Hospitality is a most prominent social feature of our Orthodox Christian Faith. It is impossible for me to visit my spiritual children and friends in Greece, Cyprus or Romania without being showered with the most lavish hospitality. This, of course, involves the most generous portions of delicious food and the most delightful company attended by conversation that continues deep into the night. Despite my best efforts and most fervent protestations about the quantity of food when serving, I invariably return home a kilo heavier!
Before every meal, the food is blessed and in my experience, there is always consideration for others who may benefit from the generous provisions remaining. I know that at this time many of our Parishes are distributing food to the poor, the elderly and the isolated. Glory to God!
St. Columba, his blessings and the white horse: (Part 1 of 2)
Weary with old age Saint Columba in early May 597 was taken around the Island of Iona on a wagon drawn by a white horse. When he saw his monks working in the field he would stand up and bless them. Whenever he saw cattle or sheep grazing he would stand up and bless them. He also blessed the wild animals and birds that he saw. After this, he went to bless the contents of the barns. He was pleased to see them full and said: “If I have to depart from my family, I shall carry with me the knowledge that they have ample food for the coming year.”
Matthew 25:42:” Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming.”
“What a meal!” the Abbot said
on the feast of St.Wilfred.
“You excelled yourself this time dear brother!”
“The lamb was perfect, like no other.”
“The wine was good too, sweet and red
Better even than the bread.”
“Who was that unexpected guest,
Who appeared at once with all the rest?”
“I’ve no idea” the monk replied
“But I’ve a feeling that he tried
To take some food out to the poor
I saw some beggars at the door. “
“He’ll not come back I’ll see to that
I’d rather feed the kitchen cat.”
He will come back one day you know
To judge all people high or low
And let us pray it’s not too late
To help the one who’s at our gate
The invitation to the heavenly feast
Depends on how we treat the least!
“Prayer, fasting, vigil and all other Christian practices, however good they may be in themselves, do not constitute the aim of our Christian life, although they serve as an indispensable means of reaching this end. The true aim of our Christian life consists in the acquisition of the Holy Spirit. As for fasts, and vigils, and prayer, and almsgiving, and every good deed done for Christ’s sake, they are only means of acquiring the Holy Spirit of God”- St Seraphim of Sarov.