About routines in our lives, or as we Orthodox say, ” again and again…”
Routines and Patterns
I’ve heard many people say that routines can be good for us, especially for children.
A consistent bedtime.
Regular meal times.
Unswerving exercise regiments.
All this can lead one to be healthier, happier, more productive, and mentally stable.
Yesterday, we celebrated the Great Feast of the Transfiguration of Christ.
In this feast we see Christ transfigured, dazzling with the uncreated light, before his disciples.
What we learn from this feast is that the Transfiguration isn’t just a historical moment in the life of Christ, but the attainable goal of every Orthodox Christian.
Yes, you too, are called to be transfigured, glowing with the uncreated light and united to God.
But how? How are we to get there?
Well, our rich Orthodox tradition takes us by the hand and shows us: create healthy routines.
Transfigured by Routines
A modern day saint (St. Paisios) was once approached by a sinner, who couldn’t stop falling into a particular sin. What did the saint recommend? A routine!
Here’s that conversation between the saint and this sinner,
“Okay. Let us just take it as a given that you are not able to stop this sin. Alright? Let us just take that as a fact. That’s out of the question now. But let’s not concentrate on the things you cannot do, and instead let’s concentrate on the things you can do. Can you go to church every Sunday?”
And the man replied: “Yes, Elder.”
“Can you fast on Wednesdays and Fridays?”
“Can you give alms to the poor?”
“Can you try to say the Jesus Prayer during the day?”
The elder then replied: “If you do all of these things, God will save you regardless of your problem.” (source)
Learning Only the Right Routines
But we must be careful.
Some routines can be harmful to us…even spiritually harmful!
Some routines may keep us from God, keep us from Church and the Sacraments, keep us living in hatred or delusion.
For example, it wouldn’t be a good routine to start sleeping in and missing church every Sunday.
But, if we make it a habit to always draw closer to Christ, then our routine will be truly a transfiguring experience!
P.S. Be Transfigured!
St. Elias the Prophet (419 N. Grandview Ave., Dubuque)
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Sundays: Orthros, 9 am; Divine Liturgy, 10 am
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