Views
9 months ago

Albemarle Tradewinds March 2016 Final Web

March 2016

ORTHODOX CHRISTIANITY

ORTHODOX CHRISTIANITY THE FIRST L OVE REMEMBERED I lately received a letter from a newly incarcerated Orthodox Christian man who, in writing of his spiritual state, says “I don’t know whether these are the best or the worst days of my life.” These words of a spiritually re-awakening man, bowed under tremendous noetic stress, open a vista onto a profound mystery of the spiritual life. Archimandrite Zacharias, in his extraordinary book, “Remember Thy First Love (Revelation 2: 4-5)” speaks of this matter with the authority of inner experience and the authenticity of the ancient tradition, passed through the ages from heart to heart, from elder to disciple. The Archimandrite is himself a disciple of the Russian monk, Elder Sophrony of Mount Athos and Essex (1896-1993), who was a disciple of Saint Silouan the Athonite(1866-1938). All chapters copyright © 2015 by author Nick Martone, c/o St. George’s Church P.O. Box 38, Edenton, NC. In his first words of this powerful book the Archimandrite states, “Our entire struggle in this life is aimed at discovering our ‘deep heart’ because this is the place where God manifests Himself.” And he continues: “Indeed, true love proceeds from humility…As long as we are proud we will be separated from our heart…and will end up as dry leaves blown about aimlessly by the wind.” The first stage of the spiritual life, in the Elder’s teaching, is direct, unmerited experience of God: “This direct, experiential knowledge of the true God is synonymous with the mystical theology of our Church. It is mystical knowledge, not because it is somehow ‘mysterious,’ but because it is not external to man: it is lived by the ‘inner man of the heart’ as a gift of the Holy Spirit.” “The whole point of the first stage in the spiritual life is this: to implant in our being an indelible sense of purpose; the unshakable knowledge that we have been created to dwell forever with the Lord.” Yet at some point, this unmerited gift is withdrawn from the lover of God. As with the Prodigal, because our nature is yet imperfect, because we are still gripped by proclivities that set our will into opposition to God’s, we squander the unmerited gift, the Pearl of Great Price: “And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance….And there arose a mighty famine in that country and he began to be in want.” “A far country;” what does this mean? The Archimandrite says that, “this far country of famine is the world we see around us, the world which has rejected God and his grace and whose inhabitants live desolate….This famine of the heart is a terrible thing.” And here begins the second stage of the spiritual life—the time of a man’s “coming to himself.” This is the time of the purification of the inner man. It is the time of “charismatic despair,” of a frank meeting with one’s utter spiritual poverty, and an entering into the suffering of Christ. This suffering is, indeed, a grace given to us by God. For, as the Elder teaches, if we are to enter into the life of Christ, the portal is His suffering. “Christ Himself was forsaken for our salvation, and we come to know the length and depth of His way through our own experience of forsakenness. This is the very essence of the second stage.” Inquiries to: St. George’s Orthodox Church, Edenton, NC. Telephone 482-2006 The Archimandrite writes of “the consolation of the Cross, of suffering love. To accept the narrow way of affliction is something man can only do when the Holy One, Who is forever being crucified and suffering in this world, touches his life….As small leaves on the great tree of humanity, our destiny is inseparable from that of the whole world. So when man, having received grace, experiences the whole weight of this tragic destiny, prayer for the whole world comes naturally, and he is led into the universality of Christ, Who desires the salvation of all.” 8 Albemarle Tradewinds March 2016 albemarletradewinds.com

Scalia Taught Us the Right Way to Interpret the Constitution By: Diana Devine Baum We have all read articles recently on the life and legacy of the great United States Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. Scalia once said, “I don’t worry about my legacy. Just do your job right…” In that respect, I’d like to tell you about how Scalia did his job RIGHT and created a legacy that has taught legions how to properly interpret the Constitution of the United States of America. In the words of Justice Scalia, “As I have observed before, the Constitution does not forbid the government to enforce traditional moral and sexual norms.… It is enough to say that the Constitution neither requires nor forbids our society to approve of same-sex marriage, much as it neither requires nor forbids us to approve of no-fault divorce, polygamy, or the consumption of alcohol.” What, then, is the ideology that Scalia has influenced the nation over, with his strict adherence to and his incredible intellect? The answer is “textual originalism” (also known in several other variations of the like). A textual originalist looks to the actual text of the constitution and the original meaning of it. This type of textual analysis begins with looking at what are known as the Federalist papers. The Federalist Papers are brutal arguments and debates that dragged on as to what exactly our founding fathers included in and what they excluded from the text of the constitution. These countless articles, speeches and documents written in argument for and against the Constitution by our founding fathers are insightful, intriguing and essential to understanding the Right way to read the constitution. Asking yourself, WHY they argued these specific issues is the key. The Federalist Papers help us answer questions like “Is the bill of rights an exclusive list of rights, or are other rights that are fundamentally constitutional?” Scalia was a scholar of the original documents that lead to the development of the constitution by the founding fathers. His expertise in support of original textualism was unmatched and the loss of which will alter the course of the Supreme Court’s future opinions. The alternate view – which will hold the majority if another liberal justice is appointed by Obama – is the “Living Constitution.” A living Constitution is one that adapts to new circumstances, without being formally amended (essentially “Judge made Law”). If the Living Constitution ideology becomes the majority on the bench there will be no end as to what Supreme Court can decide is the Supreme Law of the land. The Constitution will no longer be the Constitution of the United States of America, it will be whatever the majority feels it should be. That is why the death of Antonin Scalia will personally affect every single one of us. Scalia truly loved the Constitution and wanted to protect it. The Constitution of the United States of America is the oldest and the shortest constitution of any government in the world. There is a reason why our constitution has lasted over 200 years. One of which is for Justices like Scalia. In the words of Scalia, “A Constitution is not meant to facilitate change. It is meant to impede change, to make it difficult to change.” But if you do want change Justice Scalia urges, “Persuade your fellow citizens it’s a good idea and pass a law. That’s what democracy is all about. It’s not about nine superannuated judges who have been there too long, imposing these demands on society.” – Justice Scalia facebook.com/AlbemarleTradingPost Albemarle Tradewinds March 2016 9