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Spiritual Notes from the Diocese of Oakland, Charleston and the Mid-Atlantic 
His Grace Bishop Thomas has long provided his flock with appropriate weekly teachings selected from his treasured collection of essays, articles, homilies and more, including many rare pieces from earlier decades of The Word. 

Weekly Bible Study
A weekly study of scripture from His Grace Bishop Thomas, Fr. Stephen DeYoung and the Diocese of Oakland, Charleston and the Mid-Atlantic.

Spiritual Nuggets
Brief meditations and quotations offered by Fr. Noah Bushelli

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"Voice of Grace" Newsletter, St. Mary, Hunt Valley, MD

St. Mary Antiochian Orthodox Church, located in the Hunt Valley region near Baltimore, MD, is led by The Rev. Fr. Damaskinos Issa. The community publishes a monthly newsletter, "Voice of Grace," that features both parish and Archdiocese-wide stories, and spiritual encouragement for the faithful.

June 7, 2017 + Part II: Address to Young Men on the Right Use of Greek Literature

From St. Basil the Great

Outline of Sections 3-4

III. Profane learning should ornament the mind, as foliage graces the fruit-bearing tree.

IV. In studying pagan lore one must discriminate between the helpful and the injurious, accepting the one, but closing one's ears to the siren song of the other.

Sections 3-4

III. If, then, there is any affinity between the two literatures, a knowledge of them should be useful to us in our search for truth; if not, the comparison, by emphasizing the contrast, will be of no small service in strengthening our regard for the better one. With what now may we compare these two kinds of education to obtain a simile? Just as it is the chief mission of the tree to bear its fruit in its season, |104 though at the same time it puts forth for ornament the leaves which quiver on its boughs, even so the real fruit of the soul is truth, yet it is not without advantage for it to embrace the pagan wisdom, as also leaves offer shelter to the fruit, and an appearance not untimely. That Moses, whose name is a synonym for wisdom, severely trained his mind in the learning of the Egyptians,7 and thus became able to appreciate their deity.8 Similarly, in later days, the wise Daniel is said to have studied the lore of the Chaldaeans while in Babylon,9 and after that to have taken up the sacred teachings.

May 24, 2017 + Part I: Address to Young Men on the Right Use of Greek Literature

From St. Basil the Great

Outline of Sections 1-2

I. Introduction: Out of the abundance of his experience the author will advise young men as to the pagan literature, showing them what to accept, and what to reject.

II. To the Christian the life eternal is the supreme goal, and the guide to this life is the Holy Scriptures; but since young men cannot appreciate the deep thoughts contained therein, they are to study the profane writings, in which truth appears as in a mirror.

Sections 1-2

I. Many considerations, young men, prompt me to recommend to you the principles which I deem most desirable, and which I believe will be of use to you if you will adopt them. For my time of life, my many-sided training, yea, my adequate experience in those vicissitudes of life which teach their lessons at every turn,1 have so familiarized me with human affairs, that I am able to map out the safest course for those just starting upon their careers. By nature's common bond I stand in the same relationship to you as your parents, so that I am no whit behind them in my concern for you. Indeed, if I do not misinterpret your feelings, you no longer crave your parents when you come to me. Now if you should receive my words with gladness, you would be in the second class of those who, according to Hesiod, merit praise; if not, I should say nothing disparaging, but no doubt you yourselves would remember the passage in which that poet says: 'He is best who, of himself, recognizes what is his duty, and he also is good who follows the course marked out by others, but he who does neither of these things is of no use under the sun,' 2

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