The ER for the Soul
|Christ the Saviour Cathedral, Moscow, Russia (click to enlarge)|
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.
Wednesday May 2, 2012 / April 19, 2012
Third Week of Pascha. Tone two.
Fast. Fish Allowed
Fast. Fish Allowed
New Hieromartyr Victor, bishop of Glazov (1934).
New Hieromartyr Demetrius priest (1942).
St. Matrona the Blind of Moscow (1952).
Martyrs Christopher, Theonas, and Antoninus in Nicomedia (303).
Hieromartyr Paphnutius of Jerusalem.
St. George the Confessor, bishop of Antioch in Pisidia (813-820).
St. Tryphon, patriarch of Constantinople (933).
Venerable Nicephorus, abbot of Katabad.
Venerable Symeon the Barefoot of Philotheou Monastery, Mt. Athos.
Finding ofthe relics (1621) of Venerable Joachim, abbot of Opochka (Pskov) (1515).
Venerable Joasaph (Bolotov) of Alaska.
Hieromartyr Alphege, archbishop of Canterbury (1012) (Celtic & British).
New Martyr Agathangelus of Esphigmenou Monastery, Mt. Athos (1819) (Greek).
Martyrs Theodore, his mother Philippa and two soldiers, Socrates and Dionysius at Perge in Pamphylia (2nd c.).
You can read the life of the saint in green, by click on the name.
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
18 And when Simon saw that through the laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Spirit was given, he offered them money, 19 saying, “Give me this power also, that anyone on whom I lay hands may receive the Holy Spirit.”
20 But Peter said to him, “Your money perish with you, because you thought that the gift of God could be purchased with money! 21 You have neither part nor portion in this matter, for your heart is not right in the sight of God. 22 Repent therefore of this your wickedness, and pray God if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven you. 23 For I see that you are poisoned by bitterness and bound by iniquity.”
24 Then Simon answered and said, “Pray to the Lord for me, that none of the things which you have spoken may come upon me.”
25 So when they had testified and preached the word of the Lord, they returned to Jerusalem, preaching the gospel in many villages of the Samaritans.
35 And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst. 36 But I said to you that you have seen Me and yet do not believe. 37 All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out. 38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. 39 This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day.
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