Tag Archive for: Priest

Spiritual Caregivers

Armodoxy for Today: Spiritual Care Givers

This week is Spiritual care week, giving opportunities to organizations and institutions of all kinds and types to recognize the spiritual caregivers in their midst and the ministry which they provide. Within the Church, the priest is on the front line of life and is the first-responder to domestic situations. He is the spiritual caregiver to his flock and community, and much more.

In the spirit of Spiritual Care week, I share with you a blessing shared with me, and written by Nadia Bolz-Weber.


A Blessing for a Pastor’s Heart

I imagine it was because of your heart that you went into this work in the first place. So, I imagine you have a heart that wanted to extend beyond itself, to stretch to love God’s people.

So may God bless the parts of your heart that receive their stories so openly, and comfort their sufferings so compassionately, and share their joys so thoroughly.

And may God also heal the parts of your heart that have been wounded by the very people whose stories you receive and whose sufferings you comfort and whose joys you share.

And may God revive the parts of your heart that have grown protectively cold.

And may God protect the parts of your heart that are well-loved by those who know you best.

And may God gently place God’s own heart right behind yours so that the sorrow of those in your care can move your heart but find a landing place in God’s.

And may God gently place God’s own heart right behind yours so that the love you give in this work can come through you but doesn’t have to come from you.

And as the love of God moves from God’s heart through your own to those in your care, may your heart soak up all it needs in the process. Because your heart is a human one too, and it deserves to be well tended to. AMEN.

Cover: St. Gregory the Illuminator by night, spiritual caregiver of a people. 2017 Fr. Vazken

Spirit & Flesh

Armodoxy for Today: Spirit & Flesh

Angels are flying and hovering all around us on Valentine’s day, and mostly of the chubby little cherub variety. With arrow drawn, Cupid takes aim at the heart twixt lovers. As for the other variety of angels, they’re called seraphim, they’re flying with their six wings in service to God.

We have developed quite an imagery of angels. Interestingly enough, angels are spiritual beings, that is, they do not have physical attributes. Go ahead, look it up. Angels are spiritual beings. They are the messengers of God. We ascribe physical traits to them for convenience so that we can form an idea of what a spiritual being may look like.

It is the human being, who above angels, has been gifted with both spirit and body. Often, it is the struggle between spirit and flesh that is highlighted in many religious stories, especially in the Bible. Today we will look at the power found in bringing spirit and flesh together.

Over these two days preceding Great Lent, the Armenian Church commemorates two saints, who were contemporaries, brothers in Christ, and responsible for the continuity of the Armenian Church and therefore the nation. One is St. Leon the Priest (Ghevont Yerets), and the other is St. Vartan Zoravar (the Warrior).

In the 5th Century, the Battle of Avarayr was fought between the Christian Army, under commander Vartan Mamikonian and the Perian army. This was the first time anywhere that a battle was fought for the defense of Christianity. It led to the signing of a treaty in 484 which affirmed Armenia’s right to practice Christianity. This is the single most important and significant event in Armenian history and for this reason, St. Vartan is recognized by the Church but also by the people, as a national hero.

His friend and priest, St. Leon, is often forgotten, though his impact on the Battle and thus the victory, is recognized by all historians, as essential. The Church recognizes the two over the course of this week, and emphasizes the importance of spiritual practices combined with physical prowess to overcome the worst of difficulties. More specifically, for us, we pray to God, but in the end, it is on our physical strength that we count on to stand or walk, to reach out or voice ourselves. In our daily struggles, the example of St. Leon and St. Vartan teach us how to balance the spirit and the flesh to achieve our goals. This then, becomes a prelude to the Lenten Season.

Tomorrow we will look closer at St. Vartan.

One of the more recent manifestations of the Divine presence in our lives was in 1968 when the Cathedral (the headquarters of the Diocese) in New York was consecrated in the name of St. Vartan. Forty-two years later, when the Cathedral in Los Angeles was to be consecrated a philanthropist came forward and asked that it be consecrated using his father’s name, which happened to be Leon, and so it was in 2010. Some may call this coincidence. Others, like me, want to believe it is God’s special messenger letting us know, the Armenian Church in America, is protected from coast to coast by St. Leon and St. Vartan, as they have for centuries.

Let us pray, “Lord, our God, through the intercession, memory and prayers St. Leon and St. Vartan, who lived and died for Jesus and the Fatherland and whom we commemorate today, grant us the gift of peace and of your great mercy. Amen.”

Evolving to Apostolic

Next Step #671: When Protestants discover the apostolic notion of the community, from the me to the we. The “bear” and the priest: an explanation. Space/Time, apologetics and the changes of demanding answers. Thomas’ doubt, natural experience. The centricities of ethno, geo and helio. Ken update #1.
Armodoxy YouTube Channel
Was the Early Church a Cult? Sermon by Mike Kim
WD168 this week
St. Thomas, Denis DeBlasio Flute Contemporary Virtuosos
Cover: Water at the Grotto, Oregon, 2017 Fr. Vazken
Produced by Suzie Shatarevyan for InHisShoes.org
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John’s Early Warning System

Next Step #431: Some misplaced excitement when Mother Teresa is canonized as a saint, while St. John the Baptist warns that relatives of the Saint can be created from the stones (see Luke 3). Thoughts in the transition from St. Peter Glendale: The priest as man doing God’s work and not visa versa. Traditions of the virtual community. California saints: Jose, Monica, Juan, Diego and Clemente in the process. Avon Walk: Not this year. Another Sacrament to join the Seven.
“Wind Up” by Jethro Tull
Swallow in Capistrano
St. Teresa of Calcutta
St. Peter Glendale: www.hyeyouth.org
Pope Shenouda and the Armenian Miuron
California Missions
Avon Walk
Walden by Thoreau
Sponsored by Predator Cycling – specializing in custom carbon bicycles, compoents, accessories and repair.
Cover Photo: San Clemente in September by Fr. Vazken, 2016
Engineered by Ken Nalik
Produced by Suzie Shatarevyan for InHisShoes.org
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Look for The Next Step on blubrry.com
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