ARCHBISHOP, n. An ecclesiastical dignitary one point holier than a bishop.
CHRISTIAN, n. One who believes that the New Testament is a divinely inspired book admirably suited to the spiritual needs of his neighbor. One who follows the teachings of Christ in so far as they are not inconsistent with a life of sin.
INFIDEL, n. In New York, one who does not believe in the Christian religion; in Constantinople, one who does.
JACOB’S-LADDER, adj. A ladder which Jacob saw in a dream, reaching from earth to heaven, with angels ascending and descending. Seeing that angels have wings, the purpose of this ladder is so imperfectly apparent that many learned commentators had contended that it was not a real ladder, but only a ray of glory. One cannot help thinking it rather hard on Jacob that he should be required to dream with logical realism.
PHILOSOPHY, n. A route of many roads leading from nowhere to nothing.
– Ambrose Bierce “The Devil’s Dictionary”
Create a Facebook page for a long departed saints or figures from church history but instead of using it to post Biblical verses or inspirational quotes or other pablum. Post as if the figure is a self unaware 20 something millennial. Posting pictures of the figures icon in different areas (actually there or photoshopped) as selfies; bonus points if its with his or her “homies”. Like various bacon related things during fasts. Invite other “saint pages” to play whatever Facebook game is popular. Include random inane status updates like on the feast of their martyrdom things like “Boy was today rough, my neck is really sore” if they were beheaded. Or something like “Got all dressed up thought it was the Lord’s second coming, but it turns out it was Yeezus not Jesus show. My bad.”
Or even better create a Facebook page of an infamous heresiarch and then start online flame war with whatever pious sap who create a Facebook page for the the saint who defend the faith against said heretic. Feel free to create the opposing page and carry out the debate online yourself.
Disclaimer: The management of Not So Spiritual Words is not responsible for any and all angry saintly apparitions that happen to you if you decide to do this. We have enough trouble staying on God’s good side with out a bunch of angry saints trying to teach us a lesson…
Hammer of the Heretic: Readily declares every contrary idea or opinion a heresy, including those that have nothing to do with the faith like a preference of spicy brown mustard over yellow. Will usually use the opinions of a single clergy memeber as his justification and source.
The Professor: Considers himself a theological expert on a subject because s/he read one more book/writing on the subject that you did and will lecture you on it.
The Cross-Disciplinary Scholar: Will go into deep theological discussions on various esoteric matters but unwittingly espouses a non-Orthodox viewpoint as Orthodox through out.
Patristic Sniper: Sits on the fringes of a discussion waiting to spout the one quote on the matter he knows. Generally will have a quote or two per subject matter known; more than likely did not read them first hand but heard them from someone else.
Patriarchal Seminarian: A sub-type of the professor, who after a seminary class or two feels the need to be consulted by the Holy Synod regarding various subjects before they make their official decrees.
Canon Lawyer: Will scour the most obscure of texts looking for justifications or loopholes for their views/desires, usually in the context of getting out of fasts, not going to church et c..
Minimalist Hippie: Will base entire theological system on a lone bible verse, taken out of context, Generally it is Jer. 17:10 (occasionally Prov. 31:6-7)
The Ivory Tower Scholar: A person that is extremely learned and well versed in every work relating to such virtues as charity and forgiveness and give you painful detail about the historical development of its practice from the Apostolic times until today but their knowledge of such things is purely theoretical.
There was a deacon on Holy Week who kept being requested to sing psalm after psalm. He was loving the attention and kept being told to sing the psalm but it was getting to his throat. It was sore and his voice becoming hoarse but the eve of Wednesday he told the head deacon, he was humbled by the attention and honor of being chosen but if could pass. the head deacon then replied, “You’ll keep singing the psalm until you get it right.”
- paraphrase from an apocryphal tale about an opera singer, unknown source
So Militant Copt, there is a girl I really like and don’t know how to approach her any advice on how I can start a relationship with her?
First make sure she is a real girl and not a demonic apparition. The stories of the desert fathers are replete with demons appear as women to tempt these spiritual athletes to bring their down fall. A good test is to make the sign of the cross over her with faith and if she does not vanish in a puff of brimstone it is a good sign. In the past I would have advocated following up with spraying her with holy water but empirically it was found the even real women will transform into a demon of vengeance if her hair gets wet after straightening it…
Once determined that she is a real women, look to her spiritual life does she attend services regularly and seem to have a vibrant prayer life and does she treat others with love and respect. And then look to your spiritual life. If you do not, then she’s too good for you and forget it, since if she was truly a good girl she would have nothing to do with your sorry self since you’d just bring her down, you heathen. If you do and she doesn’t, she is a temptress who will cause you to stray from the narrow path, in that case save yourself and flee to the desert. Don’t be fooled you will change anyone after marriage. Once determined you both are spiritually compatible then go to ask her out.
While the Holy Bible has musch sound advice on how to live, its revelations on relationships is more apophatic nature. While walking around with a camel and seeing if she would water it for you has much to commend it, as expound by St. John Chrysostom, it is not practical in this day and age unless you actually have a camel handy then by all means go for it. Nor is working in servitude for her father for 14 years advised (graduate education notwithstanding and he is your thesis adviser/PI). Collecting the foreskins of her fathers enemies while may endear her father to you, more often will repulse their daughters and if it doesn’t there are larger issues at hand and you should seek a relationship elsewhere. There are countless other such examples of what not to do literally. Also looking to the lives of the Saints, sorcery has never worked well. Nor imprisoning her and forcing her to love you, more often than not they choose to die than marry, (and on rare occasion grow a full beard which if you find attractive, again there are larger issues at hand).
Though to improve your chances, you may try to get more involved in the diaconate, it is said women love a man in uniform, even if that uniform is a dress and sash. Maybe during a procession slip her you number in an agpeya. Or just walk up to her and ask her out, it may work. If she rejects you, it may not be the worse thing in the world you can go off to the desert live a saintly life get put tin the Synaxrium just to rub in the face of all her descendants, knowing that the had the potential of having a saint as an ancestor and their great^nth grandmother blew it.
You know your priest was a ______ because….
Judge: Refuses to give you an absolution because of a procedural technicality.
Chemist: Uses volumetric flasks as cruets for the wine and water during the offertory
Pharmacist: Seems to anoint you with holy oil everytime he sees you
Lawyer: During confess asks you the same question repeatedly but worded differently each time.
Politician: Gives hour long sermons which can usually be summarized with “God is Love”
Surgeon: Spends a very long time time during the fraction making sure the Body is in precisely sized pieces.
Consultant: His spiritual advice consists of stuff you already know.
HR Worker: Makes you read books that have no bearing on anything you do
Engineer: Selects the lamb based on an ISO standard he wrote.
Graphic Designer: All the deacon tonias (aka sticharions) and patreshals (aka orarions) all match.
“Now one thing had almost escaped me, the most fit of all to mention, I refer to the moon and her phases, which the sons of the bald share in name and in form. This moon, so dear to me, begins in the form of a crescent, becomes a half moon, then again is gibbous, and ends by being a full moon. And assuredly those who have found their way to the summit of good fortune I call the ‘full moons': it is even lawful to call them ‘suns’. For they no longer return to phases, but continue with a perfect circle shining in the face of those in heaven.” Synesius of Cyrene, Bishop of Ptolemias “In Praise of Baldness” Chp. 11*
* This piece was meant as satire and not a theological piece though there is biblical evidence to the superiority of bald men.
Bloggers – St. Julius of Akfahs
Narcoleptics – Eutyches of the Book of Acts
Bald men – Synesius of Cyrene
Frequent Flyers – St. Tekle Heymanot
Scuba Divers – St. Clement of Rome
Okay this one is rather subtle and requires knowledge of the particular saint’s life to make sense
Thanks once again to d. & m.h. for the idea.