The feast of the Pentecost takes a special place in the life of our Convent's farmstead for disadvantaged women. On this feast day, we pray for the miracle of salvation for our sisters. We pray that the Holy Spirit may descend upon them like it did on the apostles and bring them his great gifts of love, faith, wisdom, understanding and the fear of God.
In the Scripture, we find a graphic description of the Apostles' state of mind before the coming of the spirit. They were afraid. They feared the hostility, misunderstanding and passions of the world into which Christ was sending them to preach. They had locked themselves up in a room, afraid of the coming of the hostile Jews. At that point, Christ appeared and breathed into them the power of the Holy Spirit. Ten days after his Ascension, the Holy Spirit descends on them, and they tread fearlessly to different corners of the world, disregarding the martyrdom that awaited almost all of them.
The fear of the world experienced by the apostles is a familiar sensation for many women at the farmstead. They are faced with the formidable task of overcoming the legacy of their past lives. They need healing to their spirit; they stand to reconsider their lives. All of that will require a lot of hard work and is going to be painful. Will they have the will and determination to persevere and not go off the track in midway? With so few victories and so many falls in their lives, some are too afraid even to begin. The monastics who are guiding them in their progress have fear as well. The way to salvation is narrow, the risks are high, and the falls are painful. How can one keep one's sense of perspective and the confidence that their efforts are not in vain?
The Holy spirit liberated the apostles from their fear and gave them the power and energy to proceed. The meaning of the feast of the Holy Spirit is in the liberation and enlightenment that it brings. It strengthens everyone in their faith and their service of God.
We partake in the grace of the Holy Spirit by participating in its Holy Sacraments. We see the work of the Holy Spirit in the speed with which the farmstead's Church of St. Sergius of Radonezh rose from the ashes. Through the workings of the Holy Spirit, we continued to celebrate our liturgies throughout its reconstruction. We summon the Holy Spirit by engaging the women residents in productive work s they can develop their skills and talents and put them to their best use; by sharing meals and prayers to strengthen our unity in the spirit.o We prayed for the descent of the Holy Spirit at the festive liturgy of the Pentecost.
We sounded the church's only bell to bring everyone to Church and its sacraments. We hope that very soon the music of multiple bells in our farmstead's church will tell every listener about the grace of the Holy Spirit and the joy promised to everyone who loves God more than the delights and comforts of this world. Some day, the bells will chime to strengthen the dispel the worldly fear, strengthen our faith in our salvation and our confidence in the indestructibility of the image of God that lives in us.
On this great feast, thank all our givers for their generosity and enthusiasm that are bringing this moment closer. We have already raised about one-third of the amount needed for the bells, and continue to pray fervently for all who care.
If you would like to donate towards the purchase of the bells, please follow this link:https://www.paypal.com/donate?hosted_button_id=ELZGPL5ZF9S2E
We are looking forward to hearing his voice soon in the chiming of the bells of the church named in his honour. We expect it to happen soon with your donations, which recently exceeded two-thirds of the needed amount.
From 17 to 26 September, Saint Elisabeth Convent takes part in the online festival of Orthodox artists, blessed and supported by His Eminence Archbishop of Thyateira and Great Britain Nikitas and the Brotherhood of the Orthodox Mission Abroad.