Metanoia – orthopraxy /Advent 2018/Post date: 2018-12-11
Metanoia – orthopraxy /Advent 2018/
In these times of spiritual chaos, one needs to have a clear grasp of the means that lead to spiritual life – orthopraxy.
1) Celebration of Sunday
On the night from Saturday to Sunday, Christ rose from the dead. On Sunday, too, at about nine o’clock in the morning, the Holy Spirit was sent down on the Apostles and the Church was born. The early Christians were built on four spiritual pillars (Acts 2:42):
2. apostles’ doctrine (an interpretation of God’s Word in the same Spirit as it was taught by the Apostles),
3. fellowship (koinonia),
4. the breaking of bread (the Eucharist).
Prayers for the celebration of Sunday (everybody prays at home)
– Saturday evening – the holy hour (8-9pm) – prophetic prayer Ezek 37
– the holy hour is followed by the first hour of the truths related to the Resurrection
– later Sunday morning – the truths related to the Holy Spirit (see http://vkpatriarhat.org/en/?p=800)
– attendance at Mass
– in the afternoon – a fellowship of men begins with the prayer “Emmaus”
(see http://vkpatriarhat.org/en/?p=802) or “Jesus appears to the five hundred”
(see http://vkpatriarhat.org/en/?p=11579) and then continues with God’s Word and mutual sharing
– the holy hour – at home again – the truths of the Resurrection (Jesus appears to the Apostles /Lk 24:36f and Jn 20:19f/ see http://vkpatriarhat.org/en/?p=802)
2) The holy hour (8-9pm) and prayer corner
The time for prayer between 8 and 9pm is fixed. It is best if the family prays together; prayer changes the spirit – the Spirit of God replaces the spirit of the world. Prayer also builds everyone’s relationship with God. It involves the sacrifice of time otherwise spent in front of the television, on the internet… God rewards it with special protection. At 9pm, priests give a blessing to the four corners of the earth.
What to pray? You can use http://vkpatriarhat.org/en/?p=11475 as a source.
There should be a place in the house for a prayer corner with an icon (image) of Christ or the Blessed Virgin with the Child Jesus (the tradition of the Eastern Church).
3) Seven prayer stops during the day (Psa 119:164)
Apart from the morning and evening prayer, we can also pray five short prayer stops during the day based on an old church tradition: 9:00, 12:00, 15:00, 18:00, 21:00 (see http://vkpatriarhat.org/en/?p=4952).
4) A tithe of time – 2.5 hours
A daily commitment mainly for priests and religious (the minimum of 2.5 hours). Other believers, particularly widows or zealous Christians, can make a promise to God for one year that they will tithe their time, and then they can renew their promise.
The tithe of time can include the holy hour, the one-hour prayer watch and the prayer stops during the day. During the three weeks when you do not have a prayer watch you can pray at a time that best suits you, or you can pray at intervals during the day (e.g. the decades of the Rosary).
Prayer watches – the rhythm: the prayer watches are held every fourth week. Every participant occupies one hour of the day (see http://vkpatriarhat.org/en/?p=11481). This creates a net of continual prayer (Lk 18:1; 1Th 5:17). There should be four prayer watch groups with 24 members each.
5) Koinonia (fellowships)
Christian men meet together during the celebration of Sunday. The fellowship begins with prayer (see http://vkpatriarhat.org/en/?p=802). After the prayer, men share their experience of the life of faith from the past week, e.g. the experience of testifying about Jesus to a colleague or neighbour… They discuss topical issues, and each man learns to be the head of the family responsible for his wife and children. This gradually leads to the restoration of authority in society.
There is a difference between the koinonia of men who meet together on Sunday afternoon and the koinonia of priests who spend time in fellowship from Sunday evening to Tuesday afternoon. This time spent together is a kind of separation from the world, something like a spiritual desert for them. They devote it to prayer, God’s Word and mutual sharing. It can be said from experience that the koinonia of priests requires not only one day a week but one day and a half. No one leaves during this time because of a scheduled programme. (http://vkpatriarhat.org/en/?p=11421)
6) The first Saturday in the month – the new moon, a day of penitence
It is the biblical new moon (cf. Psa 81). It is a monthly rhythm vital to the spiritual renewal (cf. Fatima First Saturdays). On this day, men have an opportunity to give more time to prayer in fellowship, to devote themselves more fully to God’s Word, and to share their spiritual experience. They also have an opportunity to receive the sacrament of penance.
7) Religious activities
a) Observance of feasts – time for the Lord – Christmas, Easter, Pentecost, Feast of Christ the King…
b) Devotions: Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus (First Fridays), Devotion to Christ the King (Mexican martyrs, 1929), May Devotions to the Blessed Virgin Mary, October Rosary, Rosary during Lent and Advent, Novenas, Stations of the Cross…
c) Pilgrimages (Czestochowa, Lourdes, Fatima, Holy Land, national pilgrimage sites…)
d) Public rallies of faith accompanied by religious processions (Corpus Christi). Today there is a need to organize “marches for Jesus” in support of the family and children against the invasion of immorality (antigay pride protests); the programme includes songs and speeches with testimonies (3-4 times a year – Easter Monday, 26 December /Second Christmas Day/, 5 July and 28 September /in the Czech Republic/.
8) The practice of fasting
Advent and Lent are the penitential seasons when people usually pray the Rosary in the evenings, and observe a strict fast especially during Lent.
During the year, Catholic believers mostly practise fasting only on Fridays. The Orthodox believers have taken up a stricter practice of fasting. Zealous Catholics also keep the fast on Wednesdays, and in Advent and Lent on Mondays too. How? They only eat in the evening. Some even have no supper on Fridays.
Friday and Thursday evening should be devoted to prayers reflecting on the passion of the Lord (Stations of the Cross, Seven Last Words – see http://vkpatriarhat.org/en/?cat=47).
9) Separation from the spirit of the world (anti-aggiornamento)
The spirit of aggiornamento entered the Church’s leadership at the Council and penetrated all seminaries, monasteries and parishes.
Heroic opposition to the spirit of the world requires support in the fellowship of converted Christians.
The spirit of the world is also reflected in the inappropriate dressing of Christian women.
It is necessary to dissociate oneself from decadent music and various forms of immorality. One needs to have a clear attitude towards television and to use the internet in a disciplined way, only if necessary.
A Christian should not be ashamed of wearing a cross or a medal, nor of Christian home decoration.
Catholic believers give little time to the reading of Scripture. Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ (St Jerome). But beware of heretical interpretations and interpreters of Scripture! Today it is difficult to obtain orthodox literature, including the lives of the saints and martyrs.
10) Retreat (spiritual exercises)
There is an opportunity for a retreat in interior prayer during the summer holidays (cf. Lev 23:33f) or in winter between Christmas and the New Year. It is a five-hour daily effort to abide in God’s presence and God’s Word. After each one-hour period the participants share a testimony about their experience during the prayer. The person in charge of the retreat directs the testimonies. An example of one-hour concentration is a model of the contemplation of the seven words from the cross (see http://vkpatriarhat.org/en/?cat=47) or the contemplation of the three basic truths (perfect contrition, union with Christ crucified, testament from the cross – see http://vkpatriarhat.org/en/?p=11486). (Prayer aids – Holy Bible and a notepad)
11) Journal of apologia of the faith
– to defend the orthodox teachings and the Spirit (see Isa 62:6-7). The journal has three sections:
- topical issues
- spiritual advice
- word of life (exegesis for prayer stops during 14 days)
12) Baptism of repentance
Many have been baptized, even confirmed, but without conversion and the path of repentance they are dead members of the Church (cf. Lk 13:3). Although Jesus was without sin, He was baptized with the baptism of repentance, and the Holy Spirit descended on Him (Mt 3). He gave us an example.
Conversion and repentance are the foundations of orthopraxy.