One of the most important ministries of the Church throughout its history has been providing spiritual care to the sick. The Ecumenical Patriarchate has always being sensitive to the needs of this ministry from the years of the Byzantine Empire up until now. Its clergy are active in providing pastoral care to the ill, both on a parish level and in specialized facilities. read more...
December 14, 2014
Before we pastor others we must first pastor ourselves in a proper way
According to St. Simeon the New Theologian, before we pastor others we must first pastor ourselves in a proper way “as the flock of Christ, as a royal priesthood, submitting the flesh to the spirit so that the best is not conquered by the worse.” And when we enter into the depth of humility and acquire a meek and peaceful spirit and an inward heart of mercy and sympathy, we will acquire a pure heart. We will see the light of God and the very Holy Spirit that will act and speak within us concerning the hidden mysteries of God’s Kingdom. First, though, with inner peace, we have to attach the divided elements that are in us together into one spirit, peacefully restoring “ourselves through our body and soul so as to become a harmonic vessel in one spirit for God”…
And even though we undergo many temptations, many sorrows and catastrophes and remain steadfast to Christ and we show tolerance to persecutions, blasphemies and condemnations, patiently enduring everything, “preserving our unwavering standard from the pier of virtues”, we will reach a mature age according to Christ. We will acquire a perfect knowledge of God and the wisdom of the administered words and mysteries granted by the All-Holy Spirit. And at that hour, we will offer ourselves for the benefit of others as the least of servants. “He who wants to be first amongst us, let him be a servant and minister to all.”
“Until we reach this point by way of many struggles, I appeal to you that we remain silent, that we be submissive to our Fathers who are in accord with God and to God Himself who encompasses all. Let us repent daily and clean ourselves with the tears that God desires so that we will be able to come to know God who does not prevaricate, but who gives promises to those that love Him and accomplish His divine commands.”
St. Symeon the New Theologian
Ethical Discourse 11:25-26