St. Michael's Orthodox Christian Church
1182 Ashland Street
Greensburg, PA 15601

Sanctifying the Time - The Serenity Prayer; CONFESSION SCHEDULE

 

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Glory to Jesus Christ!  Glory to God for  all things!

 

It's some bad air we're breathing out there; full of viruses and all other sorts of microscopic bugs.  But it's filled with worse than that - fear, depression (despair), anxiety - and that's on a good day.  Our biosphere is not the only place where pandemic dis-ease is proliferating - the physical sickness swirling all around us pours in and affects our minds and hearts making them sick too.  What's a mother to do?  Pull out the air purifier, plug it in, and start purifying what we breathe.  How do we do that?  Be the purifier.  Breathe.  In and out.  And just like trees "breathe in" carbon dioxide and "breathe out" life giving oxygen into the air, let us do something superiorly similar.  Let us breathe in the fear, depression and anxiety that is so thick and heavy in our stressed out atmosphere, especially right now, and let us exhale from our Christ filled selves the fruit of the Spirit - Love, Joy, Peace.  ("But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace..." (Gal 5:22))

 

The opposite of fear is love.

"There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear." (1John 4:18)  Breathe in  fear; breathe out God's  Love.

 

The opposite of depression is joy.

" Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice." (Phil 4:4)  Breathe in  depression; breathe out Christ's Joy.

 

The opposite of anxiety is peace.

"Be anxious for nothing... and the peace of God which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." (Phil 4:6-7)  Breathe in  anxiety; breathe out the Spirit's  peace

 

This works particularly well when you wake up in the middle of the night and have nothing better to do than worry.  Instead, as you breathe in, feel yourself inhaling the pain and suffering of so many... fear, depression, anxiety.  As you breathe out, feel yourself exhaling the Love, Joy and Peace that is in you in Christ, into a world choking to Live.

 

As Christ took our sin on Himself to His Cross, we, as little Christs, can likewise take the suffering of our brothers and sisters, the fear, depression and anxiety of the world, into ourselves.  As Christ took that sin and its resultant death and destroyed it, giving us everlasting life, we, as His transfigured children, can likewise take the suffocating evils of this world and dispel them, by His Grace, pouring out His Love, Joy and Peace. 

 

Breathe in -    fear, depression, anxiety

Breathe out -  Love, Joy, Peace

 

In Christ,
Fr. John

 

P.S. - Check out this link:  ELDER ZACHARIAS (ZACHAROU) OF ESSEX: A WORD OF CONSOLATION FOR THE PANDEMIC click here:   https://pemptousia.com/2020/03/word-of-consolation-for-the-pandemic/?fbclid=IwAR3uXXRsyBtlHA2_Hlk8KbwS7SMaYoFbwlHGHkbX-Mo3JJwIOKue58xi50s

Regarding COVID-19:

Glory to Jesus Christ!  Glory to God for all things!
 
As of Tuesday evening, March 17, here's what's up at St. Michael's...
 
1) All group meetings of every kind at the church are canceled for the foreseeable future.
 
2) Also for the foreseeable future, all liturgical services will be prayed and attended only by the clergy and chanters. The faithful are instructed to remain at home. There will be no altar servers in the altar. 
 
3) FYI only, the Services that will be prayed this week are the Akathist to the Theotokos on Friday night, Sunday's  Orthros and Divine Liturgy, and the Vesperal Divine Liturgy of the Annunciation next Wednesday evening. There will be no Presanctified Divine Liturgy or any other services. Again, parishioners are instructed to remain at home.
 
4) The church will be open for you to visit, pray, light candles, etc., from 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM, Monday through Saturday and Sunday from 12:00 noon to 7:00 PM.  (Please do not come in while services are being prayed (see #2 above), and there may be no more than 10 people at a time in the church.)
 
5) Live-streamed services are available from Holy Transfiguration Monastery in Ellwood City and  Holy Cross Monastery in West Virginia. 
 
God bless you for your cooperation in "lowering the curve."  (Are you tired of that phrase yet?)
 
In Christ our Great Physician,
Fr. John Nosal
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Upcoming Calendar
CALENDAR (Sundays by reservation)
Wednesday, September 23rd
9:00 AM - Divine Liturgy
Conception of John the Baptist
Saturday, September 26th
6:00 PM - Great Vespers
Sunday, September 27th
8:45 AM - Matins
10:00 AM - Divine Liturgy
11:20 AM - Churc
Wednesday, September 30th
6:00 PM - Vesperal Divine Liturgy
Protection of the Theotokos
Saturday, October 3rd
6:00 PM - Great Vespers

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