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2015 Year of the Family - Year of Consecrated Life

Jesus, Mary and Joseph are our role models par excellence! Jesus, dedicated  to accomplishing the Will of His Father;    " I come to do your will O God".   His Mother Mary  and St Joseph were chosen and prepared to share in Jesus' life - a life whose purpose was our salvation.

Reading about St Basil has provided a double  blessing.  We meet a family of saints- who lived in a pagan culture and by their choices and decisions helped build the Christian culture of later generations. Their peer pressure was pagan- they overcame it! Basil the Elder, the father of Basil the Great, to avoid persecution (death) moved to the Black Sea with his mother, St Macrina (the Elder). She was a friend/disciple of Bishop St Gregory Thaumaturgus (the Wonderworker). In Caesarea Basil the Elder married Emilia, whose father had been martyred  shortly before Emperor Constantine's conversion. These are impressive Christian credentials and all three are Saints; St Macrina the Elder, her son St Basil the Elder and Saint
Emilia. Basil and Emilia had [perhaps] 10 children- the number is disputed. But the five we know of are Saints of  the Eastern and Western Churches: the zealous and articulate St Basil the Great, Bishop of Caesarea, Church Father and Doctor of the Church; his two brothers, also Bishops, St Gregory of Nyssa and  St Peter of Sebaste, both of whom were of gentle temperament; St Naucratius who died  aged 27 and was a pious layman, with an attraction for solitude.
Saint Basil the Great
Saint Gregory of Nyssa
Saint Macrina
Most interesting and very influential on the family was Macrina(the Younger), their sister.  Macrina was ascetic and refused classical education (as later did her brother Basil) to devote herself to the reading and study of Sacred Scripture and prayer. Her fiancé died

and she refused further suitors, and with her mother founded a monastery.
This is a family whose ambition was  for God and heaven and made choices for their faith, not for temporal advantage. By avoiding the popular and promising  classical education,  they negated prospects for financial and social-status and laid the foundation for the Christian culture of later generations. To repeat: Pagan peer pressure seemed not to affect them; their strong faith kept them focused on faith's riches.  Have we here a family model for re-claiming [our now lost]  Christian culture?

It was still Paschal-tide when our new Bishop Kurt Burnette celebrated Divine Liturgy and spent May 12th with us. (Easter Liturgies have a joy and beauty like no other season.) In June a visit with  Cistercian Abbot-General Dom Mauro-Giuseppe (in Rome) heightened our hope for inclusion in his Cistercian family. In August Father Michael Casey's conferences on the Rule of St. Benedict strengthened us in the road to our Cistercian goal.

Bishop Kurt
Mother Marija & Dom Mauro-Giuseppe
Father Michael