Category Archives: Blog

Announcement – 6/19/2017

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Announcement – June 19, 2017

To all subscribers and listeners:

First and foremost, I want to apologize for the sudden halt in the podcasts and notes coming from The Spiritual Workshop.

What happened was that at the beginning of May I was taken ill and was hospitalized for three weeks. This was very serious and I am told that I am fortunate to have come through. I am grateful to God and to all who have prayed for me and my recovery. I am still quite weak and have a lot of rehabilitation yet to do. Since The Spiritual Workshop is a one man operation, you can understand why things suddenly ground to a halt!

As I have started to regain strength, I’m picking up the pieces and preparing to resume publication. I had been preparing the 6th installment of Psalm 119 as a Guide to Spiritual Growth when things went south. There are two additional installments of this work to bring it to completion.

I had not come to a decision as to what I would be offering in the Notes from the Subdeacon series for this part of 2017. I have, of course, what was published last year, but I intend to supplement it in some manner so that there would be fresh material with the old.

In addition, there are a lot of things to be done “behind the scenes”, so to speak, both on the website and the various servers which actually host the podcasts.

I will be able to resume work, as I’ve said, but it will have to be at a slower pace for quite a while until I’m fully recovered. Therefore, my first priority is to complete Psalm 119 as a Guide to Spiritual Growth. I hope to have the 6th installment published in about a week or ten days from today. After I’ve wrapped that up, I will be give attention to Notes from the Subdeacon and the “behind the scenes” stuff. When I’ve figured out my strategy for that, I’ll publish another notice like this to stay in touch with you and keep you all updated on my plans.

I want to thank you all for your patience and prayers. Please continue to keep me and this work in your prayers so that together we can continue to give glory to God.

Announcement – 6/19/2017

Read

Announcement – June 19, 2017

To all subscribers and listeners:

First and foremost, I want to apologize for the sudden halt in the podcasts and notes coming from The Spiritual Workshop.

What happened was that at the beginning of May I was taken ill and was hospitalized for three weeks. This was very serious and I am told that I am fortunate to have come through. I am grateful to God and to all who have prayed for me and my recovery. I am still quite weak and have a lot of rehabilitation yet to do. Since The Spiritual Workshop is a one man operation, you can understand why things suddenly ground to a halt!

As I have started to regain strength, I’m picking up the pieces and preparing to resume publication. I had been preparing the 6th installment of Psalm 119 as a Guide to Spiritual Growth when things went south. There are two additional installments of this work to bring it to completion.

I had not come to a decision as to what I would be offering in the Notes from the Subdeacon series for this part of 2017. I have, of course, what was published last year, but I intend to supplement it in some manner so that there would be fresh material with the old.

In addition, there are a lot of things to be done “behind the scenes”, so to speak, both on the website and the various servers which actually host the podcasts.

I will be able to resume work, as I’ve said, but it will have to be at a slower pace for quite a while until I’m fully recovered. Therefore, my first priority is to complete Psalm 119 as a Guide to Spiritual Growth. I hope to have the 6th installment published in about a week or ten days from today. After I’ve wrapped that up, I will be give attention to Notes from the Subdeacon and the “behind the scenes” stuff. When I’ve figured out my strategy for that, I’ll publish another notice like this to stay in touch with you and keep you all updated on my plans.

I want to thank you all for your patience and prayers. Please continue to keep me and this work in your prayers so that together we can continue to give glory to God.

Odds & Ends

The first of eight podcasts on Psalm 119 was published yesterday. This is in the Tools of the Spiritual Life series for 2017.

Notes from the Subdeacon will continue to be published. Most of the time there has already been one set of Minor Propers published as well as a talk relating to those propers. When I republish, I plan to use the same Minor Proper (unless I find an error!!) except for those days when for some reason they were were not covered last year.

Regarding the podcasts:  I need to devote time to some other projects this year so my Notes from the Subdeacon podcasts will be based on the materials I prepared last year, but I will record them anew and will probably add additional materials or insights as God gives me the inspiration.

Subdeacon Joseph

Miscellaneous Notes

For your information, this year during the Septuagesima & Lent season, There will be a weekly Notes from the Subdeacon and also a weekly Tools for the Spiritual Life. The later will consist of eight talks on Psalm 119.


I want to remind you that the primary content for these talks are the podcasts. While I do provide a “transcript” for each talk, this does not always include everything I cover in the actual podcast. So please be sure to actually download the podcasts!


I really would appreciate feedback on these talks. To date, I have received none from subscribers. While I would like to assume that I am so perfectly fulfilling your expectations and needs that no comment is needed, I really don’t think that’s the case! So please, if you have anything to offer, particularly if it is a complaint or criticism please either leave it as a comment on the post or email me at: subdeacon.joseph@gmail.com.


Concerning Sources: I trust that it is clear to you that I go to a good number of sources to find things which I hope will be of interest. Since I’m not writing a scholarly document (like my M.A. thesis) I generally to not provide full bibliographic references for everything I use.  Where I’m going to use something from someone beside myself, I do try to let the listener that I’m quoting or paraphrasing a source. If you are interested in my sources, please feel free to contact me and I’ll be glad to supply the information.

My overarching goal is to provide you with the best of our Western Orthodox Christian Tradition as it relates to the topic at hand. Anything good you find in the work comes from that (or from God), mistakes and errors, however, are all my own!


 

 

Log in, Registration, or Password Recovery Error

If you are not sure why you landed on this post, it is probably because you tried to select the log in, register or password recovery  entry which sometimes appears in the “Dashboard” area at on the left hand side of the page. Don’t worry, the probably is easily fixed.

User Log in, New Subscriber Resistration, Password Recovery are all handled from the User Log In menu. This appears on the extreme right of the top tool bar. If you’re trying to just log in, simply click on the User Log In. If you hover your mouse over User Log In, you will see the other choices in the drop down and you can then select them.

Or, you can simply click on one of the following links and you’ll be on your way:

User Log In

New Subscriber Registration

Password Recovery

If there’s an error in the data in your User Profile, you can access that and correct it by clicking on the link below.

User Profile

Thanks for your patience!

Sbdn Joseph

 

What is The Spiritual Workshop?

 

Saint Benedict
Saint Benedict
Saint Bede
Saint Bede

In Chapter IV of his Rule for Monks, St. Benedict enumerates various instruments of good works for the guidance of those who have chosen to follow this Rule. He concludes the chapter by stating that the “workshop” within which these various instruments or tools of the spiritual life are to be employed is the cloister of the monastery. Among these tools are included both personal and liturgical prayer along with lectio divina, which is   the loving and humble study of Holy Scripture as received by the Church and used in the liturgy.

From St. Benedict’s time down to our own time, Christians innumerable have gone to the Rule — and to those many places where men and women have come together to live under the Rule – for guidance and help in their own growth in holiness as they seek to grow ever closer to Christ our Lord. In addition, the liturgical, ascetical, and theological traditions in the Western Church were both formed and transmitted from generation to generation by monks, nuns, and even layfolk whose lives were formed by the spiritual values and practical advice of the Rule. For many centuries, all, even the lowest, were born, lived, and died in a culture that was Christian.

Unfortunately, the Western Christianity which existed for more than twelve centuries no longer exists. Western culture has been thoroughly secularized and separated from the values, goals, and ideals which were its basis. This has impacted us in many different ways, but what is relevant here is this: without a living Christian culture as background, the Christian liturgical and spiritual traditions have to some degree become unintelligible to us today. Theological ideas and principles which, for example, a St. Augustine, a St. John Chrysostom, or a St Leo could reasonably assume to be a common heritage of those for whom they lived and wrote are no longer present. This has resulted all too often in the evisceration or outright rejection of the Christian liturgical and ascetical traditions and practices as “irrelevant” or “outmoded.”

Notes from the Subdeacon were started to fill a clear need: parishioners needed to understand the scriptural and liturgical background of the liturgical texts used in the Mass (generally referred to as the Minor Propers). In a very small way this was like the activity to which St. Bede (635-732 A.D.), a priest and monk, dedicated his entire life. Indeed, many of St. Bede’s writings are still extremely useful. In fact, many of his writings were deemed by the Church to be so faithful to Christian Tradition that they are frequently used in the Western Monastic Office. (St. Bede’s books On The Tabernacle and On The Temple formed the basis for the Subdeacon’s MA thesis.)

After Notes from the Subdeacon had been offered for most of the liturgical year, it became clear that there was need for some more thorough treatment of many topics that would naturally occur. It seemed that this need would be best fulfilled by Tools of the Spiritual Life, which would be a monthly offering of about 45 minutes to an hour in length. This would still draw its inspiration from the liturgical text used that month, but the expanded time would allow more detailed treatment of the chosen topic. Additionally, it would provide an opportunity for questions and comments from listeners.

Of course, the problem with such a plan was that it would require getting a number of participants together at one point in space and time. Most if not all potential participants have many demands on their time from family and employment. However, experience gained with podcasting shows that podcasting would work well for the purposes of this ministry. Talks can be downloaded and heard by anyone anywhere. Furthermore, the podcasting website provides a forum for listeners to post comments as well as ask questions. Additional materials such as maps or diagrams can also be posted at the website, downloaded prior to listening, and be available for use during the podcast.

St Benedict and St Bede have provided continuing inspiration for this ministry and have made it possible in our time by the work and prayer they did in their time. Thus, this ministry claims both Saints as heavenly patrons. May their prayers and spiritual assistance reach all who have any contact with this ministry.