Month: March 2017

My Journey

My name is Nadia Zhdanov. All through my childhood I lived in Moscow, the capital of Russia. I had lived there ever since I entered the Octobrianks at age eight. For years I was a staunch Communist, fully indoctrinated by the government.

But, as I grew older, I started really thinking about what these people were telling me. I started wondering why Americans seemed so much happier that Russians. I started asking questions of my teachers and parents.

At first I got blank looks and mumbled explanations about how Lenin had already told us everything we need to know. But as I persisted, determined to answer my doubts, they started threatening me, telling me I had to stop. I didn’t understand. Once they sent me to the KGB and had them talk to me. I stopped asking questions.

But my doubts were still there. And as I wandered the grey streets of Moscow, I thought and I wondered.

And one day, as I was walking across the city, I came across a man. His hair was steel-grey and he walked with a stoop. He could have been any ordinary Russian. But as I passed him and nodded a brisk hello, he smiled at me, something ordinary Russians normally didn’t do. I walked on for two more steps, stopped, turned around and ran after him. Impulsively, I grabbed his arm. He turned and looked at me. I was stunned again. His eyes. I had never seen anyone with eyes like that before. They sparkled with life and joy.

“Who are you?” I breathed. (more…)

Medieval Hymns

There were many medieval hymns that were written by ordinary laymen in the High Middle Ages. These are exemplary works of art, very representative of the time in which they were written.

In almost all of these hymns you see a hierarchy established between God the Father and the people. Jesus is the intermediary to God the Father. And between Jesus and the people there are also intermediaries. For example, in one hymn Mary was placed as an intermediary. In another Peter and Paul were presented as such. In yet another all the apostles along with the prophets of both the Old and the New Testament were intermediaries.

In the age these were written, there was no Protestantism. The pope was seen as the ultimate authority here on earth. He was the representative and successor of Peter on earth. There wasn’t the major division that would come later. The religion was still forming, still young. Jesus was still very present. Only later would that fade and give way to petty arguments, division and selective teaching.