My Dear Friends,

We see in the lives of the saints that they are the ones who discovered the true value of an intimate, personal relationship, and refused to compromise it.

St Marcellus the Righteous is a prime example.

· He came from a good family in Syria and lived in the 400s.

· He received a good education and reached adulthood with a bright future.

· Then his parents died, and he inherited their considerable fortune.

· He had to decide what to do with it.

· Most people wouldn’t think twice, they would simply enjoy it.

· But Marcellus was a man of reflection, and he detected something unsatisfying about an existence dedicated unthinkingly to the affairs and enjoyments of the world.

He thought: If everything in this world is going to pass away, myself included, what’s the point?

As he prayed and studied the faith in order to work through this dilemma, the following analogy came to him.

· Little kids make a big deal out of their toys, but adults recognize the paltriness of toys.

· They, instead, make a big deal out of money, success, and pleasure.

· But, reasoned Marcellus, what do such things look like from God’s perspective if not foolish toys?

· And so, in pursuit of lasting values, he moved to Ephesus (in modern day Turkey) and put himself under the direction of some well known Christians.

He grew in holiness and wisdom, and eventually became the revered abbot of a gigantic monastery near Constantinople and an influential adviser to emperors, bishops, and Church councils.

In his monastery, the monks were divided into many different small choirs, so that at every hour of the day and night, at least one choir could be singing God’s praise.

For this reason, the monastery was called “Akimetes” which meant “sleepless.”

It was a living testimony to the source of life’s true meaning: an ongoing, personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

Love,

Fr. Jason

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