Monday, February 22, 2016

Visit #194 ~ Visiting Priest with Stirring Homily!

Father Volodymyr Chaikivskyi
Fr. Gary was at a different parish today so we had the privilege of being served by Fr. Volodymyr.  Yes, he is Russian with a VERY THICK accent and, to be honest, it was hard to understand him sometimes. But I had my trusty service book to follow along with plus I am familiar with much of the liturgy (this being visit #194 and all) so I could figure out what he was saying. So, how can I maintain, that he gave a stirring Homily when it was hard to understand him? Yes, with his thick accent, I had to fight thoughts that I was watching an old movie with Russian KGB agents (my mind always wanders to the absurd- I haven't figured out if that's a curse or a blessing) but his homily was short and all I had to do was pay close attention and what Fr. Volodymry said turned out to be very important. He, of course, preached on the parable of the publican and the pharisee  it being the beginning of the Lenten Triodion and all, and Fr. Volodymyr said that this parable was a dangerous parable. That peaked my interest right away. How is this dangerous? He made the point that we, as Christians, can listen to this parable and say, "Well, thank God, I am NOT like the pharisee."....and, thus, we fall into the same self-delusion as the pharisee, not realizing we need to repent. It is dangerous for Christians to think they are better than others. We must always be like the publican, beating our breast, asking for God's Mercy. The homily was very short but it's message stayed with me!  Well, that's good because isn't that the point of homilies?

I also enjoyed the rest of the service, trying hard to attend and fight out distracting thoughts (which is what I have to do at every liturgy) As communion was being distributed I was blessed by others giving me fellowship bread ( I always forget the term for that bread) and I always receive it with joy. If I can't commune with the Holy Eucharist, I am at least grateful that the Faithful remember me.  Well, Matushka Mary was heading back towards where I was standing and handed bread to a couple right next to me. She then came up to me and whispered "Sorry, I ran out" and then walked away.  

Better luck, next time, Jimmy!

I smiled to myself and then continued in worship.  All in all, it was great to be in Divine Liturgy. I had to rush out of there to go to work so I missed coffee hour which is a shame because it is fun to talk to everyone.  Below is a video of Fr. Volodymry and Deacon Alexander during the Liturgy. As you can hear, Fr. Volodymry is difficult to understand. But I'm glad he served Sunday! 

God bless all the priests of the Church!

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Visit #193 - Getting Fed from the Divine Liturgy

So I didn't get a chance to post about my last visit - I've been busy - so I'll do it quickly while I'm at work using my mobile device short, I was fed spiritually last Sunday and was glad I went to Church. It was better that an IHOP breakfast (pictured above)

That about says it all!