LEAKY ROOF

This week we had new shingles water damage2installed on our roof! Up to this point, we have had some leaks. Water was leaking on the porch, into the bathtub, and in the closet; and because of the roof leaking I have noticed some mildew and mold forming on some of our floor joists and walls in the basement. Also, we had some cardboard boxes where materials were being stored that were ruined as well.

As hot as it’s been, we certainly need the rain but we humans don’t have feathers to keep us dry so we like to have a shelter to keep us out of the weather. Scientists even say that getting wet from rain or snow decreases our body temperature and lowers our natural resistance to fight illness so we humans live in houses protected with roofs over them providing a safe, dry shelter.

I know firsthand that my roof also leaks when I neglect my prayer life. Not the one on my cabin but the covering that deflects the world and all its’ temptations from occupying my thoughts and enticing me to stumble. These thoughts try to enter into my day like water dripping into my safe, dry home and try to cause damage and decay. St. Makarios of Corinth wrote: “frequent prayer renders the intellect more forceful in its warfare against the enemy”.

water dam1And in a letter to the church in Thessalonica, Saint Paul prescribes this remedy for a healthy decay-free life: “Rejoice evermore, Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” By following these instructions, we protect ourselves from having a leaky roof!

But if we need to go out into the storm we should put our raincoat on. It is through our healthy church life that we keep ourselves safe and dry. From the Garden of the Holy Fathers we here: “Fasting is the subjugation of the body, prayer is converse with God, vigil is a war against Satan, abstinence is being weaned from meats, humility is the state of the first man, kneeling is the inclining of the body before the Judge, tears are the remembrance of sins, nakedness is our captivity which is caused by the transgression of the command, and service is constant supplication to and praise of God.”

Sometimes just like my leaky roof, we need to replace our shingles of old habits and neglect, with a new layer of coverage that will help us deflect any temptation that separates us from the covering of God’s love. “He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler” (Psalm 91:4). Brothers and sisters, keep dry and warm. Glory to Thee!

Fr. Gabriel Weller 7-24-16

 

POWER OUTAGE

lightning1As we enter into the summer season, I am reminded of the many fierce lightning storms we will encounter. It is the time of year when lights flicker and some people will occasionally loose power for hours. This energy loss effects folks lifestyle by changing normal routine behaviors and returns them back to a simpler time of life when candles and oil lamps produced our light and cooking was done on a wood fire or gas flame, and of course there was no instant messaging or tweeting. It seems as though when this unharnessed source of energy strikes and interrupts our man-made source, we find ourselves disconnected wishing for some bit of normalcy to return to our world.

As Orthodox Christians, we also need an unwavering power source. In order for us to have a constant connection to sustainable energy, we must pay our bill. We must pray without ceasing, support our church faithfully and financially, study, and give service with our time and talent to our neighbor. But if we chose a worldly power source instead and avoid being a stable part of the church, we certainly seek a course for destruction and instability. There is only one source of power you can trust. It is the authority of God and His power handed down to the church by Christ. It is here in the church that the sheep are cared for and protected. “For the word, that of the Cross, on the one hand, to those who are perishing is foolishness, but on the other hand, to us who are being saved, it is the power of God.” [1 Cor. 1:18]

We need to stay connected to the teachings of Christ. We must constantly be reminded of the Holy Scriptures and make our choices in life putting God first with our time, talent and treasure. Saint Basil the Great writes: “You will find that the world was not devised at random or to no purpose, but to contribute to some useful end and to the great advantage of all beings. It is truly a training place for rational souls and a school for attaining the knowledge of God.” [On the Hexaemeron, Hom. 1(6) in FC 46:11.] The word “power” is found over 30 times in the New Testament alone and in the Gospel reading today; Christ identifies our source, “But be seeking first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” [Mt. 6:33]

Without the power of electricity, our refrigerated
perishables begin to decay, without the power of our Lord in our lives, we too decompose and the stench of sin becomes our aroma! Don’t be a stinker, stay plugged in, pay your bill, and when the fierce storms of life are hovering above you, stay connected to the steadfast source of power, our Lord Jesus the Christ, who chose to give of him-self so that we sinners will not perish. Glory to Thee.

Fr. Gabriel Weller 7/10/2016