|Fr. Paul’s Weekly Meditation|
EXHORTATION TO PRAYER BY A RUSSIAN BISHOP
Generations: Mutual Blessings.
On any given Sunday morning in an Orthodox Church, something takes place that is exceedingly rare in America: the gathering of multiple, cross generations. What I mean is that our parishes become places where we see a spread of 1st to 3rd (and possibly 4th) generations as grandchildren, children, parents, grandparents and sometimes even great-grandparents come together for liturgy and fellowship. Nowhere else do we see this happening on such a regular basis. And from my perspective, this is an exceedingly valuable experience.
How so? Because younger and older generations need each other like never before. They need to converse and spend time with each other so they might offer to each other the blessings belonging to their age. In the “old country,” it was a given that a household was constituted of 3 generations—children, parents, and grandparents—all living under one roof. This, of course, is what we now call the “extended family.” But here in America, this is no longer the norm. Instead, we have the so-called “nuclear” family, a family composed of just children and parents (or a single parent).
Even so, from the view of the Church, these generations help each other in order to be healthy and whole. Grandparents are especially helpful to their grandchildren as they are growing up. Children growing up today in America have been submerged in a “youth-culture” that defines itself in its own terms. The only valuable age—it is assumed—is the age of “youth.” There is no place for old-age and for this reason, many Americans take draconian steps (i.e. surgical) in order to gain “eternal youth,” to appear younger than they really are. Women, especially, are placed under intense pressure to remain “girlish” for as long as possible. And this again is a purely American fixation (fetish) that is not found in other non-western cultures where human beings are blessed to age and mature in healthy ways and where the elderly are valued for their knowledge and wisdom.
Yet the very presence of Orthodox grandparents with their grandchildren helps to dispel all these worldly and fleshly expectations. Loving grandmothers prove for their grandchildren that beauty and virtue are one and the same, and that beauty cannot be separated from faith, love, and grace. Grandfathers prove that the kind of wisdom gained from a long life is an indescribably precious thing, in that Information is not necessarily wisdom. Many, indeed, may possess ever increasing sums of intelligence. But there is no guarantee that this “intelligence” will be useful, let alone moral. To illustrate, Ted Kaczynski, the infamous “Unibomber” who maimed and killed dozens through his mail-bombs, had an IQ of 167, was accepted to Harvard at the age of 15, and was the youngest Ph.D. (25) to be hired at Berkeley.
Wisdom, on the other hand, is the godly application of all knowledge towards ends that are profitable both in this world and the next. So yes, grandfathers model simplicity and patience. They teach their grandchildren the essential wisdom of faith: that this life is not “all there is,” but that it is a preparation for the life of the world to come. Grandmothers, again, model the (long forgotten) virtue of piety: a dedication and zeal to all things belonging to the life of the Church. In this way, the presence of grandparents enriches family life in an untold number of ways.
Fr. Paul Jannakos
|GREAT LENT 2023! Great Lent begins this year on Sunday, February 26th – Forgiveness Sunday. Mark your calendars, too, for the first week of Lent and the celebration of the Canon of St. Andrew of Crete.|
|IOCC KENTUCKY TRIP: Michaelyn Sloan will be leading a team from St. Luke to participate in the IOCC Kentucky mission trip on the week of March 20-25th. For more information, contact Michaelyn at firstname.lastname@example.org. A Flier for this trip is attached to this email.|
|ANCIENT FAITH KIDS! Ancient Faith Kids is up and running. Here is there first video on: KINDNESS.|
|THE FEAST OF HOLY THEOPHANY: Houseblessings have commenced! If you would like to have your house blessed please sign up HERE.|
|2023 St. Luke Annual Meeting:Our Annual Parish meeting will take place on Sunday, February 12th immediately following the Divine Liturgy. Reports will be handed out today to members of the parish.|
|FEBRUARY MONTHLY CHARITY: Our St. Luke monthly charity for the month of January will be the COPTIC ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN MISSION CENTER. Please be generous.|
|LUBA’S KITCHEN ANNOUNCEMENT: Hello St. Luke Family! I am excited to share the news that we are once again starting sign-ups for our weekly Fellowship Coffee Hour Service. As you all know, this was one of my Aunt’s favorite things to do. Oh boy, did she always put out a big spread of goodies! I have attached a spreadsheet with dates that you and your pals can get together and sign up to bring in some goodies that day. If possible, we would like to start this Sunday, I know it is short notice, my apologies. Hopefully, someone will be willing to kick this off right! Please let me know what day(s) that you are interested in or fill in your days and send the spreadsheet back to me. I would love to get this all filled out in the next few weeks. Thank you! Debra Shiflett-Picardi|
|DRIVERS FOR ELIJAH’S CHARIOT: Elijah’s Chariot – if you would like to help us drive our elderly to Church for services please let Tammy Tsiones know. Click here to sign up: DRIVERS FOR ELIJAH’S CHARIOT SIGN UP.|
|BOOKSTORE SALE DOWNSTAIRS: Our bookstore sale will now offer the books downstairs in the parish hall for a free will donation. The proceeds from the free will offering for the rest of the books will go to Holy Resurrection monastery.|
|St. Luke Orthodox Church – 9300 W. 107th St., Palos Hills, IL., 60465|