Forgiveness is a form of Stewardship

461e76c405745856d96496f11ba83ef4The Lord concluded the parable about the two debtors with the following words: So likewise shall My Heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses. It would seem that such a small thing is needed: forgive and you will be forgiven. When you are forgiven, you are brought into mercy; and when you are brought into mercy, you have become a participant in all the treasures of mercy. So here is salvation, and paradise, and eternal bliss. What a great acquisition for such a small thing as forgiving!…Yes, it is a small thing, but for our self-love there is nothing more difficult than to forgive. We still perhaps forgive some unintentional annoyance dealt us in private so that nobody sees; but if it is just a bit more sensitive, and in front of people, do not even ask—no forgiveness. There are circumstances when whether you want to or not, you are not allowed to express your displeasure—and so you remain silent. However, only your tongue is silent—meanwhile your heart speaks and builds evil plans. Raise the annoyance yet another degree—and there is no restraint. Neither shame, nor fear, nor loss, nor any other thing will restrain you. Egoism which has reached the boiling point makes a person as though insane, and he who gives in to it begins to talk foolishness. The people most subject to this misfortunate state are usually not just anybody—the more civilized one is, the more sensitive he is to insults, and the less forgiving. Relations will often remain smooth on the surface, but inwardly there is clearly discord. Meanwhile, the Lord requires that we forgive with our whole heart.

St. Theophan the Recluse

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Stewardship and your neighbor

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When your neighbor is ill treated, you ought to make the calamity your own. Share then in his tears – Has a poor man come to your house? There is no rich and poor in Christ. Be then not ashamed of him because of his external dress, but receive him because of his inward faith.

St. John Chrysostom

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Stewardship – how do we use what God lends us?

st-john-chrysostom-icon-708The art of being poor in spirit is to distinguish between use and ownership. A person who owns something or regards himself as an owner, believes he has the sole right to determine how that thing is used. He may use it himself or authorize another person to use it. But this sense of ownership is a terrible snare, because it prevents a person’s soul from marching onward toward God. The person who wishes to move towards God must free himself from all sense of ownership. He must regard all things as loans from God, even the things that he himself owns. A loan is to be used for a period, and then paid back. This is precisely how we should regard our houses and fields, clothes and furniture; they are loans which God grants us for our short span on earth, to be repaid at the moment of death. To be poor in spirit does not mean to be destitute, lacking in even the basic comforts and necessities. It means to regard nothing as your own, and everything you have as a temporary loan.

St. John Chrysostom

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Make a difference in your works!

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Matthew 23:1-12
23 Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: 2 “The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. 3 So you must be careful to do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach. 4 They tie up heavy, cumbersome loads and put them on other people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them.

5 “Everything they do is done for people to see: They make their phylacteries[a] wide and the tassels on their garments long; 6 they love the place of honor at banquets and the most important seats in the synagogues; 7 they love to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces and to be called ‘Rabbi’ by others.

8 “But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have one Teacher, and you are all brothers. 9 And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. 10 Nor are you to be called instructors, for you have one Instructor, the Messiah. 11 The greatest among you will be your servant. 12 For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.

He that is greatest among you shall be your servant – As the Lord tells us – greatness is measured not by birth, not by power, not by the measure of abilities and resources but by the ability to provide good for others… St. Theophan the Recluse

Provide some good today!

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How distributing one’s possessions is to set one’s heart free

symeon-new-theologianFor since God knows that we are all wholly possessed by the lust for possessions and mad desire for wealth and how difficult it is for us to tear ourselves from them,  and how those who in various ways have been deprived of them despair of life itself, He has made use of the corresponding remedy. He has promised to give us, as we have said, a hundred fold reward for that which we spend on the poor. This, He has done, first, that we may be free in this matter from the condemnation of covetousness, and second that we may cease to put our trust and hope in possessions and find our hearts set free from such bonds.

St. Symeon the New Theologian

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Come and See!

8b22e6bb089a422cbccb0f6a713e2e58This Phrase is simple yet powerful. It calls us to change our location – physically and spiritually. If we want to find Christ, we must move toward Him. We must grow and mature in our faith.

Giving to the Church is an opportunity – an opportunity to examine our priorities and values. It is an opportunity to express our thankfulness, to give of ourselves and to grow in grace. It is an opportunity to participate in the work of God. Come and see what we can do together with your support.

A check mailed to the church is meaningless unless it is accompanied by our presence, by our willingness to serve, by our prayers, and by our commitment. Giving is not a substitute for our commitment – it is an expression of our commitment. Come and see how you can grow through service to the Church.

Come and see the works of God, Who is awesome (Psalm 66:5).

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Let your Stewardship be what you do – Time, Talents and Treasures!

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