Archive for June, 2009

St. Makarios the Great on making no distinctions

Christians therefore ought to strive continually, and never to pass judgment on anyone – no, not upon the harlot on the street, or upon open sinners and disorderly persons – but to regard all men with singleness of intention and purity of eye, so that it may become like a fixed law of nature to despise no one, to judge no one, to abhor no one, to make no distinctions between them. If you see a man with one eye, be not divided in your heart, but look upon him as if he were whole. If a man is maimed of one hand, see him as not maimed, the lame as straight, the palsied as whole. This is purity of heart, when you see sinners or sick people, to have compassion on them and be tender-hearted towards them. It happens sometimes that the saints of the Lord sit in theatres and behold the deceit of the world. According to the inner man they are conversing with God, while according to the outer man they appear to men as contemplating what goes on in the world.”


and for more from St. Makarios the Great, click on

reprinted from July 2008

poetry, fiction and essays about disability

from the weblog A Different Light  

Short stories, poetry, etc. Enjoy!

(Access the poems and short stories from the blogroll on the right)

Friends of Kondopoga

Here’s a ministry in Russia which serves people with disability, as well as young offenders, orphans, children, and the elderly. It is a joint British and Russian cooperative effort which operates out of a Russian Orthodox Parish Church in Kondopoga. There are pictures and good descriptions and stories about the various ministries. May God grant them the grace of His Presence and power to both communicate and receive His love to and from those they are seeking to help.

For ultimately love is more than alms given; it is union with God- Theosis- and union with others in Him (connection, relationship). Were not these the summation of the law by our Lord Jesus Christ?

The website:

Antiochian Women Project 2009

The women of the North American Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese work on a mission project each year.For this year, 2009, it is Children with Special Needs. Their fundraising goal is $150,000, and the funds will go to the ministry of Al-Kafaat, in Beirut, Lebanon. For information on Al-Kafaat, see the Resources/ Orthodox Ministries page or simply click on Al Kafaat on the blogroll which is in the column to the right on Arms Open Wide. For the details on the project:


The nuclear disaster at Chernobyl in northern Ukraine has resulted in many tragic personal stories of disability resulting from the radioactivity that flooded the region at the time of the accident. Here is the website of the organization devoted to helping those affected: Let them tell their story. But I will share with you one effort they are making to improve an orphanage for children with disabilities:

An Historic Visit to the Orphanage at Zaluchya (from )

On October 23d, a delegation of some 40 Orthodox faithful from across the United States and Europe traveled to the Zaluchya Orphanage to meet with the residents and to survey the progress that has been made in CCRDF’s campaign to improve conditions there. Under the leadership of His Eminence Archbishop Antony, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (USA) has become the leading sponsor of an intensive campaign launched by CCRDF to overhaul the conditions at Zaluchya and in the Znamianka Orphanage in Kirovohrad Oblast (province) to ensure that the orphans receive more humane treatment. Archbishop Antony toured the Zaluchya dormitories and playrooms, blessing each child and helping the pilgrims to distribute gifts for the orphans. To learn more about this joint campaign, please contact CCRDF or contact Natalie Kapeluk at the Ukrainian Orthodox Youth Ministries office at (412) 488-9664.

Full Story (PDF Document): Also:

photo by Joseph Sywenkyj

photo by Joseph Sywenkyj

Medical Programs / Helping Disabled Orphans

CCRDF assists three orphanages for disabled children in Zaluchya, Ivano-Frankivsk region, Znamyanka, Kirovohrad region and Pugachev, Zhytomir region. This program is sponsored by the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of USA and since its inception major renovations have been comleted at the orphanages. CCRDF has delivered mattresses, special needs equipment, physical therapy equipment, and new appliances to the orphanages. Each summer, volunteers from the United States and Ukraine come to play with children and help at the orphanages.

Reprinted from May 2008; some new material related to Chornobyl:

“Icon of the Chernobyl Savior” from The Chernobyl Relief Foundation in the United Kingdom

See also:

From the Ukrainian Orthodox Church USA- a missionary trip in July-August 2009:

See also:

Reprinted from May 2008

Henri Nouwen

was a notable Roman Catholic priest and writer. One of the books he wrote was on the subject Eastern Orthodox icons. In the later years of his life, he chose to become a part of the L’Arche community, where people share their lives with persons with developmental disability.

Jim Forest of the Orthodox Peace Fellowship knew Henri and saw those aspects of his life in which Henri explored Orthodox Christianity- such as the prayer of the heart, and icons.  He also addresses the last stage of Henri Nouwen’s life, at L’Arche. Here is the article Jim wrote concerning Henri Nouwen, entitled:

Henri Nouwen: a Western Explorer of the Christian East

And here is the account of the L’Arche years at the Henri Nouwen website:

Also, a message from Henri Nouwen: “Journey to L’Arche:”

from the Orthodox Outlet for Dogmatic Enquiries: on Thoughts and Deception

Here is a word from one who was not a beginner, but a teacher- a disciple of St. Silouan: Archimandrite Sophrony Sakharov, of blessed memory,  shares insights on Thoughts and Deception (“toward praying with a cleansed mind [nous]”): 


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