January 31, 2013

Visible Faith

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.(Heb. 11:1)

I use the Saint Tikhon’s lectionary wall calendar to check the readings and saints for the day. I use the OCA website too, but I like the feel of something material that I can hold in my hands.

STOTS Lectionary Wall Calendar

I like the pictures, this year of the grounds of the monastery and seminary and historical photos of figures associated with them: Saint Alexis Toth, Saint Alexander Hotovitsky, Saint Raphael Hawaweeny, Saint Nikolai Velimirovich, Metropolitan Leonty and many others. I also like the sayings that are sprinkled throughout the calendar, and this year they all come from Saint Isaac the Syrian, his Ascetical Homilies.

January includes these words of instruction and prayer from Saint Isaac:

Blessed is God who uses corporeal objects continually to draw us closer in a symbolic way to a knowledge of God’s invisible nature. O Name of Jesus, key to all gifts, open up for me the great door to Thy treasure-house, that I may enter and praise Thee with the praise that comes from the heart.

We Orthodox have a lot of visible “corporeal objects” in our church life, but paradoxically their purpose is to draw us in to God’s invisible life. They testify to our faith in the invisible untouchable God who became visible, corporeal and touchable in Jesus Christ.

If you don’t have one, the calendar can be ordered from Saint Tikhon’s Bookstore, 888-454-6678, www.stspress.com.

The OCA Web Team

Jessica Linke

Events over the last week have highlighted what an excellent web team the OCA has. News stories, photo galleries, feature articles, questions and answers, liturgical texts and music, saints lives and scripture readings, and this “Chancellor’s Diary”: all are posted quickly (often outside business hours) and in an attractive way to the website, Facebook page, and Twitter page. I’m grateful for this, as most of you must be as well. There is a lot of collaborative teamwork at odd hours of day and night, and emails back and forth as stories are shaped and prepared for posting. Father John Matusiak (Illinois) writes most of the news stories and provides editorial oversight. Jessica Linke posts the items. Ryan Platte (Upstate New York) is the webmaster and technical expert. Photos come in from various sources, including Roman Ostash (Metropolitan Tikhon’s assistant), Alexis Liberovsky and me (mainly for the diary). Father Eric Tosi as director of communications signs off on the timing and content of stories.

So, thank you web team for all your efforts.