That Which is Bread

Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy? – Isaiah

St. Euphrosynos the Cook

The image is of my first solo attempt at an icon. Holy Euphrosynos, pray for us!

Saint Euphrosynos of Alexandria (9th century; commemorated September 11)
His icon is found in countless Orthodox kitchens. A simple and holy man, when he entered monastic life in Alexandria he was judged unfit for any service more demanding than kitchen work. There he labored without complaint, looked down upon by most of the other monks. One night the abbot dreamed that he was in Paradise, and there met Euphrosynos, who gave him a branch that bore three fragrant apples. Awakening, the abbot found the same apples on his pillow. He hurried to find Euphrosynos and asked him, ‘Where were you last night, brother?’ Euphrosynos only replied, ‘Where were you, Father?’ The abbot gathered the monks and told them the wonderful story, by which they all realized the cook’s holiness. But Euphrosynos, unwilling to endure the praise of men, fled the monastery for the desert.

Source: God is Wonderful in His Saints

Strangers to the World

It is difficult to long for a heavenly home that we have not seen, and so God in His infinite wisdom has given us the Holy Church.

True spiritual life involves our being strangers to the world. How often we forget that this present, mortal existence is not all that is, but rather is only a shadow of reality! We walk through our days completely immersed in our present circumstances, our bodies, minds and emotions, anxious for tomorrow and too often fearful for today. Our Savior has taught, “Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on” (Mat. 6:25), but still we worry.

It is difficult to long for a heavenly home that we have not seen, and so God in His infinite wisdom has given us the Holy Church. It is here that we begin to catch glimpses of our heavenly home and have awakened in our hearts the love and longing for union with our Maker. The Holy Church both sets us apart as strangers to the world and provides us consolation in our earthly sojourn. Here we find “love, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance” (Gal. 5:22–23), all of which sustains us until the end. Earthly things cannot compare.

Fr Michael Crowley, St. Xenia Parish News, Methuen MA.