There are a lot of little details that I thoroughly enjoy about Orthodoxy in general and our local parish, St. Peter’s, specifically.
One of the things I enjoy at St. Peter’s is our church bulletin. Each week, the bulletin is about seven pages long and contains that Sunday’s Gospel and Epistle readings, congregational responses, information about upcoming events, fasts and feasts, information about the lives of specific saints and thought-provoking and challenging articles and quotes.
Debbie read me one of the quotes from this week’s bulletin that was tucked away on the back cover:
“The reason [that we don’t all become saints] is within us. Firstly, due to our bad intent. Secondly, due to our neglect and laziness. Thirdly, due to the lack or complete absence of love for God and the things of heaven. Fourthly, due to our complete love of money, our devotion to material things, and our low-mindedness.”
Elder Philotheos of Paros
This quote struck me like something a coach would say to an aspiring athlete who, though full of potential, had grown complacent. In fact, it reminded me of something St. Paul said in 1 Corinthians 9:24-27:
“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.”
And in 1 Timothy 4:7, he tells St. Timothy, “Train yourself to be godly.”
Yes, we are called to be saints in the Bible. But the Bible also calls to train into actually becoming saints. It’s great to be part of a church community that takes this call very, very seriously.