Archive for November, 2016

from the Hymns of Paradise, by Saint Ephrem the Syrian

from the weblog Communio: St. Ephrem the Syrian

from St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press:

Hymns on Paradise

by St. Ephrem the Syrian


A review of the hymns with excerpts, by Alice C. Linsley:

Just Genesis:  St. Ephrem’s Paradise 


Hymn 7, Stanza 13, P. 123 in the book:

In Paradise the cripples,

who had never walked, leap around;

the deformed, who had never even crawled,

fly about through the air;

the eyes of the blind and deaf,

who had yearned from the womb,

hungering for light

which they had failed to see,

now rejoice to behold

the beauty of Paradise,

and the mighty sound of its harps

gives comfort to their ears.

“In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”  1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

from the Crafty Contemplative

Orthodox Christians take the imperative “pray constantly” very seriously, and rejoicing and giving thanks are aspects of it.

John Sanidopoulos two years ago in his weblog addressed the United States of America’s Thanksgiving holiday in terms of it’s appropriation by Orthodox Christians. He briefly gives a history of Thanksgiving in America and a summary of our way of participation in it, as well as a number of resources which also address Thanksgiving. One of them is the Akathist of Thanksgiving which has been shared here every Thanksgiving since this weblog has existed. To access the post: 

And recently, Fr Stephen Freeman put Thanksgiving in Orthodox Christian perspective with his post “A Life of Thanksgiving” on  his weblog Glory to God for All Things 

The Akathist of Thanksgiving:

image from 

Welcoming persons with disabilities into the Body of Christ

To access the Google books page of this valuable, concise 15 page booklet:

The Body of Christ: A Place of Welcome for People with Disabilities, by John Chryssavgis  (Light and Life, 2002)

Abba Agathon and the Angel

How we as the members of the Body of Christ may proceed to welcome persons with disabilities is summed up in those 15 pages. He speaks of the Church as Communion, the realities of disability, the gifts of people with disabilities, the centrality of the Cross and our inter-dependence, the physical and emotional burdens on families that calls for our support.

There is an inspiring story which is also included in the booklet from the Saying of the Desert Fathers about Abba Agathon and his encounter with a person with disabilities:

 St. Nektarios Monastery: Examples of True Love

Fr. John writes,

“Whenever I reflect on persons with disabilities, I think primarily of persons, not of disabilities.”

This booklet is a wonderful place to begin to orient oneself to the opportunities persons with disabilities present to every Church community.

Sites with more information:

About the Author

To order from Light & Life

Icon from  Orthodox Road: Heresy and Heretics, Part 2

Mary Evelyn’s “What do you do, dear? Telling the honest truth about our beautiful new normal

bee-on-lavenderHere’s an informative and inspiring web blog written by a mother of a child with a disability:

Mary Evelyn’s What do you do, dear? telling the honest truth about our beautiful new normal (This page is her ABOUT page)

Here is her up-to-date home page: What do you do, dear?

When she refers to her “beautiful new normal, ” she is writing about the birth of her son, Simeon, who has the disability of Spina Bifida. The “beautiful new normal” starts here: January 20th, 2012: Crisis of Faith

She is a librarian, a very creative one. Funny, too. Welcome to the Hotel Spina Bifida

St. Paisios

Some posts in which Mary Evelyn writes in regard to her Orthodox Christian Faith:

Into Orthodoxy: And Back Again (I guest blogged!)

It’s Time to Meet Your Maker

I pour out my complaint before Him

Pascha Bread and being last

Her blog is very honest in regard to her struggles. But it is by no means dreary. I’m positive that the St. Paisios of Mt. Athos would describe Mary Evelyn as a bee. Here’s what I mean:

Orthodox Way of Life: Flies and Bees – Advice from Elder Paisios

pictures from The Daily Waffle & Padre Paisios


A Good Word from St. John Chrysostom

“In the Gospel Jesus Himself calls out to the whole human race: “Come to me, all you who are weary and

St. John Chrysostom

over-burdened, and I will give you rest…” (Matthew 11:28)

What an invitation! Come to me, all of you! Not just the powerful, the affluent, the educated, the strong, the healthy, the respectable; but also the lame, the disabled, the hopeless, the abandoned. The Master makes no distinction between any of you; the Good News is for everyone.” – St. John Chrysostom

quotations from Orthodox Tacoma: Spiritual Life

icon from Milk & Honey 

St. John Chrysostom †407

  Today is the feast day of St. John Chrysostom, the patron saint of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian parish my wife and I attend in York, PA. He was one of the Church’s greatest champions of a vigorous Christian life, a life which, he insisted, must include unconditional generosity and self-sacrifice. His continual insistence on this life of giving to those in need (without scrutiny or judgement as to whether they deserve it) in his homilies as Archbishop of Constantinople make him a natural choice as an intercessor for persons with disability.   Truly his life reflected the Lord Jesus Christ, and he lives in Christ’s presence, glorifying Him, and making intercession for us.

St. John Chrysostom and the Socialization of Persons with Developmental Disability: Patristic Inspiration for Contemporary Application:

See especially pages 5-8 for a short summary of his life, and pages 8-21 for the many quotation I found from his homilies and words which show his desire that all Christians should be lavishly generous to those in need, and that such people also deserve respect and a place as well as roles in the the life of our parishes. 

My favorite quote by St. John Chrysostom: 

If you ever wish to associate with someone, make sure that you do not give your attention to those who enjoy health and wealth and fame as the world sees it, but take care of those in affliction, . . . in critical circumstances, . . . who are utterly deserted and enjoy no consolation. Put a high value on associating with these, for from them you shall receive much profit, . . . and you will do all to the glory of God. God Himself has said, ‘I am the Father of orphans and the protector of widows.

(Psalms 67:6)’” (Paul Harkin, ed. Ancient Christian Writers: St. John Chrysostom’s Baptismal Instructions, 6.12, pp. 97-98 )

Other online resources on St. John Chrysostom:


From the Orthodox Church of America website: 

The Paschal (Easter) Homily of St. John Chrysostom, read every Pascha in Orthodox Christian Churches (not long, a word of great joy): 

By an Antiochian Orthodox Christian teenager: 

Works on St. John Chrysostom as well as works by him: 

Icon from

The Daily Dot: The 7 disability issues everyone needs to know about

By  from Daily Dot Politics

The Seven

Ethan Saylor

Ethan Saylor

1) The Social Security disability funding crisis

2) A double standard for murder

3) Police tragedies

4) Assisted Suicide

5) Institutional bias in long-term care

6) The employment gap

7) Special education

Read the article for the details:

The Daily Dot: The 7 disability issues everyone needs to know about

image from Media dis&dat 


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