From the Parish Priest – Fr. Romey Rosco
We know from our experience as families as well as individuals, that we’re all growing older much too soon.¬† Our toddlers become teens, then college students, young adults and spouses, as we ourselves become bystanders in a world made for them.¬† That’s all right, because we prepared them for their future (or at least we tried to).
The Church has experienced this for two millenniums, trying to raise us in the presence of God and preparing us for a future with Him.¬† I say “trying” because our response to the Lord has not always been a positive one.¬† As children, we had to rely generally on our parents to take seriously their role as Orthodox Christians and avail us with Church and Sunday School.¬† Too many parents were irresponsible about it and denied their children a living and growing relationship with the Lord.
As teenagers, rebellion against parental authority sometimes reveals itself in rejection of a Heavenly Father or a Church Mother.¬† The Church is seen as outdated, and a priest is viewed as either perverted or just bumbling, in either case irrelevant to their young lives because they don’t care to go to church anyway, and religious people in general are labeled “fanatics.”¬† In fact, you can see these characterizations on television on any given day.
In education, young people must be very careful to find a school that has a balanced philosophy, one that allows students to learn without whitewash, hypocrisy or maliciousness toward man’s relationship with God.¬† Our American system of education (from Kindergarten on up) is on the skids, and our young people must be careful not to become brainwashed or “robotized” by extremist educators.¬† As a priest, I can’t believe that here in America public school children are being indoctrinated to reject Christian and family values in school systems manipulated by activists and politicians.
At all stages of our lives, we can see the attempts to remove God from every kind of influence on us.¬† Yes, churches in America are still being tolerated.¬† But whether we’re talking about government or extremist agendas or just individual apathy, many people are suffering from a lack of Christian spirituality, without care for salvation.¬† We are being told to love the Creation but to reject the Creator and Source of Life.
So, what’s new?¬† What I have just described has been mainly true of every generation and in every country of the world.¬† The solutions lie within the people of each generation.¬† We must struggle against the world’s precepts in order to keep the light of Christ in our minds and hearts.¬† We must encourage one another in the Faith, for it is within true Christian precepts that we find real love for the world and everyone in it.
We must be aware of the many martyrdoms happening in the Middle East, Africa, Asia and elsewhere in the world.¬† We must examine the history of western Europe’s loss of Christian spirituality and vow not to follow in their footsteps.¬† We must look at the sinful wrongs committed by our own government and then work and pray for their correction.¬† We must accept the truth that abortion and homosexuality are indeed sinful acts, but that sinners of whatever stripe (ourselves included) are still loved by God.
However, the fact that God loves us does not qualify us to sin.¬† The Church is correct and wise to call us all to repentance.¬† It is God’s wisdom (!) and he will not be mocked.¬† So, all of our evasions, excuses and worldly machinations, whether by individuals, groups or governments, will not simply be passed over on the Day of Reckoning.
Excerpt from the Parish Priest Report to the Annual Parish Assembly, 26 January 2014
Sts. Peter & Paul Romanian Orthodox Church, Dearborn Heights MI