Seeking out healing in the life of the Church
Orthodoxy offers a very precise way in which to enter into communion with God. It is a way that must be learned, for simply “becoming Orthodox” will not lead the seeker into an inner life that will transform, and enlighten. Membership in the Church is simply not enough, for the Church is not about beautiful services, icons, or mystical theology. As a hospital for the soul, the Church is a place wherein we can receive healing for that which ails us. It is the place where we can be cured, and made whole.
Like the emergency room of a local hospital, a patient can’t simply walk in, and expect to be healed. They have to submit themselves to examination by the ER staff, who will ask them to describe what is going on, where they are hurting, run tests, and, finally, prescribe the necessary medication that will bring about healing.
Within the hospital of the soul, that is the Church, her priests act in the same capacity as the ER personnel. They interview the patient (parishioner), and examine the heart to find the sickness, and recommend the cure. The priest becomes the therapeutic guide, recommending what the patient (seeker) can do in order to be made whole.
A prayer rule, the daily reading of the Holy Scriptures, frequent confession and reception of the Holy Mysteries, are all part of the Church’s medicine that will bring about the cure. Just as the doctor will prescribe the proper dosage, after getting to know his patient, so too, does the priest prescribe that which will help his spiritual son or daughter.
The spiritual life is something that needs to be learned, perhaps more so now, than at any time in the history of our world. As godlessness increases, so do the obstacles to spiritual progress. The degradation of the whole of our society, and the depths of depravity that have become a normal part of our age, have made this a dangerous time. Go it alone spirituality can leave one vulnerable to spiritual delusion. We all need a trusted and experienced guide who can help us avoid the pitfalls of the pride and self-will that would lead us down to perdition.
Love in Christ,
Photos: The latest aerial photographs of the monastery.
“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
Monday June 2, 2014
Afterfeast of the Ascension. Tone six.
Martyr Thalelaeus at Aegae in Cilicia and companions, Martyrs Alexander and Asterius (284).
Uncovering of the relics (1431) of St. Alexis, metropolitan of Moscow and wonderworker of all Russia (1378).
St. Dovmont-Timothy, prince of Pskov (1299).
Martyr Asclas of Egypt (287).
Sts. Zabulon and Susanna, parents of St. Nina (Nino) (4th c.) (Georgia).
Venerable Thalassius the Myrrh-giver of Libya (ca. 660).
Venerables Nicetas, John, and Joseph, monks, of Chios (1050).
St. Ethelbert, king and martyr (793) (Celtic & British).
Venerable Stephen, abbot of Piperi in Serbia (1697) (Greek).
St. Mark hermit (Greek).
St. Austregiselus, bishop of Bourges (624) (Neth.).
You can read the life of the saint by clicking on the highlighted name.
The Scripture Readings for the Day
8On the next day we who were Paul’s companions departed and came to Caesarea, and entered the house of Philip the evangelist, who was one of the seven, and stayed with him. 9Now this man had four virgin daughters who prophesied. 10And as we stayed many days, a certain prophet named Agabus came down from Judea. 11When he had come to us, he took Paul’s belt, bound his own hands and feet, and said, “Thus says the Holy Spirit, ‘So shall the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man who owns this belt, and deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.’”
12Now when we heard these things, both we and those from that place pleaded with him not to go up to Jerusalem. 13Then Paul answered, “What do you mean by weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.”
14So when he would not be persuaded, we ceased, saying, “The will of the Lord be done.”
27Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. 28You have heard Me say to you, ‘I am going away and coming back to you.’ If you loved Me, you would rejoice because I said, ‘I am going to the Father,’ for My Father is greater than I.
29“And now I have told you before it comes, that when it does come to pass, you may believe. 30I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming, and he has nothing in Me. 31But that the world may know that I love the Father, and as the Father gave Me commandment, so I do. Arise, let us go from here.
The True Vine
15 “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. 2Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. 3You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. 4Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.
5“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. 6If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. 7If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.