Nasterea Domnului 2011!

Nasterea Domnului se aseamana cu               Pilda Semanatorului.

Semanatorul nu seamana oricum, ci la vreme potrivita. Asa si Nasterea Domnului s-a intamplat la vreme potrivita (Galateni 4, 4).

Sarbatorind-o si cinstind-o an de an, momentul Craciunului devine pentru fiecare dintre noi vreme potrivita de reincepere a lucrarii la mantuirea noastra prin alergarea spre Cel ce vine.

Iesirea semanatorului la camp indica o apropiere intre el si locul unde se arunca samanta incoltitoare de viata. Asa si Dumnezeu, prin trimiterea in lume a Fiului Sau, iese din transcendenta Sa absoluta si se apropie de creatia Sa in mod cu totul surprinzator.

Samanta divina, viata, este anti-apocalipsa, este marele dar facut de El celor ce vor lucra la recoltarea roadelor.

Asa cum samanta e viata si hrana spre viata, in acelasi timp Nasterea Domnului ni-L ofera pe Fiul lui Dumnezeu ca viata a lumii si hrana spre viata prin Cuvantul Sau si prin Sfanta Euharistie in care ni se lasa mereu prezent. Nasterea Domnului reprezinta harul lui Dumnezeu fata de noi, dar si dorul Sau.

Iisus Mantuitorul seamana in lume samanta acestui dar si dor, chemandu-ne la recoltarea mantuitoare aducatoare de permanenta bucurie asa cum mentioneaza colinda:
“Care bucurie si aici sa fie, de la tinerete pan-la batranete.”

The Birth of Christ represents a model for planting seeds.

A farmer cannot plant whenever he chooses, but rather only at the appropriate times of year. Likewise, the birth of Christ took place at the right time and place (Galatians 4, 4)

In celebrating and honoring the birth of Christ each year, Christmas creates the perfect opportunity for each one of us to renew our efforts to redeem ourselves.

When a farmer plants, he becomes closer, creating a oneness with the place from which life springs when the time is right. God did much the same, by sending His only son into the world. He left his absolute transcendence and became closer to His creation in a completely surprising way.

The divine seed, life, is anti-apocalyptic. It is the great gift from the Creator for those who will work to harvest what gets eroded.

The seed represents life and nourishment; while God offers us the birth of Christ, His only Son, as the life of the world, as well as spiritual nourishment for life through the Holy Eucharist. The birth of Christ is God’s greatest gift to us.

Our savior, Jesus Christ, plants His gift in each of us and calls us to harvest our own salvation which brings an everlasting joy as mentioned in the Christmas carol, “Joy to all, from young to old.” (by Fr. Theodor Damian)

“Astazi vin sa-mi plec genunchii
inaintea ieslei Tale,
Copilas din alta lume
obosit de frig si cale.

Si-mi plec inima si fata,
Copilas din zarea albastra,
si ma-nchin cu umilinta
calator prin lumea noastra.

Nu am smirna ca si magii
nici tamaie si nici aur,
lacrimile pocaintei
imi sunt singurul tezaur.

Ti le-aduc acum ‘nainte
cu sfiala si rusine,
Copilas venit din Ceruri
sa porti Crucea pentru mine.”

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Biserica Sf. Maria Anaheim

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2011 ROEA Retreat AZ

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Staging a So-Cal Earthquake in Romania

By Raymond Hardie

Why have a trio of UC San Diego professors brought an earthquake to Iasi in eastern Romania?

It is a humid evening in this former capital of Moldavia, the most eastern province of Romania, bordering Ukraine. A dress rehearsal of Molière’s “Misanthrope” is underway in the contemporary Black Box.

Molière in Romanian sounds Italian with an overlay of Slavic phrasing, and is intense, almost breathless at times. The three UC San Diego Theatre and Dance professors, Andrei Both, Judith Dolan and Gabor Tompa, watch from tiered seating, far from their classrooms and studios in La Jolla.

The Black Box is situated in the grounds of the Vasile Alecsandri Teatrul National. Built by the celebrated Viennese architects Helmer and Fellner in 1894, the National Theater is being renovated behind a girdle of scaffolding and swathes of canvas, leaving the Black Box as the present home of the company. A city of monasteries, five universities and numerous tree-shaded parks, Iasi (pronounced Yash) celebrates its prolific literary past with busts of its authors, poets and playwrights everywhere. And the gutted interior of the Teatrul National with its ornate gilded ceilings, chandeliers and murals is a fitting pantheon to the city’s long-lasting affair with literature.

It is in the middle of the fifth act of “Misanthrope” and Gabor Tompa, head of directing in Theatre and Dance at UC San Diego, interrupts the dialogue between the male and female leads ,Alceste and Celimène. He jumps up onto the highly polished black, stage floor, in constant motion, gesturing and answering questions, “Da da” (yes, yes) and “Nu Nu” (no, no). Andrei Both, the graduate design professor at UC San Diego joins him on the stage. A conversation ensues about the height of an elaborate crystal chandelier suspended over the action. The set, which was built in Bucharest and trucked the 500 km to Iasi, is chic and sparse, with reflective black surfaces, weirdly angled bright red bookshelves, a grand piano, and a gleaming white bath positioned behind cut glass panels.

“Some of the ideas for the set came from the images of very high-end New York lofts, the kind of thing you see in the magazine Object,” says Both. “It was important that it looked like a feminine space – Celimène’s space. The space of an empowered woman.”
Meanwhile Judith Dolan, a Tony-award-winning costume designer, who is also a professor of design at UC San Diego, takes her Romanian assistant Mariuca aside. A new dress has not yet arrived, or may have arrived and not been picked up or may have been picked up but … There is a certain Romanian logic to all of this, and Dolan is patient. She, too, has a strong sense of what the show will look like and is persistent in the face of glitches. “The fundamental thing was that if I was to design Molière for Romania, I was going to design it with a sense of the American spirit,” she says. “That relates to everyone in Celimène’s household – a sense of the casual and nonchalant, people who create their own sense of fashion. It is very much a “Misanthrope” that is NOT set in Paris.” At that stage, one of the actors walks onstage in one of the “non-Paris” designs, an actor in a zoot suit with a bold pink fedora. “I found that in LA and brought it over with me,” Dolan says with a knowing smile.

Tompa and Both pace the set – the upcoming earthquake is on their mind. Both makes sure that a large bird of prey, a symbol of Molière’s scheming characters is well anchored. He strokes its feathers. “You have to be resourceful when you are designing here,” he says. “We needed a predatory bird on the set and it came from the natural history museum here in Iasi.”

Tompa calls Both to take one last look at the chandelier and makes sure the actors know where they will stand. That SoCal earthquake concept is about to be tested. “We conceived the idea of the earthquake in Act V during our working sessions in San Diego,” says Tompa. “It’s symbolic of the break in the play, a split between what has been happening and what will. The moment of decision, if you will.”

And is a concept that will not be lost here as earthquakes are not alien to Moldavia (the latest at 4.7 being in May of this year).

Before they start again, Silva Helena Schmidt , who plays Celimène, needs to talk to Dolan about her dress and the amount of physical action she has in this act. She is a handsome young woman, with a cascade of tight golden curls and a figure accentuated by the svelte silken dress that Dolan has designed. The costumes are both revealing and commanding. “I saw Celimène as a very smart young woman who is determined to make her own rules in a society. A little brash, but sexy in her strength,” says Dolan. “She is often played as more of a tease, more of a flighty character.”

The actors resume. The sharp intensity of the exchange between Alceste and Celimène conveys the approaching denouement. A black-suited servant enters and indicates that Alceste must leave. A moment later, the Black Box theater suddenly quivers and trembles with its SoCal-inspired earthquake. The floor splits in a wide, jagged V-shape and pours white smoke into an ice-blue neon-colored light. The chandelier jerks in a wild spasm. The actors stop, take in the moment and then smile. “Da. Da.” They like this, now they understand its context.

The “Misanthrope” will run in repertory in the Vasile Alecsandri National Theatrul’s Black Box throughout the performance season; it opens Sept. 23. It’s a bit far to travel for a ticket and anyway it is already sold out. They do love their theater in Iasi.

Professors Both, Dolan and Tompa teach fall classes at UC San Diego. Will “Misanthrope” be on the curriculum? They laugh. No. Maybe next year when they get time to dissect and evaluate the experience.


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Saptamana Patimilor 2011

In mormant, Viata,
Pus ai fost, Hristoase,
Si s-au spaimantat ostirile ingeresti,
Plecaciunea Ta cea multa preamarind.

Multumim Bunului Dumnezeu pentru ca ne-a invrednicit sa ajungem si in acest an zilele mantuitoare ale Saptamanii Patimilor Domnului Nostru Iisus Hristos.
Alaturi de Prea Cucernicul Parinte Protopop Constantin Alecse savarsit-am Taina Sfantului Maslu, Sfintele Slujbe ale Deniilor, Prohodul Domnului si toate celelalte randuieli tipiconale premergatoare Sfintelor Pasti.
Apoi in Sambata Mare, in prezenta PS Sale Prea Sfintitului Parintelui nostru Irineu de la Vatra Romaneasca am liturghisit Sfanta si Dumnezeiasca Liturghie a Sfantului Vasile cel Mare la Biserica Romana “Sfintii Arhangheli Mihail si Gavriil” din Palm Springs.

Inchinamu-ne Patimilor Tale, Hristoase. Arata-ne noua si Slavita Invierea Ta!

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Se clatina pamantul …

Pamantul se sfarama, pamantul sare in bucati, se clatina pamantul.
(Isaia XXIV, 19)

Inalt Prea Sfintitul Parinte Teofan, Mitropolitul Moldovei si Bucovinei

Pamantul s-a tulburat din nou in maruntaiele sale in Tara soarelui rasare si se manifesta violent, spre disperarea oamenilor. Milioanele de victime ale cutremurelor cu revarsari de ape din Asia, ale uraganelor din America, ale imbolnavirilor de SIDA din Africa, ale inundatiilor din Romania si din toata Europa din anii trecuti si acum ale necrutatorului cutremur din Japonia ne obliga la o reflectie asupra cauzelor dezastrului. Ce s-a intamplat, oare, in adancul pamantului, pe pamant, in ape si in vazduh? Cine este responsabil de toate acestea?

Credem si marturisim ca omul, asezat de Dumnezeu ca „preot” si slujitor al creatiei, este responsabil, prin faptele sale, de tot ceea ce se intampla in natura.

Natura este prietenul omului, nu dusmanul sau. Urmarind insa numai propriile sale interese, omul deranjeaza lumea inconjuratoare in echilibrele sale asezate in ea de Creator. Consecinta acestei atitudini lipsite de comunicare pasnica si respectuoasa cu natura este transformarea ei, din prieten si aliat, in dusman. „La noi in Balcani – spunea Sfantul Nicolae Velimirovici – se pastreaza inca ceva din respectul vechi fata de natura. Traieste inca obiceiul ca sateanul sa-si faca cruce zicand: Doamne, iarta, cand vrea sa taie copacul, sa coseasca iarba sau sa junghie animalul. Popoarele care au declarat razboi naturii (…) au atras asupra lor nenumarate rele. Cel care rupe legaturile prietenesti cu natura le rupe in acelasi timp si cu Dumnezeu”.

Exploatarea naturii de catre societatea tehnologica moderna este, in general, recunoscuta ca responsabila pentru unele dezastre naturale. Ceea ce insa nu se marturiseste indeajuns este adevarul ca tot ce se petrece in natura este o extindere a ceea ce se afla in inima omului. O analiza atenta si responsabila a istoriei omenirii arata faptul ca sfintenia sau pacatul din om antreneaza intreaga creatie, influentand-o in bine sau in rau.

Viata curata a omului aduce bucurie si se revarsa ca un har de binecuvantare asupra universului. Atunci cand omul isi umple viata de Dumnezeu, zidirea, in totalitatea ei, primeste lumina si slujeste omului fara rezerve. Se explica astfel de ce ramurile copacilor se inclina la trecerea unui sfant, de ce otravurile devin nevatamatoare pentru un om cu viata sfanta (Luca 10, 19) si de ce animalele inceteaza de a mai fi salbatice in apropierea unui om pacificat launtric. Acest adevar, transpus la nivelul unui popor intreg sau al societatii umane in general, are drept consecinta manifestarea naturii in mod pasnic, fara convulsii.

Dimpotriva, generalizarea pacatului prelungeste raul in interiorul creatiei si aceasta se manifesta, in consecinta, la adresa omului prin cutremure, inundatii, boli, seceta etc. Dupa cum natura este receptiva la bunatatea, modestia, credinta si frumusetea sufleteasca a omului, in acelasi fel, ea nu este indiferenta fata de rautatea, trufia, pretentia luciferica la superioritate manifestate de oameni. Nici furtunile, nici trasnetele ucigatoare, nici norii de lacuste, nici revarsarea nemiloasa a apelor nu vin la intamplare. Ele prelungesc furtunile, agitatia, seceta sufleteasca, necredinta si cutremurele ce au loc in sufletele oamenilor si intre oameni. „Pamantul va fi pustiit – avertizeaza profetul Isaia poporul plin de pacate – pamantul este in chin si sleit (…) Pamantul este pangarit sub locuitorii lui, caci ei au calcat legea, au infrant oranduirea si legamantul stricatu-l-au in veci! Pentru aceasta, blestemul mistuie pamantul si locuitorii indura pedeapsa lor” (Isaia 23, 3-6). „Pamantul se sfarama, pamantul sare in bucati, se clatina pamantul (…) Pacatele apasa asupra lui” (Isaia 24, 19-20). Traind in duhul acestei conceptii biblice, taranii satului romanesc de altadata incercau sa afle ce pacat mare fusese savarsit in obstea lor pentru faptul ca o napasta sau alta se revarsa asupra ogoarelor, asupra animalelor, asupra lor insisi.

Dezastrele care au zdruncinat atat de puternic viata umanitatii nu sunt, oare, o reflectare, o rasfrangere in natura a raului devastator din noi? Ca reactie la tot ce s-a intamplat in urma inundatiilor, s-a hotarat construirea de ziduri si baraje mai inalte si mai puternice pentru a opri, pe viitor, furia apelor. Este o actiune binevenita, absolut necesara. Este, insa, si suficienta? Nu aplicam, oare, aceeasi logica pe care au avut-o oamenii dupa potopul lui Noe? Ei au hotarat sa construiasca turnul Babel. In zilele noastre, ca si atunci, nu se vorbeste despre necesitatea ridicarii unor ziduri interioare care sa potoleasca furia urii, a dezbinarii, a tendintelor de dezintegrare a familiei si, implicit, a neamului. Nu se vorbeste decat firav, parca ne-ar fi rusine, despre inaltarea unor ziduri educationale si legislative care sa ne apere de furia ucigatoare de suflet si trup a pacatelor contra firii, a avorturilor, a pornografiei.

Cutremurul din Japonia si alte dezastre ale stihiilor naturii sunt si un avertisment adresat omenirii pentru a se intoarce cu fata catre Dumnezeu.

Prin Biserica se ofera lumii posibilitatea primenirii ei pe dinlauntru prin credinta in Intruparea, Moartea si Invierea lui Hristos. Pamantul, apa, vazduhul „asteapta, dupa cuvantul Sfantului Apostol Pavel, cu nerabdare sa se izbaveasca de robia stricaciunii” (Romani 8, 19) si a pacatelor noastre.

Este necesar sa primim in sufletul nostru pe Hristos Dumnezeu, pentru ca El sa ia chip in noi si sa ne mantuiasca. Altfel, nu se stie ce dezastre vom plange in viitor.

Orice zambet plin de tandrete adresat nefericitilor acestei lumi, orice atitudine de iertare pentru cel ce ne-a gresit, orice mangaiere pentru batranul ravasit, orice copil nou nascut, orice rugaciune pentru cei ce „ne iubesc si pentru cei ce ne urasc pe noi”, orice experienta a prezentei lui Dumnezeu in viata noastra se transforma in binecuvantare pentru noi, pentru ceilalti si pentru intreaga creatie. SURSA

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Sunday of Orthodoxy

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Alexandru Trifan

Vatra sufletului meu: bunicul meu, + Alexandru Trifan, la varsta de 88 de ani, citind Psalmul 37 la slujba Utreniei (aprilie 2009).

“Nu ma lasa, Doamne Dumnezeul meu, nu Te departa de la mine;
Ia aminte spre ajutorul meu, Doamne al mantuirii mele.”

In memoria bunicului meu, Alexandru Trifan citind Psalmul 50 si cantarea bisericeasca “Iubi-Te-voi Doamne” pe care a indragit-o atat de mult.

17 iunie 2007!
Eram in Sfanta Biserica in strana dreapta cand am facut aceasta fotografie. Langa mine era barbatul al carui tata a murit cand am fost in lagarul din Siberia, Rusia. Va las ca amintire si aceasta fotografie. Dragi nepoti si copii, cand o sa vorbiti despre mine, sa va uitati pe aceasta fotografie si sa va mangaiati cu mult dor. Va sarut! Alexandru, la optzeci si sase de ani.

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Doamne, tinde-Ti patrafirul
peste fata mea de lut,
sufletu-mi neghiob si slut
sa-l albesti cu tibisirul
cand amurgu-si toarce firul
peste-un pic de gand tacut.

Sa-Ti vorbesc, ne-aud vecinii,
iar osanda e pacat;
eu stau pe-un colt plecat
si sa-mi scriu povara vinii,
pe cand Tu, la vremea cinii,
sa-mi soptesti ca m-ai iertat

Aciuiati pe-o vatra noua
vom purcede spre nou cant;
eu, o mana de pamant,
Tu, lumina-n strop de roua,
migali-vom cartea-n doua:
Tu, vreo trei, eu, un cuvant.

Si-ncaltandu-Te-n sandale
sa pornesti pe drum stelar,
intr-ale slovelor chenar
eu opri-Te-voi din cale
si-n minunea vrerii Tale
Te-oi sorbi dintr-un pahar.

IPS Sa Bartolomeu Anania

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