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See, its good to finally see somebody applying some reasonable logic to this.  Thanks.

The Fathers urge us not to pray with a dependence upon images. That sort of prayer is an experience limited to the higher reaches of spiritual maturity -- clearly something that is rare, and an experience I can only describe from the witness of the Fathers, not my own lesser history. Images are almost unavoidable. But I think we may avoid the caricatures toward which we are frequently tempted.

The "erotics of entertainment" are so-called "praise and worship" experiences that excite the senses, and seek to invoke an "ecstasy" or enthusiasm. I don't think that anything sexual was meant by this reference: it was intended to be opposed to the Christian spiritual "eros" of the pray-er who is completely unshackled from the prison of self-centeredness and is able to attend completely on the One Who is Wholly Other.

Orthodox prayer is certainly not limited to pre-approved texts. Those texts in prayerbooks and the Divine Services are written as foundations for our prayer, and as "prayer grammars." The quintessential example of this is the Lord's Prayer: those Divine words are intended to be embedded in our souls, and to act as a formative structure of all our prayers, and not as a confining script.

We may certainly meditate on Scripture, and we are commanded to do so. "Thy Law is a lamp unto my feet, a light unto my path ... I meditate on Thy Law day and night." The Book of Psalms itself is the Orthodox Prayer Book, being read all the way through every week in the Typicon.

So no, meditating on Scripture is not too Reformed at all. It is, as all good things, originally Orthodox.

"learn, through ascesis, to pray in faith only through Tradition and Liturgy, never ever through the lesser erotics of entertainment."

Did the Dolphin say any more about this? When the Fathers say not to pray with images, since images are embedded in every word, when has the pray-er tilted out of tradition and liturgy into the erotics of entertainment? Is Orthodox prayer limited to "preapproved texts"? And what about meditating on Scripture? Is that too Reformed?

I'm obviously confused, and, frankly, don't have much confidence in getting an answer locally.

"Todays economy destroys homes, families...

"Christianity can co-exist with non-Christians. The reverse will become ever less likely.
As Christendom is deconstructed, culture declines and love will grow cold. "

The dolphin speaks in strange and elaborate prose. Yet, I wonder, how else would a dolphin speak? In any case, it's good to know there are some creatures around that see things as they are. God knows, I wish there were a few more humans who'd notice half of what this dolphin has.

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