Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Sunday of Saint John Climacus

I must confess that when I looked at what this Sunday was, my first thought was, "Who is that?" Well, St. John Climacus is a 6th century saint and is best known for his work, the The Ladder of Divine Ascent (he is also called Saint John of the Ladder). He also is known as the originator of the hesychasm movement (you know, the "Jesus Prayer"). You can google his name and find a plethora of information on his life, and his life itself is the reason why we remember him during Lent. As Fr. Thomas Hopko puts it in :

"The spiritual struggle of the Christian life is a real one, "not against flesh and blood, but against...the rulers of the present darkness...the hosts of wickedness in heavenly places..." (Eph. 6:12) Saint John encourages the faithful in their efforts for, according to the Lord, only "he who endures to the end will be saved." (Matt. 24:13)." [The Orthodox Faith: Volume ii, Worship. pg 82-83)

Readings: Hebrews 6:13-20; Mark 9:17-31

For the Little Ones: Pretzels were invented by a Christian monk as a Lenten bread. The shape of the pretzel mimics the crossing of arms in prayer. The bread was then given to children as rewards for memorizing their prayers. So, this week, work on teaching your children the Jesus Prayer. Then, on Saturday or Sunday make some pretzels(or buy if you must!). Have the family gather together and spend some time in prayer together, focusing on saying the Jesus Prayer. The amount of time will of course depend on the children. I suggest keeping it limited to a few minutes if you have toddlers! Then, enjoy some pretzels together as reward to the children for remembering the prayers.

1 comment:

Vondra said...

Keep up the good work.