Archive for August, 2011

St. Bertha of Avenay †685

St. Bertha is listed as an intercessor for persons with mental illness as well. She was an abbess of a monastery in France, and a martyr.

Here is a Swedish site, translated by Google into English, on St. Bertha: http://translate.google.com/translate?js=n&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&layout=2&eotf=1&sl=auto&tl=en&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.katolsk.no%2Fbiografier%2Fhistorisk%2Fbavenay&act=url 

The original: http://www.katolsk.no/biografier/historisk/bavenay 

A letter written to her by Hincmar of Reims:   http://epistolae.ccnmtl.columbia.edu/letter/1018.html 

See also http://saints.sqpn.com/saint-bertha-of-avenay/

2002 Lenten Sermon on the healing of the paralytic

 1 And again He entered Capernaum after some days, and it was heard that He was in the house. 2 Immediately[a] many gathered together, so that there was no longer room to receive them, not even near the door. And He preached the word to them. 3 Then they came to Him, bringing a paralytic who was carried by four men. 4 And when they could not come near Him because of the crowd, they uncovered the roof where He was. So when they had broken through, they let down the bed on which the paralytic was lying.
5 When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven you.”
6 And some of the scribes were sitting there and reasoning in their hearts, 7 “Why does this Man speak blasphemies like this? Who can forgive sins but God alone?”
8 But immediately, when Jesus perceived in His spirit that they reasoned thus within themselves, He said to them, “Why do you reason about these things in your hearts? 9 Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Arise, take up your bed and walk’? 10 But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins”—He said to the paralytic, 11 “I say to you, arise, take up your bed, and go to your house.” 12 Immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went out in the presence of them all, so that all were amazed and glorified God, saying, “We never saw anything like this!” St. Mark 2:1-12

 http://www.biblegateway.com/

The situation of the paralyzed man in St. Mark 2:1-12 has much to teach all of us. Why? The homilist replies,

Because we’re paralyzed too. We have spiritual paralysis. We have spiritual blindness.

We see in the text four men who exemplify St. Paul’s vision of mutual concern as set forth in his first letter to the Corinthians 12:23-26:

  23 And those members of the body which we think to be less honorable, on these we bestow greater honor; and our unpresentable parts have greater modesty, 24 but our presentable parts have no need. But God composed the body, having given greater honor to that part which lacks it, 25 that there should be no schism in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another. 26 And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it. http://www.biblegateway.com/ 

The homilist speaks of the dual healing of body and soul, and our need of effort and struggle, to press through the crowd- up on and through the roof if need be- toward Jesus our healer, bringing all our difficulties to him. 

Orthodox Christian sermons are integral to our worship, to the work of the people in Divine Liturgy. The Holy Spirit is operative through this liturgical Word; it is the source from which all other words flow, such as those in books and blogs.  Lex orandi, lex credendi; the rule of prayer is the rule of faith. So partake of the source:

Text: http://www.orthodox.net/audio/great-lent-sunday-02-healing-of-the-paralytic_2002.html

Audio: http://www.orthodox.net/audio/great-lent-sunday-02_2002+paralytic.html

Same sermon in Word format: http://www.orthodox.net/sermons/great-lent-sunday-02_2002+paralytic.doc

Saint Amabilis of Auvergne (or Riom) †475

St. Amabilis of Riom

St. Amabilis is an intercessor for persons suffering with mental illness. 

He lived before the schism between East and West, and so there is good reason for an Orthodox Christian to seek his prayers for their healing, without qualms that he was from the West (France).

Apparently he began as a cantor (singer or chanter of hymns) and became a parish priest at Riom, France.

Here are the two online sources on him:

http://saints.sqpn.com/saint-amabilis-of-auvergne/ & http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amabilis_of_Riom 

Image from: http://www.soeursdelachariteottawa.com/English/history/virt-visits/his-vv-chap-det-e.html 

Inclusion Awareness Day Workbook, Eastern Orthodox Christian Edition

In cooperation with Pathway Awareness. To access: http://www.inclusioninworship.org/Inclusion%20Awareness%20Day%20Workbook%20Eastern%20Orthodox%20Christians.pdf 

 This is a workbook developed specifically for the Orthodox Christian Church through the efforts of  members of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese in the Chicago, Illinois area (see acknowledgements below) It was initially developed by the organization Pathways Awareness for adaptation by various Faith communities.

TABLE OF CONTENTS (from the workbook)

A Letter From Pathways Awareness………………………………………………2

 Inclusion Awareness Sunday Activities ………………………………………..4

Inclusion Awareness Sunday Prayer Card ……………………………………..6

Bulletin Article for Inclusion Awareness Sunday …………………………….7

How You Can Make a Difference …………………………………………………..8

Guidelines for Ushers and Lay Leaders ………………………………………….9

Using Appropriate Language ………………………………………………………11

Sample Inclusion Awareness Sunday Booklet ………………………………..12

Involving Teens in Inclusion Awareness Sunday ……………………………13

Involving Children in Inclusion Awareness Sunday………………………..15

I Am .Thumb. Body Activity ………………………………………………………15

Paper Doll Activity……………………………………………………………………15

Starting a St. Stylianos Children.s Ministry…………………………………….16

Press Release…………………………………………………………………………….17

Quotes from The Body of Christ ……………………………………………………18

Creating an Accessible Facility……………………………………………………..18

Facilities Survey…………………………………………………………………………19

Inclusion Resources from Pathways Awareness ………………………………25

Inclusion Resources from Light and Life Publishing………………………….25

URL for the Inclusion Awareness Prayer Cards: http://www.inclusioninworship.org/Inclusion%20Awareness%20prayer%20card.pdf 

URL for ordering them: http://www.inclusioninworship.org/open_awareness_day_prayer_card.php Acknowledgements, from the Workbook:

Acknowledgements for the Orthodox Christian version of the Inclusion Workbook: Great appreciation goes to His Eminence Metropolitan Iakovos for his blessing on Inclusion Awareness Sunday, to His Grace Bishop Demetrios of Mokissos for his guidance and for reviewing this workbook, and to Father John Rallis and Father John Kalomas for their support. We wish to thank Eleni Patos, Maria Kotsinis and Constantine Zografopoulos for their contributions to the Inclusion Awareness Sunday Workbook and for introducing Inclusion Awareness Sunday to Eastern Orthodox parishes.The image of the icon on the Inclusion Awareness Day prayer card is used compliments of the Blessed Isaac of Syria Skete, Boscobel, Wisconsin: http://www.skete.com/ 

An apt word from St. John of Rila to the Bulgarian King

 

St. John of Rila and the King

St. John offered a small loaf to nine famished royal hunters who had not eaten for five days. They ate to their hearts content, and after that half the loaf was still left! The hunters reported this wonder to King Peter, who hurried and sought a word from St. John of Rila. He offered him various foods and gold; St. John rejected the gold, but humbly received the food. And this is what he said:

To entirely accept your gift would not be fitting for me. But because of your faith and your zeal towards me, I accept the food. The gold, however, I must return to you, for it greatly harms a monk, especially a monk living in the wilderness and inaccessible places. Why does one need gold who is contend to eat bread, but not to full satisfaction, and enough water only to moisten his parched tongue? To us ‘Christ is life and dead is gain.’ In your state of life, however, gold is a necessity. But even you, who are adorned with a diadem, must not delight in gold because it is said: ‘When wealth is flowing, do not attach your heart to it.’ In spite of what is written: ‘Wealth is proper to a king’s state,’ it is to be used for his arms and his army, not for his own pleasure, but most of all it is for the disabled and the poor, for the naked and the homeless. Therefore, if you wish to inherit the kingdom of heaven, be generous as our heavenly Father is generous. Flee injustice and plundering. Be meek, calm and accessible, and let your eyes be opened for all. ‘Let the oil of your mercy run over all, but let not your left hand know what your right hand is doing! Let the poor be happy when they leave your palace! Your princes curry praises on their lips! Your purple robe shine with the light of virtue! Your sighs and tears be your offspring! The remembrance of death be always on your mind! Your thoughts be unceasingly centered upon longing for the Kingdom! Prostrate yourself at the feet of your mother the church. Diligently kneel and bend your neck before those who rule her, so that the King of kings and Lord of lords, when He sees your diligence, will give you the reward which ‘eye has not seen, nor ear heard neither has entered into the heart of man – that which God has prepared for those who love Him.’”

 from the Bulgarian Orthodox Website http://www.pravoslavieto.com/life/10.19_st_john_of_rila.htm 

Also: The generic drug manufacturer Actavis has made the Bulgarian Orthodox Cathedral in Varna, Bulgaria accessible:  http://news.enewspr.com/2008/06/actavis-supports-disabled-access-bulgaria/ 

“Crazy John” on children with disabilities

… He especially loved a little child whose parents had abandoned it because it was born with Down’s Syndrome”, Calliope added. 

“But tell me, little Calliope, how could they leave behind this tiny angel?” he would wonder. “If only they (the parents) knew that this angel was for them a ticket to Paradise and eternity, they would never have abandoned it. How on earth do you turn your back on such a treasure?  Our Lord – dear little Calliope – said that He is Love. And you know that love contains sacrifice. Love without sacrifice is like an empty can – an unvarnished one, as my dear mother used to say. Christ – dear little Calliope – said that whoever doesn’t have sacrificial love resembles a zero.  If we only knew dear girl what treasures God sends to man continuously to save him, we would be jumping for joy. Here, take a look at this angel here – this is one of those treasures…   In fact, I will tell you a secret. If we could find a good family today who would adopt it, then not only would they receive innumerable heavenly blessings, but also, with the sacrifice of their love, in embracing a little angel with a wounded body, they would even cure it.  Because our Triadic God is merciful and caring…”

These are the things that mister John would say as he looked at the sick and abandoned little child asleep in its tiny hospital crib.

–“Isn’t it strange little Calliope how people nowadays care more about little animals, and pay no attention to these little children?  I’m not saying we shouldn’t love birds and animals. We should care about them too, but how much more should we care about suffering mankind, who is made in the likeness of God?  We need to become Good Samaritans nowadays, so that we might give up our lives also if necessary, to comfort our fellow-man. Don’t forget that  – especially you nurses, whose work is linked to human suffering…

This excerpt was taken from the Orthodox Outlet for Dogmatic Enquiries: http://www.oodegr.com/english/index.htm, specifically: http://www.oodegr.com/english/psyxotherap/crazy_john3.htm They cite another Greek language source, http://www.orthodoxia.gr/ which, translated by google translate, yields this information on the book which is the source of the excerpt. Part 1 of the book is now available in English (click on book ad for translation): http://translate.google.com/translate?js=n&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&layout=2&eotf=1&sl=el&tl=en&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.orthodoxia.gr%2F&act=url 

An altar server of note

The story which follows is by an Orthodox Priest in Nashville, concerning a young man who has been a faithful altar server. The young man is a snappy dresser; he also is diagnosed with autism. Access the story at this website: http://saintsilouan.org/2009/07/autism-hasnt-stopped-child-from-serving-god/

Here is the website of their parish in Nashville, Tenessee: http://holytrinitynashville.org/ 


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