Pastoral Letter June 3, 2018

“What saves and makes for good children is the life of the parents in the home. The parents need to devote themselves to the love of God. They need to become saints in their relations to their children through their mildness, patience, and love. They need to make a new start every day, with a fresh outlook, renewed enthusiasm and love for their children. And the joy that will come to them, the holiness that will visit them, will shower grace on their children. If the parents do not pursue a life of holiness and if they don’t engage in spiritual struggle, they make great mistakes and transmit the faults they have within them. If the parents do not live a holy life and do not display love towards each other, the devil torments the parents with the reactions of the children. Love, harmony and understanding between parents are what are required for the children. This provides a great sense of security and certainty.” – St. Porphyrios

My Dearly Beloved in the Lord.

On this evening, much like any other evening for many of us, quite different than any other for some of us, I invite you to consider the following:

If you have children, hold them tightly to you. Embrace them. Kiss them. Be unambiguous in your love for them.

Pray for them fervently. Sacrifice for their needs and do your best to provide for their wants, within reason.

Show them the Lord through your own love for Him. Introduce them to the Lord and keep them close to Him for as long as you have charge over them.

Live by example. Admit wrongdoing and ask for forgiveness.

Even when you are 99% certain that you are 100% correct.

Ask for forgiveness.

Be available for hard questions and difficult answers.

Resist showing your kids how brilliant you are, and opt to show them examples of humility, patience and grace.

Support their big ideas. Celebrate their silly ideas. Tactfully correct their bad ideas. Sound the alarm at their dangerous ideas.

Know their friends and fill their lives with Godly influences.

Remember that true faith is not found on a bumper sticker, in a political party, or through a cable news program.

True Faith is:

Love.

Humility.

Grace.

Parenting a child requires:

Love.

Humility.

Grace.

Is any parent proficient or perfect at these virtues? Of course not.

Is any parent perfect at any virtue? Of course not.

Do children require perfection. Again, of course not.

Do children deserve our best efforts in these and in every virtue?

Of course.

Tonight is a different night than any other for many of us. Details will follow in the coming days of a tragedy that has struck our community. For now, please be aware that we have suffered a great loss. A family’s loss. Our family’s loss.

Please pray for all families and for the safety, peace, comfort and strength of our precious youth.

Their world is exponentially more challenging than we ever could have imagined.

Christ is the foundation of homes.

Together, let us build upon His foundation.

With Much Love in Christ,

Fr. Anthony