Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
I write to you on the Feast of the Dormition of our Most Gracious Lady and send greetings to all! Except for a week's vacation the last week of August, my summer travels are over. I am happy to be home with you again and am looking forward to the beginning of the Liturgical New Year (September 1) and the return of our community from the summer diaspora.
My time at Antiochian Village was particularly meaningful, full of hard and rewarding work and personal revelation that fills my heart with joy and hope. The spiritual life is not static, it is always new, always fresh, often surprising, sometimes completely overwhelming. My limited experience tells me that when the scenery changes and you no longer recognize the sights around you it may well be that God is leading your steps because He is always in front calling us to move further and raech higher and that means that we must forsake the familiar for what is better. "From glory to glory" as St. Paul implies a real ascent into transformation. In the spiritual life as in the biological, change is inevitable and necessary. It is something to be expected, pursued, and embraced.
As we begin the new year let us abandon ourselves to God trusting that what He desires and where He leads is always the best thing of all. Trust in God and openness to His agenda will bring good fruit for all.
Let us pray for transformation, for clarity, for attentiveness, for peace working diligently with all our might and then having absolute faith that God's grace will be present and more than sufficient to make up in us what is wanting.
With deepest affection in Christ,
Fr. Antony Hughes