So is Blakely Smith, who recently forked over $2400 for a Monique Lhullier wedding gown on eBay and didn't get anything in the mail for the longest time . . .
After Smith had paid her money and received nothing back . . . she
e-mailed "Kate," the supposed seller, told of a coworker's eBay horror
story, and outlined why she was growing suspicious. "I am sorry to be
this way, but in today's world, it is not totally off base to be wary,"
To which "Kate" replied:
"That's true, indeed. I just scammed you, sorry for that, it's nothing personal. ... It's what I do, and it pays well."
The Way of a Pilgrim is the anonymous memoir of a nineteenth-century Orthodox monk who wandered across Russia, continually reciting the simple, mantra-like Jesus Prayer:
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.
His observations are fascinating, and to a certain extent mirror the experiences of Hindu and Buddhist mystics in that the constant repetition of the mantra leads to heightened awareness of the eternal now. As the Pilgrim recounts:
When I prayed in my heart, everything around me seemed delightful
and marvelous. The trees, the grass, the birds, the air, the light
seemed to be telling me that they existed for man's sake, that they
witnessed to the love of God for man, that all things prayed to God and
sang his praise.
Clearly, the conclusions he draws about the relationship between God, man, and the natural world are Christian, but the experience itself seems to be remarkably universal.
This anti-Christian cartoon dates from first century Rome. According to Lanciani (a nineteenth century historian):
Our Lord is represented with the head of a donkey, tied to the cross, with the feet resting on a horizontal piece of board. To the left of the cross there is the figure of the Christian youth Alexamenos, with arms raised in adoration of his crucified God, and the whole composition is illustrated and explained by the legend, ALEXAMENOS SEBETE THEON [ΑΛΕΞΑΜΕΝΟΣ ΣΕΒΕΤΕ ΘΕΟΝ]: "Alexamenos worships (his) God." --from Rodney J. Decker, The Alexamenos Graffito
This graffito is often cited as proof that the divinity of Jesus as the Christ was accepted by Christians long before the Council of Nicaea (4th century).