Except for one week spent visiting my mother in Texas, we have spent almost the entire summer in Arkansas with you. Of course, the “Arkansas” part was good—even if it was kinda hot and humid. (I really did come to look forward to driving through the Ozarks on the trip between Rogers and Fort Smith.) But it’s the “with you” part of “Arkansas with you” that was the real highlight. For myself and for my family, spending the summer with you has been a great experience. We loved being able to be in church with you, and we loved beginning to meet and get to know you outside of services. We always felt welcome, even especially so. And now that we’re leaving to return to Pennsylvania we don’t feel so much like we now have some contacts in Arkansas, but we have some friends. Thank you for taking the time to talk with us, for feeding us, for making space for us, for helping us, and for befriending us in so many ways. Being “with you” has been a blessing for which we are grateful. If you happen to find yourself in northeast Pennsylvania please let us know! In the meantime, though, we simply want to say thank you again for welcoming us into your midst this summer. It has been a good one (and a hot one), one we will always remember fondly.
Dn Basil, Marina, Elijah, Ephrem, and Gregory
“Give me a word!”
No matter how much we may study, it is not possible to come to know God unless we live according to His commandments, for God is not know by science, but by the Holy Spirit. Many philosophers and learned men came to the belief that God exists, but they did not know God. It is one thing to believe that God exists and another to know Him. If someone has come to know God by the Holy Spirit, his soul will burn with love for God day and night, and his soul cannot be bound to any earthly thing.
-St Silouan the Athonite
Having God, fear nothing, but cast all of your care upon Him, and He will take care of you. Believe undoubtingly, and God will help you according to His mercy.
-St Barsanuphius the Great
The purpose of God's Providence is to unite, by means of right faith and spiritual love, people who have been separated by evil. To this end the Savior also suffered for us, "in order to gather together the children of God who were scattered." (John 11:52)
-St Maximus Confessor
If someone puts his trust in God in a matter, let him not argue with his brother about it.
-St Mark the Ascetic