The Alcoholic Monk

I found this story in Serbian and was about to translate it. John at Mystagogy (here) beat me to it.

Once on Mount Athos there was a monk who lived in Karyes. He drank and got drunk every day and was the cause of scandal to the pilgrims. Eventually he died and this relieved some of the faithful who went on to tell Elder Paisios that they were delighted that this huge problem was finally solved.

Father Paisios answered them that he knew about the death of the monk, after seeing the entire battalion of angels who came to collect his soul. The pilgrims were amazed and some protested and tried to explain to the Elder of whom they were talking about, thinking that the Elder did not understand.

Elder Paisios explained to them: “This particular monk was born in Asia Minor, shortly before the destruction by the Turks when they gathered all the boys. So as not to take him from their parents, they would take him with them to the reaping, and so he wouldn’t cry, they just put raki* into his milk in order for him to sleep. Therefore he grew up as an alcoholic. There he found an elder and said to him that he was an alcoholic. The elder told him to do prostrations and prayers every night and beg the Panagia to help him to reduce by one the glasses he drank.

After a year he managed with struggle and repentance to make the 20 glasses he drank into 19 glasses. The struggle continued over the years and he reached 2-3 glasses, with which he would still get drunk.”

The world for years saw an alcoholic monk who scandalized the pilgrims, but God saw a fighter who fought a long struggle to reduce his passion.

Without knowing what each one is trying to do what he wants to do, what right do we have to judge his effort?

* Raki is a Turkish unsweetened, anise-flavored hard alcoholic drink that is popular in Turkey, Greece, Albania, Serbia, and other Balkan countries as an apéritif.

Source: Translated by John Sanidopoulos

Christian Churches Ransacked

A photograph provided to us by a Christian woman in Homs, scene of some of the bloodiest clashes of the conflict, shows a member of the Free Syrian Army posing with a looted Catholic cross in one hand and a gun in the other while wearing a priest’s robe.

“Everyone knows simply removing these garments from the church is a sin. The priest is the only one who wears them too. They even pray before putting them on. Him posing in front of the funeral car as well is disgusting to the max,” our source told us.

“They destroyed the church and went in to film it. I know this for a fact.”

“The Robes can only be worn by Deacons or Priests or Sub-Deacons, and they a Christian man wouldn’t hold a Cross in one hand and a gun in another,” the woman adds

Another image shows a ransacked church in Bustan al-Diwan (Old Homs).

Continue for full story, more pics and video footage here

Scents from the Holy Land

My wife came back from her trip to Constantinople and the Holy Land yesterday, safely, thank God. She arrived very early in the morning, in the middle of the night actually, after traveling over 32 hours, with all the flight delays. Her luggage, unfortunately was not with her. Instead it came last night. And with it came all the scents and tastes from the Holy Land. As you see below she brought with her myrrh from the tomb of St. George, wine from Cana, oil from the lampadas of the Holy Sepulchre and Golgotha, water from the Zoodochos Pigi- Font of the Life-Giving Spring and the Jordan River- among other places- and (not pictured) a cutting of the authentic Burning Bush and a piece of the plaster from Hagia Sophia.

Einstein and Mileva

H/T:Vecernje Novoti (here) loosly translated

Einstein’s Propaganda Myth, Mileva Was  the Genius

Einstein was more of a skilled manipulator than a physicist, while his first wife Mileva Maric was the real “genius behind the scenes” whose work was, in fact, awarded the Nobel Prize. This is the firm conviction of Norwegian historian Anastasia Heidi Larvoll, whose lecture “The Relativity of one love” was held recently at “Kolarac”, rekindling the debate about whether Einstein was a scientific genius or a brilliant manipulator.

Her opinion is that  Albert and Mileva agreed to work together and create scientific knowledge and works by creating and promoting a brilliant scientist and university professor, who will earn money for the whole family. Until now that genius in the public eye has only been Einstein.

– The private history of Albert and Mileva has gone through much censorship in order to maintain the myth of Einstein, who is a product of marketing. The myth has been defended at all cost and for that reason the Albert Einstein Foundation banned publication of the romantic correspondence between Albert and Mileva. A small part was published in 1987, and the remainder was taken to Jerusalem, and only since 2006 has it been opened for public research, but only partially – says Anastasia Heidi Larvoll.

It is precisely theses letters, says the historian, which confirm that Mileva was a brilliant scientific mind, and Albert an arrogant manipulator.

– Einstein’s letters begin with a  lover’s chirping, and always end by setting tasks for Mileva to solve! Even the few letters available are incomplete, because the censorship deleted all the mathematical calculations and scientific instructions. Mileva’s obedience to Einstein can not be understood without knowing the time during which their relationship developed. At that time women did not have independent professional careers, scientific studies were being dealt with only three women in Europe.

Albert had average grades during his studies, says our correspondent. He graduated as the worst in his group and had no reputation with his professors. Mileva, during her studies, was invited to collaborate with the most respected physicists. She studied photoelectric effect at the University of Heidelberg, 1897-98, under Professor Philipp Lenard, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize; and then with Professor Hermann Minkowski four-dimensional geometry that is the mathematical basis of the theory of relativity. These are the exact themes which the works of Einstein deal with, published at the time he was a clerk in the Patent Bureau in Bern.

– Mileva wrote the calculations at night when the children were asleep. The great Russian physicist Abram Joffe Fedorovich testified that he had in his hands originals of the three most important articles of “Einstein”, which were all signed Einstein-Mariti. Mariti is the Swiss version of the surname Maric and it was under that name she was registered in Zurich.

Einstein left Mileva in 1914 when was given a position as professor in Berlin and membership in the Prussian Academy of Sciences. He renewed the incestuous relationship with his wife Elsa Einstein.

– As usual Albert pretended in having all proceeds from the Nobel prize go to Mileva and the children. She supported herself and the children by giving piano lessons and teaching math, while Albert sent small amounts of money even though his younger son was seriously ill. When Mileva finally became irritated Mileva sought in 1925 all the originals of famous scientific papers to be returned to her and threatened to reveal who their real author was.  Einstein replied:

– You really gave me a good laugh when you began threatening me with your memories. Have you really never, even for a moment, considered that no one cares for your blabbering about a man who accomplished something important? When one is a nobody, then there is nothing more to say, but that person should be humble and keep their mouth shut. I advise you to do the same.

Tattoos and More Tattoos

Seems like a strange choice for a tattoo. (The photo above is courtesy of Yahoo, see here for more strange ones.) Then again they’re all strange, the whole ever-growing tattoo/piercings subculture. Not many people seem to  express their  alarm and surprise at seeing them. Sadly, it’s become all too normal in society. That’s why I was a bit surprised seeing David Lettermen say something to Justin Bieber about it: