Metropolitan Gregory: The Love of Neighbor- what this entails

from Pravmir: An excerpt from the book “A Day of Holy Life, or the Answer to the Question, How Can I Lead a Holy Life” by Metropolitan Gregory (Postnikov, +1869) 

Metropolitan Gregory 

I encourage you to read the entire excerpt which can be accessed at the webpage listed above- it’s not all that long. Here is an excerpt from the excerpt, in regard to relating to people in need, the people who are ill and disabled:

. . . . 6. You are pleased when people help you when you are in need. Therefore strive yourself, as much as you can, to help your neighbor in all of his needs. For alms (all good deeds) doth deliver from death, and shall purge away all sin. Those that exercise alms and righteousness shall be filled with life (Tobit 12:9) the Word of God tells us. Here we must follow a special rule. Namely:

a) We must first, before helping other people help those whom God’s foresight has united us with, i.e., parents, relatives, authorities, benefactors, those under our authority, and fellow believers. St. Paul says concerning the first group, But if any provide not for those of his own house, he hath denied the Faith, and is worse than an infidel (I Tim. 5:8). Concerning fellow believers the Apostle teaches: As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of Faith (Gal. 6:10).

b) Among the above, before others, come to the assistance of those who are especially in need, that is the ill and disabled. . . .

Even if you cannot give them what they specifically need, then at least visit them, serve them in some way, and comfort them. Act in this way even if they are totally ungrateful to you, for Love does not seek its own (I Cor. 13:5), and the Lord will reward you . . .

picture from ru.wikipedia 

Yates and Son

A radio interview with Stephen Yates, the author of

“Getting My First Hug: A Father’s  Story of His Son’s Triumph Over Autism”

on the Orthodox Christian Network: 

To Access: Parenting a Child with Autism By Fr. Chris Metropoulos on Come Receive the Light, Jul 18, 2014


  • Yates insight on the “Our Father” in the Lord’s Prayer
  • The Scripture portion Yates feels is the most pertinent in regard to disabilities:

 Now as Jesus passed by, He saw a man who was blind from birth. And His disciples asked Him, saying, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him. (St. John 9:1-3)

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

A Post on the Son’s Blog: Axel Yates: Getting My First Hug by Steven Yates See Also About Axel (in his own words) 

The book is available at The Orthodox Marketplace

Also: A You Tube interview with Stephen Yates:

the Christian family and ascetic struggle

Vigen Guroian, in his book, Ethics After Christendom: Toward an Ecclesial Christian Ethic, writes “The Christian family . . . is an arena of ascetic combat with the demons of personal and public life, This askesis not only perfects individuals but deepens community.” He is saying that character development is primary, and that social function follows. As  St. John Chrysostom says, “When we teach our children to be gentle, to be forgiving, to love . . . we reveal the image of God in them.”

Vigen GuroianGuroian (pictured on the left) sees the Christian family as embattled and under attack from modern cultural “privatism, narcissism, and consumerism,” and cannot, in its own power, effect change in society. Only by means of the character development gained by ascetic struggle, in which its members are conformed to the likeness of Christ, can the Christian family be a light to the world.

Once Kingdom values have been established in the family, the divine value it places on its members with disabilities serves as a witness to a world that devalues them for their lack of apparent utility. Love lays aside “utility” as the ultimate measuring tool.

from “St. John Chrysostom and the Socialization of  Persons with Developmental Disability: Patristic Inspiration for Contemporary Application,” pp. 25-26, by Willam Gall. To access:  st1johnchrysostomandthesocializationof

Amythest Schaber’s Pages

Amythest Schaber’s Blog: Neurowonderful Scroll down to see Amy and her cat.  You can also find links to her

design by Amythest Schaber

ART and her Art Store.

She also has a Facebook Page: Amythest Schaber

She does autism advocacy on this page. The day I found the page it displayed her picture with a sign which says,

Got Questions? AUTISTIC ADULTS are the best resource for parents with AUTISTIC KIDS.

Here is her You Tube page on Autism etiquette. Well, actually it addresses a lot more than that, it brings forth facts about autism, and also contains numerous reflections on life with autism: Amythest Schaber’s You Tube Page Neurowonderful

The video with the most views:

toward fruit that remains

Here is good news from the blog of the ECOSOC Innovation Fair, a “Greek Orthodox Archdiocesian Council Success Story,” with some reflections on the Divine “telos,” or ultimate goal, of such efforts:

“In 1987, The Greek Orthodox Archdiocesan Council (GOAC) organized a program called Hope in Action (Helping Other People Everywhere) which assists those in developing countries. . . .

The program was so successful that it evolved into the current Orthodox Mission Team Program. During the summer months, short-term volunteers who are doctors, educators, construction workers, engineers, carpenters and students assist communities with various projects around the world. They travel to Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria, Cameroon Chad, Albania, Poland, Slovakia, India, Mexico, the Philippines, Indonesia, Costa Rica, Haiti, Guatemala, and Madagascar where they offer their expertise in establishing medical and dental clinics, construct schools, restore and build churches, help develop agriculture and build water wells. They teach, build, nurture and heal. They work in collaboration with the local governments and United Nations agencies.

In Calcutta, India they assist with medical outreach to needy children and adults and with education at the Orthodox orphanage which houses street children. Homeless children are fed daily and as well as impoverished families, the elderly and disabled people. . . .”

Click here for the entire post:  Greek Orthodox Archdiocesan Council Success Story 

Of course, wherever we go and whomever we serve, such short-term efforts, except perhaps in the case of disaster relief, must always serve as a preliminary or auxiliary “arm” of a more permanent presence of the Orthodox Church and the eternal Kingdom of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, for our Lord Jesus said, “I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give it to you.” (St. John 15:16b)

Ancient Faith: Special Needs in the Sunday School Classroom, by Elissa Bjeletich

Mariana Bjeletich

Elissa Bjeletich relates how her Parish Philoptochos ladies group invited a parishioner who was an occupational therapist into the Sunday School classrooms to assess how they might better serve special needs students. She recommends that every Parish consider their human resources (Parishioner’s professions and talents) do this sort of evaluation. To access: Raising Saints: Special Needs in the Sunday School Classroom & Update: Special Needs in the Sunday School (more results of the evaluation)

Also: About Elissa Bjeletich- Her book, In God’s Hands & Raising Saints podcasts Picture from: The Latest on Mariana

The Orthodox Church is a hospital for the soul, by Abbot Tryphon

Our Orthodox Church has always seen herself as a hospital for the soul, the place where her children can seek healing. It is within her walls that we find the medicine we need to make us holy (whole), and where we can find the means for transformation that opens the doors to the Kingdom of God. It is within her walls that we gain access to our true inheritance, and enter into communion with God.

Adolf Harnack, in his book “The Mission and Expansion of Christianity: The First Three Centuries”, wrote, “Christianity never lost hold of its innate principle; it was, and it remained, a religion for the sick. Accordingly it assumed that no one, or at least hardly any one, was in normal health, but that men were always in a state of disability.”

Christ is the Great Physician, and established His Church that we might all be healed of the sickness that has separated us from the Father. Nothing in this world offers this promise of healing, and nothing in this world can open the gates to Paradise. Only through Christ’s Church can we hope to be saved, and only through His Church can heaven and earth be united as one.

In the Church we find combined in one, a spiritual hospital, a clinic, a hospice, a therapeutic center, and a fitness center, for treatment to provide the spiritual cure, maintain wellness for its patients (faithful members). Is it any wonder, then, that the Church should be the very center of each and every day, taking precedence over everything else, including work, leisure time, and entertainment?

With love in Christ,
Abbot Tryphon

from All-Merciful Savior Orthodox Christian Monastery Facebook Page

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