Thursday, April 4, 2013

The Caregiver 

Holy Virgin Cathedral in San Francisco

Caregivers must Care for Themselves

My dear mother was diagnosed with dementia, back in 2003. Soon after the diagnosis I moved her from Coeur d' Alene, Idaho, and into an assisted living place on Vashon Island, where I could be involved in the supervision of her care. The dementia progressed for the next four years, and almost from the beginning, she needed me to be with her as much as possible. I spent hours ever day by her side, taking her on drives around the island, treating her to lunches in the Chinese restaurant, and bringing her to the monastery for services. Attending to her spiritual and social needs, as best I could, and felt blessed I was able to do this for her.

My willingness to sacrifice my time and energy for my mother, in her time of need, was based not only on my love for her, but I saw this as an opportunity to pay her back for all the love and care she had given me while I was growing up.

Increasingly, people of my generation are being called upon to be caregivers for parents, siblings, or other family members. As the economy falters, we are, as a society having to take on responsibilities that were in past generations, the norm. Extended families were common during most of our nations history, where multiple generations living in one home was the norm. The elderly were seldom sent to live in institutions. 

It is important that caregivers not sacrifice their own spiritual and social needs, as they take on the extra burden of attending to the physical, medical, and social needs of their family member. Caregivers have every right to have a life of their own, taking care to attend to their own needs for friendships, social engagements, and church life. The caregiver must not feel guilty, or feel they are betraying their loved one, when they step out with friends for dinner and a movie. They should not feel they are abandoning their responsibility by attending the divine services, or partaking in a Bible study.

I know only too well, that, as a priest, I must tend to my own needs if I am to minister to others. When we allow ourselves to be depleted, spiritually and emotionally, we do a disservice to those whom we serve. We should not feel a though we are betraying our family member, (or, in the case of a priest, a parishioner) when we spend an evening with friends, or take time out with other family members for a special outing. When we allow ourselves to become depleted, the person in our care will ultimately suffer, for a care giver (or priest) who becomes resentful, can slip into being abusive, without even realizing it.

There are any number of organizations that can provide in-home care when the caregiver needs a break. Whether you be a caregiver, social worker, or a priest, anyone who is in service to others, must be sure to take care of themselves, lest they become ineffective in their service to others. When flying on an airline, we are instructed by the flight attendant, when the oxygen apparatus falls down, to place it over our own face before taking care of the person next to us. Likewise, if we do not take care of our own spiritual, emotional, and social needs, we will ultimately fail in our ministering to others.

With love in Christ,
Abbot Tryphon

 Mitered Archpriest 
Stefam Pavlenko and Archpriest Seraphim Cardoza

Thursday April 4, 2013 / March 22, 2013
Third Week of the Great Lent. Tone two.
Great Lent. By Monastic Charter: Food without Oil

Hieromartyr Basil, presbyter of Ancyra (362).
Martyr Drosida (Drosis) of Antioch, and five virgins (104).
Venerable Isaac, founder of the Dalmatian Monastery at Constantinople (383).
Martyrs Callinica and Basilissa of Rome (2nd c.).
St. Basil of Mangazea in Siberia (1600).
Venerable Euthymius of Constantinople.
"The Izborsk" Icon of the Mother of God (1657).
St. Paul, bishop of Narbonne, Brittany (3rd c.) (Celtic & British).
New Martyr Euthymius of Mt. Athos (1814) (Greek).
New Martyr Basil (Zelentsov) bishop of Priluk (1930).
New Martyr Schema-abbess Sophia of Kiev (1941) and her priest
You can read the life of the saint in green, by click on the name.

THANK YOU, to all of you who have been able to contribute towards the support of the monastery. These difficult times of economic hardship have impacted the monastery, and those of you who have been able to donate, have been our lifeline. May God bless you for your generosity, and kindness.
With love in Christ,  
Abbot Tryphon

Donations can be made directly to the monastery through PayPal, or you may send donations to:

All-Merciful Saviour Monastery
PO Box 2420
Vashon Island, WA 98070-2420 USA

Genesis 7:11-8:3

11 In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, on that day all the fountains of the great deep were broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened. 12 And the rain was on the earth forty days and forty nights.
13 On the very same day Noah and Noah’s sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth, and Noah’s wife and the three wives of his sons with them, entered the ark— 14 they and every beast after its kind, all cattle after their kind, every creeping thing that creeps on the earth after its kind, and every bird after its kind, every bird of every sort. 15 And they went into the ark to Noah, two by two, of all flesh in which is the breath of life. 16 So those that entered, male and female of all flesh, went in as God had commanded him; and the Lord shut him in.
17 Now the flood was on the earth forty days. The waters increased and lifted up the ark, and it rose high above the earth. 18 The waters prevailed and greatly increased on the earth, and the ark moved about on the surface of the waters. 19 And the waters prevailed exceedingly on the earth, and all the high hills under the whole heaven were covered. 20 The waters prevailed fifteen cubits upward, and the mountains were covered. 21 And all flesh died that moved on the earth: birds and cattle and beasts and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth, and every man. 22 All in whose nostrils was the breath of the spirit of life, all that was on the dry land, died. 23 So He destroyed all living things which were on the face of the ground: both man and cattle, creeping thing and bird of the air. They were destroyed from the earth. Only Noah and those who were with him in the ark remained alive. 24 And the waters prevailed on the earth one hundred and fifty days.

Noah’s Deliverance

8 Then God remembered Noah, and every living thing, and all the animals that were with him in the ark. And God made a wind to pass over the earth, and the waters subsided. The fountains of the deep and the windows of heaven were also stopped, and the rain from heaven was restrained. And the waters receded continually from the earth. At the end of the hundred and fifty days the waters decreased.

Proverbs 10:1-22

Wise Sayings of Solomon

10 The proverbs of Solomon:
A wise son makes a glad father,
But a foolish son is the grief of his mother.

Treasures of wickedness profit nothing,
But righteousness delivers from death.
The Lord will not allow the righteous soul to famish,
But He casts away the desire of the wicked.

He who has a slack hand becomes poor,
But the hand of the diligent makes rich.
He who gathers in summer is a wise son;
He who sleeps in harvest is a son who causes shame.

Blessings are on the head of the righteous,
But violence covers the mouth of the wicked.
The memory of the righteous is blessed,
But the name of the wicked will rot.

The wise in heart will receive commands,
But a prating fool will fall.
He who walks with integrity walks securely,
But he who perverts his ways will become known.

10 He who winks with the eye causes trouble,
But a prating fool will fall.

11 The mouth of the righteous is a well of life,
But violence covers the mouth of the wicked.

12 Hatred stirs up strife,
But love covers all sins.

13 Wisdom is found on the lips of him who has understanding,
But a rod is for the back of him who is devoid of understanding.

14 Wise people store up knowledge,
But the mouth of the foolish is near destruction.

15 The rich man’s wealth is his strong city;
The destruction of the poor is their poverty.

16 The labor of the righteous leads to life,
The wages of the wicked to sin.

17 He who keeps instruction is in the way of life,
But he who refuses correction goes astray.

18 Whoever hides hatred has lying lips,
And whoever spreads slander is a fool.

19 In the multitude of words sin is not lacking,
But he who restrains his lips is wise.
20 The tongue of the righteous is choice silver;
The heart of the wicked is worth little.
21 The lips of the righteous feed many,
But fools die for lack of wisdom.

22 The blessing of the Lord makes one rich,
And He adds no sorrow with it.

I invite my readers to listen to my Ancient Faith Radio podcasts.

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