Saturday, October 10, 2009

A reply

Today I read on another blog a comment about the meeting that has been taking place at Nashotah House, the Episcopal seminary in Wisconsin, in which the leaders of the Anglican Chhurch in North America, St. Vladimir Seminary and OCA Metropolitan Jonah "are attempting to restart the old Anglican/Orthodox dialogue."

The commenter says he is left to "wonder just how 'Orthodox' is the OCA and St. Vlads?"

In reply, I would let Metropolitan Jonah (may he live many years) speak for himself:
Posted by Albion Land at 1:09 PM 0 comments Links to

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Δοξα σοι, Κυριε, δοξα σοι

After many months of catechism, I am to be baptised into the Orthodox faith this Sunday, October 4, at Agia Sofia church in Strovolos, Cyprus.

I have chosen the name Ηλιας (Ilias, Elias, Elijah).

Your prayers will be most welcome.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Αγιος Αλβιανος

What a pleasant surprise I had today.

I was meeting with my catechist/priest, Fr Ioannis, and raised this question about names. He said, yes, even if I were only chrismated, I would have to have a name. It had to be one recognised by the church.

After a momentary flash of disappointment, but before I got round to talking about names I might be interested in choosing, I mentioned that perhaps Albion could be considered a variation of Alban, the first martyr of Britain.

Yes, it might, he said. He went to get a book that contained what seemed to be a million names, to look for Alban. He was scanning it as he walked back in from the other room and stop short with a shout.

"There is a Saint Albianus," he said. "Commemorated on May 25th."

The book seemed to be literally little more than a list of names, and he was unable to tell me anything about the patron I'd gone 58 years without ever knowing I had.

I did some detective work on the net when I got home and found a few snippets:

1. He was bishop of Aena in Asia Minor, but I couldn't find the place in a quick search.
2. He is called hieromartyr, but nothing says anything about where, why or how that came to be.
3. There was a reference to 304, which could be the date of his martyrdorm.
4. There was another reference to him and "his flock," or something like that
5. There was a reference to him having visited the Holy Land.
6. I found no reference to commemoration on May 25th, as in Pater Ioannis' book, but several to May 4.
7. Not suprisingly, I could not find an icon.

Anybody who has more experience in these sorts of searches than I do: could you direct me to additional sources of information.

Yours in Christ,

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Batter My Heart, Three-Person´d God

Batter my heart, three-person’d God, for you
As yet but knock, breathe, shine, and seek to mend;
That I may rise and stand, o’erthrow me, and bend
Your force to break, blow, burn, and make me new.
I, like an usurp’d town to’another due,
Labor to’admit you, but oh, to no end;
Reason, your viceroy in me, me should defend,
But is captiv’d, and proves weak or untrue.
Yet dearly’I love you, and would be lov’d fain,
But am betroth’d unto your enemy;
Divorce me,’untie or break that knot again,
Take me to you, imprison me, for I,
Except you’enthrall me, never shall be free,
Nor ever chaste, except you ravish me.

- John Donne, Holy Sonnet XIV

I do not remember when I first read this sonnet, but when I came across it again today I remembered how powerfully moving I had found it.

I also recognised that all these months later, perhaps even years, my heart was still like the walls of that "usurp'd town," unyielding to the Lord's incessant battering.

But like that town, cut off from outside sustenance, I also realised that I was suffering from hunger and thirst. Perhaps that is a clue to what the outcome will eventually be.

Thursday, November 13, 2008


The Orthodox Church of America has elected a new metropolitan, Bishop Jonah, himself an American and a former Episcopalian.

Here is a link to an address he made following his election:

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Many years ago I was inspired to begin keeping a spiritual journal. Inspired but not moved. How much I wish that false humility or just sheer laziness had not prevailed and that I had done so.

But nearly two years ago, I finally took the first step and created this blog. A beginning had been made. Two days. Two posts. Then silence. Total silence.

To the curious explorer steaming up the backwaters of the blogosphere, or to anyone directed here by a signpost at The Continuum, I think there's a good chance that 2008 will prove to be a more prolific year at φιλοκαλειν than was 2007, though that's not saying much.

I do hope to finally make a go of journaling, and have a a very good reason to start now.

Earlier this week, I said farewell to The Continuum, the continuing Anglican blog I created three years ago.

In announcing that, I explained that my "soul is much in need of healing, and my vocation as a Christian much in need of rediscovery. In my splendid isolation here on Cyprus, I have found it impossible to live the life of continuing Anglicanism effectively and sacramentally. I cannot continue to live this way.

"As a consequence, I have resolved to seek instruction in the Orthodox faith with a view to eventually being received into the Church of Cyprus."

For now, I have very little to report, except to say that I have announced my intention to two very important people.

One is a very dear friend of mine, who is a cantor at an Orthodox church in Nicosia and who has been gently encouraging me towards Orthodoxy for a couple of years. I hope that he will be my sponsor. The other is a young English-speaking priest, Fr Andreas, who, I hope, might serve as point man on helping me get the instruction I need and to find a parish that is suitable for me.

One such place might be Ayios Nicolaos in Engomi, where the pastor, Fr Ioannis, is celebrating, or serving as they say in Orthodoxy, a monthly liturgy in English. I hope to go on Saturday morning. Perhaps, in the end, it will be Fr Ioannis who takes me under his wing.

Saturday, February 3, 2007


Bishop Kallistos Ware said “God became man so that man could become God,” but also that “God became man so that man could become man.”

Courtesy of Fr Stephen, at Glory to God in All Things, who attended the recent Colloquium on Orthodox Faith and has promised to put up audio links to the presentations.