Summer is here!

My Dear Spiritual Ohana,

I pray that you have a wonderful and fun-filled summer!  If there was one wish I have for you, your families, myself and my family included, it is this:  Though we make plans to take our vacations, we should never take a vacation away from God.  God is with us, as far as we allow His Presence to be a part of our lives.  He truly fulfills us when we open the door of our hearts to Him.  For our Lord Himself says:  “Behold, I stand at the door and knock.  If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.” (Revelation 3:20)

I found a reference to a 32 page booklet which offers us wonderful advice to heed our Lord’s knock at our heart’s door.  It is entitled:  Ten Point Program for Orthodox Life:  Translating Orthodox Christian Ideals Into Daily Life, by Fr. Deacon Charles Joiner of St. George Cathedral in Greenville, South Carolina.  I would like to suggest us to order some of these booklets for our own bookstore.

I offer you an outline of what this booklet contains.  Besides including an introduction and conclusion, this booklet contains the following 10 chapters with pertinent and thoughtful topics which we as Orthodox Christians can incorporate into our daily lives:

  1. Praying Daily:  Have a regular prayer rule that includes morning and evening prayer.
  2. Worshiping and Participating in Sacraments:  Attend and participate in the Divine Liturgy receiving Holy Communion regularly as well as regular participation in Confession.
  3. Honoring the Liturgical Cycle of the Church: Follow the seasons of the Church and participate in the fasts and feasts of the Church.
  4. Using the Jesus Prayer: Repeat the Holy Name whenever possible throughout the day and night.
  5. Slowing Down and Ordering Your Life: Set priorities and reduce the stress and friction caused by a hurried life.
  6. Being Watchful: Give full attention to what you are doing at the moment.
  7. Taming the Passions:  Overcome your habits, attachment to your likes and dislikes, and learn to practice the virtues.
  8. Putting Others First: Free yourself from your selfishness and find joy in helping others.
  9. Spiritual Fellowship: Spend time regularly with other Orthodox Christians for support and inspiration.
  10. Reading the Scriptures and Holy Fathers: Be inspired by the lessons of the Holy Scriptures, the wisdom of the Holy Fathers and the lives of the Saints of the Church.

This outline looks like a great and very worthy plan to implement into our personal, everyday routines and lives.  Please let me know if you are interested in obtaining this booklet.  I feel these topics would be great opportunities for us to fellowship and share these simple but important steps with one another.

In writing this edition of the Shorelines, I inform you that this is a combined publication encompassing the months of June and July.  Our next edition will be for the month of August.

I would like this time to congratulate all of our graduates including Aina Katsikas who is graduating from High School and Anna Higashi in obtaining her B.A., with honors, in History.  We wish them and all graduates much success for a most bright and promising future!

Have a Most Blessed Summer!

With Love in Christ,

+Fr. Alexander  

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