What are the differences between Greek Orthodoxy and Catholicism?

Greek Orthodoxy and Catholicism are two of the largest branches of Christianity, and while they share many similarities, there are some key differences between them:

  1. Theology and Doctrine: Greek Orthodoxy and Catholicism have different approaches to theology and doctrine. Greek Orthodoxy is more focused on tradition and the teachings of the early Church fathers, while Catholicism places a greater emphasis on the authority of the Church and the teachings of the Pope.
  2. Leadership Structure: In Greek Orthodoxy, the bishops are considered equal and autonomous, with no one bishop having authority over the others. In contrast, in Catholicism, the Pope is considered the supreme authority, and bishops are appointed by him.
  3. Liturgy and Worship: Greek Orthodoxy and Catholicism have different liturgical practices and worship styles. Greek Orthodoxy tends to have a more formal and traditional worship style, with a heavy emphasis on icons and symbolism. Catholicism has a more diverse range of liturgical practices, with different forms of worship for different occasions.
  4. Sacraments: Greek Orthodoxy and Catholicism both recognize seven sacraments, but there are some differences in how they are administered and understood. For example, in Greek Orthodoxy, the sacrament of Confirmation is given immediately after baptism, while in Catholicism it is usually administered later in life.
  5. Spirituality: While both Greek Orthodoxy and Catholicism share a focus on prayer and spiritual growth, there are differences in their spiritual practices. Greek Orthodoxy places a strong emphasis on asceticism and mysticism, while Catholicism has a more varied approach to spirituality, with different religious orders emphasizing different practices.

It’s worth noting that these are general differences, and there is a great deal of diversity within both Greek Orthodoxy and Catholicism. Additionally, there are many similarities between the two branches of Christianity, including a shared belief in the Holy Trinity, the authority of the Bible, and the importance of Christ’s death and resurrection.

If you’d like to know more about what version of the Bible is used in Greek Orthodox churches, click here.

What’s Your Superpower?

I must confess that many of the thought I post here come from reflecting on Tara Brach’s podcast to which I listen daily. In her most recent podcast [link below], she spoke about this image…

What’s Your Buddhist Superpower? – Buddhist Peace Fellowship / Turning Wheel Media.

Tara Brach talked about this image in her recent podcast:

2014-02-19 – Part 2: Heart of Compassion – Most of us consciously value compassion, but move through much of life without access to the full capacity of our heart. This talk explores the self-compassion that is the very grounds of loving our world.

Direct download: 2014-02-19-Heart-of-Compassion-TaraBrach.mp3

My superpower IS kindness, but I don’t ‘get into the phonebooth’ often enough, if you what I mean. I often don’t put on my ‘kindness costume’ when I need it most…

Does that make me a failure? No, I think it puts me on a path. It makes me human. HH the Dalai Lama says:

“I don’t know why people like me so much. It must be because I value bodhichitta [the awakened heart/mind]. I can’t claim to practice [it], but I value it.” We care about the awakened heart because, like a flower in full bloom, it is the full realization of our nature. Feeling loved and loving matters to us beyond all else. We feel most “who we are” when we feel connected to each other and the world around us, when our hearts are open, generous and filled with love. Even when our hearts feel tight or numb, we still care about caring.

Brach, Tara (2004-11-23). Radical Acceptance (p. 222). Random House Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

How can I, a fellow being who is much less awakened, condemn myself for not practicing?

My takeaway? Get into the phonebooth. Put on lovingkindness. Even when — ESPECIALLY WHEN — our hearts feel tight and numb…

His wise counsel hits the target every time!

Realizing Our Undefended and Awakened Heart

I’m listening to a dharma talk by Tara Brach this morning that I’d like to share with you. She says…

It is our evolutionary and spiritual potential to release unnecessary habits of violating other tribes, individuals and unwanted parts of our own being. This talk explores three essential facets of the pathway to awakening: Leaving the fortress of aversive judgment, entering the wilderness of our embodied being and encircling this life with love.

via Tara Brach : Realizing Our Undefended and Awakened Heart (retreat talk).

You can download the talk here.

Gateways to Happiness…

May I recommend this audio podcast by Tara Brach? I especially liked the part about dogs toward the end:

While we all want to be happy, our habitual ways of pursuing happiness leave us dissatisfied. What prevents us from being happy? What is true happiness? How do we relax and open to the blessings of our life that are always and already here? Though these reflections we explore together our potential to live from a profound place of inner freedom, peace and happiness. Direct download: 2008-02-06-Gateways-to-Happiness-TaraBrach.mp3 via Tara Brach

via Blogger http://blogger.toddlohenry.com/2013/11/gateways-to-happiness.html

Merton’s Revelation

Ronald E. Powaski has written about the Trappi...
Thomas Merton

In Louisville, at the corner of Fourth and Walnut, in the center of the shopping district, I was suddenly overwhelmed with the realization that I loved all those people, that they were mine and I theirs, that we could not be alien to one another even though we were total strangers. It was like waking from a dream of separateness, of spurious self-isolation in a special world, the world of renunciation and supposed holiness. …

Then it was as if I suddenly saw the secret beauty of their hearts, the depths of their hearts where neither sin nor desire nor self-knowledge can reach, the core of their reality, the person that each one is in God’s eyes. If only they could see themselves as they really are. If only we could see each other that way all the time, there would be no more war, no more hatred, no more cruelty, no more greed…I suppose the big problem would be that we would fall down and worship each other.

Thomas Merton

via Merton’s Revelation | Monasteries of the Heart.



The Atheist and little girl

An atheist was seated next to a little girl on an airplane and he turned to her and said, “Do you want to talk? Flights go quicker if you strike up a conversation with your fellow passenger.”

The little girl, who had just started to read her book, replied to the total stranger, “What would you want to talk about?”

“Oh, I don’t know,” said the atheist. “How about why there is no God, or no Heaven or Hell, or no life after death?” as he smiled smugly.

“Okay,” she said. “Those could be interesting topics but let me ask you a question first. A horse, a cow, and a deer all eat the same stuff – grass. Yet a deer excretes little pellets, while a cow turns out a flat patty, but a horse produces clumps. Why do you suppose that is?”

The atheist, visibly surprised by the little girl’s intelligence, thinks about it and says, “Hmmm, I have no idea.” To which the little girl replies, “Do you really feel qualified to discuss God, Heaven and Hell, or life after death, when you don’t know shit?”

And then she went back to reading her book.

Byron Katie’s Four Questions

Caitlin Flanagan writes:

All the suffering that goes on inside our minds is not reality, says Byron Katie. It’s just a story we torture ourselves with. She has a simple, completely replicable system for freeing ourselves of the thoughts that make us suffer. “All war begins on paper,” she explains. You write down your stressful thoughts, and then ask yourself the following four questions: Continue reading “Byron Katie’s Four Questions”

The Authentic Search for God…

Richard Rohr
Richard Rohr (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dr. Steve McSwain writes:

In an authentic search for God, the cosmos of inclusiveness just keeps widening and expanding, not unlike the ever-expanding universe in which we live.

That’s a bit of a paraphrase of something Fr. Richard Rohr says in his book Immortal Diamond. It has been my experience, too. It seems the more aware I become of the Immortal Presence, the wider my heart stretches to include all persons…all faiths…all traditions.

Without judgment.  With love. Continue reading “The Authentic Search for God…”

Trusting prana…

Trusting Prana by Danna Faulds, with edits:

Trust the energy that

Courses through you Trust,

Then take surrender even deeper. Be the energy.

Don’t push anything away. Follow each

Sensation back to its source

In vastness and pure presence.

Emerge so new, so fresh that

You don’t know who you are.

Welcome in the season of

Monsoons. Be the bridge

Across the flooded river

And the surging torrent

Underneath. Be unafraid of consummate wonder.

Be the energy and blaze a

Trail across the clear night

Sky like lightning. Dare to

Be your own illumination.


via (1) Tara Brach – Poem from last Wednesday’s talk: TRUSTING PRANA….

Be where you are, not where you think you should be…

Danielle Dowling has some good thoughts here:

I hear it every day from my lovely, clever, go-get-’em clients.

Why isn’t this happening faster?

I’m doing everything right – I’m sick of waiting around.

I’ve dotted my I’s and crossed my T’s, but it’s not working. Let’s gooooooo!

Here’s the thing:

The universe has a better plan. One that’s better than the one we have.

Whatever the “source” is for you: God, The Universe, Allah, Spirit – it doesn’t matter.

What matters is the fact that we lose perspective from time to time. We want to tell the universe when + how we want things to manifest in our lives. Continue reading “Be where you are, not where you think you should be…”

I Have Learned So Much

Have Learned
So much from God
That I can no longer
Call Myself

A Christian, a Hindu, a Muslim,
a Buddhist, a Jew.

The Truth has shared so much of Itself
With me

That I can no longer call myself
A man, a woman, an angel,
Or even a pure

Love has
Befriended Hafiz so completely
It has turned to ash
And freed

Of every concept and image
my mind has ever known.

From: ‘The Gift’
Translated by Daniel Ladinsky

Open heart, open mind…


I really enjoyed this talk from Tara Brach‘s meditation series featuring Tsoknyi Rinpoche; perhaps you will as well…

In case you are wondering, I am not a Buddhist — I am a recovering Catholic if you must know! It’s just that lately, the Uni-verse has been using people who are Buddhist to teach me. Keeping an open mind to the wisdom of their message has helped me to open my heart…

You are not your story

Every negative experience or thought is an opportunity to awaken. What thoughts are holding you back from connecting to your inherit love and light?

Every negative experience or thought is an opportunity to awaken. What thoughts are holding you back from connecting to your inherent love and light?

via Molly Hahn: Buddha Doodle – ‘Not Your Story’.

Self compassion and negative emotions…

Lately, I have been finding wisdom and refuge in Kristen Neff’s book Self-compassion [which I highly recommend!]. Here is a recent passage that resonated with me…

Click image to enlarge...
Click image to enlarge…

5 Principles to Live by When Life Doesn’t Go Your Way

“You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.” ~ Maya Angelou

Full story at: 5 Principles to Live by When Life Doesn’t Go Your Way | Tiny Buddha.

10 Things to Remind Yourself on a Daily Basis

Madison Sonnier writes:

Bad days can be extremely overpowering sometimes. When we’re having a bad day, everything feels wrong and the day seems to get even worse as we sink further into frustration and despair. By the end of the day, all we want to do is pull the covers up over our heads and block it all out.

When I clawed my way out of a depressive phase last year, it was a daily challenge to keep myself from falling back into that phase again. I had to go through a process of re-building my self-esteem and re-evaluating my life. But there were days when I was not very successful with these things and the negative thoughts that stayed with me for so long would interfere again. Continue reading “10 Things to Remind Yourself on a Daily Basis”

Leave It. Change It. Accept It…

Claire Obeid writes:

I’ll never forget the first and only time I read Eckhart Tolle’s The Power of Now. Forever etched in my heart and mind is one key message…

“Leave it. Change it. Accept it.”

No other concept has run clearer bells for me since then. Despite the hours I spend devouring up as many spiritual, self-help and wellness books, I still find myself reciting those words like my own personal mantra – it’s how I live my life. It flutters in my mind during yoga, it catches my attention when I’m alone, it nestles into my heart when I need it the most. Not to mention that I enthusiastically pass this little gem on to my health-coaching clients in an effort to incite some calm into their world.

Every time you’re faced with a stressful situation, when you’re working at something without a return or when your ego and emotions get the better of you, just look to these three steps. See them as your spiritual compass to guide you into a calmer, clearer frame of mind.

via Leave It. Change It. Accept It: How Eckhart Tolle Changed My Life.

The Best Way To Get Along With People

Live Life Quotes, Love Life Quotes, Live Life Happy

via The Best Way To Get Along With People.

Oh, Discipline! We Need To Hang Out More Often!

donnagatesDonna Gates writes:

Chop wood and carry water. According to meditation masters and seasoned yogis, the path to greater awareness is unadorned and practical.

In order to awaken to our essential self, all we need is determined effort.

And after we “wake up,” the story is the same: Chop wood and carry water.

Too often, we glamorize spirituality. We are accustomed to finding peace in a place that we need to go to. In reality, our greatest source of strength and peace is within.

And the only way to get there is with consistent effort and discipline.

Discipline can take us to deeper and more fulfilling places in life. It can make our dreams a reality and it can bring our goals within arm’s reach.

Full story at: Oh, Discipline! We Need To Hang Out More Often!.

20 Inspirational Quotes To Brighten Your Day

Click the image to enlarge…

Get more here: 20 Inspirational Quotes To Brighten Your Day.

You Teach People How To Treat You

Live Life Quotes, Love Life Quotes, Live Life Happy

via You Teach People How To Treat You.


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