Thursday, December 22, 2016

Great Martyr Anastasia the Deliverer from Potions

I had planned to go to Liturgy at a parish in my eparchy on the Julian calendar today to celebrate the Conception by Saint Anne of the Most Holy Theotokos, but there didn’t seem to be the usual morning Liturgy at that parish, so I went to my home parish a few blocks south. On the Gregorian and Revised Julian calendars today, we commemorate the Great Martyr Anastasia the Deliverer from Potions, also known as Anastasia the Healer. While I chose today to post my previous blog due to today’s feast on the Old calendar, a secondary topic of my recently revised book is very relevant to today’s commemoration of St. Anastasia on the New calendars.

St. Anastasia received the honour of “Deliverer of Potions,” or Φαρμακολύτρια (Pharmakolytria), due to many healings from the effects of potions, poisons, spells and other harmful substances through her prayers and intercessions. Not only is the root of Pharmakolytria, φάρμακον (pharmakon), the origin of the English word pharmaceutical, there’s only an iota of difference between the beginning of St. Anastasia’s name (Ἀναστασία) and the origin of word anesthesia, ἀναίσθητος (anaisthetos). While the root of St. Anastasia’s name, ἀνάστασις (anastasis) means “resurrection from the dead,” the origin of the word anesthesia, ἀναίσθητος (anaisthetos) means “without feeling or perception.”

The Reason I Became Catholic: My Wife

Since beginning RCIA and then being received into the Roman Catholic Church on 11 March 1993, I have often been accused of becoming Catholic simply because my wife was Catholic. More often than not, such benign accusations have been in the presence of my mother-in-law, who’s been quick to answer, “That’s not true,” and would then prompt me to explain the rest.

In truth, it was around a three year process, including the process of RCIA, of me carefully studying the teachings of the Catholic Church before I was fully initiated as a Catholic. So while it is true that I didn’t simply become Catholic because my wife was Catholic, what motivated me to more fully investigate the Catholic Church was my marriage to a Roman Catholic. One could also say that I transferred ascription to the Ukrainian Catholic Church because I was married to a Ukrainian Catholic, but it would be better to say that my wife simply preceded me by nine years to the Church we had both been moving towards all our lives.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Commemorate the Saint, but have some Fun

Thirteen days ago, Deacon Steven D. Greydanus wrote on his NCR blog: “Today is the feast day of St. Nicholas, original inspiration of Santa Claus or Father Christmas, and beloved figure of irascible social-media memes celebrating the famous incident in which the good bishop, attending the Council of Nicea, became so enraged at Arius’s blasphemies that he struck him.”

It’s been a few years since I read about that incident, but I’m not sure the words “so enraged” correctly describes it. The words I remember were, “filled with righteous anger,” but the Saint of the Day podcast on Ancient Faith Radio does say, “so incensed with the blasphemies of Arius.”

Nonetheless, today on the Julian calendar is the feastday of our Father Among the Saints, Nicholas, the Wonderworker and Archbishop of Myra.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

What Do Santa Claus and the Chemical Imbalance Have in Common?

Before settling my brain for a long winter’s nap tonight, I happened to glance at my email. I noticed that my email newsletter from Mad in America was at the top of my inbox and displayed in the main panel. This would not have normally been a problem, but I accidentally had a four hour nap this afternoon rather than a twenty minute nap and I noticed this at the top of the Mad in America email: “What Do Santa Claus and the Chemical Imbalance Have in Common?”

Thursday, October 13, 2016

There is no substitute

When I first began playing drums, there were two drummers that I modelled my style on: John Bonham and Keith Moon. Although, I preferred the style of John Bonham, the example of Keith Moon was more comfortable to follow because it was easy and took little effort for me to accidentally play cool stuff than to actually know what I was doing. I rethought this after my drum instructor once said to me, “Russell, there was only one Keith Moon,” and I thought about the technical superiority of Kenney Jones, Keith Moon’s replacement after he was dead.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Psychosis due to Racism

I watched this interview of Doug Wahlsten yesterday. While the whole interview is very interesting, a particular story he related that began around 45:33 really caught my attention. I ask that you watch this one story about a poor Ukrainian family. I understand and agree with the point Dr. Wahlsten was making, but I would suggest that the problem may very well have been due to heredity. However, the problem is not in the genetics, but in racism.

Please watch from around 45:33 to 47:22 before reading the rest of this blog post.



Friday, March 18, 2016

Shaming the Wise

I received the sad news, yesterday morning, of Leilani Marietta (O'Malley) Muir passing away on March 12th. I don’t pay too much attention to the news, so I received this news a couple of days late from a Facebook friend in the United States. Leilani was a fellow Albertan, a human rights advocate, and was around the same age as my parents. She was also institutionalized at the age of 11 at what was called the Provincial Training School for Mental Defectives, later known as the Michener Centre, in the city my parents first met. This is one of many such institutions known for eugenic practices, such as involuntary sterilization, of which Leilani was a victim.

Why was this champion of human rights sterilized? Two years after being institutionalized, she was “diagnosed” as a “moron” and the Eugenics Board approved her sterilization. It was not until after she was married that she found out what they actually did to her. They had told her she was having her appendix removed.

Some may be surprised that the Sexual Sterilization Act of Alberta wasn’t repealed until 1972, but many may be wondering how a person could be diagnosed as a moron. What is a moron?

Friday, January 29, 2016

Real Death Experiences

A couple of days ago, I was in a waiting room that had a TV (I don’t watch it at home, so perhaps this is kind of like hell on earth for me). There was some talkshow on that had a guest who was describing her near death experience. I’ve heard similar stories throughout my lifetime, and it seems to be growingly popular to publish books and make money on such stories, just as the lady on this talkshow. These stories are all quite the same, but bare no resemblance to the stories of saints who come back to life after dying.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Happy Holidays and Season’s Greetings!

What do you do when a store clerk refuses to say, or simply doesn’t say, “Merry Christmas,” while you’re doing your pre-Christmas shopping? I suggest doing what any normal Christian would do. I’ve been told I’m not normal, so what follows may eventually lead to some abnormal ideas about what to do. Not saying or suggesting you should act on any such ideas that may come to you after reading this, but at least what follows may lead to some interesting ideas.