Orthodox salmagundi (Advent fast-friendly, of course)
This, from the Orthodox convert list-serv, which was asked the Orthodox view on the anti-Christ:
From Fr. David Moser:
It is certainly an Orthodox belief that just before the second coming of Christ, the end of all things and the great judgement there will be a man who is "the antichrist" who will deceive many (in fact most) and claim the "place" of Christ. But there is nothing that "identifies" who this is to be ahead of time, nor is there any reason or encouragement to "indentify" him. The way that law enforcement agents are taught to identify counterfeit money is not by studying counterfeits, but by learning to know the "real thing" -- the counterfeit is then exposed by what it is not. Our task is to learn to know "the real thing" that is Christ and then the antichrist will be obvious by what he is not.
I kinda like to stick to the stuff I DO understand but can't do. GK Chesterton said "St. John saw many strange things in his revelation, but nothing as strange as his interpreters."
The biggest story you'll never read: It may already be old news on the Ortho-blogosphere that the Pope is returning these stolen relics, but it amazed me to think that the Western Church is making a gesture to make amends for the injustice done during the Crusades.
Angry Catholics have apparently vandalized their own cathedral trying to purify the church against the incursion of gay Catholics.
There's a right way to do things and a wrong way. This is the wrong way.
There's a fine post from the Magazine That Shall Not Be Mentioned concerning a proper perspective for Thanksgiving. (If you're a born skimmer, like I am, you can skip to the last graph.)
And so the virtues of patriotism are secondary but real---as real as any of our loyalties, short of those to God Himself. We should be thankful for the peerless gift of this rich and abundant land. With all its faults, it has been a refuge for all of humanity—an island of prosperity and order and democracy in a cruel and violent world, and a place where the most vital of all liberties, the freedom to worship God in spirit and truth, has been cherished and enshrined in our fundamental institutions.
We constantly fail to appreciate the magnitude of this legacy---and the responsibilities entailed in it. We should live in gratitude and faithfulness to it, even as we built upon it in our own ways. We should strive to be worthy of our forebears’ hopes, their dreams, their sacrifices, and their love. We should pray for the strength and wisdom and discipline to be good stewards of this gift. And yes, we are obliged to improve and purify and preserve it, so that the generations to come will also have reason to be thankful that we were here.
Yet even as we give thanks for our nation, the example of the Pilgrims reminds us that this beautiful place is not our home. That we were made not for it, or for any other earthly nation, but for God alone. That even this great nation, like all things here below, is imperfect, and will perish someday. That even as we make our homes, plant our gardens, and raise our families here, there will come a time when those families are no more, when our yet-unborn grandchildren will be vanished, our houses torn down, every earthly grace and beauty decayed into dust and scattered in the air. That this city on a hill is, like every earthly city, not a city for us to abide in.
Happy Thanksgiving, all!