Monday, September 12, 2016

Monday 12 September 2016 The Most Holy Name of Mary

St Augustine's sermon On Pastors

The shepherds who feed themselves
Related image
The Hireling Shepherd Scatters Sheep

Let us consider the unflattering words of God which Scripture addresses to shepherds who feed themselves and not the sheep. You consume their milk and cover yourselves with their wool; you kill the fatlings, but my sheep you do not pasture. You have failed to strengthen what was weak, to heal what was sick, and to bind up what was injured. You did not call back what went astray, nor seek out what was lost. What was strong you have destroyed, and my sheep have been scattered because there is no shepherd.
  This is spoken to the shepherds who feed themselves and not the sheep; it speaks of their concern and their neglect. What is their concern? You consume their milk and cover yourselves with their wool. And so the Apostle asks: Who plants a vineyard and does not eat from its fruit? Who pastures a flock and does not drink from the milk of the flock? Thus we learn that the milk of the flock is whatever temporal support and sustenance God’s people give to those who are placed over them. It is of this that the Apostle was speaking in the passage just quoted.
  Although he chose to support himself by the labor of his own hands and not to ask for milk from the sheep, the Apostle did say that he had the right to receive the milk, for the Lord had established that they who preach the Gospel should live from the Gospel. Paul also says that others of his fellow apostles made use of this right, a right granted them, and not unlawfully usurped. But Paul went further by not taking what was rightfully his. He forgave the debt, whereas the others did not demand what was not due them. Therefore Paul went further. Perhaps his action was foreshadowed by the Good Samaritan who, when he brought the sick man to the inn, said: If you spend any more, I will repay you on my way back.
  What more can I say concerning those shepherds who do not need the milk of the flock? They are more merciful; or rather, they carry out a more abundant ministry of mercy. They are able to do so, and they do it. Let them receive praise, but do not condemn the others. The Apostle himself did not seek what was given. However, he wanted the sheep to be fruitful, not sterile and unable to give milk.

To help the sick poor. We need your help all the time but especially now as the Malaria season has started. We have plenty of the Anti malaria medicine (Artemether and Lumefantrine tablets) for adults and children over 5 years of age but for the babies, we send them over to the small hospital nearby. We have arranged with the nurses at the hospital, to have them treat the young ones. Often times they need injections of the Anti malaria medicine or the pediatric suspension. They have given us a discounted rate for the laboratory test and
the medicine but we don't have money to cover the cost. I tried begging them to take the babies gratis but the owner of the hospital (a very nice German lady) said she couldn't do that since she has to buy the medicines and the test kits.
We don't treat the babies at Nazareth Hermitage as it can be risky in case of a reaction to the malaria medicine.
When we tell the mothers that they need to go to the hospital they usually tell us they have no money. If we have put aside money for food, the helpers here will  always give up their main meal so we can use the money for the day to help the little ones. But that doesn't go far and then the same problem presents itself again. I have to tell the parents that we don't have the funds and they could try asking the nurses to help them....meds now, pay later! When they are leaving the hermitage I walk them  to the gate and then watch as they turn to go back to their village or home.
Malaria can be a killer and it seems children are more susceptible than the adults. Won't you please help to save these little one?
You can send your donations to:

Please make checks payable to "Monastery of Christ in the Desert"
Memo reads:  Hermitage sick poor
Address envelope to: Monastery of Christ in the Desert,
>                                      St. Paul's Hermitage
>                                      P.O. Box 270
>                                      Abiquiu NM 87510
My name should not appear anywhere on your check.
The Monastery receives the donation and will send you an acknowledgement for tax purposes (should you need it).
Then your check will go to St. Pauls hermitage (located on the Monastery grounds) and finally the donation will be put into my bank account and the little ones will get the help they need.


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