From the Holy Fathers…

…So in a Christian society he who wants to be greatest must take on complete care for the Christian comfort of all those in his spheres of existence, and in the area of activity which he has chosen for himself. But it is even better to abandon every thought about greatness and have heartfelt care for greater service for the good of all those around you, and then you will be greatest in the eyes of God, and people will perhaps recognize you as such, also. If only all who are greater would make this law of Christ the law of their conscience, what prosperity and ease would arise immediately among us! But the misfortune is that greatness among us begins quickly to serve itself and its own interests, and almost always joins this with demands of being served itself rather than it serving others, and soothes its conscience with the proper running of official affairs. Amen!

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Inheriting Heaven!

When asked about the poor… St. Theophan the Recluse reflected:

Let’s take an example: A beggar comes up to you; it is God who brought him. What should you do? You must help him. God has brought the beggar, of course, desiring you to act towards this beggar in a manner pleasing to Him, and He watches to see what you will actually do …If you do what is pleasing to God, you will be taking a step toward the ultimate goal, the inheritance of Heaven.

With the fall season a few weeks away, consider ways that you can help those in need.

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Almsgiving & mercy!

When you fail to do it out of mercy, but do it from parade instead, such a deed not only does not qualify as alms but is even an insult. For you have put your brother to open shame. Not giving money then, but giving out of mercy is almsgiving.

St. John Chrysostom

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To minister…

To minister is defined as “giving service, care, or aid; attending as to wants or necessities.” St. Theophan the Recluse reflects: Do you want to be first? Be of service to everyone, that is, be the last among them. The Lord ministered and even washed the feet of His Disciples. There is no need, therefore, to be ashamed of ministering to someone. Minister in any way possible and with whatever means you can. Serve not only the body (i.e. food, clothing and shelter) but also the soul; give understanding and advice, point out a good book, console and support.

Make a big difference even in very small ways!

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The beginning of the school year (and Stewardship) is around the corner!

The newspaper ads, television commercials and radio station spots all announce the availability of school supplies and the beginning of a new school year. A process that still, as an adult, leaves a queasy or uneasy feeling in my stomach. However, once our children (and even their parents) are acclimated to this environment, everything falls into place. This is the same approach we should take with God and our Stewardship… a little uneasy and uncertain, but with faith in God, we know everything will be fine. As you plan for this upcoming school-year, remember to include your Church and the many ministries it supports. Make your 2018 Stewardship commitment in September so your parish can effectively plan for the new year. As always, this includes a balance of your Time, Talents and Treasures!

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Let us be inclined to show mercy and all other blessings will follow!

Therefore, we also need to show much mercy. Much and little aren’t measured by the quantity of things given, but by the giver’s means. But if you don’t have anything but a compassionate soul, this will prepare a reward for you. So then, let us be inclined to show mercy and all other blessings will follow. For those that have a spirit of love and mercy will give money away if they have it. If they see anyone in distress, they will weep. If they encounter people who have been wronged, they will stand up for them. If they see others treated maliciously, they will reach out their hand to them. For those who have a treasure house of blessings, a loving and merciful soul will make it overflow to meet all of their neighbors needs – St. John Chrysostom

As we focus on Stewardship. let us practice mercy in our relationships with others.

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The strong ought to bear the failings of the weak!

In our work environment, a strong team member is defined as a person knowledgeable in specific areas, one who  adds value to the company, those who solve a problem, identify solutions and add revenue to the bottom line. Then, there are others that just can’t accomplish the goals and objectives of the strong… what typically happens?

Considering our Stewardship of others (those we live with, work with, go to Church or school with) in relation to St. John Chrysostom’s comment -“Are you powerful? Let the weak have trial of your power. Let him come to know your strength, please him! And so, if you are rich or in power, do not please yourself but the poor and needy, because in this way, you will at once have true glory to enjoy and be doing much service.”

Today, find someone that you can help, guide, lend a hand to or just simply support.

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