Jon Kennedy's 'Postcards from
in Northern Ireland'
diary and Belfast blog
ENTRY 1436 | TUESDAY,
MARCH 11 2014
. . .
the lips of a loose woman drip honey, and her speech is smoother
than oil; but in the end she is bitter as wormwood, sharp as
a two-edged sword. Her feet go down to death; her steps follow
the path to Sheol; she does not take heed to the path of life;
her ways wander, and she does not know it. And now, O sons,
listen to me, and do not depart from the words of my mouth.
Keep your way far from her, and do not go near the door of her
house; lest you give your honor to others and your years to
the merciless; lest strangers take their fill of your strength,
and your labors go to the house of an alien; and at the end
of your life you groan, when your flesh and body are consumed,
and you say, "How I hated discipline, and my heart despised
reproof! I did not listen to the voice of my teachers or incline
my ear to my instructors. I was at the point of utter ruin in
the assembled congregation." Drink water from your own cistern,
flowing water from your own well.
from today's Orthodox lectionary
See the homiletical thought below. «
diary - life in Northern Ireland
a sunny day again in Belfast (but not as clear as the picture above
suggests), though still cold. The picture is of the end of Royal Avenue,
Belfast's main downtown shopping street.
night we went to the launch service of 39 Plus One at the big charismatic
church in the Shankill, New Life City Church. Its senior pastor, Jack
McKee, has carried crosses across the "peace walls" in the
Shankill-Falls Road section of Belfast for 40-day stints in the past,
and also has walked across the United States carrying a cross, which
he referred to last night. 39 Plus One is a variation on lent, a time
of special services and remembrances leading up to Easter. «
Links to articles
I think are worth reading, on issues now in the news.
for missing Malaysian plane goes high tech
Robinson's new book presents his case for gay marriage
reasons for becoming Catholic . . . or moving to Florida?)
Catholic archbishop approves 'gator meat for Fridays in Lent
Many of the
websites that offer collections of C.S. Lewis quotations have one
that comes to mind when reading the meme chosen for today's "worldview."
It's: "True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is
thinking of yourself less."
to the meme, to my thinking, because thinking less of yourself
myself is unnatural in several ways. The ego exists to exault
"me, me, me," and in that it is a defense against negative
thinking and depression brought on by feelings of inadequacy, failure,
or despair. It's even a defense against suicide. And as such, the
ego is entirely natural, something "nature" put into our
makeup to keep us going by stoking our self-preservation fires. Many
self-help gurus and their books promote building our self-esteem as
a key to success, prosperity, and winning in the competition called
But the Bible
and church teach that "nature" is fallen, sinful, and the
godly person is to always be in a struggle with his "natural"
inclinations: "the natural man does not receive the things of
the Spirit of God; they are foolish to him; neither does he know them,
because they are known spiritually," 1
Corinthians 2:14. Orthodoxy teaches that the fallen nature is mastered
by purifying the nous, the "conscious heart" or the mind
that's in our hearts, through prayer, fasting, and other holy disciplines.
This is the way to become "spiritual" in the New Testament
sense, over against continuing in our "natural" selves.
Though this is a lifetime pursuit in Orthodoxy, one way to facilitate
the process of having more Jesus and less ego in our makeup is through
the Jesus prayer, relying on it and resorting to it when ever we know
we're too much in our egos and into going our own ways:
Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner." «
This should inspire a little
feelin' good. Dude!
only thing worse than a liar is a liar that's also a hypocrite.
Tennessee Williams «
When the Lord
had fasted for forty days in the wilderness, He at last became hungry,
showing His human nature. Do not be despondent, my soul, if the enemy
attacks you, but let him be beaten off by prayer and fasting [cf.
Matthew 4:1-11; 17:21; Mark 9:29].
Great Canon of St. Andrew of Crete «
fornication, sins of the flesh and sins against one's own
flesh, are biblical analogies and metaphors for dabbling in
the other religions and new-age theories of one's own generation,
the religions of Satan and hades ("Sheol"). Like
being unfaithful toward your own family or spouse, those who
look for the company in the roadhouses of other temples and
places of false hopes like betting parlours, are letting down
and denying their Lord who patiently waits to save and redeem
the lost soul who wants to find and trust another way. «
otherwise, none of the message memes used in this blog are the creation
or property of the author, but are reposted here from the social networks.
comments on my Facebook
§ I have
now uploaded over 2,700 photos and videos, mostly from my current
visit to Northern Ireland, but also including several hundred photos
and videos from my summer in Pennsylvania (2012), and some photos
of the family, on my
Flickr site. Most of these are now organized by sets. Click
here for the Flicker site.
For more and
more spontaneous posts, follow me on,
and Twitter (click
on either icon to go to the site).
more automatically, so most of the pictures I post (excluding Flickr)
are posted there. Feedback:
Please comment on anything in today's blog on the Facebook and Google+
pages linked above, and of course via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Feedback is always welcome.
§ § §
for my mission to Northern Ireland. You
can read my background overview of this undertaking here.
My residence/postal address is 227 Crumlin Road, Belfast, Northern
Ireland BT14 7DY, UK. Mobile: 44 7455 980890.
Webmaster Jon Kennedy
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