Saturday, December 21, 2013

Only comment about a local church

So my grandmother's funeral was today at some local church - modern evangelicals. My only comment is that the church doesn't have a cross anywhere in the interior (they have a cross on the outside at the insistence of the architect that there must be at least one cross somewhere). Apparently they wanted it to be used as a community center as well, and therefore making it churchy would drive some people away. Or something.

It would, perhaps be a stumbling block or foolishness to have a cross, see.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

St Augustine

On some other forum, somebody asked about choosing a patron saint. Namely, since he had led a wayward life but repented, he felt a special kinship to Blessed Augustine. However, since he's "not a saint in the Orthodox Church", he was wondering what other saint he could choose that had a similar story.

Fortunately, this is easily answered: St Augustine is indeed a saint in the Orthodox Church. Now go forth and sin no more. Alleluia. If any should deny this, read The Confessions, do 100 prostrations, and report back.

However, backing up again, it's still a good question: what other male saints are there that were into drinking and having sex before their conversion? I mean, perhaps one could assume that, historically, anybody who converts late in life (eg older than 16) was into that sort of thing (gasp), but these things get mentioned hagiographically, right?

The problem is not so hard when it comes to women: there are plenty of repentant prostitutes (aside: this reminds me that there are also not that many male lawyer saints, the second oldest trade - only Moses, King David, and Emperor Justinian seem to have much to say about the Law). Granted, there is something different about doing it for money (what are they supposed to do now that they have quit their job?) rather than recreationally.

Anyway, I don't have much to say. I mean, there are always the complicated political saints, like King David, who certainly had their share of wine, women, and song. But, uh, even several long minutes of thinking and a little bit of googling failed to produce an Augustine-like example of a man who did some debauchery for a while and then turned around and became a saint. I mean, St Silouan the Athonite has a moment. I'm sure others did, too, but it's not talked about much. St Moses the Black was a thief and a murderer, probably more than that, as well. So, there we go. I am open to other suggestions, but the list seems short.