Tuesday, July 31, 2012

St Seraphim Sarov

August 1st (NS) is one of the feast days 
dedicated to St Seraphim of Sarov

God is a fire that warms and kindles the heart and inward parts. Hence, if we feel in our hearts the cold which comes from the devil—for the devil is cold—let us call on the Lord. He will come to warm our hearts with perfect love, not only for Him but also for our neighbor, and the cold of him who hates the good will flee before the heat of His countenance.

St Seraphim of Sarov

Great Doxology

Monday, July 30, 2012

Eirmos from Canon to our Lord Jesus Christ

St John Chrysostum

Let’s stop fighting and pray in a becoming way. We should put on the mildness of angels instead of the demons’ brutality.

No matter how we've been injured, we must soften our anger by considering our own case and our reward.

Let us quiet the storms; we can pass through life calmly. Then, upon our departing, the Lord will treat us as we treated our neighbours. If this is a heavy, terrible thing to us, we must let Him make it light and desirable.

What we don’t have strength to carry out because of our struggle against sin, let us accomplish by becoming gentle to those who sinned against us.

St. John Chrysostom

Prayer of St Symeon

St Peter of Damaskos

God has done all things for our benefit.

We are guarded and taught by the angels; we are tempted by the demons so that we may be humbled and have recourse to God, thus being saved from self-elation and delivered from negligence.

On the one hand, we are led to give thanks to our Benefactor through the good things of this world, by which I mean health, prosperity, strength, rest, joy, light, spiritual knowledge, riches, progress in all things, a peaceful life, the enjoyment of honors, authority, abundance and all the other supposed blessings of this life.

We are led to love Him and to do what good we can, because we feel we have a natural obligation to repay God for His gifts to us by performing good works. It is of course impossible to repay Him, for our debt always grows larger.

On the other hand, through what are regarded as hardships we attain a state of patience, humility and hope of blessings in the age to be; and by these so-called hardships I mean such things as illness, discomfort, tribulation, weakness, unsought distress, darkness, ignorance, poverty, general misfortune, the fear of loss, dishonor, affliction, indigence, and so on.

Indeed, not only in the age to be, but even in this present age these things are a source of great blessing to us.

St Peter of Damaskos

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Psalm 50

Song 3 Canon to Jesus Christ

St Gregory of Palamas

Do you not perceive the grandeur of God's compassion? 

When we are disobedient He does not immediately condemn us, but He is longsuffering and allows us time for conversion. Throughout this period of longsuffering He gives us power to gain divine sonship if we so wish. Yet why do I say 'gain sonship'? He gives us power to be united with Him and to become one spirit with Him (cf. 1 Cor. 6:17). 

If, however, during this period of longsuffering we pursue the opposite path and choose death rather than true life, God does not take away the power that He gave us. And not only does He not take it away, but He reminds us of it again and again. From the dawn till the dusk of this life, He goes round, as in the parable of the vineyard, seeking us out and inviting us to engage in the works of life (cf. Matt. 20:7-15). 

And who is it that calls us in this way and would engage us in His service? It is the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the God of all solace (cf. 2 Cor. 1:3).

And who is the vineyard into which He calls us to work? The Son of God, who said, 'I am the vine' (cf. John 15:1). For, indeed, no one can come to Christ, as He Himself said in the Gospels, unless the Father draws him (cf. John 6:44).

Who are the branches? We ourselves are.

For directly afterwards Christ says, 'You are the branches, My Father is the vine-dresser' (cf. John 15:1, 5). 

On Anger ~ St John Cassian

On Anger:
If then we wish to receive the Lord's blessing we should restrain not only the outward expression of anger, but also angry thoughts.

More beneficial than controlling our tongue in a moment of anger and refraining from angry words is purifying our heart from rancor and not harboring malicious thoughts against our brethren. The Gospel teaches us to cut off the roots of our sins and not merely their fruits. When we have dug the root of anger out of our heart, we will no longer act with hatred or envy. 'Whoever hates his brother is a murderer' (1 John 3:15), for he kills him with the hatred in his mind.

The blood of a man who has been slain by the sword can be seen by men, but blood shed by the hatred in the mind is seen by God, who rewards each man with punishment or a crown not only for his acts but for his thoughts and intentions as well. As God Himself says through the Prophet: 'Behold, I am coming to reward them according to their actions and their thoughts' (cf. Ecclus. 35:19); and the Apostle says: 'And their thoughts accuse or else excuse them in the day when God shall judge the secrets of men' (Rom. 2:15-16).

The Lord Himself teaches us to put aside all anger when He says: 'Whoever is angry with his brother shall be in danger of judgment' (Matt. 5:22). This is the text of the best manuscripts; for it is clear from the purpose of Scripture in this context that the words 'without a cause' were added later.

The Lord's intention is that we should remove the root of anger, its spark, so to speak, in whatever way we can, and not keep even a single pretext for anger in our hearts. Otherwise we will be stirred to anger initially for what appears to be a good reason and then find that our incensive power is totally out of control.

St John Cassian


Vesper Song

Friday, July 27, 2012

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Thursday, July 19, 2012

How to Say the Jesus Prayer

How to Say the Prayer
Some of the fathers advise us to say the whole prayer, 'Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy', while others specify that we say it in two parts - 'Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy', and then 'Son of God, help me' - because this is easier, given the immaturity and feebleness of our intellect. 

For no one on his own account and without the help of the Spirit can mystically invoke the Lord Jesus, for this can be done with purity and in its fullness only with the help of the Holy Spirit (cf. 1 Cor. 12:3). 

Like children who can still speak only falteringly, we are unable by ourselves to articulate the prayer properly. Yet we must not out of laziness frequently change the words of the invocation, but only do this rarely, so as to ensure continuity. 

Again, some fathers teach that the prayer should be said aloud; others, that it should be said silently with the intellect. 

On the basis of my personal experience I recommend both ways. For at times the intellect grows listless and cannot repeat the prayer, while at other times the same thing happens to the voice. Thus we should pray both vocally and in the intellect. But when we pray vocally we should speak quietly and calmly and not loudly, so that the voice does not disturb and hinder the intellect's consciousness and concentration. 

This is always a danger until the intellect grows accustomed to its work, makes progress and receives power from the Spirit to pray firmly and with complete attention. Then there will be no need to pray aloud - indeed, it will be impossible, for we shall be content to carry out the whole work with the intellect alone.

St Gregory of Sinai 
On Prayer: Seven Texts  

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Monday, July 9, 2012

HCM 7/8/2012

 Fr Siluan

 Strong Sermon!

 Fr Cornelius

 Hierodeacon Parthenios

Many years for Ariana!