Wednesday, November 27, 2013

A powerful Thanksgiving Akathist

Greetings to all, this link is to a very moving Akathist, it moved me to tears especially when you consider Fr Petrov's dire situation and Metropolitan Tryphon's motives - a reflection on life at the very end of his own life.  I wish good health, and God's blessings this Thanksgiving for you and all of your loved ones.  The Hymn is titled "Glory to God for all Things," a reference to St. John Chrysostom's last uttered words. This hymn was written by Metropolitan Tryphon shortly before he died, and popularized when found in Fr  Gregory Petrov effects after his death in a prison camp (Gulag). It is a most extraordinary expression of love and thanksgiving reflected upon by Fr Petrov amidst his great suffering.  A touching and fitting reflection on all of the challenges we face in our lives and how even in dire circumstances we can find so many blessings to be thankful for - even if some of them may be hidden to us but live well in the recollections of our past.  I know it's long, but it is an extraordinary Thanksgiving Hymn and I hope you enjoy it.  Also, here's a YouTube Antiochian version complete with a choir. - Lee (Thanks Fr I)

Saturday, November 23, 2013

On the Road to Bitche

Sorry for not keeping up with my posts, but I had to do some business travel. I hope you don't mind some non-UP pics!

I had a free weekend and made the most of it by traveling about 20 miles to see a very historic citadel in the French city of Bitche.

Yup, Bitche straight ahead...
The Citadel was built in the 1600's and improved in the 1700's. The town and the Citadel are near the Maginot Line and held off attackers until the 1900's.  Even the Prussians gave up on their siege of it!

Here's a view from the road as we approach the town.

A formidable edifice
Imagine climbing up these hills on your way to knock on the door...

Looking down from the Citadel grounds
Having climbed the hill, you would next have to climb the wall...

and of course skip over the moat...

Then there might be a problem with arrows and stuff being tossed down from the top of the wall

Yeah, it's a pretty good system
Just to keep the tourists from getting carried away with a medieval flashback I found this reminder...

Need I say more?
I had some time on Sunday so I got in a short hike.  I headed out to Landstuhl and the Burg Nanstein.

The Castle Nanstein
Along the trail to the castle I encountered these guys...

What a neat idea to take a tree stump along a trail and turn it into art!
A little grown in, but still pretty creative!
One last pic.  I know this will bore everybody to engineering tears, but take a peak...

I'm tell'in ya - engineered steps!
Observe a water channel on the right side.  a subtle tilt of the landing towards the channel and a grate that spans the width of the stairs at every other flight of steps (the grate empties into the channel) and you have a system that no matter how much snow melts or rain falls... that building and these steps are going to dry out and the water is going to run straight out onto the plaza below.  And heck if you get tired, check out the great semi-circlular seats at every other non-grated landing... engineered steps I tell you!

Well that's all for now.  Winter camping is coming up, and hopefully some ice fall pics.
Take care everybody!