Archive for the 'Theotokos' Category

When you give a feast . . .

808fe-25ce25a425ce259f25ce25a525ce25a425ce25a525ce25a625ce259b25ce259f25ce25a5Then He also said to him who invited Him, “When you give a dinner or a supper, do not ask your friends, your brothers, your relatives, nor rich neighbors, lest they also invite you back, and you be repaid. But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind. And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you; for you shall be repaid at the resurrection of the just.” . . . .
“A certain man gave a great supper and invited many, and sent his servant at supper time to say to those who were invited, ‘Come, for all things are now ready.’ But they all with one accord began to make excuses. . . . the master of the house, being angry, said to his servant, ‘Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in here the poor and the maimed and the lame and the blind.’” St. Luke 14: 12-14, 16b-18a, 21b
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St. Paul

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Theotokos foundation
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For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ. . . .  the eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you”; nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” No, much rather, those members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary. 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, but our presentable parts have no need. But God composed the body, having given greater honor to that part which lacks it, that there should be no schism in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another. And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it. St. Paul’s letter to the Corinthians 12: 12, 21-26
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Scripture quotations from biblegateway.com 
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Al-Kafaàt (Abilities)        The Sheltering Tree        Challenge Liturgy         Estia         Icons for the Blind         Monastery of St. Martyr Grand Princess Elizabeth         St. John the Campassionate Mission         Panfilovo          In Case of Fire, Use Stairs         Deaf Orthodox Christians         Koinonia for Exceptional Orthodox Families         The Body of Christ: A Place of Welcome for People with Disabilities         Getting My First Hug         Church & the Child with Invisible Disabilities         Disability & Communion         Who is My neighbor?         Depression: Can It Be An Opportunity?         Prof. Dmitry Avdeev, M.D., Ph.D.         Blessed Matrona of Moscow          Helping Martin Succeed         A Letter to the Church         St. Mark the Deaf         Fr. George Florovsky & the Wild Child         Special Needs in Sunday School 1   2         St. John Chrysostom, Almsgiving, & Persons with Disability         Inclusion Awareness Workbook         Does the Orthodox Church adequately support their members with disabilities?         Special needs children in the Church         Mental health & relationship to God         Hopegivers         Personhood, Human Brokenness & the Therapeutic Calling of the Eastern Orthodox Church         Embracing All God’s Children: Orthodox Theology Concerning Disability & Its Implications for Ministry with Special Needs Youth in the Orthodox Church
God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise, God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong, God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God.” (1 Corinthians 1:27-29)

johnlahutskyOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA4ffaukraine_01_jpg_jpg45c5f-downiheartzion485511_658089894203358_2139785322_nbe80f-lilliana-1st-bdayElizabeth's 2011Jean-Vanier-3Songs of Experience (Mairs)Blessed_Matronan53927283354_6440orphans in the meadowe93da-6a00d83451580669e2010535fb037d970c-320wiOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAlana's personal reflection on Church services and her special needs family30-15b15dWolf Wolfensberger † Feb. 27, 2011Incense is therapeutic, except . . .paisios7clip_image002a-cross14921avdeev-photo

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St. John Chrysostom †407

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)’”

 

 

 

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Disability Resources: Ministries

The ministries that have been found (surely there are many more) are listed on two pages, international and U.S. (my location).  The ministries in traditional Orthodox Christian countries are considerably more developed, and these ministries serve as a goal for the developing Orthodox Church in the U.S. to aim for.

Ministries (International) 

This list contains Orthodox Christian ministries which serve and enable persons with disabilities in Russia, Lebanon, Belarus, Macedonia, Egypt, Palestine, the Ukraine, Australia, Georgia, India, Canada, Moldova, Ethiopia, Romania, Sierra Leone, Papua New Guinea, Kenya, Albania, Armenia, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Finland, Hungary, Serbia-Montenegro, Syria, Poland, the United Kingdom, and Greece. Quite a few are associated with monasteries. Here are seven outstanding efforts:

Al-Kafaàt (Abilities) (Lebanon); Monastery of St. Martyr Grand Princess Elizabeth (Belarus); The Village of Panfilovo (Russia); The Four Homes of Mercy (Palestine); Tikhvin Icon of Our Lady Temple, (Moscow, Russia); Saint Paraskeva Orthodox Charity (Romania):  Theotokos Foundation, (Greece).

Ministries (U.S.) 

As the Orthodox Church is spread out across the U.S., most of the ministries listed are individual Parish ministries, and one Parish Church can do just so much; most of the ministries are once a month or once a year one day or weekend events which are held once a month or once a year.  The Special Olympics Multi-Sport Training Camp at Antiochian Village, Ligonier, Pennsylvania   sponsored by the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America, is an annual (once a year) week-long event.

But there are some ministries that operate on a continual basis; The Hellenos House (see also Christopher), on Long Island, New York, which is affiliated with The Challenge Liturgy Ministry (see also Ministry Profile), providing a permanent home for seven persons with developmental disabilities.

There is also the Sheltering Tree in Omaha, Nebraska, which also provides housing, day programs, and frequent, periodic activities, both at their Activity Center and out in the community. Their motto is “Serving and empowering people with developmental disabilities.”

 

 

“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.

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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.

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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

St. John the Baptist, the Forerunner †30

St. John the Baptist and Forerunner

St. John the Baptist, the Forerunner of our Lord Jesus Christ (“He must increase, but I must decrease.”) was born of Zachariah and Elizabeth six months before our Lord Jesus Christ. When the Most Holy Theotokos, having conceived the Lord by the Holy Spirit, visited Elizabeth toward the end of her pregnancy with St. John, St. John leaped in the womb with joy at her and His approach.

He lived in the desert, eating locusts and honey, and baptized repentant Jews in preparation for the coming of the Messiah. And then the Lord Jesus came to be baptized by him, and he, of course, felt unworthy, but was encouraged by the Lord to proceed. He saw the Holy Spirit descend upon Christ and testified to it, saying, “Behold the Lamb of God Who comes to take away the sin of the world!

After denouncing Herod for his illicit marriage, he was put in prison, and later, as a result of intrigue, beheaded. He was the last and greatest of the prophets.The Gospels tell this story far better. Be sure to read them.

He is counted as an intercessor for persons with epilepsy.

Overview: http://orthodoxwiki.org/John_the_Forerunner

The Meaning of the Feasts of the Nativity and the Beheading of St. John the Baptist http://www.antiochian.org/node/19925 & http://www.stjohndc.org/Russian/feasts/e_stjohn_behead_popovic.htm 

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icon from http://iconreader.wordpress.com/2010/08/29/icons-of-john-the-baptist-john-the-forerunner/ 
http://saints.sqpn.com/saint-john-the-baptist/ 

The creativity of Beth Hopkins

Beth has a web blog: In Case of Fire, Use Stairs

Which begins, “Welcome to your Near-Beth-Experience”

A Post explaining the title: Entitlement

As the post explains, Beth has a disability. The post also reveals how she has retained a keen sense of humor not only in spite of the disability, but because of it!

The Most Holy Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary

She is also an Orthodox Christian. In this post she introduces a very important person in the Kingdom of Christ:

Behold Your Mother: Getting to Know the Virgin Mary

(Who, when informed by the Archangel Gabriel that she was God’s chosen vessel to bear the Messiah, the Christ, responded, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.” Is not, therefore, the Ever-Virgin Mary, the Theotokos,  not the true Ark of the new covenant? Without any doubt! Fittingly, we celebrate this event 9 months before Christmas on March 25th.)

Beth Hopkins not only goes to movies; she reads the book behind the movie, which is very important when you want to get behind Hollywood’s interpretation (distortion) of a literary classic. Here is her impressions of the Tolkien trilogy and the Hobbit:

What I’m tolkien about: 3 lessons from the Lord of the Rings

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facial hair

2. Cool people have facial hair.

<See example.

In this highly personal post, Beth reflects on marriage and her use a wheelchair, and realistically appraises the situation:

Look At Me: Why Looking Past Disability is Toxic for Relationships

Her conclusion:

Looking past me isn’t good enough anymore. It’s time to look at me. This, everything you see, and everything you don’t, is part of who I am. The perfect person for me is someone who loves and accepts all parts of me: typical and different.

Let’s not settle for relationships where someone looks past, ignores, or avoids any part of who we are. Let’s start to dream of someone who looks at us intently, and loves what they see.

(Beth’s posts cover quite a variety of subjects- popular music, movies, mission, and reflections on aspects life in general. Well, perhaps not in general, as the subjects are usually very specific and rarely mundane. But as this is an Orthodox Christian resource page, the next three posts mentioned are her personal insights on the Orthodox Christian Faith.)

A reflection on Psalms 23 and her journey of continual repentance:

He hath converted my soul

as well as her exultant Paschal celebration:

Happy New Year

She writes,

Being someone who hates to feel stuck, I crave-and relish-the feeling of renewal. And to know I have it, and to spend an entire day immersing myself in the knowing, is a beautiful thing indeed.

A Poem by Beth based on Psalm 103:

dust and back again

Her personal introduction from her blog “In Case of Fire, Use Stairs:” 

Beth Who?

On You Tube:

Tweets:

Bethahop

On a friend’s blog, two posts by Beth:

1. a letter to her friend’s very young son Sim discussing life in a wheelchair:

Letter to Simeon

2. a response to her friend’s post:

Dreams of What is Not:  Sleepwalking

One of the articles by Beth Hopkins published on the Huffington Post: 

 I Don’t Need Your Faith Healing

Through the intercessions of the Theotokos, a blind and deaf girl is healed

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The Miracle working icon of the Panagia Pantanassa

An illness deprived Lena Melnitschenko of her sight and hearing at age twelve.
 For two years she continued to pray before the icon of the Panagia Pantanassa (which means “Most Holy Queen of all”) at the Kiev Caves Lavra, and then one day …

Read the story here:

Mystagogy: A Blind and Deaf Girl Healed by the Theotokos at Kiev Caves Lavra

See also:

Mystagogy: A Miracle of Panagia Pantanassa at Porto Lagos in 2005

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Icon from Ἀναβάσεις Ἐνημέρωση Τοποθετήσεις Ὁμολογία
Mystagogy is the weblog of John Sanidopoulos

Iconographer

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Sources:

Byzantine. TX

Orthodox Way of Life

Orthodox Light

Simply Orthodox 

Patricia Balzer: Icons 

Vreau sa lupt!


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