Archive for the 'gifts' Category

Other great Orthodox Christian blogs that address disability issues

I’ve been surveying Orthodox Christian disability resources for 10 years, and now I will be taking a break.   Many others, mostly mothers, have taken up blogging, sharing their experiences and discoveries. As I have worked in a group home for many years, this is personal for me as well, but not in the same way as a mother of a child with disabilities. Mothers are mothers 24 hours a day, for their entire lives. There is great depth to what they write, not necessarily in terms of new information,  but the kind of depth which comes from the heart, which is the important kind of depth. This is true, of course, of the blog and websites written by persons with disabilities themselves.

You will find much, ongoing information, personal and otherwise, on the blogs listed on the webpage below. Give them a look:

Online Orthodox Christian persons with disabilites & their family members

 

 

 

 

 

 

From our Holy Bishops: Disability and Communion

 Pictured: Attendees of the Standing Conference of the Orthodox Bishops of America at St. Sava Cathedral, New York, NY, May 2, 2006

Disability and Communion is the most official statement on the matter (June 25, 2009) our American Orthodox Christian Bishops have put forward.

 The Orthodox Church of America’s website reprinted the statement, and, at the bottom of the post, put forward some good questions to reflect upon in regard to personal interaction with persons with disability, both within the Parish Church, and in daily life.  http://oca.org/resource-handbook/parishdevelopment/disability-and-communion 

Picture from http://www.easterndiocese.org/2006archives.html 

– On Tuesday, May 2, 2006 the St. Sava Cathedral in New York was honored to host the annual SCOBA Meeting, the gathering of the hierarchs of all canonical Orthodox Churches in America. Attending this event were: Greek Orthodox Archbishop Dimitrios, Serbian Orthodox Metropolitan Christopher, Romanian Orthodox Archbishop Nicolae, Ukrainian Orthodox Archbishop Anthony, Bulgarian Metropolitan Joseph, Antiochian Orthodox Bishop Basil (filling in for Metropolitan Philip), representative of the Orthodox Church of America (OCA) V. Rev. David Brum and the general secretary of SCOBA Bishop Dimitrios Xantos.     

 

“the Mighty One entered, and put on insecurity”

Syriac Nativity Icon

An excerpt from St. Ephrem the Syrian’s Nativity Hymn 11, translated by Sebastian Brock, the distinguished Oxford Syriac scholar (The Harp of the Spirit, Fellowship of St Alban and St Sergius, 1983).

(icon from Iconography of the western Syriac Churches)

Your mother is a cause of wonder:
the Lord entered into her
and became a servant; he who is the Word entered–
and became silent within her;
Thunder entered her and made no sounds;
there entered The Shepherd of all,
and in her He became the Lamb, bleating as He comes forth.
Praise to You to whom all things are easy, for You are almighty.

+

Your mother’s womb has reversed the roles:
the Establisher of all entered into His richness,
but came forth poor; the Exalted one entered her,
but came forth meek; the Splendrous one entered her,
but came forth having put on a lowly hue.
Praise to You to whom all things are easy, for You are almighty.

+

The Mighty one entered, and put on insecurity
from her womb; the Provisioner of all entered–
and experienced hunger; He who gives drink to all entered–
and experienced thirst; naked and stripped
there came forth from her He who clothes all!
Praise to You to whom all things are easy, for You are almighty.

Saint Ephrem the Syrian

icon from The Feast of Mor Ephrem

Saint Naum the Miracle-worker of Ohrid †910

St. Naum

St. Naum is called upon to intercede with the Lord for people with mental disorders.

St. Naum of Ohrid (or Preslav) followed in the footsteps of St. Cyril and Methodius, missionaries to the Slavic lands, who translated liturgical texts from Greek into the language of the people, Slavonic. As they lived before the schism with Rome, St. Naum accompanied St. Cyril and Methodius to Rome, where God worked many miracles through them, so that the Pope came to see their translation work as a work of God. On their way back to their mission field, the Slavic lands, they traveled through Germany, where they opposed a number of heresies, and were tortured and imprisoned. Freed through an earthquake from God, they proceeded to Bulgaria, where St. Naum traveled about with fellow disciple St. Clement distributing the Bulgarian translation of the Holy Scriptures and preaching the Way of Christ. His feastday is December 23.

Sources: OCA.org: St Nahum of Ochrid, the Disciple of Sts Cyril and Methodius, Equal of the Apostles & A List of Saints Called upon for … Mental Disorders

There is a Monastery on the shore of Lake Ohrid named after him: St. Naum Monastery on Ohrid Lake, Macedonia

Invisible Chronic Illness: Some Personal Reflections

Alana is an Orthodox Christian wife, mother, thinker, etc.  from the state of Kentucky, USA; her website is entitled Morning Coffee 

In How my Illness Affects my life in Church,  Alana writes of how she misses out on a lot of Parish Life because of her fibromyalgia (compounded by a current bout with mononucleosis) – such as the Parish social events where she would have opportunities to really get to know fellow parishioners. Alana speaks of how she loves singing in the choir, which is not possible for her now. In fact she misses a lot of services, and the ones she does make present continual challenges. These difficulties cause her to struggle, outwardly and inwardly. At the end of this post, she presents a wish list for parishes to consider in regards to parishioners with disabilities. http://morningcoffee.blogspot.com/2011/09/i-found-out-just-now-that-someone-out.html 

In 30 Things, Alana lists thirty truths about her life, a few of which are simple facts, but mostly are  personal details about her life with fibromyalgia/ Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Mononucleosis and Hypoglycemia.  http://morningcoffee.blogspot.com/2011/09/in-honor-of-national-chronic-invisible.html 

In Homeschooling with Chronic Illness, Alana writes briefly in regard to her adventure of homeschooling her children as she contends with these disabilities. http://morningcoffee.blogspot.com/2011/09/homeschooling-with-chronic-illness.html

Explore Alana’s website; it is thoughtful, honest, and insightful. 

d
picture from r2a2r2j258.wordpress.com 

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 

q

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.

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

d
Icon from  Orthodox Road: Heresy and Heretics, Part 2

Archives

Blog Stats

  • 109,753 hits
April 2017
S M T W T F S
« Feb    
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
30  

%d bloggers like this: