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“55 Maxims” – On Living a Christian Life

Fr. Thomas Hopko’s “55 Maxims” – On Living a Christian Life (*)
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  1. Be always with Christ and trust God in everything.
  2. Pray as you can, not as you think you must.
  3. Have a keepable rule of prayer done by discipline.
  4. Say the Lord's Prayer several times each day.
  5. Repeat a short prayer when your mind is not occupied.
  6. Make some prostrations when you pray.
  7. Eat good foods in moderation and fast on fasting days.
  8. Practice silence, inner and outer.
  9. Sit in silence 20 to 30 minutes each day.
  10. Do acts of mercy in secret.
  11. Go to liturgical services regularly.
  12. Go to confession and holy communion regularly.
  13. Do not engage intrusive thoughts and feelings.
  14. Reveal all your thoughts and feelings to a trusted person regularly.
  15. Read the scriptures regularly.
  16. Read good books, a little at a time.
  17. Cultivate communion with the saints.
  18. Be an ordinary person, one of the human race.
  19. Be polite with everyone, first of all family members.
  20. Maintain cleanliness and order in your home.
  21. Have a healthy, wholesome hobby.
  22. Exercise regularly.
  23. Live a day, even a part of a day, at a time.
  24. Be totally honest, first of all with yourself.
  25. Be faithful in little things.
  26. Do your work, then forget it.
  27. Do the most difficult and painful things first.
  28. Face reality.
  29. Be grateful.
  30. Be cheerful.
  31. Be simple, hidden, quiet and small.
  32. Never bring attention to yourself.
  33. Listen when people talk to you.
  34. Be awake and attentive, fully present where you are.
  35. Think and talk about things no more than necessary.
  36. Speak simply, clearly, firmly, directly.
  37. Flee imagination, fantasy, analysis, figuring things out.
  38. Flee carnal, sexual things at their first appearance.
  39. Don't complain, grumble, murmur or whine.
  40. Don't seek or expect pity or praise.
  41. Don't compare yourself with anyone.
  42. Don't judge anyone for anything.
  43. Don't try to convince anyone of anything.
  44. Don't defend or justify yourself.
  45. Be defined and bound by God, not people.
  46. Accept criticism gracefully and test it carefully.
  47. Give advice only when asked or when it is your duty.
  48. Do nothing for people that they can and should do for themselves.
  49. Have a daily schedule of activities, avoiding whim and caprice.
  50. Be merciful with yourself and others.
  51. Have no expectations except to be fiercely tempted to your last breath.
  52. Focus exclusively on God and light, and never on darkness, temptation and sin.
  53. Endure the trial of yourself and your faults serenely, under God's mercy.
  54. When you fall, get up immediately and start over.
  55. Get help when you need it, without fear or shame.

 

(*)Fr. Tom expounds further on this at:
http://www.ancientfaith.com/podcasts/hopko/lent_the_tithe_of_the_year

Memory Eternal!

 

Protopresbyter Thomas Hopko

 

3/28/39 – 3/18/15

Supreme Court Ruling

The best thing we can share with our parishioners on the topic of today's Supreme Court ruling is the Diocesan statement in this regard. Likely some will think it too strong, others not strong enough. That probably means that it is just about right. But if you have questions please talk to Father Gregory. The WORST thing you could do is keep quiet if you are struggling in any way. We perish alone – we are saved together. Be part of the “together” for your salvation whether you are having trouble with this or any other issue.

This statement from the Diocesan Chancery on the Contemporary Question of Homosexual Marriage to the Clergy and Flock of the Diocese is provided to give us guidance for our salvation in light of the Supreme Court decision. Please read it, pray about it, and try to put the advice afforded us in the statement to use towards your salvation.
http://chicagodiocese.org/news_150626_1.html

 

Statement from the Diocesan Chancery on the Contemporary Question of Homosexual Marriage to the Clergy and Flock of the Diocese

March 16/29, 2013 Martyrs Sabinus and Papas

Updated November 8/21, 2014 Archangel Michael and All the Bodiless Powers

Updated June 13/26, 2015 Martyr Aquilina of Byblos in Syria

 

Today the United States Supreme Court ruled that homosexual marriage is a constitutional right in the United States of America. Given the ubiquitous coverage the news media is providing on this issue it is important that our clergymen and parishioners fully understand the position of the Church in this regard.

Living in a free society as we do, we should first be thankful that we have the opportunity to practice our Orthodox Faith without inordinate interference from the government. In recent history this was not the case in Russia, and is still not the case in many countries throughout the world. In a free society all views can be shared in the public arena – both views we agree with as Orthodox Christians and those we disagree with. We call upon our flock to be guided first and foremost by the Holy Tradition of the Church in discerning whether any contemporary question is something that is compatible to the Orthodox faith. If an Orthodox Christian chooses to engage in public political discourse this should be done with moderation and with a firm intention and watchfulness not to fall into extremism. Extremism is not conducive to softening hearts or bringing others to the faith. Laymen who choose to engage in political speech should not state that they speak on behalf of the Church. Strictly speaking such an authoritative statement can be made only by a bishop or with a bishop’s specific blessing.

It should also be made clear that living a homosexual or any other sinful lifestyle is not compatible with Christianity and this has always been the teaching of the Church. That being stated, it is also crucial to state that the Church is a Spiritual Hospital and all those wishing to receive the healing freely offered by God through their repentance and God’s Grace are fully welcome. This includes those who have participated in immoral or unnatural acts of any kind as well as those who are tempted by such sins. The Church is empathetic to those who suffer in such a way and offers them support, healing, and Christian love. Those actively engaging in any immoral or unnatural pursuits cannot live a full sacramental life within the Church. However, this does not mean that we seek to drive away or ostracize those who have transgressed in such a way. Rather, we must make all efforts to draw those in such an unfortunate situation back to chastity and the opportunity to again partake in the Life-Giving Mysteries of the Church and to engage the struggle for their salvation within the parish community.

Today's Supreme Court ruling makes homosexual marriage legal in the United States. It should be made clear that under no circumstances will the Church recognize homosexual marriage, accord it the status of traditional marriage, or bless such unions. However, this is not to state that those who have entered into such a union have stepped beyond a line from which they cannot return. The Church has always strongly condemned heresies (such as Novatianism, Montanism, and Donatism) which deny the possibility of repentance for those having committed certain sins. It is crucial that our clergymen not shy away from the position of the Church as regards the sinfulness of homosexuality and other unnatural expressions of the God-given gift of human sexuality – but it is also crucial that such statements be made with love and with a corresponding invitation to repentance and reconciliation with the Church.

We call upon all to pray for our land – that the Lord will forgive us our collective societal sins as well as our personal sins and provide us a safe haven which allows us to work out our salvation in peace.

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What have we been reading about the Holy Sepulchre Church lately?

There is a lot of activity at the Church of the Holy Sepuchre Church in Jerusalem.  Many feel that they have found the Tomb of Jesus Christ, where he was laid to rest - and ultimately Resurrected.  Thank you to Fr. Andrew Rogers for finding this article and sharing it with us.

 

Jesus' tomb site was just exposed for the first time in centuries

Daniel Estrin, PRI's The World
<span style=
/>© Daniel Estrin This is the entrance to the room where the tomb of Jesus is located.

A restoration team has exposed hidden layers of the site known as Jesus’ tomb — for the first time in centuries.  The Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem marks the spot where tradition says Jesus was crucified, buried and resurrected.  At the center of the church is a structure called the Edicule. Inside is a tiny room that the faithful believe houses the cave where Jesus was entombed.

For centuries, the room of the tomb has been covered in marble. Last week, experts removed some of the marble to see what’s underneath. A diverse cast of characters gathered to see what would be found.  “There was this wild group of priests and construction workers and police,” said writer Kristin Romey of National Geographic, which is documenting the restoration. “Everyone just had this incredible sense of anticipation.”  National Geographic archaeologist Fredrik Hiebert took me inside to see what was exposed.

At the same time, clergymen approached the shrine and shook incense; most of the daily church rituals continued as usual while the restoration continues.

A large, creamy marble slab — which Hiebert said was likely from the year 1555 — had been slid partially open, like the lid of a sarcophagus.  “They pulled the marble off to see what was underneath,” Hiebert said. “Underneath that was a whole bunch of debris. Now they’ve cleaned off the debris, moments ago.”  With the debris removed, they found something unexpected: another marble slab, tinted gray and thought to date to the 12th century.  “It’s partially broken off, so you can see other debris underneath. But I don’t believe that is the original rock,” Hiebert said, of a whitish material seen underneath the grey slab. “We still have more to go.”

The restoration team has cut a hole into one of the marble encasings, so for the first time, pilgrims will be able to see the limestone wall of what’s revered as Jesus’ tomb.  “Over there to the left is the window we opened to the marble slab,” said Antonia Moropoulou, who oversees the Greek experts conducting the restoration work. “The holy rock is visible.”  She and the work crew were overcome with emotion during this stage of the restoration work, Moropoulou said.  “Of course everybody could feel the energy in this place, an energy coming from the holy rock, from the tomb of Christ, and an energy from the prayers and the hope that it is inspiring in the world around it,” she said.

It’s a miracle the restoration is taking place at all.  Six Christian denominations share custody of this holiest of Christian spots. There are turf battles and it’s nearly impossible to reach a consensus on renovations.  Israeli police briefly closed the building last year, because it was deemed unsafe. That is what got the Christian communities at the church to jointly approve the restoration.  They granted the restoration experts only 60 hours to work in the inner sanctum of Jesus’ tomb, Hiebert said — so the tomb could go back to being a place of prayer.

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Slava Isusu Christu.
Hello everyone,

A little more detail on the renovations taking place at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre
http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/jesus-tomb-site-was-just-exposed-for-the-first-time-in-centuries/ar-AAjRpmD?li=BBnb7Kz

Blessings,
Fr.A

 

 

 

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Mission Core Group - Mission Statement

We consider ourselves a Mission Group of dedicated and energetic Orthodox Christians who feel that there is an excellent opportunity for growth in the teachings of Our Faith, and want to spread the love and compassion of God’s Will through prayer and celebration.