Beloved Transfiguration family,
A pious person once approached the great archbishop of Constantinople with a simple question: "What is the shortest path to sainthood?" The archbishop turned to greet the face of this inquirer and responded to the simple question with a simple answer: "Faithful, attentive participation in the divine services." This great archbishop was none other than Saint John Chrysostom, the same man who wrote down the liturgy which we still use every Sunday.
St. John's point is that the services themselves are our greatest instructor in the faith. There is an old Latin phrase "Lex orandi, lex credendi", or rather, "the rule of prayer is the rule of faith". The words of the services express the faith of the Church. Moreover, the prayers of the Church form our faith. Its not just a regurgitating of what we already believe, but an active process of forming us in that faith - a little bit more every time we hear them.
If what St. John tells us about the services is true, then we are in luck. We have, this month, the opportunity to increase our faithful and attentive participation in the services. Each week this month, I have scheduled a weekday liturgy:
- Friday Nov. 1 for Sts. Cosmas and Damian
- Friday Nov. 8 for the Synaxis of the Holy Archangels
- Wednesday Nov. 13 for St. John Chrysostom himself
- Thursday Nov. 21 for the Entrance of the Theotokos in the Temple
- Monday Nov. 25 for St. Catherine.
Our challenge for November is to attend at least one weekday liturgy, to become a little bit more of who God has made us to be. Good strength, and I look forward to seeing you early and often!