The world presents happiness as the ultimate good, and the pursuit of happiness as the ultimate human right. Philosophers extol happiness as the greatest virtue, and a famous and powerful nation was founded to serve its attainment.1 Yet experience shows us that direct pursuit of happiness leaves an aftertaste of misery.
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Timeless Wisdom: Orthodox Spirituality Today A Lenten Retreat—16th to 18th March 2018, Belgrave Heights Come join the English-speaking Orthodox parishes of Melbourne for a weekend of spiritual feasting. People will be flocking to experience the “Timeless Wisdom” of ancient Orthodox Spirituality in a thoroughly modern setting. But for those who cannot make it, remember that all weekend services will be served at The Good Shepherd Orthodox Church.
Well, we’re approaching the end of the first week of Great Lent in 2018. God’s been good, very good to us. And the season of Great Lent is rewarding! Let me relate a little of what is happening in the parish and what God is doing in our lives. Beauty and Charity Just in time for Great Lent, our re-covered Gospel Book arrived. It was covered by an Orthodox monastery in Belarus, and it is a gorgeously beautiful covering.
The Orthodox mind is a prepared mind. We never just “do an event.” We prepare for the event. And we never just prepare for an event, we prepare to prepare to prepare for the event! The fulcrum of our liturgical year is Pascha. Holy Week Prepares us for Pascha. Lent prepares us for Holy Week. And the week following Zaccheaus Sunday is when we prepare for Lent. So, today is the day we prepare to prepare to prepare for Pascha. What follows are six questions we can ask ourselves to see if we’re truly ready for Great Lent.
God is on the move. He is calling people from all backgrounds and walks of life into communion with His Church. And He is calling members of His Church to cooperate with Him in this saving activity (1 Corinthians 3:9). The Good Shepherd was witness to this Divine activity on the weekend before the Nativity. Six adult catechumens were baptised on the Friday and received into communion on Christmas Eve.
Meet the new Metropolitan Archbishop of the Antiochian Archdiocese of Australia, New Zealand and the Philippines, His Eminence, the Most Reverend Metropolitan Basilios (Kodseie). Metropolitan Basilios was elected by the Holy Synod of Antioch to the Archdiocese of Australia, New Zealand and the Philippines on 4 October 2017, and was ordained as Metropolitan Archbishop at the Lady of Balamand Cathedral, Lebanon, on 19 November 2017.
As this calendar year comes to a close, I am enormously grateful to God; Father, Son and Holy Spirit for all the many and varied blessings we have received this year. Truly His mercy abounds. The Good Shepherd parish, located as we are in the centre of Melbourne’s population, has a mission to present the Gospel of Jesus Christ to all Australians. We model the ancient tradition of Eastern Orthodoxy in a modern, secular culture. We conduct our services in English so that Australians of all backgrounds can learn, grow and find healing in their body and soul.
By God’s Grace, His Beatitude Patriarch John X Patriarch of Antioch and of All the East To all my brothers, the Shepherds of the Antiochian Orthodox Church, and to my spiritual children throughout the Apostolic See of the Church of Antioch, “Beholding him that was in God’s image and likeness fallen because of the transgression, Jesus bowed the heavens and came down; and without suffering change, He made His dwelling in womb of a Virgin.” — The Entreaty, Great Vespers of the Nativity