Whenever we hear of problems in the Church it is our natural inclination to want to read all about it and root out all the details. Yet if we really want to benefit our soul, we should take the advice of the Elder Paisios of Mt. Athos. His advice: “If you wish to be calm do not read rebellious books or pamphlets that mention Church matters, since you are not responsible for such serious affairs. You have need of books that will assist you in your repentance. If you want to help the Church, correct yourself and immediately amendment is made to a small part of the Church. Naturally, if everyone did this, then the Church would be put in order.”
As long as we struggle against the passions and sins of this world, there will be problems in the Church. Just as nations and all human institutions suffer because of the passions of people, so does the Church. Although divinely instituted by Christ Himself, the Church is made up of sinful men and women who bring in the baggage of their sinful nature. This very place of healing, like all hospitals, houses both the healthy and the sick. If we desire to become numbered among the healthy, we must remain aloof from the din of Church politics, and leave the governance of the Body to the hierarchs.
When we witness the fallen side of human nature within the walls of the Church, we must not respond like news reporters seeking out all the details. Nor should we think knowing the inner workings of the Church will make a difference. Better that we concentrate on the nurturing of our own soul and remaining above the fray. Let those who have been called to service in the Church, the bishops, do their job. If we trust God and pray for our bishops, the Holy Spirit will guide them in their roll as our shepherds, the Church will stay the course, and the “gates of hell shall not prevail against her (Matthew 16:18)”.
Love in Christ,
Photos: His Grace Theodosy, Bishop of Seattle, makes archpastoral visit to monastery.
Friday June 20, 2014
2nd Week after Pentecost. Tone eight.
Apostles’ (Peter & Paul) Fast. By Monastic Charter: Strict Fast (Bread, Vegetables, Fruits)
Venerable Barlaam of Khutyn (1192) (movable holiday on the 1st Friday of Apostles’ Fast).
“Tabynsk” and “Kursk-Root” Icons of the Most Holy Theotokos (movable holiday on the 9th Friday of Pascha).
Martyr Theodotus of Ancyra (303).
New Hieromartyr Archbishop Andronicus of Perm, Alexander, Alexis, Alexander, Valentine, Benjamin, Viktor, Alexander, Paul, Vladimir, Ignatius, Michael, Nicholas, Paul, Alexander, Nicholas priests, Gregory deacon and Martyrs Athanasius and Alexsander (1918).
New Hieromartyrs Nicholas and Peter priests (1919).
Hieromartyr Marcellinus, pope of Rome (304) and with him the Holy Martyrs Claudius, Cyrinus and Antoninus (304).
Hieromartyr Marcellus, bishop of Rome, and those with him: Sisinius and Cyriacus deacons, Smaragdus, Largus, Apronian, Saturninus, Pappias, Maurus, Crescentian, Priscilla, Lucina, and Princess Artemia (304-310).
Martyrs Kyriaki, Caleria (Valeria), and Mary, of Caesarea in Palestine (304).
Synaxis of All Saints of Ivanovo.
Venerable Daniel of Scete in Egypt (420).
Virgin-martyr Potamiaena of Alexandria.
Martyr Zenais (Zenaida) of Caesarea in Palestine.
St. Colman, bishop of Dromore, Ireland (6th c.) (Celtic & British).
Holy women Aesia and Susanna, disciples of Venerable Pancratius of Taormina and martyred with him (1st c.) (Greek).
Martyr Lycarion of Hermopolis in Egypt (Greek).
Venerable Panagis of Cephalonia (Greek).
Martyrs Tarasius and John (Greek).
St. Stephen the hieromonk (Greek).
St. Anthimus the hieromonk (Greek).
St. Sebastian the Wonderworker (Greek).
St. Anthony (in schema Abramius), monk, of Kozha Lake (1634).You can read the life of the saint by clicking on the highlighted name.
“Blogs and social networks give us new opportunities for the Christian mission…Not to be present there means to display our helplessness and lack of care for the salvation of our brothers.” His Holiness Patriarch Kirill
The Scripture Readings for the Day
17For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.)
18Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life. 19For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous.
20Moreover the law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more, 21so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Dead to Sin, Alive to God
6 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? 2Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?
Jesus Is Questioned About Fasting
14Then the disciples of John came to Him, saying, “Why do we and the Pharisees fast often,[a] but Your disciples do not fast?”
15And Jesus said to them, “Can the friends of the bridegroom mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? But the days will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them, and then they will fast. 16No one puts a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment; for the patch pulls away from the garment, and the tear is made worse. 17Nor do they put new wine into old wineskins, or else the wineskins break, the wine is spilled, and the wineskins are ruined. But they put new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.”