Archpastoral visit to St. Xenia Skete & St. Andrew's Church in Northern California
- Created on Saturday, 16 June 2012 15:40
On Saturday morning my eight year-old son, John and I went with two other parishioners from our church in Anderson to Wildwood, CA to visit St. Xenia's Skete and to serve Liturgy with His Grace Bishop Maxim. The weather during the past couple of days had been very hot and wehoped that it would be comfortable at St. Xenia's. We were not disappointed as were blessed with cool but sunny weather during the outdoor liturgy which was also served with Fr. Hilarion the abbot of St Herman's Monastery in Platina and Fr. Paisius also from St. Herman's. After the beautiful litrugy, we crowded into the trapeza for a wonderful meal of salmon and rice and vegetables.
His Grace entertained our questions and talked especially about forgiveness. This conversation carried over into discussions we had at St. Andrew's which proved to be very spiritually helpful for all of us. He helped us grasp a more radical definition of forgiveness that went beyond merely not wishing evil or tolerating the one who has violated us. The Greek word, "synchoresis" combines the the prefix "syn" which means "to gather" or "come together" and "choresis" (sp?) which refers to space. So, forgiveness is actually allowing the other to return into our space to once again beceom part of us. This is further illustrated by Christ's forgiveness of us and in His taking on our sins for the sake of our salvation.