of St Nicholas
Redeeming the Time Vol 01.07 25th Sunday after Pentecost Nov 24/Dec 7 1997
Redeeming the Time
See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,
redeeming the time, because the days are evil.
25th Sunday after Pentecost
The Good Samaritan
Nov 24/ Dec 7 1997
GM Catherine of Alexandria
GM Mercurius of Caeasarea
News and Announcements*
Nativity Fast Rules*
Bishop Gabriel to visit Houston Sat-Sun Dec 13-14*
St Herman's Conference*
Parish Work Days*
St Nicholas Yolka Dec 8 / 21*
Gleanings from the Fathers*
Monday, Wednesday and Friday are strict fast days. We should not eat any meat, fish, milk or milk products, eggs, alcoholic beverages, or olive oil on those days. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, the fast is relaxed a bit, and we can have wine or olive oil if we wish. On Saturday and Sunday, the fast is further relaxed, and we can have fish, until the last weekend before Nativity (when we do not eat fish). There are changes on certain days because of the celebration of certain feasts. Please consult the calendar.
These common foods may be eaten, at any time: Vegetables, bread, juices, fruit, and nuts shell fish.
We should also take care to eat simply, and not waste a lot of time catering to our bellies by preparing especially tasty fasting foods. Give yourself a little consolation on the weekend by preparing special meals, but during the week, try to eat simply, and make a special effort to read together and pray.
Bishop Gabriel will be in Houston the second week of December, (Dec 13-14 civil dates). Before the Hierarchal Divine Liturgy on Sunday, Paul Sanchez will be tonsured a reader. Everyone is strongly urged to make plans to go to Houston to meet our bishop, and exclaim "Axios" for Paul. If there are enough who are willing to make the trip, we will rent a large van, so the driving will be taken care of. On this weekend, St. Nicholas will have reader's services.
The St Herman's conference is held around December 23-27 in the East, annually. This year it is in Lakewood, NJ. At least five from our parish are going to this conference, which more properly is termed a Pilgrimage, because it is dedicated to the memory of St Herman. Fr Seraphim, Reader Andrew, Joseph, Genevieve and Christina will leave on Tuesday, Dec 23rd, and return Saturday, Dec 27th (with a 5:30 AM flight!). There will be services as normal that weekend, even if the pilgrims do not feel very normal, due to lack of sleep!
We will have a parish workday Dec 20th, and Jan 1st (civil dates)
This day is the Sunday after St Nicholas day. All teams will participate in Trapeza. We will have some plays, Fr Seraphim will talk about St. Nicholas, and other parishioners will give the lives of other "Nicholases," such as Blessed Bishop Nicolia (who wrote the Prologue). The Holy Tsar Martyr Nicholas, St Nicholas of Japan, and others. There may be some treats for all kids big and small, too!
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. Also, Please remember the always suffering handmaiden of God, Mother Seraphima. She recently had a bad fall, and is mostly recovered, but is in constant pain, and is always in danger of being confined to her wheel chair permanently.
The daily scripture readings for the 26th week after Pentecost, 1997 (the coming week AFTER the publication date of this journal) are from 1 Timothy and Luke. Almost all scripture readings are on the St. Nicholas Calendar. All Orthodox Christians must have a scripture reading discipline, if they are serious about saving their souls. As your pastor, I beg of you that you at least read the daily readings.
1. People are generally called intelligent through a wrong use of this word. The intelligent are not those who have studied the sayings and writings of the wise men of old, but those whose soul is intelligent, who can judge what is good and what is evil; they avoid what is evil and harms the soul and intelligently care for and practice what is good and profits the soul, greatly thanking God. It is these alone who should properly be called intelligent.
2. A truly intelligent man has only one care - wholeheartedly to obey Almighty God and to please Him. The one and only thing he teaches his soul is how best to do things agreeable to God, thanking Him for his merciful Providence in whatever may be happening his life. For just as it would be unseemly not to thank physicians for curing our body, even when they give us bitter and unpleasant remedies, so too would it be to remain ungrateful to God for things that appear to us painful, failing to understand that everything happens through His Providence for our good. In this understanding and this faith in God lie salvation and peace of soul.
5. When an intelligent man examines himself he sees what he should do and what is useful to him, what is akin to his soul and leads to salvation and what is foreign and leads to perdition. In this way he avoids what harms the soul, as something foreign to it.
19. Remind yourself that you must constantly show your intelligence, but show it by a good life and by your actions themselves. In the same way, those who are sick consider and acknowledge physicians to be their saviors and benefactors not by the physicians' words but by their deeds.
20. That a soul is truly intelligent and virtuous is shown in a man's look, walk, voice, smile, conversation and manner. In such a soul all has been transformed and has taken on its fairest aspect. Its God-loving mind, like a watchful doorkeeper, bars the entrance to evil and shameful thoughts.
23. That life is passed in small and modest efforts become free of dangers and have no need of special precautions. By always conquering desires, they readily find the way leading to God.
24. Intelligent men should not listen to all kinds of conversation, but only to those which are profitable and lead to the understanding of God's will; for His will is the way by which men return once more to life and eternal life.
28. Those who are beguiled by earthly blessings, while knowing to the last word all that should be done to lead a good life, resemble those who have acquired remedies and medical appliances, but do not know how to use them and do not even trouble about it. Therefore, let us not lay the blame for the sins we have committed either on our birth or anyone else, but only on ourselves. For if our soul voluntarily surrenders to laziness, it cannot avoid being conquered.
St. Anthony the Great, Texts on Saintly Life
All unsigned or unattributed portions Copyright 1997 Fr Seraphim Holland
Address: 2102 Summit, McKinney TX 75071
Phone: 972 529-2754
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