Wednesday, February 9, 2011
Words from Fr Ed (From February 13, 2011 Bulletin)
But I say to you…
We hear several commandments from Jesus this weekend that push Christian morality beyond the righteousness
“…of the scribes and Pharisees.” He takes the traditional commandment, such as, “Thou shall not kill,” and expands its
meaning to include anger and harsh words. Jesus says, “…whoever says, ‘You fool,’ will be liable to fiery Gehenna.” Is it
that serious? What is so wrong about calling someone a fool if they might even deserve it? Here is the basic reason,
“God is love.”
God’s correction of a person is done with gentleness and encouragement. When we call someone a fool, either to their face or behind their back, we’re identifying their whole being with some action that we disapprove of. As foolish as someone’s actions may be in our judgment, imprisoning them in a condemning notion of themselves is not how God sees things. As Christians, we must strive to see things as God sees them. St. Paul says, “Put on the mind of Christ.” Jesus came to save, not to condemn.
Jesus goes further to speak about lust of the eye and adultery in the heart. To ponder or entertain a thought against our vocation, and another’s, draws the soul into a grave form of selfishness. Marriage is about giving. Like Jesus, partners in marriage lay down their lives for
one another in self-giving. Adultery typically begins with a look, proceeds to the mind, and then justifies this form of theft with various lies.
It might be especially tempting for men these days as our eyes are bombarded with lustful images in the media and on the internet. BEWARE! Pornography is addictive and produced by people without a conscience who are supported by demons. They are experts at drawing one in by degrees until one is trapped. It can destroy a marriage. What sadness I see when this steals a man’s affection for his wife. As Proverbs says,
And have joy of the wife of your youth, your lovely hind, your graceful doe. Her love will invigorate you always, through her love you will flourish continually. When you lie down she will watch over you, and when you wake, she will share your concerns; wherever you turn, she will guide you. (5:18-22)
There is hope for one caught in this snare. The principles of AA are used successfully here. I give the first six steps and a website where
you can learn more:
1) We admitted we were powerless over our problems and behaviors—that our lives had become unmanageable.
2) Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
3) Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
4) Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
5) Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
6) Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
See http://www.r-a.org/H-Steps.htm for more information. One must face this with brutal honesty, seeking the genuine help that one needs. God comes to our assistance if we but simply ask.
Our Lady of the Inexhaustible Cup
This icon is credited as having healed many of addiction. We ask Our Lady to free all from addiction to pornography
and other diseases of mind & body. She is a powerful intercessor and can give the help that we need. Here is one
part of the Akathist (Prayer Service) to Our Lady:
O all-merciful Mother of our Lord and God, Jesus Christ, hear our prayer, and deliver us from all ills,
physical and emotional, and especially your servant(s) (name(s)), who suffer(s) from this disease, so that
he (she, they) may not perish, but might be saved and thus would sing to God:
ALLELUIA! ALLELUIA! ALLELUIA!
For the whole story see:www.orthodoxresearchinstitute.org/resources/services/akathist_inexhaustible_cup.htm
Orphanage Renovation Team #1 is already in Honduras, please keep them in your prayers. Teams #2, as well as the Prayer Team, are headed out later this week; please pray for them as well. I will be in Honduras from Feb 18 – 26.
ARCHBISHOP IS COMING!
St. Stephens has been chosen as the site for the Deanery Mass for our new Archbishop Sartain, on February 18th at 7pm. It is a great honor that I didn’t want to delay, simply because of my absence. All parishes in South King County are coming. Please come and welcome our new Archbishop. See flyer for more info.
- ▼ February (3)