Friday, September 23, 2011

Feeding Those In Need

I have recently been thinking a great deal about how bad the economy is and how many people are going with out the basics,such as food.
Seems when the weather changes and the cold nights of fall are upon us,my thoughts turn to those in need,with no food and no shelter.
My life has been greatly blessed in that when ever times of need have cropped up,I always had friends and family to help keep me afloat.
Now I know that a minority of people take advantage of the system and jump right in and grab all they can,with no regard for those even less fortunate then themselves,because lets face it no matter how bad you are there is always someone more in need then your self.
Since January I have made it my mission,when grocery shopping,to always buy extra and put it in the local food pantries basket,by the exit.
I try to attend and assist at our Church's free community meals held every other Thursday at St. Michael Orthodox Church in Southbridge,Mass.
But it seems the more I do and give the more needs I am made aware of,that are not met.
The daily news is a constant reminder of how truly bad things in this country are turning and how the new poverty rate is escalating.
What I do seems so small in the large scheme of things.
I remember in the movie "Jesus Christ Superstar" there was one part where all the sick and poor were asking Jesus to help them,there where so many that covered him until he yelled "heal your selves",many times I feel this same way when I try to help others but feel like I'm only one person and there are so many in need.
Maybe this is part of the awaking of my soul,being touched so greatly I can now feel what those around me feel,or maybe its the other guy trying to discourage me into thinking its to great so why bother,its their own tough luck.
Until an answer comes to me I will continue to do what little I can and remembering the story of the fish and loaves,realizing with God help my simple small amounts can grow to feed people in more ways the I understand.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Are We Ever Fulfilled?

We are,in the end,never completely fulfilled especially if we are trying to be filled with worldly things.
No matter how much you get in this life it is never complete or totally satisfying to our needs.
Sunday morning Fr.Ephraim spoke about an old television show called "The Twilight Zone",the story goes there was a man who loved to read more then anything else in his life,his wife,who was a constant nag and his boss who made fun of him for reading so much,never gave him the peace he desired to be able to read his many books.
Since this man worked at a bank,he found,what he thought was bliss at lunch time by sitting in a vault quietly reading,nothing around him but his beloved books.
One day,while in the vault, an atomic bomb fell when he walked out he was to find he was the only human being left on earth,with piles of books at his side,but with great elation came great sadness because he broke his glasses,so now he was unable to enjoy his surrounding fortune.
Our best laid plans and fulfilled dreams are never full and complete in our true desires.
Did you ever dream of a special trip or job and just knew this would make your life full,but in the end when it became yours,something felt just not right,you were almost let down and you could not understand why you wanted this so much.
Jesus says we are in this world not of this world,so we can never be happy with our surroundings or desires.
Only our soul joined with God can ever feel completeness and true joy.
When we lower our worldly expectations we can increase our spiritual expectations and true completeness then comes our way.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Evil And 9/11

Thou shall not murder.
This is the commandment most people quote incorrectly,it is not thou shall not kill it is thou shall not murder.
Yesterday was the 10Th anniversary of the murder of thousands of innocent people who got up and went to work,took a plane,thought they were putting out a fire or explosion,but ended up being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Murder of the innocent at the hands of a few misguided,deluded men who felt God had spoken to them on a personal level.
Those thousands of citizens who loved family members,had dreams and desires where cut short of their lives because a small number of men decided to play God and destroy what they could not understand,thus missing the most important rule of all faiths that is.. all men and women are our brothers and sisters,made in the image and likeness of the Almighty,himself.
God does not like it when we take bad and try to make it fit as good by using his name to justify the evil actions of sick minds.
I did not choose to watch anything on T.V. yesterday,it all comes back to clearly to me that this is nothing to celebrate it is a tragedy,and though it should not be forgotten it should also not be celebrated.
Mayor Bloomburg decided that no clergy or first responders should be invited to this memorial in New York at ground zero,political correctness you know,which in his mind, was more important then a true memorial of unity of diverse clergy standing side by side,we forget a priest that day,a Franciscan ,giving prayer to the sick,dying and dead,trying to save the souls of God's children at their hour of need also met his end.
Whose to say how many Rabi's,ministers or priest where sitting in those towers,planes or at the Pentagon,we have no count of how many lost their lives too.
What about all the first responders running into the buildings while people were running out? Thinking nothing about themselves and never coming home again.
I heard an atheist on a television program say "where was this God of yours while all this evil was going on,? Why did he just stand by and allow all this killing to take place and not stop it?"
Thou shall not murder,but on that September 11,2001 they did and God was not involved with the horror or the evil that took place,he was however,involved with the goodness of of all those who helped in any way they could even to the point of losing their own lives in the process.
We live in a fallen world where evil abounds just the same as free will.
You make a choice to do good or to do evil and you can be a part of it either way.
I like to think of what Gandhi said "Evil never last but good always triumps in the end,always.....

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Leave Your Offering And Forgive Your Brother

In the Bible Jesus says if you have any sort of disagreement between you and your brother,you should leave your offerings at the alter and go make things right with him,then return and offer your gifts to God.
Wednesday evening,while at Vespers,I began to think about this verse,seems I had someone on my mind for most of the week and at service that night,my brain kept going back to this person,who had upset me.
It became clear to me that the verse is not just about cleaning the slate to make God happy with us but also cleaning our hearts and minds so we are not continually flooded with these negative thoughts .
When we are upset the devil enjoys the fact that he can reek havoc on us,not allowing us to fully focus on what we should be doing at that moment and that is praising God..
It's hard to pay attention to the words being said when these negative,repetitive feelings keep cropping up.
What to do?
Make peace not only with the other person but with yourself.
Understand that its alright to be wrong,feel wounded,or unjustified but its not let these feelings fester and cloud our minds.
God understands we are not perfect and he understands that we can only fully concentrate on one thing at a time.
We can not serve two masters and as St.James says a person with two minds is an unstable person.
So to forgive is not just pleasing to God but healing to both our mind and spirit.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

No Electricity but Lessons Learned

Today I spend part of the day trying to get my house back in order,after our week of no electricity.
The camp stoves and lanterns needed to be washed and stored away and all the propane tanks had to be put in the corner of the spare room,so they can be brought to the cellar in the up coming days.
Funny this morning I started up the washing machine and admired the fact that I could actually do my clothes right here at home,rather then in Dudley at the Laundromat.
No electricity for one week makes you take stock of how much time we waste with our electronic gadgets.
You begin to understand just how much we rely on entertainment on an hourly basis.
When I was a child we would go to my grandparents house and everyone would put the kitchen chars in a circle and just sit and talk to each other until supper time.
I live in a house with two other adults and must admit we have never spent our entire afternoon not only talking to each other,but actually making eye contact while doing so.
With no electricity reading became an important past time,not only did I start and finish a book in a week period but also read the daily newspaper and piled up weekly magazines.
Sometimes getting away from our rut can remind us just how much we have lost in our modern day to day experience,with our electronic devices.
I have decided that from now on one day a week I will no longer us my computer and will greatly reduce my t.v. watching.
Just a way to re awaken my mind to the important things in the world around me.