Una carta de un cristiano ortodoxo a nuestros Hermanos Nativos Americanos ╰⊰¸¸.•¨* Spanish

http://latinamericaofmyheart.wordpress.com

LATIN AMERICA OF MY HEART

Una carta de un cristiano ortodoxo

a nuestros Hermanos Nativos Americanos

El 16 de septiembre de 2009, vi un documental en la televisión que presenta la vida de una de las tribus indígenas que viven en la región amazónica. En Grecia, sabemos muy poco por estas tribus: sólo que son antiguos, que sus antepasados eran sabios y valientes guerreros, con naciones bien organizadas y civilizaciones notables, y que desde el siglo 15 en adelante, varios señores de la guerra blancos llevaron guerreros vestidos de armadura fuerte que vino del mar y que masacraron a los habitantes de estas tribus, saquearon sus tesoros, destruyeron sus ciudades y aldeas, y se apoderaron de sus tierras. Es en esta tierra que fue arrebatada a los indios que ahora nos encontramos con todos los países que están en el continente conocido como “América”: Norte, Centro y Sur.

Nosotros, los griegos han pasado por más o menos lo mismo. Nosotros también teníamos guerreros sabios y valientes, con estados bien organizados y civilizaciones importantes, y, a partir del siglo 13, varios señores de la guerra blancos llevaron guerreros vestidos de armadura fuerte que vino de la tierra y el mar y masacraron nuestro pueblo, saquearon nuestros tesoros, destruyeron nuestras ciudades y aldeas y tomaron nuestra tierra. Estos señores de la guerra tenían exactamente las mismas banderas como los que destruyeron las vidas de nuestros hermanos, los nativos de América.

A partir del siglo 15, lo que sobró de nuestra tierra fue tomado por otros guerreros bárbaros que vinieron de Oriente, y que, nuestros hermanos nativos de América no habían enfrentado. Ellos también se había apoderado de nuestra tierra, a pesar de que constantemente rebelamos contra ellos, hasta 1830, cuando una gran porción de ella fue liberada, poco a poco. Sin embargo, todavía éramos débiles y desgarrados por las guerras civiles entre nuestros propios señores de la guerra (valientes, pero no sabios; por suerte hubo algunos sabios), y así, en vez de ser verdaderamente libres y fuertes, caímos en las manos de nuestros soberanos anteriores, que nos colocaron bajo su autoridad- no con las armas en esta ocasión, pero con astucia conocida como política y diplomacia.

Incluso en nuestros días, todavía estamos luchando para liberarnos y para recuperar la sabiduría y la valentía de nuestros antepasados.

Por lo tanto, mis hermanos indígenas, creo que puedo entender sus tribulaciones, suficientemente para dirigir unas palabras a ustedes. De alguna manera, yo soy uno de ustedes.

En el documental que he mencionado anteriormente, vi algo que profundamente herido mi corazón: algunos indios estaban de pie en la orilla del mar, en el lugar donde los invasores blancos habían desembarcado del mar y habían plantado allí una Cruz gigante, justo antes de comenzar su “trabajo” de exterminio de los indios. Los indios de hoy le dijeron a los cineastas que estaban preparando el documental: “Este es el lugar donde los hombres blancos comenzaron a apoderarse de nuestra tierra. La Cruz es el espíritu de Continue reading “Una carta de un cristiano ortodoxo a nuestros Hermanos Nativos Americanos ╰⊰¸¸.•¨* Spanish”

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A Letter from an Orthodox Christian to our Native Americans Brothers

http://heavenonearthorthodoxy.wordpress.com

HEAVEN ON EARTH – ORTHODOXY

A Letter from an Orthodox Christian to

our Native Americans Brothers

On September 16, 2009, I saw a documentary on television presenting the life of one of the indigenous tribes living in the Amazon region. In Greece we know very little about these tribes: only that they are ancient, that their ancestors were wise and brave warriors, with well-organized nations and noteworthy civilizations, and that from the 15th century onwards, various white warlords led armor-clad warriors who came from the sea and who slaughtered the people of these tribes, ransacked their treasures, destroyed their cities and villages, and seized their land. It is on this land which was seized from the Indians that we now find all the countries that are on the continent known as “America”: North, Central, and South.

We Greeks have gone through more or less the same. We too had wise and brave warriors, with well-organized states and important civilizations, and from the 13th century onwards, various white warlords leading armor-clad warriors came from both land and sea and slaughtered our people, ransacked our treasures, destroyed our cities and villages and seized our land. These warlords had exactly the same flags as those who destroyed the lives of our brothers, the natives of America.

From the 15th century onwards, what was left of our land was seized by other barbarian warriors who came from the East, whose like our native American brothers had not confronted. These had likewise seized our land, even though we constantly revolted against them, until 1830, when a large portion of it was liberated, little by little. However, we were still weak and torn by civil wars among our own warlords (brave, but not wise ones; fortunately there were a few wise ones), and so, instead of becoming truly free and strong, we fell into the hands of our previous overlords, who placed us under their authority – not with weapons this time, but with cunning known as politics and diplomacy.
Even in our day, we are still struggling to free ourselves and to regain the wisdom and bravery of our ancestors.

So, my Native Americans brothers, I think I can understand your tribulations, enough to address a few words to you. In a manner of sorts, I am, so to speak, “one of you”.

In the documentary that I mentioned previously, I saw something that deeply wounded my heart: some Native Americans were standing on the ocean shore, at the place where the white invaders had disembarked from the sea and had planted a giant Cross, just before beginning their “labour” of Continue reading “A Letter from an Orthodox Christian to our Native Americans Brothers”

Επιστολή Ορθόδοξου Χριστιανού προς τους αδελφούς μας Ινδιάνους

http://havefaithorthodoxy.wordpress.com

HAVE FAITH – ORTHODOXY

Επιστολή Ορθόδοξου Χριστιανού

προς τους αδελφούς μας Ινδιάνους

Απόψε, στις 16 Σεπτεμβρίου 2009, είδα στην τηλεόραση ένα ντοκιμανταίρ, που παρουσίαζε τη ζωή μιας από τις αυτόχθονες φυλές, που ζουν στην περιοχή του Αμαζόνιου. Για τις φυλές αυτές στην Ελλάδα ξέρουμε πολύ λίγα: ότι είναι αρχαίες, ότι οι πρόγονοί τους ήταν σοφοί και γενναίοι πολεμιστές, με καλά οργανωμένα κράτη και σπουδαίους πολιτισμούς, και ότι από το 15ο αιώνα διάφοροι λευκοί πολέμαρχοι οδήγησαν σιδηρόφρακτους πολεμιστές που ήρθαν από τη θάλασσα και έσφαξαν τους ανθρώπους των φυλών αυτών, λεηλάτησαν τους θησαυρούς τους, κατέστρεψαν τις πόλεις και τα χωριά τους και άρπαξαν τη γη τους. Σ’ αυτή τη γη, την αρπαγμένη από τους Ινδιάνους, βρίσκονται τώρα όλα τα κράτη της ηπείρου που ονομάζεται Αμερική, Βόρεια, Κεντρική και Νότια.

Εμείς οι Έλληνες έχουμε περάσει περίπου τα ίδια. Κι εμείς είχαμε προγόνους σοφούς και γενναίους πολεμιστές, με καλά οργανωμένα κράτη και σπουδαίους πολιτισμούς, και από το 13ο αιώνα διάφοροι λευκοί πολέμαρχοι οδήγησαν σιδηρόφρακτους πολεμιστές που ήρθαν από τη στεριά και τη θάλασσα και έσφαξαν τους ανθρώπους μας, λεηλάτησαν τους θησαυρούς μας, κατέστρεψαν τις πόλεις και τα χωριά μας και άρπαξαν τη γη μας. Οι πολέμαρχοι αυτοί είχαν ακριβώς τις ίδιες σημαίες με εκείνους που κατέστρεψαν τη ζωή των αδελφών μας, των ιθαγενών της Αμερικής.

Από το 15ο αιώνα ό,τι είχε απομείνει από τη γη μας το άρπαξαν άλλοι βάρβαροι πολεμιστές, που ήρθαν από την ανατολή και που δεν τους γνώρισαν οι Ινδιάνοι αδελφοί μας. Και κράτησαν τη γη μας, παρόλο που επαναστατούσαμε συνεχώς εναντίον τους, μέχρι που, από το 1830, κομμάτι κομμάτι, απελευθερώθηκε ένα μεγάλο μέρος της. Αλλά και πάλι ήμασταν αδύναμοι και σπαραγμένοι από εμφύλιους πολέμους ανάμεσα σε δικούς μας πολέμαρχους (γενναίους αλλά όχι σοφούς – ευτυχώς υπήρχαν και αρκετοί σοφοί), κι έτσι, αντί να γίνουμε αληθινά ελεύθεροι και δυνατοί, πέσαμε στα χέρια των προηγούμενων κυρίαρχων, που μας Continue reading “Επιστολή Ορθόδοξου Χριστιανού προς τους αδελφούς μας Ινδιάνους”

Native American Pathways to Orthodoxy – Marriane Poulos

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AMERICA OF MY HEART

Native American Pathways to Orthodoxy

by

Marriane Poulos

Source:

http://www.stlukeorthodox.com

http://www.stlukeorthodox.com/html/evangelist/1998/nativeamericanpaths.cfm

ST. LUKE ORTHODOX

I first felt the words of Christ come to life on a Pueblo Native American reservation in New Mexico, at “Ok’Ay Oh Ween Geh,” (Place of the Strong People.) The first time I stepped into the home of my Pueblo friend I was told, “This is not just my home, it is yours, too. And know that you always have a place to come home to, no matter how long it takes you to return.” How Christ-like this Indian elder was. The more our friendship grew, the more I was able to admire his goodness. Once I even saw him give the last of his money to an enemy. I also began to learn more of his people’s history. When the Spanish first came to the Southwest they called the Native Americans pagans. By force the colonizers converted them to Catholicism. They severely beat and hung many tribal leaders unless they allowed themselves to be baptized, immediately. They were made slaves. They were given Spanish names. “The Pueblo,” as a name did not exist yet. To themselves they were simply known only as “The People”. So it was in this atmosphere of evil The People were introduced to Christ, for the very first time. Despite the surrounding cruelty in which the Word came to them, they accepted it anyway. And this is what made the Native Americans such great Christians – they forgave their enemies.

To many Native American elders, the Word and the Way of Christ seemed so much like the teachings the Great Spirit had given to them. When they heard the scriptures they were convinced of Jesus, but they wondered why these bringers of his worWord were so unlike him – searching the Southwest for the mythic “Seven Cities of Gold,” My elder friend told me, “We knew where the gold was, but, you see, in an Indian way it would be bad for the people. It might make us greedy or start fighting, so we just left it buried there. In the Indian way a person’s worth was not determined by what he could accumulate, but by how much he could give.” Another Native friend of mine once told me, “Our ancestors grew up fearing the cross.” To them it had become a symbol of violence and death, comparable to the swastika.

One can only wonder how it would have been had the Pueblo Indians been introduced to Christ through the Orthodox Christian church like the Aleutian peoples of Alaska. The Aleuts, who were not mono-theistic, were taught the Christian gospel over a period of then years, and not so much by teaching and preaching, but by personal example. The life of Orthodox Saint Hermen of Alaska was one of humble service to the Kodiak people. His miracles of healing and prophesies concerning the future confirmed the Sugpiaq faith in Orthodox Christianity.

Today Alaska has become the home of four Orthodox saints, all who have been canonized by the church. This includes the martyred Kodiak Aleut Peter who died under torture in California for refusing to renounce Orthodoxy, after being captured by the Spanish. (Alaskan Missionary Spirituality, edited by Michael Oleska) Perhaps there are many pathways to the Giver of Life, Who is Everywhere Present, Who Fills All Things.

But the question remains, can one reject Christ and still achieve spiritual wholeness? The famous medicine man Black Elk believed the Indian tradition had been given by God to prepare the Indians for the revelation of Christ. (Michael Streltenkamp’s Black Elk, Holy Man of the Oglala, University of Oklahoma Press.) In comparing the various Native American Traditions to the mystic heart of the ancient Orthodox Christian Tradition (the original persecuted Christian Church of Christ,) we can find several corresponding links supporting this very idea. In both traditions we begin prayers by offering sweet fragrance to our Father in Heaven, or in the Native American tradition, to “Sky Father.” The Native Americans honor The Great Mystery in all the directions, and pray facing east, just as we Orthodox face east in prayer. The Bishops of the Orthodox church face east, south, west and north – to honor the Sun, Jesus Christ, rising in all the directions.

The traditional Native American idea of the Creator is expressed as The Great Mystery, and The Great Spirit. The Orthodox Church also shares the notion of God as Mystery, expressed beautifully by Bishop Kallistos Ware in his book,The Orthodox Way. He writes how the Greek Fathers “liken man’s encounter with God to the experience of someone walking over the mountains in the mist: he takes a step forward and suddenly finds that he is on the edge of a precipice, with no solid ground beneath his foot but only a bottomless abyss…our normal assumptions are shattered… And so it proves to be for each one who follows the spiritual Way. We go out from the known to the unknown, we advance from light into darkness. We do not simply proceed from the darkness of ignorance into the light of knowledge, but we go forward into greater knowledge which is so much more profound.”

And if the Holy Spirit, as the dynamic, as opposed to the still, aspect of God, in Orthodoxy, can be equated to the Native American concept of The Great Spirit, then perhaps we have reached the point where Christianity can be presented as the fulfillment of Indian tradition – in a new aspect of God. God as Person. A God who came to us to show his humble love for us. A God who experienced manhood out of his deep sympathy. “In his ecstatic love, God unites himself to his creation in the closest of all possible unions, by himself becoming that which he has created.” (Bishop Kallistos Ware)“Behold, I make all things new.” (Rev. 21:5) This does not mean we replace or destroy the old. Many aspects of the Orthodox tradition correspond directly to the ancient beliefs of Native Americans, and perhaps this ancient window can also provide us with a greater scope of the deep Christ Heart.

One of our old, old holy men said,“Every step you take on earth should be a prayer. The power of a pure and good soul is in every person’s heart and will grow as a seed as you walk in a sacred manner. And if every step you take is a prayer, then you will always be walking in a sacred manner” (CharmaineWhiteFaceOglala Lakota).

The Shaman and the Saint

http://alaskaofmyheart.wordpress.com

ALASKA OF MY HEART

The Shaman and the Saint

St. Innocent, Equal to the Apostles had an illustrious career – he began as a simple missionary priest to the Aleut people of Alaska, and wound up as Metropolitan of Moscow. But even though he was an important and influential man, he was humble and unassuming, very aware of his failings and his temptations. Because of this, St. Innocent managed to miss meeting angels.

St. Innocent’s first parish was a series of islands spread over 1700 miles of the Bering Sea. He and his family settled on Unalaska Island, and he made a point of traveling by kayak and ship to as many islands and villages as he could during the year to attend to the needs of his parishioners.

In April of 1828, some people from Unimak Island arrived in Dutch Harbour. They had come to ask him if he would visit them. Unimak is about four hundred miles north east (as the crow flies) from Unalaska. He told the delegation that he’d be happy to come with them, but on the way, he wanted to stop at Akun Island, which lies halfway between Unalaska and Unimak.

We have to remember that in 1828, the telephone hadn’t been invented yet. Mail service was nonexistent, except when the company ships brought parcels and letters from Russia or Sitka, and in any case, the Aleut people, until St. Innocent arrived, hadn’t needed a written language, so they didn’t read or Continue reading “The Shaman and the Saint”

Saint John (Ivan) Smirennikov the Aleut of Alaska (+19th ce.)

http://orthodoxyislove.wordpress.com

ORTHODOXY IS LOVE

Saint John (Ivan) Smirennikov the Aleut of Alaska (+19th ce.)

This Aleut Orthodox tribal elder was known as a local ‘shaman’ who cured illness and told fishermen where to find large catches, just as shaman had done throughout the Arctic since time immemorial.

St. Innocent arrived at Akun Island on June 12, 1828 (O.S.), on a trip from Unalaska to Unimak Island, some 400 miles to the east. This was nearly four years after St. Innocent had first arrived in Alaska. St. Innocent was surprised to note that the people of the island were waiting for him at the shore, dressed in their finest clothing. The islanders greeted him by name, even before he introduced himself to them. When he asked them why they were waiting for him and how they knew his name, he was told that their shaman had informed them of his coming. St. Innocent thought this strange, but as he went about his work on the island, he put the incident out of his mind. However, as the days progressed, it came to his attention that one of the elders of the island, who had diligently come to services, and had prepared for and received Holy Communion, was unhappy with him. St. Innocent, wishing to avoid all misunderstandings, called to meet the man, known as Ivan Smirennikov.

The meeting took place, and Smirennikov expressed dissatisfaction that St. Innocent hadn’t asked why the islanders called him a shaman, even though the title bothered Smirennikov. As it turns out, Smirennikov had been baptized by Hieromonk Makary, and after his departure, he told St. Innocent, he had continually been visited almost daily for thirty years by two bright figures, who taught him in the ways of the faith. He, in turn, shared this with the rest of the village. These figures would also sometimes tell him things that were going to happen, which is how the islanders knew that St. Innocent would be arriving and his name. St. Innocent was first curious to meet these two, and he asked Smirennikov if he could meet them as well, and while Smirennikov went to ask if this was permissable, St. Innocent thought the better of it, reasoning that there was no way that demons would spend thirty years instructing someone on matters of the Faith. Furthermore, he considered himself unworthy to come into the presence of these spirits, and that Smirennikov had demonstrated enough to him for him alone that he did not need to meet these spirits to believe.

Before leaving Akun, St. Innocent wrote all these things down, and had them attested to, in writing, by Smirennikov and by his translator, a man by the name of Ivan Pankov. Also, he instructed the Akun islanders to no longer call Smirennikov a shaman. He then sent a copy of his experiences and Smirennikov’s testimony to his bishop, Bishop Michael (Byrudov) of Irkutsk. A reply was eventually received; blessing St. Innocent to go and meet the spirits, should they still be appearing to Ivan Smirennikov on St. Innocent’s next visit to Akun. Unfortunately, by the time St. Innocent visited Akun again, the elder Smirennikov had reposed, and the Angels of Akun appeared to no one else.

Source:

http://arizonaorthodox.com/saints-north-america/ivan-smirennikov-aleut-elder/

ARIZONA ORTHODOX

Find an Orthodox Parish in Canada, USA & Mexico

http://oca.org/parishes

Find an Orthodox Parish in Canada, USA & Mexico