For Holy and Great Lent
+ B A R T H O L O M E W
By God’s Mercy Archbishop of Constantinople-New Rome
and Ecumenical Patriarch
To the Plenitude of the Church:
Grace and Peace from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ
And Prayers, Blessings and Forgiveness from Us
“O faithful, let us joyfully welcome
the divinely-inspired announcement of fasting”
Beloved brothers and sisters in the Lord,
In recent times, we observe an elevated level of concern. Many challenges arise. The world is suffering and yearns for help. Indeed, we are going through a general test. Some people call it a financial decline; others refer to it as a political crisis. So far as we are concerned, it is a matter of spiritual perversion. And a solution exists. Many resolutions are proposed and numerous viewpoints are heard. Yet, the problems persist. People feel deserted and alone. Their deeper nature is ignored. They remain in the gloom of confusion and depression.
Irrespective of the direction or solution proposed, the various answers that are offered cannot redeem humanity. For, from the outset, they render it captive to corruption and death. The Church is the divine-human Lord, who alone can liberate our soul. Upon entering the space of the Church, we enter the atmosphere of divine consolation, of reconciliation between heaven and earth. We are at home. Our spirit is calm. We discover a heavenly beauty and a spiritual maturity, “a holy fragrance capable of reaching the ends of the world.” The Church knows all that we suffer. It speaks the whole truth. And it urges us to face reality as it is; to recognize that we are earth and dust.
The Great Canon of St. Andrew makes mention of repentant tears of and sorrowful mourning, namely the pain of our wounds. Nonetheless, what follows is the rest of the soul, the health of the spirit. We have our Creator and Savior. Through the abundance of His mercy, he has placed us at the intersection of incorruption and mortality. He has not forsaken us. He came to save us. Through His cross, He abolished death. He granted us incorruption of the flesh.
Since, therefore, we are planted with Christ, why are we troubled in vain? Why do we not run toward Him? The Church neither dwells on nor abandons us to corruption. It knows our deeper inclinations and comes to our support and salvation. We need nourishment. Yet, “man does not live by bread alone.” (Matt. 4.4) We also need spiritual understanding; however, we are not bodiless. In the Church, we discover the fullness of life and understanding as a divine-human balance. Away from God, we are perverted and corrupted. Wherever material goods are plentiful and waste is glorified, scandalous temptation and dark confusion prevail.
Wherever human beings live with reverence and receive all things with gratitude and thanksgiving, all things are sanctified. The little is considered blessing; the corrupt is dressed with the glory of incorruption. Human beings enjoy what is ephemeral as a gift from God, while at the same time being nourished from here and now by the pledge of the future life. Not only are problems solved, but even the suffering of trials are transformed into the power of life and a reason for giving glory. When this occurs with our soul, w For the rest of this News Release, visit the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America website
More Ways To Give To The Archdiocese "Relief Fund For The People Of Greece"
February 15, 2012
The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese has established the "Relief Fund for the People of Greece" to help provide economic assistance to the suffering people in Greece.
NEW YORK – The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese has established the "Relief Fund for the People of Greece" to help provide economic assistance to the suffering people in Greece.
In order to facilitate donations, the Archdiocese has established a web page – http://www.goarch.org/special/greekrelief – to accept contributions online, through facebook, by an SMS text message and of course by traditional checks.
To support the Greek Relief Fund, you may make a donation in any one of the following ways:
1) Donate Online through JustGive.org - Make a secure online donation through our partner JustGive.org.
2) Donate via Causes through Facebook - Make a secure online donation through the Facebook cause 'Relief Fund for the People of Greece'
4) Traditional Check - Contributions may be sent via check to the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese, 8 East 79th Street, New York, NY 10075 and earmarked for the Relief Fund for the People of Greece
All methods listed above allow for your donation to go directly to The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, a U.S. IRS approved 501(c)(3) non profit organization.