Worth the Read…

I was looking through vestments and my mind recalled this selection from St. John Chrysostom (from Orthodox Church Fathers, a discussion of beauty and the needs of the poor). I have recently visited a number of parishes with dwindling numbers and was saddened by their state while at the same time taken with how beautiful their sanctuaries were. There was a connection, I thought, between their insularity and their present state. Their buildings were in residential areas but they connected very little with the people who had moved to the neighborhood generations after the church had been built.

We think quite often about the next big benefactor to endow a project, but it seems that we hollow our parishes out when we fail to care for the poor. St. John the Almsgiver once said, “Those whom you call poor and beggars, these I proclaim my masters and helpers. For they, and they only, are really able to help us and bestow upon us the kingdom of heaven.” When we cooperate with God in His saving plan for mankind we shine a bright, beckoning light on all near us. But, when we fail to take in those in need, we are a hospital that admits no new patients. Beautiful, but pointless.

Read the rest here

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