All Saints of North America Orthodox Church (Hamilton, ON, Canada)

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September - October 2015

BACK TO SCHOOL?

It's a good thing that the arrival of September brings our minds around to thinking about "Back to School".

It's not enough to remember our own school days, or even to muddle through the school plans of our children, however: this is the way the world looks at "school", and its place in our lives. It is certainly not a Christian perspective.

If we never do it any other time, September is a good time to ask ourselves, What am I working for? What am I learning for? What am I living for?

Too often, we expect a sense of completeness and achievement from success at work and school - and that is simply a crazy expectation.

Our beloved North American Saint, Nikolai Velimirovic, in his Prayers by the Lake, warns us not to hang our hope on such things - they will only be for us a handful of dust, with no enduring value.

If this September we truly go "Back to School", and if our kids want to truly do the same, let's resolve to make that work, that education, worthy of the time and energy we invest in it: let us resolve to undertake the spiritual education of our soul, whatever else we may be doing.

The promises the secular world gives us about the "prizes" that come from secular education too often leave us disappointed. If we resolve instead to educate our hearts about the ways we might become like Christ, we no longer set ourselves up for temporary thrills. Instead, we prepare ourselves to graduate into eternity.

- FrG+

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