St. Simeon Skete, Taylorsville Kentucky USA

With St. Simeon, the God receiver, as our patron, the skete seeks to practice the ideals found in our Rule, The Thousand Day Nazareth. In simplicity and poverty, the skete embraces the struggle of inner life through the practice of the Prayer Rope.

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Donations should be addressed to: Nazareth House Apostolate, 185 Captains Cove Drive, Taylorsville, Kentucky 40071.

Important Notice: All writings, posts, graphics & photographs in this blog are the copyrighted property of (unless otherwise indicated) Nazareth House Media, a division of Nazareth House Apostolate and cannot be copied, printed or used without written permission from NHA Media, Taylorsville, KY.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Empty Bowls, Smiles and Love

You know that gnawing rumble in your belly...

that wanting feeling you get when the bowl is empty and the food is all gone?  ...and you are still hungry?

...When everybody shared but nobody got filled because there simply wasn't enough food to go around - have you experience that?

Maybe you have experienced the real pains of hunger, ...maybe you haven't.

One thing is for sure: these children have - - day after day.

And though their bowls are empty,

their stomaches aching with hunger,

these children's hearts

and souls are filled to the brim

with love and laughter.

These children understand what many of us in the West do not, that even if they are going to be hungry tonight they've been given what they need by God to deal with being hungry tonight.  And so they are thankful in the midst of empty bowls.

Life is tough in Sierra Leone, especially in the villages.

Its hard to find the substance to exist,  but the people of Sierra Leone, especially these children ("Lest ye become like little children..."), they know how

to make life happen in the trauma of turmoil,

in the struggle of going without,

in the debilitation of disease.

These children squeeze every drop of life and use it to its fullest,

playfully licking the empty bowls they've been handed in life and finding and enjoying all that they have.

Within the Rule of St. Simeon Skete, The Thousand Day Nazareth, is The Five Faults of a Receptacle©.  "In praying The Thousand Day Nazareth,  we avoid the Five Faults of a receptacle.

  1. If we don't listen to the teaching, we are like an overturned bowl, nothing can enter in. (Isa. 28:12; Mk 8:18)
  2. If we don't put the teachings into practice, we are like a bowl with a hole in it, everything leaks out (James 1:22; 4:17)
  3. If we are double minded, this is similar to using an unclean bowl, corrupting what it holds (James 1:8; Mt. 23:25)
  4. If we are full of ourselves we are like a bowl - "Inn" - where there is no room for Him. (Lk 2:7; Rev. 3:20) 
  5. If we are untrusting then what is placed in our bowl will never be enough (Lk. 2:25-32; Mt. 6:33). 
We go about receiving what is placed in our day (our bowl), good or bad, this then becomes our offering to God and God's nourishment to us." - S+

These children with their empty bowls understand this in a way that many of us in the West have failed to consider. 

On our prayer ropes at St. Simeon Skete we have little silver bowls, they are there for several reasons.  

One is to remind us to avoid the 5 Faults of a Receptacle.

One way to keep us from being too full of ourselves is to think of, have compassion upon and to give to others.  

Help NHA place some nourishment in a few bowls physically - give today to Nazareth House Apostolates Mission work in Sierra Leone.  

By day end, the Elections will be over in America, howbeit, it won't stop the dialing for dollars the politicians have overwhelmed our phones and mailboxes with especially the last few months.  They still have to raise enough to pay for all of their campaign expenses - win or lose.  It costs a lot to travel from State to State, eating at fine restaurants and staying in fine hotels.  And people will dig deep to help out their candidates.  The winners will be ecstatic, the losers somber and sad.  In all likelihood, neither will consider what's been placed in their bowls to be enough - they will want more.   

It is our hope that the hidden poor, quietly scraping their empty bowls in West African villages tonight will also be given the same consideration that as those who eagerly help their candidates retire the campaign debt, they will also consider the children and their silent campaign to stay alive.  

These children in Sierra Leone, bowls empty or filled, it doesn't matter - they send you their love and heartfelt smiles.  

Donations can be mailed to:
Nazareth House Apostolate
185 Captains Cove Drive
Taylorsville, KY 40071 USA 

or made via credit card through our Paypal Donation link on our website