Russian Orthodox Church
of St Nicholas
Dallas, Texas
St Nicholas Orthodox Church, Dallas Home Page St Nicholas the Wonderworker Go to the bottom of the page
Phone:972 529-2754
nicholas@orthodox.net

Redeeming the Time Vol 01.04 21st Sun after Pentecost Oct 27 / Nov 9 1997


Redeeming the Time

St. Nicholas Orthodox Church Dallas TX

See then that ye walk circumspectly,

not as fools, but as wise,

redeeming the time,

because the days are evil.

21st Sunday after Pentecost

Oct 27 / Nov 9 1997

Vol. 01.04

Eternal Memory *

Pray for the Repose of the Guardian of the Myrrh-Streaming Icon, Br. Jose *

A Small Tribute to Brother Jose *

Local News and Announcements *

Fall Mission conference *

Clergy Conference in Atlanta *

"French" Luncheon November 16 *

Parish Work Day - November 15, 1997 *

Sick *

Scripture *

22nd Tuesday after Pentecost Oct 29/Nov 11 *

Luke 9:23-27 *

22nd Friday after Pentecost, Nov 1/14 *

Luke 10:1-15 *

Sunday, Oct 20/Nov 2 *

Letters *

A Parish should support it's pastor *

A Small way to redeem the Time *

Eternal Memory

Pray for the Repose of the Guardian of the Myrrh-Streaming Icon, Br. Jose

His Grace, Bishop Gabriel of Manhattan has asked me to post to the Orthodox Discussion Lists the following information regarding the tragic death of Brother Jose Munoz, Guardian of the Myrrh-Streaming Iveron Icon of the Mother of God. Although various reports regarding this terrible event have been posted, the Synod of Bishops wished to withhold a formal announcement until the actual facts became known.

With great sadness we confirm that Brother Jose Munoz Cortez, Guardian of the Myrrh-Streaming Icon of the Mother of God, was brutally murdered in Athens at the end of last week. Up until the eve of his death, he was accompanied during his stay in Greece by a priest of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, Fr. Alexander Iwascewicz, who reports that while in Athens, they were approached by a young Romanian man who asked Br. Jose for assistance in obtaining permission to travel to Canada. Brother Jose and Fr. Alexander accompanied this man to his hotel in a run down area of Athens to help him with this matter. Apparently, after Fr. Alexander's departure, Br. Jose once again accompanied this man to his hotel, where the murder took place.

According to high-level sources in the Athens police department, a Romanian man, well known to the police department has been arrested and has admitted complicity in the death of Brother Jose.

Unfortunately, various reports in the secular press have presented a very distorted depiction of what occurred, and we ask all of the faithful to discount the lurid imaginings of the sensationalist newswriters. Thousands of people in the Russian Orthodox Church have come to know Brother Jose during his travels over the whole world with the Myrrh-Streaming Icon, and hose who knew him know that the press rumors and insinuations are totally false, and obviously are being disseminated in an attempt to discredit Brother Jose and his work.

According to the best information now available, the body of Brother Jose will be transported to Montreal on next Monday, and the funeral service and burial will be at Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville later in the week, again, in keeping with Brother Jose's personal instructions.

We ask all of the faithful to pray for the repose of the soul of the newly departed servant of God Joseph and for our entire Church in these times of troubles.

For Bishop Gabriel of Manhattan, Archpriest Alexander Lebedeff

A Small Tribute to Brother Jose

For the past 15 years, Brother Joseph Munoz has been the caretaker of the miraculous Myrrh-Streaming Iveron Icon of the Mother of God (of Montreal). Despite his ill-health, Br. Jose joyfully traveled all over the world bringing this icon to the faithful believing that sacred things should go out to the people, as did our Savior. Countless healings have occurred as a result. When asked if he ever became accustomed to this amazing sight of the streaming myrrh, he replied, "you can never become used to a miracle...The person who understands what holiness is and what is sacred will never get used to a miracle."

The icon was given to Br. Jose by an Abbot on the Holy Mount Athos in Greece. It is a painted version of the miraculous "Portaitissa" icon of the Iveron Monastery. When the Abbot gave this icon to Br. Jose, he said, "A church where there is no love, compassion, and mercy is not a church." This saying affected Br. Jose for the rest of his life. From that point on, he made every effort to speak to others with kindness, and love. Even though his understanding of English was poor, he listened to those who came to the icon with patience and attention. His life was an example of obedience and humility to his priests and bishops, but did not remain quiet against the heresies of ecumenism and political control.

In his final interview (The Russian Pastor vol. 27 1997), Br. Jose spoke these prophetic words: "[We] must be prepared to die for the truth, not forgetting that if we make enemies here, we gain a Heavenly Friend there . . .. The Apostle Paul says that the price of sin is spiritual death. We must always be prepared for physical death, but especially arm ourselves against spiritual death. The time has come to be a confessor and not forget that the gates of hell will never overcome the Church. Everything is heading towards the time of antichrist . . . When the opportunity arises to be a confessor we should not hesitate. If we lose our earthly life, we gain a heavenly one. We should not fear death for Christ."

+ Give rest O Lord to the soul of Thy servant Joseph who has fallen asleep +

Local News and Announcements

Fall Mission conference

Fr Seraphim, Michael Daum, Andrew Temple and Jason Waghorne are attending the Fall Missions Conference in Atlanta. The conference is from Nov 8-10. Fr Seraphim will stay Monday in order to participate in the diocesan clergy conference.

Clergy Conference in Atlanta

Following the missions conference will be a daylong clergy conference (1/2 on Sunday. 1/2 on Monday), with Bishop Gabriel presiding. Our diocese has many needs, and the fields are "white for harvest". Please pray for the clergy.

"French" Luncheon November 16

The next get together will be about France, at Michael Daumís house. Bring something French, and use your noodles; try to bring something to do with Orthodoxy. Here are some ideas: The life of St. Genevieve, St. Ambrose, Nicetas the Goth, Martin of Tours, etc. St. John Maximovich ministered in Paris (that counts!) St. Patrick lived in Gaul for a while.

Parish Work Day - November 15, 1997

8:00 am to 12:30 PM

Efforts to improve the building appearance will continue with work focusing on the south exterior wall (repair windows and door, install gutters, scrape and paint, etc.) No previous work experience is required. We need a minimum of 5 or 6 people to complete the work

Please sign the sheet (THIS MEANS YOU) on the bulletin board in the church and indicate the time you will be able to work Any Questions? Talk to Michael Daum (214) 337-8713 or Keith Temple (972) 733-4785

Sick

Please pray for Hieromonk Averky, who is very ill with an ailment of the spine, and Tim Clader, who is recovering from a serious fall, which shattered one of his ankles.

Scripture

The daily scripture readings for the 22nd week after Pentecost, 1997 (the coming week AFTER the publication date of this journal) were from Colossians and Luke. Almost all scripture readings are on the St. Nicholas Calendar. Reading scripture is an important and too often neglected spiritual discipline. With God's help, let us decide to read the Holy Scripture for the daily readings, for the good of our souls.

22nd Tuesday after Pentecost Oct 29/Nov 11

Luke 9:23-27

"And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. {24} For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it." (Luke 9:23-24)

There are in general two views of life; one is false, the other true. Those who cling to the false life will lose everything entirely. They think they have possessions, and honors, and pleasures, and do not value the truly valuable virtues of the righteous, but all is a delusion, for the Savior says: "unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath." (Mat 25:29)

The Christian loses the life that will be lost anyway, with its delusions and lusts. He loses that which is already lost, and saves that which is precious, but hidden from the eyes of the world. How does he do this?

The Christian life is a continual comparison. We decide moment by moment what we should save, and what we should lose. The only way to choose wisely is to strive to know Christ. The Christian life is also the ever increasing of knowledge of WHO Christ is, and the amendment of the soul, in the light of this knowledge. Choose wisely, Christian, what you should save, and what you should lose.

22nd Friday after Pentecost, Nov 1/14

Luke 10:1-15

"After these things the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place." (Luke 10:1)

The twelve and the seventy apostles were prophesied clearly in Ex 15:27: "And they came to Elim, where were twelve wells of water, and threescore and ten palm trees: and they encamped there by the waters."

There is much meaning in this verse, which the fathers have elucidated. "Elim", being interpreted, means "Ascent". The twelve fountains are the twelve apostles. These fountains feed with their clear waters the thirsty roots of the 70 Palms (not fountains, since they need nourishment) clustered around them, which in turn provide shade and sustenance for the faithful. This is an image of the church. The Christian teaching, morality and way of life ascends away from the Jewish letter of the law through the holy Apostles to their successors, who are perfectly obedient to their teachings, and this divine thread of moral and doctrinal purity through their spiritual progeny has continued to this day.

Among the 70 were such luminaries as James, the Brother of the Lord and first Bishop of Jerusalem, The Evangelists Luke and Mark, Cleophas (the brother of St Joseph the Betrothed), Barnabas, the "Son of consolation", who was the great helper of St. Paul, and Philip, one of the seven deacons.

Sunday, Oct 20/Nov 2

Letters

A Parish should support it's pastor

If Christ and the Apostles were "supported full-time" by their "congregation" so that they could "evangelize" the tiny country of Israel, we should support ours full time so that the church may increase and many may be saved.

I must fulfill my obligation, and tithe, and ought out of love to give more than my tithe. (Only the part that's more than my tithe is an offering - for which I might get some credit, the tithe is an obligation - an obedience). We are unprofitable servants, we have only done what He commanded.

Will all full-time priests use their time wisely, and for the church's good? No, not all. But they have to answer for that, not me. It's like giving to the poor. We don't have to answer for how they use it. Christ commanded us to give to him who asks of us. He didn't say to find out or judge how the person is going to use your cloak and then figure whether you should give it or not. If he asks for money because he's hungry, you can give him food - that's fine. But St. John of Kronstadt said that we are blessed for giving to the poor, regardless of how they use it.

Should the clergy live markedly better than the people who support them? No. If you are in that (very, very unusual) situation, then give your money to support other churches, your bishops, church orphanages & other church charities, or missionary efforts.

The Church does NOT teach that being rich is a sin. But she does teach that greed and acquisitiveness are. The Church does NOT teach that poverty is a virtue. Poverty and richness, like sickness and health are conditions or situations that God can bless/inflict us with. Any condition can be either a blessing or a curse, depending on our attitude and sinfulness. God blessed Job in his initial wealth. Then He blessed him with poverty and sickness. Finally, He blessed him with twice as much wealth as be if God wants to inflict our clergy with poverty, He should be the one to do it. We should not be the ones playing God, and deciding our clergy are better off poor, tired from overwork, time-crunched, and perhaps occasionally irritable or showing bad judgement because of this. Meanwhile, we hoard our loot, taking vacations, buying bigger houses, saving for OUR children's college education, and OUR retirement, eating in nice restaurants.

True, not everyone is that well off. But consider the widow's mite, and that he who is faithful with a few things, will be rewarded with greater things.

The clergy should have a lot of time to spend in prayer, reading scriptures and the fathers. They should have time and finances to go to conferences (because we're so few & far apart in this country). They should have time to visit the sick and needy, more time to teach (and learn).

We wonder why the Orthodox Church is so small in the U.S.

We should pray. We should give.

Please forgive any offense and my overweening pride.

Love, Marianna (Friesel)

A Small way to redeem the Time

In the life of Saint Dimitri of Rostov, as told in Blessed Bishop Nicolai Velimirovic's Prologue from Ochrid (October 28), we can read that the saint was in the salvific habit of chanting the hymn "O Theotokos and Virgin, Rejoice" every hour when the clock struck.

Of course, he was a monk and even a saint. He lived in a monastery, and led a life dedicated to prayer and the learning and keeping of God's commandments. We poor ones lead a life most often not dedicated to those things which are for the salvation of our souls, but to the cares of this world and self-gratification, even though the evangelical commandments, which St. Dimitri followed so well, apply to all Christians.

We engage in both important and frivolous pursuits, and are often surrounded by people using bad language, and with bad ideas. Everywhere, whether in the office or supermarket, among our families, friends and brethren, or even when alone, temptations, distractions and sinful images assault us. It is very easy to forget WHO WE ARE (that is, who we have as our Father), and to lose a sure knowledge of the presence of God within our hearts as we go about our tasks. Perhaps we say our morning and evening prayers faithfully (perhaps not), but we may go long periods during the day that we do not remember God, or pray even a little bit. To always have the remembrance of God within us is certainly beyond our capabilities for the moment, but we can make a good start by emulating Saint Dimitri's good habit.

Christian! Strive to remember God at least every hour. Purchase a watch which beeps every hour, or a clock with chimes. Decide upon a short prayer or prayers to say every hour when you are "called to prayer." Perhaps you may say "Meet it is," or the Jesus prayer, "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner," or the prayer of the publican "O God be merciful to me a sinner and cleanse me." You may merely cross yourself and call God to mind. The content or variety of prayers is not so important, and is a matter of personal preference. The important idea here is to somehow shake ourselves out of our lethargy at least every hour, so that we do not forget God.

If you observe this practice faithfully, you will begin to see almost immediate results. You will find yourself praying more often, and able to listen to the prompting of your guardian angel, who previously could not be heard above the din. You may notice with unnerving frequency that you were about to be angry or were gossiping, or about to be mastered by some other passion as the clock strikes. If that is the case, then, you have an opportunity to immediately turn to God, and ask forgiveness, then say "your prayer." It is a much better thing to remember God while sinning, and to turn back to Him, than to keep on sinning and not think about Him.

In our household, everyone has this habit. Every time the wall clock chimes, we cross ourselves. Even our youngest one, Natalie, who is two years old, remembers, and is in fact the self appointed family sentry who makes sure none of us will forget our duty.

Copyright 1997 Fr Seraphim Holland

Address: 2102 Summit, McKinney TX 75071

Phone: 972 529-2754

Email: seraphim@orthodox.net

Web: http://www.orthodox.net

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Russian Orthodox Church
of St Nicholas
Dallas, Texas
Phone: 972 529-2754
Priest Seraphim Holland

nicholas@orthodox.net
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Fr. Seraphim Holland
Email:
seraphim@orthodox.net
Phone:
972/529-2754
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2102 Summit, McKinney TX 75071, USA

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