DSWA/C/13/2015 November 26, 2015
"Urshlem" Diocesan Center- Beasley, Texas
Blessings to our Cor-Episcopoi, Priests, Deacons, Parish Managing Committee members, and all the faithful of our Diocese.
The days of preparation for the great feast of the Nativity of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ have once again drawn near. For the next 25 days, we are called to observe the Nativity Fast through increased prayer and fasting from worldly pleasures in order to receive the Heavenly King.
Nowadays, we have become immersed in a culture of materialism that is defined by the electronics and technology that surrounds us. We are at a point where we willingly endanger lives each day, both physically and spiritually, without even realizing it. The number of recent accidents and deaths resulting from texting and other activities on our mobile devices while driving grieves us, but there seems to be no concern for change. Those who continually choose to do this have decided that what they are doing is more important than the safety of those around them, and this is a result of spiritual pride. When we disregard the safety and comfort of others, we are in a sense disregarding Christ. Although we try to multi-task and do many things at once, the truth is, it impairs our ability to focus and remain attentive to the primary task, and this type of inattentiveness is a spiritual danger that can also affect other areas of our life.
A culture of entertainment continues to brew up in our society with a desire for us to be entertained wherever we go, and this is one of the reasons why we are unable to put aside our mobile devices. The constant activity that we engage in through our mobile devices is a form of entertainment that keeps us busy and fills our life with constant noise. We can certainly be thankful for the blessings that technology brings us in this day and age, but we cannot allow for it to rule us. Throughout the Scriptures, we see the discipline of silence combined with self-control that leads to victory over the enemy, and this we need to incorporate and bring into fruition in our lives. The Lenten period is the perfect opportunity to create awareness and bring positive changes that will result in spiritual renewal and transformation.
We urge all our faithful to whole-heartedly participate in the Nativity Fast. During this season, let us not only restrict and limit our food intake but also decrease the usage of our mobile devices and consider the safety of others, especially when driving. Both parents and children can support each other by reminding each other of the need to put aside our mobile devices when driving and to limit our usage throughout the day. We must be shining examples of what it means to be a follower of Christ, and this can be modeled through self-control as Christ taught us.
We take this opportunity to extend our love, prayers and blessings for the upcoming Nativity Fast which culminates with the Feast of the Nativity of our Lord. Along with the angelic hosts, let us cry aloud and proclaim: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace, good will toward all mankind!”
Your Shepherd in Christ, Alexios Mar Eusebius Metropolitan
Alexios Mar Eusebius