CHRIST THE SAVIOUR MONASTERY - Christminster
Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (ROCOR)
New York, USA
September - - October 2015
SEPTEMBER 2015

 

DAY NC OC F/A OBSERVANCE
TUE 1 19    
WED 2 20 F/A  
THU 3 21    
FRI 4 22 F/A  
SAT 5 23 F/A* Vigil
SUN 6 24   PENTECOST XIV; St. Bartholomew, Apostle, II
MON 7 25    
TUE 8 26   St. Zacchaeus the Publican, IV
WED 9 27 F/A  
THU 10 28   St. Augustine, BCD, III; St. Moses the Ethiopian, IV
FRI 11 29   Beheading of St. John Baptist, II
SAT 12 30    
SUN 13 31   PENTECOST XV; St. Aidan of Lindisfarne, BC, III
MON 14 1   St. Giles, AB, III
TUE 15 2    
WED 16 3 F/A St. Edward, M, III
THU 17 4    
FRI 18 5 F/A  
SAT 19 6    
SUN 20 7   PENTECOST XVI
MON 21 8   NATIVITY OF BVM, I
TUE 22 9    
WED 23 10 F/A  
THU 24 11   Sts. Protus and Hyacinth, MM, IV
FRI 25 12 F/A  
SAT 26 13    
SUN 27 14   PENTECOST, XVII; Holy Cross, I
MON 28 15   Western Rite Conference Begins
TUE 29 16   St. Ninian, BC, III
WED 30 17 F/A Ember Day; St. Lambert, BM, IV

RANKS of Feasts:
I. Solemnity
II. Greater Feast
III. Lesser Feast
IV. Commemoration

Ranks I & II always have first and second Vespers; take precedence over Sundays ranked II; suspend fasting & abstinence from First Vespers through Second Vespers.

Rank III has First Vespers only and uses the psalms of the occurring feria, with proper antiphons (or antiphons from the Common).

Rank IV are commemorated only at First Vespers and Lauds, though the Mass may be of the commemorated saint(s).

See Customary for ranking of Sundays.

Abbreviations:
Ab = Abbot, Abbess K = King
AP = Apostle M = Martyr
APS = Apostles Mk = Monastic
B = Bishop MM = Martyrs
C = Confessor P = Priest, Prophet
Dc = Deacon V = Virgin
D = Doctor VV = Virgins
EV = Evangelist W = Widow
September - - October 2015
Daily Posting: August 19/September 1

 

My warmest thanks to my monastic brethren and all those who gifted me with their presence and prayers this past weekend on the 25th anniversary of my ordination to the priesthood. May God give me the gift of serving him with fidelity and a glad heart.

Dom James

Dom James giving final blessing.
Dom James giving final blessing.
Dom James giving final blessing.
Left to Right: Sub-deacon Jospeh Burt Weigen, Dom James, Fr. Daniel.
Left to Right: Sub-deacon Jospeh Burt Weigen, Dom James, Fr. Daniel.
Left to Right: Sub-deacon Jospeh Burt Weigen, Dom James, Fr. Daniel.
Left to Right: Archbishop Peter (Anglican), Father Anthony, Abbot James, Father Daniel.
Left to Right: Archbishop Peter (Anglican), Father Anthony, Abbot James, Father Daniel.
Left to Right: Archbishop Peter (Anglican), Father Anthony, Abbot James, Father Daniel.
September - - October 2015
Daily Posting: August 20/September 2

The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; My God, my strength, in whom I will trust. [Ps 18:2]

Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come take up the cross, and follow Me.

With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.

It is not strange that people get themselves very busy to find out when the kingdom of God would come. The answer of the Lord Jesus to that question is beneficial to all men. The kingdom of God is within you, thus it depends upon your will and it is within your power to accept it or refuse it. Thus it is more important to be always ready.

The kingdom of God does not come with observation. [Lk 17:20-21]

Daily Posting: August 21/September 3

God will hear and help us if we worship and serve Him with a holy awe of Him. In all devotions inward impressions must be answerable to the outward expressions; else they are not performed in truth.

The Lord is near to all who call upon Him, to all who call upon Him in truth. [Ps 145:18]

John the Baptist did no miracles, but his witness was used to win people to Christ.

He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.

The Lord may permit that we go through severe sufferings in order that we may repent and purify his holy temple (our hearts) from the filthiness of sin.

The Lord has chastened me severely, but He has not given me over to death. [Ps. 118:18]

Daily Posting: August 22/September 4

When the Lord Jesus returns, it will be a time of separation: the wise will be separated from the foolish, the faithful servants from the unfaithful.

Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.

When you fear people, you start to hide things, and this leads to hypocrisy. You are important to God and precious in His sight, so never fear what people can say or do.

Do not be afraid of those who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do.

“Be at peace with your own soul; then heaven and earth will be at peace with you. Enter eagerly into the treasure house that is within you, and so you see the things that are in heaven; for there is but one single entry to both." (St. Isaac the Syrian)

Daily Posting: August 23/September 5

Quotes from the Fathers given in an Orthodox Retreat given on Saturday, March 28, 2015 by Dr. Henry Boosalis at St. Nicholas Serbian Orthodox Church in Hamilton, Ontario Canada.

Elder Porphyrios: "Preparation is also to ... occupy yourself with singing hymns, the triumphant hymns of the saints and martyrs and the Psalms of David. Study Holy Scripture and the Church Fathers. In this way your soul will be softened, sanctified and assimilated to God. It will be ready to hear the disclosures of God."

John Climacus: "In your prayers there is no need for high-flown words, for it is the simple and unsophisticated babblings of children that have more often won the heart of the Father in heaven."

John Climacus: "Do not be forward in your dealings with God. Approach Him rather in all humility, and you will be given still more boldness."

John Climacus: "Pray in all simplicity. The publican and the prodigal son were reconciled to God by a single utterance."

Daily Posting: August 24/September 6

If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed.

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BARTHOLOMEW the Apostle was a Galilean. He came to India, the land appointed to him for preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and he preached to the peoples there concerning the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ, according to the Gospel of St. Matthew.

WHEN he had converted many to Jesus Christ in that region, and had endured many sufferings and hardships, he came into Greater Armenia. There he converted to the Christian Faith King Polymias with his wife and the inhabitants of twelve cities.

ON this account he incurred such great ill-will of the priests of that nation, that they stirred up Astyages, brother of the king, against the Apostle; he ordered him to be flayed alive and then beheaded; by which martyrdom the Apostle gave back his soul to God.

HIS body was buried at n Albanopolis, a city in Greater Armenia, where he met his passion. It was later translated to the island of Lipari, and from thence to Benevento. It was finally brought to Rome by the emperor Otto III, and placed in the Church dedicated to God in Bartholomew's name on the island on the Tiber.

Daily Posting: August 25/September 7

Quotes from the Fathers given in an Orthodox Retreat given on Saturday, March 28, 2015 by Dr. Henry Boosalis at St. Nicholas Serbian Orthodox Church in Hamilton, Ontario Canada.

Elder Porphyrios: "In our prayer we should ask only for the salvation of our soul. ... The secret is not to think about asking for the specific thing at all. The secret is to ask for your union with Christ with utter selflessness, without saying 'give me this' or 'give me that'. It suffices to say, 'Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me'. God has no need to be informed by us about our various needs."

Elder Porphyrios: "Force ... is not the way to acquire prayer.... Pray ... without ulterior motives, not in order to gain anything. ... Make prostrations out of love ...There is no point in making a hundred prostrations if they leave you unmoved. Make only twenty or fifteen, but with fervor and love for the Lord ... gently, without forcing ourselves, we enter into prayer."

Daily Posting: August 26/September 8

You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.

You feel like you have reached the limit of your endurance and all your strength has gone! Do not worry you can triumph over this condition. In faith to the Lord's promise: "My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness (2 Cor 12:9)". Repeat such words as "Lord, You are my strength", You can manifest Your power in my weakness". Every time you repeat His promise you will gain new strength.

Be assured that the enemies have no authority upon the faithful except as much as it is beneficial for their examination and proving. For He promised the faithful that not even a hair they will lose. (St. Augustine)

Daily Posting: August 27/September 9

From the book: The Way of the Fathers: Praying with the Early Christians / by Mike Aquilina, page 33:

We hold communion with the apostolic churches because our doctrine is in no respect different from theirs. This is our witness of truth. Tertullian

If I were to destroy what those who came before me established, I should be justly convicted of being not a builder but an overthrower. Pope St. Gregory the Great

The Apostles were sent as Fathers; to replace those Apostles, sons were born to you who were constituted bishops. ... The Church calls them Fathers, she who gave birth to them, who placed them in the sees of their Fathers. ... Such is the Catholic Church. She has given birth to sons who, through all the earth, continue the work of her first Fathers. St. Augustine

Daily Posting: August 28/September 10

AUGUSTINE was born at Tagaste in Africa of honourable parents. As a boy he far surpassed his fellows in the teachableness of his disposition, and quickly outran them all in his learning. In his youth, while at Carthage, he fell into the Manichaean heresy. He later went to Rome, and from thence to Milan, to teach rhetoric. There he frequently listened to Bishop Ambrose, and through him was fired with zeal for the Catholic Faith. He was baptized by Ambrose at the age of thirty-three. Returning to Africa, he united with his religion sanctity of life, was ordained priest by Valerius, Bishop of Hippo, a man of marked holiness. At that time he founded a religious community, enjoying with his monks their common life and worship, and training them carefully in the discipline of the Apostolic life and doctrine.

Since the Manichaean herdesy continued to flourish, he began to attack it more eagerly, and confounded the heresiarch Fortunatus. Valerius, moved by Augustine's service to the faith, appointed him his assistant in the episcopal office. No man was more humble, more temperate than he. His bed and raiment were modest, his food that of the common people, and he ever seasoned it with holy reading or discussion. Such was his benevolence to the poor that when he had no other means he would break the sacred vessels to support their want. He avoided the company and acquaintance of women, among them even the daughters of his brother and sister. For he said that although women who were relatives were not open to suspicion, yet those who visited them might arouse suspicion.

He never ceased to preach the Word of God unless afflicted with grievous illness. He attacked the heretics unceasingly, both in person and in his writings. Nowhere did he suffer them to settle, and for the most part he freed Africa from the Manichees, Donatists, Pelagians and other heretics. He composed so many works of piety, subtlety and eloquence that he greatly enlightened Christian doctrine. It was Augustine who was followed by those men who were later to hand on theological teaching by method and disputation. While the Vandals were ravaging Africa by war and besieging Hippo for three months, Augustine fell ill of a fever.

When Augustine knew that his departure from this life was at hand, he caused the Penitential Psalms to be placed before him, and read them with streaming tears. He was wont to say that no man, even if he were not conscious of any sin, ought to go forth from this life without penitence. And so, with senses unimpaired, wrapt in prayer, with his brethren whom he had exhorted to charity standing by, he went forth on his way to heaven. He lived seventy-six years, thirty-six as bishop. His body was first brought to Sardinia, and later bought by Luitprand, King of the Lombards, and translated to Pavia, where it was buried with honour.

Daily Posting: August 29/September 11
From the Book by St. Ambrose, Bishop: On Virgins

Bk. III. Ch. 6

BECAUSE the story of blessed John Baptist is not to be passed over in haste, we must needs observe who he was, and by whom and for what reason, in what way and at what time, he was slain. The righteous was slain by adulterers, and the death sentence is passed by the guilty. Moreover, the death of the Prophet is a dancing girl's reward. Finally (a thing which would even horrify all the barbarians) the order to put the atrocity into effect goes forth during feasting and merri-making. Moreover, the servants of this shameful deed went to and fro from the banquet to the prison. What a load of wickedness does this single crime carry!

As the messenger is seen hurrying from the banquet to the prison, who would not think that he had been ordered to release the prisoner? Who, I say, on hearing that it was Herod's birthday, that it was a great feast, that he had let the dancing girl choose whatever she wanted, would not conclude that the messenger was sent to set John free? What has cruelty to do with feasting? What has death to do with pleasure?

The prophet is hurried to his doom while the feast is in progress, by order of the reveller from whom he has not sought release: he is slain by the sword, his head is brought in on a dish. Cruelty needs this portion to feed the ferocity that is not satisfied by the banquet. Behold, O cruel king, a spectacle worthy of thy banquet. Stretch forth thy hand, lest any savagery be wanting; that streams of holy blood may flow between thy fingers.

Since thy hunger could not be satisfied by feasting, since the flagons could not quench the thirst of thy monstrous cruelty, drink the blood still flowing from the gushing veins of the severed head. Look at the eyes, the witnesses, even in death, of thy crime. Those eyes are closed, not so much by reason of death, as in horror of thine indulgence. That bloodless, golden mouth, whose judgments thou couldest not bear, has ceased to speak, yet still it makes thee fear.

Daily Posting: August 30/September 12


Make the most of this day. It will never return. But that which you put into it in the way of thoughts, prayers and deeds you will find again in eternity.

Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour which the Son of Man is coming.

We need things to live, and God provides these things for us; but acquiring things must not be the main goal of life.

Do not lay out for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal.

I may not always understand
Just why He sends to me
Some bitter grief, some heavy loss
But though I cannot see
I kneel and whisper through my tears
A prayer for help, and know He hears.

Daily Posting: August 31/September 13

AIDAN was a monk in the monastery of St. Columba at Iona. When Oswald, king of Northumbria, regained his throne from the heathen, he sent to Scotland for a Catholic bishop, and Aidan was chosen. He was a man of great meekness and godliness, but had little knowledge of the English language. Therefore the king himself was often to be seen interpreting his heavenly words to his own officers and servants while the bishop was preaching. Aidan had no desire to possess anything earthly. He travelled on foot, and when he met a heathen he would entreat him to receive the sacraments of the Faith; when he met a Christian he would exhort him to almsgiving and good works. He was a profound lover of peace and charity, of self-control, and of lowliness; his soul had risen above anger and avarice; he looked down upon pride and vainglory. He was very diligent in working and teaching, firm as became a priest when it was his duty to rebuke the proud, very tender in comforting the sick and relieving the poor. He died in the seventeenth year of his episcopate, and was buried in the island of Lindisfarne.

Daily Posting: September 1/14

GILES is the patron saint of cripples, beggars and lepers, and many churches in England were dedicated to him in the Middle Ages, but very little is known of his life. He lived about the year 712, living the life of a hermit in a cave on the banks of the Rhone. Tradition relates that when Childebert, king of the Franks, was hunting in the forest near by, an arrow was shot at the doe which nourished Giles with her milk just as she was entering his cave for refuge; the arrow was found in her shoulder. The king spared the doe, and was so impressed by the holy hermit that he often returned to see him, and later built a monastery on the site of the cave, making Giles Abbot. The place eventually became one of the great pilgrim shrines of the Middle Ages.

Daily Posting: September 2/15

The Lord Jesus can share the joys and sorrows of our lives. He shared the joy of the wedding in Cana of Galilee. He knew that He would raise Lazarus from the dead, but He still wept with the sisters and their friends. The joy the world offers will eventually fail, but the joy He supplies goes on forever. Be sure to invite Him, and be sure to obey what He says.

Why are you so fearful? How is that you have no faith?

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Give me the heart O Lord, strong to endure,
Help me to keep it simple, pure,
Make me unselfish, helpful, true
In every act, whatever I do,
And keep content.
Help me to do my share,
Make me courageous, strong to bear
Sunshine or shadow in my strife!
To keep content.

Daily Posting: September 3/16

Today on the church calendar we commemorate St. Edward the Martyr. The Brotherhood of St. Edward has much information regarding is life. Here is their web page.

Daily Posting: September 4/17

Quotes from the Fathers given in an Orthodox Retreat given on Saturday, March 28, 2015 by Dr. Henry Boosalis at St. Nicholas Serbian Orthodox Church in Hamilton, Ontario Canada.

The Apostle Paul: "Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth..."

St. John Climacus: "Flog your enemies with the name of Jesus, since there is no stronger weapon in heaven or on earth."

Elder Porphyrios: "As the most effective prayer the Church Fathers use the short phrase, 'Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me'. This prayer is the key to the spiritual life. It is a prayer that cannot be taught either by books, or by spiritual fathers or by anyone else. Its sole teacher is divine grace. ... Only the Holy Spirit, only the grace of God, can inspire the Jesus Prayer. It's not difficult to repeat the words, but you cannot pray it properly because your old fallen self rebuffs it. Unless you enter into the atmosphere of grace, you will not be able to say the prayer. ... Only through divine grace can you pray. No prayer can occur without divine grace. ... And the Lord alone gives grace for this end."

Daily Posting: September 5/18

God always longs for the return of every sinner to His forgiving embrace.

Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son.

We are more often concerned about what we put in our stomachs than how we fill our minds or hearts. It is too often what comes out of the mind or heart that hurts us and hurts those around us. Evil thoughts in the heart lead to sinful words and actions.

Not what goes into the mouth defiles a man; but what comes out of the mouth; this defiles a man.

No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back is fit for the kingdom of God.

Daily Posting: September 6/19

The narrow and hard way is to control your thoughts, and to strip yourself of your own will, for the sake of God. This is also the meaning of the sentence, "Lord, we have left everything and followed You." (Abba Ammonas)

We are God's servants, and He expects us to be faithfully doing our work when Jesus Christ returns. But when we stop looking for His coming and longing for it, our hearts get cold, and we get worldly.

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

A proverb says: "Behind a great man is a woman." It is an honest and true saying. 'Jochebed' the wise mother was the reason for the success of her son Moses the prophet who refused to be called a son for Pharaoh's daughter. St. John Chrysostom's mother, 'Anthusa', devoted herself to raising her son providing his basic religious and moral training. Without St. Monica, St. Augustine her son would not have become the man whom history still acclaims.

Daily Posting: September 7/20

Quotes from the Fathers given in an Orthodox Retreat given on Saturday, March 28, 2015 by Dr. Henry Boosalis at St. Nicholas Serbian Orthodox Church in Hamilton, Ontario Canada.

Elder Porphyrios: "You can say the prayer, 'Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me', gently, without straining and without contortion wherever you happen to be - on stool, on a chair, in a car, walking along the road, at school, in the office or at work. Don't tie yourself down to a specific place. What is all-important is love for Christ. If your soul repeats with worship and adoration the seven words, 'Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me', it never can have enough. They are insatiable words! Repeat them all your life!"

Elder Porphyrios: "Sometimes it is good to say the prayer, 'Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me', out loud so that you hear it with your ears. We are body and soul and there is interaction between the two."

Elder Porphyrios: "Prayer should be interior, prayed with the mind and not with the lips, so as not to cause distraction with the mind wandering here and there. Let us bring Christ into our mind in an unforced manner by repeating very gently, 'Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me'. Don't think anything except the words, 'Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me'. Nothing else. Nothing at all."

Daily Posting: September 8/21
BELOVED, this is the longed for day of the blessed and venerable ever-virgin Mary. Therefore let earth rejoice with exceeding joy, illumined by the birthday of so great a Virgin. For she is the flower of the field; from her has sprung the precious lily of the valley, through whose birth the nature of earthly day is changed and sin is destroyed.

In her was cancelled that word concerning the woe of Eve: In sorrow shalt thou bring forth children; for in gladness she brought forth her Lord. Eve mourned: she exulted. Eve carried tears in her womb; Mary, joy. Eve brought forth a sinner: Mary the sinless One. The mother of our race brought punishment to the world: the Mother of our Lord brought salvation to the world.

Eve was the source of sin: Mary of merit. Eve by bringing death was our undoing: Mary by bringing life was our profit. Eve wounded us: Mary healed us. Obedience is given in exchange for disobedience, faith atones for infidelity. Now let Mary play upon instruments, and let the timbrels sound between the quick fingers of the young mother. Let choirs sing with joy, and tuneful lays mingle in alternate strains.

Hearken, therefore, how our Musician sang: My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his Name. Therefore the miraculous new birth conquered the prevailing error; and Mary's song silenced Eve's lament.

From St. Augustine's, sermon “On the Annunciation of Our Lady”

Daily Posting: September 9/22

Why do you increase your bonds? Take hold of your life before your light grows dark; and you seek help and do not find it. This life has been given to you for repentance; do not waste it in vain pursuits. St. Isaac the Syrian

Every now and then we hear of some new cult or some new messiah. Jesus warns us not to be disturbed by these things that must come. We do not have to run after every religious fad.

Then if anyone says to you, 'Look, here is the Christ' or 'There!' do not believe it.

The kingdom of heaven is not to the sleeping or lazy. Rather, the violent take it by force.

The kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force.

Daily Posting: September 10/23

Quotes from the Fathers given in an Orthodox Retreat given on Saturday, March 28, 2015 by Dr. Henry Boosalis at St. Nicholas Serbian Orthodox Church in Hamilton, Ontario Canada.

Elder Porphyrios: "Calmly, with open eyes, so that you are not in danger of succumbing to fantasies and delusions, and with care and devotion, turn towards Christ."

Elder Porphyrios: "Pray to God with love and yearning in tranquility, with meekness, gently and without forcing yourself. And when you repeat the prayer, 'Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me' say it slowly, humbly, gently and with divine love. Pronounce the name of Christ with sweetness. Say the words one at a time: 'Lord... Jesus... Christ... have mercy on me', smoothly, tenderly, affectionately, silently, secretly, mystically, but with exaltation with longing, with passion, without tension, force or unbecoming emphasis, without compulsion and pressure."

Daily Posting: September 11/24

On this day since early times, have been commemorated the Martyrs Protus and Hyacinth, who are believed to have been brothers. In 1845 the burial-place of Hyacinth was found undisturbed in the Cemetery of Saint Basilla, on the Old Salarian Way at Rome. There, under an ancient inscription which was found to read : Hyacinth the Martyr, buried September 11th : were discovered ashes and charred human bones, wrapped in the remains of a costly fabric. Nearby was an empty tomb, bearing the inscription : The tomb of Protus the Martyr. The story which in later days came to be told of these Martyrs is this : They were slave-eunuchs in Egypt of Saint Eugenia the Virgin, and were baptized with her ; whereafter they studied God's Word diligently, and dwelt for a while in a monastery; and then they followed Eugenia to Rome, where they brought Saint Basilla to the Faith; and were for Christ's sake cruelly put to death with her, about the year 257

Daily Posting: September 12/25

From the book: The Way of the Fathers: Praying with the Early Christians / by Mike Aquilina, page 34:

We ought to remain in the Church that was founded by the Apostles and continues to this day. If ever you hear of any that are called Christians taking their name not from the Lord Jesus Christ, but from some other, for instance, Marcionites, Valentinians . . . you may be sure that you have not the Church of Christ there, but the synagogue of Antichrist. For the fact that they took rise after the foundation of the Church is proof that they are those whose coming the Apostle foretold. And let them not flatter themselves if they think they have scriptural authority for their assertions, since the devil himself quoted Scripture, and the essence of the Scriptures is not the letter, but the meaning. Otherwise, if we follow the letter, we too can concoct a new dogma and assert that such persons as wear shoes and have two coats must not be received into the Church.

Daily Posting: September 13/26

We were recently informed by St. Nicholas Serbian Orthodox Church in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada of some new books for children that we thought may be of interest to some. Part of the text of their e-mail is as follows:

Glory to God, on May 29th 2015, the Serbian Orthodox Church added Saints Mardarije of Libertyville USA and St. Sebastian of Jackson USA to the list of saints.

These new saints of God's Holy Church are particularly important to our parish because St. Mardarije consecrated our original 1917 parish building and for a period of time, St. Sebastian was our parish priest!

After their names were added to the list of saints, our parish worked in close collaboration with a faithful Orthodox Christian family in Greece that prayerfully runs their own publishing house to produce a Paterikon book about each of the newly glorified saints. Our goal in commissioning these two books about their holy lives is to help glorify their names, and to help the faithful learn more about them and form a relationship with them and thereby benefit from their prayers before the throne of the Holy Trinity.

. . . . It would also be very much appreciated if you could please pass this information along to your fellow priests. It is our hope that many parishes and monasteries will order books to be sold in throughout the world so that the faithful (children and adults) can have the opportunity the acquire these beautiful new books and learn about Saints Sebastian and Mardarije.

If any parish or individual is interested in ordering please contact Jovan Djurdjevic at (905 807 3344) or email: Email Jovan if you would like to place an order for your parish or diocese.

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I will praise You with my whole heart. Before the gods I will sing praises to You. [Ps 138:1]

Be merciful to me, O Lord, for I cry to You all day long. [Ps.86:3]

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you ... [Is.41:10]

Show me a sign for good, that those who hate me may see it and be ashamed. [Ps 86:17]

Daily Posting: September 14/27

THE Emperor Constantine, at the urgency of his mother Helena, erected great churches at Mount Calvary over the holy places of the crucifixion and the burial of our Lord. And what remaineth of these edifices, after several destructions and re-buildings, is now to be found incorporate in the latter-day Church of he Holy Sepulchre. But the shrines originally built by Constantine and Helena were dedicated in September if the year 335. And yearly therefor the relicks of the true Cross, which had been discovered during the excavations made for their foundations, were lifted up for veneration by the faithful during the dedication festival until the year 614. At that time King Chosroës of Persia, after a cruel invasion of Egypt and the Holy Land, took Jerusalem, were then several thousands of Christians. Many of these he massacred, and the rest of them, with their Patriarch Zachary, he carried into slavery. In the sack of the Holy City he destroyed more than 300 religious buildings, among which were the holy places at Mount Calvary. The Cross of our Lord, since the time of its enshrinement at the latter place by Saint Helena, had been much reduced by constant pious distributions, but what remained thereof, in its jewelled reliquary, was also carried into Persia. Now Heraclius, who became Emperor shortly after this desecration, was so vexed by divers wars and calamities that he twice sought peace of Chosroës. But the latter, drunken with conquest, would not allow it to him even on unfair terms ; some say, not unless he denied the Crucified. Wherefore Heraclius, being set in this uttermost strait, sought help from God, and began a holy war, as it were, under the standard of the Cross.

In 627, after a long contest, Heraclius vanquished the might of the Persian host. Broken by these defeats, Chosroës fled, and then proclaimed his son Medarses partner in his kingdom. But his eldest son Siroës took insult at this, and formed a plot to murder his father and brother, which plot he brought to effect soon after they had come home. Later he got the kingdom from Heraclius upon certain terms, whereof the first was that he should give back the Cross of the Lord Christ, and set the captives free. The Cross therefore was received back, after having been fourteen years in the hands of the Persians. So it was that as soon as he could, Heraclius came to Jerusalem, and bore it with solemn pomp unto the Mount whereunto the Saviour had borne it. But it is said that the Emperor was stayed perforce at the gateway which leadeth unto Mount Calvary, and that the harder he strove to go forward, the harder he seemed to be held back, whereat all who stood by were sore amazed. Whereupon Zachary said that the Cross should not be carried by one attired as a conqueror, for thereby too little was shewn of the poverty and lowliness of Christ Jesus. Then Heraclius cast away his princely raiment and put off his shoes from his feet, and in the garb of a poor man easily finished his journey to the place of Calvary. Thus was the holy Cross restored to its former place by the grace of the God of victory. And thenceforth, in memory thereof, this Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross hath been wont to be yearly celebrated in memory of all the graces which Christian folk have had from the Cross of our redemption. ...

[Exaltation of the Holy Cross, September 14/27]

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We will be traveling Monday through Thursday this week to the Western Rite Conference. Therefore we will not be posting for a few days.

OCTOBER 2015
DAY NC OC F/A OBSERVANCE
THU 1 18    
FRI 2 19 F/A Ember Day; St. Theodore of Canterbury, BC, III
SAT 3 20 F/A* Ember Day / Vigil of Apostle
SUN 4 21   PENTECOST XVIII; St. Matthew, Evangelist and Apostle, II
MON 5 22   Theban Martyrs, IV
TUE 6 23   St. Linus, BM, IV; St. Thecla, VM, IV
WED 7 24   St. Raphael, IIl; St. Silouan of Mount Athos, M, IV
THU 8 25   St. Sergius of Radonezh, AB, III
FRI 9 26 F/A  
SAT 10 27   Sts Cosmas and Damian, MM, III
SUN 11 28   PENTECOST XIX; St. Wenceslas, KM, IV
MON 12 29   St. Michael and all Angels, I
TUE 13 30   St. Jerome, Abbot and Doctor, III; St. Gregory of Armenia, BC, IV
WED 14 1 F/A St. Remigius, BC, IV
THU 15 2   Holy Guardian Angels II
FRI 16 3 F/A St. Dionysius the Areopagite, M, IV
SAT 17 4    
SUN 18 5   PENTECOST XX
MON 19 6   St. Faith, VM, IV
TUE 20 7    
WED 21 8 F/A St. Simeon the God-Bearer, III; St. Pelagia, IV
THU 22 9   St. Denys and Companions, MM, III
FRI 23 10 F/A Holy Optina Elders, IV
SAT 24 11   Motherhood of BVM, II
SUN 25 12   PENTECOST XXI; St. Wilfrid, BC, IV
MON 26 13    
TUE 27 14   St. Callistus, BM, IV; St. Venantius, BC, IV
WED 28 15 F/A Our Lady of Walsingham, III
THU 29 16   St. Gall, AB, III
FRI 30 17 F/A* Vigil
SAT 31 18   St. Luke, EV, II
RANKS of Feasts:
I. Solemnity
II. Greater Feast
III. Lesser Feast
IV. Commemoration

 

Ranks I & II always have first and second Vespers; take precedence over Sundays ranked II; suspend fasting & abstinence from First Vespers through Second Vespers.

Rank III has First Vespers only and uses the psalms of the occurring feria, with proper antiphons (or antiphons from the Common).

Rank IV are commemorated only at First Vespers and Lauds, though the Mass may be of the commemorated saint(s).

See Customary for ranking of Sundays.

Abbreviations:
Ab = Abbot, Abbess K = King
AP = Apostle M = Martyr
APS = Apostles Mk = Monastic
B = Bishop MM = Martyrs
C = Confessor P = Priest, Prophet
Dc = Deacon V = Virgin
D = Doctor VV = Virgins
EV = Evangelist W = Widow
Daily Posting: September 19/October 2

Ember Days are part of the agrarian heritage of our Faith. The Church recognizes our dependency on God for His gifts of nature. The Liturgy has reflects this connection with nature and God. Before man become so civilized, weather, crops, farm animals and the change seasons were a part of daily life for everyone. Not everyone lived in rural locations, but there was a recognition of that connection of the land to our life. The agrarian connection also recognized that while man could work the land, he can never control the elements. Returning to our agricultural roots brings true humility in remembering man's role on earth as being completely beholden to God. The gift of nature is from God, and man is not and can never be in control of it.

While Liturgy always has the balance of the four forms of prayer: adoration, contrition, thanksgiving and supplication, our personal prayers tend to lean heavily on the petition form. The Ember Days were a time dedicated to continuing that petition to help us with our needs, especially with harvests, but also stressing on giving gratitude to God for His generous gifts.

The September Ember Days were one of the first Ember Days established, and they are the most prominent of the quarterly days. The Ember Days in September are outside the main liturgical seasons (Advent, Christmas, Lent and Easter) and are closest to the Fall Equinox. The Church recognized the pattern of change of seasons and bringing in the harvest man needs to give thanks and renew our hearts.

Daily Posting: September 20/October 3

Quotes from the Fathers given in an Orthodox Retreat given on Saturday, March 28, 2015 by Dr. Henry Boosalis at St. Nicholas Serbian Orthodox Church in Hamilton, Ontario Canada.

Elder Porphyrios: "The prayer should not be said as a chore. Coercion may provoke a reaction within us and be harmful. Many people have become ill as a result of the prayer because they coerced themselves. Something happens, of course, even when you do it as a chore, but it is not healthy."

Elder Porphyrios: "Repeat the prayer in an unforced manner and not continually, but when there is the disposition and an atmosphere of compunction, which is a gift of divine grace. Without grace you fall into a state of self-hypnotism and you can end up seeing lights and delusions and become mentally deranged."

Daily Posting: September 21/October 4

From the Exposition by St. Gregory the Great on the Prophet Ezekiel

The four holy creatures foreseen by the spirit of prophecy are described most subtly when it is said: Every one had four faces and every one had four wings. Is not recognition expressed by the faces, and flight by the wings? By his face is a man recognized, and by his wings the body of a bird is lifted up on high. Therefore the faces denote faith, and the wings, contemplation. By faith we are known by Almighty God, for thus he speaks of his flock: I am the good Shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine; and again he says: I know whom I have chosen.

Through contemplation, which makes us rise up out of ourselves, we are, as it were, lifted up into the air. The four faces are but one: for if you ask what Matthew perceived concerning the Incarnation, it was indeed the same as was revealed to Mark, Luke and John. If you ask what John perceived, it was undoubtedly the same as Luke, Matthew and Mark. If you ask about Mark, that was the same as Matthew, John and Luke. If you then say: What of Luke? He perceived the same as John, Matthew and Mark.

Therefore the four faces are but one; for the knowledge of the faith, by which they are known of God, is in each of them, and yet it is the same in all four. For whatever you may find in one of them, you will also discover in all four. And every one had four wings. For they all preached in harmony our Lord Jesus Christ the Son of Almighty God: raising the eyes of their mind to his divinity, they flew on the wings of contemplation.

Matthew, who is also called Levi, an Apostle and Evangelist, was called by Christ when he was sitting at the seat of custom at Capernaum, and he followed immediately. He also made great feast for Jesus and disciples. After Christ's resurection, before setting out for the province which it was his lot to evangelize, he wrote the Gospel of Jesus Christ in Hebrew, for the sake of those of the Circumcision who had believed.

Daily Posting: September 22/October 5

MAURICE with certain brave Companions was martyred about the year 287, near Agaunum, in Gaul. These holy men are by some authorities identified with the Theban Legion, that is, a band of Christian soldiers recruited from Upper Egypt. At the frontiers of Gaul, the army paused to sacrifice to the gods ; and the Theban Legion, that they might not be defiled by any share in the unhallowed rites, withdrew themselves. Therefore the Emperor sent soldiers unto them to bid them, if they valued their lives, to come back to the sacrifice. They answered that the Christian religion did not allow them so to do. He therefore despatched a part of his army to the Thebans, with orders to begin by killing one man in every ten of them. By their own will, and at the urgent exhortation of Maurice, they chose rather to endure this martyrdom than to obey the commandment of the unrighteous Emperor. At the last, the Emperor, upon the 22nd day of September, bade his whole army fall upon them and slay them all. And they confessed Christ bravely even to the end.

Daily Posting: September 23/October 6

LINUS was the immediate successor of the Apostle Peter in the Roman See, according to the testimony of Saints Irenaeus and Hippolytus, and others. And according to Irenaeus, blessed Paul maketh mention of him in his second Epistle to Timothy, where he saith : Eubulus greeteth thee, and Pudens, and Linus. The Pontifical Book, dating from the sixth century, saith that he was an Italian by nation, of the Tuscan region ; that he sat in the episcopal chair eleven years, three months, and twelve days ; that he lived in the time of Nero ; that he held two ordinations, wherein he made fifteen bishops and eighteen presbyters ; and that he was buried beside the body of blessed Peter at the Vatican on December 23rd. This same book saith that he was crowned by martyrdom. And in the Gregorian Canon he is mentioned amongst the Martyrs. But because, so far as is known, no persecution of Christians took place in Rome during his period, it is supposed that he was given the title of Martyr to describe the great sufferings and labours wherewith he served Christ as a Confessor. He is believed to have gone to God about the year 78.

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Abbot James and Father Daniel attended the ROCOR Western-rite Conference held from 28 September to 1 October at Mount Alvernia Center in Wappingers Falls, New York. About sixty clergy participated, including several from other churches who were interested in the western-rite vicariate. In attendance for the entire Conference, Metropolitan Hilarion's presence brought support and encouragement to all. Several talks and presentations were given on various pastoral issues. The success of the conference owed much to the excellent and energetic oversight of Father Mark Rowe, Dean of the Vicariate. Among the liturgies celebrated was a sung Requiem for deceased clergy, celebrated by Abbot James.

Main Altar - - Mt. Alvernia in Wappingers Falls, NY
Main Altar - - Mt. Alvernia in Wappingers Falls, NY
Main Altar - - Mt. Alvernia in Wappingers Falls, NY
Vladyka Hilarion
Vladyka Hilarion
Vladyka Hilarion
Subdeacon Joseph reading Epistle
Subdeacon Joseph reading Epistle
Subdeacon Joseph reading Epistle
Requiem Mass - - Fr. Daniel, Dom James, Fr. David
Requiem Mass - - Fr. Daniel, Dom James, Fr. David
Requiem Mass - - Fr. Daniel, Dom James, Fr. David

Daily Posting: September 24/October 7

Quotes from the Fathers given in an Orthodox Retreat given on Saturday, March 28, 2015 by Dr. Henry Boosalis at St. Nicholas Serbian Orthodox Church in Hamilton, Ontario Canada.

St John Climacus: "A silent man is a son of wisdom and is always gaining great knowledge." "The lover of silence draws close to God. He talks to Him in secret and God enlightens him." "Silence is the mother of prayer."

St John Climacus: "Try not to talk excessively in your prayer, in case your mind is distracted by the search for words. ... Talkative prayer frequently distracts the mind and deludes it, whereas brevity makes for concentration."

Daily Posting: September 24/October 8

From the book: The Way of the Fathers: Praying with the Early Christians / by Mike Aquilina, page 34-35:

If you have any care for me, remember me as a father. [St. Anthony of Egypt]

Farewell, and love us as a child, for we love you as a father. [St. Ambrose of Milan]

The world is a sea, in which the Church is set, like a ship tossed in the deep, but not destroyed. For she has with her the skilled Pilot, Christ. [Hippolytus of Rome]

If we continue to love one another and to join in praising the Most Holy Trinity — all of us who are sons of God and form one family in Christ — we will be faithful to the deepest vocation of the Church. [St. Polycarp of Smyrna]

Fr. Anthony of Christminster and Fr. Benedict at Western Rite Conference.
Fr. Anthony of Christminster and Fr. Benedict at Western Rite Conference.
Fr. Anthony of Christminster and Fr. Benedict at Western Rite Conference.

Daily Posting: September 26/October 9

If we are to follow Christ we have to abandon everything in this world that is dear to us, even life itself. Following Christ we have to walk in Him (Col 2:6). This might cost us a life of self-denial and watchfulness, but this is incomparable with what it did cost Christ.

Whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple.

Two characters of the true penitent are worth noticing in the story of the sinful woman who showed penitence for her sins. First, her deep humiliation for her sin. She stood behind Jesus weeping. Second, her strong affection to the Lord.

Your faith has saved you. Go in peace.

Your faith has made you well.

Do not despair, that you cannot change
The world in a day or two.
Instead, just give your very best
In the little things you do.
Then you will find in days to come
When taken all together,
These little steps did change and make
The world a little better.

Daily Posting: September 27/October 10

As with so many of the early Saints, no historical records remain of the famous Martyrs, Cosmas and Damian. They are said to have died for Christ about the year 303, and their story, according to some ancient accounts, is as followeth. They were eminent physicians in the time of the Emperors Diocletian and Maximian, brothers, and by race Arabs, but born in Cilicia. And they were wont to give their services to the poor, for which reason in the East they have the title: The Moneyless Ones. When the Prefect Lysias learnt that they were Christians, he commanded them to worship the gods, under threats of torments and death. * But when he found that threats could not shake them, he practiced upon them torments by water, by fire, and by other cruelties, and lastly had them beheaded. Thus did they bear witness for Christ Jesus even until they grasped the palm of victory.

Daily Posting: September 28/October 11

O GOD, who through the victory of martyrdom didst exalt thy blessed Saint Wenceslas from his earthly principality to the glory of thy heavenly kingdom : we pray thee, at his intercession, to defend us against all adversities ; and to suffer us to rejoice in his eternal fellowship. Through Jesus Christ thy Son, our Lord, who with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth God, world without end. Amen.

WENCESLAS, Duke of Bohemia, was called of God to the hard task of defending Christianity when his subjects were just beginning to learn the Faith, and the devil's hatred thereof was first being manifested. He was the son of a Christian father, Duke Wratislas I, and a mother, named Drahomira, who was Christian only in name. But he had in his paternal grandmother a most holy foster-mother, namely Saint Ludmilla, who trained him up in godliness. Therefore, he became a man eminent in all graces, and one who carefully kept chastity unsullied throughout the whole course of his life, and in the midst of great wickedness. After his father's death, his mother seized the supreme power through the foul murder of Ludmilla, and did all that she could to extirpate Christianity. But some of the nobles, wearied with her tyranny and wicked government, cast off her yoke, and hailed Wenceslas, in the city of Prague, as their ruler. * At once he issued a proclamation that he would rule justly, but with mercy, and he did. To the orphaned, the widowed, and the destitute he was very charitable, so that sometimes in the winter he carried firewood to the needy on his own shoulders. He helped oftentimes to bury the poor ; he set captives free ; and at the dead of night he went many times to the prisons to comfort with money and advice them that were detained therein. To a prince of so tender an heart it was a great grief to be behoven to condemn any to death, however guilty. For the Church and her clergy he had a most earnest respect, and it was his pleasure to sow and reap the corn, and press the grapes, with his own hands, wherewith to provide for the holy sacrifice. * When Tadislas, Prince of Gurinna, invaded Bohemia, Wenceslas, to save the bloodshed of many, went out to meet him in single combat. Faced with such courage and goodness, his enemy bowed in reverence before him, and made with him a league of friendship. When he went to Germany, the Emperor was so impressed with his evident holiness that he arose from his throne, embraced him in his arms, decorated him with the insignia of royalty, and gifted him with relicks of the holy Martyr Vitus. Nevertheless, his godless brother, at the exhortation of their mother, sought him out in a church, where he was praying, thinking to kill him. There this unnatural brother, Boleslas, together with some accomplices in crime, wounded him with their swords. And then Boleslas despatched him with his own hand, running him through the body with a lance. He suffered a little after midnight on September 28th, 935. At once he was acclaimed by the people as a Martyr who had given his life to uphold the Faith against pagan opposition ; and since about the year 985 his feast hath been observed in Bohemia. He is considered the national patron of the Czechs.

[St. Wenceslas, September 28/October 11]

Daily Posting: September 29/October 12

From a Sermon by St. Gregory the Pope:

We are accustomed to speak of nine choirs of Angels, because holy Writ seemeth to witness to that number when it speaketh severally of Angels, Archangels, Mights, Powers, Principalities, Dominions, Thrones, Cherubim, and Seraphim. Very many pages of holy Writ witness to Angels and Archangels. The books of the Prophets, as is well known, do often make mention of Cherubim and Seraphim. Paul, writing to the Ephesians, counteth up the names of four choirs, where he saith that Christ is set far above all Principality, and Power, and Might, and Dominion. Again, writing to the Colossians, he speaketh of Thrones as well as of Dominions, Principalities, and Powers. If then we add the Thrones to the four choirs mentioned to the Ephesians, we have five choirs. And when we add unto them the Angels and the Archangels, the Cherubim and the Seraphim, we come to the final conclusion that there are nine choirs of Angels.

Now it must be understood that the word Angel is the name of an office rather than the designation of the nature of these beings. For those holy ones of heaven are always spirits, but they are not always accurately called Angels, which is, being interpreted, Messengers, for they are Angels only when they are sent as Messengers. Hence also it is said by the Psalmist : He maketh his Angels spirits, and his Ministers : as if to indicate that he hath made them spirits, and that of these spirits he sometimes maketh some to minister in the office of messenger. They that go on a lesser ambassage are called Angels, that is Messengers. They that go on a great ambassage are called Archangels, that is Chief Messengers. Hence it is that unto the Virgin Mary was sent no common Angel, but the Archangel Gabriel. For the delivery of this, the highest message, it was meet that there should be sent one of the highest Angels. Their individual names also are so given as to signify the kind of ministry wherein each is powerful. Michael is by interpretation : Who is like unto God? Gabriel: The Strength of God. Raphael : The Medicine of God.

As often as anything very mighty is to be done, we see that Michael is sent, that by that very thing, and by his name, we may remember that none is able to do as God doeth. Hence that old enemy, whose pride hath puffed him up, so that he is fain to be like unto God, is reported by the Prophet Isaiah to have said : I will ascend into heaven ; I will exalt my throne above the stars of God : I will be like the Most High. But this old enemy, when at the end of the world he is about to perish in the last death, having no strength but his own, is shewn unto us a-fighting with Michael the Archangel, even as saith John in the Apocalypse : There was a war in heaven; Michael and his Angels fought against the dragon ; and the dragon fought and his angels. Unto Mary is sent Gabriel, whose name signifieth Strength of God, for he came to herald the coming of him who was content to appear lowly that he might fight down the powers of the air. Raphael, whose name signifieth Medicine of God, is the one who, as a physician, treated the eyes of Tobit, so that his blindness was cleared away.

Daily Posting: September 30/October 13

A Homily by St. Jerome the Priest:

APOSTLES and doctors are called salt, for by them the whole mass of mankind is seasoned. But if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? If the teacher have gone astray, by what other teacher is he to be corrected? It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. This is a figure taken from farming. Salt is used to savour food, and to preserve meat, but it hath no other use. Indeed, we read in the Scriptures of some cities which were sown with salt, in the fury of their conquerors, that nothing might ever grow there.

LET doctors and bishops beware, for the Book of Wisdom saith : Mighty men shall be mightily tormented. Inasmuch as there is no help for them, they do fall into hell with a greater crash than other men. Ye are the light of the world ; a city that is set on an hill cannot be hid ; neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick, that it may give light unto all that are in the house. Here he teacheth boldness in preaching, lest from fear the Apostles should hide themselves, and be like unto candles under a bushel. Contrariwise, they should come forward with all freedom, and proclaim upon the housetops what had been spoken in the ear in closets.

THINK not that I am come to destroy the Law or the Prophets ; I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. The meaning is, either that he was come to fulfil those things which others had prophesied concerning him, or that he was come to give the full measure of those things which had been spoken darkly and imperfectly on account of the weakness of their hearers, such as making away with anger, forbidding to take eye for eye and tooth for tooth, and condemning the secret lusting of the heart. Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the Law, till all be fulfilled. But there are promised unto us a new heaven and a new earth, which the Lord God shall make. And if new things are to be created, old things must pass away.

Daily Posting: October 1/14

REMIGIUS, also called Remi, is reverenced as the Apostle of the French. He came from a distinguished Christian family : for the title of Saint is in France commonly given to his mother Cilinia ; to his older brother Principius, Bishop of Soissons ; to the son of the latter, named Lupus ; and to his nurse Balsamia. Thus in boyhood he was surrounded with holy people, and grew up both godly and learned. Saint Sidonius Apollinaris, who knew him well, saith he was the most eloquent man of his age. When he was only twenty-two, and still a layman, he was chosen by acclamation to be Bishop of Rheims, and thereafter set out to spread the Gospel widely among the Franks. Now Clovis, King of the Franks, was an heathen, rude and cruel. And Saint Clotilde, his wife, prayed long to bring him to Christ. Finally divine grace prevailed, and under the joint instruction of Saints Vedast and Remigius, not only Clovis, but many of his kinsfolk and army as well, were prepared for Baptism, some three thousand in all,amous for miracles, blessed Remigius died on January 13th, about the year 533. But it is said. A story is told of Clovis, that during the instruction which he was given concerning the passion of our Lord, he grasped his weapons, and stood up in anger, and exclaimed that such injustice would not have happened if he had been there with his warriors! And at the laver of regeneration, blessed Remigius is reputed to have charged Clovis, saying : Bow down thy head, O Sicambrian! adore what thou hast burnt, and burn what thou hast adored. Thenceforward great progress was made in the spread of the Gospel among the Franks ; and after more than three score and ten years as bishop, full of good works and f his feast is kept on October 1st, being the day when Saint Pope Leo IX, in 1049, translated his relicks to the great Abbey of Rheims.

Daily Posting: October 2/15

Homily by St. Hilary, Bishop
Commentary on Mattew 18

The Lord teaches: Except ye become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. That is, through returning to the simplicity of children we are to do away with the sins of our body and soul. He calls all those, Children, who believe by means of the faith that cometh by hearing. For these obey their father, love their mother, wish no evil to their neighbour, care nothing for riches; are not haughty, not despiteful, they lie not, they believe what they are told, and what they hear they hold as truth.

We are to return, then, to the simplicity of babes; for if we be established therein, we shall bear within us the image of the Lord's humility. Woe unto the world because of offences! The humiliation of the Passion is an offence to the world. Herein lies the greatest stupidity of mankind: that, because of the shame of the cross, it would not accept the Lord of eternal glory. And what is more perilous to the world, than not to accept Christ?

For it must needs be, he says, that offences come; because for the accomplishment of the mystery of the giving us back of eternal life, all the humiliation of the Passion had to be fulfilled in him. Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones that believe in me. He made a fitting bond of mutual love, and set it especially on those who truly believed in the Lord. For I say unto you, that in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven. For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.

Therefore the Son of man saves, and the Angels see God, and the Angels of the little ones have wardship over the prayers of the faithful. And in wardship the Angels have absolute authority. The Angels daily present to God the prayers of those who are saved through Christ. It is a dangerous thing, therefore, for a man to despise one whose desires and petitions are brought unto the eternal and invisible God by the zealous service and ministry of the Angels.

Daily Posting: October 3/16

Quotes from the Fathers given in an Orthodox Retreat given on Saturday, March 28, 2015 by Dr. Henry Boosalis at St. Nicholas Serbian Orthodox Church in Hamilton, Ontario Canada.

St Diadochos of Photiki: "When the door of the steam baths is continually left open, the heat inside rapidly escapes through it; likewise the soul, in its desire to say many things, dissipates its remembrance of God through the door of speech, even though everything it says may be good. ... Timely silence, then, is precious, for it is nothing less than the mother of the wisest thoughts."

Elder Porphyrios: "When you have fallen in love with Christ you prefer silence and spiritual prayer. Then words cease. It is inner silence that precedes, accompanies and follows the divine visitation, the divine union and co-mingling of the soul with the divine. When you find yourself in this state, words are not needed. This is something you experience, something that cannot be explained. Only the person who experiences this state understands it. ... The most perfect form of prayer is silent prayer. ... Amid the mystery of silence the assimilation to God takes place. It is here too that truest worship takes place. ... This manner of silence is the most perfect. This is how you are assimilated to God. You enter into the mysteries of God. We must not speak much, but leave grace to speak."

Daily Posting: October 4/17

The sacrifice of the Church is the word breathing as incense from holy souls, the sacrifice and the whole mind being at the same time unveiled to God. [St. Clement of Alexandria]

One who seeks the Church seeks Christ. [St. Ambrose of Milan]

Who says that the great Church is only a small part of the earth? The great Church is the whole world. [St. Augustine]

Only the Catholic Church is the Body of Christ. . . . Outside this body, no one is animated by the Holy Spirit. [St. Augustine]

There is no salvation outside the Church. [St. Cyprian of Carthage]

Daily Posting: October 5/18

While walking on the sea the Lord Jesus did not identify Himself to His disciples until they cried out of fear. Thus, it seems that the goal of the tribulation that we enter into the life of prayer by crying out to God and have fellowship with Him. (St. John Chrysostom)

Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid. [ Mk 6:45-56]

Ingratitude is a serious sin that saddens our Lord Jesus. The scripture says that ingratitude is one of the characteristics of the anti-christian spirit of the last days (2 Tim 3:2). There was sorrow in Jesus' words when only one of the ten lepers that were healed came back to thank Him (Lk 17:17-18). Today our ingratitude is even more serious, because we do not appreciate the gift that surpasses all understanding – Jesus' forgiveness and His sacrifice for us that we in no way have deserved as sinners.

This verse, Lk 20:17 (But He looked at them and said, 'What then is this that is written: "The very stone which the builders rejected has become the head of the corner'?..."), is a quotation from Ps 118:22. It refers to Christ, the foundation stone rejected by the religious leaders who becomes the chief cornerstone of the church.

The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone.

Daily Posting: October 6/19

On October 6th, in some places a commemoration is made of Saint Faith, who is mentioned in ancient Martyrologies as a Martyr at Agen. According to a story told in olden times, when the judge asked her name, she replied : My name is Faith, and I endeavour to have what I am named : whereupon she was tortured to death by fire, and so gave proof of her faith. [St. Faith, October 6/19]

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Christ commended the four men who carried their paralytic friend and let him down through the roof of the house to meet the Lord Jesus. True and strong faith may work in different ways, conquering sometimes the objections of reason, and sometimes those of sense.

I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth. [Ps 34:1]

And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd.

All happiness comes from God's mercy and takes rise in that. Therefore, the first thing we need is to pray for God be merciful to us sinners. By His mercy we gain His blessings and His face shines upon us.

God be merciful to us, and bless us, and cause His face to shine upon us. [Ps 67:1]

Daily Posting: October 7/20

Quotes from the Fathers given in an Orthodox Retreat given on Saturday, March 28, 2015 by Dr. Henry Boosalis at St. Nicholas Serbian Orthodox Church in Hamilton, Ontario Canada.

St. Isaac the Syrian: "Do you want to perform the recitation of the psalms ... with delight, and take in the spiritual words that you are reciting? ... Say the words of the psalm as though it were a prayer. ...Those passages which are prayers, pray them as though they were your own ... You should say the psalms with real supplication, as if they were your very own words."

St. John Cassian: "Seized by the identical feelings in which the psalm was composed or sung, we become, as it were, its author. We anticipate its idea instead of following it..."

Elder Sophrony: "Prayer is infinite creation, far superior to any form of art or science."

St. Silouan of Mount Athos: "By the grace of God I know that the Lord mercifully cares for us, and not one prayer ... is lost with God."

Daily Posting: October 8/21

We want to call your attention to a very special ministry offered by Guenther and Anna Penner, an Orthodox couple in North Carolina, who have made available, for anyone seeking solitude and prayer in a setting of incomparable natural beauty, their nearly 400 mountain acres. Visit their site -- QUIET REFLECTIONS RETREAT -- for a description of their work, and please support them with your prayers and donations. In our noisy and distracting world, there need to be oases of peace and silence where the voice of God can be heard, and his creation appreciated and loved.

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From the book: The Way of the Fathers: Praying with the Early Christians / by Mike Aquilina, page 36:

He can no longer have God for his Father, who has not the Church for his mother. [St. Cyprian of Carthage]

O wondrous mystery! One is the Father of all, one also the Word of all, and the Holy Spirit is one and the same everywhere. And there is only one Virgin Mother; I love to call her the Church. [St. Clement of Alexandria]

She is one mother, plentiful in fruitfulness. From her womb we are born, by her milk we are nourished, by her spirit we are animated. [St. Cyprian of Carthage]

Daily Posting: October 9/22

Do not despair, that you cannot change
The world in a day or two.
Instead, just give your very best
In the little things you do.
Then you will find in days to come
When taken all together,
These little steps did change and make
The world a little better.

We must always take care that we make no waste of God's good supply. When we are filled we must remember that others want, and we may want.

Gather up the fragments that remain, so that nothing is lost. To pray without ceasing you can repeat such few words of what is called "the Arrow Prayer" all day. These are the words of the "Arrow Prayer": "Lord Jesus, Son of the living God, have mercy upon me a sinner." It means to have the name of Jesus constantly on our lips. Calling upon His name we gain the power to be saved (Rom 10:13) and resist every evil thought and temptation.

Daily Posting: October 10/23

An article on fear by Fr. John Cox: God and the Tiger
Daily Posting: October 11/24

O GOD, who didst vouchsafe that thy Word should be made flesh in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary at the message of an Angel : grant to us thy humble servants ; that we, believing her to be indeed the Mother of God, may by her intercession find favour in thy sight. Through the same Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord, who with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth God, world without end. Amen. [Collect, Motherhood of the Blessed Virgin Mary, October 11/24]

In heaven's court the choice was weighed,
And fixed upon the Blessed Maid,
Whence there was born, by God's decree,
Christ's ransoming humanity.

And so this Virgin-Mother bore
Him who to save us suffered sore,
Whose life-blood there the earth bedewed
Where he redeemed us on the Rood.

Let anxious fears from man depart,
And hope give joy to every heart,
For with her Son she e'er will plead
That he our tears and prayers may heed.

He welcometh his Mother's plea,
And listeneth right graciously;
Let his, like him, love her indeed,
And seek her help for human need.

All glory to the Trinity
Who made the Virgin's womb to be
A shrine for Christ's humanity,
To whom be praise eternally. Amen.

[Matins Hymn [Caelo Redemptor praetulit] Motherhood of the Blessed Virgin Mary, October 11/24]

Daily Posting: October 12/25

O GOD, who by reason of the singular merits of thy blessed Bishop Saint Wilfrid, didst cause to shine forth in him many wondrous works : we beseech thee, mercifully to grant; that like as we have learnt from his teaching to seek earnestly after all things heavenly, so we may at all times be defended by his intercession. Through Jesus Christ thy Son, our Lord, who with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth God, world without end. Amen. [Collect, St. Wilfrid, October 12/25]

WILFRID, at the age of thirteen, left home to escape from mistreatment by his stepmother ; and thenceforth he found little peace on earth ; for he fought vigorously all his life long to bring the Christians of England who followed the peculiar national Celtic customs into accord with the more general usages of the Church of God, under the discipline of the Holy See. Being the son of a Northumbrian thane, he went first to the court of King Oswy, and thence was sent, at the age of fourteen, to Lindisfarne and Whitby for instruction in divine science. He also studied the Roman usages at Canterbury ; and in 654 set out for Rome with Saint Benedict Biscop on the latter's first journey to the eternal city. There he tried to perfect himself in holy things, and was finally made secretary to Pope Saint Martin. When he returned to England, Aldfrid, son of Oswy, appointed him to instruct the Northumbrians in the Roman usages, for that prince liked not the Celtic customs concerning the date of Easter and various other matters, any more than did Wilfrid. And when Aldfrid required the monks whom he had placed in his newly-built monastery at Ripon to give up their peculiar Celtic usages, many of them returned to their former monastery of Melrose ; whereupon Wilfrid was made Abbot of Ripon. ★ Now when the dispute regarding the two ecclesiastical observances became more acute, a synod was held at Whitby to decide the matter. For the Celtic party said that their usages came through France from the tradition which Saint John the Evangelist had established in Asia Minor, whereas the Roman party claimed the authority of the Prince of the Apostles for their customs. And when most of those present at the council decided in favour of Roman canon law and discipline, the others withdrew from work in Northumbria, and retired to the holy island of Iona. Whereafter Wilfrid was chosen Bishop of the Northumbrians, and went to Paris for consecration, for he held the neighbouring bishops as schismatics. But he was so long delayed on this journey that King Oswy grew impatient, and had Saint Chad consecrated in his stead. Which was the occasion of fresh controversy when Wilfrid returned and went to live in his Abbey of Ripon. However, in 699 Saint Theodore, Archbishop of Canterbury, set him up as Bishop of York, and Chad went to work among the Mercians. But Wilfrid incurred the enmity of Egfrid, after the latter became King ; which same moved Saint Theodore to divide the northern territory into four dioceses, leaving one for Wilfrid, and intruding three others into the rest of Wilfrid's former jurisdiction. * Then was made the first appeal to the Holy See, namely, from Wilfrid as Bishop of York against the Archbishop of Canterbury ; to which end Wilfrid set out for Rome a second time. And on his way thither he preached the Gospel mightily in Friesland, converting many heathens, and thereby opening the way for the harvest of souls which Saint Willibrord and his companions gathered in. Now when Pope Saint Agatho had decided the case in Wilfrid's favour, he returned to King Egfrid with the decree, who promptly cast him into prison, and kept him there many months. And when he was set free, he was obliged to flee from one place to another, until he came into the region of the South Saxons. There he settled down, and laboured greatly in the Gospel, converting many, and establishing a bishoprick which afterwards became the See of Chichester. But in 686, after King Egfrid had died, Wilfrid was recalled to York, through the intervention of Saint Theodore and others. However, so many difficulties arose that he went to Rome for a third time, to make a second appeal to the Holy See. As a result of which he was again, by papal decree, awarded all his former authority in Northumbria. But he was then seventy-two years old, and shortly thereafter died in peace, namely, on April 24th, 709. But his feast is usually kept on October 12th, being the day of the translation of his relicks.

[Life, St. Wilfrid, October 12/25]

Daily Posting: October 13/26

The Lord's Day is a mystery of the knowledge of the truth that is not received by flesh and blood, and it transcends speculations. In this age there is no eighth day, nor is there a true Sabbath. For he who said that 'God rested on the seventh day,' signified the rest [of our nature] from the course of this life, since the grave is also of a bodily nature and belongs to this world. Six days are accomplished in the husbandry of life by means of keeping the commandments; the seventh is spent entirely in the grave; and the eighth is the departure from it. St. Isaac the Syrian

Receive your sight; your faith has made you well.

The apostle James says: "If any one among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one's religion is useless" (Jas 1:26). Therefore every person needs to curb his tongues and not leave it free to bolt restlessly from one subject to another, without restraint. If he is unable to, let him pray and say: "Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips" (Ps 14:3)

Daily Posting: October 14/27

O GOD, who seest that we have no power of ourselves to help ourselves : we pray thee, that, by the examples of thy Saints ; thou wouldest mercifully restore us to the perfect love of thee. Through Jesus Christ thy Son, our Lord, who with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth God, world without end. Amen. [Collect, St. Callistus, October 14/27]

CALLISTUS, the first Pope to bear that name, was in youth a slave. His master was a Christian of the imperial household, and gave into his charge the funds which he had received on behalf of certain Christians and their widows. These funds were somehow lost, and for this Callistus was blamed by his master. Whereat he fled from the punishment which he knew was coming, and went to Oporto, and there took ship. Wherefrom he jumped over-board when his pursuers caught up with him. But they apprehended him, and afterwards he was sentenced to hard labour as a disgraced slave. Howbeit, the Christians secured his release, that he might help recover the lost funds. In pursuance of which, he followed certain Jewish moneylenders to their synagogues, where he importuned them, and was by them turned over to the judge as one who had made a disturbance during a religious service. This time he was sentenced to hard labour in the mines of Sardinia. But he was afterwards returned to Italy, and Pope Saint Victor gave him a pension. When Saint Zephyrinus became Pope, he recalled Callistus to Rome, and made him superintendent of a catacomb on the Appian way, which same he greatly improved, so that it came to be called after him, and is known even to this day as the Cemetery of Saint Callistus. ★ He thus grew well-known and much beloved, and in 217, after the death of Zephyrinus, was elected by the clergy and people of Rome to be the next occupant of Peter's Chair. His short pontificate was made notable by his condemnation of the Sabellian heresy, and by his fight against rigorism. He was strongly opposed by the anti-pope Hippolytus, and by Tertullian, whose writings against him are the chief source of our knowledge of his early life. Hippolytus complained that Callistus was unwilling to depose a bishop who had sinned mortally and done penance for the same, and that he had reconciled the excommunicate who expressed penitence. However, Callistus was a man who had done much penance, and had suffered greatly at the hands of rigorists, and it is in no small measure due to him that the Church for all time accepted the compassion of Christ as the guiding rule in dealing with penitents, Hippolytus (who is now venerated a a Saint) not withstanding. ★ Callistus is said to have sat as Pope five years, one month, and twelve days ; and to have held five December Ordinations, wherein he ordained sixteen priests, four deacons, and eight bishops. Tradition also saith that after being long starved, and repeatedly flogged, he was pitched head foremost down a well, and so was crowned with martyrdom under the emperor Alexander. His body was buried on the Aurelian Way, at the Third Milestone, upon October 14th but was afterwards by Pope Saint Julius I taken to the Church of Saint Mary beyond the Tiber, where it lieth beneath the high altar, and is held in great reverence of all men.

[Life, St. Callistus, October 14/27]

Daily Posting: October 15/28

This [is] the palpable radiance a pastor sees in some very old people who beam at the prospect of seeing God face-to-face. They are not among those burned at the stake or gored by lions. But martyrdom is a bad half hour. Fidelity consists in living the daily routine – if not ground by beasts, then ground down by the daily grind for as long as the Bridegroom wills it – before the heavenly nuptials. [From: Hints of Heaven / by George Rutler]

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From the book: The Way of the Fathers: Praying with the Early Christians / by Mike Aquilina, page 36:

Where the Church is, there also is the Spirit of God; and where the Spirit of God is, there is the Church, and all grace. And the Spirit is truth. [St. Irenaeus]

The Church is a faithful and ever watchful guardian of the dogmas that have been entrusted to her charge. In this sacred deposit, she changes nothing, she takes nothing away, she adds nothing to it. [St. Vincent of Lerins]

Daily Posting: October 16/29

GALL was the most eminent of the personal disciples of Saint Columbanus, both as to holiness and apostolic labours. He was a learned man, trained under the Abbot Saint Comgall of Bangor ; whence he was chosen as one of the twelve monks to accompany Columbanus to France ; whom he assisted in founding the monasteries at Anegray and Luxeuil. And he was exiled with Columbanus; but when his master went to Italy, he stayed in Switzerland, and lived as a missionary hermit in several places. From his labours there came into existence the great Abbey of Saint-Gall and the town of that name. About the year 640 he went to his heavenly reward.

[Life, St. Gall, October 16/29]

Daily Posting: October 17/30

If we have come to know God's loving heart and regard ourselves as nothing in the presence of the Eternal and almighty, we will not lose confidence in Him. In every situation we will declare with implicit trust, I don't need to understand God. I am His child. What a child can possibly understand everything his father decides says or does?

In this life indeed there is an equal portion of toils and rewards; yes, often, on the contrary the toil is endless while the fruit is little, or not even a little, but in the case of the kingdom conversely, the labor is little while the pleasure is great and boundless. Thinking then on these things, let us also be careful of that which is our life. (St. John Chrysostom)

Spiritual Knowledge is a consequence of the practice of good works. Both are preceded by love and fear; and fear precedes love ... God has set them in that order so that spiritual knowledge and love are begotten by fear and good works. (St. Isaac the Syrian)

Daily Posting: October 18/31

From the book Lives of Illustrious Men by St. Jerome, Priest.

LUKE, a physician of Antioch, as his writings indicate, was not unskilled in the Greek language. An adherent of the Apostle Paul, and companion of all his journeying, he wrote a Gospel, concerning which the same Paul says: We have sent with him the brother, whose praise is in the Gospel throughout all the churches. And to the Colossians: Luke the beloved physician salutes you. And to Timothy: Luke only is with me.

He also wrote another excellent volume to which he prefixed the title, Acts of the Apostles; a history which extends to the second year of Paul's sojourn at Rome, that is, to the fourth year of Nero, from which we learn that the book was composed in that same city. Therefore the Acts of Paul and Thecla, and all the fable about the lion baptized by him, we reckon among the apocryphal writings, for how is it possible that the inseparable companion of the Apostle in his other affairs, alone should have been ignorant of this thing?

Moreover Tertullian, who lived near those times mentions a certain presbyter in Asia, an adherent of the Apostle Paul, who was convicted by John of having been the author of this book, and who, confessing that he did this for love of Paul, resigned his office of presbyter.

Luke had learned the Gospel not only from Paul, who had not been with the Lord in the flesh, but from the other Apostles as well. This he too at the beginning of the work declares, saying, Even as they delivered unto us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word. So he wrote the Gospel as he had heard it, but composed the Acts of the Apostles as he himself had seen. He is buried at Constantinople, to which city, in the twentieth of Constantine, his bones were transferred from Achaia, together with the remains of Andrew the Apostle.