The Time is Now to Reset Our Priorities
Last year at this time, I happily announced that the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia had officially set the date for the full consecration of our church for this year’s patronal feast day. As we all know, of course, this was not meant to be. Although we have heard the phrase: “mankind makes his plans, but God dispenses them,” it is a sobering “reality check” when something for which we had worked so hard and were expecting with such excitement and anticipation could be so easily snuffed out by something so totally unexpected. There are important lessons to be learned here: This is a genuine opportunity for all of us to reevaluate what is truly important in our lives and where we need to set our priorities.
Interestingly enough, we are managing. We are adapting. Our Divine services continue. I am reminded of what happened at the Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville many years ago. The monastic brotherhood had scraped together enough money to build a permanent church building at the monastery, and upon its completion, were planning to begin services there the next day. That very night, the cathedral burnt to the ground. One can only imagine how difficult it was for them to accept and deal with such a terrible setback. Yet the cycle of services continued that day completely uninterrupted, their monastic obediences continued as before, and, undaunted, they began rebuilding what is now one of the most renowned and beautiful cathedrals in the Russian Orthodox world.
While we may have endured a setback of our long-awaited Consecration, we, too, continue working toward that goal, depending upon God’s providence and mercy to bring these efforts to a successful completion. In July, we were blessed to celebrate the feast day of our beloved St. John of Shanghai and San Francisco in our church for the first time. Our Parish Feast Day was celebrated—again for the first time—by our dear Bishop Theodosy and was a joyous “return to normal” during these very abnormal times. There is much to be grateful for. And there is much to look forward to. We continue our services unabated, recognizing that only through our renewed commitment to our spiritual life in our Church and the prayers we continually send up during the Divine Liturgy each week, Our Heavenly Father will not deny His mercy and help to us in all of our efforts, which are to His glory, for the well-being of our spiritual family, and unto the salvation of our souls.