FAITH & CULTURE - NOTES
Book Reviews & Online Resources
• Everyday Saints - Archimandrite Tikhon (Shevkunov)
Thirty years ago, who would have dreamed a book by a Russian Orthodox monk would sweep Russia and sell millions of copies around the world? Using biographical vignettes and photos, its author, paints a powerful picture of the courage and cleverness Orthodox monastics deployed to survive Soviet persecutions, often with real-life humorous results. Archimandrite Tikhon has written a classic work of perseverance that powerfully illuminates the glories and foibles of striving to live a life of faith and truth.
• The Scent of Holiness - Presvytera Constantina Palmer
From the author: "In this book I want to tell you about this beautiful new world of mine, where we live by laws completely different from those in "normal" worldly life-a world of light and love, full of wondrous discoveries, hope, happiness, trials and triumphs, where even our defeats acquire profound significance: a world in which, above all, we can always sense powerful manifestations of divine strength and comfort."
Canadian author Presvytera Constantina Palmer has compiled from personal experience a collection of encounters in monasteries which would normally be inaccessible to most pilgrims. A worthwhile read.
• Paterikon for Kids - Potamitis Publishing
This marvelous collection of ten child-sized books presents the lives of a variety of well-know saints and feasts, including St Nicholas, the Story of the Magi, and the story of the heavenly origins of the Trisagion Hymn ('Holy, Holy, Holy Lord') used in Orthodox services.
For those who have long sought out Orthodox children's books that are beautiful, traditional, and entertaining for young ones, Potamitis Press offers one of the great success stories in spiritual education for Orthodox children.
• Russian Church Dramas on YouTube - "Pankrestos" on YouTube
It's hard to imagine a circle of monastery pilgrims sharing Orthodox Christian teachings through high-tech online drama, without losing the pious spiritual qualities which make the Orthodox faith truly alive.
Yet a small production team in Russia has made it happen, with God's help and inspiration. For the vast majority of people, a monastery pilgrimage is a far-off possibility, yet this remarkable series brings to life the colourful characters of a fictional monastery through traditional stories of spiritual struggle. With thought-provoking titles such as "The Prayers that are Not Heeded", "Obedience: A Puzzling Command", and "The Little Oil Lamp", these outstanding shorts are a easy way for us who are spiritually lazy to rediscover the power of the stories and lives of the saints.
If you've ever dreamed of a good Christian reason to watch YouTube, this is it!
• Eastern Diocese of ROCOR YouTube Channel
After years of many varied and worthwhile attempts to create an Orthodox online media hub, the Eastern American Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad has invested meaningful resources in the production and broadcast of videos showcasing traditional Orthodoxy.
The results are many-faceted, raging from sermons from monastic leaders, to liturgical milestones, to documentaries on local parish life and the stories of miracle-working icons.
There is much to be learned and emulated from this online venture by ROCOR, and much to be gained from its viewing. God willing, many will copy its excellent work.