As I grasp this medium, you will witness all sorts of flailings and false starts. As with any new mode of communication, experimentation provides the best learning. To set the stage, it seems a short bio might be in order. This is the first of several parts. I will attempt to include a gem from the Holy Scriptures or the sacred writings of the Fathers of the Church with each post.
I am a native of New Jersey, USA. I grew up, second of seven children, in a typical post WWII suburban large family. Unfortunately, my father died young, leaving my mother with the seven of us, 1 month old up to 11 years old. That led to a state of affairs consisting of general familial chaos, out of which I survived to seek my way in life. Having been raised Roman Catholic and attending Catholic school up through the 9th grade, I was unprepared for the cultural decadence which struck in 1967: the “summer of love” in San Francisco, the full-on effect of the reforms of Vatican II desecrating the old Roman Mass (who wants to go to church anymore?), the Six-Day War in Palestine, along with all of its apocalyptic portendings, and that lining up with adolescence and coming-of-age. Yikes! I actually lived through that. To be continued…
photo break for the family: The lady next to me in the picture above, Christina–properly, Khouria (see NOTE below, on this title) Christina–is my beloved wife, with whom I have journeyed in this life for now approaching 33 years in marriage (our anniversary is on May 31st). By the way, rejoice with us: our only son, Christopher (Reader John) O’Grady, of Boise, Idaho, is engaged to be married this summer!
NOTE: “Khouria” (Arabic, with no direct equivalent in English), pronounced “hoo-REE-ah” (a heavy initial H sound), is the title appropriate for the priest’s wife. So, in Orthodox Christianity, we call the priest “father” and his wife “khouria.” In our sister churches, the Greeks call her “presvytera” [prez-vee-TEH-rah], and the Russians, “matushka” [MAH-toosh-kah].
“We do not seek conquest, but rather the return of brethren, the separation of whom is tearing us”–St Gregory of Nazianzen (4th century).