Saturday, May 24, 2014

The Domestic Church

The incubator for a life of righteousness

Prior to electricity and central heating, most families gathered in parlors, spending evenings with reading, sewing, and family conversations. The notion that everyone would retreat to bedrooms, kitchens, or dens, separating themselves from other family members, was unthinkable. The communal nature of the family was natural. I can remember, as a child (this really dates me), sitting together with my brother and my parents, listening to radio dramas. Before the coming of television, families would gather for evenings in the living room, where children would play with Lincoln Logs, or play board games with their parents.

Evenings spent together as family is important, for these moments not only build a bond between parents and their children, but serve as important times in which to share family values. The old saying that "a family that prayers together, stays together" was a truism that is often forgotten. I remember, as a boy of six, a Catholic family living next to us who had a small family chapel, complete with altar, statues, and candles. Every evening they would all gather in that little chapel to pray the rosary. As a protestant boy, I remember wishing we had a chapel as well.

Family meals are also important times for building strong moral and spiritual foundations in children. Sitting around the dinner table is a great time for parents to develop strong bonds of trust with their children. Dinner is a perfect time for talking to your children about their friends, or school activities, or recounting the homily from the Sunday Liturgy. Family members dispersing throughout the house for the evening, can end up functioning as autonomous entities, and family bonds are unlikely to develop in a healthy manner.

The domestic church, which is such an important element of the Orthodox Christian tradition, can not be developed in a family where meals, prayers, and social life are all in separate parts of the house. Parents, in their capacity as shepherds and nurturers, have the God given responsibility to make sure the home is an incubator for a life of righteousness, and where the Orthodox faith can take root. It is in such households that these children, in turn, learn how to be good parents to their own future children.

Hebrews 10:24-25: "... and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another ..."

With love in Christ,
Abbot Tryphon

Saturday May 24, 2014 / May 11, 2014
Fifth Week of Pascha. Tone four.

Hieromartyr Mocius (Mucius), presbyter of Amphipolis in Macedonia (295).
Holy Equals-to-the Apostles Methodius (885) and Cyril (869), first teachers of the Slavs.
Equal-to-the-Apostles Rostislav, prince of Greater Moravia (870).
New Hieromartyr Michael priest (1920).
New Hieromartyr Alexander archbishop of Kharkov (1940).
Venerable Sophronius, recluse of the Kiev Caves (13th c.).
St. Joseph, metropolitan of Astrakhan (1671).
St. Nicodemus of Pech, archbishop of Serbia (Mt. Athos) (1325).
New Martyrs Dioscorus and Argyrus of Thessalonica (1808) (Greek).
Commemoration of the Founding of Constantinople (330).
Venerable Comgall, founder and abbot of Bangor (ca. 603) (Celtic & British).
St. Bessarion, Archbishop of Larissa (Greek).
Martyr Acacius of Lower Moesia (Greek).
New Martyr Olympia, abbess of Mitylene (1235) (Greek).
Blessed Christesia, called Christopher (1771) (Georgia).
St. Theophylact, bishop of Stavropol and Ekaterinodar (1872).
St. Wiro, Irish missionary bishop to the Netherlands, in Limberg (710) (Celtic & British).
St. Cathan of Bute (6th c.) (Celtic & British).
St. Asaph, bishop of Llanelwy, Wales (6th c.) (Celtic & British).
St. Mayeul, abbot of Cluny (994) (Celtic & British).
St. Tudy, abbot of the Tudy.
St. Comgall, bishop anf founder of Bangor Monastery (601).
St. Bassus.

The name day of Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia.You can read the life of the saint by clicking on the highlighted name.

The Scripture Readings for the Day

Acts 15:35-41

35 Paul and Barnabas also remained in Antioch, teaching and preaching the word of the Lord, with many others also.

Division over John Mark

36 Then after some days Paul said to Barnabas, “Let us now go back and visit our brethren in every city where we have preached the word of the Lord, and see how they are doing.” 37 Now Barnabas was determined to take with them John called Mark. 38 But Paul insisted that they should not take with them the one who had departed from them in Pamphylia, and had not gone with them to the work. 39 Then the contention became so sharp that they parted from one another. And so Barnabas took Mark and sailed to Cyprus; 40 but Paul chose Silas and departed, being commended by the brethren to the grace of God. 41 And he went through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches.

John 10:27-38

27 My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. 28 And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand. 30 I and My Father are one.”

Renewed Efforts to Stone Jesus

31 Then the Jews took up stones again to stone Him. 32 Jesus answered them, “Many good works I have shown you from My Father. For which of those works do you stone Me?”
33 The Jews answered Him, saying, “For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy, and because You, being a Man, make Yourself God.”
34 Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your law, ‘I said, “You are gods”’? 35 If He called them gods, to whom the word of God came (and the Scripture cannot be broken), 36 do you say of Him whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’? 37 If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me; 38 but if I do, though you do not believe Me, believe the works, that you may know and believe that the Father is in Me, and I in Him.”

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All-Merciful Saviour Monastery is a monastery of the Western American Diocese, under the
omophor of His Eminence Kyrill, Archbishop of San Francisco and Western America. The Monastery is a non-profit 501 C3 organization under IRS regulations. All donations are therefore tax deductible. We depend on the generosity of our friends and benefactors. You can donate to the monastery through PayPal, or by sending donations directly to the monastery's mailing address.

All-Merciful Saviour Monastery
PO Box 2420
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