Love above all ...

Love for Christ knows no bounds, neither does love for your neighbor. It should extend everywhere, to the ends of the earth. Everywhere, to everyone.
Let me give you an example. There was a monk who had two disciples. He tried very hard to bring them up to scratch and make them better. But he was worried about whether they were really making any progress in the spiritual life, if they were making headway, and if they were ready for the kingdom of God. He waited for a sign from God about this, but did not get an answer. One day, there was going to be a vigil in another skete that was a good few hours away from theirs. They'd have to make their way through the desert. He sent his disciples off early, so that they'd get there early and get the church ready, while the Elder himself was to leave later in the afternoon. The disciples were well on their way when suddenly they heard groaning. There was a man there, badly hurt and asking for help;
- Take me with you, please. I'm stuck out here in the desert. Nobody ever comes by. I'll never get any help. There's two of you. Pick me up and carry me to the nearest village.
- We cannot. We're in a hurry to get to the vigil. We've been told to get it ready.
- Please! Take me with you. If you do not, I'll die and get eaten by wild animals.
- We cannot. Sorry, but we have to do what we've been told.
And they left. In the afternoon, the Elder left for the vigil. He went along the same path. He got to the place where the injured man was lying.
He saw him, went up to him and said:
- What's the matter, man of God? What is it? How long have you been here? Did not anybody see you?
- This morning a couple of monks came by and I asked them to help me, but they were in a hurry to get to a vigil.
- I'll take you. Do not worry.
- You cannot. You're an old man. You cannot lift me. No way!
- No, I'll take you. I cannot leave you.
- But you cannot lift me '
- I'll bend over and lift you on top of me. It'll take time, but I'll get to the nearest village. A little bit today, a little bit tomorrow, but I'll get you there.
So he lifted him, difficult though it was, and started to trudge through the sand. He was sweating freely and thought: 'Even if it takes three days, I'll get there'. As he was tramping along, he began to feel that the burden was becoming lighter, and then, at one point, he seemed not to be carrying anything at all. He turned his head to see what was going on and, to his amazement, saw he was carrying an angel.
The angel said to him:
- God sent me to tell you that your two disciples do not deserve to enter the kingdom of God, because they do not have any love.

Source: AgiaZoni, Periodical of the Church of the Holy Girdle, Patisia, vol. 19, 2010
Source: Pemptousia.com


Posted by: Mark Sedrak


Clarifying Intention

This is an exercise to clarify your spiritual intention. This is
especially good to do when things seem bleak or unclear.

First, list ten things you wish for your most treasured relationship.
Next, list ten things you would wish for a child born today.

Now, using the words from your two lists, make about ten three word
statements (only three words) of spiritual intent.

Here are some I came up with:

See beauty everywhere.
Know God's love.
Be at peace.
Illumine midnight places.
Participate in life.
Follow holy ways.
Share God's light.
Hear creative music.
Believe despite doubt.
Act despite fear.

Keep them in a place you can read them daily for awhile. Reflect on
them. Ponder them. Your spiritual intentions will become clear.

This is very good way to commune with the heart.

Pray for me, a servant
Rev. Fr, John=Brian


Pope Francis: 3-step plan for overcoming conflict

From: Jim Forest


Pope in Morning Homily Gives 3-Step Plan for Overcoming Conflict

Warns That Insulting a Brother Is Akin to Murder, Since Both Are Rooted in Hate

Vatican City, June 12, 2014 (Zenit.org)

During his morning Mass in Casa Santa Marta, Pope Francis today
proposed a three-step plan for overcoming conflict and living in
fraternal communion with one's neighbor.

He addressed the question of how we ought to love one another, drawing
from the Gospel reading of the day, which recounts the Lord's
conversation with His disciples about brotherly love (Mt 5:20-26).

The Pope first recommended a "criterion of realism: of sane realism."

"If you have something against another and you cannot fix it, look for
a [compromise] solution - at least," he suggested.

The Pontiff acknowledged that a compromise might not be ideal but is
at least a good thing and is "realism."

In order to save many things, in fact, "one must make a deal – and one
takes a step, the other takes another step and at least there is
peace: a very [imperfect] peace, but a peace agreement

We face many difficult situations in life, and, "while we are on the
road, we make compromises … and in this way we put a stop to hate and
strife among us," Francis said.

He proposed a second criterion, coherence, meaning a recognition that
"to speak ill of someone is to kill the other, because the act [of
insulting] is rooted in hatred all the same."

It is to "kill" our neighbor in "a different way: with gossip, with
calumny, with defamation. Jesus warns us: The one who calls his
brother stupid is killing his brother, because the act is rooted in
hate," Francis said. "In our day, we think that 'not killing our
brother' means simply not actually murdering him – but no – not
killing our brother means not [even] insulting him. The insult comes
from the same root of the crime: hatred. If you do not hate, and you
would not kill your enemy, your brother, then do not insult him

Finally, the Pope said, Jesus offers a third criterion, that of
"fraternity rooted in sonship."

"If we must not kill our brother, it is because he is our brother,
that is, because we have the same Father. I cannot go to the Father if
I do not have peace with my brother," the Pontiff reflected.

"Do not talk to the Father if you are not at peace with your brother –
if you do not have at least a compromise agreement," he insisted. "Do
not talk to the Father without being at peace with your brother."

Summarizing, Pope Francis admitted that these three criteria are not
easy to fulfill: "Three criteria: a criterion of realism; a criterion
of coherence, meaning not to kill and not even to insult, because
those who insult kill; and a criterion of fraternity rooted in

"One cannot talk to the Father if one cannot even speak to one's
brother – and this means overcoming the holier-than-thou attitude of
the scribes and the Pharisees. This program is not easy, is it?
Though, it is the way that Jesus tells us to keep going.

"Let us ask Him for the grace to move forward in peace among
ourselves, with compromises, and always with coherence and in a spirit
of fraternity rooted in sonship."

(June 12, 2014)


Lenten Reconciliation Pastoral Prayer [Sedro]

Lenten Reconciliation Pastoral Prayer [Sedro]
Syriac Orthodox Church

Priest: O Christ, our God, the eternal Tranquility of creation, and the true

Peace of the uttermost parts of he world; Thou Who art love and art
called love, and Who delighteth in this title more than all other
titles; Thou Who giveth honor to those who hold to this love.

By Thy love for us, Thou offereth Thyself as an acceptable sacrifice
and a sweet fragrance.

By Thy crucifixion, Thou breakest down the barrier of enmity and,

By Thy blood, Thou hast reconciled the dwellers of heaven and earth
and hast removed the enmity from the middle and united them as one.

By the indivisible unity of Thy Godhead from eternity and Thy human
nature in time, Thou hast called all those who were far off and those
who were near, and thus Thou has joined them together with the concord
of Thy divine love.

By this same love, Thou hast counted them among the household of Thy
eternal kingdom and brought the whole world good tidings of peace and
tranquility. At Thy birth, the heavenly hosts proclaimed peace to the
shepherds. Thou gavest peace to the women, who went and announced Thy
glorious resurrection. In peace, Thou assureth Thy holy apostles of
Thy resurrection in the upper room where they gathered. When Thou
wast ascending to Thy Father, Thou gavest Thy peace to Thy disciples,
saying to them: "My peace I leave with you; not as the world giveth,
do I give it to you. This is my commandment that you should love
another, just I have loved you." Keep this love entrusted to us, our
Savior, and by it, confirm our minds.

By Thy love, may we be bound together.

By Thy love, drive out from among us divisions and controversies.

By Thy love, make us keep Thy life-giving commandments.

By Thy love, hold afflictions and sufferings from us.

By Thy love, make us children of peace and tranquility.

By Thy peace, unite the shepherds and their flocks.

By Thy peace, cause priest to delight in their offerings.

By Thy peace, perfect Thy Church and her children.

By Thy peace and tranquility, guide and adorn Thy Church.

By Thy peace and tranquility, lead her congregations and make her
children glad

In Thy tranquility, keep those who are near her.

In Thy peace, purify her deacons.

In Thy tranquility, unite her leaders.

In Thy peace, reconcile the wrathful.

In Thy tranquility, unite those that are divided.

In Thy peace, fill bitter souls with happiness.

In Thy tranquility, keep Thy flock.

In Thy peace, settle doubting minds.

In Thy tranquility, purify our thoughts.

In Thy peace, deliver us from merciless people in authority.

In Thy tranquility, adorn us in all Thy festivals.

In Thy peace, accept our fasting and our prayers.

In Thy tranquility, grant us mercy and forgiveness.

In Thy peace, loosen us from the bonds of wickedness.

In Thy tranquility, break us out of the yoke of the adversary.

May Thy peace be with us and may Thy tranquility reign among us. Bind
our minds with Thy Love and establish Thy loving-kindness in our
hearts that we may offer thanks to Thee, O Lord of tranquility, and to
Thy Father, the Giver of peace, and to Thy Holy Spirit, the Perfector
of true love, now and forever.

People: Amen