At a time when our own nation's psyche is shaken to its foundation with the unthinkable evil that befell a community in Connecticut; when Christians are persecuted in 131 of the 193 countries of the world (2011 Pew Forum study); when our suffering Hellenic brothers and sisters have already fallen off their fiscal cliff and are demonstrating Winston Churchill's "Heroes fight like Greeks" strength of character in their recovery, I believe we must redouble our efforts to bring our Lord and Savior closer to our lives every day and to live our Orthodox Faith with the zeal, fervor and steadfastness of our spiritual fathers led by His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew... and there is no better time to do this than Christmas.
Begin every day by studying the Holy Scriptures and Lives of our Saints. It's easy; just download the iPhone or Android app from the GOA, prepare your coffee and cast aside the exigencies of the mundane and relive the Life of Christ. You will be inspired by the ineffable love of our Heavenly Father in the daily Gospel when He brought back to life the dead; created food and drink when there weren't any; brought sight to the blind and offered up His own Life, so that we have the opportunity to make ours eternal. You will be encouraged by the extraordinary acts of courage of the martyrs and holy fathers of the Church, who made the ultimate sacrifice or lived lives of such goodness and piety that they inspired those around them, contemporaneously and in the subsequent centuries.
By studying the Holy Scriptures and Lives of our Saints, you will be comforted that those, whose innocent lives had been snuffed out by evil, will be everlasting in a Place where there is no suffering or pain. You will be inspired to be good stewards living your Orthodox Christian Faith offering your Time, Talent and Treasure so that the Word of God, the Salvific Message may be spread throughout the world by His All-Holiness without the religious freedom constraints of any government. Ultimately, by studying the Holy Scriptures and Lives of our Saints, I believe you will become better Archons, fighting for religious freedom as we enter 2013, the 1700th Anniversary of the Edict of Milan, when St. Constantine the Great issued the first "religious freedom resolution" bestowing beneficence and freedom to all Christians in the oikoumene in 363 AD.
Maria and my entire family join me in wishing all Archons and their beloved families a joyous Christmas, a time in the year to redouble our efforts to bring our Lord and Savior into our daily lives and a time to express our profound gratitude to our spiritual fathers,
His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew,
His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America,
the venerable Metropolitans of the Holy Eparchial Synod and to
Fr. Alex Karloutsos and our Brother Archons for their devotion to the Mother Church of Constantinople.
Anthony J. Limberakis, MD