While wearing a physical mask now may be necessary to protect us from contagion, what other ‘masks’ might we be ‘wearing’ that are NOT good for us? How can we strip these away and be authentic to God, ourselves and others? Watch the video Wearing Masks
Saint Sophia Cathedral
Online Resources for our Religious Edification
TOPIC OF THE WEEK:
“The COVID crisis causes us to wear these physical masks, but it is doing exactly the opposite, unmasking us, bringing down false images we have projected, sometimes known, and sometimes unknown, and that means this is a wonderful opportunity as we humbly accept the discomfort and disorder and incredible inconvenience of this crisis and the grief and sorrow that is attending it.”
‘We must learn to value the heart more than the exterior, to have an eye in all of our spiritual efforts not towards men, but an eye towards the Lord. The core of a growing spiritual life is to try to do everything, even the little things, even eating, even drinking, with an eye towards the Lord, giving thanks in all things and doing everything to the glory of God. This is the Lord’s will for us.’
“Whenever God went looking for a king everyone expected him to pick the biggest, tallest, and strongest person. Instead, He picked the smallest person… God cares about what’s inside, not how we look. Let’s listen to a story about how God picked King David…
God looks at your heart, not your outward appearance. He notices the things that we do that show that we love Him and that we love others. How can you show that you love God and that you love your friends and family?”
Read the story of God choosing David to be King through Samuel.
Samuel was first inclined to choose Jesse’s older sons to be the king. Why? Why did Samuel wind up choosing David instead of any of his brothers? (1 Samuel 16:6b-7)
What do we see when we look at other people? What does God look at when He judges someone? What should we be concerned about when we interact with other people?
Middle School/High School:
“The Pharisees put on masks of piety to present themselves as particularly holy, without an eye to God, but with an eye to men. This is the image of a hypocrite; one who wears a mask on the outside. There is a difference between what he is saying he is, but on the inside he is a ‘rotting tomb full of dead men’s bones.’ We want to avoid the mask of hypocrisy and have an authentic, transparent disposition. We need to be careful not to project something other than we are.”
When you use social media in your life (or when you interact with others), have you been projecting the ‘real’ you, or do your posted photos and words portray a false image to make yourself look and feel better? How can you be more authentic and transparent?
A Message from Maria Spanos
I am passionate about our Orthodox Christian faith and seek to help others learn as much as they can about it. My purpose here is to share online resources that help strengthen our relationship with Christ and bind us closer to His Church. I believe they are invaluable in learning about our precious Orthodox Tradition, and are a great aid for teaching family members, friends and others about Orthodoxy. ~Maria
Two of my favorite quotes:
“A true Christian behaves in this life so that it may be a preparation for the future one and not only a life here below. In his actions, he does not think what will be said of him here but of what will be said there in heaven; he represents to himself that he is always in the presence of God, of the angels and all the saints, and remembers that someday they will bear witness of his thoughts, words, and deeds.” — Saint John of Kronstadt
“Of all the holy works, the education of children is the most holy.”
— St. Theophan the Recluse