When a priest makes a concerted effort to relate to his young parishioners, by demonstrating a real interest in their lives, discovering what is important to them, and taking the time to actually instruct them in the Orthodox faith, there is a good likelihood they will remain pious Orthodox Christians for the rest of their lives.
A major problem for many young people (as many of our youth have shared with me) is the language barrier. Most young people are simply not interested in learning Church Slavonic, just as they are not interested in studying Church doctrine on their own. Standing for long services without understanding the message as revealed in the services, leaves them dry.
Priests cannot simply be liturgical functionaries, without being one step removed from wizardry. The Divine Services have to be more than form and ritual, or the Orthodox faith will remain unknown to the people, and personal, sustaining, faith, will not be imparted to them.
We must not allow our youth see the Church as a vehicle for the preservation of ethnic culture and outdated religion, or the Church will be irrelevant to them, and they will leave as soon as they are out of their parents home. Bishops and priests of the Church must be willing to interact with the society at large, dialogue with the thinkers of today, and demonstrate that we actually believe Christ can change the hearts of men, and bring healing to a culture that is falling into the abyss. The living faith that is Orthodoxy, will remain unknown, if we fail to bring the Gospel message to this modern age. The Church will become an irrelevant relic of the past, only if we let it happen.
With love in Christ,
Photo: I took this photo while visiting my brother, Dwayne, in Northern Idaho. We were driving back to his home, after visiting the cabin of our, now reposed, grandfather, on Priest Lake. (More about this trip tomorrow.)
Thursday November 14, 2013 / November 1, 2013
21st Week after Pentecost. Tone three.
Holy Wonderworkers and Unmercenaries Cosmas and Damian of Mesopotamia, and their mother St. Theodota (3rd c.).
New Hieromartyrs Alexander and Theodore priests (1918).
New Hieromartyrs Sergius archbishop of Eletsk, Alexander and Demetrius priests, Virgin-martyr Elizabeth (1937).
Martyr Peter (1941).
Hieromartyrs John the Bishop and James the Presbyter, of Persia (345).
Martyrs Cyrenia and Juliana in Cilicia (305).
Martyr Hermeningilda the Goth of Spain (586).
Martyrs Caesarius, Dacius, Sabbas, Sabinian, Agrippa, Adrian, and Thomas at Damascus (7th c.).
St. Cosmas of Verkhoturye (1704).
Martyrs James of Mt. Athos and his two disciples James and Dionysius (1520) (Greek).
Venerable David of Euboea (1589) (Greek).
Martyrs Cyprian and Juliana (Greek).
St. Cadfan, abbot of Bardsey Island.
New Virgin-martyr Helen of Sinope (18th c.).
You can read the life of the saint by clicking on the highlighted name.
THANKS 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,
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
The Scripture Readings for the Day
Sacrificial Service for Christ
24 I now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up in my flesh what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ, for the sake of His body, which is the church, 25 of which I became a minister according to the stewardship from God which was given to me for you, to fulfill the word of God, 26 the mystery which has been hidden from ages and from generations, but now has been revealed to His saints. 27 To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. 28 Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus. 29 To this end I also labor, striving according to His working which works in me mightily.
47 Woe to you! For you build the tombs of the prophets, and your fathers killed them. 48 In fact, you bear witness that you approve the deeds of your fathers; for they indeed killed them, and you build their tombs. 49 Therefore the wisdom of God also said, ‘I will send them prophets and apostles, and some of them they will kill and persecute,’ 50 that the blood of all the prophets which was shed from the foundation of the world may be required of this generation, 51 from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah who perished between the altar and the temple. Yes, I say to you, it shall be required of this generation.
52 “Woe to you lawyers! For you have taken away the key of knowledge. You did not enter in yourselves, and those who were entering in you hindered.”
53 And as He said these things to them, the scribes and the Pharisees began to assail Him vehemently, and to cross-examine Him about many things, 54 lying in wait for Him, and seeking to catch Him in something He might say, that they might accuse Him.
Beware of Hypocrisy
12 In the meantime, when an innumerable multitude of people had gathered together, so that they trampled one another, He began to say to His disciples first of all, “Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.
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