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Monthly Meditation – November 2011

Prior to his death on December 13, 1983, Father Alexander Schmemann celebrated his last Divine Liturgy on Nov. 24, Thanksgiving Day, at St. Vladimir’s Seminary. At the end of the Liturgy he called upon all of us to give thanks to God. It has been a few years since I last presented Fr. Alexander’s words to this congregation. Here, once again, are these most precious words from one of contemporary Orthodoxy’s most precious treasures:

     “Everyone capable of thanksgiving is capable of salvation and eternal joy. Thank you, O Lord, for having accepted this Eucharist, which is offered to the Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and which filled our hearts with “the joy, peace, and righteousness in the Holy Spirit.” Thank you, O Lord, for having revealed Yourself unto us and for giving us the foretaste of Your Kingdom. Thank you, O Lord, for having united us to one another, in serving You and Your Holy Church. Thank you, O Lord, for having helped us to overcome all difficulties, tensions, passions, and temptations and for having restored peace, mutual love and joy in sharing the communion of the Holy Spirit.
      Thank you, O Lord, for the sufferings you bestowed upon us, for they are purifying us from selfishness and remind us of the “one thing needed: your eternal Kingdom.” Thank you, O Lord, for having given us this country where we are free to worship You. Thank you, O Lord, for this school, where the name of God is proclaimed. Thank you, O Lord, for our families: husbands, wives and, especially, children, who teach us how to celebrate Your holy Name in joy, movement and holy noise. Thank you, O Lord, for everyone and everything. Great are you, O Lord, and marvelous are Your deeds, and no word is sufficient to celebrate your miracles. Lord, it is good to be here! Amen.”


Monthly Meditation – October 2011

“Our thoughts create either harmony or disharmony in the world.”

Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica

There can never be enough said to reprove the belief that whatever a man does behind closed doors, “as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone else,” is his own business. This erroneous way of thinking comes from the church of rugged individualism. It cannot be emphasized enough what a flat out lie this belief is, a masked entitlement that has become an embedded deception at the very foundation of what “enlightened” men call personal freedom.



St. Ignatius to host Konevets Quartet concert, Tuesday, October 18, 2011, 7pm

By popular demand, the famed KONEVETS QUARTET, from the Konevets Monastery near St. Petersburg, Russia, is returning to the U.S. for a Fall concert tour.

The KONEVETS QUARTET was founded by graduates of the St. Petersburg Music Conservatoire in 1992. Their repertoire includes Russian sacred music, ancient chants, folk songs and imperial regimental songs & marches.  They have toured extensively throughout Europe and N. America, including the US where they have performed with baritone soloist Dmitri Hvorostovsky and basso profundo, Vladimir Miller.

Here are some samples of their music:




Monthly Meditation – August/September 2011

“Be mindful, O Lord, of the presbytery, the diaconate in Christ and every priestly orde.”

From the Divine Liturgy of St. Basil the Great

We returned yesterday from Chicago and the 50th Biennial Antiochian Archdiocese National Convention.  It was a week which proffered spiritual renewal, the rekindling of old friendships and many good memories.  In particular I am somewhat overwhelmed by the reality of my best friend and brother in Christ, Fr. Anthony Michaels, being elected for consecration to the Holy Episcopate and assigned to serve as auxiliary for our own Midwest Diocese.  [I teased Bishop ANTOUN saying, “You took away my friend and gave me a boss.”  He merely replied, “He’s still your friend!”]



Monthly Meditation – June/July 2011

“A devout woman once wrote thus, ‘In my own family I try to be as little in the way as possible, satisfied with everything, and never to believe for a moment that any one means unkindly toward me… It all tends to my one aim, forgetfulness of self, in order to please God.’”

From the work GOLD DUST translated by C. M. Younge