If Christian culture is to be renewed, habits are more vital than revivals, rituals more edifying than spiritual highs, the creed more penetrating than theological insight, and the celebration of saints’ days more uplifting than the observance of Mother’s Day. There is great wisdom in the maligned phrase ex opere operato, the effect is in the doing. Intention is like a reed blowing in the wind. It is the doing that counts, and if we do something for God, in the doing God does something for us.
I could have accepted this as true before I became a more faithful participant in the liturgical and sacramental life of the Church, but having seen how the liturgy and the sacraments have worked and are working to change me without my being fully aware of it, I can testify to the truth of this from experience. Here’s what a big deal this is to me: if a wealthy patron offered me a big salary and a lovely house to move to my beloved France to live and raise my family, I would turn him down, because what I am given by my little country parish is priceless. It is far more than church; it is a culture, absorbed into one’s bones by the liturgy, the Psalms, the ancient hymns, the incense, the repetition.
Archive for the Missions Category
As a result of SAMP (Support A Mission Priest) contributions made during Great Lent 2010, St. Alexis is able to sponsor two priests again for a year.
Both men received seminary educations in their homeland. According to information supplied by OCMC (Orthodox Christian Mission Center), there are 48 priests currently serving in Tanzania and 175 in Kenya. Areas in both countries attest to the rapid growth of the Orthodox Church in the conversion of people to the faith by dedicated evangelists such as Fathers Philotheos and Tychicos.
Our support of these dedicated men, their families, and their parishioners reminds us that the church extends far beyond our little parish. Though we may not be able to interact with their respective communities, our financial gifts, along with those from other congregations in the United States, helps to underwrite their ministries. Keep them in your prayers over the coming year.