Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria & All Africa Archdiocese of Good Hope

ALL GLORY, HONOUR AND WORSHIP TO THE FATHER, AND TO THE SON, AND TO THE HOLY SPIRIT, NOW AND EVER, AND UNTO THE AGES OF AGES. AMEN. REMEMBERING ALSO OUR MOST HOLY, MOST PURE, MOST BLESSED AND GLORIOUS LADY, MARIA, BIRTH GIVER OF GOD, YET EVER VIRGIN, TOGETHER WITH ALL THE SAINTS. AND LET US COMMIT OURSELVES AND ONE ANOTHER AND OUR WHOLE LIFE TO CHRIST OUR GOD. AMEN.

1 July 2010 Feast of St Kosmas & St Damianos the Unmercenaries of Rome Also the Feast of St Constantine the New Martyr; St Julius & St Aaron the Protomartyrs of Wales & St Nikodemos of Mount Athos

A POL YT IKION

O F

ST

KO SM A S

&

ST

D AMI ANO S

HOL Y

UNMERCEN ARI ES

O F

ROME

TONE

PL AG AL

4

Agii

Anargiri ke Thavmatourgi, episkepsasthe astheneias imon: dorean elavete, dorean dote imin!
O F THE EVE R BLESSED THEOT OKO S

tas

Sainted O

Unmercenaries and Wonder Workers, regard our infirmities; freely You have received, freely share with us.

KO NT AKION

Prostasia

ton Hristianon akateskhinte, mesitia pros ton Piitin ametathete, mi Paridis, amartolon deiseon fonas, alla profthason os agathi, is tin voithian imon, ton pistos kravgazonton Si: Tahinon is presvian, ke spefson is ikesian, i prostatevousa ai, Theotoke, ton timonton Se.
O F ST KO SM A S & ST DA MI ANO , HOL Y

Protection of the Christians unashamable, Mediation to the Creator Immovable, despise not, the pleading voices of those in sin, but hasten O Good One, to the aid of all who in Faith cry out to Thee: hasten Thine Intercession, and press on Thy Supplication, O Theotokos who always protects all those who honour Thee!
O F ROME TO NE 2

KO NT AKION

UN MER CEN ARI ES

I

tin Harin lavontes ton iamaton, efaploute tin rosin tis en anagkes, Iatri Thavmatorgi endoxi. Alla ti imin episkepsi, ke ton polemion ta thrasi katavalete, ton kosmon iomeni en tis thavmasi.

Having obtained the Grace of Healing, You grant health to
those in need! O Kosmas and Damianos, Physicians and Most Glorious Wonderworkers, Visit us, putting down the insolence of our enemies, And by YourMiracles, bring healing to the universe!

The First Epistle of St Paul to the Corinthians 12 : 27 – 13 : 8
THE DIVINE GIFT OF LOVE IS THE MOST SUPERIOR OF ALL THE HOLY GIFTS RECEIVED BY US

Brethren: you are the Body of Christ, and members individually. And God has appointed these in the Church: first, Apostles; second, Prophets; third, Teachers: after that: Miracles, then Gifts of Healings, Helps, Administrations, varieties of Tongues. Are all Apostles? Are all Prophets? Are all Teachers? Are all Workers of Miracles? Do all have Gifts of Healings? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? But earnestly desire the best Gifts, and yet, I show you a more excellent way. Although I speak with the tongues of men and of Angels, but have not Love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And although I have the Gift of Prophecy, and understand all Mysteries and all Knowledge, and although I have all Faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not Love, I am nothing! And although I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and although I give my body to be burnt, but have not Love, it profits me nothing! Love suffers long and is kind; Love does not envy; Love does not parade itself, is not puffed up. Love does not behave rudely, nor does it seek its own. It is not provoked and thinks no evil. Love does not rejoice in iniquity but rejoices in the Truth. Love bears all things and endures all things. Love never fails but whether there are Prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is Knowledge, it will vanish away... This Epistle of St Paul to the Corinthians, reminds us clearly Although G O D N E V E R F O R C E S U S T O D O H I S W I L L , we that we should NEVER FEEL SPIRITUALLY INFERIOR TO must CONSTANTLY BE PREPARED to do whatever He ANYONE ELSE BECAUSE EVERY MEMBER OF CHRIST’S HOLY requires of us - according to our sincere devotion to God BODY – CHRIST’S HOLY CHURCH – IS IMPORTANT AND VITAL or our Faith in and Love of God - WITHOUT ANY DOUBTS TO THE OVERALL LIFE AND WORK OF HIS HOLY CHURCH. OR TREPIDATION – COMPLETELY CONFIDENT THAT ONLY b G O D H A S C A L L E D E V E R Y O N E TO HIS SACRED GOD CAN DO “THE IMPOSSIBLE!” SERVICE so no matter how unimportant we may think SINCE THE BEGINNING IN THE HOLY CHURCH OF THE NEW we are, in the Sight of God each and EVERY PERSON COVENANT A HIERARCHY OF HONOUR EXISTS whereby THE
HAS A HOLY PURPOSE ACCORDING TO THE ETERNAL PLAN OF OUR LOVING AND BENEVOLENT CREATOR. NOT ONE PERSON HAS BEEN BORN “BY MISTAKE” OR FOR NO PURPOSE AT ALL!! EVERY HUMAN BEING IS ESSENTIAL to one another for this APOSTOLIC WORK – THAT OF OUR BISHOPS – SETS THE PACE for all the rest of us Faithful. Therefore, WHEN THE OVERSIGHT OF THE HOLY CHURCH IS IN ORDER, THE WHOLE CHURCH FUNCTIONS AT THE OPTIMAL LEVEL. b ST PAUL’S MOST MEMORABLE AND SIGNIFICANT SACRED LESSON OF DIVINE LOVE IS THE MOST INDISPENSABLE, VITAL LESSON OF ALL! B E I N C E S S A N T L Y A W A R E : EVEN WITH ALL THE DIVINE GIFTS THAT ARE BESTOWED ON US ACCORDING TO THE DIVINE WILL OF GOD AND ACCORDING TO OUR PERSONAL CALLING AND SPIRITUAL ABILITIES, THERE IS SOMETHING FAR MORE EXCELLENT THAT THEM ALL:

Spiritual Journey that we all experience during this short, temporary, preparatory time before Eternity. God knows us so completely (better than we can ever know ourselves!) that HE CALLS EACH OF US ACCORDING TO (His Knowledge of ) OUR STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES. O N L Y G O D I S A L L - K N O W I N G because when we are Called to serve Him in a special manner, it is OFTEN IN
SPITE OF OURSELVES AND OUR PERCEPTION OF OUR OWN ABILITIES. And when He Calls us, WE MUST BE READY AND EAGERLY WILLING TO FULFIL OUR SACRED DUTIES WITH ALL HUMILITY AND OBEDIENCE – NO MATTER WHAT!! b THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS AN “INDIVIDUAL” OR “INDEPENDENT” CHRISTIAN BECAUSE WE ARE ALL INTERWOVEN AND UNITED IN GOD’S DIVINE LOVE and WE ARE ALL CALLED IN CHRIST TO SUFFER AND STRUGGLE TOGETHER, BEING HONOURED TOGETHER AND TO REJOICE TOGETHER.

b

DIVINE LOVE, IS THE TRUE SIGN OF THE VERY PRESENCE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT.

I F W E D O N O T P O S S E S S THE GREATEST DIVINE GIFT OF ALL – L O V E – T H E N W E A R E U T T E R L Y B E R E F T O F ANYTHING GOOD AT ALL! CONSEQUENTLY: W I T H O U T L O V E O F G O D A N D F O R O U R FELLOW HUMAN B E I N G S , which motivates and

compels us to do Good Deeds in Obedience to God’s greatest Commandment, W E C A N N O T E X P E C T T O
ENJOY ETERNAL LIFE WITH ALL ITS

(SPONSORED BY DIMITRI PAIZIS)

THE FEAST OF ST KOSMAS & ST DAMIANOS THE HOLY UNMERCENARIES OF ROME

1 JULY 2010

1

BLESSEDNESS OF LOVE – BEING IN THE VERY PRESENCE OF GOD WHO IS 100% DIVINE LOVE!

b

OBVIOUSLY: W E C A N N O T H A V E E T E R N A L L I F E I N GOD’S HEAVENLY KINGDOM, WHICH IS AN INFINITE STATE OF PURE LOVE!

The Holy Gospel According to Matthew 10 : 1, 5 – 8
OUR LORD & SAVIOUR, JESUS CHRIST’S INSTRUCTION CONCERNING OUR HOLY MISSION IN THIS LIFE AS HIS FAITHFUL DISCIPLES

At that time, when Jesus had Called His Disciples to Him, He gave them Power over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease. These Twelve Jesus sent out and commanded them: “Do not go into the city of the Gentiles, and do not enter a city of the Samaritans, but rather go to the Lost Sheep of the House of Israel. And, as you go, preach by saying; ‘The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand!’ Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received; freely give.” The terms “Apostles” and “Disciples” are often used Since His earthly, public Mission was to be of such a limited interchangeably for the Twelve Apostles whom our Lord span of time, CHRIST SENT FORTH HIS HOLY APOSTLES TO SPREAD GOD’S TRUTH THROUGH THEIR PREACHING AND Jesus Christ chose as His closest, most intimate HEALING, WHICH WAS MADE POSSIBLE BY DIVINE GRACE. companions and Spiritual Students. THE HEBREWS WERE THE FIRST TO BE ENLIGHTENED AND “DISCIPLE” is a reference to ONE WHO LEARNS while HEALED OF THEIR PHYSICAL AND SPIRITUAL AILMENTS SO “APOSTLE” refers to ONE WHO IS SENT OUT TO TEACH
GOD’S TRUTH TO OTHERS. OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST AS THE INCARNATE SON OF GOD GRANTED HIS APOSTLES A LITTLE OF HIS DIVINE POWER TO PERFORM MIRACLES, WHILE HE PERFORMS ALL MIRACLES BY HIS OWN DIRECT DIVINE POWER – by the Will of the THAT AFTER THE GLORIOUS RESURRECTION OF CHRIST WHEN MANY WOULD ACCEPT THE NEW COVENANT WITH GOD, THEY COULD NOT ACCUSE THE CHRISTIAN DISCIPLES OF FIRST PREACHING TO AND HEALING THE GENTILES WHO, AT THE TIME, WERE NOT GOD’S PEOPLE.

Father, through Him, with the Energy and Activity of the Holy Spirit. (The Holy Trinity always works in perfect unity.) The Mission of Christ’s Apostles was similar to that of our Lord and Saviour Himself: TO PREACH AND TO TEACH OTHERS SO THAT THEY WOULD REPENT THEIR SINS – especially their Spiritual Disobedience to and rebellion against God’s Divine Commandments – THUS PREPARING THEMSELVES
FOR GOD’S HEAVENLY KINGDOM OF DIVINE LOVE.

Our Lord prepared His Disciples to be single-minded or focused in their Holy Mission of preaching and healing by emphasizing the fact that BECAUSE T H E I R R E C E I V E D
POWER TO DO WHATEVER WAS REQUIRED WAS A FREE DIVINE GIFT FROM G O D , THEY WERE FORBIDDEN TO CARRY ANY MONEY WITH THEM. T H E Y W E R E T O B E C O M P L E T E L Y U N M E R C E N A R Y BY NOT ACCEPTING ANY PAYMENT FROM PEOPLE FOR THEIR SACRED MISSION OF PREACHING AND HEALING. THUS THE DISCIPLES OF CHRIST COULD NEVER BE ACCUSED OR GUILTY OF GREED AND THEY WOULD LEARN ABSOLUTE DEPENDENCE UPON THE GRACE OF GOD WHO PROVIDES ALL OUR NECESSITIES OF LIFE. b JUST AS GOD FREELY GRANTS US EVERYTHING ESSENTIAL TO LIFE, SO TOO MUST WE FREELY SHARE OUR BLESSINGS WITH OTHERS!

It is of particular note that AT THE BEGINNING OF CHRIST’S
EARTHLY MISSION, HIS PARTICULAR ATTENTION WAS UPON THE HEBREW NATION – THE CHOSEN PEOPLE OF GOD – WHO HAD DRIFTED INTO ALL KINDS OF HERESY AND EVEN BLASPHEMY AGAINST GOD. MANY, THROUGH WILFUL APOSTASY OR GENUINE IGNORANCE HAD SLIPPED INTO A KIND OF PSEUDOPAGANISM – A GREAT SPIRITUAL PERIL THAT SO MANY PEOPLE ARE FALLING PREY TO THESE DAYS!

b

St Kosmas & St Damianos of Rome – Holy Unmercenaries
St Kosmas & St Damianos were brothers who were, by Furthermore, they pointed out the fact that if there had the Grace of God, Unmercenary, Miracle working not been any artists to design and to produce their Physicians. pagan idols from earthly materials, they would have They were born in Rome and had been Baptised in their nothing to worship at all! childhood and raised in the Christian Faith. Emperor Galerios suffered from a grave infirmity and They were granted abundant Divine Grace whereby they when St Kosmas and St Damianos miraculously were able to heal not only people but also animals relieved his suffering and restored him to good from every known disease and ailment, usually by health, he proclaimed his Faith in Christ and ordered simply laying their hands upon them. the two Unmercenary Wonder Working Saints to be They never accepted any payment for the Divine Miracles released and allowed to live in peace. of God and they only requested those whom they And so it was that St Kosmas and St Damianos helped to believe in our Lord and Saviour, Jesus continued to Glorify our One True God by His Christ through Whom all things are possible. Divine Grace healing the sick, comforting the needy After their parents had reposed in Christ, the two and teaching God’s Truth to all who were willing to brothers inherited a very large estate which they hear and thereby converting many to Christianity. immediately distributed amongst the destitute and Eventually, a certain Roman Physician who had at one the needy. time taught them their medical skills, became Emperor Galerios reigned in Rome at the time and being extremely jealous of their popularity amongst all a merciless persecutor of Christians, upon hearing of people regardless of social status or belief and their the two generous and kind brothers, summoned healing abilities so one day he invited them to join them to appear before him. him in gathering healing herbs from the surrounding They were promptly arrested, chained up like common mountains. criminals and presented to the Emperor who, after a However, once they were isolated from any witnesses, prolonged interrogation, ordered them to renounce the wicked man and his friends attacked and stoned Christ and to honour the pagan idols. the two Saints to death. Nevertheless, St Kosmas and St Damianos not only Although they suffered such a cruel death in 284, due to refused to obey Emperor Galerios but they also their most honourable Faith, their memory remains bravely told him to renounce the useless “gods” that Eternal in the Holy Church of Christ on earth, while were invented and made by human beings. their souls reside in the Kingdom of our Lord, living They advised him to rather acknowledge and to worship Eternally in Glory and in Joy. MP: FROM THE PROLOGUE OF OCHRID OF ST NIOLAI AT AT ADAPTED & EDITED BY MP: the One All Powerful and True God Who is not (http://www.westsrbdio.org/prolog/prolog.htm) created by anyone but Who is the Creator of everything visible and invisible. Wisdom of our Holy Fathers Lorenzo Scupoli ...when you see a thing with your eyes, or visualize it in your mind, keep a firm grip on your desires and do not allow yourself at the first glance either to conceive a liking for the thing or a dislike for it, but examine it in a detached way with the mind alone. Unobscured by passion, the mind then remains in a state natural to it, which is free and pure, and has the possibility to know the Truth and to penetrate into the depths of a thing, where evil is often concealed under a deceptively attractive exterior and where good is sometimes hidden under a bad appearance. (UNSEEN WARFARE - CHAPTER 8)
SPONSORED BY DIMITRI PAIZIS) THE FEAST OF ST KOSMAS & ST DAMIANOS THE HOLY UNMERCENARIES OF ROME 1 JULY 2010

2

Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria & All Africa Archdiocese of Good Hope
ALL GLORY, HONOUR AND WORSHIP TO THE FATHER , AND TO THE SON, AND TO THE HOLY SPIRIT, NOW AND FOREVER, AND TO THE AGES OF AGES. AMEN. REMEMBERING ALSO OUR MOST HOLY, MOST PURE, MOST BLESSED AND GLORIOUS LADY, MARY, BIRTH GIVER OF GOD, YET EVER VIRGIN, TOGETHER WITH ALL THE SAINTS. AND LET US COMMIT OURSELVES AND ONE ANOTHER AND OUR WHOLE LIFE TO CHRIST OUR GOD. AMEN.

6th Sunday After Pentecost

Tone (5) Plagal 1

4 July 2010

6th Sunday of St Matthew – Paralytic & Friends: Faith & Forgiveness
Feast of St Andrew of Crete (Composer of the Great Canon); St Michael Choniates of Athens; St Martha (mother of St Symeon Stylites the Younger); St Asclepsios the Wonderworker; the Holy Imperial Martyrs of Russia: St Nicholas II Emperor & St Alexandra Empress and their children: St Olga, St Tatiana, St Maria, St Anastasia and St Alexis
RE SURRE CTION A POL YTIK ION – T ONE (5 ) PL AGAL 1

Ton

sinanarhon Logon Patri ke Pnevmati, ton ek Parthenou tehthenta is Sotirian imon, animnisomen, Pisti, ke proskinisomen. Oti ivdokise Sarki anelthin en to Stavro ke Thanaton ipomine ke egire tous tethneotas en ti Evdoxo Anastasi Aftou.
O F THE EVE R BLESSED THEOT OKO S

The

Word, Who with the Father and the Spirit has no beginning, and Who, for our Salvation, was born of a Virgin, let us Faithful believers hymn and adore. For it was His Good Pleasure to ascend the Cross in the Flesh, and to Suffer Death, and through His own Glorious Resurrection to raise the dead.

KO NT AKION

Prostasia

ton Hristianon akateskhinte, mesitia pros ton Piitin ametathete, mi Paridis, amartolon deiseon fonas, alla profthason os Agathi, is tin voithian imon, ton Pistos kravgazonton Si: Tahinon is Presvian, ke spefson is ikesian, i prostatevousa ai, Theotoke, ton timonton Se.

O Protector of the Christians unashamed, Mediator to the
Creator Immovable: despise not, the pleading voices of those in sin, but hasten O Good One, to the aid of all who in Faith cry out to Thee: hasten Thine Intercession, and present Thy Supplication, O Theotokos who always protects those who honour Thee!

Resurrection Gospel 6: Luke 24:35 – 53 - O U R
PROKEIMENON

LORD JESUS APPEARS TO THE APOSTLES & ASCENDS TO HEAVEN

O

Lord, protect us and preserve us both now and forever.

Save us, O Lord, for there is not one godly man left.

St Paul’s Epistle to the Romans 12 : 6 – 14
A LIFE OF DIVINE MERCY FOR ALL HUMANITY

Brethren: having Gifts that differ according to the Grace that is granted to us, let us use them: if prophecy, then let us prophesy in proportion to our Faith; or if ministry, let us use it in our ministering; those who teach, in their teaching; those who exhort, in their exhortation; those who give, give with liberality; those who lead, lead with diligence; those who show mercy, do so with cheerfulness. Let Love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly Love, in honour giving preference to one another; not lagging in diligence; fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in Hope; patient in tribulation; continuing unwaveringly in Prayer; distributing to the needs of the Saints, given to hospitality...

V

WE

LIVE OUR FAITHFUL RELATIONSHIP WITH G O D I N H I S H O L Y C H U R C H , which is the Body of Christ, WITH HUMILITY, SINCERITY, AND THE PROPER USE OF ALL OUR SPIRITUAL GIFTS that have been

V

WHATEVER WE ACHIEVE, IS DUE TO THE GREAT MERCY AND INFINITE LOVE OF GOD. Consequently, WITHOUT FAIL, WE MUST WITH HUMBLE,
SINCERE AND DEEPEST GRATITUDE ASCRIBE ALL GLORY, HONOUR AND WORSHIP TO ALMIGHTY GOD.

granted to us by God.
MINISTRY – OUR HOLY SERVICE TO GOD THROUGH OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH OUR FELLOW SINNERS - REQUIRES US TO FUNCTION TOGETHER IN DIVERSITY.

While Faithful Disciples of Christ are Justified by Faith, our
FAITH IS INTIMATELY UNITED TO OUR AUTHENTIC GOOD WORKS, WHICH EXPOSE AND EXPRESS OUR TRUE STATE AND DEGREE OF FAITH.

In other words: no matter how different and unique each of us is, WE CAN STILL WORK TOGETHER HARMONIOUSLY FOR
THE SPIRITUAL AND PHYSICAL BENEFIT OF ONE ANOTHER.

V

V

EVERYONE IS IMPORTANT IN WAYS KNOWN ONLY TO GOD. So we should NEVER FEEL INSIGNIFICANT NOR THINK THAT WHAT WE SAY, WHAT WE DO, AND WHAT WE THINK IS OF NO IMPORTANCE TO ANYONE ELSE.

FAITH AND GOOD SEPARATED.

WORKS

CANNOT

BE

We have an effect on everything else that surrounds us because IT IS NOT MERELY BY CHANCE THAT EACH OF US EXISTS. We are all significant pieces of God’s Divine Plan of Eternal Love. Our Spiritual Journey through this life is not a solo endeavour.
WE ALL PROCEED TOWARDS ETERNITY TOGETHER, THROUGH THIS LIFE OF SPIRITUAL PREPARATION. Therefore, WE MUST ENCOURAGE, ASSIST AND SUPPORT EACH OTHER as we slowly progress towards our ultimate

UNLESS WE LEARN TO LOVE ONE ANOTHER UNCONDITIONALLY AND RENOUNCE OUR DESTRUCTIVE SINS, WE CANNOT EXPECT TO PARTICIPATE IN THE ETERNAL KINGDOM OF GOD – A STATE OF PERPETUAL LOVE, PEACE AND JOY.

We only have our short life-time to prepare and to improve ourselves to become worthy Heavenly Citizens. This is the entire purpose of earthly life and we should not waste a moment of it on nonsense or worthless matters that cause our alienation from God and which stunt our Spiritual Growth.
THE HOLY GOSPEL TEACHINGS OF CHRIST AND THOSE OF ST PAUL AND THE OTHER APOSTLES ARE OUR “SPIRITUAL GUIDEBOOKS” OR “MAPS” THAT POINT US IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION TOWARDS ETERNAL LIFE. PAY CLOSE ATTENTION TO THEIR WISDOM AND TRUTH.

Destination.
THE SEVEN SPIRITUAL GIFTS MENTIONED in this passage

should not be understood as being exhaustive since they
REPRESENT ALL THE INFINITE DIVINE GIFTS THAT GOD HAS GRANTED US.

V

EVERY BAPTISED CHRISTIAN IS CALLED TO S E R V E C H R I S T T H R O U G H H I S H O L Y C H U R C H BY MAKING FULL SPIRITUALLY PROFITABLE USE OF ALL THE GIFTS BESTOWED UPON US BY THE HOLY SPIRIT WHO ENABLES US TO DO EVEN THINGS THAT WE WOULD NEVER HAVE THOUGHT POSSIBLE!

All my happiness and unhappiness are in the thoughts and desires of my heart. If the thoughts of my heart are in accord with God's Truth, with the Will of God, then I am at rest, filled with Divine Light, Joy and Blessedness; if not, I am uneasy, filled with Spiritual Darkness that corrupts the soul, with heaviness and despondency. If I replace the false and ungodly thoughts of my heart by True and Godly thoughts, then rest, Blessedness and Joy return. ST. JOHN OF KRONSTADT

Before the war begins, seek out your ally; before you fall ill, seek out your physician; and before grievous things come upon you, pray, and in the time of your tribulations you will find Him, and He will listen to you. ST ISAAC OF SYRIA
6TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST – 6TH OF ST MATTHEW – THE FAITH OF THE PARALYTIC & HIS FRIENDS – 4 JULY 2010

(SPONSORED BY DIMITRI PAIZIS)

3

The Holy Gospel According to Matthew 9 : 1 – 8
THE PARALYTIC & HIS FRIENDS: FORGIVENESS & HEALING

At that time, our Lord Jesus got into a boat, crossed over, and arrived at His own city. Then, behold, they brought to Him a Paralytic lying on a bed and when Jesus saw their Faith, He said to the Paralytic: “Son, be of good cheer; your sins are forgiven you.” And at once the Scribes said within themselves: “This Man blasphemes!” But Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said: “Why do you think evil in your heart? For which is easier: to say: ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say: ‘Arise and walk!’ But that you may know that the Son of Man has Power on earth to forgive sins...” and then He turned to the Paralytic and said: “Arise, take up your bed, and return to your house.” And he arose and went to his house. Now, when the multitudes saw it, they marvelled and glorified God Who had given such Power to men. PERSONALLY, THEREBY FREEING HUMAN BEINGS FROM At this stage of His Life, our Lord Jesus Christ lived in the city SPIRITUAL BONDAGE AND SPIRITUAL DEATH CAUSED BY SIN. of Capernaum from whence He and His Apostles and THE FORGIVENESS OF SINS IS A FAR GREATER DIVINE MERCY Disciples would set out to spread His Divine Teachings and THAN THE PHYSICAL HEALING OF OUR BODIES. heal the afflicted. Without realising it, the hypocritical Scribes spoke the Truth As demonstrated by the young Paralytic and his four when they said that O N L Y G O D C A N F O R G I V E determined friends who had made a hole in the roof of the SIN! house so that, with ropes attached to his bed upon which Our Lord Jesus Christ would never have blasphemed to such a he lay, he could be set down right before Christ Whom they degree by claiming Divine Powers if He was not entitled to knew with certainty could heal him, FAITH IS AN them!! INDISPENSABLE CONDITION FOR OUR SALVATION. (MARK 2:1-12 &
LUKE 5 : 17 – 26)

FAITH IS NOT ONLY PERSONAL BUT ALSO COLLECTIVE as was

unmistakable from the Faith of the Paralytic and his friends - their absolute determination and confidence of Faith contributed towards the Paralytic’s Miraculous Healing.
THREE SIGNS OF OUR LORD JESUS’ DIVINITY ARE REVEALED:

HIS WORDS OF DIVINE TRUTH EMPHASISE AND CONFIRM HIS DIVINE NATURE – THE TRUTH THAT O U R L O R D J E S U S CHRIST IS INDEED THE WORD AND SON OF GOD THE FATHER – TRULY GOD OF GOD AND GOD INCARNATE – GOD-MAN.

V V V

HE K N O W S A L L S E C R E T S OF THE HEART – NOTHING IS HIDDEN FROM HIM. HE T R U L Y F O R G I V E S S I N S – A DIVINE POWER THAT ONLY GOD POSSESSES HE H E A L S B Y T H E P O W E R O F H I S D I V I N E W O R D – HIS HEALING IS IMMEDIATE.

It is far easier to grant the Miracle of physical healing - even through others but T R U E S P I R I T U A L H E A L I N G
COMES ONLY BY THE DIRECT ACTION AND WILL OF GOD HIMSELF. ALTHOUGH OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST IS FULLY GOD AND ACCORDINGLY POSSESSES DIVINE AUTHORITY TO FORGIVE SINS, HE HEALED THE PARALYTIC IN FRONT OF THE GATHERED MULTITUDE IN ORDER T O DRAW THEM CLOSER TO ALMIGHTY GOD WHOM THEY THEN CORRECTLY GLORIFIED AND WORSHIPPED FOR HIS GREAT MERCY.

One of the important Divine Purposes of God Incarnate coming into our world was TO FORGIVE SINS DIRECTLY AND

“Be of Good Cheer – Your Sins are Forgiven!”
What are OUR SINS THAT NEED TO BE FORGIVEN? Our sins are OUR IMPERFECTIONS OF CHARACTER. Our sins are OUR PERSONAL FLAWS THAT HAVE CORRUPTED
THE PERFECTION WITH WHICH GOD CREATED US.

In each of these cases, THE DIVINE FORGIVENESS OF OUR
LORD JESUS CHRIST IS BESTOWED UPON THE REPENTANT “... your sins are SINNER with the proclamation:

Sin takes many forms but it is all ROOTED IN OUR ABUSE OF
OUR CREATED BEING – THE MISHANDLING OR EXPLOITATION OF OUR GOD-GIVEN FREE WILL – OUR PERSONAL FREEDOM AND ABILITY TO CHOOSE. In particular WE MANIPULATE OUR PERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS WITH GOD AND OUR FELLOW HUMAN BEINGS TO SUIT OURSELVES – TO SUIT OUR OWN SELFISH PURPOSES RATHER THAN FOR OUR MUTUAL SPIRITUAL BENEFIT AND WELFARE. WHEN WE SIN WE PLACE OURSELVES ABOVE GOD BY PUTTING OUR OWN DESIRES BEFORE OUR RIGHTFUL OBEDIENCE TO GOD. SIN IS SPIRITUAL REBELLION THAT PUTS US IN CONFLICT WITH GOD AND OUR FELLOW SINNERS. ALL HUMAN BEINGS (HOMO SAPIENS) ARE CREATED IN THE LIKENESS AND IMAGE OF GOD Who said: “Let Us make man in Our

forgiven you.” Consequently, BEFORE ANY PHYSICAL HEALING MAY OCCUR, WE NEED TO RECEIVE GOD’S SPIRITUAL HEALING and in order to do so, WE MUST FIRST TRULY BELIEVE AND TRUST
IN GOD.

This requirement of Faith in God was clearly obvious in the case of the Epileptic Son whose desperate, loving father besought our Lord Jesus Christ: “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief.” (MARK 9:24)
AS SOON AS TRUE BELIEF IS ESTABLISHED, ACTION MUST BE TAKEN, WHICH IS TRUE FAITH IN GOD – COMPLETE CONFIDENCE AND TRUST IN GOD.

The friends of the Paralytic vividly demonstrated their True Belief and Faith in God by their DETERMINATION TO
GAIN THE PERSONAL ATTENTION OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST BY ANY MEANS POSSIBLE – IN TOTAL DISREGARD FOR ANY OBSTACLES THAT STOOD IN THEIR WAY.

Image, after Our Likeness.” (GENESIS 1:26) Due to our ability to commit sin, WE HAVE LOST MOST OF
OUR LIKENESS OF GOD ALTHOUGH WE STILL RETAIN OUR IMAGE OF GOD (AND, AS OUR LORD JESUS TAUGHT US, WE SHOULD SEE THE
IMAGE OF CHRIST IN EVERYONE AND LOVE THEM AS MUCH AS WE PROFESS TO LOVE GOD!)

Consequently, ALL OUR CONFLICTS IN LIFE ARE DUE TO OUR
INCOMPATIBILITY WITH AND OPPOSITION TO THE DIVINE IMAGE AND LIKENESS THAT EXISTS WITHIN US. THIS CONFLICT IS NOT ONLY BETWEEN OURSELVES AND ONE ANOTHER, BUT ALSO WITH GOD WITH WHOM WE WERE CREATED TO LIVE IN HARMONY. WE WERE CREATED TO SUBMIT OUR FREE WILL TO HIS DIVINE WILL IN ORDER TO ENJOY A PEACEFUL HARMONY WITH GOD. However, WHILE WE DELIBERATELY CHALLENGE OR REBEL AGAINST GOD, DISRESPECT OR IGNORE OTHER PEOPLE AND THE IMAGE AND LIKENESS OF GOD WITHIN US, OUR SOUL BECOMES WOUNDED AND ILL. Our soul becomes injured and darkened because it is CUT OFF FROM THE DIVINE LIGHT OF OUR CREATOR WHO NOURISHES US WITH THE FRUIT OF THE TREE OF LIFE. This LACK OF SPIRITUAL NOURISHMENT WEAKENS OUR SOUL. EVENTUALLY, IN THE WORST UNREPENTED STATE A SPIRITUALLY DARKENED OR DEAD SOUL CAN NO LONGER RESPOND TO DIVINE GOODNESS AND IT BECOMES PARALYZED much like the young man in today’s

The Faith of the Paralytic himself is described by St Nikolai Velimirovic as follows: “Anyone in his right mind, were he to have no Faith, would scarcely allow others to drag him along the streets on his bed and – even more important - haul him up onto the roof and let him down into the house.”
WHEN WE ARE SPONTANEOUSLY COMPELLED TO ACT IN FAITH WE REVEAL OUR GENUINE REPENTANCE, WHICH IS AN UNCONDITIONAL AND TOTAL CHANGE OF OUR PERSONAL BEHAVIOUR, THINKING AND ATTITUDE. THOSE WHO HAVE SUFFERED SEVERE SPIRITUAL DEATH (A SERIOUS THEIR SPIRITUAL LIFE THE MOMENT THEY RECOGNISE THEIR PROFOUND LOSS OF EVERYTHING GOOD THAT COMES FROM GOD. THEY WILL EXPERIENCE AN INTENSE, PAINFUL YEARNING FOR THEIR RECONCILIATION WITH GOD AND ALL HIS BLESSINGS, and THEY WILL BE EAGER TO SEEK DIVINE FORGIVENESS THROUGH REPENTANCE-CONFESSION. TRUE REPENTANCE IS THE ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OR REALISATION THAT WE CANNOT LIVE PROPERLY OR TO THE FULLEST DEGREE WITHOUT GOD. TRUE REPENTANCE IS THE RECOGNITION, ACKNOWLEDGEMENT AND ADMISSION OF THE BROKENNESS, THE SICKNESS OR THE DAMAGE AND SPIRITUAL DARKNESS AND IMPERFECTION OF OUR SINSOILED SOUL.
ALIENATION AND SELF-EXCOMMUNICATION FROM GOD WICKEDNESS OR APOSTASY ) ARE ABLE TO REGAIN THROUGH LONG-TERM

V V

Sacred Lesson.
WHEN OUR SOUL BECOMES SPIRITUALLY SICKENED, WE OFTEN EXPERIENCE PHYSICAL ILLNESS.

This was often apparent according to many of the Holy Gospel accounts concerning the healings of those who were blind, epileptic, deaf and dumb and paralysed.

Without our sincere Repentance we cannot expect to be granted any forgiveness, or healing or restoration of Divine Grace.

4

((SPONSORED BY DIMITRI PAIZIS)

6TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST – 6TH OF ST MATTHEW – THE FAITH OF THE PARALYTIC & HIS FRIENDS – 4 JULY 2010

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TRUE REPENTANCE IS A PERSONAL WILLINGNESS OR EAGERNESS TO SUBMIT OR TO SURRENDER OUR FREE WILL (WHICH IS IMMATURE AND FLAWED) TO GOD’S PERFECT, ALL WISE AND LOVING WILL, IN THE ASSURANCE THAT ONLY HE KNOWS WHAT IS GOOD FOR US AND ONLY HE CAN PROVIDE US WITH EVERYTHING NECESSARY FOR OUR PHYSICAL WELFARE AND OUR SPIRITUAL DEVELOPMENT AND PROGRESS. TRUE REPENTANCE IS THE LAYING DOWN OF OUR EGOCENTRIC IMPERFECTIONS BEFORE GOD, BESEECHING HIS FORGIVENESS, DIVINE HEALING AND RESTORATION OF HIS DIVINE GRACE, WHEREBY ALL THINGS ARE MADE POSSIBLE FOR US.
50(51):17)

THE RESURRECTION OF CHRIST ALLOWED OUR CORRUPTED GOD-LIKE IMAGE TO BE RESTORED TO ITS FORMER PERFECT STATE OF DIVINE GRACE IN A CLOSE, INTIMATE RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD.

The threat of permanent, Eternal brokenness or imperfections of our Divine Likeness and Image caused by our stubborn rebellion, disobedience and wickedness was healed – was Redeemed, Saved or paid for by CHRIST’S SACRIFICE of Himself on the Cross, which ALLOWED ALL HUMAN BEINGS TO BE FORGIVEN,
HEALED AND RESTORED TO OUR NATURAL CREATED STATE.

“Sacrifices to God are a contrite spirit; a contrite and humble heart, O God, Thou wilt not despise...” (PSALM Another profound illustration of brokenness and utter Humility is the Ultimate Sacrifice of our Lord God and Saviour, Jesus Christ, upon the Cross.
HIS BROKEN, BEATEN, SCOURGED AND BLEEDING BODY WAS OFFERED ON THE LIFE-GIVING CROSS AS REDEMPTION OR RANSOM (PAYMENT FOR THE FREEDOM) FOR ALL THE SINS OF THE ENTIRE FALLEN WORLD!

Taking courage and comfort from the words of our Lord in today’s Sacred Lesson, WE CAN JOYFULLY AND cheer; your sins are forgiven you!” (MATTHEW 9:2) In conclusion, my dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, be of Good Cheer as WE ALL CONTINUE IN OUR UNWAVERING,
DEDICATED FAITH IN GOD AND WITH OUR CEASELESS REPENTANCE SO THAT OUR PERSONAL BROKENNESS OF SOUL MAY BE FOREVERMORE HEALED BY OUR LORD GOD AND SAVIOUR JESUS CHRIST. CONFIDENTLY CONTINUE OUR SPIRITUAL JOURNEY WITH RENEWED ENERGY AND DETERMINATION: “Be of good

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The Supreme and Most Perfect, Pure Sacrifice of Christ resulted in THE GLORIOUS RESURRECTION THAT REOPENED THE GATES OF PARADISE TO ALL REPENTANT, FAITHFUL PEOPLE – THROUGHOUT ALL TIME AND FOR ALL HUMANITY!

Amen
ADAPTED & EDITED BY MP: SERMON DELIVERED BY FR. MILAN MEDAKOVIC AT HOLY TRINITY THE SERBIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH ON THE 6TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST 2009. http://frmilan.wordpress.com/2009/07/19/sermon-6th-sundayafter-pentecost/

St Peter of Damascus – A Treasury of Divine Knowledge (Part 2)
OFTEN PEOPLE WHO, BECAUSE OF PERSONAL TEMPERAMENT OR OUT OF HABIT, DO IN FACT, CHOOSE WHAT IS GOOD IN CERTAIN SITUATIONS AND HATE WHAT IS EVIL. THEY LOVE THE SUPRANATURAL GOD WITH ALL THEIR SOUL AND THEY IMITATE HIS DISPASSION WITH ALL THEIR STRENGTH. Yet since WE ARE IGNORANT NOT MERELY OF OURSELVES AND OF WHAT WE DO, BUT ALSO OF THE PURPOSE OF WHAT IS DONE AND OF THE TRUE GOAL OF EVERYTHING, Holy

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And THERE ARE ALSO GOOD THOUGHTS, as Holy Scripture confirms, ALTHOUGH THEY REQUIRE THE DISCRIMINATION OF THOSE WHO POSSESS EXPERIENCE.
WITHOUT DISCRIMINATION, EVEN THOSE THOUGHTS THAT MAY SEEM TO BE GOOD, MIGHT NOT, IN FACT, BE GOOD, EITHER BECAUSE THEY COME AT THE WRONG TIME, OR ARE UNNECESSARY, OR UNWORTHY, OR ARE NOT PROPERLY UNDERSTOOD.

Unless both the questioner and those who are questioned are attentive not only to Holy Scripture but also to the question raised, THEY WILL MISS THE MEANING OF WHAT
HAS BEEN SAID, AND THE RESULTING DAMAGE WILL BE SERIOUS.

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Scripture and the words of the Saints, whether Prophets and Righteous men of old or more recent Holy Fathers, appear to us to be contradictory and those who wish to be Saved appear to disagree with one another. However, in reality, this is not the case. In the nature of things, IF WE WANT TO BE SAVED, NO
PERSON AND NOT TIME, PLACE OR OCCUPATION CAN PREVENT US.

I myself have often found this, both when asking and when being asked; and when afterwards I have understood the true sense of the passage under discussion, I have been amazed to learn how THE WORDS CAN BE THE SAME,
BUT THE MEANING VERY DIFFERENT.

We must not, however, act contrary to the Objective that we have in view, but must – WITH DISCRIMINATION – REFER
EVERY THOUGHT TO THE DIVINE PURPOSE OF GOD.

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Thus WE NEED DISCRIMINATION IN ALL THINGS IF WE ARE
TO KNOW HOW TO ACT SO AS TO DO THE WILL OF GOD.

THINGS DO NOT HAPPEN OUT OF NECESSITY; THEY DEPEND ON THOSE THROUGH WHOM THEY OCCUR. WE DO NOT SIN AGAINST OUR WILL, BUT WE FIRST ASSENT TO AN EVIL THOUGHT AND SO FALL INTO SPIRITUAL CAPTIVITY.

Then THE THOUGHT ITSELF CARRIES US FORCIBLY AND
AGAINST OUR WISHES INTO SIN.

GOD, AS THE CREATOR of all things, knows our nature

thoroughly and HAS ORDERED ALL THINGS FOR OUR BENEFIT.
HE HAS LAID DOWN LAWS THAT ACCORD (AGREE) (HUMAN) NATURE AND ARE NOT ALIEN TO IT. WITH OUR

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Nevertheless, God’s Laws are not capable of leading to Perfection those who voluntarily aspire to attain Him in a manner that transcends nature, for that requires the more than natural qualities of virginity (CELIBACY) deliberate poverty (ASCETICISM) and Humility – not of gratitude, for this is natural.
HUMILITY IS MORE THAN NATURAL, SINCE THOSE WHO ARE TRULY HUMBLE PURSUE EVERY VIRTUE AND, ALTHOUGH NOT DEBTORS, WILL REGARD THEMSELVES AS THE GREATEST DEBTORS OF ALL.

The same is true of SINS THAT OCCUR THROUGH IGNORANCE, which ARISE FROM SINS CONSCIOUSLY COMMITTED. For, unless we are drunk with either wine or desire, WE ARE
NOT UNAWARE OF WHAT WE ARE DOING.

But such DRUNKENNESS OBSCURES THE INTELLECT AND SO IT
FALLS, AND DIES AS A RESULT. YET THAT
(SPIRITUAL)

DEATH

HAS NOT COME ABOUT INEXPLICABLY, for it has been UNWITTINGLY INDUCED BY THE DRUNKENNESS TO WHICH WE CONSCIOUSLY ASSENTED.

We

will find MANY INSTANCES, ESPECIALLY IN OUR THOUGHTS, WHERE WE FALL FROM WHAT IS WITHIN OUR

Those who are grateful, on the other hand, will simply acknowledge the debt they owe to God. Similarly, THOSE WHO ARE MERCIFUL AND WHO PERFORM
THEIR ACTS OF CHARITY BY DRAWING ON THEIR OWN POSSESSIONS, REMAIN WITHIN THE BOUNDS OF NATURE, AND DO NOT GO BEYOND THEM LIKE THOSE WHO DELIBERATELY GIVE AWAY ALL THEY POSSESS.

CONTROL TO WHAT IS OUTSIDE OUR CONTROL; and FROM WHAT WE ARE CONSCIOUSLY AWARE OF TO WHAT IS UNWITTING (UNCONSCIOUS OR UNINTENTIONAL.) BUT BECAUSE THE FIRST STATE – OF WHICH WE ARE IN CONTROL AND CONSCIOUSLY AWARE – APPEARS UNIMPORTANT AND ATTRACTIVE, WE SLIP UNINTENTIONALLY AND UNAWARES INTO THE SECOND STATE – THAT WHICH IS BEYOND OUR CONTROL AND OF WHICH WE ARE IGNORANT.

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Yet, IF FROM THE START WE HAD WANTED TO KEEP (OBEY)
THE COMMANDMENTS AND TO REMAIN AS WE WERE WHEN WE WERE BAPTISED, WE WOULD NOT HAVE FALLEN INTO SO MANY SINS OR HAVE NEEDED THE TRIALS AND TRIBULATIONS OF REPENTANCE.

Again, MARRIAGE IS NATURAL, WHILE VIRGINITY MORE THAN NATURAL GRACE.

(CELIBACY)

IS

THOSE WHO REMAIN WITHIN THE BOUNDS OF NATURE ARE SAVED IF THEY ABANDON THEIR OWN WILL AND FULFIL THE WILL OF GOD; BUT TO THOSE WHO TRANSCEND THESE BOUNDS, GOD WILL GRANT THE CROWN OF ENDURANCE AND GLORY, because THEY HAVE RENOUNCED NOT ONLY WHAT IS FORBIDDEN BY THE LAW, BUT ALSO, WITH GOD’S HELP, THEIR OWN NATURE.

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If we so wish, however, GOD’S SECOND GIFT OF GRACE –
REPENTANCE – CAN LEAD US BACK TO OUR FORMER BEAUTY.

However, IF WE FAIL TO REPENT, INEVITABLY WE WILL DEPART
WITH THE UNREPENTANT DEMONS INTO AGE-LONG

(SPONSORED BY DIMITRI PAIZIS)

6TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST – 6TH OF ST MATTHEW – THE FAITH OF THE PARALYTIC & HIS FRIENDS – 4 JULY 2010

5

PUNISHMENT, MORE BY OUR OWN FREE CHOICE THAN AGAINST OUR WILL!

GOD NEVER FORCES US TO DO HIS WILL, SO WHAT ST PETER OF DAMASCUS IS TRYING TO MAKE US UNDERSTAND, IS THAT W H E N W E E A G E R L Y , W I L L I N G L Y A N D L O V I N G L Y

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GOD DID NOT CREATE US FOR WRATH BUT FOR HIS SA LVA TI ON , S O THA T WE MI G HT EN JO Y H I S D I V I N E B L E S S I N G S ; and we should therefore

S U R R E N D E R O U R F R E E W I L L T O G O D THROUGH DEVOUT SERVICE TO HIM IN TRUE HUMILITY AND OBEDIENCE, W E W I L L B E A B L E T O D O H I S W I L L – ACCORDING TO HIS DIVINE WILL – I.E. WE WILL OBEY GOD THE FATHER’S WILL THROUGH
OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST, BY THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT WHO MAKES EVERYTHING POSSIBLE FOR US TO DO. THIS IS A DIVINE RESPONSE TO OUR CONSTANT PRAYER OF OBEDIENCE AND LOVE: “O LORD,

be thankful and grateful to our Merciful Benefactor. Nevertheless, OUR FAILURE TO GET TO KNOW HIS DIVINE
GIFTS HAS MADE US INDOLENT, AND INDOLENCE HAS MADE US FORGETFUL, WITH THE RESULT THAT IGNORANCE CONTROLS US.

LET IT BE

A C C O R D I N G T O T H Y W I L L ... AND NOT MY WILL!”

THOSE WHO FAITHFULLY FULFIL GOD’S WILL ARE CALLED “SONS OF GOD,” BECAUSE THEY WILL (WANT, WISH, DESIRE) THE WILL OF OUR HEAVENLY FATHER, JUST LIKE OUR LORD JESUS, the Son of God, Who is also God. Yet IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO DISCOVER THE WILL OF GOD UNLESS WE KEEP HIS DIVINE COMMANDMENTS, thereby cutting off all self indulgent pleasure or personal will, AND UNLESS WE ENDURE ALL THE PAIN THAT THIS INVOLVES. PLEASURE AND PAIN are born of folly, and they GIVE RISE TO ALL EVIL, for THOSE WHO ARE FOOLISH LOVE THEMSELVES AND CANNOT LOVE THEIR BRETHREN OR GOD. THE FOOLISH CANNOT REFRAIN FROM PLEASURE NOR FROM THEIR DESIRES THAT ENTICE THEM WITH MERE TEMPORARY GRATIFICATION; NOR CAN THEY ENDURE ANY PAIN.

We have to MAKE STRENUOUS EFFORTS when we first try to return from whence we fell because WE RESENT
ABANDONING OUR OWN DESIRES, AND WE THINK THAT WE CAN CARRY OUT BOTH GOD’S WILL AND OUR OWN – WHICH IS IMPOSSIBLE!

Our Lord Himself said: “I have come to do - not My own Will - but the Will of My Father Who sent Me,” EVEN
THOUGH THE DIVINE WILL OF THE FATHER, THE SON AND HOLY SPIRIT IS ONE, since the Holy Trinity constitutes a single, inseparable Divine Nature. (JOHN 6:38) OUR LORD JESUS SAID THIS on our account and WITH RESPECT TO THE WILL OF THE FLESH, for IF THE FLESH IS THE NOT CONSUMED (INSPIRED), AND IF WE ARE NOT WHOLLY LED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT OF GOD, WE WILL NOT DO THE WILL OF GOD UNLESS WE ARE FORCED TO DO SO.

Although at times they may get what they want and experience pleasure and elation, THERE ARE TIMES WHEN
PASSIONATE CRAVINGS OR DESIRES ARE NOT SATISFIED AND, BEING COMPLETELY OVERWHELMED AND CRUSHED BY THE PAIN ENGENDERED BY INTENSE FRUSTRATION AND DESPAIR, THEY ARE CAST DOWN AND DEJECTED, EXPERIENCING A FORETASTE OF HELL!
ADAPTED & EDITED BY MP: “THE PHILOKALIA” Volume 3 – TRANSLATED FROM THE GREEK & EDITED BY GEH PALMER, PHILIP SHERRARD & BISHOP KALLISTOS WARE

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Subsequently W H E N T H E D I V I N E G R A C E O F T H E
H O L Y S P I R I T R U L E S W I T H I N U S , WE NO LONGER HAVE A WILL OF OUR OWN, A N D W H A T E V E R W E DO IS ACCORDING TO GOD’S WILL. ONLY THEN ARE WE REALLY AT PEACE!

The Wisdom of Elder Paisios of Mount Athos – If you are conscious to All Disciples of Christcut the sinfulness Spiritual Advice of sinful actions in yourself,
I whole heartedly wish that in the beautiful Garden of our Virgin Mary you may BE A LAMB DECORATED WITH
SPIRITUAL VIRTUES.

DO out of LOOKsoul by thinking of theDO, OR EXAMINEthat you NOT your AT WHAT OTHERS infinite blessings HOW OR hope to THEY DO god isFOR and compassionate. ST ANTHONY THE WHY receive. For IT, just YOUR OWN GOAL IS THE GREAT PURIFICATION OF YOUR SOUL AND THE PERFECT SUBMISSION OF YOUR MIND TO DIVINE GRACE. STUDY, AND HUMBLY SAY THE JESUS PRAYER, BEING AWARE THAT YOU ABSOLUTELY NEED GOD’S MERCY.

You must TAKE CARE OF THE PURIFICATION OF YOUR SOUL
ON A DAILY BASIS.

Do everything for the sake of your Spiritual Goal: PRAY, In other words: PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR SPIRITUAL WORK. If you apply these things, then THE GRACE OF CHRIST WILL
COME AT THE RIGHT TIME – WHEN HE KNOWS THAT IT MUST BE GRANTED TO YOU.

You must ACQUIRE DIVINE JUSTICE AND NOT LOGIC; for only then the Grace of our Christ will come to you.
BEFORE YOU DO SOMETHING, CONSIDER WHETHER OUR LORD AND SAVIOUR WOULD WANT YOU TO DO SO, and only THEN ACT ACCORDINGLY.

You must PERFECTLY PRACTISE OBEDIENCE so that you may later TALK TO OTHERS CONCERNING THE VIRTUE OF OBEDIENCE.
THE “NO” YOU SAY TO OTHERS MUST BE “NO,” AND THE “YES” MUST BE “YES.” DO NOT PRETEND, but SAY WHATEVER YOU THINK, even if it

In order for Divine Grace to come to us, CHRIST MUST IN
SOME WAY BE TOUCHED BY OUR LOVE, OUR KINDNESS AND OUR HUMILITY. Only then will He grant us His Divine Grace. Moreover, THE TRANSMITTER (CHRIST) AND THE RECEIVER (OUR SOUL) MUST BE TUNED INTO THE SAME FREQUENCY. OBEDIENT DISCIPLES WILL DO WHATEVER OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST TELLS THEM TO DO, and CHRIST WILL DO WHATEVER THEY ASK FOR, PROVIDED THEIR ACTS AND THEIR “FREQUENCY” IS THE SAME. OTHERWISE, the batteries will be used in vain – meaning OUR PROSTRATIONS, PRAYERS AND FASTING, ETC WILL BE USELESS – OF NO SPIRITUAL VALUE.
ADAPTED & EDITED BY MP: “ELDER PAISIOS OF THE HOLY MOUNTAIN” BY PRIEST-MONK CHRISTODOULOS OF MOUNT ATHOS

hurts the other person; say it IN A GOOD MANNER however, AND ALSO GIVE SOME EXPLANATIONS. You must have and MAINTAIN THIS SPIRITUAL DIGNITY: ALWAYS PAY ATTENTION to what pleases your fellow Disciples of Christ and not to what pleases yourself. Every day you should READ A SECTION OF THE NEW
TESTAMENT FOR THE PURIFICATION OF YOUR SOUL.

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St John Klimakos - The Ladder of Divine Ascent
DISREGARD the feelings of THOSE who speak to you about THEIR NEIGHBOURS disparagingly, AND SAY TO THEM: `Stop, brother! I fall into graver sins every day, so how can I criticize OTHERS?' In this way you will achieve two things: y o u w i l l h e a l yourself and your neighbourS with one plaster. This is one of the shortest ways to the forgiveness of sins - I mean, not to judge! CONSTANTLY KEEP IN MIND THE COMMANDMENT OF OUR LORD AND SAVIOUR: `D O N O T J U D G E , a n d Y O U s h a l l n o t b e j u d g e d !' Fire and water are incompatible; and so is judging others in those who want to truly repent. If you see someone falling into sin at the very moment of his death, even then do not judge him, because the divine judgement is hidden from human beings.

Some have fallen openly into great sins, but they have done greater good deeds in secret; so their critics are tricked (INTO SIN THEMSELVES) getting smoke instead of the sin.
(DECEPTION INSTEAD OF GOD’S TRUTH)

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(

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Listen to me! Listen, all you malicious reckoners of others’’ accounts! If it is true (as it really is true) that ‘... with what judgement you judge, you shall be judged,...’ then whatever sins we accuse others of committing –whether physical or spiritual – we shall fall into ourselves! That is most certain! To judge others is a shameless arrogation of the divine prerogative; to condemn is the ruin of one’s soul! Some who have committed the gravest sins in secret and without exposure often harshly inveighed* in public against others who had suffered petty falls. (*SPOKEN ANGRILY IN
CRITICISM OR PROTEST OF OTHERS)

6

((SPONSORED BY DIMITRI PAIZIS)

6TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST – 6TH OF ST MATTHEW – THE FAITH OF THE PARALYTIC & HIS FRIENDS – 4 JULY 2010

Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria & All Africa Archdiocese of Good Hope
ALL GLORY, HONOUR AND WORSHIP TO THE FATHER, AND TO THE SON, AND TO THE HOLY SPIRIT, NOW AND EVER, AND UNTO THE AGES OF AGES. AMEN. REMEMBERING ALSO OUR MOST HOLY, MOST PURE, MOST BLESSED AND GLORIOUS LADY, MARIA, BIRTH GIVER OF GOD, YET EVER VIRGIN, TOGETHER WITH ALL THE SAINTS. AND LET US COMMIT OURSELVES AND ONE ANOTHER AND OUR WHOLE LIFE TO CHRIST OUR GOD. AMEN.

6 July 2010

The Feast of St Athanasios the Athonite – Founder of the Great Lavra Monastery
Also the Feast of St Lampados the Wonderworker; St Kyprianos the New Martyr of Koutloumousiou Monastery; St Sergios of Radonezh – the Uncovering of his Incorruptible Holy Relics in 1422; St Elizabeth the Grand Duchess & St Barbara the Novice, together with their fellow Martyrs: St Sergios Mikhailovich the Grand Duke, St John, St Constantine & St Igor Russian Princes, and their Brethren: St Vladimir Paley, Prince & St Theodore Remez – Holy Martyrs of Russia
A POL YT IKION O F ST ATH AN A SIO S THE A THONI TE – TON E 3

Tin en sarki zoin sou kateplagisan, Angelon tagmata, pos The
meta somatos, pros aoratou simplokas, ehorisas aidime, ke katetravmatisas, ton demonon tas falangas. Othen Ahtanasie, O Hristos Se imipsato dorees plousies. Dio Pater Presveve, sothine tas psihas imon.
KO NT AKION O F THE EVE R BLESSED THEOT OKO S

Order of Angels were astounded at Thy life in the flesh, and how bodily, into Unseen Warfare Thou ventured, O Ever Blessed, and wounded most severely the hordes of demons. Whence, O Athanasios, Christ rewarded Thee with Abundant Blessings. Therefore, O Father, Intercede so that our souls may be Saved!

Prostasia

ton Hristianon akateskhinte, mesitia pros ton Piitin ametathete, mi Paridis, amartolon deiseon fonas, alla profthason os agathi, is tin voithian imon, ton pistos kravgazonton Si: Tahinon is presvian, ke spefson is ikesian, i prostatevousa ai, Theotoke, ton timonton se.

O Protector of the Christians unashamed, Mediator to the
Creator Immovable: despise not, the pleading voices of those in sin, but hasten O Good One, to the aid of all who in Faith cry out to Thee: hasten Thine Intercession, and present Thy Supplication, O Theotokos who always protects those who honour Thee!

PROKEIMENON

O

Lord, protect us and preserve us both now and forever.

Save us, O Lord, for there is not one godly man left.

St Paul’s Epistle to the Galatians 5 : 22 – 6 : 2
PASSIONS ERADICATING THE PASSIONS AND DOING GOOD TO ALL CREATION – ESPECIALLY OUR FELLOW SINNERS

Brethren: The Fruit of the Spirit is Love, Joy, Peace, Long-suffering, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ’s have crucified their flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not become conceited – provoking one another or envying one another. Brethren: if someone is overtaken in any trespass, you who are Spiritual must restore such a person in a spirit of Gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted. Bear each other’s burdens, and so fulfil the Law of Christ. For if anyone thinks himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself! GRANTS US FORGIVENESS OF SINS AND St Paul listed THE SPIRITUAL FRUITS (SPIRITUAL CONSEQUENCES,
RESULTS, REWARDS OR VIRTUES) THAT ARE GRANTED TO US BY THE HOLY SPIRIT WHO BY THE WILL OF GOD THE FATHER AND THROUGH OUR SAVIOUR, JESUS CHRIST, ENABLES US TO ATTAIN GREAT THINGS THAT ARE BEYOND OUR OWN PUNY HUMAN POWER OR ABILITIES.

ETERNAL LIFE!

® A S P I R I T U A L C O V E N A N T – God Incarnate – God Himself – has revealed and taught us THE TRUE
PURPOSE OF THIS LIFE.

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This earthly existence is A SHORT PREPARATORY PERIOD
DURING WHICH WE HAVE TO DEVELOP OUR SPIRITUAL STRENGTHS AND QUALITIES SO THAT WE MAY RETURN TO GOD FROM WHOM WE ORIGINATED. OUR PHYSICAL AND MENTAL STRUGGLES strengthen our souls, which ARE ENABLED, ASSISTED, GUIDED AND INSPIRED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT – and this is how we “...walk in the Spirit...” We must STRENGTHEN AND TRAIN OUR SOUL TO CONTROL THE DESIRES OF OUR FLESH – that is how we must “...

The wonderful FRUITS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT ARE VIRTUES

OR THE INDISPENSABLE QUALITIES ESSENTIAL TO OUR SPIRITUAL DEVELOPMENT AND WELFARE - FOR THE CONTINUATION OF GOOD, HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS WITH GOD AND OUR FELLOW HUMAN BEINGS. THE HOLY SPIRIT GRANTS US THESE VIRTUES FOR OUR LIFE OF SPIRITUAL STRUGGLE while we endure this difficult

preparatory period before Eternity .

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THE ONLY VIRTUE WE NEED DURING AND AFTER THIS LIFE IS THAT OF DIVINE LOVE – AGAPE – WITHOUT WHICH WE CANNOT EXPECT TO PARTICIPATE IN THE ETERNAL LIFE OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD – A PERPETUAL SPIRITUAL STATE OF PERFECT, DIVINE LOVE/AGAPE.

live in the (Holy) Spirit...” In other words, we must DEVELOP AND MAINTAIN OUR
SPIRITUAL PROFICIENCY THROUGH CONSTANT SPIRITUAL STRUGGLE, WHICH IS GUIDED AND ASSISTED BY GOD, IN ORDER TO CONTROL OUR PERSONAL PHYSICAL WEAKNESSES – THE DEMANDS OF THE FLESH - THAT THREATEN TO DOMINATE AND RULE US.

As Baptised Christians we are the adopted Children of God and rightful Heirs to His Eternal Kingdom. Therefore, we “are Christ’s” – HIS FAITHFUL DISCIPLES
WHO CONSTANTLY LEARN FROM HIM AND FOLLOW HIS PERFECT EXAMPLE, having “...crucified (our) flesh

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THIS IS THE ESSENTIAL PROCESS WHEREBY WE STRIVE TO REGAIN OUR LOST LIKENESS TO GOD so that we

with its passions and desires...” at our Baptism when we were Renewed and Regenerated, having committed ourselves to the New Covenant with God. THE NEW COVENANT IS: ® A N E T E R N A L H O L Y C O V E N A N T – it is infinite. The New Covenant with God is absolutely Perfect and It takes us into Eternity. ® A B L O O D L E S S C O V E N A N T – Christ offered Himself as the final, ultimate Blood Sacrifice that fulfilled all requirements and is everlasting. There is no need to make any further Blood Sacrifices (which were only temporary anyway!) for the forgiveness of our sins because now we have been granted THE HOLY MYSTERY OF EUCHARIST –
THE MYSTICAL SUPPER OF CHRIST – WHICH
(SPONSORED BY DIMITRI PAIZIS)

may return to His Eternal Kingdom of Love from whence our first ancestors, Adam and Eve, were banished due to their Disobedience to God. Furthermore, AS WE GAIN SPIRITUAL MATURITY, WE MUST –
WITH DEEP HUMILITY AND LOVE FOR OUR FELLOW SINNERS - BESEECH GOD FOR HIS DIVINE GRACE AND WISDOM so that we can properly and successfully

advise, encourage, support and assist those who are Spiritually Weak and Lost, as well as those who have fallen into a dangerous state of Spiritual Death.

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THE CRUCIAL VIRTUES BY DIVINE GRACE OF HUMILITY AND LOVE, PREVENT US FROM BEING JUDGEMENTAL, ARROGANT, DISPARAGING OR INSENSITIVE towards

our suffering and ailing Brethren. Consequently, SUCH TACTLESS AND CONCEITED ATTITUDES
ARE SPIRITUAL PRIDE RESULTING IN THE LOSS OF
5 JULY 2010

THE FEAST OF ST ATHANASIOS THE ATHONITE

7.

DIVINE GRACE AND CAUSING OUR OWN SPIRITUAL DEATH. WE ARE ALL JOURNEYING THROUGH THIS TEMPORARY, PREPARATORY LIFE TOGETHER AND WE ARE ALL SINNERS WHO ARE STRUGGLING TOWARDS THE SAME ULTIMATE DESTINATION – ETERNITY – WHETHER WE ARE BELIEVERS OR NOT!

Every human being has the same Sacred Task of helping, encouraging and supporting our fellow travellers.

SOONER OR LATER, WE ALL BECOME A LITTLE FATIGUED OR WEAK OR DISCOURAGED BY THE OBSTACLES AND PROBLEMS THAT WE MUST ENDURE. SO THOSE WHO ARE STRONGER MUST NOT HESITATE TO HELP THE WEAK AND AILING FOR THIS IS “... fulfilling the Law of Christ ...” WHICH IS THE ONLY SACRED PATH WHEREBY WE CAN BENEFICIALLY ACCOMPLISH OUR LIFE’S JOURNEY – AND W H E R E B Y W E W I L L B E JUDGED!

V

AS BRETHREN IN CHRIST AND DISCIPLES OF CHRIST WE MUST “...bear each other’s burdens...” BECAUSE,

The Holy Gospel According to St Matthew 12 : 27 – 30
THE DIVINITY OF OUR LORD AND SAVIOUR, JESUS CHRIST

HOLY PROPHET OF GOD: ISAIAH 42: 1-4: “Jacob is My Servant; I will help Him.

At that time, our Lord Jesus said: “... And if I cast out demons by Beelzebub, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore they shall be your judges. But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, surely the Kingdom of God has come upon you. Or how can One enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless He first binds the strong man? And then He will plunder his house. “He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters abroad!” OUR LORD’S REFUSAL TO FULL DISCLOSE HIS IDENTITY AS On this occasion our Lord Jesus Christ referred to him as THE DIVINE MESSIAH WAS FORESEEN BY ST ISAIAH THE the “ruler of the demons,” a direct reference to Satan. Israel is My Chosen; My Soul accepts Him. I put My Spirit upon Him; He will bring forth Judgement to the Gentiles. He will not cry out, nor raise His Voice, nor cause His Voice to be heard outside. A bruised reed He will not break, and smoking flax He will not quench; but He will bring forth Judgement in Truth. He will shine forth and not be broken until He establishes Judgement in the earth; and in His Name the Gentiles will hope.” The words: “... I put My Spirit upon Him...” is a reference to ALL THREE PERSONS OF THE HOLY TRINITY: “I” and “My” is GOD THE FATHER; “Him” and “He” is GOD THE WORD AND SON; and “Spirit” is GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT.
THE IMPOSSIBILITY OR IRRATIONALITY OF DEMONS FIGHTING AGAINST THEMSELVES ILLUSTRATED THE ABSURD PRIDE AND ENVY OF THE PHARISEES IN THEIR OBSESSIVE HOSTILITY TOWARDS OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST.

“The strong man” is an oblique reference to Satan who holds sway over the fallen human race but CHRIST IS
LORD OF ALL CREATION AND THEREFORE ALMIGHTY ALL POWERFUL – AND EVERYTHING IS ACCORDING TO GOD’S DIVINE WILL – so the fallen, evil ones – the

V

demons - possess only a limited amount of freedom and power. 1 JOHN 4:4: “You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He Who is in you is greater than he who is in the world!”
IT IS THE DIVINE MISSION OF CHRIST OUR SAVIOUR TO GATHER THE CHILDREN OF GOD, while THOSE WHO SCATTER ARE IN DIRECT CONFLICT WITH HIM.

THE REASONS FOR HIS SECRECY INCLUDED: ® THE GROWING HOSTILITY OF THE HEBREW LEADERS; ® THE MISUNDERSTANDING OF THE PEOPLE OF THE MESSIAH AS AN EARTHLY, POLITICAL LEADER, INSTEAD OF GOD HIMSELF; ® AND OUR LORD’S DESIRE TO EVOKE GENUINE FAITH IN THE HEBREWS THAT WAS NOT BASED SOLELY ON MARVELLOUS SIGNS OR MIRACLES.

Furthermore, they are different to those who work in Good Faith towards His Divine Purpose but who are not yet united to His Holy Church.

V

“Beelzebub” or Baal, was “the prince of the dung-heap” or “lord of the flies” – a horrible god worshipped by the Philistines. (4 KINGS 1 : 2 – 16)

ONLY GOOD DEEDS THAT ARE MOTIVATED BY THE LOVE OF CHRIST FOR OUR FELLOW BEINGS, PRODUCE GOOD AND ABUNDANT SPIRITUAL FRUIT FOR THE GLORY OF GOD. (READ ACTS 19:13 – 16) HOWEVER, DEEDS THAT ARE DONE FOR ANY OTHER PURPOSE

– “... even if they are good, are deeds that scatter abroad!” (ST SERAPHIM OF SAROV) because they resented his intrusion and distrusted his motives for trying to bring order and discipline to the Monks of Mount Athos. When Emperor Nicephoros II died, the enemies of St Athanasios prevailed and he was forced to leave Mount Athos. So he went to Cyprus where he remained until the new Emperor, John Tzimisces, resumed the Imperial Patronage of the Great Lavra. St Athanasios, encouraged and motivated by a Divine Vision, hastily returned to Mount Athos as a Hegumen (Abbot) and introduced a Typicon for Cenobites, which was based on those compiled by St Theodore the Studite and St Basil the Great of Caesarea. On 5 July (circa 1000) St Athanasios was killed, together with several workers, by falling masonry when the cupola (a small dome like structure) of his church collapsed. May his memory be Eternal! When we go to bed with a contented mind, we recall the blessings and generous providence of God. We are filled with Holy Thoughts and Great Joy. Then, while our body sleeps, our soul will keep watch. The closing of our eyes will bring us a True Vision of God. Our silence will be pregnant with Sanctity, and in sleep we will continue consciously to glorify the God of all with the full strength of our soul. For when evil is absent from us, our thankfulness is by itself more pleasing to god than lavish sacrifice: To Him be Glory through all the Ages. Amen (ST ANTHONY – ON THE CHARACTER OF MEN)

St Athanasios the Athonite
St Athanasios the Athonite, also known as “St Athanasios of Trebizond,” was a Byzantine Monk who founded the Monastic Community on Mount Athos, which evolved into the greatest centre of Eastern Orthodox Monasticism. St Athanasios, who was Baptised “Abraham,” was born and grew up in Trebizond, until an prominent man, named Michael Maleinos, became his Patron by financing his studies in Constantinople where the young Monk soon became renowned as a fervent Preacher. When Michael Maleinos’ nephew, Nicephoros Phocas, eventually ascended the Imperial Throne, St Athanasios, being perturbed by the lax morals of the Monks of Constantinople, changed his name to “Athanasios” and joined the Monks at Mount Kyminas in Bithynia, until 958 when he relocated to Mount Athos. St Athanasios helped to defend the Hermits and Sketes against the attacks of the Saracens and then began to incorporate the Sketes into what eventually became known as the Great Lavra, which was built with the financial assistance of Emperor Nicephoros. The Great Lavra Monastery was dedicated in 963 and remains in use to this day, often simply being referred to as “Lavra” or “The Monastery.” Three other Monasteries were founded shortly afterwards, which also continue to function to this day. During the construction of the Great Lavra, St Athanasios had to deal with considerable opposition from the established Hermits of Mount Athos

8.

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THE FEAST OF ST ATHANASIOS THE ATHONITE

5 JULY 2010

Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria & All Africa Archdiocese of Good Hope
ALL GLORY, HONOUR AND WORSHIP TO THE FATHER, AND TO THE SON, AND TO THE HOLY SPIRIT, NOW AND EVER, AND UNTO THE AGES OF AGES. AMEN. REMEMBERING ALSO OUR MOST HOLY, MOST PURE, MOST BLESSED AND GLORIOUS LADY, MARIA, BIRTH GIVER OF GOD, YET EVER VIRGIN, TOGETHER WITH ALL THE SAINTS. AND LET US COMMIT OURSELVES AND ONE ANOTHER AND OUR WHOLE LIFE TO CHRIST OUR GOD. AMEN.

7 July 2010

Feast of St Kyriake the Great Martyr of Nicomedia
Also the Feast of St Thomas the Confessor of Malea; St Akakios of Sinai; St Peregrine; St Evangelos & St Willibald of Eichstadt
A POL YT IKION O F FE MALE M AR T YR S – TONE 4

I

amnas Sou Iisou, krazi megali ti foni. Se Nimfie mou potho, ke Se zitousa athlo, ke sistavroume, ke sinthptome to Vaptismo Sou. Ke pasho dia Se, os Vasilefso sin Si, ke thnisko iper sou, ina ke ziso en Si. All os thisian amomomn, prosdehou tin meta pothou tithisan Si. Aftis presvies, os eleimon, Soson tas psihas imon. ton Kyrion, ke Vasilea Hriston, ex olis igapisas, Kyriaki tis psihis, ke herousa ithlisas. Othen Parthenomartis, par’ aftou doxasthisa, vriis tis se timosin, iamaton tin Harin, tis pasin etoumeni, ptesmaton sighorisin.
O F THE EVE R BLESSED THEOT OKO S

O my Lord Jesus, Thine Ewe-Lamb, with a loud voice calls
out: Thou, my Groom, do I long for, and suffer all in search for Thee, and I am crucified and buried with Thee in Baptism; and I suffer for Thy Sake, in order to reign with Thee, and give my life to Thee so that I may live with Thee; but accept as pure Sacrifice, the one who desired to give her life for Thee. Through her Intercessions, O Most Compassionate, Save our souls!

APOLYTIKION OF ST KYRIAKE THE GREAT – TONE 4

Kyrion

The Lord of all Lords, and Christ the King Thou loved, O
Kyriake, with all Thy soul, and cheerfully contended for; thus as a Virgin Martyr, by Him Thou were Glorified and Thou flow to all who honour Thee, the Grace of Healing, by beseeching for all, the Forgiveness of their faults.

KO NT AKION

Prostasia

ton Hristianon akateskhinte, mesitia pros ton Piitin ametathete, mi Paridis, amartolon deiseon fonas, alla profthason os agathi, is tin voithian imon, ton pistos kravgazonton Si: Tahinon is presvian, ke spefson is ikesian, i prostatevousa ai, Theotoke, ton timonton se.
OU R LI FE I N CHRI ST –

O

Protector of the Christians unashamable, Mediator to the Creator Immovable, despise not, the pleading voices of those in sin, but hasten O Good One, to the aid of all who in Faith cry out to Thee: hasten Thine Intercession, and present Thy Supplication, O Theotokos who always protects all those who honour Thee!
& PER SO NAL FAI TH

St Paul’s First Epistle to the Corinthians 7 : 12 – 24
CO N CER NING M ARRI AGE

Brethren: If any Brother has a wife who does not believe, and she is willing to live with him, let him not divorce her. And a woman who has a husband who does not believe, if he is willing to live with her, let her not divorce him. For the unbelieving husband is Sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband; otherwise your children would be unclean, but now they are Holy. However, if the unbeliever departs, let him depart; a Brother or a Sister is not under bondage in such cases, for God has Called us to Peace, since how would you know, O wife, whether you will Save your husband? Or how do you know, O husband, whether you will Save your wife? So as God has distributed to each one as our Lord has Called each one – so let us walk. And so I ordain (COMMAND) in all the churches. Was anyone Called while circumcised? Let him not become uncircumcised. Was anyone Called while uncircumcised? Let him not be circumcised. Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing, whereas the keeping of the Commandments of God is what matters! Let each one remain in the same Calling in which he was Called: were you Called while a slave? Do not be concerned about it; but if you can be made free, rather use it. For he who is Called in the Lord while a slave is the Lord’s Freedman; likewise he who is Called while free is Christ’s Slave. ST PAUL INSTRUCTED THE CHURCH OF CORINTH THAT IF and the couple was forcibly separated, divorce was MARRIED COUPLES COULD NOT STAY TOGETHER, THE possible. ALTERNATIVE WAS TO REMAIN UNMARRIED – MEANING: Unless a marriage was unconsumated, the divorced couple BE SEPARATED BUT BE CELIBATE. were not encouraged to remarry until the spouse had Otherwise, IF THAT DID NOT WORK for them, they were to died and obviously there was no further chance of a BE RECONCILED IN HOLY MATRIMONY – HAVING KEPT reconciliation. THE SACRED MARRIAGE UNION UNBROKEN OR
CORRUPTED BY THE SIN OF ADULTERY.

V

DIVORCE IS DISCOURAGED BY GOD BECAUSE HE KNOWS THE SERIOUS CONSEQUENCES THAT THOSE WHO CANNOT REMAIN CELIBATE WILL SUFFER.

DIVORCED PEOPLE WERE EXPECTED TO MAINTAIN A STATE OF CELIBACY AND MANY ENTERED MONASTERIES AND DEDICATED THEMSELVES TO A LIFE OF SERVICE TO GOD.

MALACHI 2 :16: “... if you hate her and send her away, ungodliness will obscure your thinking, so take heed to your spirit so that you do not forsake her!” says the Lord Almighty.

V

THESE DAYS, IF ONE IS DIVORCED, ONE CERTAINLY MAINTAIN A LIFE OF CELIBACY.

SHOULD

V

DIVORCE SHOULD BE THE VERY LAST MEASURE AFTER EVERY OTHER MEANS OF RECONCILIATION AND FORGIVENESS HAS FAILED.

Divorce has always been regarded as a tragic calamity and St Paul certainly forbade remarriage while the divorced spouse still lived. Today, the Holy Church has a slightly more compassionate stance towards divorce but IT WILL ONLY PERMIT
DIVORCE AND REMARRIAGE IF THE MARRIAGE WAS CORRUPTED BY ADULTERY, NEVER CONSUMMATED OR THERE WAS IRREVOCABLE INSANITY IN A SPOUSE, AS

If it is too difficult due to one’s uncontrollable libido, one must then choose a suitable partner and remarry with the intention of remaining faithful until death. ADULTERY AND FORNICATION ARE DEADLY SINS that affect far more people than we can ever realise – entire families, friendships and social status can be ruined but the greatest effect will be the ETERNAL CONDEMNATION
OF OUR UNREPENTED SINS!

Our bodies are Sanctified Temples of God - “rented space” that belongs to God and which we occupy during our temporary life on earth.
ONLY GOD CAN UNITE US IN HOLY MATRIMONY FOR THE PURPOSE OF PROCREATION AND PLEASURE WITHIN THE SACRED UNION OF MARRIAGE. It is Divine Mystery that we cannot fully understand but THE PAIN OF SEPARATION PROVES THIS DIVINELY MYSTERIOUS UNION when we divorce or separate from
7 JULY 2010

WELL AS Furthermore, in ancient times when defeated countries were enslaved or if a spouse was imprisoned for life
(SPONSORED BY DIMITRI PAIZIS) )

THE FEAST OF ST KYRIAKE THE GREAT MARTYR OF NICOMEDIA

9

long-term affairs. The emotional and spiritual pain is clearly evident, even if we part amicably! This is why WE SHOULD NOT FORNICATE AND PROSTITUTE
OUR SACRED TEMPLES – OUR BODIES – OUTSIDE THE SANCTITY OF HOLY MATRIMONY. Unfortunately, so few people realise THE IMPORTANCE OF CELIBACY BEFORE MARRIAGE. THE IMMORALITY AND DISREGARD OF UNCONTROLLED SEXUALITY HAS POLLUTED AND CONTORTED THE BEAUTIFUL IMAGE OF GOD AND PUSHES US EVER FURTHER AWAY FROM THE RESTORATION OF OUR LIKENESS TO GOD!

WHETHER ONE CHRISTIANS.

OR

BOTH

SPOUSES

ARE

FAITHFUL

According to the New Covenant with God THE CHRISTIAN
FAMILY IS A SPIRITUAL UNIT AND EVEN IF ONLY ONE MEMBER IS A FAITHFUL, PRACTISING CHRISTINA, THE WHOLE FAMILY IS SET PART BY DIVINE GRACE – BY THE DIVINE LOVE AND BLESSINGS OF ALMIGHTY GOD!

According to the Old Covenant with God, a family was joined to that Holy Covenant through the father but now, ACCORDING TO THE NEW COVENANT – THE HOLY
CHURCH OF CHRIST – THE ENTIRE FAMILY IS SANCTIFIED

When our Lord Jesus Christ Calls us to His Divine Salvation, we do not change our ethnic identity, our occupations or our social status. Neither do we rush into Holy Matrimony or get divorced – although St Paul’s advice is a preferred option, and not a commandment.

V

THE ESSENTIAL CONDITION FOR ETERNAL LIFE IS TO KEEP – MAINTAIN AND OBEY – THE DIVINE COMMANDMENTS OF GOD AT ALL TIMES!!

The Holy Gospel According to St Matthew 14 : 35 – 15 : 11
CHRI ST O UR SA VIOUR T EA CHES U S A BOU T SP IRIT UA L CLE ANL INE SS & WEL FARE

At that time, when the men of Gennesaret recognised Jesus, they sent out into all that surrounding region, brought to Him all who were sick, and begged Him that they might only touch the hem of His garment. And as many as touched it were made perfectly well. Then the Scribes and Pharisee who were from Jerusalem went to Jesus, saying: “Why do Thy Disciples transgress the Tradition of the Elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat bread.” He answered and said to them: “Who do you also transgress the Commandment of God because of your Tradition? For God commanded, saying: ‘Honour your father and your mother,’ and: ‘He who curses father or mother, let him be put to death.’ But you say: ‘Whoever says to his father or mother: “Whatever profit you might have received from me is a gift to God” – then he need not honour his father or mother.’ Thus you have made the Commandment of God of no effect by your Tradition. “Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying: ‘These people draw near to Me with their mouth, and honour Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the Commandments of men.’” When He had called the multitude to Himself, He said to them: “Hear and understand: not what goes into the mouth defiles a man; but what comes out of the mouth defiles a man!”
OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST PERMITTED DIVINE MIRACLES TO OCCUR MERELY BY THE AFFLICTED TOUCHING HIS GARMENTS, THEREBY DEMONSTRATING THAT HIS VERY BODY IS LIFE AND THAT ANY CONTACT WITH THE PERFECT FLESH OF THE INCARNATE SON OF GOD IS LIFE-CREATING, for Divine Authority over Life and Death

V V

DEVOTION TO GOD INCLUDES BOTH OBEDIENCE TO ALL HIS COMMANDMENTS AND SERVICE TO OTHERS FOR THESE TWO VIRTUES CANNOT BE SEPARATED! THE FAITH THAT SAVES US IS A COMPLETE FAITH – not

is in the Hand of God alone and being of the exact same Divine Essence with God the Father, our Lord Jesus has the same Divine Authority and Power. The reference to the Tradition of the Hebrew Elders pointed to the different interpretations of the Hebrew Teachers. Our Lord Jesus refuted their belief that ritual purity depended on outward actions. Christ pointed out and emphasised that TRUE PURITY OF
BODY AND SOUL IS DEPENDENT ON THE STATE OF OUR HEART – OUR INNER BEING.

This

just of the mind and of the tongue, but the whole of our being – TRUSTING IN THE LIVING GOD. means that OUR FAITH AND OUR PERSONAL

RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD – OUR JUSTIFICATION – IS DYNAMIC AND ALIVE.

Our Faith grows and affects our actions, or it dies. “FAITH ALONE,” OR STATIC FAITH, DOES NOT SAVE US.
WE MUST NURTURE OUR FAITH IN GOD AND OUR LOVE FOR HIM THROUGH OUR WORKS – our Good Deeds and

V

OUR WORDS AND DEEDS ARE A DIRECT RESULT OF OUR INNER STATE and although we may appear to do everything correctly – according to “the letter of the Law” we will not act ACCORDING TO THE DIVINE SPIRIT OF GOD’S LAW OF COMMANDMENT OF LOVE. Christ explicitly taught us that the Commandment of God cannot be superseded (REPLACED) by human religious traditions.

actions. “ ‘Do not say you are the Temple of the Lord,’ wrote St Jeremiah; nor should you say that Faith alone in our Lord Jesus Christ can Save us, for this is impossible unless we acquire Love for Him through our works. “As for Faith itself: ‘the devils also believe and tremble!’” [ST MAXIMOS THE CONFESSOR]

Wisdom of our Holy Church Fathers
St Ignatios of Antioch Be eager to stand squarely on the Decrees (COMMANDMENTS) of fittingly woven Spiritual Crown! - and with your our Lord and the Holy Apostles, `...that in all things Deacons, O men of God. whatsoever you may prosper...' in body and in soul, in Submit to the Bishop and to each other's rights, just as Jesus Faith and in Love, in the Son and the Father and the Holy Christ did in the Flesh to God the Father, and as the Holy Spirit, in the beginning and the end, together with your Apostles did to Christ our Saviour, and to the Father and Most Reverend Bishop and with your Presbytery - that the Holy Spirit, so that there may be oneness, both of flesh and of spirit. LETTER TO THE MAGNESIANS St Isaac the Syrian Beware of despair! O the immeasurable Grace! You do not serve a tyrant, but your service is to a kind Lord, Who can sufficiently honour Him with hymns? For He has Who, taking nothing from you, he has given you all. And given us knowledge of all things. And not only of those when you did not exist at all, He fashioned you so that which are manifest, but also of hidden things. For we you would be in that [state] in which you now are. know that if there is anything we do not know, it is Who is sufficient to render Him thanks for the fact that He necessary for us only to ask this [knowledge] from Him. THE ASCETICAL HOMILIES has brought us into existence?

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THE FEAST OF ST KYRIAKE THE GREAT MARTYR OF NICOMEDIA

7 JULY 2010

Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria & All Africa Archdiocese of Good Hope
ALL GLORY, HONOUR AND WORSHIP TO THE FATHER, AND TO THE SON, AND TO THE HOLY SPIRIT, NOW AND EVER, AND UNTO THE AGES OF AGES. AMEN. REMEMBERING ALSO OUR MOST HOLY, MOST PURE, MOST BLESSED AND GLORIOUS LADY, MARIA, BIRTH GIVER OF GOD, YET EVER VIRGIN, TOGETHER WITH ALL THE SAINTS. AND LET US COMMIT OURSELVES AND ONE ANOTHER AND OUR WHOLE LIFE TO CHRIST OUR GOD. AMEN.

8 July 2010 Feast of St Procopios the Great Martyr of Caesarea & his mother, St Theodosia, Holy Martyr
Also the Feast of St Theophilos, Holy Myrrhbearer of Pantokrator Monastery; The Appearance of the Holy Icon of the Ever Blessed Virgin Theotokos of Kazan
A POL YT IKION O F MALE M AR TYR S – TONE 4

I

Martires Sou, Kyrie, en ti athlisi afton, to stefos ekomisanto tis aftharsias, ek sou tou Theou imon. Ehontes tin ishin Sou, tous tirannous kathilon. Ethravsan ke demonon ta anishira thrasi. Afton tes ikesies Hriste, O Theos, soson tas psihas imon.
O F ST P ROKOPIOS – TONE 2

Thy

loyal Martyrs, O Lord, while contending for Thee, the Crown of Incorruption they earned for themselves from Thee, the God of all; for armed with Thy Might, they defeated the tyrants, and crushed all the demons and their powerless presumption. Through their intercessions, O Christ our God, we pray to Thee to Save our souls!

KO NT AKION

To

zilo Hristou, to thio pirpoloumenos, ke en Stavro, to timio frouroumenos, ton ehthron to friagma, ke ta thrasi kathiles Prokopie, ke tin Septin Ekklisian ipsosas, ti Pisti prokopokopton, ke Fotizon imas.
O F THE EVE R BLESSED THEOT OKO S

Devoutly aflame with godly zeal for Christ Thy Lord, and
armed with the Strength and Power of the Precious Cross, Thou cast down headlong Thy foes' exalted pride, O Procopios, exalting Christ's Holy Church, advancing in Faith and shedding Light on us.

KO NT AKION

Prostasia

ton Hristianon akateskhinte, mesitia pros ton Piitin ametathete, mi Paridis, amartolon deiseon fonas, alla profthason os agathi, is tin voithian imon, ton pistos kravgazonton Si: Tahinon is presvian, ke spefson is ikesian, i prostatevousa ai, Theotoke, ton timonton se.
LI VI NG

O

Protection of the Christians unashamable, Mediation to the Creator Immovable, despise not, the pleading voices of those in sin, but hasten O Good One, to the aid of all of us, who in Faith cry out to Thee: hasten Thine Intercession, and present Thy Supplication, O Theotokos who always protects all those who honour Thee!

The First Epistle of St Paul to St Timothy 4 : 9 – 15
O UR FAITH

To Timothy: a True Son in the Faith: (...Godliness is profitable in all things, having Promise of the Life that now is and of that which is to come.) This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, for to this end we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the Living God, Who is the Saviour of all mankind, especially of those who believe. These things command and teach. Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the Believers in word, in conduct, in Love, in spirit, in Faith, in Purity. Until I come to you, give attention to reading, to exhortation, to Doctrine. Do not neglect the Gift that is in you, which was granted to you by Prophecy with the Laying One of the Hands of the Eldership. Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, so that your progress may be evident to all. GOOD EXAMPLE TO OTHERS AND LIVING-PROOF OF THE Although St Paul was no stranger to physical exercise and GOODNESS AND TRUTH OF CHRISTIANITY. labour that had its own benefits, he preferred There is a profound connection between personal reading SPIRITUAL EXERCISE AND STRUGGLE because it LEADS or public reading of Holy Scripture during worship, DIRECTLY TO ETERNAL LIFE. which is linked to “exhortation” – preaching – and St Paul instructed and encouraged St Timothy to teach and “Doctrine” – teaching. to live everything he had been taught even though The early Christians had a Liturgical worship structure – some people often despise or ignore those who are including the reading of Holy Scripture and the Homily younger in age than them, in the mistaken belief that (Sermon) – the roots of which were in the Hebrew there is nothing of value to be learnt from them. Synagogue. However, as in the case of St Timothy, THERE IS MUCH “Do not neglect the Gift that is in you...” referred to St SPIRITUAL TREASURE TO BE GAINED FROM LISTENING TO, OBEYING AND PRACTISING THE WISDOM OF CHRIST Timothy’s Ordination into the Holy Priesthood, which OUR SAVIOUR that St Timothy had been Called to teach was conferred upon him by the Holy Apostles of Christ in Ephesos. and which is these days conferred by the laying on of St Timothy soon learnt to ignore their scepticism and HE the hands of the Bishop.
LIVED HIS FAITH COMPLETELY SO THAT HE BECAME A

The Holy Gospel According to St Luke 6: 17 – 1 9;
TH E M ULT ITUD ES SOUGH T HEA LING A ND D IVINE

9 :1 – 2;
FROM

1 0 :1 6 – 21
OU R LO RD

TR UTH

CHRI ST

At that time our Lord Jesus went down with them and stood on a level place with a crowd of His Disciples and a great multitude of people from all Judea and Jerusalem, and from the seacoast of Tyre and Sidon, who came to hear Him and be healed of their diseases, as well as those who were tormented with unclean spirits. And they were healed. And the whole multitude sought to touch Him, for Power went out from Him and healed them all.
CHRI ST EMPOWERED HIS T WELVE APOSTLES AND SENT THEM OUT TO HEAL AND TEACH PEOPLE

Then Jesus called His Twelve Disciples together and granted them Power and Authority over all demons, and to cure diseases. He sent them to preach the Kingdom of God and to heal the sick.
CHRIST’S INSTRUCTIONS TO HIS 70 HOLY APOSTLES

Our Lord Jesus said: “He who hears you, hears Me; he who rejects you rejects Him Who sent Me.” Then the Seventy returned with Joy, saying: “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Thy Name!” But He said to them: “I saw Satan fall like lightning from Heaven. Behold, I grant you the Authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means harm you. Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in Heaven!”
As word spread concerning “Jesus of Nazareth,” the multitudes flocked to hear what He had to teach them and most – if not EVERY ONE OF THEM NEEDED DIVINE HEALING – PHYSICAL AND SPIRITUAL – THAT ONLY GOD CAN GRANT US. When Christ had prepared His Apostles sufficiently, HE ENDOWED THEM WITH HIS DIVINE AUTHORITY TO HEAL PEOPLE OF ALL THEIR AFFLICTIONS, but HE ALSO WARNED THEM
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NEVER TO BOAST ABOUT THEIR GOD-GIVEN POWER over evil by mentioning how He had witnessed the expulsion from Heaven of Satan and his wicked cohorts due to their misled pride that had led to their dreadful rebellion against God and their Eternal Condemnation. RATHER BE PERPETUALLY GRATEFUL FOR GOD’S GREAT MERCY!

THE FEAST OF ST PROCOPIOS THE GREAT MARTY OF CAECAREA & ST THEODOSIOS, HIS MOTHER

8 JULY 2010

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St Prokopios the Great Martyr of Caesarea (303)
St Prokopios was born in Jerusalem of a Christian father, Christopher, and a pagan mother who named him “Neanias.” After his father's death, his mother brought him up entirely in the spirit of Roman pagan idolatry. When he reached adulthood, Emperor Diocletian noticed him one day and was so impressed by him that he ordered Neanias to serve in the Imperial Army. When the wicked Emperor launched a persecution of Christians, he made Neanias “Duke of Alexandria” and ordered him to go with a detachment of soldiers to Alexandria to exterminate the Christians who resided in that great city. However, along the way to Alexandria, a miraculous Event, similar to that which had happened to St Paul on the road to Damascus, took place with Neanias. At three o'clock in the morning a violent earthquake shook everyone awake and our Lord Jesus Christ appeared before Neanias, saying loudly: 'Neanias, where are you going? And against Whom are you rebelling?' In great fear, Neanias replied: 'Who art Thou, Lord? I do not recognise Thee!' Then a brilliant Cross, as though made of the purest crystal, appeared in the sky and a Voice came from the Cross, proclaiming: 'I Am Jesus, the crucified Son of God!' By this Sign that you have seen, overcome your enemies, and My Peace will be with you.' This event utterly changed Neanias's life. He had a cross made just like the one he had seen and, instead of persecuting the Christians in Alexandria, he set off with his soldiers against the Agarians, who were attacking Jerusalem. After victoriously entering Jerusalem St Prokopios informed his mother that he was a Christian and she immediately betrayed him to the Roman authorities. When he was arrested for treason and taken to Caesarea, Palestine, for trial, he removed his army belt and sword and cast them before the judge, thereby demonstrating that he was exclusively a committed Soldier of Christ the King. We eat and drink every day, yet the following day our bodies need food and drink again. In similar manner, THE RECOLLECTION OF GOD’S BOUNTIES
NEVER WEARY THE SOUL BUT DISPOSES HER STILL MORE TO THINK ABOUT GOD.

He was dragged away and subjected to hideous torture before being thrown into a dark, dank prison cell. There, in that place of great degradation and intense suffering, our Lord Jesus Christ appeared to Neanias and Baptised him with the name “Prokopios,” (which means “progress” or “advancement” in Hellenist Greek.) One day twelve women managed to peer into the tiny, dirty window of his cell and told him: 'We also are Servants of Christ!' As soon as the Roman soldiers saw them, they were arrested and thrown into the same prison, where St Prokopios instructed them in the Christian Faith, which he had received directly from Christ – just like St Paul and carefully prepared them to receive their Crowns of Holy Martyrdom. Those twelve women were also tortured mercilessly but they refused to renounce our Lord Jesus Christ and having witnessed their indescribable suffering and their unfailing courage, St Prokopios's mother also accepted Christ as her Lord and Saviour, taking the name “Theodosia.” Eventually, after more terrible cruelty, all thirteen women were executed. When St Prokopios was led to the executioner, he raised his hands towards the East and prayed to God for all the poor and needy, the destitute and the widowed, and especially for our Holy Church, that it might grow and spread and that Orthodoxy might shine until the end of time. Having received Heavenly Assurance that his Prayer was clearly heard, he joyfully bent his neck for his beheading by sword, departing this life and being with our Lord in His Eternal Joy. St Procopius suffered Holy Martyrdom with honour in Palestinian Caesarea, and was Crowned with an Eternal Wreath of Glory, on 8 July, 303. May his memory and that of his mother, St Theodosia, be Eternal!
ADAPTED & EDITED BY MP: OCHRID ST PROKOPIOS – THE PROLOGUE OF

Wisdom from Mount Athos - On Prayer – Staretz Silouan
THOSE WHO WANT TO PRAY WITHOUT CEASING MUST HAVE FORTITUDE (STAMINA OR ENDURANCE) AND BE WISE, CONSULTING THEIR CONFESSOR (SPIRITUAL FATHER) IN ALL MATTERS.

Or again: the more wood we pile onto a fire, the more heat we get, and thus it is with God for THE MORE WE THINK
ABOUT HIM, THE MORE WE ARE FIRED WITH LOVE AND FERVOUR TOWARDS HIM. THOSE WHO LOVE THE LORD ARE ALWAYS MINDFUL OF HIM, AND REMEMBRANCE OF GOD BEGETS PRAYER.

And if our Father Confessor has not himself trodden the Path of Prayer, we must nevertheless seek advice from him, and BECAUSE OF OUR HUMILITY OUR LORD WILL
HAVE MERCY ON US AND KEEP US FROM ALL UNTRUTH.

If we are forgetful of God we will not pray, and without Prayer our soul will not dwell in the Love of God, for
THE GRACE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT COMES TO US THROUGH PRAYER. PRAYER PRESERVES US FROM SIN, for THE PRAYERFUL MIND IS INTENT ON GOD AND IN HUMILITY OF SPIRIT STANDS BEFORE OUR LORD WHO KNOWS THE SOUL OF EVERYONE WHO PRAYS. However, the novice naturally needs guidance, for UNTIL THE ADVENT OF THE GRACE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT, THE SOUL IS INVOLVED IN FIERCE STRUGGLES with her foes and is UNABLE TO DISENTANGLE HERSELF if the enemy

But if we think to ourselves: “My Confessor lacks experience and is occupied with vain things: I will be my own Guide with the help of books...!” then our feet are already set upon a perilous path and we are not far from being lured and going astray! Many who have reasoned like this have significantly deceived themselves and THEY DID NOT THRIVE
BECAUSE THEY DESPISED THEIR FATHER CONFESSORS, FORGETTING THAT THE SAVING GRACE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT GRANTS GOOD COUNSEL (ADVICE) TO OUR SOUL WHEN WE PAY ATTENTION TO THE ADVICE OF OUR PRIESTS AND SPIRITUAL FATHERS. THE HOLY SPIRIT DWELLS IN OUR CONFESSOR SO HE WILL ALWAYS TELL US WHAT IS RIGHT. But if we do not

offers her his “delights.”
ONLY THOSE WITH EXPERIENCE OF THE GRACE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT CAN UNDERSTAND THIS. THOSE WHO HAVE TRULY TASTED THE HOLY SPIRIT RECOGNISE THE TASTE DIVINE GRACE.

respect or doubt the ability of our Confessor, we will suffer mightily from such thoughts and will be humbled by God and are sure to fall into temptations.
PRAYER COMES WITH PRAYING. NEVERTHELESS: PRAYER THAT IS ONLY A HABIT – PRAYER WITHOUT CONTRITION FOR OUR SINS – IS NOT PLEASING TO GOD!

Those who set out without Spiritual Guidance to engage in Prayer (imagining in their arrogance that they can learn to pray from books!), and who will not go to a Spiritual Director (FATHER) are already half beguiled (ENTICED OR
CAPTIVATED).

However, OUR LORD SUCCOURS (ASSISTS) THOSE WHO ARE HUMBLE, and if there is no experienced Spiritual Guide, and they turn to the Confessor whom they find, OUR
GRACIOUS LORD WILL WATCH OVER THEM DUE TO THEIR TRUE HUMILITY.

When you stand before our Lord in Prayer, do not start off in a languid fashion, otherwise you will perform your entire Prayer in a lax and lazy way. Rather, when you stand in Prayer sign yourself with the cross, collect your thoughts together and prepare yourself properly; concentrate on god to Whom you are praying, and take care that your thought does not depart from Him until your Prayer has reached its conclusion. THE SYRIAC
FATHERS - PRAYER & THE SPIRITUAL LIFE.

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SPONSORED BY DIMITRI PAIZIS)

THE FEAST OF ST PROCOPIOS THE GREAT MARTYR OF CAECAREA & ST THEODOSIOS, HIS MOTHER

8 JULY 2010

Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria & All Africa Archdiocese of Good Hope
ALL GLORY, HONOUR AND WORSHIP TO THE FATHER, AND TO THE SON, AND TO THE HOLY SPIRIT, NOW AND EVER, AND UNTO THE AGES OF AGES. AMEN. REMEMBERING ALSO OUR MOST HOLY, MOST PURE, MOST BLESSED AND GLORIOUS LADY, MARIA, BIRTH GIVER OF GOD, YET EVER VIRGIN, TOGETHER WITH ALL THE SAINTS. AND LET US COMMIT OURSELVES AND ONE ANOTHER AND OUR WHOLE LIFE TO CHRIST OUR GOD. AMEN.

7th Sunday After Pentecost

Tone (6) Plagal 2

11 July 2010

7th Sunday of St Matthew – 2 Blind Men & a Demoniac
Feast of the Miracle of St Euphemia the Great Martyr at Chalcedon; St Olga (Helen) of Kiev, Equal-to-the-Apostles; St Nektarios the New Martyr St. Nicodemos the New Martyr of Mt. Athos
RE SURRE CTION A POL YTIK ION TO NE (6 ) PLAG AL 2

Angelike

Dinamis epi to Mnima Sou ke i filassontes apenekrothisan. Ke istato Maria en to tafo, zitousa to ahranton Sou Soma. Eskilevsas ton Adin, mi pirasthis ip aftou. Ipintisas ti Partheno, Doroumenos tin Zoin. O Anastas ek to nekron, Kyrie, Doxa Si.
O F ST E UPHEM IA THE GR EA T MAR T YR – TONE

The Angelic Powers were in Thy Sepulchre, and the guards
became as dead men, and Mary stood by the Tomb seeking Thy Most Pure Body. Thou led Hades captive, yet were not tempted thereby: Thou Who art the Bestower of Life came to meet the Woman. Glory to Thee, O Lord, Who Rose again from the dead!
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A POL YT IKION

Lian

efranas, tous Orthodoxous, ke katiskhinas, tous kakodoxous, Effimia Hristou kalliparthene. This gar Tetartis Sinodou ekirosas, a I Pateres kalos edogmatisan. Martis endoxe, Hriston ton Theon iketeve, dorisasthe imin to mega eleos.
O F THE EVE R BLESSED THEOT OKO S

All the Orthodox, Thou greatly cheered, and Thou put to
shame the false believers, O fair Virgin of Christ, Euphemia. For Thou confirmed what the Fathers well Dogmatise, at the 4th Ecumenical Council. O Martyr Glorious, entreat Christ our God to grant to us His Great Mercy!

KO NT AKION

Prostasia

ton Hristianon akateskhinte, mesitia pros ton Piitin ametathete, mi Paridis, amartolon deiseon fonas, alla profthason os agathi, is tin voithian imon, ton pistos kravgazonton Si: Tahinon is presvian, ke spefson is ikesian, i prostatevousa ai, Theotoke, ton timonton se.

O

Protector of the Christians unashamable, Mediator to the Creator Immovable, despise not, the pleading voices of those in sin, but hasten O Good One, to the aid of all of us, who in Faith cry out to Thee: hasten Thine Intercession, and present Thy Supplication, O Theotokos who always protects all who honour Thee!

Resurrection Gospel 7: John 20:1 – 10 - S T
PROKEIMENON

PETER & ST JOHN WITNESS THE EMPTY TOMB OF OUR RISEN LORD JESUS CHRIST

Save Thy people, O Lord, and Bless Thine Inheritance! I

will appeal to Thee, O Lord our God.

The 2nd Epistle of St Paul to the Corinthians 6 : 1 - 10
THE MARKS OF TRUE APOSTLESHIP

Brethren: as Workers together with our Lord Jesus, we also plead with you not to receive the Grace of God in vain. For He says: In an acceptable time I have heard you, and in the Day of Salvation, I have helped you.” Behold, now is the accepted time! Behold, now is the Day of Salvation! We give no offence in anything so that our Ministry may not be blamed, but in all things we commend ourselves as Ministers of God: in much Patience, in tribulations, in needs, in distresses, in stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labours, in sleeplessness, in Fastings; by Purity, by Knowledge, by Longsuffering, by Kindness, by the Holy Spirit, by sincere Love, by the Word of Truth, by the Power of God, by the Armour of Righteousness on the right hand and on the left hand, by honour and dishonour, by evil report and good report; as deceivers, and yet true; as unknown and yet well known; as dying, and behold we live; as chastened, and yet not killed; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things. WE HAVE SO MANY SINS TO REPENT THAT WE HAVE TO TAKE St Paul was a True and authentic Apostle of Christ. ADVANTAGE OF EVERY OPPORTUNITY TO INSPECT THE His entire Life in Christ demonstrated the paradox of GOD’S SPIRITUAL CONDITION OF OUR INNER BEING – getting to DIVINE STRENGTH WORKING IN HUMAN WEAKNESS, OF RENOUNCING THE WORLD IN ORDER TO MASTER IT. know our deepest, hidden flaws that others may see but which we refuse to admit and eradicate THROUGH “The Day of Salvation is now!” means exactly that: THE
TIME OF OUR SALVATION IS NOW – EVER PRESENT – IMMEDIATELY – IN THIS VERY INSTANT AND AT THIS PRECISE MOMENT IN TIME BEFORE THE REAPPEARANCE OF CHRIST ON JUDGEMENT DAY! CONSTANT PRAYERS AND SELF-EXAMINATION, FOLLOWED BY REPENTANCE-CONFESSION. THE MORE PERSONAL SIN WE CAN EXPOSE AND ELIMINATE, THE LESS STRESSFUL OUR FINAL TRIALS THROUGH THE AERIAL COUNTING HOUSES OF THE SOUL we shall have to endure and THE MORE ASSURED WE CAN BE OF ENJOYING A GOOD REPOSE IN CHRIST AFTER OUR PHYSICAL DEATH.

What St Paul was trying to make vividly clear to us is that WE DO NOT HAVE A MOMENT TO WASTE.
OUR ETERNAL SALVATION BEGINS RIGHT NOW AND WE CANNOT AFFORD TO DELAY OUR REPENTANCE AND OUR SPIRITUAL STRUGGLE AS WE LIVE IN CHRIST.

With every obstacle that we face and then, by Divine Grace, overcome, we take another little step closer to God and His Eternal Kingdom of Love.

The passions we refuse to acknowledge and destroy within ourselves will haunt us for all Eternity and will the cause our Eternal Condemnation and Hell, so, obviously, the sooner we get rid of them, the better for our immortal souls!

The Holy Gospel According to St Matthew 9 : 27 – 35
OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST HEALS TWO BLIND MEN AND A DEMONIAC

At that time, when Jesus departed from there, two blind men followed Him, crying out and saying: “Son of David, have mercy on us!” And when He had entered the house, the blind men went to Him and Jesus said to them: “Do you believe that I Am able to do that?” And they said to Him: “Yes, Lord.” Then He touched their eyes, saying: “According to your faith, let it be to you.” And their eyes were opened, but Jesus sternly warned them, saying: “See that no one knows!” But when they had departed, they spread the news about Him in all that country. As they went out, behold, a man who was mute and demon possessed was taken to Jesus and when the demon had been cast out, the man spoke and the multitude marvelled, saying: “It was never seen like this in Israel!” But the Pharisees said: “He casts out demons by the ruler of the demons!” Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their Synagogues, preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. According to the ancient prophesies of St Isaiah the Holy shall be opened, and the ear of the deaf shall hear...” (ISAIAH 35:5) Prophet of God, THE MESSIANIC AGE IS SIGNIFIED BY THE DIVINE MIRACLES OF HEALING: “... the eyes of the blind
(SPONSORED BY DIMITRI PAIZIS) 7TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST – 7TH OF ST MATTHEW – TWO BLIND MEN & A DEMONIAC 11 JULY 2010

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These Miraculous Healings were Divine Signs that confirmed our Lord Jesus is truly the long-awaited Messiah, as was the manner whereby the blind men addressed Christ – “Son of David” – which expressed their faith in that Truth. The Pharisees belief that Christ cast out demons by the power of the ruler of demons – Satan – is ridiculous and entirely

impossible since the aim of the evil one is to consolidate his limited power – and definitely not to destroy it. Furthermore, OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST CLEANSED LEPERS,
RAISED THE DEAD TO LIFE AND REMITTED SINS – SACRED WORKS – WORKS OF LOVE, KINDNESS AND SINCERE COMPASSION that demons could never perform because

they totally lacked any goodness or mercy!
THE TWO BLIND MEN HAD TO STRUGGLE ALONG, TRYING TO KEEP UP WITH OUR LORD AND NO DOUBT, THEY HAD TO CONTEND WITH THE ADDITIONAL PROBLEM OF THE USUAL JOSTLING CROWD WHO FOLLOWED CHRIST FOR VARIOUS REASONS - AS HE MADE HIS WAY TO THE HOUSE WHERE HE WAS STAYING. THIS MUST HAVE TAKEN A CONSIDERABLE AMOUNT OF TIME AND EFFORT, BUT THE TWO BLIND MEN DID NOT GIVE UP – THEY PERSISTED IN THEIR PERSONAL MISSION. THEN, ONLY WHEN THEY WERE IN THE PRIVACY OF THE HOUSE, DID CHRIST ACTUALLY RESPOND TO THEIR REQUEST FOR HIS DIVINE MERCY.

The Miraculous Healings of Christ our Lord & Saviour
My dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, today’s Holy Gospel Lessons concludes with the words: "And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people” (MATTHEW 9:35). St Matthew made it clear that CHRIST’S WORK HAS THREE LIFE-SAVING PURPOSES FOR OUR SALVATION: ® TO TEACH, ® TO PREACH AND ® TO HEAL ST NikolaI Velimirovic believed the following concerning Christ’s Work: ® CHRIST TAUGHT US - HE INTERPRETED THE SPIRIT
OF THE OLD CREATION AND THE OLD LAW. PREACHED TO US - HE LAID THE FOUNDATIONS OF THE NEW CREATION, THE KINGDOM OF GOD, THE CHURCH OF THE SAINTS. ® CHRIST HEALED US - HE TESTIFIED TO HIS TEACHING AND PREACHING BY HIS ACTS. OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST DID ALL OF THIS OUT OF HIS LOVE FOR MANKIND AND HIS DIVINE LOVE MEETS WITH OUR FAITH SO THAT THERE MAY BE THE MIRACLE OF SALVATION.

The second knock was when Jesus asked them: “Do you believe that I Am able to do this?” (MATTHEW 9:28). Our Lord tested their Faith so that they would openly proclaim their confidence and trust in Him when they said: “Yes Lord!”
SOMETIMES GOD ASKS US TO OPENLY DECLARE OUR FAITH SO THAT WE CAN VERIFY IT TO OURSELVES AS WELL AS BEFORE OTHERS. AND IN DOING SO WE ESTABLISH THE DEPTH OF OUR FAITH. SIMILARLY, IN THE CASE OF THE MAN BORN WITHOUT EYES. WHO WAS VIGOROUSLY AND SEVERELY QUESTIONED BY THE PHARISEES, AFTER HAVING RECDEIVED HIS SIGHT FROM CHRIST: THE MORE OFTEN HE EXPLAINED THE DIVINE MIRACLE TO THE DOUBTERS, THE DEEPER AND MORE COMMITED HIS FAITH IN CHRIST BECAME, UNTIL NOTHING COULD PREVENT HIM FROM DECLARING THE TRUTH CONCERNING OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST.

® CHRIST

This should remind us that OUR FAITH IS NOT JUST A

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PERSONAL COMMITMENT THAT WE KEEP TO OURSELVES. FAITH IS SOMETHING THAT MUST BE PROCLAIMED IN ORDER TO BRING OTHERS TO GOD’S TRUTH.

Each time our Lord Jesus Christ performs His Miracles of Healing, He asks us the most essential question of all: “Do you believe? Do you believe that I Am able to do this?”
WHEN OUR LORD QUESTIONS THE STRENGTH OF OUR FAITH IN HIM, HE IS KNOCKING AT THE DOOR OF OUR HEARTS.

He is seeking our welcoming invitation to enter our hearts so that not only can He Heal us but so that He can also Save us. This is analogy is recorded by St John the Divine Apostle, Evangelist and Theologian in Book of the Revelation of Christ: “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear My Voice, and open the door, I will come in to him” (REVELATION 3:20). While our Lord knocks at the door of our heart, IT IS UP
TO US WHETHER WE CHOOSE TO INVITE HIM IN OR IGNORE OR EVEN REJECT HIM, for GOD NEVER FORCES ANYTHING ON US BUT CONSISTENTLY OFFERS HIS GOODNESS AND BLESSINGS, AND UNTOLD OPPORTUNITIES TO DO GOOD DEEDS WHICH WE ARE FREE TO ACCEPT OR REJECT.

OR EARTHLY UNDERSTANDING AND EMBRACED THEIR SPIRITUAL UNDERSTANDING, WHICH WAS ACCOMPLISHED THROUGH THEIR ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF JESUS CHRIST AS OUR “LORD.” THEY NO LONGER ACKNOWLEDGED CHRIST AS THE “SON OF DAVID,” BUT AS THE “LORD,” THE SON OF GOD, THE GOD-MAN, THE SAVIOUR OF THE WORLD! Thus, THEY WERE NOT ONLY HEALED OF THEIR INFIRMITY, BUT THEY WERE BROUGHT TO SALVATION, which is

When the men responded to Christ’s question with the words: “Yes Lord!” THEY ABANDONED THEIR FLESHLY

confirmed by St Paul in his Epistle to the Roman Christians: “...Whosoever shall call upon the Name of the Lord shall be Saved.” (ROMANS 10:13)
NOT ONLY WERE THE TWO BLIND MEN HEALED FROM THEIR PHYSICAL BLINDNESS, BUT THEY WERE ALSO HEALED FROM THEIR SPIRITUAL BLINDNESS AND WERE ABLE TO SEE CHRIST IN HIS DIVINE NATURE, AND WERE ABLE TO UNDERSTAND HIS DIVINE TRUTH, UNFORTUNATELY, IN THEIR PERSONAL SATISFACTION AND JOY – AND WITH A CLEAR INDICATION OF THEIR INGRATITUDE AND UNAPPRECIATION OF GOD’S GREAT GLORY AND MERCY - THEY IMMEDIATELY DISOBEYED HIS INSTRUCTION (NOT TO LET ANYONE KNOW WHAT HE HAD DONE FOR THEM) BY TELLING EVERYONE OF THEIR MIRACULOUS HEALING. NEVERTHELESS, THE RESTORATION OF THEIR SIGHT MUST HAVE HAD A GOOD EFFECT ON OTHERS WHO, WHEN SEEING AND HEARING THE TWO FORMER BLIND MEN, GAINED FAITH IN CHRIST THEMSELVES.

We are also invited without any restrictions to knock at His Door to ask for His Salvation, which is confirmed by the words of our Lord:, “... And I say to you: ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you” (LUKE 11:9) Both of these aspects of knocking at the door are evident in today’s Sacred Lesson. The first knock is when the two blind men called out to our Lord Jesus: “Son of David, have mercy on us!”
(MATTHEW 9:27)

All too often we seek after God through Miraculous Signs of His Action in Creation and fail to see the Spiritual Miracles that occur around us. St John Chrysostom warned us: “Do not, therefore, seek Signs, but your soul's health. Seek not to see one dead man raised; nay, for you have learnt that the whole world is arising. Seek not to see a blind man healed, but behold all now restored unto that better and more profitable sight; and do also learn to look chastely, and amend your eye!” So, my dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, SEEK NOT
SALVATION, for Christ is knocking at the door of your heart. Open the door of your heart to Him, that you may ENTER INTO THE NEW CREATION AND RECEIVE THE SPIRITUAL MIRACLES THAT WILL CHANGE YOU AND THE WORLD AROUND YOU. THROUGH THIS CHANGE, YOU WILL ACCOMPLISH CHRIST’S WORK TO TEACH, PREACH AND TO HEAL.
ADAPTED & EDITED BY MP: “SERMON: SEVENTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST” BY FATHER MILAN

St Simeon the New Theologian commented on that knock at the Door of Christ by the two blind men: “He who prays according to the flesh, and does not also have Spiritual Understanding is like the blind men who cried out: ‘Son of David, have mercy on us!’ But another blind man, when he received his sight and saw the Lord, no longer saw Him as the Son of David, but as the Son of God.” (JOHN 9:35-38). Thus, ANY KNOCK AT THE DOOR MUST BRING US TO GOD.

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AFTER MIRACLES. SEEK RATHER AFTER

St John Klimakos – On Remembrance of Death

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If we wish to continually retain within ourself the remembrance of death and God’s Judgement, but at the same time we yield to material cares and distractions, we become like a swimmer who wants to clap his hands. (JUST AS IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO CLAP HANDS UNDER WATER - WE CANNOT CONSCIOUSLY
CONTEMPLATE OUR FINAL JUDGEMENT CONTINUOUSLY AND STILL CARRY ON LIVING RECKLESSLY – REGARDLESS OF AND DESPITE THE CONSEQUENCES!)

A vivid remembrance of Death cuts down food; and when in humility food is cut, the passions are cut too. Those who have died to all things remember death, but those who are still tied to the world do not cease plotting against themselves! The friend of silence draws near to god, and, by secretly conversing with him, is enlightened by god.
MEDAKOVIC - 2009

That was why CHRIST DID NOT IMMEDIATELY RESPOND to the two blind men, BECAUSE HE WANTED THEIR THIRST
FOR GOD TO INCREASE.

http://www.saintgregorypalamas.com/2010/02/seventhsunday-after-pentecost.html

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(SPONSORED BY DIMITRI PAIZIS)

7TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST – 7TH OF ST MATTHEW – TWO BLIND MEN & A DEMONIAC

11 JULY 2010

The Wisdom of Elder Paisios of Mount Athos
“... p e r v e r s e t h o u g h t s s e p a r a t e m e n f r o m G o d .” (WISDOM 1:3) When our Lord Jesus was crucified and all the terrible Elder Paisios always urged us to THINK POSITIVELY. OUR POSITIVE THINKING, HOWEVER, SHOULD NOT BE OUR events were taking place, two thieves were also crucified with Him. ULTIMATE AIM; EVENTUALLY OUR SOUL MUST BE CLEANSED FROM OUR POSITIVE THOUGHTS AS WELL, AND EACH THIEF HAD A DIFFERENT ATTITUDE TOWARDS CHRIST, BE LEFT BARE, HAVING AS ITS SOLE VESTMENT, DIVINE even though they were both placed next to the same GRACE GRANTED TO US THROUGH HOLY BAPTISM. God A GOD WHO HAD NEVER BEEN BLAMED – OR V This is OUR ULTIMATE AIM: TO TOTALLY SUBMIT OUR MIND ACCUSED BY ANYONE – FOR HAVING COMMITTED THE
TO THE GRACE OF GOD. THE ONLY THING CHRIST ASKS FROM US IS OUR HUMILITY. THE REST IS TAKEN CARE OF BY HIS GRACE. SLIGHTEST SIN.

In the beginning, we should WILLINGLY TRY TO DEVELOP
POSITIVE THOUGHTS, WHICH WILL GRADUALLY LEAD US TO THE PERFECT GOOD: GOD, to Whom belongs every Glory,

In fact, MANY PEOPLE HAD BEEN BLESSED BY HIM: some had been cured of specific diseases, others had been resurrected from the dead, and ALL THESE WONDERFUL
MIRACLES HAD OCCURRED IN PUBLIC.

Then, while being crucified, EVEN NATURE REACTED AGAINST
THE INDESCRIBABLE INJUSTICE DONE TO CHRIST OUR SAVIOUR!

Honour and Worship; on the contrary, TO US BELONGS ONLY THE HUMILITY OF OUR CONCEITED ATTITUDE. We must ALWAYS BE CAREFUL AND CONSTANTLY QUESTION THE NATURE OF OUR THOUGHTS. When someone is preoccupied and trusts his own way of thinking, he becomes vulnerable to the devil who is capable of transforming us into sly people, even when we are honest by nature.
OUR ANCIENT HOLY FATHERS NEVER TRUSTED THEIR OWN THOUGHTS.

“... and behold, the curtain of the Temple was torn in two, from top to bottom; and the earth shook, and rocks were split; the tombs also were opened, and many bodies of the Saints who had fallen asleep were raised, and coming out of the tombs, after His Resurrection, they went into the Holy City and appeared to many.” (MATTHEW 27 : 51 – 53)
THE THIEF WHO WAS CRUCIFIED AT THE LEFT SIDE OF CHRIST HAD created inside his mind a “factory,” which produced ONLY NEGATIVE THOUGHTS: “... one of the criminals who

Even for minor problems to which they had to give answers, THEY PRAYED TO GOD, OR FASTED, as a way of “forcing” Divine Grace to reveal the answer according to God’s Will; and after they received the information, they would answer. In our day, when we have a serious problem and we ask someone for advice, that person will tend to interrupt us and provide an answer without letting us complete our question first. V In such circumstances, NOT ONLY DO WE NOT SEEK THE
ASSISTANCE OF DIVINE GRACE, BUT WE ALSO MISUSE OUR LOGIC, WHICH IS GRANTED TO US BY GOD. WE ARE RULED BY OUR OWN THOUGHTS AND UNHESITATINGLY RELY ON THEM, VERY OFTEN HAVING TO FACE THE DISASTROUS RESULTS OF OUR ACTS.

was hanged railed at Him, saying: ‘Art Thou not the Christ? Save Thyself and us!’” (LUKE 23:39)
ALTHOUGH HE COULD SEE WHAT WAS GOING ON AROUND HIM, HE NEVER QUESTIONED HIMSELF ABOUT IT. THE THIEF WHO WAS AT THE RIGHT SIDE OF CHRIST HAD A POSITIVE WAY OF THINKING AND HE REACTED DIFFERENTLY: “... but the other rebuked him, saying: ‘ Do

you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we, indeed, justly; for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds, but this Man has done nothing wrong!’ And he said: “Lord, remember me when Thou comes into Thy Kingdom.’” (LUKE 23: 40 – 42) Both thieves had the same Almighty God placed between them Who could really help them, yet THE NEGATIVE
THINKING THIEF PREVENTED GOD FROM HELPING HIM, WHEREAS THE ONE ON THE RIGHT HAND SIDE OF CHRIST – WHO HAD COMMITTED TERRIBLE CRIMES AND WAS LEGITIMATELY BEING PUNISHED – WAS ABLE TO “MOVE” OUR LORD JESUS WITH HIS POSITIVE ATTITUDE.

Almost all of us consider our thoughts to be simple and natural, therefore, we spontaneously rely on them. On the contrary: WE SHOULD NEITHER TRUST NOR ACCEPT
OUR OWN THOUGHTS.

We must not have any thoughts in our mind or heart – neither positive nor negative thoughts – for THAT SPACE
WITHIN US BELONGS TO THE GRACE OF GOD.

Consequently, Christ told the Penitent Thief: “Truly, I say to you: today you will be with Me in Paradise!” (Luke 23:43)
THE PENITENT THIEF WAS THE FIRST HUMAN BEING TO REGAIN GOD’S FULL DIVINE GRACE THROUGH HIS UTTER REPENTANCE-CONFESSION AND TO ENTER PARADISE TO REPOSE IN PEACE UNTIL THE GENERAL RESURRECTION AND JUDGEMENT DAY. HIS WORDS TO CHRIST ARE RECALLED AND REPEATED AT EVERY DIVINE LITURGY DURING THE GREAT ENTRANCE WHEN THE PRIEST LOUDLY AND SLOWLY SAYS: “LORD, REMEMBER ME WHEN THY COMEST INTO THY KINGDOM!” AND WE BESEECH GOD’S DIVINE MERCY WITH THE SAME PRAYER. THE PENITENT THIEF IS COMMEMORATED IN OUR HOLY CHURCH AS “ST DEMAS THE PENITENT”

V V

WE ARE OBLIGED TO KEEP OUR MIND AND OUR HEART CLEAN, NOT ONLY OF OUR VARIOUS THOUGHTS, BUT ALSO THE SLIGHTEST AND MOST ELUSIVE SLIP OF THE MIND. WE CAN ONLY ACHIEVE THIS IF WE FERVENTLY LOVE CHRIST AND UNHESITATINGLY TRUST HIM.

We must never forget that GOD IS UNABLE TO HELP US – EVEN
IF HE SO WILLS – UNLESS WE HAVE A POSITIVE ATTITUDE.

As a result, WE HUMBLE OURSELVES, AND DIVINE GRACE, NATURALLY, WILL BE REVIVED WITHIN US, for It is only granted to those who are truly humble for “God opposes the proud, but grants Grace to the humble.” (1 PETER 5 :5) WE NEED TO HAVE POSITIVE THOUGHTS, otherwise none of our Spiritual Fathers – not even the Holy Saints – can help us.

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With regard to the Spiritual Progress of a Disciple of Christ or a Disciple Monk, IT IS EVEN MORE
IMPORTANT FOR US TO DEVELOP GOOD THOUGHTS THAN TO BE GUIDED BY A SPIRITUAL FATHER WHO IS CONSIDERED A LIVING SAINT.

ADAPTED & EDITED BY MP: “ELDER PAISIOS OF THE HOLY MOUNTAIN” BY PRIEST MONK CHRISTODOULOS, OF MOUNT ATHOS

St Peter of Damascus – On Divine Knowledge: Our Gratitude to God(Continued)

V

FROM KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING IS BORN SELFCONTROL AND PATIENT ENDURANCE. ® IF WE UNDERSTAND, WE CAN RESTRAIN OUR OWN WILL AND ENDURE THE RESULTING PAIN.

We only ask that we may be allowed to offer our thanks to God and yet, EVEN THE FACT THAT GOD ACCEPTS OUR
GRATITUDE PUTS US INTO STILL GREATER DEBT!

® By REGARDING OURSELVES AS UNWORTHY of such Blessings, WE ARE ALWAYS GRATEFUL AND THANKFUL TO OUR BENEFACTOR for His many Blessings that God grants us in this world, LIVING
IN THE FEAR OF PUNISHMENT IN THE WORLD TO COME.

® Nevertheless WE MUST CONTINUOUS GIVE THANKS TO
GOD BY ALWAYS DOING WHAT IS GOOD AND REMEMBERING THAT WE ARE THE GREATEST DEBTORS OF ALL.

In all Humility WE MUST CONSIDER OURSELVES LOWER THAN
ALL OTHERS, DELIGHTING IN GOD OUR BENEFACTOR AND TREMBLING EVEN WHILE WE REJOICE. (PSALM 2:11)

® Thus

THROUGH SELF-CONTROL WE WILL PRACTISE THE OTHER VIRTUES AS WELL.

THEN

As we advance through such Humility towards Divine and unfailing Love, WE MUST ACCEPT OUR SUFFERING AS
THOUGH WE DESERVE IT.

We will look upon ourselves as BEING IN GOD’S DEBT FOR
EVERYTHING, FINDING NOTHING WHATSOEVER WITH WHICH TO REPAY OUR BENEFACTOR, and we will even believe that ANY VIRTUE WE MAY POSSESS SIMPLY INCREASES OUR GREAT DEBT TO GOD, for we receive but we have nothing

Indeed, those WHO ARE TRULY HUMBLE BELIEVE THEY DESERVE EVEN MORE SUFFERING THAN THEY ENCOUNTER; and THEY
ARE GLAD THAT THEY HAVE BEEN GRANTED SOME AFFLICTION IN THIS WORLD, SINCE THROUGH IT THEY MAY BE SPARED A PORTION OF THE PUNISHMENTS THAT THEY

to give Him in return!
(SPONSORED BY DIMITRI PAIZIS)

7TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST – 7TH OF ST MATTHEW – TWO BLIND MEN & A DEMONIAC

11 JULY 2010

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HAVE PREPARED FOR THEMSELVES IN THE WORLD TO BE.
(ETERNITY)

And

because

IN

ALL

THIS

THEY

KNOW

THEIR

OWN
(GLOAT),

ABLE TO FIGHT AND CONQUER MANY PASSIONS; FOR THEN GOD SWIFTLY COMES TO OUR ASSISTANCE, IN CASE OUR SOUL IS UTTERLY DESTROYED.

WEAKNESSES, AND THAT THEY SHOULD NOT EXULT

And FOR MANY OTHER REASONS AS WELL, THOSE WHO
RECOGNISE THEIR OWN WEAKNESS WILL NOT FALL.

and BECAUSE THEY HAVE BEEN FOUND WORTHY OF
KNOWING AND ENDURING THESE THINGS, BY THE GRACE OF GOD, THEY ARE FILLED WITH A STRONG LONGING FOR GOD. HUMILITY IS BORN OF SPIRITUAL KNOWLEDGE, AND SUCH KNOWLEDGE IS BORN OF TRIALS AND TEMPTATIONS. TO THOSE WHO KNOW THEMSELVES IS GRANTED KNOWLEDGE OF ALL THINGS, and THOSE WHO SUBJECT THEMSELVES TO GOD BRING EVERY MATERIAL THOUGHT UNDER CONTROL;

® However,

V

NO ONE CAN ATTAIN THAT DEGREE OF RECOGNITION (OF SPIRITUAL DEATH OR SIN) UNLESS WE FIRST SUFFER MANY TEMPTATIONS OF SOUL AND BODY, AND GAIN EXPERIENCE BY ENDURING THEM PATIENTLY AND THEREBY OVERCOMING THEM WITH GOD’S STRENGTH.

V

and then all things are subject to them, for THEY ARE
COMPLETELY HUMBLE.

THOSE WHO POSSESS HUMILITY DO NOT DARE TO ACT ACCORDING TO THEIR OWN VOLITION OR TO DEPEND ON THEIR OWN IDEAS WITHOUT FIRST QUESTIONING THOSE WITH (SPIRITUAL) EXPERIENCE.

According to St Basil and St Gregory, THOSE WHO KNOW
THEMSELVES – WHO KNOW THAT THEY STAND MIDWAY BETWEEN NOBILITY AND BASENESS, in that they have a soul that is capable of Spiritual Knowledge and a mortal, earthly body – NEVER EXULT OR DESPAIR. Rather, with a feeling of shame before their noetic soul
(UNDERSTOOD BY THE HUMAN MIND; THROUGH INTELLECTUAL UNDERSTANDING),

For what would we gain by choosing to do or to think something that does not contribute to our bodily life or to the Salvation of our soul? And if we do not know what wish we should abandon, and what thought we should put aside, WE MUST TEST EVERY
ACTION AND EVERY THOUGHT BY RESISTING IT WITH SELFCONTROL AND BY OBSERVING THE EFFECT of doing so upon ourselves. ® IF BY ACTING UPON IT GIVES US PLEASURE BUT RESISTING IT BRINGS US PAIN, THEN IT IS SOMETHING BAD AND WE SHOULD REJECT IT BEFORE IT TAKES ROOT.

THEY

REJECT EVERYTHING SHAMEFUL and, knowing their own personal weakness, they SHRINK FROM ALL SENSE OF ELATION. Thus those who know their own weakness as a result of the many temptations and trials they undergo through the passions of soul and body, UNDERSTAND THE MEASURELESS POWER OF GOD AND HOW HE REDEEMS THE HUMBLE SOULS WHO CRY OUT TO HIM THROUGH PERSISTENT PRAYER FROM THE DEPTHS OF THEIR HEART.

Otherwise we will find it difficult to overcome later when we are able to see what damage our wilful action has caused.
THIS APPLIES TO EVERY ACTION OR THOUGHT THAT DOES NOT HELP US TO KEEP OURSELVES ALIVE AND TO CONFORM TO GOD’S WILL.

For such humble people PRAYER BECOMES A DELIGHT. We know that WITHOUT GOD WE CAN DO NOTHING, and in our fear of falling, we must STRIVE TO CLEAVE TO GOD for when we CONSIDER HOW GOD HAS RESCUED US from so many temptations and passions, we are amazed! ® WE MUST OFFER OUR CONSTANT THANKS TO OUR SAVIOUR,
AND WE MUST ADD TO OUR GRATITUDE HUMILITY AND LOVE.

For A LONG-STANDING HABIT ASSUMES THE STRENGTH OF NATURE; but IF WE DO NOT SURRENDER TO IT, IT LOSES
STRENGTH AND IS GRADUALLY DESTROYED. WHETHER A HABIT IS GOOD OR BAD, TIME NOURISHES IT, just

as wood feeds a fire. Thus, so far as we can, we should CULTIVATE AND PRACTISE
WHATEVER IS GOOD, SO THAT IT BECOMES AN ESTABLISHED HABIT OPERATING AUTOMATICALLY AND EFFORTLESSLY WHEN REQUIRED.

Furthermore, we must NEVER DARE TO JUDGE OTHERS, knowing that as GOD HAS HELPED US, so HE HELPS EVERYONE ELSE ACCORDING TO HIS OWN DIVINE WILL, as St Maximos the Confessor has taught us. ® We also know that AS SOON AS WE IDENTIFY AND
ACKNOWLEDGED OUR OWN WEAKNESSES, WE ARE BE

It was through victories in small things that our Holy Fathers won their greatest battles!
ADAPTED & EDITED BY MP: “THE PHILOKALIA” VOLUME 3.

The Dark Night of the Soul – Father Anthony M Coniaris
Do not think for a moment that this world is ruled by chance. When the dark night of the soul settles upon you, remember that GOD IS THE ONLY, SUPREME RULER OF
HEAVEN AND EARTH. CHRIST IS THE PANTOCRATOR – THE ALMIGHTY AND ETERNAL GOD WHO IS IN CONTROL OF EVERYTHING IN EXISTENCE!

Life is not like the big sunflower that has to grow in full sunshine.
LIFE IS LIKE THE LITTLE VIOLET THAT GROWS PARTLY IN THE SHADE AND PARTLY IN THE SUNSHINE.

“Think it not strange concerning the fiery trial that is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you.” (1
PETER 4:12)

There are Spiritual Midnights just as there are Spiritual Noons, but EVERY SPIRITUAL MIDNIGHT IS PROGRESSING
TOWARDS SPIRITUAL NOON BECAUSE JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD AND SAVIOUR HAS RISEN FROM THE DEAD! HE IS TRULY RISEN!

GOD IS AT WORK in the midnight experiences of your entire

life.
GOD HAS TAKEN A PIECE OF CLAY AND FASHIONED IT INTO THE IMAGE AND LIKENESS OF HIMSELF. IT IS NOT EASY TO SING WHEN WE ARE FACING SOME CRISIS AND OUR HEART IS HEAVY, BUT GOD GRANTS US A SONG, EVEN IN THE MIDST OF OUR TROUBLES

Our Lord Jesus told us: “In the world you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer, for I have overcome the world!”
SO WE SING OUR WAY THROUGH LIFE – WITH SONGS OF SALVATION, WITH SONGS OF HOPE, WITH SONGS OF LOVE, JOY, PEACE AND ETERNAL LIFE. OUR SONGS CONTINUE... they will never stop and the time will

as our Lord Jesus and His Disciples sang on their way to Golgotha, as St Paul and St Silas sang in the prison at midnight!

come when WE WILL JOIN OUR VOICES TO THAT OF GOD’S
GREAT CHOIR IN HEAVEN, TO SING ETERNAL PRAISES TO GOD FOREVER AND EVER.

We thank Thee, O Lord, that Thou hast put a song in our hearts – The Song of Thy Love, the Song of Thy Resurrection, the Song of Thy Presence And the Song of Forgiveness and Eternal Life. Grant that in the dark moments of life we may sing these songs as did St Paul and St Silas in prison at midnight. For we know, O Lord, that through Thy Resurrection, we too, have overcome the world. dawn, Thou hast turned our midnight into dawn Victory. Our defeat into Victory Amen

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(SPONSORED BY DIMITRI PAIZIS)

7TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST – 7TH OF ST MATTHEW – TWO BLIND MEN & A DEMONIAC

11 JULY 2010

Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria & All Africa Archdiocese of Good Hope
ALL GLORY, HONOUR AND WORSHIP TO THE FATHER, AND TO THE SON, AND TO THE HOLY SPIRIT, NOW AND EVER, AND UNTO THE AGES OF AGES. AMEN. REMEMBERING ALSO OUR MOST HOLY, MOST PURE, MOST BLESSED AND GLORIOUS LADY, MARIA, BIRTH GIVER OF GOD, YET EVER VIRGIN, TOGETHER WITH ALL THE SAINTS. AND LET US COMMIT OURSELVES AND ONE ANOTHER AND OUR WHOLE LIFE TO CHRIST OUR GOD. AMEN.

17 July 2010 Feast of St Marina (Margarita) the Great Martyr of Antioch Also the Feast of St Andrei Rublev, Iconographer; St Veronika & St Speratos, Holy Martyrs; St Irenarchos, Abbot of Solovki Monastery; St Lazaros the Venerable of Mount Galerios, Ephesos; St Leonis of Ustnedumsk; The Appearance of the Holy Icon of the Ever Blessed Theotokos of Sviatogorsk; St Kenelm, Prince of Mercia
A POL YT IKION O F FE MALE M AR T YR S – TONE 4

I

amnas Sou Iisou, krazi megali ti foni. Se Nimfie mou potho, ke Se zitousa athlo, ke sistavroume, ke sinthptome to Vaptismo Sou. Ke pasho dia Se, os Vasilefso sin Si, ke thnisko iper sou, ina ke ziso en Si. All os thisian amomomn, prosdehou tin meta pothou tithisan Si. Aftis presvies, os eleimon, Soson tas psihas imon.
O F ST M ARI NA /M ARG ARI TA – TO NE 1

O my Lord Jesus, Thine Ewe-Lamb, with a loud voice calls
out: Thou, my Groom, do I long for, and suffer all in search for Thee, and I am crucified and buried with Thee in Baptism; and I suffer for Thy Sake, inorder to reign with Thee, and give my life to Thee so that I may live with Thee; but accept as pure Sacrifice, the one who desired to give her life for Thee. Through her Intercessions, O Most Compassionate, Save our souls!

A POL YT IKION

Tou

Patros Sou ek vrefous apestrafis ta idola, ke tou Olivriou tirannou tin oftin katepatisas, othen efhes sou ton ofin edesmefsas, ke tin kefalin tou drakontos epirmenin katethlasas, Megalomartis Marina; presveve Hristo to Theo sothine tas psihas imon.
O F THE EVE R BLESSED THEOT OKO S

While still an infant thou rejected Thy father’s idols, and
trampled down the pride of the cruel tyrant Olyvrios; thus through thy Prayers thou put the serpent in bondage, and the dragon’s proud head thou completely crushed, O Great Martyr Marina; intercede with Christ our God, that our souls may be saved.

KO NT AKION

Prostasia

ton Hristianon akateskhinte, mesitia pros ton Piitin ametathete, mi Paridis, amartolon deiseon fonas, alla profthason os agathi, is tin voithian imon, ton pistos kravgazonton Si: Tahinon is presvian, ke spefson is ikesian, i prostatevousa ai, Theotoke, ton timonton se.

O

Protector of the Christians unashamable, Mediator to the Creator Immovable, despise not, the pleading voices of those in sin, but hasten O Good One, to the aid of all of us, who in Faith cry out to Thee: hasten Thine Intercession, and present Thy Supplication, O Theotokos who always protects all who honour Thee!

The Epistle of St Paul to the Galatians 3 : 23 – 4 : 5
OUR ADOPTION AS CO-HEIRS WITH CHRIST THROUGH OUR FAITH AND HOLY BAPTISM

Brethren: before Faith came, we were kept under guard by the Law – kept for the Faith that would afterward be revealed. Therefore, the Law as our Tutor to bring us to Christ so that we might be Justified by Faith. But after Faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor, for you are sons of God through Faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were Baptised into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek; there is neither slave nor free; there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus, and if you are Christ’s then you are Abraham’s seed, and Heirs according to the Promise. wicked and the Righteous Ones – He freed all humanity V FAITH IN CHRIST IS ALSO FAITH OF CHRIST because from the enslaving power of evil – AND RE-OPENED TWO FAITHS ARE COOPERATING TOGETHER: first PARADISE TO THE FAITHFUL WHERE THEY COULD and foremost, THE FAITH OF CHRIST, and REPOSE IN PEACE UNTIL THE GENERAL RESURRECTION secondarily, THE FAITH IN CHRIST OF THOSE WHO AND OUR FINAL JUDGEMENT.
BELIEVE.

Although THE PEOPLE OF THE OLD COVENANT WITH GOD HAD COMPLETE FAITH IN GOD, THEY COULD NOT
PARTICIPATE IN THE FAITH OF CHRIST FOR OUR SAVIOUR HAD NOT YET APPEARED TO THEM.

V

V

THE HOLY TRINITY IS OMNIPRESENT - ever-present – THERE HAS NEVER BEEN A TIME OR PLACE WHEN GOD THE FATHER, THE SON AND THE HOLY SPIRIT WAS NOT PRESENT! The only time we could actually SEE GOD was WHEN CHRIST – THE WORD AND SON OF GOD – BECAME MAN – BECAME INCARNATE – TOOK ON PHYSICAL MATTER – A HUMAN BODY. THE PURPOSE OF OUR LIFE ON EARTH HAS ALWAYS BEEN A VITAL PREPARATORY PERIOD FOR ETERNITY.

V

THOSE WHO STUBBORNLY REJECTED HIM, REMAIN IN HADES WHERE THEY SUFFER THE HIDEOUS FORETASTE OF THE VILENESS AND TORMENT OF ETERNAL ALIENATION FROM GOD, OUR FAITH IN CHRIST IS ONE OF PERSONAL COMMITMENT AND ALLEGIANCE TO HIM and through our Holy Baptism WE HAVE BECOME ADOPTED HEIRS OF GOD – Co-heirs with Christ to the Eternal

Heavenly Kingdom of God. ® Not only have we been Baptised into Christianity – into the Christian Faith, but WE HAVE VESTED OURSELVES WITH CHRIST – we have “put on Christ” – WE HAVE TAKEN ON OUR SACRED
MISSION TO BECOME CHRIST-LIKE – TO IMITATE CHRIST HIMSELF AND THEREBY REGAIN OUR LOST LIKENESS TO GOD. ® ACCORDING TO OUR NEW COVENANT WITH ALMIGHTY GOD, there is no distinction between social status, ethnicity or gender because WE ARE ALL EQUAL IN THE SIGHT OF GOD!

Because God’s Love of us is infinite and absolute, He provided mankind with a set of TEN COMMANDMENTS
OR LAWS THAT GUIDE US TOWARDS ETERNAL LIFE AND PROTECT US FROM FALLING INTO A STATE OF PERMANENT SPIRITUAL DEATH. ® THE TEN COMMANDMENTS OR MOSAIC LAW PREPARED THE HEBREW NATION FOR THE COMING OF GOD. ® WITH GOD’S NEW COVENANT, CHRIST REVEALED THE TRUE NATURE OF OUR MOST MERCIFUL, LOVING AND BENEVOLENT GOD TO US AND TAUGHT US THE WAY TO ETERNAL LIFE, which the ancient

V

SAVING FAITH AND BEING BAPTISED ARE INTERWOVEN –

people of God only understood instinctively at first and then through the teachings of the Holy Prophets of God.
AT THE HARROWING OF HADES AFTER HIS DEATH ON THE CROSS IN HIS HUMAN NATURE, CHRIST IN HIS DIVINE NATURE, SMASHED OPEN THE IMPRISONING DOORS OF HADES, and, having preached to the dead – both the
(SPONSORED BY DIMITRI PAIZIS) T HE FEA ST O F ST M ARIN A ( ST

we cannot claim to have one without the other! “For as many of you as were Baptised into Christ have put on Christ,” is OUR ANCIENT BAPTISM HYMN that is chanted during the procession of the Newly Regenerated into the Assembly – the Holy Church of Christ.

V

WE SHARE ONE HUMAN NATURE IN CHRIST.

Therefore, ASSESSING PEOPLE according to our own opinion, attitude, value, gender or ethnicity IS
FORBIDDEN IN CHRIST’S HOLY CHURCH,

M ARGA RIT A )

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IF WE ARE GENUINELY TRYING TO IMITATE CHRIST WE MUST DO SO WITHOUT FAIL: He never discriminated

against anyone so how dare we do so!
ANY DISCRIMINATION, BIGOTRY, INTOLERANCE OR PREJUDICE WILL CAUSE US SERIOUS SPIRITUAL

CONDEMNATION, WHICH UNLESS WE QUICKLY CORRECT OURSELVES WITH SINCERE REPENTANCE WILL AFFECT OUR ETERNITY!

We are all one in nature and equal in dignity.

The Holy Gospel According to St Mark 5: 24 – 34
THE HEALING OF THE BLEEDING WOMAN ON THE WAY TO JAIRUS’ DYING DAUGHTER

At that time our Lord Jesus went with Jairus, a ruler of the Synagogue, and a great multitude followed Him and thronged Him. Now a certain woman had a flow of blood for twelve years, and had suffered many things from many physicians. She had spent all that she had and was no better but rather grew worse. When she heard about Jesus, she went behind Him in the crowd and touched His garment, for she thought: “If only I may touch His garment, I shall be made well.” Immediately the source of her bleeding dried up and she felt in her body that she was healed of the affliction. And Jesus, immediately knowing in Himself that Power had gone out of Him, turned around in the crowd and asked: “Who touched My garment?” So His Disciples said to Him: “Thou seest the multitude thronging Thee and Thou ask ‘Who touched Me?’” And He looked around to see her who had done so, but the woman, fearing and trembling, knowing what had happened to her, went and fell down before Him and told Him the whole truth. So He said to her: “Daughter, your Faith has made you well. Go in Peace, and be healed of your affliction.”

V

AUTHORITY OVER LIFE AND DEATH IS BY THE WILL OF GOD ALONE and BEING OF THE SAME DIVINE ESSENCE AS GOD THE FATHER, OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST POSSESSES THAT SAME DIVINE AUTHORITY. THE HEALING OF THAT WOMAN, ST VERONICA, DEMONSTRATED OUR LORD JESUS’ POWER TO CLEANSE US FROM OUR SINS AND TO HEAL ALL OUR AFFLICTIONS – THE SPIRITUAL AND THE PHYSICAL.

HER FAITH IN HIM SO THAT OTHERS WOULD LEARN FROM HER AND GLORIFY GOD.

According to the Old Covenant Laws, any type of haemorrhaging caused ceremonial defilement, which imposed religious and social restrictions upon the sufferers for ANY CONTACT WITH BLOOD WAS STRICTLY
PROHIBITED AND AVOIDED AT ALL COSTS.

Therefore He loudly enquired “Who touched My garment?” which astonished His Disciples since the large crowd shoved and pushed one another to get closer to Christ and many would have brushed against Him or certainly touched His garments. Although on His way to save the daughter of Jairus – a “ruler of the Synagogue” – OUR LORD JESUS TOOK HIS TIME TO
ACKNOWLEDGE THE HEALED WOMAN AND TO TEACH BOTH HER AND ALL THOSE WHO WITNESSED IT HIS DIVINE TRUTH: First He granted her “Good cheer” because of THE PROOF AND CONSEQUENCES OF HER SINCERE FAITH. Then He corrected her thinking for SHE COULD NEITHER HIDE HER ACTIONS FROM HIM – FROM GOD – NOR WAS SHE EXCLUDED FROM HIM BECAUSE OF HER AFFLICTION. And finally, HE REVEALED HER FAITH PUBLICALLY SO THAT THE WITNESSES MIGHT FOLLOW HER GOOD EXAMPLE.

This wretched suffering woman regarded herself as being unclean and had followed all the requirements as a social outcast but SHE HAD REACHED SUCH A DEGREE OF MISERY
AND DESPERATION THAT SHE RISKED FURTHER SHAME AND HUMILIATION IN THE CONVICTION THAT ONLY CHRIST COULD HEAL HER.

It was a risk that she was willing to take – after all what more could she lose? People had already taken everything she had, but now GOD WOULD GRANT HER WHAT SHE REALLY
NEEDED!

Our Holy Church Fathers believed that St Veronica symbolises human nature in general because ALL HUMANITY
CONSTANTLY SUFFERS AND IS SUBJECT TO DEATH, WHICH WAS SYMBOLISED BY HER HAEMORRHAGING. The Physicians who could not heal her symbolise THE VARIOUS RELIGIONS OF THE WORLD, AS WELL AS THE OLD COVENANT LAW, WHICH ARE UNABLE TO GRANT LIFE TO HUMANITY – THEY CANNOT SAVE US ONLY GOD CAN SAVE OR REDEEM US! ONLY THROUGH OUR LORD AND SAVIOUR, JESUS CHRIST, ARE WE GENUINELY FREED FROM SUFFERING AND BONDAGE TO SIN!

V

EVERYTHING THAT IS TOUCHED BY GOD BECOMES SANCTIFIED – HOLY – AND WILL PASS THAT SANCTIFICATION ONTO THE FAITHFUL. So THE INSTANT ST VERONICA SOFTLY TOUCHED THE ROBES OF CHRIST SHE WAS HEALED AND GOD KNEW HER SINCERE FAITH IN HIM. DIVINE ENERGY OR POWER WENT FROM CHRIST TO ST VERONICA AND HE WANTED HER TO OPENLY ACKNOWLEDGE

St Marina the Great Martyr
During the time of the persecution against Christians under Emperor Diocletian (284 305), St Marina was born in Asia Minor, in the city of Antioch of Pisidia (southern Asia Minor), into the family of a pagan priest. After her mother died, her father placed her into the care of a nursemaid, who raised St Marina in the Christian Faith but when he heard about it, he furiously disowned her. The fifteen year old St Marina was arrested and imprisoned but with an unshakable Faith in the Will of God and His Divine Grace, the young prisoner prepared for her impending fate. Governor Olymbrios, enchanted by her fresh beauty, tried to persuade her to renounce the Christian Faith and become his wife. But when St Marina adamantly rejected all his offers, the frustrated Governor handed her over to the torturers who beat her savagely before nailing to a board and ripping her tender body with sharp tridents. The Governor who had to witness her punishment was unable to bear the horror of these tortures so he covered his face with his hands, while St Marina bravely remained unyielding. During the night she was granted Heavenly Aid that healed of her wounds. The following morning she was stripped naked and tied to a tree that was set alight. Barely alive, St Marina prayed aloud: "Lord, Thou hast granted me to go through fire for Thy Name; grant me also to go through the Water of Holy Baptism." Hearing the word "water," the Governor ordered St Marina to be drowned in a large cauldron so she besought the Lord that this manner of execution should become for her Holy Baptism. As they plunged her into the water, a bright Light shone upon her and a white dove flew down from Heaven, bearing in its beak a Golden Crown. Her chains fell apart and St Marina stood up and glorified the Holy Trinity, emerging from her Baptism completely healed! Amazed by such a Miracle, the people glorified the True God, and many became Christian, which enraged the Governor who ordered the instant execution of anyone who confessed the Name of Christ. Consequently 15,000 Christians were martyred, together with St Marina who was beheaded. The sufferings of St Marina were described by an eyewitness of the event, named Theotimos. Until the sacking of Constantinople by Western crusaders in 1204, the Holy Relics of St Marina were preserved in the Panteponteia Monastery, and then in Antioch until 908, after which they there transferred to Italy. Now they rest in Athens, in a church dedicated to the Holy Virgin Martyr. Her venerable hand was transferred to Mount Athos, to the Vatopedi Monastery.
ADAPTED & EDITED BY MP: “LIVES & FEASTS OF SAINTS” ORTHODOX CHURCH OF AMERICA

Where Divine Love has touched the heart, there the fear of harsh words has no power. And where the fear of Gehenna has appeared, there is patient endurance of every toil; but where the hope of the Kingdom is known, there is disdain for all earthly things. (TO THE SHEPHERD:
THE PHILOKALIA – VOLUME 1)

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(SPONSORED BY DIMITRI PAIZIS)

T HE

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Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria & All Africa Archdiocese of Good Hope
ALL GLORY, HONOUR AND WORSHIP TO THE FATHER, AND TO THE SON, AND TO THE HOLY SPIRIT, NOW AND EVER, AND UNTO THE AGES OF AGES. AMEN. REMEMBERING ALSO OUR MOST HOLY, MOST PURE, MOST BLESSED AND GLORIOUS LADY, MARIA, BIRTH GIVER OF GOD, YET EVER VIRGIN, TOGETHER WITH ALL THE SAINTS. AND LET US COMMIT OURSELVES AND ONE ANOTHER AND OUR WHOLE LIFE TO CHRIST OUR GOD. AMEN.

8th Sunday After Pentecost

Tone (7) Varys/Grave

18 July 2010

8th Sunday of St Matthew – The Light of the World
Feast of the 630 Holy Fathers of the 4th Ecumenical Council at Chalcedon Also the Feast of St Emilianos of Bulgaria (from Dolostorum, Thrace); St Paul, St Thea & St Oulalentine, Holy Martyrs; St John. Archbishop of Constantine; St John the Longsuffering of Kiev Near Caves; St Hycinthos of Amastris, Anatolia; St Pambo the Recluse of Kiev Far Caves; St Pambo the Ascetic Hermit of Egypt; St Kozman, Hieromartyr of Georgia; the Appearance of the Holy Icon of the Ever Blessed Theotokos of Tolga
RE SURRE CTION A POL YTIK ION TO NE (7 ) VAR YS/GR AVE

Katelisas to Stavro Sou ton thanaton.

Ineoxas to listi ton Paradison. Ton Miroforon ton thrinon metevales ke tis sis Apostolis kirittin epetaxas, oti Anestis, Hriste O Theos, parehon to kosmo to Mega Eleos.
O F THE HO L Y CHU R CH FATHER S – TO NE (8 )

By

Thy Cross Thou destroyed Death; Thou opened Paradise to the Thief; Thou changed the funeral wail of the Myrrh-bearing Women, and Commanded them to announce to Thine Apostles that Thou had Risen from the dead, O Christ our God, Who bestows on the world Great Mercy!
4

A POL YT IKION

PL AG AL

Iperdedoxasmenos
KO NT AKION O F THE

i Hriste O Theos imon, O fostiras epi gis, tous Pateras imon themeliosas, ke di afton, pros tin alithinin pistin pantas imas odigisas, Poliefsplahne doxa Si!
EVE R BLESSED THEOT OKO S

Supremely

praised art Thou, O Christ our God, Who established on earth, our Fathers as Luminaries; and through them, to the True Faith all of us Thou has Guided, O Most Compassionate One: Glory to Thee! Protector of the Christians unashamable, Mediator to the Creator Immovable, despise not, the pleading voices of those in sin, but hasten O Good One, to the aid of all of us, who in Faith cry out to Thee: hasten Thine Intercession, and present Thy Supplication, O Theotokos who always protects all who honour Thee!

Prostasia

ton Hristianon akateskhinte, mesitia pros ton Piitin ametathete, mi Paridis, amartolon deiseon fonas, alla profthason os agathi, is tin voithian imon, ton pistos kravgazonton Si: Tahinon is presvian, ke spefson is ikesian, i prostatevousa ai, Theotoke, ton timonton se.

O

Resurrection Gospel 8 - John 20 : 11 - 18
PROKEIMENON

- OUR RISEN LORD JESUS SPEAKS TO ST MARY MAGDALENE

The Lord will grant Strength to His people. Offer to the Lord, O Sons of God, offer to the Lord Sacrifice and
The Epistle of St Paul to St Titos 3 : 8 - 15
CONCERNING HERETICAL & SCHISMATIC MEMBERS

Praise!

Titos, a True Son in our common Faith: This is a faithful saying, and these things I want you to affirm constantly, so that those who have believed in God should be careful to maintain Good Works. These things are good and profitable to men. But avoid foolish disputes, genealogies, contentions, and strivings about the Law, for they are unprofitable and useless. Reject a divisive person after the first and second admonition, knowing that such a person is warped and sinning, being self condemned. When I send Artemas to you, or Tychikos, be diligent to come to me at Nicopolis, for I have decided to spend the winter there. Send Zenas the Lawyer and Apollos on their Journey with haste, so that they may lack nothing. And let our people also learn to maintain Good Works, to meet urgent needs, so that they may not be unfruitful. All who are with me greet you. Greet those who Love us in the Faith. Grace be with you all. Amen. AND HER DIVINELY TAUGHT AND INSPIRED While St Paul was painfully aware that we are all awaiting TEACHINGS OF GOD. the consummation of the Age to come – Eternity – he > ANY REJECTION OF GOD’S TRUTH TO ANY DEGREE IS knew that WE ALREADY PARTICIPATE IN THE
ESCHATOLOGICAL COMMUNITY
WHATEVER WE DO, THINK OR SAY NOW ALREADY HAS AN EFFECT ON OUR ETERNITY – OUR EVER LASTING EXISTENCE AFTER THIS TEMPORARY, PREPARATORY LIFE ON EARTH – BUT GOD IN HIS GREAT LOVE AND MERCY HAS GRANTED US THIS TIME TO CORRECT AND TO IMPROVE OURSELVES BY REPENTANCE-CONFESSION SO THAT WE CAN GROW CLOSER TO GOD AND GET RID OF OUR PASSIONS AND SINS THAT ALIENATE US FROM HIM AND ONE ANOTHER.

APOSTASY – A SERIOUS AND DEADLY SIN THAT CAN HAVE FAR REACHING CONSEQUENCES AND WHICH SHOULD BE CORRECTED AND RESOLVED AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.

> INCOMPLETE AND ERRONEOUS BELIEFS RESULT IN
IMMORAL BEHAVIOUR.

b

HOLY BAPTISM AND CHRISMATION IS THE BEGINNING – THE RITE OF PASSAGE TOWARDS A PROGRESSIVE LIFE OF RENEWAL IN CHRIST JESUS. THE WHOLE TRUTH – GOD’S PERFECT AND ABSOLUTE TRUTH.

b

> DIVISIVE PEOPLE are those who PICK OR CHOOSE FROM

ONLY GOD’S TRUTH GUIDES US CORRECTLY TOWARDS OUR ULTIMATE DESTINATION – ETERNAL LIFE – BY THE WILL OF GOD THE FATHER, THROUGH CHRIST OUR LORD, SAVIOUR AND TEACHER, WHICH IS ACTIVATED AND MADE POSSIBLE FOR US BY THE HOLY SPIRIT. OF HUMBLE OBEDIENCE TO GOD’S COMMANDMENTS

> JUST LIKE THE INVENTOR OF LIES – SATAN – THEY BAIT
THEIR POISONOUS HOOKS WITH A TINY MORSEL OF TRUTH BUT ONCE WE HAVE BEEN HOOKED, WE DISCOVER THE DEPTH OF THEIR DECEPTIONS AND LIES.

> ONLY THROUGH FULFILLING OUR SACRED COMMITMENTS can we expect to become worthy Citizens of His Eternal Kingdom of Love. > FAITH IN GOD AND GOOD WORKS ARE THE ONLY MEANS
WHEREBY WE WILL ENJOY ETERNAL LIFE BECAUSE IT ALL BEGINS HERE, ON EARTH, WITH OUR PHYSICAL

> A SECT IS a group of people who follow their own choices – COMPLETELY APART AND INDEPENDENT OF
HOLY TRADITION AND THE HOLY CHURCH OF CHRIST
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8TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST – 8TH OF ST MATTHEW – LIGHT OF THE WORLD – 18 JULY 2010

19

AND SPIRITUAL RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD AND WITH ONE ANOTHER.

RELATIONSHIPS WITH GOD AND OUR FELLOW SINNERS, WE WILL BE ABLE TO MAKE GOOD PROGRESS.

> EVERYONE – NO MATTER WHETHER THEY BELIEVE OR
NOT – WILL BE JUDGED ACCORDING TO DIVINE MERCY AND JUSTICE. So if we KEEP THIS IN MIND, AND STRIVE DAILY TO IMPROVE OURSELVES FROM WITHIN AND THEREBY OUR

> EVERY WORD, THOUGHT AND DEED HAS A PROFOUND
EFFECT ON EVERYONE WHO COMES INTO CONTACT WITH US – directly or indirectly -and thus we will be

held responsible – and judged accordingly.

The Holy Gospel According to St Matthew 5 : 14 – 19
WE ARE DISCIPLES OF CHRIST WHO LIVE AND SHINE LIKE BRIGHT GUIDING LIGHTS IN THE WORLD

At that time, our Lord Jesus said: “You are the Light of the world. A city that is set upon a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, so that they may see your Good Works and glorify your Father in Heaven. Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfil, for assuredly, UI say to you: until Heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the Law until all is fulfilled. Whoever, therefore breaks one of the least of these Commandments, and teaches others so, shall be called least in the Kingdom of Heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, shall be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven.” from our immortal, invisible soul and returned b EVERYONE WHO IS B A P T I S E D I N C H R I S T AND WHO to the earth from whence it came, to be THEREFORE HAS P U T ON C H R I S T , IS A resurrected later together with our immortal D I S C I P L E O F C H R I S T AND MUST L I V E I N C H R I S T – FAITHFULLY FOLLOWING STEP BY STEP souls that, hopefully, will have reposed in the AS HE LEADS US THROUGH THIS DIFFICULT Peace of Paradise until the Second Coming of PREPARATORY PERIOD BEFORE ETERNITY. our Incarnate God – our Lord Jesus Christ – for b Our Lord Jesus Christ used the terms “salt” and “light” His Final Judgement. to illustrate THE ESSENTIAL ROLE OF HIS FAITHFUL > Finally, CHRIST ENCOURAGES US with the Knowledge DISCIPLES IN HUMAN SOCIETY AND TO REMIND THE that HIS SECOND COMING (OR REAPPEARANCE IN HIS > SALT
HEBREWS OF THEIR ETERNAL COVENANT WITH GOD. WAS A SYMBOL OF AN INDISSOLUBLE COVENANT WITH GOD, so it was added to the
GLORIFIED, PHYSICAL FORM OR HUMAN, VISIBLE, NATURE) IS MERELY A SHORT WHILE OR TIME-SPAN COMPARED TO ETERNITY ( WHICH HAS NO BEGINNING AND NO END AT ALL! ETERNITY IS ALSO AN UNCHANGABLE STATE OF EXISTENCE SO WHATEVER STATE WE ENTER ETERNITY, THAT IS HOW WE WILL REMAIN FOREVER AND EVER!!

Grain Offering. > OIL SYMBOLISED THE HOLY SPIRIT, AND INCENSE
WAS A SYMBOL OF PRAYER.

1 THESSALONIANS 5:5 “You are all sons of Light and

b

GOD IS THE TRUE AND UNCREATED LIGHT.

In the Old Testament “Light” symbolises > GOD: ISAIAH 60 : 1 – 3 – “Shine, shine, O Jerusalem! For your Light is come, and the Glory of the Lord is risen upon you. Behold! Darkness and gloom shall cover the earth upon the nations, but the Lord will shine on you; and His Glory shall be seen upon you. Kings shall come to your Light, and the Gentiles to your Brightness.” > THE DIVINE LAW OF GOD: PSALM 118:105 – “Thy Word is a Lamp to my feet and a Light to my Paths.” > and ISRAEL in contrast to all other nations. In the New Testament, our Lord Jesus Christ Who is the SON OF GOD is called “Light.” JOHN 1: 4 – 9 “In (THE WORD WHO IS GOD) was Life and the Life was the Light of mankind. And the Light shines in the (SPIRITUAL) Darkness, and the Darkness did not comprehend It. There was a man sent from God whose name was John. This man came as a Witness, to bear witness of the Light, so that all through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the True Light Who grants Light to every one coming into the world.” JOHN 8: 12 – “... Jesus spoke to them again, saying: ‘I Am the Light of the world. He who follows me shall not walk in (SPIRITUAL) Darkness, but have the Light of Life.’” 1 JOHN 1:5 – “This is the Message that we have heard from Christ and declare to you: God is Light and in Him is no darkness at all!” Light is necessary both for clear vision and for the existence of life itself. Faith relies on this Divine Light of God and faithful Christian Believers become “sons of Light” at our Holy Baptism and Chrismation, when we are adopted as Sanctified Heirs to the Eternal Kingdom of God. JOHN 12:36 – “While you have the Light, believe in the Light, so that you may become sons of Light.” These Things Jesus spoke, and departed, and was hidden from them.” > “The Light” referred to Christ Himself. > These words of Christ meant that HE WOULD ALL
TOO SOON COMPLETE HIS BEFORE REVERTING TO HIS THE SON OF GOD – i.e. SPIRITUAL AND THEREFORE NATURE – after His Ascension PUBLIC MINISTRY DIVINE STATE AS RETURN TO HIS INVISIBLE DIVINE

sons of the Day. We are not of the night, nor of darkness.”
CEASELESSLY AWARE OF THE PRIMACY OF GOD’S KINGDOM AND MAINTAIN FULL CONTROL OVER ALL OUR SPIRITUAL FACULTIES. Therefore BEING SANCTIFIED, ADOPTED CHILDREN OF GOD, WE MUST SHINE in the perverse, fallen world that

> AS FAITHFUL DISCIPLES OF CHRIST WE MUST BE

surrounds us.
PHILIPPIANS 2:15 – “... become blameless and harmless Children of God, without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as Lights in the (SPIRITUALLY DARKENED) world. > Because of Christ’s Supreme Sacrifice, we must

b

EAGERLY TAKE HOLD OF, MAINTAIN AND PRESERVE EVERYTHING THAT GOD OFFERS US, BY ACCEPTING HIS DIVINE GRACE AND WORKING CEASELESSLY TOWARDS OUR PERSONAL MATURITY IN CHRIST. WE WORK OUT OUR OWN SALVATION.

b b b

GOD NEVER FORCES ANYONE to accept His Divine

Will and His free offer of Salvation and Eternal Life in His Kingdom of Heaven.
HE CREATED US WITH HIS DIVINE GIFT OF FREE WILL SO THAT WE COULD CHOOSE what type of

Eternity we wanted for ourselves.
BECAUSE OF GOD’S INFINITE LOVE FOR US and

knowing how the evil ones perpetually seek our Spiritual Death - our alienation from God – OUR
LORD HAS GIVEN US EVERYTHING WE NEED TO MAKE THE RIGHT CHOICE: His Commandments,

His Teachings, His Holy Church that guides, guards and encourages us without fail.

b

IT IS COMPLETELY UP TO US WHETHER WE USE THESE DIVINE TOOLS OF HIS TRUTH AND LIFE OR NOT. > GOD’S HOLY ANGELS AND SAINTS are also assigned to us to HELP US, GUIDE US, PROTECT US AND LEAD US TOWARDS OUR ULTIMATE DESTINATION. > And then, for our immediate help GOD GRANTS US EXTRAORDINARY PEOPLE IN OUR LIVES who are

our contemporary fellow travellers. These special people – OUR HOLY CHURCH FATHERS (our Spiritual Fathers who may be our Father Confessors, Parish Priests, Bishops, Monks or Hermits) AND OTHER
FAITHFUL CHRISTIANS WHO ARE MORE SPIRITUALLY EXPERIENCED than us - DO NOT COME INTO OUR LIVES BY MERE CHANCE OR BY SO-CALLED “COINCIDENCE,” BUT BECAUSE GOD KNOWS THAT THEY WILL BE OF GREAT SPIRITUAL ASSISTANCE AND GUIDANCE TO US. Subsequently, WE MUST BE HUMBLE ENOUGH TO PAY ATTENTION TO WHAT THEY TELL US AND TO APPLY SUCH SPIRITUAL ENLIGHTENMENT, WISDOM AND ADVICE TO OUR WORDS, THOUGHTS AND DEEDS! WHEN WE ACCEPT GOD’S DIVINE TRUTH AND COMMIT TO LIFE IN CHRIST, GOD WILL UNFAILINGLY MAKE EVEN THE SEEMINGLY IMPOSSIBLE HAPPEN! > GOD WORKS WITHIN US – ENABLING US TO FREELY AND JOYFULLY FULFIL HIS DIVINE WILL.

into Heaven in His human, glorified and Resurrected Nature. > He also clearly told us that OUR EARTHLY LIVES ARE
VERY LIMITED AND WE HAVE ONLY A VERY SHORT TIME TO REPENT AND TO BELIEVE IN CHRIST BEFORE WE EXPERIENCE OUR PHYSICAL DEATH,

b

when our mortal, physical body is separated 20
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8TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST – 8TH OF ST MATTHEW – LIGHT OF THE WORLD – 18 JULY 2010

At midnight, on Holy Pascha (Easter) Sunday morning, the Paschal Divine Services (i.e. Paschal Matins, followed by the Divine Liturgy of St John Chrysostom) begins when the Priest (or Bishop, if it is a Hierarchal Service) will emerge from the Holy Sanctuary into the darkened Nave of the church with a simple, lit candle, loudly and joyfully pronouncing the glorious words of the Resurrection of Christ: “Come! Receive the Light that is never overtaken by night!”

WICKEDNESS, DEATH AND DESTRUCTION CONQUERED AND DEFEATED BY GOD! GOD HAS NOT ONLY ELEVATED OUR HUMAN NATURE uniting it with His Divine Nature, BUT HAS ENABLED TO REALLY MAKE SPIRITUAL PROGRESS as long as

IS

by
US

b b

ALL CHRISTIAN VIRTUES HAVE BOTH A PERSONAL AND A PUBLIC FUNCTION, for OUR VIRTUE AS DISCIPLES OF CHRIST CAN BRING OTHERS who hunger and thirst for Divine Truth TO GLORIFY GOD THE FATHER. OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST FULFILLED THE LAW of the Old Covenant between God and the Hebrew Nation IN HIMSELF, IN HIS WORDS AND IN HIS ACTIONS

> by PERFORMING GOD’S WILL IN ALL ITS FULLNESS > by NEVER TRANSGRESSING ANY OF THE PRECEPTS
(TEACHINGS AND RULES)

OF THE LAW

> by DECLARING THE PERFECT FULFILMENT OF THE LAW, which He was about to deliver to them > by GRANTING RIGHTEOUSNESS – the ultimate Goal of the Divine Law – to us ROMANS 3:31 – “Do we then make void the Law through Faith? Certainly not! On the contrary: we establish the Law.” The Law of God teaches us that: > ATTAINING RIGHTEOUSNESS THROUGH GOOD WORKS
ALONE IS IMPOSSIBLE TO ACHIEVE.

DIVINE TRUTH IF THEY HAD MERELY BEEN IGNORANT IN THEIR REJECTION OF CHRIST, THEIR OFFENCE WOULD CERTAINLY HAVE BEEN PARDONABLE. However, THEIR REJECTION OF CHRIST WAS DUE TO MORE THAN IGNORANCE, for it was not because they simply did not know Christ, but THEY WERE DETERMINED TO ESTABLISH THEIR OWN CONCEPT OF RIGHTEOUSNESS INSTEAD OF SUBMITTING TO THE TRUE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD. In other words, just like so many of us today, THEY TRUSTED IN THEMSELVES AND THEIR OWN EFFORTS AND REJECTED THE TRUE WAY OF FAITH IN CHRIST – EVEN WHEN IT WAS PRESENTED TO THEM BY GOD INCARNATE HIMSELF!

we wish to do so. It is now entirely up to us to decide which path to follow. ROMANS 10:3-4“...they, being ignorant of God’s Righteousness, have not submitted themselves to the Righteousness of God, for Christ is the end of the Law for Righteousness to everyone who believes.” > THE ZEAL OF THE HEBREWS WAS NOT BASED IN >

b

> RIGHTEOUSNESS IS ATTAINED ONLY BY FAITH AND >

GOOD WORKS, WHICH ARE BOTH FREE DIVINE GIFTS FROM GOD GOD IS IMPARTIAL FOR BOTH HEBREWS AND GENTILES ARE JUSTIFIED ON THE SAME BASIS OF ONGOING FAITH IN JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD AND SAVIOUR.

CHRIST HAS ALWAYS BEEN THE WAY OF SALVATION – ACCORDING TO BOTH THE OLD AND THE NEW COVENANTS WITH GOD. THE LAW OF GOD – MOSAIC LAW OF THE TEN COMMANDMENTS OF GOD – WAS GRANTED TO THE HEBREW NATION IN ORDER TO PREPARE THEM FOR CHRIST, while HIS COMING INTO THE WORLD – God

Himself entering our world to teach us directly and to offer Himself as the Ultimate Most Unique and fulfilling for all time Sacrifice - WAS THE END OF THE LAW AND
THE FULFILMENT OF GOD’S DIVINE RIGHTEOUSNESS.

There is no difference between the terms “by Faith” and “through Faith.”
BY TEACHING JUSTIFICATION BY OUR FAITH IN CHRIST, WE ESTABLISH OR UPHOLD THE DIVINE LAW OF GOD BECAUSE CHRIST HIMSELF FULFILS THE LAW OF GOD.

b

ROMANS 8:3-4 “... what the Law could not do in because it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, so that the Righteous requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the (Holy) Spirit.” > THE LAW OF MOSES FAILED DUE TO THE WEAKNESS
OF HUMAN NATURE.

CHRIST ALSO FULFILLED ALL THE PROPHECIES OF THE HOLY PROPHETS OF GOD > by BEING EVERYTHING THEY HAD FORETOLD CONCERNING HIM > by FULFILLING EVERYTHING THEY HAD PROPHESIED CONCERNING HIM. THE WHOLE LAW OF GOD IS AFFIRMED BY CHRIST AS THE FOUNDATION OF HIS NEW TEACHING.

b

The term “sinful flesh” does not imply that our human nature is inherently sinful, but that OUR FLESH HAS
BECOME CORRUPTED AND GIVEN OVER TO ALL MANNER OF SIN. > CHRIST FULFILLED BOTH THE LAW OF MOSES AND THE LAW OF OUR HUMAN NATURE BY BECOMING FLESH (I.E. BY BECOMING A HUMAN BEING – TAKING ON OUR HUMAN
PHYSICAL BODY WITH ALL ITS WEAKNESSES BUT INCLINATION TO COMMIT SIN.) WITHOUT OUR

His statement “... all is fulfilled...” was a reference to His approaching Passion and Resurrection. > CHRIST STERNLY WARNED US THAT RIGHTEOUSNESS ACCORDING TO THE LAW IS A UNIFIED WHOLE so the observance of all the seemingly least important Commandments of God is in keeping with THE OBSERVANCE OF THE WHOLE LAW, while THE VIOLATION OF THE SEEMINGLY LEAST
IMPORTANT COMMANDMENTS OF GOD IS A SERIOUS VIOLATION OF THE ENTIRE LAW OF GOD. In other words, THERE IS NO CHANGE AT ALL TO THE DIVINE COMMANDMENTS OF GOD, which compel,

>

> CHRIST NEVER COMMITTED ANY SIN AT ALL because although He came in the likeness of our human sinfulness HE NEVER SUCCUMBED TO IT. (GOD CAN
DO NO EVIL, HARM OR ANYTHING WICKED OR DESTRUCTIVE OR NEGATIVE FOR HE IS 100% GOODNESS AND LOVE IT IS HIS DIVINE NATURE TO DO LOVE! ONLY GOOD THINGS.)

guide and encourage us towards His Eternal Kingdom.
TO HIS HOLY PROPHETS STILL APPLY TO US UNTIL THE FINAL JUDGEMENT DAY. WHEN CHRIST TOLD US IN ONE SENTENCE: “LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR MIND, WITH ALL YOUR HEART, WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL – AND (LOVE) YOUR NEIGHBOUR AS (MUCH AS YOU LOVE) YOURSELF!” IT ENCAPSULATED ALL THE DIVINE COMMANDMENTS OF GOD – IT DID NOT NULLIFY OR REJECT ANY OF THEM!!

> THE COMMANDMENTS OF GOD GIVEN TO MOSES AND

Because the Son of God became Man, HE CONDEMNED SIN
ITSELF AND DESTROYED ITS ENSLAVING POWER OVER ALL MANKIND.

b

In our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, OUR HUMAN NATURE HAS FINAL VICTORY OVER ALL SIN – ALL

The 4th Ecumenical Council of Chalcedon
The Fourth Ecumenical Council took place in Chalcedon in 451, and is also known as the Council of Chalcedon. It ruled that Jesus Christ is "in two Natures" (FULLY DIVINE AND FULLY HUMAN) in opposition to the doctrine of Monophysitism
THAT CHRIST WAS ONLY DIVINE AND NOT HUMAN AT ALL). (THE BELIEF

The Council also issued Canons dealing mainly with the organisation of the Church. The respective acceptance and rejection of this Ecumenical Council led to the break between the Chalcedonian Orthodox (the "Eastern Orthodox Church") and the Non Chalcedonians (the "Oriental Orthodox Church"). From the purely historical point of view the Council of Chalcedon was the beginning of a crisis in the Life of the Holy Church of Christ. The first great schism, which still divides Eastern Christendom, is rooted in Chalcedon. And if we want the Truth and the dogmatic achievement of the Fourth Ecumenical Council to be the foundation of Church Unity, should we not try to understand why

The Historical Background of the 4th Ecumenical Council

that Truth for so many Christians became a scandal and a stumbling block? The reason for both its success as well as of its historical failure, is to be found in that central event of the whole history of the Church, and especially the history of the Eastern Church — its alliance with the Roman Empire, the true kernel and root of "Byzantinism."

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8TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST – 8TH OF ST MATTHEW – LIGHT OF THE WORLD – 18 JULY 2010

21

The conversion of Emperor Constantine was the first step in the growth of the Christian Empire, although it has often been accused of having merely been a nominal Christian state that retained its pagan nature and all its political and social deficiencies, instead of transforming them according to Christian principles. Still more frequently, the Byzantine Church has been accused of not reacting against these deficiencies, of not actively furthering the building of a temporal (WORLDLY, EARTHLY) Order, of making compromises with regard to slavery, social injustice and so on. These accusations are typical of our modern conceptions of the Sacred Task of the Church in human society. However, it is fair to judge Byzantium according to criteria (STANDARDS AND CONDITIONS) with which it was quite unacquainted? For the Byzantine Church still kept as the core of its being the ontological (PHILOSOPHICAL STUDY OF EXISTENCE) difference between the Church and the world, which doubtless was the essential element in early Christianity. b THE HOLY CHURCH OF CHRIST IS NOT OF THIS WORLD, and ENTERING THE CHURCH HAS ALWAYS MEANT
DYING IN ORDER TO BE REBORN INTO A NEW LIFE. In this sense CHRISTIANITY IS NOT A DOCTRINE "APPLICABLE" TO THE WORLD. It is, in particular, a "NEW PEOPLE." And YET, BEING NOT OF THIS WORLD, THE CHURCH LIVES IN THE WORLD AND FOR THE WORLD AND THE SALVATION OF THE WORLD IS ITS ONLY TASK.

In these Christological struggles the State had to take a definite position to make a choice too often, being requested to do so by the Church herself. Unfortunately, the Roman Empire often chose political pragmatism rather than Divine Truth. The Fourth Ecumenical Council of Chalcedon was the critical point the climax of that long and tragic process.

b

ALL THE POLITICAL AND THE NATIONAL PROBLEMS OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE WERE IMPLIED IN THE DOGMATIC QUESTION CONCERNING THE TWO NATURES OF CHRIST. > IT TOOK CENTURIES TO REALISE THE TRUE VALUE AND TRUE MEANING OF THE DOGMA FORMULATED THERE.

Contemporaries realised above all that the 4th Ecumenical Council meant
THE DEFEAT OF THE OLD ECCLESIASTICAL CENTRES OF ALEXANDRIA, ANTIOCH, EPHESUS BY CONSTANTINOPLE, THE VICTORY OF THE IMPERIAL CHURCH OVER THE COPTS AND THE SYRIANS, THE CONFRONTATION OF THE “NEW ROME” AND THE ANCIENT ROME. PARADOXICALLY, THE FOURTH ECUMENICAL COUNCIL of

Chalcedon, which proclaimed the most universal of all Dogmas, at the same time ENDED ROMAN
CHRISTIAN UNIVERSALISM. > SYRIA, EGYPT, ARMENIA AND PERSIA DID NOT ACCEPT IT BECAUSE THE DOGMA OF CHALCEDON CARRIED WITH IT AN IMPERIAL SEAL, and all the efforts of the Roman Empire

This explains why at that time the Church could only regard the "conversion" of the State as being "nominal" in a sense. b Nevertheless, THAT “CONVERSION” TO CHRISTIANITY
OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE ENORMOUS VICTORY. REPRESENTED AN

b

to balance it by all kinds of compromises did not reconcile these Christian bodies to the Orthodox Byzantium. Despite the historical failure due to the human weakness in Church history, THE GREATEST
VICTORY OF PERFECT, DIVINE TRUTH WAS WON, AND THE FOURTH ECUMENCIAL COUNCIL OF CHALCEDON BECAME AN Ever living Symbol and

It implied — and here we touch the very heart of "Byzantinism" THE SUBMISSION OF THE STATE TO THE ULTIMATE VALUES OF THE TRUE FAITH,
AND THE POSSIBILITY, FOR EVERY ONE IN THE STATE TO LIVE A FULL CHRISTIAN LIFE GRANTED BY THE HOLY CHURCH OF CHRIST.

Foundation of Living Theology for subsequent generations of Christians. > AS OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST TAUGHT US “...
STRENGTH IS MADE PERFECT IN WEAKNESS." THEREFORE WE MUST ALWAYS REMAIN LOYAL TO THE STRENGTH OF GOD AS REVEALED AT CHALCEDON, AND IT IS THIS SAME LOYALTY THAT COMPELS US TO AN EVER-RENEWED REPENTANCE FOR OUR HISTORICAL WEAKNESSES AND SHORTCOMINGS.
ADAPTED & EDITED BY MP – “THE HISTORICAL BACKROUND OF THE COUNCIL OF CHALDEDON” BY ALEXANDER SCHMEMANN, B.D. - THE ECUMENICAL REVIEW , VOL. 4, NO. 4, JULY 1952

Of course, THE VERY MAXIMALISM OF THAT VISION (for it is much more a vision and an aspiration than a practical programme) MADE ITS APPLICATION TO LIFE
TOO DIFFICULT AND EXPLAINS THE ALMOST PERMANENT CRISIS IN WHICH THE CHRISTIAN EMPIRE LIVED. IT IS GRANTED TO OUR HOLY ORTHODOX CHURCH THROUGH THE HOLY SPIRIT TO UNDERSTAND THE DIVINE MYSTERIES OF GOD, AND SHE IS STRONG IN THE HOLINESS OF HER THOUGHT AND IN HER PATIENCE. The Orthodox soul is TAUGHT BY DIVINE GRACE TO HOLD FAST TO THE LORD AND HIS MOST HOLY MOTHER, and

The Wisdom of St Silouan of Mount Athos - The Soul’s Natural Yearning for God
This Love forsakes us DUE TO INCONTINENT
(UNRESTRAINED)

THOUGHT OR ATTACHMENT TO EARTHLY THINGS. WHEN CONFRONTED BY SUCH VICES, INSTANTLY DIVINE GRACE DEPARTS AND OUR SOUL IS LEFT DESOLATE AND DESPONDENT, YEARNING FOR GOD just like our ancient

our spirit rejoices in the Contemplation of God Whom we know. But WE CAN ONLY KNOW GOD BY THE HOLY SPIRIT, and those who proudly aspire to knowing our Creator with their own intelligence alone, are very blind and stupid! With our minds (OUR INTELLECT OR NOUS) we cannot come to know even how the sun was created; and if we beg God to tell us how He made the sun, the answer rings clear in our soul: “Humble yourself and you shall know not only the sun but the Creator of the sun!” However, WHEN THE HUMBLE SOUL COMES TO KNOW OUR LORD, OUR JOY CAUSES US TO FORGET about the sun and every created things, AND WE ABANDON ALL OUR
ANXIETY FOR EARTHLY KNOWLEDGE. OUR LORD GRANTED US THE HOLY SPIRIT and we learnt the Song of the Lord, and SO WE FORGET THE EARTH FOR THE SWEETNESS OF THE LOVE OF GOD. OUR LORD’S LOVE IS AN ARDENT LOVE AND ALLOWS NO THOUGHT OF EARTHLY MATTERS. THOSE WHO EXPERIENCE THIS DIVINE LOVE SEEK IT TIRELESSLY DAY AND NIGHT, AND ARE DRAWN TOWARDS IT. However, THIS LOVE IS LOST TO US WHEN WE FALL INTO PRIDE AND CONCEIT, ENMITY, FAULT-FINDING AND ENVY.

ancestor, Paradise.

Adam,

yearned

after

his

exile

from

IF WE UNDERSTOOD THE FULL FORCE OF CHRIST’S WORDS: “Learn Humility and Meekness from Me,” THE WHOLE WORLD, THE WHOLE UNIVERSE, WOULD ABANDON ALL OTHER KNOWLEDGE TO STUDY THIS MOST HEAVENLY SCIENCE. WE ARE IGNORANT OF THE POWER OF CHRIST’S HUMILITY,

and that is why we aspire to worldly things.
WITHOUT THE HOLY SPIRIT WE CANNOT KNOW THE FORCE OF THESE DIVINE WORDS OF CHRIST, but those who

OF DIVINE LOVE, OUR JOY IS BEYOND DESCRIPTION! WHEN WE COME TO KNOW OUR LORD BY THE HOLY SPIRIT, WE STAND IN ETERNAL WONDER BEFORE GOD’S GREAT COMPASSION, MAJESTY AND MIGHT. If we have not yet learnt but are only BEGINNING TO LEARN HUMILITY, WE WILL BE SUBJECTED TO ALTERING STATES: sometimes contending with INTRUSIVE THOUGHTS THAT GIVE US NO REST, and at other times, freed from such thoughts, we are ABLE TO CONTEMPLATE AND PERCEIVE THE LOVE OF GOD.
ADAPTED & EDITED BY MP: “WISDOM FROM MOUNT ATHOS” – STARETZ (ELDER) SILOUAN

have learnt to know will never forsake their Knowledge, even if offered all the wealth of the world! LIFE IS BURDENSOME WITHOUT LOVE OF GOD for our soul feels sombre and stale, BUT WITH THE ACQUIREMENT

22

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8TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST – 8TH OF ST MATTHEW – LIGHT OF THE WORLD – 18 JULY 2010

Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria & All Africa Archdiocese of Good Hope
ALL GLORY, HONOUR AND WORSHIP TO THE FATHER, AND TO THE SON, AND TO THE HOLY SPIRIT, NOW AND EVER, AND UNTO THE AGES OF AGES. AMEN. REMEMBERING ALSO OUR MOST HOLY, MOST PURE, MOST BLESSED AND GLORIOUS LADY, MARIA, BIRTH GIVER OF GOD, YET EVER VIRGIN, TOGETHER WITH ALL THE SAINTS. AND LET US COMMIT OURSELVES AND ONE ANOTHER AND OUR WHOLE LIFE TO CHRIST OUR GOD. AMEN.

20 July 2010

Feast of St Elias/Elijah the Thesbite – Holy Prophet of God
Also the Feast of St Abramios of Galich, Disciple of St Sergios of Radonezh; St Athanasios Abbot of Brest-Litovsk – Uncovering of Holy Relics; St Ilia Chavchavadze of Georgia; St Maria Skobtsova, Holy Martyr; St Salome the Georgian Martyr; St Demetrios Klepinine, Hieromartyr; St Alexei Medvedkov, Hieromartyr; The appearance of the Holy Icon of the Ever Blessed Theotokos – the “Chukhloma” of Galich
APOLYTIKION OF ST ELIAS THE TISHBITE & HOLY PROPHET OF GOD – TONE 4

O

efsarkos Angelos, ton Profiton I Kripis, O defteros Prodromos tis Parousias Hristou, Ilias O Endoxos, anothen katapempsas, Elisseo tin Harin, nosous apodioki, ke leprous katharizi; dio ke tis timosin afton vrii iamata.
O F ST EL IA S THE T I SHBITE & HOL Y PROPH ET OF

O Angelic of body, Pillar of the Prophets and their Corner
Stone, the Forerunner of the Second Coming of Christ, the Venerable and Glorious Elijah Thou sent Grace from on High to Elisha to dispel sicknesses and to purify lepers. Wherefore, he ever overflows with healing to those who honour him.
GOD – TO NE 2

KO NT AKION

Profita

ke Proopta ton Megalourgion tou Theou, Ilia Megalinime, O to fthegmati sou stisas ta idatorrita nefi, presveve iper imon, pros ton Monon Filanthropon
O F THE EVE R BLESSED THEOT OKO S

O

Prophet and Foreseer of the Great Works of God, O Greatly Renowned Elias (Elijah), who by your word held back the clouds of rain, Intercede for us to the Only Loving One. Protector of the Christians unashamable, Mediator to the Creator Immovable, despise not, the pleading voices of those in sin, but hasten O Good One, to the aid of all of us, who in Faith cry out to Thee: hasten Thine Intercession, and present Thy Supplication, O Theotokos who always protects all who honour Thee!

KO NT AKION

Prostasia

ton Hristianon akateskhinte, mesitia pros ton Piitin ametathete, mi Paridis, amartolon deiseon fonas, alla profthason os agathi, is tin voithian imon, ton pistos kravgazonton Si: Tahinon is presvian, ke spefson is ikesian, i prostatevousa ai, Theotoke, ton timonton se.

O

The Epistle of St James 5: 10 - 20
ENCOURAGEMENT TO THE OPPRESSED & HEALING – THE WORK OF FAITH

My Brethren, take, as an example of suffering and patience the Prophets who spoke in the Name of the Lord. Indeed, we count them Blessed who endure. You have heard of the Endurance of Job and seen the end intended by the Lord – that the Lord is very Compassionate and Merciful. However, above all, my Brethren, do not swear – either by Heaven or by earth, or with any other oath and let your “yes” be “yes,” and your “no” be “no,” in case you fall into Judgement. Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sin Psalms. Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the Elders of the Church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with Oil in the Name of our Lord. And the Prayer of Faith will Save the sick, and our Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The effective, Fervent Prayer of a Righteous person avails much. Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain; and it did not rail on the land for three years and six month. And he prayed again, and the Heave gave forth rain, and the earth produced its fruit. Brethren, if anyone among you wanders from the Truth, and someone turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will Save a soul from Death and cover a multitude of sins. THE FAITHFUL HOLY PROPHETS WHO ARE CERTAINLY TRUE “But let your “yes” be yes, and your ‘No’ be no, SAINTS OF GOD ARE OUR BEST MODELS OR EXAMPLES for whatever is more than these is from the OF SUFFERING AND PATIENCE WHOM WE SHOULD evil one.” STRIVE TO IMITATE. With these words, Christ our Saviour taught us how to Consequently, ALL FAITHFUL CHRISTIANS OF THE NEW HONOUR OUR DIVINE ADOPTION AS HEIRS TO GOD’S
COVENANT HONOUR OR VENERATE THESE HOLY PROPHETS AS WELL AS ALL THE HOLY SAINTS AND MARTYRS, THEREBY ACKNOWLEDGING THEM AS BEING MOST BLESSED WITH THE DIVINE GRACE OF GOD. A polemic (A STRONG ARGUMENT) against A BAD CUSTOM OR HABIT STEMMING FROM BAD FAITH IS the common practice of SWEARING BY GOD OR SOMETHING THAT SIGNIFIES GOD – AS THOUGH SWEARING PROVED TRUTHFULNESS! We may swear an oath when absolutely necessary but THE SOLUTION TO THE LACK OF TRUST IS GENUINE GOOD FAITH – PROOF OF OUR PERSONAL INTEGRITY AND TRUTHFULNESS BETWEEN US AND GOD. MATTHEW 5: 33 – 37:”... you have heard that it was ETERNAL KINGDOM AND AS HIS FAITHFUL DISCIPLES. TRUTH CANNOT BE SECURED BY SWEARING AN OATH BY THINGS THAT ARE NOT IN OUR POSSESSION anyway, but

only by simple integrity! ® Furthermore, in this Spiritually Dark and fallen world of the last days, PEOPLE SWEAR WITHOUT ANY
THOUGHT OR REGARD FOR THE TRUTH.

All too often, THEY COMMIT TWO SERIOUS SINS BY
BLASPHEMING THE LORD OUR GOD’S HOLY NAME ATTACHED TO A BLATANT LIE! ® KNOWN HABITUAL LIARS’ OATHS ARE USELESS AND FUTILE AND EACH TIME THEY SWEAR AN OATH, THEY CONDEMN THEMSELVES MORE AND MORE. b TRUST AND TRUTH ARE INSEPARABLE VIRTUES.

said to those of old: ‘You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform your Oaths to the Lord.’ “But I say to you: do not swear at all: neither by Heaven , for it is God’s Throne; nor by the earth, for it is His Footstool; nor by Jerusalem, for it is the City of the Great King. “Nor shall you swear by your head, because you cannot make one hair white or black.
(SPONSORED BY DIMITRI PAIZIS)

Only through our constant preservation and practice of Trust and Truth will others be able to take us at our word. ® THE INSTANT THAT SACRED TRUST IS BROKEN, WE
LOOSE OUR INTEGRITY, OUR AUTHENTICITY AND OUR LEGITIMACY. ® THOSE WHO HABITUALLY LIE ARE MORE OFTEN THAN NOT ALSO HABITUAL THIEVES due to the fact that

THE FEAS T OF ST ELIAS /ST ELIJAH THE THESHBITE & HOLY PROPHET OF GOD – 20 JUL Y 2010

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THEY LACK HONESTY AND ETHICS, AND THEY ALWAYS HAVE A READY EXCUSE TO JUSTIFY THEMSELVES! ® LYING AND THIEVING ARE THE NOXIOUS VICES OF SATAN AND MUST BE CORRECTED IMMEDIATELY AND MOST DETERMINEDLY – through personal discipline and

THEMSELVES CORRECTLY WITH PRAYERS, SPIRITUAL SELF-EXAMINATION AND REPENTANCE-CONFESSION AS WELL AS (OF COURSE) HAVING KEPT THE GREAT LENTEN FAST.

True Repentance and Confession.
THERE IS NO EXCUSE FOR LYING OR STEALING, WHICH REVEALS A SPIRITUAL DARKNESS AND DEATH FROM WITHIN AND MAKE US MURDERERS OF GOD’S DIVINE TRUTH AND SLAVES OF THE EVIL ONE. Thus we must BE EVER WATCHFUL OVER THE STATE OF OUR WORDS, THOUGHTS AND DEEDS, ENSURING THAT WE QUICKLY CORRECT OUR ERRORS AND EMERGENT HABITS. St James instructed us to SEEK THE FERVENT PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH ELDERS (OR PRIESTS) FOR OUR SPIRITUAL AND PHYSICAL HEALING. b SALVATION DEALS WITH BOTH BODY AND SOUL – our visible and invisible being. Thus HOLY UNCTION serves a double purpose – HEALING AND THE FORGIVENESS OF SINS.

Although some people allege that confessing our sins to God before a Priest is not Biblical, THE ANCIENT
CHRISTIAN CUSTOM WAS TO CONFESS THEIR SINS – “TRESPASSES” - TO ONE ANOTHER.

The sins of the early Christians were confessed before the entire Congregation as an act of humble Repentance. But as the Holy Church grew, non-Christian – i.e. the uninitiated or untaught - visitors who were unfamiliar with the Sanctity and Trust of public Confession often attended the Holy Services. Consequently, IT BECAME MORE PRACTICAL AND EFFICIENT
FOR REPENTANT SINNERS TO CONFESS THEIR SINS IN PRIVATE BEFORE A PRIEST - WHO REPRESENTS OUR FELLOW HUMANITY AGAINST WHOM WE CONSTANTLY TRESPASS - AND GOD. WHAT IS CERTAINLY NOT TAUGHT IN HOLY SCRIPTURE IS A PRIVATE CONFESSION ONLY TO GOD, WHICH REFUSES TO ACKNOWLEDGE SIN TO THE CHRISTIAN COMMUNITY – our fellow sinners. 1 JOHN 1: 8 – 10: “If we say we have no sin, we

b

Priests are granted certain Divine Gifts for the Holy Ministry at their Ordination – at the Laying On Of Hands. 1 TIMOTHY 4:14 “...Do not neglect the Gift that is in you, which was given to you by Prophecy with the Laying On of the Hands of the Eldership.” This referred to St Timothy’s ORDINATION INTO THE HOLY PRIESTHOOD OF CHRIST, which was conferred upon him by the Holy Apostles of Christ, exactly as it is still done today by the Bishops. b PRAYERS ARE COMBINED WITH OLIVE OIL, WHICH WAS
NOT ONLY THE PRIMARY MEDICINE OF ANCIENT TIMES, BUT ALSO SYMBOLISED THE PRESENCE AND ACTIVITY OF THE HOLY SPIRIT IN THE CHURCH OF CHRIST. So it is that THE SINGLE HOLY MYSTERY OF UNCTION EFFECTS A HEALING FOR OUR COMPLETE BEING – PHYSICAL AND SPIRITUAL WELFARE AND HEALING THROUGH THE FORGIVENESS OF OUR SINS THAT ENSLAVE AND SICKEN US.

deceive ourselves, and the Truth is not in us. If we Confess our sins, He is faithful and Just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His Word is not in us! b OUR FAITH IS REVEALED AND PROVED BY OUR ACTIONS – our words, our thoughts and our deeds – which must produce Purity – i.e. we must practise and live Truth, which validates our Relationship with God – living every moment in Holiness and Righteousness. b OUR FAITH COMPELS US TO SEEK FORGIVENESS AND SPIRITUAL CLEANSING FOR ALL OUR SINS – great and small. Sin is our fallen, human condition but GOD HAS PROVIDED
US WITH A MEANS TO IMPROVE AND CORRECT OURSELVES THROUGH CONSTANT WATCHFULNESS AND REPENTANCE-CONFESSION, WHICH IS THE ESTABLISHED BASIS FOR SPIRITUAL GROWTH TOWARDS RIGHTEOUSNESS. So, THROUGH OUR LIFE IN CHRIST WE STRUGGLE DAILY TO FOLLOW HIM FAITHFULLY - LEARNING TO RECOGNISE AND RESIST THE ONSLAUGHT OF TEMPTATIONS - even

The essential Elements of Holy Unction include a Priest, the Prayers of the Faith that Saves us, connected to the Work of Christ Himself, for our Lord will raise us all up, and the Holy Spirit manifested in the Blessed, Sanctified Olive Oil, as well as the RepentanceConfession of personal sins prior to the Anointing with Oil – the Mystery of Holy Unction – which explains why St James wrote: “... if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.” In the Orthodox Church HOLY UNCTION IS GRANTED TO
ANYONE WHO IS SICK, WHETHER IN DANGER OF DYING OR NOT. And EVERY YEAR ON HOLY WEDNESDAY OF HOLY WEEK (BEFORE HOLY PASCHA), ALL FAITHFUL CHRISTIANS RECEIVE HOLY UNCTION HAVING PREPARED
TH E UN BELIE F

though we will continue to sin in varying degrees until we draw our last breath. b SALVATION IN CHRIST IS A CONTINUOUS PROCESS and
AS LONG AS WE DO THE BEST WE CAN TO FULFIL THE WILL OF GOD, WE NEED NOT FEAR OUR FINAL JUDGEMENT as much as those who rebel and

disobey God at every opportunity.

The Holy Gospel According to St Luke 4 : 22 - 30
O F N A ZARETH

At that time, all bore witness to our Lord Jesus Christ, and marvelled at the Gracious Words that proceeded out of His Mouth. And they said: “Is this not Joseph’s Son?” He said to them: “You will surely say this Proverb to Me: ‘Physician, heal Thyself! Whatever we have heard done in Capernaum, do also here in Thy country.’” Then He said: “Assuredly, I say to you: no Prophet is accepted in his own country. But I tell you truly, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the Heaven was shut up for three years and six months, and there was a great famine throughout all the land; but to none of them was Elijah sent except to Zarephath, in the region of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow. And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Elisha the Prophet, and none of them was cleansed except Naaman the Syrian.” So all those in the Synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath and rose up and thrust Him out of the city; and they led Him to the brow of the hill on which their city was built, so that they might throw Him down over the cliff. Then, passing through the midst of them, He went His way.
THIS SAME DUAL RESPONSE OF MARVELLING AND REJECTION OCCURRED FREQUENTLY IN THOSE WHO ENCOUNTERED OUR LORD JESUS. JOHN 9 : 16 “... some of the Pharisees said: ‘This Man THE REJECTION OF CHRIST BY HIS OWN FELLOW CITIZENS FULFILLED THE REJECTION OF THE OLD COVENANT PROPHETS SUCH AS ST ELIAS/ELIJAH AND ST ELISHA, and FORESHADOWED HIS FINAL REJECTION BY THE WHOLE HEBREW NATION AT HIS TRIAL BEFORE PONTIUS PILATE. b CHRIST ACCEPTED DEATH ACCORDING TO HIS FATHER’S DIVINE WILL, not according to the will of the Hebrews,

is not from God since He does not keep the Sabbath!’ Others said: ‘How can a man who is a sinner do such Signs?’ And there was a division among them.” Just as the Pharisees had ignored the Healing of the Paralytic and had focussed only on the perceived violation of the Sabbath Day, MANY OF THEM COULD NOT SEE THE GLORY
OF GOD DUE TO THEIR BLINDING, CRIPPLING PREJUDICES.

since the Hour of His Great Passion has not yet come.
JOHN 8:20 “These words Jesus spoke in the Treasury,

as He taught in the Temple; and no one laid hands on Him, for His Hour had not yet come.”

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(SPONSORED BY DIMITRI PAIZIS)

THE FEAS T OF ST ELIAS /ST ELIJAH THE THESHBITE & HOLY PROPHET OF GOD – 20 JUL Y 2010

Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria & All Africa Archdiocese of Good Hope
ALL GLORY, HONOUR AND WORSHIP TO THE FATHER, AND TO THE SON, AND TO THE HOLY SPIRIT, NOW AND EVER, AND UNTO THE AGES OF AGES. AMEN. REMEMBERING ALSO OUR MOST HOLY, MOST PURE, MOST BLESSED AND GLORIOUS LADY, MARIA, BIRTH GIVER OF GOD, YET EVER VIRGIN, TOGETHER WITH ALL THE SAINTS. AND LET US COMMIT OURSELVES AND ONE ANOTHER AND OUR WHOLE LIFE TO CHRIST OUR GOD. AMEN.

22 July 2010

Feast of St Mary of Magdala – Equal to the Apostles
Also the Feast of St Phocas, Hieromartyr of Sinope – Translation of Holy Relics; St Cornelios of Perevaslavl; St Markella, Virgin-Martyr of Chios.
A POL YT IKION O F ST M AR Y O F MAGD AL A – TONE 1

Hristo

to di’ imas, ek Parthenou tehthenti, semni Magdalini, ikolouthis Maria, aftou ta dikeomata, ke tou nomou filattousa. Othen simeron, tin Panagian Sou mnimin, eortazontes, anevfimoumen Se Pisti ke potho gereromen.
O F ST M AR Y O F M AGD ALA – TO NE 4

The Christ Who for us was born of a Virgin, Noble Mary
Magdalene Thou so faithfully followed, by keeping His Rules of Life, and the Laws that He set for all; thus we today, who Thy Sacred Remembrance duly celebrate, do receive the Remission of our sins through Thy Prayers.

KO NT AKION

Iperousios

Theos en to kosmo, meta sarkos Mirofore, Se Alithi Mathitrian prosikato, olin efesin, pros afton kektimenin. Othen ke apetelesas plista. Ke metastasa nin en Ouranis, kosmou Presvevis ekastote.
O F THE EVE R BLESSED THEOT OKO S

epifiton Sou tin iamata, iper tou

When God, the Mighty, the Transcendent in Essence, came
in the flesh into the world, He received Thee, O Mary, as His True Disciple as was meet. For Thou had set Thy whole desire and Thy Love upon Him; wherefore, Thou brought to pass many cures for the ailing; and now translated to the Heavens' Heights, Thou ever fervently prays for all the world.

KO NT AKION

Prostasia

ton Hristianon akateskhinte, mesitia pros ton Piitin ametathete, mi Paridis, amartolon deiseon fonas, alla profthason os agathi, is tin voithian imon, ton pistos kravgazonton Si: Tahinon is presvian, ke spefson is ikesian, i prostatevousa ai, Theotoke, ton timonton se.

O

Protector of the Christians unashamable, Mediator to the Creator Immovable, despise not, the pleading voices of those in sin, but hasten O Good One, to the aid of all of us, who in Faith cry out to Thee: hasten Thine Intercession, and present Thy Supplication, O Theotokos who always protects all who honour Thee!

The First Epistle of St Paul to the Corinthians 14 : 6 - 19
THE SIGNIFI CANCE AND USE O F THE DIVINE GIFT OF SPEAKING IN TONGUES

Brethren, If I come to you speaking in tongues, what shall I profit you unless I speak to you either by Revelation, by Knowledge, by Prophesying, or by Teaching? Even things without life – whether flute or harp – when they make a sound – unless they make a distinction in the sounds how will it be known what is piped or played? For if the trumpet makes an uncertain sound, who will prepare for battle? So, likewise you – unless you utter by the tongue words easy to understand, how will it be known what is spoken? For you will be speaking into the air! There are, it may be, so many kinds of languages in the world, and none of them is without significance. Therefore, if I do not know the meaning of the language, I shall be a foreigner to those who speak, and they who speak will be foreigners to me. Even so you – since you are zealous for Spiritual Gifts – let it be for the edification of the Church that you seek to excel. Therefore let him who speaks in a tongue pray that he may interpret. For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my understanding is unfruitful. What is the conclusion then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will also pray with the Understanding. I will sing with the spirit, and I will also sing with the Understanding. Otherwise, if you Bless with the spirit, how will he who occupies the place of the uninformed say “Amen” at your giving of thanks, since he does not understand what you say? For you indeed give thanks well, but the other person is not edified. I thank my God that I speak with tongues more than you all; yet in the Church I would rather speak five words with my Understanding, so that I may teach others also, than ten thousand words in a tongue!
THE CHURCH OF CORINTH HAD BEEN BLESSED WITH MANY DIVINE GIFTS BUT the previously hedonistic, pagan people were still self-centred and arrogant so THEY USED THESE WONDERFUL GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT IN SUCH A MANNER THAT INSTEAD OF BRINGING GLORY, HONOUR AND WORSHIP TO GOD ALMIGHTY, THEY DISHONOURED GOD. Even now, WE DO NOT FULLY REALISE THE SIGNIFICANCE AND DIVINE PURPOSE OF THESE HOLY GIFTS THAT GOD BESTOWS UPON US, WHICH ARE ONLY TO BE USED TO SPREAD HIS DIVINE TRUTH AND TEACHINGS OF THE NEW COVENANT THROUGHOUT THE WORLD. St Paul tried to clarify THE SIGNIFICANCE AND PROPER USE OF THE GIFT OF TONGUES – the Gift of being able to ACCOMPLISH EVERYTHING THAT WOULD NORMALLY BE IMPOSSIBLE FOR US TO DO. EACH OF THE DIVINE GIFTS that were bestowed upon Christ’s Disciples on the Day of Pentecost, WERE SUBSEQUENTLY BESTOWED ON OTHERS LATER – AND WITH THE EXACT SAME DIVINE PURPOSE – the spread of

Christianity throughout the world, to all people. Nevertheless, AS MORE PEOPLE WERE ENLIGHTENED WITH
DIVINE TRUTH, THE GIFT OF TONGUES WAS NO LONGER CRUCIAL since CHRISTIANS OF DIFFERENT LANGUAGE GROUPS WERE ABLE TO CONVEY THE HOLY GOSPEL IN THEIR OWN LANGUAGE to one another.

b

fluently speak or interpret different languages, which we previously did not know at all. On the glorious Day of Pentecost when THE HOLY SPIRIT descended upon the 120 faithful Disciples of Christ in the Upper Room in Jerusalem, He BESTOWED ALL THE
NECESSARY DIVINE GIFTS UPON THEM SO THAT THEY WOULD BE ABLE TO PROPERLY, CONFIDENTLY AND CLEARLY CONVEY CHRIST’S TEACHINGS TO EVERY HUMAN BEING OF THE KNOWN WORLD.

CERTAIN PEOPLE WHO HAD RECEIVED THE GIFT OF TONGUES (OR WHO THOUGHT THEY HAD!) NEITHER TAUGHT NOR GUIDED OTHERS but DUE TO THEIR ARROGANCE, THEY SPOKE “IN TONGUES” DURING THE HOLY SERVICES (WHERE THERE WAS NO COMMUNICATION PROBLEM AT ALL), CAUSING THE DISRUPTION OF WORSHIP AND PRAYERS AS WELL AS DISUNITY amongst Brethren.

b

THE GRACE OF GOD GRANTED TO US BY THE HOLY SPIRIT, THROUGH OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST AND ACCORDING TO THE WILL OF OUR HEAVENLY FATHER, ENABLES AND EMPOWERS US TO

Not only is the Gift of Tongues pointless when everyone speaks the same language and there is no communication problem so translation is unnecessary, but THE FACT THAT PEOPLE’S PRIDE AND ARROGANCE
CAUSED DISRUPTION OF WORSHIP AND PRAYER AS WELL AS DISUNITY IN THE CHURCH, WHICH DISHONOURED GOD AND HIS LOVE FOR US, EXPOSED THE INFLUENCE OF THE EVIL ONE UPON SUCH DELUDED PEOPLE!
22 JULY 2010

(SPONSORED BY DIMITRI PAIZIS)

THE FEAST OF ST MARY OF MAGDALA – HOLY MYRRHBEARER & EQUAL TO THE APOSTLES -

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b

Furthermore, as St Paul tried to point out, THE GIFT OF
TONGUES, WHICH IS FOR THE DIVINE PURPOSE OF SPREADING AND SHARING GOD’S TRUTH, IS FUTILE UNLESS OUR WORDS AND ACTIONS CONVEY DIVINE KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING, which is GRANTED BY THE GRACE OF GOD, THROUGH THE HOLY SPIRIT.

The Gift of Tongues – just as all the other Divine Gifts – is granted to us FOR THE BENEFIT OF OTHERS AND FOR
THE HEALTHY GROWTH AND NOURISHMENT OF THE CHURCH – for our mutual Spiritual Nourishment and

UNFORGIVABLE SIN OF ALL - BLASPHEMY AGAINST THE HOLY SPIRIT. Unless we USE THE DIVINE GIFTS THAT HAVE BEEN IMPARTED TO US BY GOD FOR THE SPIRITUAL BENEFIT OF MANY - not just ourselves – we bear no SPIRITUAL FRUIT FOR THE GLORY, HONOUR AND WORSHIP OF GOD, nor do we ENCOURAGE, ASSIST, GUIDE OR TEACH our fellow travellers to PROGRESS towards Salvation and

Eternal Life in Christ.

b b

b

Growth. What is the use of speaking a foreign language to those who do not understand and IF YOUR “SPEAKING IN
TONGUES” IS NOTHING MORE THAN A MINDLESS BABBLE, IT IS THE MOST SERIOUS AND

IF WE HAVE NO UNDERSTANDING AND KNOWLEDGE OURSELVES, HOW CAN WE HELP ANYONE ELSE?

So it is far better to BESEECH GOD FOR HIS GIFTS OF
KNOWLEDGE, UNDERSTANDING, COMPASSION, HUMILITY, ETC RATHER THAN BEING ABLE TO SPEAK A FOREIGN LANGUAGE THAT SERVES NO GOOD PURPOSE.

The Holy Gospel According to St Luke 8 : 1 – 3
THE FAITHFUL WOMEN WHO SERVED OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST

At that time, it came to pass that Jesus went through every city and village, preaching and bringing the Glad Tidings of the Kingdom of God. And the Twelve were with Him, and certain women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities – Mary called “Magdalene,” out of whom had gone seven demons, and Joanna, the wife of Chuza, Herod’s Steward, and Susanna, and many others who provided for Him from their substance. SINCE THE START OF CHRIST’S PUBLIC MINISTRY, MANY Commission, ST MARY MAGDALENE WENT TO ROME TO OTHERS ACCOMPANIED HIM AND HIS APOSTLES, ENLIGHTEN THE PAGANS and whenever anyone voiced INCLUDING WOMEN WHO TOOK CARE OF THEIR their unbelief, SHE REPEATED THE WORDS WITH WHICH
CLOTHING AND DIETARY REQUIREMENTS.

These women were often independent, wealthy and held in high social regard, so THEY COULD GENEROUSLY USE
THEIR FINANCES AND PROPERTY TO SERVE CHRIST’S GROWING CHURCH.

SHE HAD ANNOUNCED THE MOST WONDERFUL NEWS OF ALL TIME: “I HAVE SEEN THE (RISEN) LORD!” ST MARY MAGDALENE WAS HELD IN HIGH REGARD BY ROMAN SOCIETY due to her earthly wealth and social status, so

St Mary of Magdala became a Saint of great Theological significance even though she is not well documented in history. She was a citizen of Magdala, the location of which would presently be north-west of Haifa, Israel, near the Golan Heights, north of Nazareth.
ST MARY MAGDALENE IS WORTHY OF HER SPECIAL TITLES “HOLY MYRRHBEARER” AND “EQUAL TO THE APOSTLES” DUE TO HER PIOUS DEVOTION AND UNFAILING SERVICE TO GOD.

when she received an invitation to a grand banquet,
SHE SPOKE WITH EMPEROR TIBERIAS AND DARED TO PROCLAIM: “CHRIST IS RISEN!”

The unfounded notion that St Mary Magdalene was a prostitute before being healed by Christ is untrue and due to the confusion with the anonymous “sinful woman” whose healing was mentioned just before St Luke referred to St Mary Magdalene, St Joanna and St Susanna. St Mary of Magdala had in fact always been A DEVOUT HEBREW SERVANT OF GOD and, although her city had a reputation for immorality and debauchery, SHE HAD
LED A MOST CHASTE LIFE. THE EVIL ONE, WHO HATES ANY GOODNESS AND PURITY, HAD ASSUMED THAT SHE MIGHT BE “THE VIRGIN” WHO WAS TO GIVE BIRTH TO THE MESSIAH SO HE HAD SEVEN OF HIS DEMONS TORMENT HER IN THEIR EFFORTS TO CORRUPT AND TO DESTROY HER.

However, Tiberias laughed at her and said that “rising from the dead” was as likely to happen as the egg, which she held in her hand, turning red! Instantly, as they both looked at the hard-boiled egg, it turned bright red! Since then during Pascha we exchange red-dyed hard boiled eggs with each other, exclaiming: “Christ is Risen!” “Indeed, He is Risen!” St Mary of Magdalene informed Emperor Tiberias that in his Province of Judea, a most Holy Man and Miracle Worker named “Jesus the Galilean,” or “Jesus of Nazareth,” had been UNJUSTLY AND UNLAWFULLY CONDEMNED AND
EXECUTED AT THE INSTIGATION OF THE HEBREW HIGH PRIESTS, AND THE SENTENCE OF CRUCIFIXION HAD BEEN CONFIRMED BY THE PROCURATOR, PONTIUS PILATE.
IN FACT, EVERY KNOWN LAW AT THE TIME WAS BROKEN BY THE PASSION OF CHRIST AND PONTIUS PILATE WAS EVENTUALLY SENT INTO EXILE IN SPAIN WHERE HE SUFFERED A CRUEL DEATH AT THE HANDS OF THE BARBARIANS.

St Paul in his Epistle to the Romans, together with other Ascetics of Evangelic Preaching, mentioned “Mary” or “Miriam” who “... bestowed much labour on us...” which meant that SHE CONVERTED MANY SOULS TO
CHRIST WHO WERE BAPTISED BY THE APOSTLES. SHE EXTENSIVELY SERVED THE HOLY CHURCH, OFTEN EXPOSING HERSELF TO ALL KINDS OF THREATS AND DANGERS, SHARING WITH THE OTHER HOLY APOSTLES AND DISCIPLES OF CHRIST THE SPIRITUAL LABOURS OF PREACHING, TEACHING, GUIDING AND HEALING.

We do not know what form the demonic possession took but that is completely irrelevant anyway.
ONLY DIVINE TRUTH IS IMPORTANT : CHRIST CLEANSED HER AND SHE CONTINUED TO FAITHFULLY SERVE GOD until

she finally reposed in peace at Ephesos. Satan continues his deadly slander against God and His Holy Saints, which is obvious from all his blasphemous lies regarding St Mary Magdalene and her unwavering devotion to God.
BEING OLDER MUCH OLDER THAN THE EVER BLESSED THEOTOKOS, ST MARY MAGDALENE WAS A CLOSE, BELOVED FRIEND OF THE ALL HOLY VIRGIN MARY AND HER FAMILY.
SHE MUST HAVE BEEN LIKE A SURROGATE MOTHER OR GRAND-MOTHER TO THE BLESSED VIRGIN AND HER IMMEDIATE FAMILY - AND HER MATURE WISDOM, SOCIAL INFLUENCE AND FINANCIAL SITUATION MUST HAVE BEEN OF GREAT BENEFIT TO THE APOSTLES AND DISCIPLES WHO COULD CONCENTRATE ON OTHER MORE IMPORTANT SPIRITUAL MATTERS RATHER THAN MERE PHYSICAL WELFARE. SHE CERTAINLY WOULD HAVE BEEN A GREAT JOY AND COMFORT TO THOSE WHO KNEW HER.

She remained in Rome and welcomed St Paul with whom she continued to work until he was set free from his first imprisonment. Two years after St Paul left Rome, St Mary Magdalene, bent and worn by age, moved to Ephesos to work with St John the Divine Evangelist, Apostle and Theologian. She reposed in peace in Ephesos until the 9th century when her Holy Relics were transferred to the Monastery Church of St Lazaros in Constantinople. During the sacking of Constantinople in the 12th Century, St Mary Magdalene’s Holy Relics were removed to Rome and placed under the Altar of the Lateran Cathedral.
ST MARY MAGDALENE IS HONOURED AS THE WOMAN WHO WAS CALLED BY CHRIST FROM SPIRITUAL DARKNESS TO HIS DIVINE LIGHT; from the noxious power of Satan to

SHE DEDICATED HER ENTIRE LIFE TO DIVINE SERVICE AND USED HER CONSIDERABLE WEALTH, POSSESSIONS AND SOCIAL STATUS TO SPREAD THE HOLY GOSPEL THROUGHOUT THE KNOWN WORLD.

New Life in Christ.
HAVING EXPERIENCED INTENSE SPIRITUAL DEATH BUT HAVING REGAINED SPIRITUAL LIFE, SHE NEVER WAVERED FROM HER DEDICATION AND UTTER COMMITMENT TO GOD, UNCONDITIONALLY LOVING GOD ALMIGHTY AND OUR LADY THEOTOKOS, OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST, HIS APOSTLES AND ALL THOSE WHO SOUGHT ETERNAL LIFE IN HIM. HER PURITY OF SOUL AND SINCERE FAITHFULNESS WAS REWARDED BY CHRIST when He first appeared to her after His Resurrection, and THE EXTENT OF HIS RESPECT FOR HER WAS UNMISTAKABLE WHEN HE CHOSE HER AS BEING THE MOST WORTHY OF HIS APOSTLES TO PROCLAIM HIS GLORIOUS RESURRECTION TO THE OTHER APOSTLES AND DISCIPLES.

Although Holy Scripture does not mention St Mary Magdalene (or many of the other Disciples) after the Day of Resurrection and the Ascension of Christ, it is quite rational that SHE CONTINUED A CLOSE
RELATIONSHIP WITH THEM ALL. TOGETHER WITH OTHER DISCIPLES, SHE HAD ACCOMPANIED OUR LORD AND HIS APOSTLES DURING THE THREE YEARS OF HIS PUBLIC MINISTRY. Throughout the Passion of Christ, WHEN OTHERS HAD FLED IN TERROR OF PERSECUTION, SHE, TOGETHER WITH ST JOHN THE DIVINE APOSTLE, HAD STEADFASTLY REMAINED WITH AND COMFORTED HIS BELOVED MOTHER while witnessing and deeply, sorrowfully

mourning the Suffering, the Humiliation and, finally, the Death of our Lord. After our Risen Lord’s Ascension into Heaven, when all the Apostles dispersed to fulfil their Sacred 26
(SPONSORED BY DIMITRI PAIZIS) THE FEAST OF ST MARY OF MAGDALA – HOLY MYRRHBEARER & EQUAL TO THE APOSTLES 22 JULY 2010

Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria & All Africa Archdiocese of Good Hope
ALL GLORY, HONOUR AND WORSHIP TO THE FATHER, AND TO THE SON, AND TO THE HOLY SPIRIT, NOW AND EVER, AND UNTO THE AGES OF AGES. AMEN. REMEMBERING ALSO OUR MOST HOLY, MOST PURE, MOST BLESSED AND GLORIOUS LADY, MARIA, BIRTH GIVER OF GOD, YET EVER VIRGIN, TOGETHER WITH ALL THE SAINTS. AND LET US COMMIT OURSELVES AND ONE ANOTHER AND OUR WHOLE LIFE TO CHRIST OUR GOD. AMEN.

9th Sunday After Pentecost

Tone (8) Plagal 4

25 July 2010 9th Sunday of St Matthew – Walking on Water
The Dormition of St Anna, Righteous Mother of our Lady Theotokos Also the Feast of St Olympias the Deaconess; St Eupraxia, Virgin Martyr & St Julia the Righteous of Tabenna; St Makarios the Venerable Abbot of Zheltovod & Unzha; the 165 Holy Fathers of the 5th Ecumenical Council
RE SURRE CTION A POL YTIK ION − TONE ( 8) PL AGA L 4

Ex

ipsous katilthes O Evsplaghnos, tafin katedexo triimeron, ina imas elevtherosis ton pathon. I Zoi ke i Anastasis imon, Kyrie, § Doxa Si!

Thou

descended from on High, O Tender-hearted One; Thou endured the three-days’ burial, so that Thou might free us from our passions, O our Life and Resurrection: § Glory to Thee!

APOLYTIKION OF THE DORMITION OF ST ANNA THE RIGHTEOUS – TONE 4

Zoin

tin kiisasan, ekioforisas, Aganin theomitora, theofron Anna; dio pros lixin Ouranion, entha efrenomenon, katikia en doxi, herousa nin metestis, tis timosi se patho, ptesmaton etoumeni ilasmon, aimakariste.
OF THE RIGHTEOUS FOREFATHERS OF CHRIST -

Thou carried the very one who carried Life in her womb:
the Pure Mother of God, O God-minded Anna; thus to a Heavenly Finish, where those who rejoice have their dwelling in Glory, with Joy thou has been translated, seeking forgiveness of errors, for those who eagerly honour thee, O Ever Blessed One.

KONTAKION

Progonon

Hristou, tin mnimin eortasomen, tin touton pistos, etoumeni voithian, tou risthine apantas, apo psis thlipseos tous krazontas: O Theos genou meth’ imon, O toutous doxasas os indokisas.
R ISEN

The

memory of Christ’s Forefathers let us celebrate, by asking in Faith, for their assistance and their help, to deliver from every distress, all those who cry out: O God be with us Who Glorified them as it pleased Thee.
H IS AUTHO RIT Y TO FORGI VE SIN S UPO N HI S

Resurrection Gospel 9 : John 20 : 19 – 31 O U R
PROKEIMENON

LORD BE STO W S A PO STL ES

Pray to the Lord our God, and render thanks to him! God is known in Judea, His Name is great in Israel!
The Epistle of St Paul to the Galatians 4 : 22 - 27
SLAVERY OF SIN VS SONSHIP OF GOD

Brethren: It is written that Abraham had two sons: the one by a bondwoman, the other by a freewoman. But he who was of the bondwoman was born according to the flesh, and he of the freewoman through Promise, which things are symbolic. For these are the two Covenant: the one from Mount Sinai, which gives birth to bondage, which is Hagar – for Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia, and corresponds to Jerusalem, which now is, and is in bondage with her children – but the Jerusalem Above is free, which is the Mother of us all. For it is written: “Rejoice, O Barren! You who do not bear! Break forth and shout, you who are not in labour! For the desolate has many more children that she who has a husband!” By saying that Abraham’s two sons and related events are Isaac “... was the issue of bodies that were dead, and of a symbolic, St Paul did not imply that they were not womb that was dead. His conception was not by the historical. Instead, he asserted that OLD TESTAMENT flesh, nor his birth by the seed, for the womb was HISTORY ANNOUNCED SOMETHING FAR GREATER THAN death both through age and barrenness. But the Word ITSELF. of God fashioned him... He who was not according to Hagar and Mount Sinai symbolised the earthly Jerusalem the flesh was more honourable than he who was born and the Hebrews who were under the Law. after the flesh. Sarah, the freewoman symbolised the Heavenly Jerusalem Therefore let it not disturb you that you were not born – i.e. the Holy Church of Christ. She was also a type of after the flesh. For, from the very reason that you are Theotokos for HER SON WAS BORN THROUGH A DIVINE not so born, are you most of all, Abraham’s kindred.”
PROMISE – THE PROMISE OF GOD HIMSELF.
(ST JOHN CHRYSOSTOM)

The Holy Gospel According to St Matthew 14 : 22 – 34
W ALK ING ON W ATER

At that time, Jesus made His Disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, while He sent the multitude away. And when He had sent the multitude away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. Now when evening came, He was alone there, but the boat was now in the middle of the sea, tossed by the waves, for the wind was contrary. In the fourth watch of the night, Jesus went to them, walking upon the sea, and when the Disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying: “It is a ghost!” and they cried out in fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying: “Be of good cheer! It is I! Do not be afraid.” Peter answered Him and said: “Lord, if it is Thee, command me to come to Thee on the water.” So He said: “Come.” And when Peter got out of the boat, he walked on the water towards Jesus, but when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he became afraid, and, beginning to sin, he cried out: “Lord, Save me!” And immediately Jesus stretched out His Hand and caught him, and said to him: “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. Then those who were in the boat went and worshipped Him, saying: “Truly, Thou art the Son of God!” When they had crossed over, they went to the land of Gennesaret. First our Lord Jesus Christ sent off His Disciples ahead of thousands who had followed them to a deserted spot Him before He dismissed the gathered multitude of outside the towns and cities.

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9TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST – 9TH OF ST MATTHEW – WALKING ON WATER -

25 JULY 2010

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Then, HAVING FULFILLED HIS PUBLIC DUTIES TO MANKIND
FOR THAT DAY, OUR SAVIOUR WENT UP A MOUNTAIN – TO A HIGHER PLACE – TO PRAY QUIETLY AND FERVENTLY BY HIMSELF. He went TO COMMUNICATE WITH GOD HIS FATHER NOT ONLY IN HIS HUMAN NATURE – AS MAN – BUT ESPECIALLY, AS GOD INCARNATE – IN HIS DIVINE NATURE.

FIRST REVEALED TO ST MOSES AT THE SITE OF THE BURNING BUSH ON MOUNT SINAI. EXODUS 3: 13 – 15: “... God said to Moses: ‘I AM the

b

Existing One... you shall say ... ‘The Existing One sent me to you... this is My Name forever, and My Memorial to all generations.’” The Name “I AM the Existing One” is THE NAME OF THE
ESSENCE OF GOD, WHICH IS ONE AND UNDIVIDED.
ATHANSIOS THE GREAT & ST JOHN DAMASCENE) (ST

AT THE END OF EVERY DAY – WHETHER GOOD OR BAD – WE, TOO, MUST QUIETLY THANK AND PRAISE GOD FOR HIS INFINITE GOODNESS. Then WE MUST DO A “SPIRITUAL ACCOUNTING” BY RECALLING AND EXAMINING OUR WORDS, THOUGHTS AND DEEDS OF THE DAY. And as we recall our errors, WE MUST BESEECH GOD’S FORGIVENESS AND MERCY, ASKING FOR HIS DIVINE GUIDANCE TO IMPROVE OURSELVES AND TO CORRECT OUR BAD HABITS AND HONESTLY REPENT OUR SINS. ONLY GOD HAS COMPLETE DOMINION OVER ALL CREATION and this was CLEARLY DEMONSTRATED BY CHRIST WALKING UPON THE WIND-BLOWN WAVES that tossed

This Divine Essence is like a limitless sea, CONTAINING ALL
THINGS YET NOT CONTAINED BY ANYTHING. THE SON IS ETERNALLY BEGOTTEN OF THE ESSENCE OF GOD THE FATHER and as such our Lord Jesus Christ is

b

acknowledged during every Vespers Service of the Orthodox Christian Church. To the Hebrews this was A DIRECT, EXPLICIT AND
UNMISTAKABLE CLAIM TO PERFECT EQUALITY WITH ALMIGHTY GOD.

the little boat about, preventing it from proceeding further. This was the second time that Christ permitted His Disciples to be caught in a storm upon the lake - the Sea of Galilee. The first time it happened, He was with them, but in this case, He had sent them ahead of Him and on their own. In this manner, OUR LORD STRENGTHENED THEIR FAITH IN
GOD AND GAVE THEM THE ASSURANCE OF PRESENCE AT ALL TIMES, EVEN IN THE MIDST OF STORMS OF LIFE. “The fourth watch of the night” would have been IN MIDDLE OF THE DARK HOURS of nighttime and HIS THE THE

St John the Divine Apostle and Theologian placed great emphasis on the use of this Divine Name TO CLEARLY
IDENTIFY OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST AS DIVINE – TRULY THE INCARNATE WORD AND SON OF GOD THE FATHER!

Such an extraordinary, unique Divine claim illuminates our Lord Jesus Christ’s AUTHORITY OVER LIFE AND DEATH –
OVER THE ENTIRE CREATION – A DIVINE POWER BELONGING ONLY TO ALMIGHTY GOD! ST PETER’S FAITH MADE IT POSSIBLE FOR HIM TO WALK ON THE WATER. IT IS RATHER SIGNIFICANT THAT ST PETER, who was always

very impulsive, did not try to climb over onto the water, nor did he ask Christ to help him to do so, but instead
HE ASKED OUR LORD TO COMMAND HIM TO GO TO HIM. WITH ONE WORD FROM LORD JESUS : “COME,” ST PETER

they must have been very tired and anxious so when suddenly from out of the squalling winds and tossing waves Christ appeared, walking on the water, THEIR SHOCK AND CONFUSION WAS QUITE NATURAL – to be expected. We do not know if it was our Lord’s intention to quietly board while His Disciples dozed, or whether He had intended meeting them on the other side of the lake. There is another possibility - He knew the wind would grow to gale-force and toss the small boat vigorously upon the tempestuous waves and UNDER SUCH CONDITIONS
HE WANTED THEM TO ACKNOWLEDGE THE DEPTH OF THEIR FAITH IN GOD – to see HOW THEY WOULD REACT WHEN FACED BY IMMINENT DANGER WITHOUT HAVING HIM AT THEIR SIDE TO COMFORT AND GUIDE THEM.

jumped from the boat onto the tossing waves and
WALKED A FEW STEPS TOWARDS HIM. ST PETER WAS NOT MOTIVATED BY THE DESIRE TO PERFORM A MIRACLE BUT RATHER, MORE COMPELLINGLY, TO BE REUNITED WITH OUR LORD IMMEDIATELY! BY COMPLETELY FOCUSSING ON CHRIST AND NOTHING ELSE,

b

St Peter was able to walk on water! Likewise with us: IF WE ARE FOCUSED ON GOD ALONE,

WE WILL ALSO DO THINGS THAT NORMALLY WOULD BE IMPOSSIBLE FOR US TO DO. This is yet another proof of how WITH GOD EVERYTHING BECOMES POSSIBLE!

The Greek term for “doubt” means “wavering” or “hesitation.”
THE VERY INSTANT THAT ST PETER BECAME AWARE OF MIRACULOUS CIRCUMSTANCES AND HAD BROKEN CONCENTRATION ON CHRIST DUE TO DOUBT QUESTIONING THE REALITY OF THE EXPERIENCE, BEGAN TO SINK BENEATH THE WAVES. HIS HIS OR HE

b

EVERYTHING IN LIFE IS A “LEARNING CURVE” and that is why WE MUST EXPERIENCE THE GOOD AND THE BAD, BEING GRATEFUL TO GOD WHO WATCHES OVER US AND KEEPS US FROM HARM. ONLY THROUGH EXPERIENCING GREAT DIFFICULTIES CAN WE MEASURE THE DEPTH OF OUR PERSONAL FAITH AND STRENGTH – OUR SPIRITUAL AND PHYSICAL CAPACITY. OUR LORD ALWAYS COMFORTS US – ESPECIALLY IN THE DARKEST MOMENTS WHEN WE ARE FRIGHTENED OR DISTRESSED. HE TOUCHES US WITH HIS LOVE

b b

Consequently, CHRIST DID NOT REBUKE THE ADVERSE
WEATHER CONDITIONS BUT ST PETER FOR HIS LACK OF FAITH – HIS DOUBT IN SOMETHING PHENOMENAL.

b

AND CALMS US BY BESTOWING HIS PEACE UPON OUR TROUBLED SOULS. His words of reassurance: “It is I...” means HE IS GOD Whom they saw for “I Am” is THE NAME OR DIVINE
IDENTITY OF GOD. JOHN 8:58 – “Jesus said to them: ‘Most assuredly, I

CHRIST WOULD NEVER HAVE ENCOURAGED ST PETER – NOR DOES HE ENCOURAGE US – IF HE KNEW HIS (OR OUR) ACTIONS WOULD CAUSE US HARM. When they were both safely aboard the boat, THE DISCIPLES, INCLUDING ST PETER, WORSHIPPED CHRIST FOR THE FIRST TIME AS THE SON OF GOD.

say to you: before Abraham was, I AM.”
“I AM” or “EGO EIMI” is THE DIVINE NAME OF GOD as

These faithful and devout Hebrews were only too conscious of the Truth that ONLY GOD CAN BE WORSHIPPED! Symbolically, Christ is the “Captain” of “the Boat” – His Holy Church – which He safely steers towards “the Safe Harbour” of our ultimate Destination – His Heavenly Eternal Kingdom of Love.

recorded in the Old Covenant Scripture, which was

Walking on Water – the Astounding Power of Faith in God
The Holy Gospel reading of today narrated how OUR
LORD JESUS CHRIST WENT DIRECTLY TO HIS DISCIPLES WHOM HE HAD SENT AHEAD OF HIM, BY WALKING ON THE WATER IN THE MIDST OF A STORM. We are told how ST PETER, THROUGH FAITH, ALSO BEGAN TO WALK ON THE WATER TOWARDS OUR LORD JESUS UNTIL HE BECAME DISTRACTED BY THE SURROUNDING CIRCUMSTANCES AND BEGAN TO SINK BENEATH THE TEMPESTUOUS WAVES.

In this Holy Gospel Lesson we witness THE ASTOUNDING
POWER OF FAITH.

We are taught how WE CAN DO ANYTHING – THE MOST
EXTRAORDINARY THINGS THAT WOULD NORMALLY BE IMPOSSIBLE - IF WE HAVE FAITH IN GOD – IF WE UNRESERVEDLY, COMPLETELY, TRUST GOD.

However as he cried out in great fear of drowning: “Lord, save me!” our Divine Saviour reached out His Hand and caught St Peter, pulling him to safety, but CHRIST ADMONISHED HIM rather than the stormy weather, with words that echo down the ages to our very own souls: “O you of little Faith, why did you doubt?”
(MATTHEW 14:30-31)

Our Lord explained the staggering Power of Faith when He said: “If you have Faith (EVEN AS SMALL) as a grain of mustard seed, you shall say to this mountain, remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible for you.” (MATTHEW 17:20) “Truly I say to you: if you have Faith, and do not doubt, you shall not only do what was done to the fig tree*, but also if you shall say to that

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9TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST – 9TH OF ST MATTHEW – WALKING ON WATER -

25 JULY 2010

mountain, be removed, and be cast into the sea; it shall be done!” (MATTHEW 21:21)
*THE FIG TREE WAS SYMBOLIC OF PROSPERITY AND PEACE, BUT THE FRUITLESS FIG TREE WITHERED AND DIED BECAUSE IT WAS BARREN – IT PRODUCED NO USEFUL HARVEST. IT WAS A PROPHETIC ACT OF CHRIST AS A WARNING TO THE HEBREWS (WHEN HE FORBADE THE FIG TREE FROM CONTINUING SUCH A USELESS EXISTENCE) BECAUSE, EVEN AFTER THREE INTENSIVE YEARS OF CHRIST’S PREACHING, TEACHING AND HEALING, THE LEADERS AND THE PEOPLE WERE STILL DESTITUTE OF SPIRITUAL FRUIT. IT WAS ALSO A POWERFUL LESSON TO US ALL OF WHAT WILL BEFALL US IF WE CHOOSE TO REJECT OR IGNORE OUR LORD AND SAVIOUR, JESUS CHRIST WHO HAS SHOWN US THE WAY, THE TRUTH AND THE LIFE. THE GREAT DIVINE POWER OF FAITH IN GOD TO GRANT OR TO DENY SPIRITUAL BLESSINGS UPON ALL CREATION WAS THE POINT THAT OUR LORD TRIED TO IMPRESS UPON HIS DISCIPLES.

Whenever we follow St Peter’s example and cry out: “Kyrie eleison!” or “Lord, save me!” OUR LORD AND
SAVIOUR IMMEDIATELY PULLS US INTO THE WARM COMFORT AND SAFETY OF HIS LOVING MERCY exactly

as He did with St Peter. Today’s Sacred Lesson teaches us and reminds us that
OUR EVER-LOVING SAVIOUR IS ALWAYS WITH US, WATCHING OVER US AND SHELTERING US UNDER HIS DIVINE PROVIDENCE. TRUE FAITH IN GOD BESTOWS CONFIDENCE AND PEACE IN OUR SOULS DUE TO AN AWARENESS OF THE CONSTANT PRESENCE OF THE HOLY TRINITY.

b

b

WHEN WE HAVE FAITH WE EMBARK ON A SPIRITUAL PATH THAT LEADS US TO GOD.

That Spiritual Path often appears dangerous or frightening to us but WHEN OUR FULL ATTENTION IS
FOCUSED ON CHRIST, WE WILL HAVE THE COURAGE AND THE ABILITY TO DO THINGS FAR BEYOND OUR NORMAL CAPACITY, as experienced by St Peter who actually

Whenever our doubts cause us to worry, to become discouraged and disappointed, it is due to A LOSS OF FAITH IN GOD, which we must VERY QUICKLY AMEND

climbed out of the pitching, tossing boat and walking on the water in the midst of a terrifying gale force wind. IF WE HAVE ANY DOUBT while we travel along our Spiritual Path, then THE PREDICAMENTS AND
PROBLEMS OF THIS WORLD THREATEN TO OVERWHELM US. WE BECOME PREOCCUPIED with the storms that surround us BECAUSE WE LOSE OUR FOCUS ON GOD.

b

AND STRENGTHEN.

Holy Scripture shows us time and again how much we should REJOICE AND TRUST IN GOD, ESPECIALLY
WHEN WE ARE TROUBLED AND AFFLICTED.

> The beautiful, enduring Psalms of ST DAVID THE KING, express THE REALITY OF GOD’S OMNIPRESENCE for DESPITE OUR HUMAN FAILURES,
GOD IS EVER PRESENT! HE IS ALWAYS WITH US, NO MATTER WHAT EXPERIENCES OR CIRCUMSTANCES WE ENDURE. ST ABRAHAM, the ancient Patriarch, WAS FREE OF ANY DOUBT AND COMPLETELY OBEDIENT TO GOD, which

>

b

This is what happened to St Peter when he began to sink. He had lost his concentration on THE REALITY AND RELIABILITY OF OUR SAVIOUR and instead, HE RESPONDED TO THE ADVERSE CONDITIONS that threatened him.
HE INSTANT HE BECAME MOTIVATED BY WORLDLY CONCERNS, RATHER THAT THE WILL OF CHRIST, HE LOST THE DIVINE GRACE, which had been granted

he proved by being ready to offer his only, most beloved son, St Isaac, as a blood sacrifice – to God. However, GOD SAVED THEM BOTH FROM >
HARM, AND STRENGTHENED THEIR FAITH EVEN MORE. (GENESIS 22:1-18) ST JONAH CEASELESSLY GLORIFIED GOD – even while in

b

to him as he stepped out of the boat with confidence and True Faith in God. This clearly reminds us that – as Christ taught us in so many ways WITHOUT GOD WE CAN DO
NOTHING WHATSOEVER AND WE WOULD BE NOTHING – WE WOULD NOT EXIST AT ALL. (WITHOUT GOD
WE WOULD BE BLOBS OF LIFELESS, USELESS MATTER OR NOTHING VISIBLE OR INVISIBLE WOULD EXIST AT ALL!) (JOHN 15:5)

the belly of a whale. He, too, was Saved and further Spiritually Strengthened and Blessed, >
NEVER WEAKENING OR BEING DEFEATED BY HIS HUMAN TRIALS AND AFFLICTIONS. (JONAH 2:7) The Three Holy Youths of ancient times, ST SHADRACH, ST MESACH, AND ST ABEDNEGO (HANANIAH, AZARIAH & MISCHAEL IN HEBREW), CONTINUED TO SING AND PRAISE THE GLORY OF GOD IN THE FIERY FURNACE

and they were delivered from harm by God.
3:19-26)

(DANIEL

When we lose our focus on the Lord by being preoccupied and distracted with THE STORMS OF LIFE AND TEMPTATIONS THAT BESIEGE AND INTIMIDATE US, we have a choice to make: 1. We can PLACE OUR COMPLETE TRUST IN GOD OUR
SAVIOUR WHO IS ALWAYS READY AND ABLE TO HELP US or

> ST DANIEL ENJOYED A CLOSE RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD AND WAS DIVINELY PROTECTED against harm, especially while imprisoned in the lion’s den.
(DANIEL 6:16-23)

> ST JOB PRAISED GOD WITHOUT PAUSE, THROUGHOUT
ALL HIS MANY CIRCUMSTANCES, AFFLICTIONS AND

TRAGIC

2. We can surrender to the enticements of wickedness – yield or submit to sin that ceaselessly try to lure us into SPIRITUAL DEATH AND DESTRUCTION
(SELF-INFLICTED EXCOMMUNICATION OR ALIENATION FROM GOD AND ALL HIS GOODNESS, WHICH CAN BE CORRECTED THROUGH REPENTANCE-CONFESSION WHILE WE LIVE NOW BUT IF IN A STATE OF SPIRITUAL DEATH WHEN WE DEPART THIS LIFE, THAT IS THE STATE IN WHICH WE WILL SPEND ETERNITY!!)

The

and God strengthened, encouraged and Saved him. (JOB 2:7-10) Sacred Lessons of THESE WONDERFUL,

EXTRAORDINARY AND UNIQUE EXAMPLES OF TRUE FAITH IN GOD SHOULD DISPEL ANY DOUBTS OR FEARS

we may have because throughout Holy Scripture we can learn exactly HOW MUCH AND HOW CONSISTENTLY
GOD SAVES US, NO MATTER WHAT OUR CIRCUMSTANCES. OUR PERSONAL FAITH IN GOD COMPELS US TO DECLARE TO OTHERS, just as St David the King and Psalmist

These were the exact same choices that confronted St Peter as he began to sink beneath the stormy waves. When we begin to sink beneath the waves of anxiety and stress, WE ALWAYS CAN RELY ON GOD, CALLING OUT TO HIM, just as St Peter did: “Kyrie, eleison me!” “Lord, save me!” or we can (HEAVEN FORBID!!) “...curse God, and die,” as St Job’s wife tried to persuade him to do in the midst of his terrible trials and afflictions.
(MATTHEW 14:30; JOB 2:9) WE MUST NEVER BLAME GOD FOR ANY OF OUR MISFORTUNES BECAUSE HE CANNOT DO ANYTHING EVIL, WICKED OR HARMFUL (I.E. THE INVENTIONS OF THE EVIL ONE). GOD IS 100% PURE GOODNESS AND INFINITE, UNCONDITIONAL LOVE! ALL OUR EARTHLY SUFFERINGS ARE CAUSED BY HUMAN WICKEDNESS – OUR WILLING SURRENDER TO THE TEMPTATIONS OF THE EVIL ONE. OUR WILFUL, SELFISH ACTIONS – WORDS, THOUGHTS AND DEEDS - CAUSE HARM AND SUFFERING TO OURSELVES AS WELL AS TO SO MANY OTHERS AND FOR THAT REASON WE WILL BE JUDGED ACCORDINGLY. WE NEVER KNOW EXACTLY HOW MUCH OUR WORDS, THOUGHTS AND DEEDS AFFECT SUCH A VAST VARIETY OF PEOPLE UNTIL THE DAY OF JUDGEMENT, WHEN IT WILL BE TOO LATE TO RECTIFY! (JUST LIKE THE PROVERBIAL STONE THROWN INTO A POND – THE RIPPLES SPREAD OUT AND AFFECT ALL SORTS OF THINGS UNKNOWN OR UNRELATED TO THE STONE!! )

expressed it: “In God I trust: I will not fear! What can mankind do to me? In me art Vows, O God; I will render praises to Thee, for Thou delivered my soul from Death and my feet from slipping.” (PSALM 55/56:11-13)
ADAPTED & EDITED BY MP: THE SERMON THAT WAS DELIVERED BY FR. MILAN MEDAKOVIC AT HOLY TRINITY SERBIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH ON THE 9TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST 2009.

http://frmilan.wordpress.com/2009/08/10/sermon-9th-sunday-afterpentecost/

St Justin Popovich
By faith the intellect is confirmed in pondering God. The way of Salvation is that of the constant remembrance of God. The intellect separated from remembrance of God is like a fish out of water. The freedom of a true man consists in his freedom from the passions, in his Resurrection with Christ, and in a joyous soul.

Perverse Thoughts that Separate Us from God – The Wisdom of Elder Paisios of Holy Mountain
THE SPECIFIC CHARACTERISTIC OF LOVE IS “... not CONSTANT FESTIVITY, since it is based on their

irritable or resentful.” > WE >

(1 CORINTHIANS 13:4)

SHOULD NEVER, EVEN UNDER THE WORST CIRCUMSTANCES, ALLOW A NEGATIVE THOUGHT TO PENETRATE OUR SOUL. THOSE WHO, UNDER ALL CIRCUMSTANCES, ARE INCLINED TO HAVE POSITIVE THOUGHTS, WILL ALWAYS BE WINNERS – THEIR LIFE WILL BE A

positive thinking. > OUR ACTIONS DEPEND ON AND ARE DETERMINED BY OUR “MACHINERY” WITHIN US and not by the outside material we digest, nor by the environment in which we live. For example, if we have a machine that produces bullets and we feed it with gold, the machine will still
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produce destructive bullets. With whatever kind of metal we feed the machine, it will continue to produce deadly bullets. However, if we convert the machinery to produce Holy Chalices instead of bullets, then, no matter what material we feed the machine, it will always produce beautiful Holy Chalices. A very old Holy Father from Kapsala possessed an inner “machine” that only produced positive thoughts.
HE ONLY SAW THE GOOD THINGS IN LIFE AND HE WAS BLIND TO EVERY WICKEDNESS.

I told him: “I have never slept so well – not even on Mount Athos,” and he was so astonished that I related what had occurred after I had gone to my room. It was during the time of the Vietnam War and every day we heard terribly sad stories in the news so I
CONSTANTLY PRAYED TO GOD TO HELP ALL THOSE IN VIETNAM.

A group of people went to visit him and presented him with a small radio, which he took in his hands and closely examined. Then he enquired from his visitors where the radio had been manufactured, and they told him “... in Japan.” Suddenly he was filled with Joy and kissed the little radio, exclaiming: “Glory to God!” The astonished visitors asked him why he seemed so happy, and he explained: “I am very pleased that the Japanese Christians put the Sign of the Holy Cross on the products they manufactured!” As an Ascetic of many years, the old Holy Father could have developed negative thoughts and become angry at them for bringing him such an unsuitable present. However, THE WISE HOLY FATHER HAD QUICKLY NOTICED THE POSITIVE (and the negative) MARKINGS FOR THE CORRECT INSERTION OF BATTERIES for the portable radio AND HE SAW IT AS THE HOLY SIGN OF THE CROSS.
HIS MIND INSTANTLY PRODUCED SUCH A SIMPLISTIC AND POSITIVE THOUGHT for that small, plastic radio,

As usual, I knelt down next to my bed, putting my head and my hands on the bed, praying for all the soldiers who were fighting and being killed in Vietnam. I could hear the noise of the traffic, but as my mind was concentrated on the Vietnam War, I converted the traffic noise to the noise of tanks that were destroying buildings and killing people and the loud, noisy motorcycles that passed by became the aeroplanes that bombed the country. I saw helpless children and old people being killed.
I FELT A SWEET GRIEF INSIDE ME AND I WEPT FOR VIETNAM, DESPISING MYSELF FOR THE ENJOYMENT OF THE LUXURY OF A NICE MEAL AND CLEAN ROOM, AND FOR NOT HAVING ANY SERIOUS PROBLEMS TO CONTEND WITH. AS I WEPT, I WAS FILLED WITH A PEACEFUL SPIRITUAL CALMNESS, AND FINALLY I FELL INTO A DEEP SLEEP

while still kneeling next to my bed. The traffic noise did not disrupt my sleep at all for ALL
MY THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS WERE DIRECTED TO THOSE WHO SUFFERED SO FAR AWAY.

You can do the same thing: > THINK OF AND PRAY FOR ALL THE TERRIBLE WARS
THAT ARE RAGING EVERYWHERE;

> THINK OF AND PRAY FOR ALL THE THOSE WHO ARE > > > >

which his visitors had brought him – even in such small markings that MOST OF US WOULD NOT HAVE
NOTICED!

Whenever he saw an aeroplane in the sky the Holy Father would make the Sign of the Cross and when asked why he did so, he said: “My Child, don’t you see that its shape looks like the Sign of the Holy Cross!”
HE IGNORED THE (UNDERSTANDABLE) NEGATIVE THOUGHTS SUCH AS WAR AND BOMBING, WHICH WAS ASSOCIATED AT THAT TIME WITH THE SIGHT OF AEROPLANES FLYING OVERHEAD. HIS PURE MIND WAS INSTANTLY ATTRACTED BY THE SIMILARITY OF ITS SHAPE TO THE SIGN OF THE HOLY CROSS; the sight and noise of the ‘plane made him

SUFFERING INDESCRIBABLE TERROR AND DEGRADATION, THINK OF AND PRAY FOR ALL THOSE WHO ARE BEING KILLED, WHOSE FAMILIES AND FRIENDS ARE DESTROYED, LOST AND DESCIMATED; THINK OF AND PRAY FOR ALL THOSE WHO ARE DYING OF HUNGER AND THIRST, AND ABJECT DEPRIVATION; THINK OF AND PRAY FOR ALL THE HOMES THAT ARE BOMBED, BURNT AND DESTROYED; AND THINK OF AND BE INTENSELY GRATEFUL AND APPRECIATION OF ALL YOUR ABUNDANT BLESSING HOW WELL YOU LIVE IN SUCH LUXURIOUS, PEACEFUL HOMES, WITH PLENTY OF FOOD AND DRINK, BEING EMPLOYED, BEING SAFE AND BEING HEALTHY.

think of the Crucifixion of our Lord and Saviour. A few years ago, I (ELDER PAISIOS) went to Athens for business and I stayed at the house of a fellow Christian. The area was very noisy as the house was located near a central road and my friend told me that he had trouble sleeping at night so he had to take sleeping pills in order to get a few hours’ rest. After dinner, I was taken to my room and wished a good night’s rest despite the noise of the traffic. The next morning, my friend complained that he had once again not been able to sleep properly and he asked how I had coped with the noise. Before any fall into sin the demons bring upon us the following passions: dark forgetfulness; fierce anger, that is, inhuman and beastlike malice; and ignorance, like darkness which has no trace of Light. These three passions precede every sin. For we do not commit a single sin before we have become disposed towards every sin, towards every evil, either by forgetfulness or by anger or by ignorance. Blessed are those who have consented to become close friends of faith and of Prayer: they live in single-mindedness and make Prayer and faith stop by with them. Prayer that rises up in our heart serves to open up for us the door of Heaven: we stand and converse with the Divinity and give pleasure to the Son of God. Christ's words, opposed to every kind of evil, instruct us unceasingly on every page of Scripture. Thus even now Christ is doing what the gospel says, `And He was teaching daily in the temple.' Truth is teaching daily in the temple when He subtly instructs us, His faithful people, to avoid evil.

The association of the hustle and bustle and noises that permeate our busy lives with the terrifying sounds of war will become A VERY GOOD REASON FOR YOU TO
GLORIFY GOD AND PREVENT YOU FROM HAVING TO TAKE ANY DRUGS TO MAKE YOU SLEEP OR TO RELAX YOU.

b

There is only one solution to the stress of earthly life: ALWAYS HAVE POSITIVE THOUGHTS ABOUT
EVERYTHING AND IN EVERY CIRCUMSTANCE AND SITUATION – AND CONSTANTLY GLORIFY, PRAISE AND THANK GOD FOR HIS GREAT MERCY!

ADAPTED & EDITED BY MP: “ELDER PAISIOS OF THE HOLY MOUNTAIN” BY PRIESTMONK CHRISTODOULOS – HOLY MOUNTAIN’S MONK.

St Paisios Velichkovsky

From these proceed insensitivity of soul, that is, the mind, which is the eye of the soul, remains dark and is then captivated by all the passions. The first to be born is a weakness of faith; weakness of faith gives birth to self-love, the beginning and end, the root and origin of every evil..

St Ephrem the Syrian
Prayer makes peace with the Lord's anger and with the vehemence of His wrath. In this way too, tears that well up in the eyes can open the door of compassion.

St Gregory the Great

We are truly being instructed by His words when we fearfully and ceaselessly keep before our eyes our last end, in accord with what a certain wise man said: `In all that you do remember your end, and you will never sin.'

30

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9TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST – 9TH OF ST MATTHEW – WALKING ON WATER -

25 JULY 2010

Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria & All Africa Archdiocese of Good Hope
ALL GLORY, HONOUR AND WORSHIP TO THE FATHER, AND TO THE SON, AND TO THE HOLY SPIRIT, NOW AND EVER, AND UNTO THE AGES OF AGES. AMEN. REMEMBERING ALSO OUR MOST HOLY, MOST PURE, MOST BLESSED AND GLORIOUS LADY, MARIA, BIRTH GIVER OF GOD, YET EVER VIRGIN, TOGETHER WITH ALL THE SAINTS. AND LET US COMMIT OURSELVES AND ONE ANOTHER AND OUR WHOLE LIFE TO CHRIST OUR GOD. AMEN.

26 July 2010
Feast of St Paraskevi, Virgin Martyr of Rome Also the Feast of St Jacob Netsvetov, Enlightener of Alaska; St Hermolaus, St Hermippos & St Hermocrates, Holy Martyrs of Nicomedia; St Moses, the Venerable Hungarian of the Kiev Near Caves; St Gerontios, Founder of St Anna Skete, Mount Athos; St Savva ΙΙΙ of Serbia; St Priska the Righteous Martyr; the Holy Icon of the Ever Blessed Theotokos of Emvolon in Constantinople
A POL YT IKION O F ST P AR A SKEVE THE VIRGIN M ART YR TONE 1

Tin spoudin sou ti klisi katallilon, ergasameni feronime, tin Having
omonimon sou pistin, is katikian keklirose, Paraskevi Athlifore; othen proheis iamata, ke presvevis iper ton psihon imon.
KO NT AKION O F THE EVE R BLESSED THEOT OKO S

worked with readiness befitting the Call, O One Named After Readiness, Thou inherited as dwelling, the Faith which is Thy namesake, Paraskeve the Great Victor; Wherefore Thou flows forth healings and intercedes for the souls of us all.

Prostasia

ton Hristianon akateskhinte, mesitia pros ton Piitin ametathete, mi Paridis, amartolon deiseon fonas, alla profthason os agathi, is tin voithian imon, ton pistos kravgazonton Si: Tahinon is Presvian, ke spefson is ikesian, i prostatevousa ai, Theotoke, ton timonton se.

O

Protector of the Christians unashamable, Mediator to the Creator Immovable, despise not, the pleading voices of those in sin, but hasten O Good One, to the aid of all of us, who in Faith cry out to Thee: hasten Thine Intercession, and present Thy Supplication, O Theotokos who always protects all who honour Thee!

The Epistle of St Paul to the Galatians 3:23 - 4:5
WE BECOME CHILDREN OF GOD THROUGH OUR FAITH AND BAPTISM

Brethren, before Faith came, we were kept under guard by the Law, kept for the Faith which would afterward be revealed. Therefore, the Law was our Tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be Justified by Faith. But after Faith has come, we are no longer under a Tutor. For you are all sons of God through Faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you were Baptised in Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the Promise. Now I say that the heir, as long as he is a child, does not differ at all from a slave, though he is master of all, but is under guardians and stewards until the time appointed by the Father. Even so, we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world. But when the fullness of time has come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, to Redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the Adoption as sons.

The Holy Gospel According to St Mark 5: 24-34
ON THE WAY TO REVIVE JAIRUS’ DAUGHTER, OUR LORD HEALED A WOMAN WHO HAD BLED FOR 12 YEARS

At that time, Jesus went with [Jairus] and a great multitude followed Him and thronged Him. Now a certain woman had a flow of blood for twelve years, and had suffered many things from many physicians. She had spent all that she had and was no better, but grew rather worse. When she heard about Jesus, she came behind Him in the crowd and touched His garment. For she said, “If only I may touch His clothes, I shall be made well.” Immediately the fountain of her blood was dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of the affliction. And Jesus, immediately knowing in Himself that Power had gone out of Him, turned around in the crowd and said: “Who touched My clothes?” But His Disciples said to Him: “Thou seest the multitude thronging Thee, and Thou ask: ‘Who touched Me?’” And He looked around to see her who had done this thing. But the woman fearing and trembling, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell down before Him and told Him the whole truth. And He said to her, “Daughter, thy faith has made thee well. Go in peace, and be healed of thine affliction.”

St Paisios Velichkovsky – On Heedfulness – Sobriety of Mind
SOBRIETY OF MIND AND BRIGHTNESS OF THOUGHT COME FROM DISPASSION – i.e. from PURITY, FASTING, CONTINENCE (SELF-DISCIPLINE), UNDISTRACTED SILENCE, REMAINING WITHOUT DEPARTING FROM ONE’S CELL (I.E. ISOLATION FROM WORLDLY DISTRACTIONS), THE PRAYER OF JESUS, WANT OF CARES, AND FROM THE ACTIVITY OF THE HOLY SPIRIT when Divine Grace is granted to us by

our Benefactor. By these Virtues, OUR MIND IS CLEANSED FROM DARKNESS,
CRUDENESS AND FANTASIES, AND WE ARE ENLIGHTENED. And then we become CAPABLE OF UNDERSTANDING, OF JUDGEMENT, AND WE ARE JOYFUL.

from disturbance, gather it away from dispersion, and ENLIGHTENS us. Prayer and Fasting BANISHES UNCLEAN SPIRITS AND HEALS THOSE WHO ARE TORMENTED BY DEMONS, as our Lord said: “This kind (OF DEMON) does not go out except by Prayer and Fasting.” (MATTHEW 17:21) Prayer and Fasting also CLEANSES OUR MIND, in which the demons often cause us Spiritual Darkness. Prayer and Fasting are POWERFUL WEAPONS THAT
PROTECT DEMONS. US AND PREVENT ANY ACCESS OF

No one can stop swirling thoughts by anything except the constant Prayer of Jesus, by the Memory of Death and future Torment; by the memory and desire for future Good Things and by heedful singing or reading in solitude. But more than anything else, OUR MIND IS CLEANSED
FROM SPIRITUAL DARKNESS, CRUDENESS AND FANTASIES BY PRAYER, FASTING AND REMAINING SILENT WHILE ISOLATED FROM THE WORLD.

Prayer, like a Grace given spirit, ENLIGHTENS OUR
MIND, AND GRANTS US SPIRITUAL FERVOUR.

Prayer, with sobriety of heart, is THE GUARDIAN OF
OUR MIND, FOR IT EXTINGUISHES OUR FORGETFULNESS just as water extinguishes fire.

Prayer and Fasting BANISH ALL SINFUL THOUGHTS, stop the fever of our brain, preserve our mind

Therefore we should greatly honour and practise this Virtue that gives birth to Bright Visions. Having come to LOVE THE VIRTUE OF PRAYER, we who are useless and vile sinners, will BECOME HOLY AND WORTHY, AND WE WILL BE GRANTED UNDERSTANDING AND JUDGEMENT, which we have lacked. 31

(SPONSORED BY DIMITRI PAIZIS)

THE FEAST OF ST PARASKEVE THE VIRGIN MARTYR OF ROME – 26 JULY 2010

Through Prayer, the unrighteous will BECOME RIGHTEOUS,
BEHOLDERS, THEOLOGIANS AND WITNESSES OF THE DIVINE MYSTERIES THROUGH THE INVOCATION OF THE NAME OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST, THE SON OF GOD!

WE MUST NOT DO TO OTHERS WHAT WE OURSELVES HATE.

Then we should KEEP OUR HEART FROM LUSTFUL
SWEETNESS AND FOUL HEATING OF THE FLESH.

Many Holy Fathers have said that THE PRAYER OF JESUS IS
THE SOURCE OF EVERY TREASURY OF VIRTUES. OF THE HOLY SPIRIT. GOOD THING – A REAL

We

should FIRMLY PRESERVE OUR MIND FROM THOUGHTS SO THAT OUR HEART MIGHT ALWAYS BE KEPT IN HUMILITY OF WISDOM.

The Prayer of Jesus SPEEDILY GRANTS US THE GRACE The Prayer of Jesus SAVES US, EXPLAINS TO US AND
INSTRUCTS US IN WHAT IS UNKNOWN TO US.

FROM THIS ALREADY IS BORN PRAYER, which CONQUERS AND ANNIHILATES A MULTITUDE OF PASSIONS AND EVIL SPIRITS, and DIVINE GRACE IS THUS INCREASED. As FASTING AND THE PRAYER OF JESUS serves our SPIRITUAL CLEANSING AND THE STRENGTHENING OF SOBRIETY AND ATTENTIVENESS, so also Sobriety comprises a WORTHINESS, a HOLINESS, and SUPPORT

Just as we see our own face in a mirror, so also IN SOBER
AND GOOD PRAYER WE SEE WITH OUR MIND OUR WHOLE LIFE – WE SEE WHETHER WE ARE LIVING WELL OR WICKEDLY.

This

Prayer

of

Sobriety

BANISHES

FROM

US

A

OF PRAYER.

MULTITUDE OF PASSIONS.

The Prayer of Jesus DELIVERS US FROM ALL THE NETS
OF THE DEMONS IN THOUGHTS, WORDS AND DEEDS.

The Prayer of Jesus CONQUERS EVERY NATURAL
DESIRE, FEELING AND SORROW,

In other words, SOBRIETY IS PURITY OF MIND, while impurity of mind is dirty, wicked thoughts, and impurity of heart is the fever and lustful sweetness. b Our heart cannot REMAIN FIRMLY IN PURITY so as not to be defiled, unless it is crushed BY FASTING.
IT IS IMPOSSIBLE ALSO FOR US TO PRESERVE A STATE OF HOLINESS WITHOUT FASTING, and OUR FLESH WILL NOT SUBMIT TO OUR SPIRIT FOR SPIRITUAL ACTIVITY, and PRAYER ITSELF WILL NOT RISE UP AND ACT BECAUSE OUR NATURAL NEEDS WILL PREDOMINATE US.

The Prayer of Jesus HELPS US EVERY TIME WE ARE
TEMPTED.

The Prayer of Jesus GRANTS US PURIFICATION and, like a fiery sword, CUTS OFF THE ENTICEMENTS OF
EVIL, FOR GOD IS INVOKED BY THE HOLY NAME OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST BEFORE WHOM EVERYTHING IN CREATION SUBMITS.

Nothing can so CONQUER THE MALICIOUS, CUNNING TRICKS OF THE DEMONS like the sober Prayer of Jesus – pure and attentive, which is performed
WITH A PURE MIND AND IN THE HUMILITY OF TRUE WISDOM.

And OUR FLESH WILL be compelled to BECOME FEVERISH. From the fever of the flesh CORRUPTED THOUGHTS
ARISE AND OUR MIND IS DEFILED.

It is impossible for those who are moved by Spiritual Endeavour to rise up against the evil ones and to oppose them, apart from this wonderful Prayer of Jesus. b However, WITHOUT A GOOD SPIRITUAL INSTRUCTOR OF
THE PRAYER OF JESUS, WE WILL PERISH AFTER HAVING SUFFERED.

Hearing and having learnt from the words of our Holy Fathers that the Prayer of Jesus is great, but NOT
UNDERSTANDING ITS ESSENCE, WE PERFORM IT AND THINK SENSELESSLY ABOUT IT, IMAGINING THAT WE HAVE ATTAINED PERFECTION, and WE BEGIN TO HAVE FANTASIES IN OUR MIND, having enemies without

From our corrupted thoughts OUR HEART IS AROUSED AND DEFILED as well, And through all this, DIVINE GRACE DEPARTS FROM US and UNCLEAN SPIRITS DARE TO RULE OVER US as much as they desire! They force our flesh into passion, and they direct our mind wherever they wish, or, having shackled it, they hold it captive, MAKING US INCAPABLE OF SPIRITUAL DESIRE OR ACTIVITY.

b

THROUGH PRAYER AND FASTING, OUR ENEMIES CANNOT CONQUER US, for they first of all make every

ourselves, WITHOUT HAVING FIRST CLEANSED OURSELVES BEFOREHAND BY MEANS OF SPIRITUAL SOBRIETY (ABSTINENCE OR SELF-DISCIPLINE), ATTENTIVENESS AND VIGIL.
(OUTSIDE)

Therefore in such a manner WE ARE OVERTHROWN AND
CONQUERED BY THE DEMONS!

attempt to bring our mind into Spiritual Darkness and Forgetfulness and then to throw us into the sinful abyss. But we shall ALWAYS KEEP TO FASTING AS TO A QUIET, SAFE HARBOUR, sheltering from the mental nets of the enemy, for FASTING PURIFIES OUR BODY AND NOURISHES AND STRENGTHENS OUR PRAYER, making it ascend like a flame of fire from our lips.
BEING JOINED TO FASTING, SOBER PRAYER SCORCHES OUR ENEMIES since they cannot come near to our chaste

b

THE BEGINNING OF THIS GOOD AND SPLENDID ACTIVITY
(OF THE JESUS PRAYER) consists of the following: First WE MUST WEAKEN OUR PASSIONS.

soul, which is like a hot furnace to them, and they can do us no harm.
ADAPTED & EDITED BY MP: VELICHKOVSKY “LITTLE RUSSIAN PHILOKALIA” VOLUME 4: ST PAISIUS

WE MUST NOT DO WHAT IS DISPLEASING TO GOD.

The Hand of Christ Reaches Out to Us
The Resurrection Icon of our Lord Jesus Christ depicts our Risen Lord – not standing alone – but raising, pulling and lifting up Adam and Eve from the depths of Hades through the smashed doors of the Spiritual Prison. Our Lord Jesus Christ frees Patriarch, Prophet and King, but at the same time, He frees us as well. Christ liberates our life – He liberates every human being. His Divine Hand that reached out and tightly grasped the hand of Adam and Eve, reaches out to pull us who are Adam’s descendents, into His Divine Embrace as well. For we are bound and imprisoned by Spiritual Death caused by our wilful sins. We are held captive by the power and weight of all our sins. We suffer Spiritual Death and are cast into the deepest depths of the Abyss of sin due to our self-inflicted alienation from God. Yet our Ever Loving, Risen Lord Jesus Christ comes to find us, to rescue us from impending, permanent danger, just like the Good Shepherd ceaselessly seeking His lost Sheep and, finding them, He carries them back to the safety of the Sheepfold – His Holy Church. God’s limitless Love for us compels Him to seek us out of the Spiritual Darkness and to raise us up with Him, and, no matter how much we may drift away from Him - no matter how much we wander off into Spiritual Darkness - He will seek us out, waiting for us to turn to Him for help, and instantly, He will grasp our reaching hands and pull us into the warm safety of His Loving Embrace. From our deepest anxiety when confronted by Death, Christ raises us up into His Glorious Light – into an unshakable Hope in the Resurrection Life! From our fear of the future or even our fears of the present, our Gracious Lord raises us up to His undiminished Joy and Peace! From loneliness and separation, our Merciful Saviour raises us up to Friendship with God – even more – to become Partakers of His Divine Glory!
ADAPTED & EDITED BY MP: “DAILY VITAMINS FOR SPIRITUAL GROWTH” BY REVEREND ANTHONY M CONIARIS

St Gregory Nazianzen
let us recognize that as in dress and diet and laughter and demeanour there is a certain decorum, so there is also in speech and silence; since among so many titles and Powers of God, we pay the highest honour to The Word. Let even our disputes then be kept within bounds. (FIRST THEOLOGICAL ORATION
NO. 5

32

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T HE

FEA ST

O F

ST

P ARA SK EVE

T HE

VIRG IN

MA RT YR

O F

RO ME

26

JUL Y

2 010

Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria & All Africa Archdiocese of Good Hope
ALL GLORY, HONOUR AND WORSHIP TO THE FATHER, AND TO THE SON, AND TO THE HOLY SPIRIT, NOW AND EVER, AND UNTO THE AGES OF AGES. AMEN. REMEMBERING ALSO OUR MOST HOLY, MOST PURE, MOST BLESSED AND GLORIOUS LADY, MARIA, BIRTH GIVER OF GOD, YET EVER VIRGIN, TOGETHER WITH ALL THE SAINTS. AND LET US COMMIT OURSELVES AND ONE ANOTHER AND OUR WHOLE LIFE TO CHRIST OUR GOD. AMEN.

27 July 2010 Feast of St Panteleimon the Unmercenary Wonder-worker & Great Martyr
Also the Feast of St Nicholas Kochanove, Fool-for-Christ of Novgorod; St Anthoussa the Righteous Confessor & Abbess, Founder of St Anna Monastery, Mantinea, Asia Minor & her 90 Venerable Sisters of St Anna Monastery; the 853 Holy Martyrs of Thrace; St Manuel the Righteous; St Clement of Ochrid, Bishop of Greater Macedonia & Equal to the Apostles; St Angelar, St Gorazd, St Nahum and St Sava of Ochrid, faithful Disciples of St Cyril & St Methodios
A POL YT IKION O F ST P AN TELEIM ON TONE 4

Atholofore
KO NT AKION

Agie ke iamatike Panteleimon, presveve to eleimoni Theo, ina ptesmaton afesin, paraskhi tes psihes imon.
O F THE T RA NSFIGU RA TION – 27 JUL Y U NTIL 13

O

Holy Champion and Healer, Panteleimon, intercede with our Merciful God, that He may grant to our souls, remission of our faults. the Mount Thou were Transfigured, and Thy Disciples beheld Thy Glory, as far as they were able to do, O Christ our God; so that when they would see Thee Crucified, they would know that Thou Suffered willingly; and thus proclaim to all the world: Thou art truly the One Who is the Father’s Radiance!

AUGU ST

Epi tou Orous Metemorfothis, ke os ehoroun i Mathite Sou,
tin Doxan Sou Hriste O Theos etheasanto. Ina otan se idosi Stavoumenon, to me Pathos noisosin ekousion to de kosmo kirixosin oti Si Iparhis Alithos, tou Patros to Apavgasma!

Upon

The 2nd Epistle of St Paul to St Timothy 2: 1- 10
THE FORGIVENESS & RESTORATION OF THE PENITENT SINNER

Timothy my son: be strong in the Grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. You, therefore, must endure hardship as a good Soldier of Jesus Christ. No one engaged in Warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, so that he may please Him Who enlisted him as a soldier. And also if anyone competes in athletics, he is not crowned unless he competes according to the Rules. The hardworking farmer must be the first to partake of the crops. Consider what I say, and may the Lord give you understanding in all things. Remember that Jesus Christ, of the Seed of David, was raised from the dead according to my Gospel, for which I suffer trouble as an evildoer, even to the point of chains; but the Word of God is not chained. Therefore I endure all things for the sake of the Elect, so that they also may obtain the Salvation that is in Christ Jesus with Eternal Glory. NEVER BE OFFENDED WHEN ANYONE CORRECTS St Paul established A CLEAR CHAIN OF WITNESSES TO ORAL OR CRITICISES YOU! TRADITION. IMMEDIATELY ACCEPT IT WITH GRATITUDE AND Christian Tradition is FOR ALL BELIEVERS. TURN YOUR ATTENTION INWARDS, SEEKING OUT Christian Tradition is Catholic – i.e. it is UNIVERSAL. AND ACKNOWLEDGING YOUR SINS AND ERRORS, Christian Tradition BELONGS TO THE ENTIRE CHRISTIAN HEALING AND CORRECTING THEM THROUGH
CHURCH

Christian

Tradition

PRAYERS OF MERCY AND FORGIVENESS. MUST BE METICULOUSLY

PRESERVED

b b

Christian Tradition MUST BE PASSED ON TO OTHERS
UNHINDERED AND UNCHANGED IN ANY WAY AT ALL!

NOTHING MUST PREVENT US from making Spiritual Progress, WHILE INSPIRING, ASSISTING AND GUIDING OTHERS ALONG THE WAY. ONLY THROUGH OUR CONSTANT AND RELIABLE EFFORTS THAT ARE ACHIEVED WITH UNFAILING HUMILITY AND OBEDIENCE, WILL WE OVERCOME ALL OBSTACLES AND SLY SCHEMES OF OUR ENEMIES who never rest

b

GOD’S TRUTH IS ABSOLUTE PERFECTION. IF ANYTHING IS CHANGED AT ALL, IT IS NO LONGER PERFECT! Therefore, WE CANNOT CHANGE ANYTHING THAT GOD HAS GIVEN US TO SUIT OURSELVES. TO DO SO REVEALS SPIRITUAL ARROGANCE AND A LACK OF TRUE FAITH.

from their evil intentions.

b

b

THROUGH OUR HUMBLE OBEDIENCE, COMPLETE FAITH AND DEVOTION TO SERVING GOD, WE ARE GRANTED DIVINE GRACE, WHICH ENABLES US TO DO EXTRAORDINARY THINGS FOR THE SAKE OF OTHERS. St Paul encouraged St Timothy and us to MAINTAIN DIVINE GRACE THROUGH OUR CONTINUOUS CONCENTRATION AND DEDICATION TO OUR SACRED DUTIES AND TO NEVER WEAKEN OR WAVER FROM GOD’S TRUE PATH OF RIGHTEOUSNESS.

PRAYERS, FASTING, COMMUNAL WORSHIP, REGULAR HOLY COMMUNION, REPENTANCE-CONFESSION, ETC ARE THE ONLY MEANS WHEREBY WE WILL SUCCEED

in this preparatory period of life on earth. With these powerful Spiritual Weapons we will certainly
ACHIEVE “ALL THINGS.”

We will receive TRUE ETERNAL TREASURE, WHICH IS OUR
SALVATION IN CHRIST JESUS.

b

GOD’S TRUTH, which we have learnt either directly from

God and/or through our Holy Fathers of the Church – our Spiritual Fathers and Teachers – IN CONJUNCTION WITH our own efforts, MUST BE SHARED AND PASSED ON CAREFULLY TO OTHERS so that we PRESERVE IT SPOTLESSLY, WITHOUT ANY
PERSONAL, ERRONEOUS INTERPRETATIONS OF OUR OWN!

b

THE CONTINUOUS SPIRITUAL GUIDANCE OF OUR HOLY FATHERS KEEPS US GOING IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION AND ENCOURAGES US TO REMAIN HUMBLE AND OBEDIENT TO GOD ALONE!
(PARTLY SPONSORED BY DONATIONS)

T h e t r u l y i n t e l l i g e n t so u l i s n o t d i st u r b e d w h e n sh e s e e s t h e s u c c e s s o f t h e w i c k e d a n d t h e p r o sp e r i t y o f t h e w or t h l e s s . U n l i k e t h e st u p i d , sh e i s n ot d e l u d e d b y t h e g r a t i f i c a t i on e n j oy e d b y s u c h p e op l e i n t h i s l i f e , f or sh e u n d e r st a n d s c l e a r l y t h e i n c on st a n c y of f or t u n e , t h e u n c e r t a i n t y a n d b r e v i t y of l i f e , a n d t h e u n b r i b a b i l i t y of t h e j u d g e ; a n d sh e i s c o n f i d e n t t h a t G od w i l l n ot f a i l t o p r ov i d e h e r w i t h t h e N o u r i sh m e n t sh e n e e d s .

The Wisdom of St Anthony the Great

THE FEAST OF ST PANTELEIMON THE UNMERCENARY WONDERWORKER – 27 JULY 2010

33

The Holy Gospel According to St John 15 : 17 – 16 : 2
OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST PREPARES HIS FAITHFUL DISCIPLES TO FACE THE FALLEN WORLD’S HATRED

Our Lord Jesus Christ said: “These things I command you: that you Love one another. “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. “If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet, because you are not of the world, for I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. “Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his Master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My Word, they will keep yours also. But all these things they will do to you for My Name’s sake, because they do not know Him Who sent Me. “If I had not come and spoken to them, they would have no sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. “He who hates Me, hates My Father also. If I had not done among them the Works that no one else did, they would have no sin; but now they have seen and also hated both Me and My Father. And this happened so that the word might be fulfilled which is written in their Law: ‘They hated Me without a cause.’ “And when the Helper comes, Whom I shall send to you FROM THE FATHER, the Spirit of Truth Who Proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me. “And you also will bear witness, because you have been with Me from the beginning. “These things I have spoken to you so that you should not be made to stumble. They will put you out of the Synagogues; yes! The time is coming that whoever kills you will think that he offers God Service...” The term “world” is used in several distinct ways in Holy Hatred is the direct opposite to Love. Scripture. LOVE CAN ACCOMPLISH SO MANY GOOD THINGS WHILE HATRED SENSELESSLY DESTROYS AND MERCILESSLY In some cases, it refers to ALL THAT IS GLORIOUS,
BEAUTIFUL AND REDEEMABLE IN GOD’S WONDERFUL, PERFECT CREATION. (John 3:16) At other times, it refers THAT WHICH IS FINITE – THIS EARTHLY EXISTENCE – in contrast to that which is DEVASTATES!

For all these reasons, AS FAITHFUL CHRISTIANS, WE ARE
FORBIDDEN TO HATE ANYONE.

Eternal – Eternity. (John 11:9; 18:36) In still other instances, as above, it indicates ALL THAT
IS IN REBELLION AGAINST GOD. (REFER ALSO JOHN 8:23) THE REBELLION OF THE WORLD AGAINST GOD REVEALS SEVERAL THINGS: WHILE UNION WITH CHRIST BRINGS LOVE, TRUTH AND PEACE, IT ALSO BRINGS PERSECUTION, BECAUSE THE FALLEN WORLD HATES LOVE AND TRUTH. THE WORLD HATED CHRIST SO THEREFORE IT HATES ALL WHO TRY TO BECOME CHRIST-LIKE. THE WORLD HATES CHRIST BECAUSE IT NEITHER KNOWS NOR DESIRES TO KNOW GOD THE FATHER. HATRED FOR JESUS CHRIST IS IRRATIONAL AND UNREASONABLE FOR CHRIST BRINGS US LOVE AND DIVINE MERCY – SO CHRIST AND HIS FAITHFUL DISCIPLES ARE HATED WITHOUT A CAUSE OR REASON
HATRED IS THE MOST DESTRUCTIVE VICE INVENTED BY SATAN BECAUSE IT IS ALWAYS COMPLETELY UNREASONABLE AND UNJUSTIFIED.

We may hate what the words, deeds and attitudes of wicked people, but WE CANNOT HATE PEOPLE (WHO ARE IMAGES OF GOD, LIKE US) WHO NEED OUR DEVOUT PRAYERS to save their immortal souls from Eternal Condemnation. b Christ our God told us to LOVE OUR ENEMIES! b God has never sanctioned hatred, killing or anything destructive – which proves that ALMIGHTY GOD IS A
GOD OF LOVE!! OUR SAVIOUR ALWAYS REVEALS AND TEACHES HIS ABSOLUTE TRUTH TO US, and in this instance, CHRIST TRIES TO PREPARE HIS FAITHFUL DISCIPLES FOR THE PHYSICAL PERSECUTION AND SPIRITUAL WARFARE WE WILL FACE UNTIL THE END OF TIME.

b

IF THE WORLD CAN PERSECUTE AND EXECUTE THE MOST INNOCENT OF ALL, IT WILL CERTAINLY DO SO TO OTHERS WHO TRY TO LIVE A RIGHTEOUS AND GODLY LIFE.

With respect to GOD’S WORKING SALVATION in the world:

b

THE SON OF GOD SENDS US THE HOLY SPIRIT FROM THE FATHER. With respect to THE DIVINE NATURE: b THE HOLY SPIRIT ETERNALLY PROCEEDS FROM GOD THE FATHER ALONE! I b In other words: THE HOLY SPIRIT RECEIVES HIS ETERNAL EXISTENCE ONLY FROM THE FATHER.

In conformity with our Lord Jesus’ words, the NiceneConstantinopolitan Creed confesses belief in “...the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the Giver of Life, WHO PROCEEDS FROM THE FATHER.” b While THE SON OF GOD IS BEGOTTEN OF THE FATHER
ALONE, THE HOLY SPIRIT PROCEEDS FROM THE FATHER ALONE. THE SOURCE – THE FOUNTAINHEAD – OF BOTH PERSONS IS GOD THE FATHER.

OUR LORD NEVER PROMISED US AN EASY JOURNEY THROUGH LIFE BECAUSE HE KNOWS HOW DIFFICULT – TO A GREATER OR LESSER DEGREE - IT WILL BE FOR ALL HUMAN BEINGS, THROUGHOUT THE AGES. GOD’S INFINITE LOVE FOR MANKIND IS EVIDENT IN THE FACT THAT WE NOW HAVE THE HOLY SPIRIT TO BOOST US, TO ENCOURAGE US AND TO STRENGTHEN US WITH THE SPIRITUAL GIFTS NEEDED TO SUCCESSFULLY SUCCESSFULLY COMPLETE OUR EARTHLY JOURNEY TOWARDS ETERNITY. OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST, BEING THE TRUE SON OF GOD, KNEW THAT MANY WELLWELL-INTENTIONED AND FAITHFUL HEBREWS WOULD PERSECUTE THE CHRISTIANS IN THE BELIEF THAT THEY WERE ELIMINATING THOSE WHO GOD. BLASPHEMED AGAINST GOD. ST PAUL WAS THE GREATEST AND MOST ZEALOUS OF THESE PERSECUTORS OF THE EARLY CHURCH OF CHRIST UNTIL HIS MIRACULOUS CONVERSION BY CHRIST ALONG THE ROAD TO DAMASCUS. ST PAUL, THE MOST SPECTACULAR CONVERT TO CHRISTIANITY, BECAME THE APOSTLE TO THE GENTILES, CONVERTING UNTOLD NUMBERS OF PAGANS AND HEBREWS TO CHRIST BY THE GRACE OF GOD. TO THIS DAY, WE LEARN THE WISE SACRED LESSONS OF LIFE IN CHRIST THROUGH HIS MANY DIVINELY INSPIRED EPISTLES OR LETTERS TO THE VARIOUS CHRISTIAN COMMUNITIES THROUGHOUT THE KNOWN WORLD OF HIS TIME. THE HOLY SPIRIT GRANTS US WISDOM AND KNOWLEDGE IN ADDITION TO THE DIVINE GIFTS THAT ARE NECESSARY FOR OUR PERSONAL STRUGGLE WHILE PREPARING OURSELVES FOR ETERNITY. THE HOLY SPIRIT ACTIVATES OUR UNKNOWN, UNRECOGNISED ABILITIES CAUSING OUR WEAK HUMAN EFFORTS TO ACCOMPLISH THE MOST AMAZING THINGS, FOR WHAT IS IMPOSSIBLE FOR US TO DO, IS ALWAYS POSSIBLE WITH GOD!

b

THE GREATEST COMMANDMENT we have been given by God is to LOVE ONE ANOTHER – UNCONDITIONALLY! ONLY THROUGH A CONCERTED EFFORT AND CONSTANT PRAYERS FOR GOD’S DIVINE ASSISTANCE CAN WE LEARN TO TRULY LOVE OTHERS.

The Wisdom of St Anthony the Great

2

ANY CIRCUMSTANCE IN WHICH WE FIND OURSELVES UNWILLINGLY IS A PRISON AND PUNISHMENT FOR US. So we must BE CONTENT with whatever circumstances we may

It is not a sin to eat, enabling our body to be kept alive, but
IT IS A SIN TO EAT WITHOUT GRATITUDE, AND IN A DISORDERLY AND UNRESTRAINED MANNER, which INDUCES EVIL THOUGHTS. It is not a sin to use our eyes with Purity, but IT IS A SIN TO LOOK WITH ENVY, ARROGANCE AND INSATIABLE DESIRE. IT IS A SIN TO LISTEN ANGRILY, but not to listen peacefully. IT IS A SIN TO USE OUR SPEECH FOR SPITEFULNESS, but it

now be in, in case, being ungrateful, we punish ourselves unwittingly. This contentment can be achieved in only one way: THROUGH
OUR DETACHMENT FROM WORLDLY THINGS.

2

Just as God has given us sight in order that we may recognise visible things – what is white, and what is black – so, too, HE HAS GRANTED US INTELLIGENCE IN ORDER

is not a sin to express Thanksgiving and Prayer..
IT IS A SIN TO USE OUR HANDS FOR MURDER AND ROBBERY, instead of using them for acts of compassion,

TO DISCERN WHAT BENEFITS OUR SOUL. DESIRE, DETACHED FROM INTELLIGENCE, begets sensual pleasure, and DOES NOT ALLOW OUR SOUL TO BE SAVED OR TO ATTAIN UNION WITH GOD. 2 WHAT TAKES PLACE ACCORDING TO NATURE IS NOT SINFUL FOR SIN INVOLVES OUR DELIBERATE CHOICE. 34
(PARTLY SPONSORED BY DONATIONS) THE FEA ST O F ST PA NTELE IMON

nurturing and generosity. Thus, EVERY PART OF OUR BODY SINS WHEN BY OUR OWN
FREE CHOICE, WE PERFORM EVIL ACTS CONTRARY TO GOD’S WILL.

THE

U NMER CE NA R Y

WONDER WORKER

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JUL Y

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