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329Re: [LutheransLookingEast] Re: Two Questions

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  • Christopher Orr
    Nov 9, 2007
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      I make the sign of the cross over my food because it is less conspicuous.

      I have also been struck by a comment made by the late Fr. John Krestiankin
      in the book of his letters, "May God Give you Wisdom" (St Herman Press), to
      believing spouses of unbelievers. He said, essentially, don't go on too far
      ahead. The same can be true of unbelievers around us in everyday life - we
      can't be see as such odd ducks that we are disregarded. The Letter to
      Diognetus states clearly that we live as other men in various countries, but
      are always citizens only of heaven. In the world, but not of the world. I
      tend to prefer to be as 'normal' as the next guy insofar as I can remain an
      Orthodox Christian, never hiding, but never affecting differences to make a
      point. When St. Anthony the Great walked through Alexandria preaching
      without words, he was simply himself, in his regular, poor clothes, walking;
      he wasn't prostrating, and crossing, and raising his hands as an orans in
      prayer, etc. He was simply a Christian, walking.

      That being said, crossing oneself in prayer at any times should never be
      dissuaded. I often do so walking down the hallway of my office, on the
      street, etc., but as a means to bless myself with the cross and not to
      testify to others - and many take such actions to be a conscious attempt to
      make unbelievers uncomfortable or as a 'witness'.


      On 11/9/07, James <jimi@...> wrote:
      > I was reminded in an offline note that I probably should not worry
      > so much about what others think and go ahead and cross myself. It
      > seems my Priest said essentially the same thing in a sermon awhile
      > back. May the Lord strengthen my resolve and help me remember to do
      > this.
      > Yeah, I probably still have some of that old Lutheran "don't draw
      > attention to oneself" mentality going, huh?
      > James/JiMi
      > p.s. - Thanks to Peter for reminding me I'm not in Lake Woebegone
      > --- In LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com<LutheransLookingEast%40yahoogroups.com>,
      > "James" <jimi@...>
      > wrote:
      > >
      > > --- In LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com<LutheransLookingEast%40yahoogroups.com>,
      > "JWF" <frfenton@>
      > > wrote:
      > > >
      > > > In the Western Rite, we commonly say this prayer before meals:
      > > >
      > > >
      > > >
      > > > Bless us, O Lord, and these thy gifts which we are about to
      > receive
      > > from thy
      > > > bounty, through Christ our Lord.
      > > >
      > >
      > >
      > > I've used this prayer for several years now, since I spotted it in
      > the
      > > little red prayer book that the Antiochian Archdiocese puts out.
      > It
      > > was already familiar.
      > >
      > > First I say the Lord's Prayer, crossing myself (unless the
      > situation
      > > seems that it would appear a spectacle or showy), and then "Bless
      > us,
      > > O Lord.." making the sign of the cross over the food.
      > >

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