All Saints of North America Orthodox Church (Hamilton, ON, Canada)

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September - October 2007

OUR CANADIAN SUMMERS

"If we are faithless, He remains faithful" - 2 Timothy 2:13

Summer has found a special place in the minds of Canadians as "break time". Shaped by a lifetime of having our internal clock governed by the school year (rather than the Church Year), it is easy to slip into a certain comfort mode between Canada Day and Labour Day. After all, we're Canadian, right?

With the exception of Great Lent, the months of July and August happen to have perhaps the most numerous celebrations of notable feast days: feast days of the Lord, the saints of the universal Church, the fasts and feasts of the Apostles and the Mother of God, not to mention the feast of our beloved North American patron, Saint John Maximovitch.

Such a full cycle of celebrations must make us ask: is "back to school time" also "back to Church" time for me? If it is, we must ask: for what reason have I taken a break from Christ? Because of warm weather? It should give us reason to pause and re-evaluate our priorities.

The Lord tells us that we can accomplish nothing without Him - yet Canadian summers are too often about doing just that: spending some time away from God. It should be no surprise when we find ourselves somewhat deflated, empty, or even depressed and lost, after a long, dry season without the divine services of the Church, and the spiritual food of the Holy Mysteries of Confession and Communion.

If this summer has been a "Canadian" summer for us, let us resolve to do two things:

Firstly, let us make a return, with renewed commitment to be present at the chalice and for the prayers of the Church, at least for Vespers and Liturgy each week.

And secondly, let us resolve to fashion our heart and our lives after the calendar of the Church, never standing apart from Christ and His Church, even while on vacation, even for a season.

We simply need Him too much.

- FrG+

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