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Archive for January, 2007

Reader Christopher’s Guidelines for Conversion to the Orthodox Church are a demanding set:

1. Take a Long Time.
2. Catechumens are Expected to Learn.
3. After your Baptism/Chrismation, Add Regular Confession and Communion to Rule #2.
4. The Grass is Never Greener; or, Never Know Too Many Priests.
5. Don’t be a weirdo.
6. Worry About Yourself.
7. You Aren’t a Monk, You Aren’t a Priest, Don’t Plan on Being One.
8. No One has Screwed Your Life up More Than You: Listen to Others First.
9. Don’t Play House.
10. Don’t Look Back; Don’t Look Back in Anger.
11. Don’t Write or Speak About Your Conversion Publicly.
12. Whether Cradle or Convert, We Must All Convert Everyday.

Read all the pertinent commentary on the above at the link leading this post.

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Kansas Roads

The roads in Kansas, black-top, gravel, dirt, smooth, winding and rutted, can stretch to the horizon and wind and curve around hedgerows out of sight. The roads of northwest Kansas are illusions which make a man believe he can see to the ends of the earth as they unfold in a seeming infinity of straightness. The roads of the flinthills wind and wend along as though on massive sea billows while the rust and blood of the setting sun sets the prairie grass on fire. The road from the farmhouse, through the narrow gulley and to the open pasture will pull and strain at the axles of the tractor. And it will invite the reckless youth to propel his bike down and through it with the fastest speed he can muster, his heart in his mouth, a prayer on his lips to the God of gravity to give him the wings of angels.

The roads of Kansas will take a man where he wants to go, and bring him someplace he never imagined. Built on a county square mile, they will bound and fence in the fertile earth, the lonely prairie farm house and a man’s destiny. A man will wake of a morning, the cold frost on the window, the slumbering harvest buried beneath the crystalline white, and look out to the east, with the dark black of night giving way to the lightening purple of dawn, and know his place in the world. He will not trouble himself with romance and adventure, knowing that his soul will be tested that day in ways he has not foreseen. He will sip his coffee, while the sounds of his breakfast sizzle in his ear, and the song of his wife as she intones a hymn of faith will fill his heart whether he knows it or not. When he looks out on what those Kansas roads enclose, he sees his life and it is a salvation for him.

But the roads of Kansas can stretch away into the wide open sky in a way that invites a man’s soul beyond the limits of his vocation. He knows intuitively that these roads will take him away from what he has known, if he lets them. And if he is not careful, the tempting seduction will enter his heart and his mind, and it will give him illusions of a grander destiny than this humble foursquare of earth that has been given to him for the saving of his soul. That horizon beckons like a siren song, and that song can, if he succumbs to it, become the sounds of a curse. The dust that the wind tosses up into his nostrils and mouth, loses its sweet and damp and becomes bitter and hateful. The rain which he sweats and which courses through his blood, loses its vitality and strength and becomes a barrier to his work and life.

Still, even if a man succumb to the temptation of the open stretches of Kansas roads that kiss the horizon, that dusty trail will stretch out behind him like an anchor. That brown cloud that he kicks up will cling to him. And, if he takes time and thought when he gets to where he’s going, he will know that he has brought with him that destiny he foreswore. And, by God’s grace, that destiny which the foursquare county road enclosed will find him again. Instead of the verdent pastures of the prairie, it will be the black asphalt of the city which bounds his world. But God is a gracious God, and a conservationist, and he will not let go to waste the life a man makes, but will, when that man finds again his journeying clothes, when he inhales again and tastes again that dust of the earth which is in him and from which he was made, remake that destiny. A man will find again that self he thought he left behind as those dust trails billowed out behind him on the Kansas roads.  And he will learn to give again all his soul and all he has for that treasure found in a field.

Other Kansas Meditations:

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The Boorish Vomits Visit the Healy Domicile

Ugh. First Delaina. After the first dozen, we lost count of how many times Delaina had to throw up. But almost twenty-four hours to the minute, Delaina was hale, if not hearty, again. Her first desire was to drink tons of liquid. Poor thing couldn’t keep down even small sips of water. And she was so hungry. We’d give her a bit of a popsicle, only to have that come back up within half an hour. Delaina’s poor little tummy was visibly diminished.

But she kicked it, and aside from still being pretty sleepy is just about back to her fighting self. And her tummy–we call it her “Buddha belly”–has almost returned.

Momma felt a touch of it Friday, and spent much of the afternoon and evening on the futon in the office. But she seems to have escaped the ravages of the flu for now.

Sofie, however, drew the lot for next in line. She was pretty lethargic this morning, which didn’t, but should have, triggered a caution in me. Then when I invited her and Delaina to head out to the kitchen to eat breakfast, Sofie said she couldn’t eat breakfast because it would make her throw up. But she said it in her matter-of-fact, explanatory tone that she takes with Delaina, so I thought she was just saying stuff. I no sooner got Delaina in her booster seat, bowl of cereal in front of her and prayers said when I heard Sofie getting rid of the contents of her stomach (which was pretty much nothing).

So, Anna stayed home from Liturgy with Sofie, who got to watch her Backyardigan video, while Delaina and I went to pray for them.

The way these things usually go, I’m the last to get it. I hope I escape it this time. Yuck. That’s one thing I really, really, really hate to do.

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Sofie Preaches to the Babysitter

A little bit of humor this morning as I was heading off to work, and leaving the girls in the care of our babysitter. The sitter is one of Anna’s friends, and was raised Jewish. I suspect, though I do not know for sure, that she does not worship regularly anywhere. Certainly not in a Christian church.

So this morning as I was getting Sofie dressed, Sofie said to the sitter (a propos of nothing): “Jesus takes care of me.” It didn’t register with the sitter. “What?” she asked. Sofie said again: “Jesus takes care of me.” Sort of taken aback, the sitter replied, “Right now?” I clarified, “All the time.” “Oh,” the sitter said. It seemed to me she didn’t quite know what to say.

At supper this evening, Sofie offered, “Jesus died for me, but not again.” I said, “No, he died once for all.”

I have to wonder just what Sofie did today. I can imagine a whole bunch of preachin’.

‘At’s mah girl!!

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An Orthodox View of Abortion:

The Holy Orthodox Church respectfully submits this brief amicus curiae on behalf of itself and its members.

INTEREST OF AMICUS CURIAE

The Holy Orthodox Church was founded by Jesus Christ and the Apostles, and bears witness to that continuous and unbroken faith. The precepts of the Orthodox Christian faith mandate the protection of innocent human life, especially that of unborn children. The Church regards abortion as murder, and as such, takes a very active role in opposing legalized abortion. That the issue of abortion has both a moral and a legal dimension to it, is indisputable. However, this cannot in any way be equated to an assertion that the two aspects are disparate, or unrelated. Rather, the two have historically been intertwined; it must be recognized that laws have traditionally been positive expressions of moral norms.

The Framers of the Constitution discerned a divine presence not only in daily living, but as reflected in the Constitution itself. “It is impossible for any man of pious reflection not to perceive in it a finger of that Almighty hand which has been so frequently and signally extended to our relief in the critical stages of the revolutionary.” That is, a law must of its very nature have a moral component to it, which cannot be divorced from the law itself.

Legal precepts, particularly those of constitutional proportions, simply cannot be judged in a vacuum. This notion not only predates the Constitution; it is at the very heart of our civilization. The foundations of our morality can be found in the dawn and early morning light of the Judeo-Christian tradition, of which the Orthodox Church is a unique custodian. From its inception nearly two thousand years ago, it has never deviated from its condemnation of abortion, based on numerous scriptural references and the teaching of the Holy Fathers of the Church. The Church regards the Roe v. Wade decision as a gruesome turn on the road of judicial activism, having resulted in a holocaust which has claimed at least twenty million innocent lives.

STATEMENT OF THE CASE AND STATEMENT OF FACTS

Amicus curiae adopts the statement of the case and the statement of the facts as set out in the Appellants? Brief.

SUMMARY OF ARGUMENT

In this case, the Holy Orthodox Church seeks to restore to our nation’s law the highest principle which a civilized society can espouse?the recognition that all human life is sacred. In Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113 (1973), the Supreme Court relied heavily upon its presentation of historic Christianity’s teaching and practices. The assertions made in Roe were erroneous, and have no foundation in the church’s traditions. Rather than being ambivalent, or even condoning abortion, as suggested by the Roe Court’s opinion, historic Christianity has always condemned abortion as murder, without regard for any distinctions as to fetal development or viability.

The Roe Court also blurred the factual question of when life begins with the distinct legal question of what constitutional value attends to that life. The resulting confusion has tied the hands of legislators, and elevated abortion to the status of a near-absolute right. Unless this Court takes judicial notice, the factual question of when life begins is properly a subject for legislative findings. The strictly legal question of a life’s constitutional value is the clear issue before this Court, as the State of Missouri has made an appropriate factual determination.

Science and history both mandate a conclusion that human life and constitutional personhood are coextensive, and any other result is without foundation in American jurisprudence. Consequently, the Holy Orthodox Church urges this Court to overrule Roe v. Wade, and accord full constitutional protection to all human life beginning at conception.

Read it all at the link above.

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Office for the Victims of Abortion

The Order of the Office of Prayer and Supplication for the Victims of Abortion
Prayed to our Lord and God and Savior Jesus Christ

(The Priest and Deacon take their places before the Icon of Christ placed in the center of the Temple or other suitable place. The Priest is vested in Riassa and Epitrachilion and the Deacon in Sticharion and Orarion.)

Priest:
Blessed is our God always, now and ever, and unto ages of ages.

People:
Amen.

Reader:
Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal, have mercy on us.
Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal, have mercy on us.
Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal, have mercy on us.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
Now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

All-Holy Trinity, have mercy on us. O Lord, cleanse us from our sins. O Master, pardon our transgressions. O Holy One, visit and heal our infirmities for Thy Name’s sake.

Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
Now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy Name. Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us, and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

Priest:
For Thine is the Kingdom, and the power, and the glory: of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Now and ever, and unto the ages of ages.
(more…)

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[Note: This is also posted here.]

The Canons of the Council of Ancyra (which canons were accepted and received by the ecumenical synods)
Canon XXI.
Concerning women who commit fornication, and destroy that which they have conceived, or who are employed in making drugs for abortion, a former decree excluded them until the hour of death, and to this some have assented. Nevertheless, being desirous to use somewhat greater lenity, we have ordained that they fulfil ten years [of penance], according to the prescribed degrees.

The Constitution of the Holy Apostles
Book VII.
Concerning the Christian life, and the Eucharist and Initiation into Christ
Sec. I
III. Thou shall not slay thy child by causing abortion, nor kill that which is begotten; for “everything that is shaped, and has received a soul from God, if it be slain, shall be avenged, as being unjustly destroyed.”

The Didache
(The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles)
CHAP. II.–The Second Commandment: Gross Sin Forbidden
And the second commandment of the Teaching; Thou shalt not commit murder, thou shalt not commit adultery, thou shalt not commit paederasty, thou shalt not commit fornication, thou shalt not steal, thou shalt not practise magic, thou shalt not practise witchcraft, thou shalt not murder a child by abortion nor kill that which is begotten.

Athenagoras of Athens
Apology for the Christians
Chap. XXXV.–The Christians Condemn and Detest All Cruelty
What man of sound mind, therefore, will affirm, while such is our character, that we are murderers? For we cannot eat human flesh till we have killed some one. The former charge, therefore, being false, if any one should ask them in regard to the second, whether they have seen what they assert, not one of them would be so barefaced as to say that he had. And yet we have slaves, some more and some fewer, by whom we could not help being seen; but even of these, not one has been found to invent even such things against us. For when they know that we cannot endure even to see a man put to death, though justly; who of them can accuse us of murder or cannibalism? Who does not reckon among the things of greatest interest the contests of gladiators and wild beasts, especially those which are given by you? But we, deeming that to see a man put to death is much the same as killing him, have abjured such spectacles. How, then, when we do not even look on, lest we should contract guilt and pollution, can we put people to death? And when we say that those women who use drugs to bring on abortion commit murder, and will have to give an account to God s for the abortion, on what principle should we commit murder? For it does not belong to the same person to regard the very foetus in the womb as a created being, and therefore an object of God’s care, and when it has passed into life, to kill it; and not to expose an infant, because those who expose them are chargeable with child-murder, and on the other hand, when it has been reared to destroy it. But we are in all things always alike and the same, submitting ourselves to reason, and not ruling over it.

The Epistle of Barnabas
Chap. XIX.–The Way of Light
The way of light, then, is as follows. If any one desires to travel to the appointed place, he must be zealous in his works. The knowledge, therefore, which is given to us for the purpose of walking in this way, is the following. Thou shalt love Him that created thee: thou shalt glorify Him that redeemed thee from death. Thou shalt be simple in heart, and rich in spirit. Thou shalt not join thyself to those who walk in the way of death. Thou shalt hate doing what is unpleasing to God: thou shalt hate all hypocrisy. Thou shalt not forsake the commandments of the Lord. Thou shalt not exalt thyself, but shalt be of a lowly mind. Thou shalt not take glory to thyself. Thou shalt not take evil counsel against thy neighbour. Thou shalt not allow over-boldness to enter into thy soul. Thou shalt not commit fornication: thou shalt not commit adultery: thou shalt not be a corrupter of youth. Thou shalt not let the word of God issue from thy lips with any kind of impurity. Thou shalt not accept persons when thou reprovest any one for transgression. Thou shalt be meek: thou shalt be peaceable. Thou shalt tremble at the words which thou hearest. Thou shalt not be mindful of evil against thy brother. Thou shalt not be of doubtful mind as to whether a thing shall be or not. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord in vain. Thou shalt love thy neighbour more than thine own soul. Thou shalt not slay the child by procuring abortion; nor, again, shalt thou destroy it after it is born. Thou shalt not withdraw thy hand from thy son, or from thy daughter, but from their infancy thou shalt teach them the fear of the Lord.

St. Basil the Great
Letter CLXXXVIII.: (Canonica Prima.) To Amphilochius, concerning the Canons.
VII. On the other hand acts done in the attacks of war or robbery are distinctly intentional, and admit of no doubt. Robbers kill for greed, and to avoid conviction. Soldiers who inflict death in war do so with the obvious purpose not of fighting, nor chastising, but of killing their opponents. And if any one has concocted some magic philtre for some other reason, and then causes death, I count this as intentional. Women frequently endeavour to draw men to love them by incantations and magic knots, and give them drugs which dull their intelligence. Such women, when they cause death, though the result of their action may not be what they intended, are nevertheless, on account of their proceedings being magical and prohibited, to be reckoned among intentional homicides. Women also who administer drugs to cause abortion, as well as those who take poisons to destroy unborn children, are murderesses. So much on this subject.

The Canons of St. Basil
Canon II
Let her that procures abortion undergo ten years’ penance, whether the embryo were perfectly formed, or not.
Canon VIII
But the man, or woman, is a murderer that gives a philtrum, if the that takes it die upon it; so are they who take medicines to procure abortion; and so are they who kill on the highway, and rapparees.

St. Jerome
Letter XXII: To Eustochium
13. Some go so far as to take potions, that they may insure barrenness, and thus murder human beings almost before their conception. Some, when they find themselves with child through their sin, use drugs to procure abortion, and when (as often happens) they die with their offspring, they enter the lower world laden with the guilt not only of adultery against Christ but also of suicide and child murder.

St. John Chrysostom
Commentary on the Epistle to the Romans
XXIV: You see how drunkenness leads to whoredom, whoredom to adultery, adultery to murder; or rather to a something even worse than murder. For I have no name to give it, since it does not take off the thing born, but prevent its being born.(2) Why then dost thou abuse the gift of God, and fight with His laws, and follow after what is a curse as if a blessing, and make the chamber of procreation a chamber for murder, and arm the woman that was given for childbearing unto slaughter?

Tertullian
Treatise on the Soul
Chap. XXXVII.–On the Formation and State of the Embryo. Its Relation with the Subject of this Treatise
Now the entire process of sowing, forming, and completing the human embryo in the womb is no doubt regulated by some power, which ministers herein to the will of God, whatever may be the method which it is appointed to employ. Even the superstition of Rome, by carefully attending to these points, imagined the goddess Alemona to nourish the foetus in the womb; as well as (the goddesses) Nona and Decima, called after the most critical months of gestation; and Partula, to manage and direct parturition; and Lucina, to bring the child to the birth and light of day. We, on our part, believe the angels to officiate herein for God. The embryo therefore becomes a human being in the womb from the moment that its form is completed. The law of Moses, indeed, punishes with due penalties the man who shall cause abortion, inasmuch as there exists already the rudiment of a human being, which has imputed to it even now the condition of life and death, since it is already liable to the issues of both, although, by living still in the mother, it for the most part shares its own state with the mother.

The Canons of the Council in Trullo (The Quinisext Council)
Canon XCI.
Those who give drugs for procuring abortion, and those who receive poisons to kill the foetus, are subjected to the penalty of murder.

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As I noted below, I’ve been defending the teaching of the Church regarding Our Lady’s purity and holiness. If the Restoration Movement Christians I dialogue with on the message boards had trouble understanding how Mary could have remained a virgin forever, imagine how much trouble they have with dealing with the notion that she is Panagia.

Part of the problem arises, however, from the Protestant overemphasis on juridical justification as the explanation for salvation. If salvation is calculated on nothing else but personal acts of sin and the need for penal restitution of that sin, then anything that departs from that schema not only does not compute, but is tantamount to heresy.

The one thing about the Orthodox Faith, however, is that salvation is not predicated on juridical justification alone, but on, rather, the healing of our entire persons: nature and will, body and soul, thought and act. So, to help the RM’ers gain a little better understanding of where I’m coming from (and to give them a chance for a mind-altering exercise), I composed the following brief response/explanation.

_________

There has been some confusion here because I do not hold to the Protestant overemphasis on juridical justification as the explanation of salvation. I have pointed out that Romans 5 demonstrates that sin has consequences of mortality for all humans born from Adam, and that we also each individually bear responsibility for our own personal acts of sin.

To be more complete, there are three aspects to salvation: the healing of our nature, the justification from the guilt of personal sin, and the resurrection from the dead.

These three aspects can be seen in the following Scriptures.

1. Healing our nature:

“Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:14-16)

“In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence. Although he was a son, he learned obedience through what he suffered. And being made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him, being designated by God a high priest after the order of Melchizedek.” (Hebrews 5:7-10)

“For while we were living in the flesh, our sinful passions, aroused by the law, were at work in our members to bear fruit for death. But now we are released from the law, having died to that which held us captive, so that we serve not under the old written code but in the new life of the Spirit.” (Rom 7:5-6)

2. Salvation from sin:

“For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person–though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die–but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.” (Romans 5:6-10)

3. Resurrection from the dead:

“But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.” (1 Corinthians 15:20-22)

The fourteenth century saint, Nicholas Cabasilas, in his The Life in Christ, says this:

“Therefore, though men were triply separated from God–by nature, by sin and by death–yet the Saviour made them to attain to Him perfectly and to be immediately united to Him by successively removing all obstacles. The first barrier He removed by partaking of manhood, the second by being put to death on the cross. As for the final barrier, the tyranny of death, He eliminated it completely from our nature by rising again.” (Bk III.3 [p. 106, SVS 1974])

So, even though Mary did not have personal sin, she still needed the healing of her human nature and the resurrection from death.

Protestant soteriology, by focusing so exclusively on juridical justification misses the full and wonderful picture of the entirety of the salvation wrought by Christ. The Mother of Our Lord so beautifully encapsulates this for us, and through God’s gracious work in her points so unerringly and lovingly to the focus of God’s redemptive work, her Son, our God, Jesus.

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Well, it’s true. If one doesn’t go to Liturgy, it just ruins your whole day. We had a rough morning this morning, with Sofie taking it into her head to do all the sorts of thing she knows better than to do. This was capped off by her lead (with Delaina’s co-laboring) in tearing the insulating plastic sheeting off the double-window in the west room (the girls’ bedroom/the “living room”). I was absolutely furious. There was also the game of hide-and-seek in the bathroom with slamming doors–a most definite no-no. (Delaina’s finger got good and mashed a few weeks ago in one such game.)

Needless to say, discipline was enacted and order restored. Mid-morning and onward was much, much more pleasant. After a good lunch, and a reading of The Velveteen Rabbit, two young girls slept deeply for nearly two hours.

odt.jpgDuring their nap, I got to enjoy some uninterrupted reading of Fr. Michael Pomazansky’s Orthodox Dogmatic Theology 3e. I had previously purchased the 2nd edition (long about 2003, read it in July that year), but the 3rd advertised much more extensive additions of citations and references to the Fathers. Promise fulfilled.

I distinctly remember my first reading of ODT as–I’m embarrassed to say this–reading a simplistic primer. I remember being unimpressed, overall. Not so this time around. And it’s not just the patristic citations. Though Fr. Michael writes in a very basic and direct way, without a lot of technical terminology, one can see the depths beneath the surface. Fr. Michael’s work has been called very pastoral. And it is, indeed, that. I have read very few theology books that fill my soul. This is one.

But I digress.

Unlike last time, the weekend doesn’t end later this evening. That is to say, Anna will return on that big ol’ jet airliner on Tuesday evening. Hopefully I can coordinate teaching my logic class and picking her up from said airport. One babysitter will arrive bright and early tomorrow a.m. Then Tuesday it’s to our friends (one of whom is the gift-giving Michael of yesterday’s post) for the day, with then a third babysitter picking them up so I can go teach right after work. Whew.

More prayers needed and requested. Especially for a daddy who can’t wake up in time to get his family to worship. Sheesh.

Added note:

I just realized a couple of deja vu all over again things about this weekend compared to last.

Last time, Sofie enjoyed Disney’s Lady and the Tramp just as she did yesterday.

Last time, I was defending Marian doctrine as I have been this weekend (namely Mary’s purity and holiness).

What is it about Mr. Mom weekends that I end up defending the Church’s teaching about Our Lady?

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So far, so good.

The poor girls had to get up about a half-hour to an hour earlier then they normally do to get Momma to the airport. And then, with going from one babysitter’s to back home for a second babysitter, they ended up not getting a nap. So it was a relatively short evening of supper, picking up from play time, and then going to bed. They both conked out before 20:00.

Poor Sofie woke up a bit past midnight wanting a drink. I was sleeping so hard, the dear li’l one had to wake me up three times. But I got her the drink, and was too sleepy to try to force her back to her own bed. Daddy plus one heat-generating daughter.

Then Delaina woke up about 02:00. I think she had been having a bad dream or something because she didn’t seem fully awake when I picked her up and it took her a long time to calm down. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get her calmed down in the normal way–rocking in the rocking chair–she wanted to climb into bed. But then she was confused, because Sofie was not Mommy and Mommy wasn’t there. But it only took a few more minutes for Delaina to settle in to sleep. Daddy plus two heat-generating daughters.

What is it about little kids that they radiate so much dadgum heat? I mean our thermostat is a cranky child, so having a little more heat is not a bad thing, but this was near-sweat inducing. And we’ve got the flannel sheets broke out, no less. Whew.

But they both slept in more than an hour past their normal wake times. So I got morning prayers said and did some brief reading. But then it was a fully wakened Healy household, oatmeal, raisins and brown sugar for breakfast (coffee fer daddy!), and some play time.

About mid-way through the morning, daddy bundled up the girls and trekked to two bookstores. The first was the college bookstore to pick up a copy of St Gregory Palamas’ Dialogue between an Orthodox and a Barlaamite Which Invalidates in Detail the Barlaamite Error. Then it was off to Borders for the girls to play and explore in the children’s book section.

Lunch followed, with some solid naps. Now they’re awake again and–as a special treat for behaving so well this morning and eating all their lunch–watching Disney’s Lady and the Tramp.

Michael Keaton has nothing on me.

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