Friday, March 10, 2006
What shall I say to Thee, O Knower of the heart who searchest the heart and the inner workings of men? Indeed, Thou knowest that, like a waterless land, my soul thirsts after Thee and my heart longs for Thee. And Thy grace has always sated those that love Thee. Thus, as Thou hast always heard me, so now do not scorn my prayer. For Thou seest that my mind, like a prisoner, seeks Thee, the Only true Savior.
Send Thy grace, that it may satisfy my hunger and quench my thirst. For insatiably do I desire Thee, O my Master! And who can have enough of Thee if he truly loves Thee and thirsts for Thy truth? O Giver of light! Fulfill my supplications and grant me Thy gifts according to my prayer; impart to my heart just one drop of Thy grace, that the flame of Thy love may begin to burn in my heart; and, like a fire, may it consume evil thoughts like thorns and thistles!
Give me all this in abundance; grant it to me as God unto man, as the King to His subjects, and increase it as a kind Father.
Attributed to St. Ephrem the Syrian
Thursday, March 09, 2006
Patience, my child. Let us also wear the thorny crown of life's afflictions, as did our archetype, Jesus. Let the thorns stick deeply into our head, and let it bleed painfully, so that the pain and the blood may beautify and glorify the garment of our soul, so that we will not be put to shame when we appear before Christ and see other souls full of glory and purity. Patience; the winter of afflictions will pass, and the beautiful spring will bring the fragrance of the grace of God.
Wednesday, March 08, 2006
St. Gregory of Nyssa
"Beholding the sea of life rising with the surging waves of temptations, I fly to Thy calm haven and cry to Thee: Raise my life from corruption, O most merciful One." (Eirmos from the Ochtoechos, plagal second tone.) Tempests and fair weather, war and peace, health and illness, gain and loss---these characterize the journey of every soul. The end of this journey is death.
So, blessed soul, do not lose heart along the road of your salvation. Together we shall walk the road, helping each other. The grace of God, which heals weaknesses and makes up for deficiencies, will be with us, girding our flaccid thoughts and anointing us with patience, until the command comes from the Ruler of All that we leave our body here and that our soul ascend to the heavens.
Tuesday, March 07, 2006
ST ELWIN, MISSIONARY
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In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit:
Illumine my heart, O Master who lovest mankind, with the pure light of Thy divine knowledge. Open Thou the eyes of my mind to the understanding of Thy Gospel teachings. Implant also in me a love for Thy blessed commandments. Grant me the grace to overcome all my carnal desires, so that I may enter more completely into a spiritual manner of living, both thinking and doing such things as are well pleasing to Thee. For Thou art the illumination of our souls and bodies, O Christ our God, and unto Thee do we ascribe glory, together with Thine all-holy, good and life-creating Spirit; now and ever and unto the ages of ages. Amen.
O Lord Jesus Christ, open Thou the eyes of my heart, that I may hear Thy word and understand and do Thy will, for I am a sojourner upon the earth. Hide not Thy commandments from me, but open mine eyes, that I may perceive the wonders of Thy law. Speak unto me the hidden and secret things of Thy wisdom. On Thee do I set my hope, O my God, that Thou shalt enlighten my mind and understanding with the light of Thy knowledge, not only to cherish those things which are written, but to do them; that in reading the lives and sayings of the Saints I may not sin, but that such may serve for my restoration, enlightenment and sanctification, for the salvation of my soul, and the inheritance of life everlasting. For Thou art the enlightenment of those who lie in darkness, and from Thee cometh every good deed and every gift. Amen.
By the intercessions of Thine All-immaculate Mother and of all Thy Saints, Lord Jesus Christ, our God, have mercy on us and save us. Amen
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If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land: But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it. How is the faithful city become an harlot! it was full of judgment; righteousness lodged in it; but now murderers. Thy silver is become dross, thy wine mixed with water: Thy princes are rebellious, and companions of thieves: every one loveth gifts, and followeth after rewards: they judge not the fatherless, neither doth the cause of the widow come unto them. Therefore saith the LORD, the LORD of hosts, the mighty One of Israel, Ah, I will ease me of mine adversaries, and avenge me of mine enemies: And I will turn my hand upon thee, and purely purge away thy dross, and take away all thy tin: And I will restore thy judges as at the first, and thy counsellors as at the beginning: afterward thou shalt be called, The city of righteousness, the faithful city. Zion shall be redeemed with judgment, and her converts with righteousness. And the destruction of the transgressors and of the sinners shall be together, and they that forsake the LORD shall be consumed. For they shall be ashamed of the oaks which ye have desired, and ye shall be confounded for the gardens that ye have chosen. For ye shall be as an oak whose leaf fadeth, and as a garden that hath no water. And the strong shall be as tow, and the maker of it as a spark, and they shall both burn together, and none shall quench them. The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem. And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD's house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so. And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also. And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good. And the evening and the morning were the fourth day. And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven. And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good. And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth. And the evening and the morning were the fifth day.
Wisdom crieth without; she uttereth her voice in the streets: She crieth in the chief place of concourse, in the openings of the gates: in the city she uttereth her words, saying, How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge? Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you. Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded; But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof: I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh; When your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you. Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me: For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD: They would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof. Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices. For the turning away of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them. But whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, and shall be quiet from fear of evil.
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FINDING OF THE PRECIOUS RELICS OF THE HOLY MARTYRS IN EUGENIOS
ST ELWIN, MISSIONARY
Troparion of the Martyrs Tone 1
O glorious Martyrs, you foundations of the Church,/ your venerable relics have appeared from the depths of the earth/ like spiritual roses and treasuries of graces./ They breathe forth the grace of healing/ and grant the fragrance of life/ to those who lovingly call you blessed.
Troparion of St Elwin Tone 1
Leaving thy native Ireland, thou didst labour for Christ/ in the remoteness of Kernow,/ giving thyself up to ascetic struggles and missionary journeyings,/ O Father Elwin./ Wherefore we pray for courage and strength to emulate thy example/ for the salvation of our souls.
Kontakion of the Martyrs Tone 4
Like bright lights you shone from the earth and dispelled ungodly darkness;/ you have illumined the faithful,/ O divine Martyrs, champions of the Trinity.
Troparion of St Elwin Tone 6
Accompanied by the pious Breaca,/ thou didst go out to preach the Gospel of Christ to those who were in darkness,/ therefore we glorify thee, ever praying/ that our lives may also be spent in God-pleasing activities.
Struggle mightily. Do not fear, for we have before us our elder brothers---the angels---who fight together with us. They are incomparably stronger than the demons. Therefore, take courage. Strengthen yourselves with true self-knowledge, for the truth protects a struggler like an almighty weapon.
Monday, March 06, 2006
We do not fast for the Passion or the Cross, but for our sins, because we are preparing to approach the Holy Mysteries.
The Passion of Christ is not a reason for fasting or mourning, but rather for joy and exultation.
We fast and mourn, not for the Cross, or for Christ’s suffering, but because of our own sins.
St. John Chrysostom
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"Fasting means controlling the power of fire, and closing the mouths of lions."
St. Basil the Great.
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"We must pray that we may be constantly and firmly assured in our hearts that everything we have - both of soul and body, in prosperity and adversity, and all our possessions as well as all the circumstances of our life - come from God, from His Power, and not from nature or chance, or from outselves. If you cease praying to God, you will soon forget your Benefactor, Creator, and Lord, and in forgetting Him you will fall into every evil. Therefore, you see that prayer always brings you real benefit."
St. John of Kronstadt.