Welcome to our relaunched Q&A Blog, featuring Questions and Answers about the Orthodox Christian Church, its teachings, beliefs and practices, how it views and interacts with modern (or rather, post-modern) culture, other Christian confessions, non-Christian religions, cults, etc.
To submit a question to Fr. Steven Kostoff, please visit our web form on our parish website.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween and the Serious Habit

Dear Parish Faithful,

After teaching my class today, I went to the XU cafeteria for lunch (they make a decent gardenburger). A student actually approached me at my table and asked if she could trouble me with a quick question. I assured her that that was fine, and she asked me if it was "irreverent" to wear a nun's habit as a Halloween costume. I told her, I'm not so sure we have to call it "irreverent," but that I would consider it to be "inappropriate." Being a nun is a very special vocation, and it may be years before a woman is actually tonsured and clothed in a monastic habit. This comes after many great interior struggles and temptations; much fasting and prayer, probably accompanied by tears of joy and despair; and a deep searching of the heart. So the nun's habit is not to be worn or treated lightly. I would probably say the same about "dressing up" as a priest. I told her it is not really a burning issue, but if one of my parishioners asked me the same question, I would try and discourage them. (Fortunately, I have never been asked that question by a parishioner, here or elsewhere). Perhaps others think the same about vocations they are close to. I conveyed this all in an acceptable spirit, and we actually had a good talk.

As I have written earlier about Halloween, I believe that our children should not dress as "little devils," no matter how cute (and probably out-of-style these days); "witches," no matter how good; or anything too "evil" (Dark Vadar excepted, of course). The utter trivialization of such images obviously removes their "sting," but I am sure that there are many other and more appropriate costumes out there for those who "observe" Halloween. For adults who wear halloween costumes, I have "no comment ..." I'll let you know if I see anything particularly unusual 'trick-or-treating' at my door this evening!

Fr. Steven

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Cell Phone vs. the Bible

Dear Parish Faithful,

This was forwarded to me with the note, "something to think about ..."

Fr. Steven

+ + +

Cell phone vs. the Bible

Ever wonder what would happen if we treated our Bible like we treat our cell phone?

What if we carried it around in our purses or pockets?

What if we flipped through it several time a day?

What if we turned back to go get it if we forgot it?

What if we used it to receive messages from the text?

What if we treated it like we couldn't live without it?

What if we gave it to kids as gifts?

What if we used it when we traveled?

What if we used it in case of emergency?

This is something to make you go, "Hmm...where is my Bible?"

Oh, and one more thing:
Unlike our cell phone, we don't have to worry about our Bible being disconnected because Jesus already paid the bill.

Makes you stop and think "where are my priorities?" And no dropped calls!