Prudence True

The Heart of Wisdom

through Ancient Words

A Path to Your Heart:



Oh! Heart


8 April 2011

Dear Souls -

         The most vital of vital organs within the human body, the heart, is not the most complex. For  complexity, study the renal system. And the rogue of human anatomy, the brain, still confounds the most brilliant of medical professionals. We linger here in the 21st century on the frontier of neurological science... perhaps the Christopher Colombus stage of exploration for gray and white matter. But the center of our soul is the cardiovascular system.

         Please understand, I have no fancy theological knowledge to share with you. But at this point in my life the absence of theological brilliance will hardly be noticed amongst my circle of friends and relatives. I'm blessed, though, that my knowledge of the heart comes in two different forms: textbook, and not in the textbook.

          The function of your heart is to maintain the oxygenation and perfusion of your human body:

                          Cardiac Output= Heart Rate x Stroke Volume

           Your perfusion is measured by something called Cardiac Output in fancy medical terminology. There are other factors which influence your Cardiac Output. Starling's Law states that your stroke volume is determined by your end- diastolic filling pressure. With a greater filling pressure the ventricular wall stretches causing a more forceful contraction, or increased Stroke Volume. You must have an adequate Cardiac Output to perfuse your soul, so you can sit here and read about your heart . . . or think about your heart.

            The path to your heart does not require knowledge of Starling's Law or right atrial filling pressures. The more knowledge you have, the more confused you may be on this journey toward your heart. Your heart, the one perfused by the heart, is there within you. As you fiddle around in your brain, the heart is maintaining a steady Cardiac Output . . . and your heart falls asleep deep inside you. The connection between your physical body and your soul lapses into a silent feedback loop. Your heart is the neglected system within the human body . . . and it's waiting for your attention.


Oh! Heart


   In the Balance


10 April 2011

Dear Souls -

         My greatest challenge in both Life and Lent never changes . . .

             It's all in the Balance . . .




   In the Heart


14 April 2011

Dear Souls -

     Will Americans become Orthodox Christians, or will Orthodox Christianity become American?

         There is a vast difference between the two. Within our American culture Orthodox Christianity is not a natural fit. It's not unfitting, but it's unnatural for Americans. The American heart is an efficient vital organ which circulates blood throughout the human body. And while this pump is hard at work, so is the American ego. For an American to adapt to Orthodoxy, their ego must stop working as the pump for the soul. I see a cultural mismatch between an Orthodox heart and the American ego.

          The more correct your faith, the more confident you feel, the more sure you are . . . this is the calm reassurance of a healthy ego. If you misunderstand, doubt yourself, and know you stand last, then your ego is at rest. Here is the mismatch I see between contemporary American culture and the Orthodox heart, and I cannot offer a simple remedy. Becoming Orthodox means becoming less American . . . and laying aside distinctly American traits. You must not become Greek, Russian, or Arabic to find your heart. This is not what I'm saying! But if you want to see the presence of God in your life, then you must lay aside your finely dressed ego.

           Adapting Orthodox Christianity to the American culture requires skilled navigation around trenches of determined ego. And this navigation cannot happen without the wisdom and guidance of those with heart. This heart, though, is not visible from the outside and is not always standing at the altar on Sunday. When you see this heart, you will know it in your heart . . . even in America.



   A Saint's Cloak


15 April 2011

Dear Souls -

                                                                                      A Saint's Cloak: St. Mary of Egypt




18 April 2011

Dear Souls -

         My sunglasses have scratches across the front lenses. No matter how well I rinse the sand off . . . it follows me home from the beach. The sticky sand monsters attach themselves to my sunglasses and leave deep trenches right across the smooth lenses.

         In the summer I wear my scratched sunglasses to the beach everyday and watch the surf through a landscape of scratches. It's amazing how my eyes adjust to this distorted field of vision. The deepest scratches become permanent residents in my mind and after a time, I don't see them at all.

              Without my distorted sunglasses I see clearly, but the glare from the light stings my eyes.



nothing to say


25 April 2011

Dear Souls -

            I've got nothing to say . . .



Going Toward Easter . . .


29 April 2011

Dear Souls -

                 I'm still lumbering along on a steady journey toward forever Pascha . . .

                                                                                                     Going Toward Easter

P.S.  And you may want to see this: Easter in the Liturgical Year
                        P.P.S. And this for Prince William's Wedding today (on another note): Royal Fun





30 April 2011

Dear Souls -

               A good friend of mine refers to me as a Luddite. This may surprise you, but Ned Ludd (the founder of the Luddite movement) and I share some similarities. The Luddites were a social movement opposing technology in the 19th century which they felt negatively affected their existing way of life. Today the term Luddite refers to people resisting the computerization of our society.

               Now you see the perplexing aspect of me as a Luddite . . . I'm a Luddite with an "anonymous" website. But if you tried to reach me on my cell phone (wait, where is my cell?) you wouldn't, because it and I are normally not nearby. And if I'm near my phone I mostly miss my calls, since my standard ringtone setting is silent. If you send me a text, I may or may not receive it over the next few days. Yes, I respond to email, but not from my smart phone (which I don't own because I don't think it's all that smart). When I travel my laptop stays at home, unless I'm gone for three weeks or more. My favorite 21st century term is disconnected. The only thing I think is cool about Facebook is the way Mark Zuckerberg snubbed the establishment and revolutionized revolutionaries. So don't try and find me there, I'm not a resident.

               "Why are you here?" you ask.

                If I gave you a direct answer you would not believe me, so in clearer terms I will try and explain. Orthodox Christianity via the web shares few similarities with the Church I've known throughout my life. And rather than sit back (under my favorite rock), I thought I would share the Faith I learned from the generations of Orthodox Christians in my family. It's the only form of Christianity I know, and it seems (judging by the Orthodox gobbley-gook flourishing on the internet) Christians are trying to understand Orthodoxy. I'm not the best candidate for sharing my faith, and I prefer my cozy spot under my rock. But here I am, and you can read (or not) the truth from one soul who has known no other form of Christianity. (For the record, the number of clergy in my family is less than the number of attorneys, and greater than the number of physicians.) My large loud family is generations deep with active Orthodox Christians spread throughout parishes in this country.

                "Do you love writing and sharing your faith with others?" you ask.

                  No. I find it awkward and skirting the dangerous side of pride. Under my rock is far safer. My faith is tucked deep inside my heart and does not smack you in the face as you pass by.

                 "Then go back under your rock and stop complaining!" you groan in frustration.

                  Don't worry I will.  Just as soon as I'm done, which I hope is sometime soon.

                  "You must surf the internet to see other Orthodox websites . . . are you an internet cruiser?"

                   My favorite internet site is my premium webcam for Surfline Surfline  which I use to check the surf. Other than that I've deleted all my bookmarks for Orthodox gobbley-gook and stay away (some sites make my skin crawl, which is an unpleasant sensation). I enjoy reading articles written in Russian and poorly translated by Google Translate which I find here: Pravmir Russian  I rarely read any news beyond the headlines on my New York Times homepage, which I think constantly about changing. I don't know how to use the remote controls for the TV, but I do know how to use the stereo and can turn the volume up very loud (repeat even has the letters worn off the button).

                   I'm a Luddite . . . sort of.