Monday, March 19, 2012

From yesterday's liturgy -- we're here listening to a brief word from Metr. JONAH. It was a beautiful service.

Thank you to any and all who've expressed kind words and offered prayers. Please continue to keep us in prayer.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

The Commandments of St. Basil the Great to Priests

Study, O Priest, to make yourself a blameless worker, rightly dividing the word of truth.

Never stand at the synaxis having hatred toward anyone so as not to banish the Comforter.

On the day of synaxis do not judge, do not argue, but remain praying and reading in the church until the appointed hour in which you will accomplish the divine and sacred ceremonies; and thus stand with compunction and purity of heart in the holy sanctuary, not looking around here and there, but standing with shuddering and fear before the heavenly King.

Do not, because of human weakness, hasten through or cut short the prayers, neither try to please persons, but look only toward the King who is present and the hosts of angels that surround him.

Make yourself worthy by the holy canons.

Do not concelebrate with whom it is forbidden.

See in whose presence you stand, how you serve and to whom you dispense.

Do not ignore the Master's commandment and those of the holy Apostles: 'Do not give dogs what is holy; and do not throw pearls before swine.'

See that you do not deliver the Son of God into the hands of the unworthy.

Do not feel ashamed before those who are glorious on earth, neither before him who happens to wear the crown at the time.

To those worthy of communion dispense the gifts freely, as you also have received. Do not dispense unto him who does not observe the divine canons.

See that you do not let moth, mouse, nor any other thing touch the divine mysteries out of negligence, neither allow them to be exposed to dampness or smoke or to be contaminated by the unholy or unworthy.

These things and such things preserve in order to save yourself and those who heed you.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Ordination, Mission

In your kindness, remember me in your prayers; on March 18th, 2012 (Sunday of the Cross), I am scheduled to be ordained to the holy priesthood by Metropolitan JONAH here at St. Vladimir's in Three Hierarchs Chapel. Lent is a difficult time for all of us; we have to face demons regardless of any title that might or might not be in front of our name. Dealing with your shortcomings when you're a week and a half away from this office is another thing. Thanks again for your prayers.

We will be graduating, God willing, this May--so strange that I remember this post so vividly (perhaps because there hasn't been all that much activity on the blog since coming here). The move, it looks like, is going to be to Miami. An opportunity in the Church for a Spanish-speaking mission has arisen; again, your prayers for us in this uncharted territory. I am thankful for having already met brother priests in the area who will help me with their experience and guidance; it's comforting to know that we're not going in alone, inexperienced (even though this is a new cultural context for the OCA to deal with).

As if this weren't going to keep us busy enough, St. Vladimir's is taking a small group to the Hogar Rafael Ayau orphanage in Guatemala for a week-long service trip in late May. I've been asked to go. Thus, in the middle of getting ready to move, there's a pretty substantial trip. Matushka and I have talked about how this will be a good experience (the parish in Miami has roots that go way back with the orphanage); nevertheless, it will be a busy late Spring/early Summer.

To that end, then, I'm having to switch back into fundraising mode (for the first time in 15 years, which was the last time I went to Latin America on a mission trip). If you are able and willing to help us in this effort, please use the PayPal button in the sidebar to the right. We will be catechizing recent Latin American converts and helping the nuns in the monastery move their physical location from an incredibly dangerous area of Guatemala City ("Zone 1") to a place further out--more conducive to a monastic life, yes, but even more so for raising orphans.

A rather packed, abrupt post after a few months of silence, yes, but there it is. A blessed Lent to all y'all.