Archive for April, 2016

The first-martyred Holy Apostle James †44

  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.

His Feast Day is April 30.

To learn more about this holy apostle:

OCA.org: The Holy Apostle James, the son of Zebedee

CathSaints,info: St. James the Greater 

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Source of Icon: http://orthodoxtasmania.blogspot.com/2011/05/st-james-apostle-commitment-to-jesus.html

 

 

Holy Friday

icon from Mode of Life 

St. Aidan Orthodox Christian Church: The Ministry of Suffering

As St. Paul writes in his letter to the Phillipian Church, 

But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ  and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death,  if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.

Phillipians 3:7-11, NKJV,  biblegateway.com

In Orthodox Christian Holy Week, we walk with Christ through his betrayal, suffering, death, burial, and resurrection. And in all our lives we seek to conform ourselves to our Lord Jesus Christ not only in His victory, but also through His sufferings, through patient endurance of loss and pain. While some may be called to the priesthood, the monastic

life, missions of mercy and Church planting, others may receive a call the value of which is difficult to understand: the ministry of suffering. 

a reflection from the website of St. Aidan Orthodox Church, Cranbrook, British Columbia :

The Ministry of Suffering

April 23: The Feast Day for the Holy Great Martyr St. George † 303

Holy Great Martyr St. George

All the Saints who have gone before us- indeed,  all who have fallen asleep in Christ- live to God.

And we may ask for their intercessions concerning any malady and any matter. But in some places, chiefly the west, certain Saints are counted as special intercessors for certain specific things.

 In relation to persons with disabilities, Saint George is counted as an intercessor for persons with leprosy and skin diseases. 

Here is a good account of his life from an Orthodox Christian Parish for which he is  the patron Saint, St. George Orthodox Cathedral in Wichita, Kansas:    http://www.stgeorgecathedral.net/saints_george.html 

Source of Icon: http://mybyzantine.wordpress.com/2010/04/23/saint-georges-day-some-icons/ 

A Roman Catholic source: http://saints.sqpn.com/saint-george/                     

from St. Isaac the Syrian

St. Isaac the Syrian

St. Isaac the Syrian: “Do not disdain those who are deformed from birth . . . because all of us will go to the grave equally privileged.” + St. Isaac the Syrian, “Homily 5,” 

Source: Ascetical Homilies of St Isaac the Syrian & Orthodox Church Quotes

For more on St. Isaac: Full of Grace and Truth: St. Isaac the Syrian, Bishop of Nineveh and Great Hesychast 

For more from St. Isaac: Glory to God for All Things: Words from St. Isaac of Syria 

Icon from: Milk & Honey – Spiritual Food for Thought: On Hell, by St. Isaac the Syrian

Overcoming the disability of mental imprisonment

Deacon Charles Joiner, who “was trained as an engineer”  and oriented “to viewing things from a logical and scientific perspective,” has found that this approach causes him anxiety and difficulties in his spiritual life. 

He asks, “How do we overcome this tendency to allow our rational mind to dominate and blot out everything spiritual? While I have not completely overcome this disability, here are some of the approaches that have helped me. … .”

To access the approaches that have helped him, read this post from his blog Orthodox Way: Walking the Path to Theosis:

Role of Reason and Logic in Our Spiritual life 

“Why can’t you just get over it?”

Opening My Heart to Hope 

Can Someone Just “Get Over” Mental Illness? 

– a post from the award winning blog Rose with Thorns 

The question that is the title of this post is an aggravating one for those suffering this malady; but it is one that many people with mental health problems ask themselves. But the intelligent young lady who is the author of this blog, who speaks from experience, sums up why the answer is “no” in clear and concise terms.

Picture from Rose with Thorns: About 

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