An Orthodox Christian
of St Nicholas
Sept 27/ Oct 10 1999
19th Sunday After Pentecost
News and Announcements*
Mission Services Next Weekend*
Our building fund balance is $26,930.23, as of last weekend.*
Developments at New Valaam Trading Company*
What Thank Have Ye?*
Thoughts on Luke 6:31-36*
Gleanings for the Holy Fathers*
How to React When We are Reviled*
Beloved in Christ:
It is not spiritually profitable to any person to confess irregularly and only attend the full services a few times a year in order to commune the Holy Mysteries. The early Christians communed the Holy Mysteries every day! We are much more unworthy than they because we are not often in a prayerful state and we let things of the world distract us. We are not able to commune every day, and some of us may not be able to commune frequently, but we must do everything in our power to keep ourselves "in Christ". With this in mind, I am giving this pastoral directive.
Unless you have another confessor, please make plans to confess your sins at least monthly. If you are spiritually prepared, you may also commune monthly. Spiritual preparation also involves frequent church attendance, including the vigils, fasting according to the typicon of the church, a struggle to say daily prayers, the reading of the Scriptures and other holy things, and struggling against our sins.
I am asking everyone to be spiritually responsible about this, just as they must be responsible when they have a requirement pressed upon them in their job. You must make plans to confess, and order your priorities so you are able to call me to make an appointment, and be present when the appointment time comes.
As always, I invite anyone who has any questions to contact me privately. There are individual situations which some people have that are always taken into account, such as extreme distance from church, the necessity of working on a day or evening when services are normally held, and other things.
The task of being a Christian becomes harder every day. Outwardly, it is still quite easy, but inwardly lies the struggle, and the society in which we live, and the very air we breathe seems to constantly entice us to be easy on ourselves, and make worldly decisions, much to our spiritual detriment. It is my task as a pastor to try to inspire everyone to struggle in every way to gain their salvation.
God bless you and help you in all things.
one who prays for you,
unworthy Priest Seraphim
Mildred Wilson reposed in the Lord last Saturday evening. She is the mother of Subdeacon Thomas of the St John Chrysostom Orthodox Mission in Belton, Texas. Fr Seraphim served the funeral for Mildred on Monday, after which Thomas gave some touching remembrances of his mother. Fr Lubomir, of St Vladimir's Russian Orthodox Church in Houston, officiated at the internment, which was in Grayburg, Texas, on Tuesday. Mildred suffered from Alzheimer's since 1992, and was taken care of with great love in Thomas' home, with his wife Patricia being the primary caregiver. Mildred died peacefully, with Patricia at her side, on Saturday evening while she was being fed.
It is worthy to note how the Lord worked wondrously to bring Mildred into the Holy Orthodox Church. She was not a Christian when she became afflicted with Alzheimer's and later deteriorated to the point that it was impossible to carry on any sort of meaningful conversation with her. Thomas had a great desire to see her baptized and called the priest, on the basis of some things his mother had said, but who could be sure? God removed all doubt, as, when the mystery of baptism was being conducted, Mildred herself answered the questions clearly, and after the baptism was completely in her right mind for about thirty minutes, and able to converse normally. Glory be to God! Her repose was not long after her baptism, which was in June of this year.
St John Chrysostom Orthodox Mission, Belton, Texas:
Services at St Nicholas will be as usual Saturday evening and Sunday morning.
It would be wonderful if our brethren helped support this mission, as well as the one in Austin, which we are helping to sponsor, by attending the services there. Comfort one another by prayer with each other!
The drive to Belton is less about 2.5 hours from the church in Dallas. Contact Fr Seraphim or Subdeacon Thomas for written directions, or look at http://www.orthodox.net/directory/tx.htm.
New Valaam Trading Company ( http://www.orthodox.net/nvtc ) is growing rapidly. Our weekly sales are over $100.00 a week, and increasing! This is a great help to our building fund. We will be installing a system from "Total Merchant Services" which will allow credit card transactions and a shopping cart system on the website as soon as possible.19sunape.htm
They say that there was a certain monk who, whenever he found a
man reviling and cursing him, used to run towards him with all his
power, saying, "These [words] are the causes of spiritual excellence in those who are strenuous, for those who ascribe blessing to a man disturb the soul, as it is written, 'Those who
ascribe blessing to you lead astray your soul.'
Paradise of the Fathers
A brother came to see Abba Macarius the Egyptian, and said to him, "Abba, give me a word, that I may be saved." So the old man said, "Go to the cemetery and insult the dead." The brother went there, abused them and threw stones at them; then he returned and told the old man about it. The latter said to him, "Didn't they say anything to you?" He replied, "No." The old man said, "Go back tomorrow and praise them."
So the brother went away and praised them, calling them, "Apostles, saints, and righteous men." He returned to the old man and said to him, "I have complimented them." And the old man said to him, "You know how you insulted them and they did not reply, and how you praised them and they did not speak. So you too, if you wish to be saved, must do the same and become a dead man. Like the dead, take no account of either the scorn of men or their praises, and you can be saved."
Russian Orthodox Church
of St Nicholas
Phone: 972 529-2754
Priest Seraphim Holland
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