Virtue of the Week; Mercy

posted Dec 3, 2012, 8:01 AM by
This week at St. John's Academy we will focus on the virtue of mercy.
Though we Orthodox often hear and speak much about this virtue in our
Christian lives, the world apparently knows little of it.  The recent
acts of state-sponsored terrorism by the Israeli government against
the people of Gaza is only one of dozens of examples of mercilessness
which we and our loved ones encounter in our daily lives.   Thus, no
matter how "comfortable" we may have become in our immersion in the
abundant grace of God's mercy through His Church, we must ever be
consciously striving to bring that mercy to to the wider world beyond
our blessed circle of Christian fellowship, a world that seems to
thrive only on violence, vengeance, and brutality.  Only by committing
ourselves to acts of mercy through our patience, forgiveness and love
- which are supernatural gifts that only God can bestow - can we then
turn around to help, to heal, and to hallow such a fallen world as our

Speaking of that blessed circle, I want extend my deepest, heartfelt
gratitude to all the teachers, parents, students and members of the
parish community of the Holy Virgin Cathedral for making our first
annual "Celebrate Our Mother" event a success.  Though it may seem
like we enjoyed but a modest turnout, considering the inclement
weather - as well as the fact the this was our first experiment with
such an event - I consider the day to have been a rousing victory for
a greater good which we may not be able to detect directly, either
with our earthly eyes, or in the immediate present.  So, please accept
my thanks and my congratulations for a job well done!

Please keep in mind that Tuesday, 04 December, is the actual Feast Day
of the Entrance of the Theotokos into the Temple.  Traditionally, St.
John's students have been required to attend the Divine Liturgy of
this major Feast Day, after which students were always released from
school to spend the day with their families.  This year, however, we
do realize that many parents find it difficult to take the time off
from work, or to provide childcare, on a weekday.  Therefore, the
school will be open - as on a regular school day - on Tuesday, 04
December, immediately after the morning Liturgy, which is required for
all students to attend, after which full-time teachers are asked to
stay at school until 2:30 PM in order to help arrange activities for
whatever students and pupils will be in school that day. Part-time
teachers may come to school on a volunteer basis. The school day will
end at 2:30 PM on Tuesday, 04 December, for all grades, K - 12.  For
those students who do come to school on Tuesday, the day's activities
will include movies, games, and singing; a general good time for all
in celebration of the Most Holy Theotokos. For those who do not come
to school (with the blessing of their parents), it will be considered
an excused absence from school.

On Wednesday, 05 December, 2012, there will be a staff lunch at noon.
Please bring any questions, concerns, or other matters for open
discussion with the St. John's Academy teachers to this meeting.

Have a mercifully good week!


Seraphim Winslow