The history of the Port Arthur Icon is filled with a terrible story of neglect, procrastination and disobedience. When we stand before this icon, we cannot help but notice how humble and meek our Lady is, stricken with a strong gaze of sorrow.
She is not sorrowful so much because of men’s negligence towards her, but because of the harm that they cause themselves by rejecting God, her help, other people and holy things.
So, here we all are. We are gathered together into this Church, but maybe only physically; we see each other with our physical eyes, but do the eyes of our hearts see the God-like soul of each and every one? Do we understand that we are one body and spirit? We sense the presence of each other here; but do we sense each other’s gifts and virtues, pains and struggles, and silent prayers? Are we bound together by sympathy of mind and heart, bearing each other in our hearts with mutual joy, love, pity and prayer?
Given at Christ the Savior Orthodox Church in Wayne, WV after Pan-Orthodox Vespers.
What was it that made St. Mary different from us? What made her into such a wondrous saint? And as we look back on our Lenten struggle, and as we look forward to Holy Week and Pascha, what is there left for us to do?
What did St. Mary say herself about her life of repentance in the desert?