Fr. John wrote this in 1983 but it is as timely as ever- at least what he has written. (The resources he lists, perhaps not.) He digs down into the inner transformation we must undergo, both personally and corporately, to make the Body of Christ more accessible to persons with disabilities.
Archive for May, 2012
The Apostle James, son of Zebedee, was a simple fisherman who left his nets to follow our Lord Jesus Christ as one of his twelve disciples. Empowered by the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost fifty days after Christ’s resurrection, the Apostle James preached the gospel in Judea, Samaria, and Spain. He was the first apostle to be martyred for Christ. His relics rest in Santiago de Compostela, Spain. He is an intercessor before the Throne of God, especially for people with rheumatism and arthritis.
Sermon from St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church in McKinney, Texas, January, 2008, on the Massacre of Holy Innocents in Bethlehem by Herod:
Notes on the Sermon
All the infants of Bethlehem- dead. Why would such a thing occur? Senseless. There are many senseless occurrences in the Holy Scriptures. Horrible things- mothers sacrificing their children to idol Baal. How do we deal with violence? By waiting on the Lord. Herod died an agonizing death, and faced certain agony after death. What do we make of Hitler and Stalin? We may never know why they arose and did what they did; but we know that God has given us the great and terrible gift of free will. Terrible, in that we misuse it. Do we not also entertain violent thoughts? And when we give into our passions we sacrifice our free will to enter into a pleasurable bondage. So much pain; as we obey, God will give us wisdom and understanding, that our hearts may find peace.
And does not all this pertain to life with a disability? This too seems senseless. And so the exhortations in this sermon serve as disability resources.
other sermons: http://www.orthodox.net/audio/
Home Page of St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church, McKinney, Texas: http://www.orthodox.net/
St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church weblog - scripture commentary, spiritual reflections: http://orthodox.net/redeemingthetime/
The source and story on the miraculous icon of St. Nicholas: http://full-of-grace-and-truth.blogspot.com/2008/12/miraculous-icon-of-st-nicholas-o.html
St. Colman, along with Sts. Kilian and Totnan, evangelized Franconia and Thuringia, where they were martyred for Christ. St. Colman is counted in the West as an intercessor for persons with gout and rheumatism. There is scant online information about his life. The four websites below sum up what I could find:
http://www.orthodoxengland.org.uk/stdjul.htm see July 8 (Kilian, Colman, and Totnan)
http://saints.sqpn.com/saintc3g.htm (The alphabetical listing of saints on this website lists sixteen different St. Colmans.)
This is the personal blog of an articulate young lady, a member of the Roman Catholic Church, who, in her own words, is “constantly striving to deepen my faith and strengthen my relationship with Christ and the Church.”
That’s a great goal. She goes on to explain in her page “About Me” how she was involved in a car accident in which she was paralyzed from the chest down. She writes,
I have a beautiful, blessed life, but not a day goes by that I don’t face some new challenge or limitation.
And so , in her weblog, she reflects on life, in a very serious and earnest way. Her thoughts are worth consideration.
Were an Orthodox Christian in a similar situation to create a weblog like Chelsea’s, it would be a very valuable contribution to an Orthodox Christian understanding of disability, in terms of helping the Church understand how persons with disabilities can contribute, which is a greater goal than expressing how the Church can help.
This would be a vision of the abilities that attend disabilities, and how they are in danger of being wasted if all people can see are the disabilites.
St. Killian was an Irish bishop who made a pilgrimage to Rome and was commissioned (ordained) to evangelize. With Sts. Colman and Totnan he evangelized East Franconia and East Thuringia, which are in the region of modern Bavaria, Germany, where he and his companions were martyred. He is counted in the West as an intercessor for those who suffer from rheumatism and gout.
From a discussion page on Orthodox Christianity.net.
In Orthodox Christianity, faith is not simply a cognitive matter. Persons with lesser cognitive abilities are not handicapped spiritually. The respondents here elaborate on this in a very constructive way.
To access the discussion: http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,32264.0.html
Father Andrew and five lay people from St. Luke the Evangelist Orthodox Christian Church (OCA) in Palos Hills, Illinois, have been making monthly visits to the fifteen person residential Intermediate Care Facility of the Garden Center, which also has a day program and workshop for over 120 people with developmental disabilities, where they learn basic living and vocational skills, for nine years now.
Father Andrew reads a short story to them, answers their questions about it, and conducts a short prayer service with a homily which evokes spirited participation. There is a snack time afterward, and Father Andrew and the lay people from the Church socialize with the people who live there during this time.
Two clients died recently, and Father Andrew agreed when requested to conduct a memorial service so that the other clients could have closure.
Read the full story from the Parish website here: