Thursday, March 27, 2014

Sunday of the Cross

Adoration of the Cross

Prayer of the Week on the Sunday of the Cross

O Lord, we falter under the crosses You have placed upon us. Give us the strength to bare them as You bore Your cross. By doing so You give us the gift of our own resurrection. May our suffering bring us closer to You and open up our hearts for Your dwelling. We pray in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.

Bible Verse: “Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?

Bible Question: What do think Jesus means when he mentions: saving and loosing your life?

You can earn one credit for meditating on this prayer and answering the Bible question. Send your answer to oandrey(at)aol(d0t)com and else10(at)gmail(d0t)com.

May your prayers be blessed!

Saturday, March 8, 2014

A Book for Lenten Reading: Thirty Steps to Heaven

Dear Students and Friends,

I recently received and began reading "Thirty Steps to Heaven: The Ladder of Divine Ascent for All Walks of Life" by Vassilios Papavassiliou. In short, easy to read chapters, the author explains St John Climacus' work, Ladder of Divine Ascent, originally written as a guidebook for monastics on how to attain the spiritual life.

I have St John's book on my shelf, but often felt discouraged when I sat down to read it. Now, through "Thirty Steps," I am gaining more easily understood insights and encouragement on how to become closer to Christ. I highly recommend this book to you as something you can read, one chapter a day, during Lent, along with daily scripture reading.

Read more about this new book here and here.

You can earn 2 credits for reading this book. Simply read, complete the General Worksheet for Books, and return it to else10(at)gmail(d0t)com after Pascha.

Archimandrite Vassilios Papavassiliou is a priest of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Thyateira and Great Britain. He was born in London in 1977 and holds degrees in pastoral and social theology, classics, and Byzantine music. He is the author of Meditations for Great Lent, Meditations for Advent (Ancient Faith Publishing), Journey to the Kingdom: An Insider’s Look at the Liturgy and Beliefs of the Eastern Orthodox Church (Paraclete Press), and numerous articles on Christian Orthodox faith and theology.

Fr Vassilios has a blog with Bible studies and thoughts here. Check it out!

Monday, March 3, 2014

Lent: An Invitation to Pray

Monk Moses
Dear Students and Friends,

Welcome to Lent. On this blessed first day, this article by Monk Moses the Athonite will remind us of our first love and encourage us to rekindle our relationship with the Lord.

Read the article here.

You can receive 1 credit for reading this article and filling out the Article Worksheet. Send your completed work to else10(at)gmail(d0t)com.

There is also a list of Lenten activities and studies available from the Lent/Pascha tab at the top of this blog. Feel free to work on these anytime during Lent this year.

May your studies be blessed!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Saint Study: St Polycarp

St Polycarp: "This age is in need of you if it is to reach God,
just as pilots need winds, and as a storm-tossed sailor needs a port."

Dear Students and Friends,

This is the first of what I hope will be many "Saint Studies" where you can read a few things about a selected Saint, fill out a worksheet, and receive credit.

In this activity, you must read all the selections, then fill out the Saint Worksheet (available from the Lessons tab, above), and also answer the additional questions based on reading the selections. For all this, you can receive TWO credits.

Our first saint is St Polycarp, Bishop of Smyrna, who was celebrated a week ago, on February 23, his feast day.


Additional Questions

  1. So much of Polycarp's epistle sounds like the writing of what Apostle? Why do you think that is?
  2. What do you think about Polycarp's exclamation: "Good God! That Thou hast permitted me to be alive at such a time!" What did he mean, and how might that relate to ourselves, living in the 21st century?
E-mail all your completed work to else10(at)gmail(d0t)com for credit. May your learning be blessed, and may St Polycarp pray for you!