Dostoyevsky: “There is no more ceaseless or tormenting care for man”

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Fyodor Dostoyevsky.jpg

“There is no more ceaseless or tormenting care for man, as long as he remains free, than to find someone to bow down to as soon as possible. But man seeks to bow down before that which is indisputable, so indisputable that all men at once would agree to the universal worship of it. For the care of these pitiful creatures is not just to find something before which I or some other man can bow down, but to find something that everyone else will also believe in and bow down to, for it must needs be all together. And this need for communality of worship is the chief torment of each man individually, and of mankind as a whole, from the beginning of the ages.”

Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Brothers Karamazov

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Isaac the Syrian: “A cruel and merciless heart is never purified”

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Isaac the Syrian.jpg

“Let there always be a preponderance of mercy with you, even though you don’t feel such mercy in yourself, as God has for the world … A cruel and merciless heart is never purified. A merciful man is the doctor of his own soul, because as it were a by a strong wind from his heart he drives out the darkness of the passions.”

St. Isaac the Syrian, Homilies

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Metropolitan Hilarion: “The Mother of God”

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“The Mother of God stands at the head of the host of saints glorified by the Church. In accordance with ancient tradition, the Church venerates the saints and addresses prayers to them. Accusations that the Church worships mere human beings in the same way as God are unfounded. Greek theology makes a clear distinction between the worship (latreia) of God and the veneration (proskynesis) of saints. The latter are not venerated as gods, but as people who have attained a great spiritual height and who have become united with God. The saints are closely connected with each other and with Christ. In venerating the saints we venerate Christ, who lives in in them:

Christ is the beginning, the middle and the end. He is in all people-the first, the middle and the last. Those who have become saints from one generation to the next through fulfilling the commandments, replace…

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Abbot Tryphon: “the way of humility, the way of the Lord”

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Abbot Tryphon.jpg

“The recently glorified St. Sophrony of Essex, England, himself the spiritual son and biographer of St. Silouan of the Holy Mountain, wrote that the empirical existence is like a pyramid: at the top sit the powerful of the earth, who exercise dominion over others, and at the bottom stand the common people, who demand equality and justice and who are not satisfied with this “pyramid of being.”

Christ, however, took this pyramid and inverted it, putting Himself at the bottom, becoming its Head. In taking upon Himself the weight of our sin, He showed us that we must go downward to be united with Him, the Head of the inverted pyramid, because it is there that the fragrance of the Holy Spirit is found. At the bottom of this inverted pyramid, the power of divine life is found. It is therefore essential for us to find the way to…

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Charles De Gaulle and his daughter, Anne

I never knew this until today.

He will forever have my respect for this.

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Charles and Anne on holiday in Brittany, 1933.jpg Charles and Anne De Gaulle while on holiday in Brittany, 1933

Charles De Gaulle is well known as the leader of the Free French Forces during World War 2, and then later as the President of France. What is not so well known is that his youngest daughter Anne (January 1, 1928 – February 6, 1948) had Down syndrome.
Although public perception of the time was that children born with Down syndrome were a result of their parents alcoholism, venereal disease, or overall degeneracy, the De Gaulles rejected this notion, choosing instead to raise Anne like their other two children. Their personal life became very private and Anne was raised at home, not in an institution as was common practice at the time.
It has been said often that Anne was Charles’ favorite child. Described as a man who ranged from cocky to stoic by nature, he was a different…

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