flagrant disregard for Orthodox sensibility. You gave little thought to others and their thoughts and confusion. Perhaps it is for your pride.

As an Orthodox and Licensed Psychotherapist I accept the universality of brokenness as part our human condition. It is in weakness and through failings that one finds purpose and is made useful. The struggle is one’s credential and authority. We cannot deny our brokenness and hope to be helpful to our neighbor. We are not merely "generally fallen" we are individually imperfect and wounded.

As human beings we all bear the hand print of God and there is a dignity and stature which is granted us but we all also should be humbly kneeling in the recess of our heart. It is important not to alienate ourselves from our pain with denial, minimization or rationalization. One cannot hope to be whole if we do not embrace our struggle as paramount  healing our wounded and broken nature. The mentoinia  as a treasure and gift to offer to one another is our unvarnished truth of both lacking and wanting and testimony of our authenticity. Each of us has weathered storms which enables us to see one another as our neighbor and not someone alien to ourselves or foreign to our experience. You Gregory Pappas however has portrayed traditional thinkers as "those others". During the course of a career in counseling there is a reoccurring question which arises in the mind of the client “How do you help?” Treatment begins when such prejudices of “otherness” is challenged. Our shared humanity is the bridge in healing and a sign that assistance is really on the horizon. This concept is not so far from Christian love.

My function as a psychotherapist is to respectfully defer all judgment about the cosmology of the condition and defer all certitude about the great enigma that is the person. No matter how well I know a person or a diagnosis (condition) inherent in each session there is an opportunity for learning and not assuming to know too much. It comes from the respect for the unknowable about the person before. What drives someone into counseling: the unmanageably of his/her life is not synonymous with the personhood. Gregory Pappas seems bent on trying to wrap himself in a flag of misplaced patriotism and egotism which seeks to affix such lacking to the very human being. Just because he may have grown attached so to speak with his fallenness doesn't mean it is not ill fated; nor does he have the right to impose such cognitive distortions on others. Gregory Pappas cannot dictate to the Church as he organizes a red carpet event.

Perhaps clerics fail to understand that it is both practical and compassionate to begin where the individuals actually are and rouse their spirit to understand their mental depression and spiritual malaise. In like mind we should not stone people with our Christianity and Gregory Pappas has not been afforded more compassion and does not realize that the Orthodox phronima worldview does not seek to place blame and the afflicted person. Psychotherapy (healing of the soul) is focused on the journey and purpose of the person and not with merely masking or mitigating the individual’s unwanted circumstance. It is about how we face and confront limitations and short comings that we find our peace. We must after all confront our shortcomings. Someone may be born lame it does no good, it is insane in fact, to act as if he is whole. But what a glorious blessing to allow Christ to fill that suffering with His presence.

Gregory Pappas has been brainwashed by intellectual elitists and modern psychiatry which seek to establish a stronghold and to out flank intellectually all metaphysical presuppositions and understanding regarding cause and effect as preeminent while denying the deeper meaning of cause and purpose. While improving “the perceived quality” of someone’s life may be a given for the secular counselor it has not been the intention for my clinical practice which based on deeper more pressing concerns dealing with the complexity of the person and not simply superficial comforts. There is hope!!!

In the west they commonly see a story of sin, punishment and exile. In the eastern church and philosophy there is the understanding of something more tragic then that; something which was beautiful and which was lost. By the time the story is over bad things have happened the immediate intimacy between God and his creation has disappeared. For non-believers this still can serve as the mythology stands on its own merit.

In the Orthodox Church the fall denotes how we have lost, as a race,  that joyful open intimacy and the synergy of the person mind, body and spirit. The heavenly realm seems quite far away from us. It does not mean that God is less present it means that "we are less present". Mindfulness takes note of the most tragic fundamental break and the foreboding fracture within the deep humanity that being the gap between the head and the heart. There is this challenging sadness of the heart who is essentially oppressed by the mind with its intrusive thoughts which seek to control and tries to supplant by identifying itself as the totality of the person while the heart meanwhile lays quiet and covered.

We are covered with debris which the action of prayer and active love over time eventually it gives his the ability to wake our consciousness and reflect profound love. Within the heart and the Nous center of the organ of our soul seeks God to find our purpose. Get out of your head and get into your hearts. Otherwise God seems far from you. Leave the thoughts behind. It takes effort but eventually there will be a spiritual sweetness. The mind will try and set you on a different path entirely. This may be the root of Gregory Pappas problem.

At the beginning the thought is very small and we can afford to ignore it but then it becomes more important and we pay attention to it and then we enjoy it but then the thought becomes more important than other things and then it is all we can think about that is depression and anxiety. Psychology per say as such it is not a bad thing. It is a good thing for many people giving them the ability to solve problems quickly over a short amount of time but it does not allow them flower. A very great deal can be achieved by being presently mindful. Despair and depression must be dealt with in spiritual means just as arrogance and egotism is the result of a darkened Nous. If we conceive of God and work around that principle then we learn to get better.