Wednesday, November 25, 2015

St. John of Kronstadt on Prayer, Thanksgiving and Praise


Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Savior. His Gospel reads: "Come to me, all who labor and are heavy-laden, and I will give you rest..." (source)
  
With sincere Christians prayer is continual, because we continually sin; gratitude is perpetual, because everyday, every moment, we receive fresh mercies from God, beside the old mercies, which are numberless. Praise is also perpetual, because we perpetually see the glory of God's works in ourselves and in the world, especially the glory of His infinite love towards us.
-St. John of Kronstadt, "My Life in Christ"
  
(source)
  
Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us! Amen!

Saturday, November 21, 2015

"Let the heaven above rejoice today..."

The Entrance of the Theotokos to the Temple (source) (source)
  
Let the heaven above rejoice today, and let the clouds sprinkle forth gladness, at the utterly paradoxical and great deeds of our God, for behold, the Gate that is beheld in the East, who was born from a barren womb through promise, and offered to be the dwelling-place of God, today enters the Temple, as a spotless offering that is brought forth. Let David rejoice, plucking the lyre, for it is written, they shall be led to the King with the virgins behind her, her companions shall be brought in, within the tent of God, wherein is His mercy seat, to be raised to be the dwelling-place for Him Who was ineffably begotten of the Father before the ages, for the salvation of our souls.
-Idiomelon of the Litia for the Entrance of the Theotokos, First Tone, by George of Nikomedia.
  
(source)
   
Most-holy Theotokos, save us! Amen!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

St. Paisios the Athonite: "Give thanks to God for everything..."

St. Paisios the Athonite (source)
  
Give thanks to God for everything. Try to be manly. Pull yourself together a bit. Do you know what Christians are suffering in other countries? There are such difficulties in Russia! But here many exhibit indifference. There’s not enough disposition to kindness, love of devotion. You see, if we don’t begin to make war against evil, to expose those who tempt believers, then the evil will grow larger. If we throw aside fear then the faithful will be emboldened a bit. And those who wage war against the Church will have a harder time. In the past our nation lived spiritually, so God blessed her, and the saints helped us in miraculous fashion. And we were victorious against our enemies, who always outnumbered us. Today we continue to call ourselves Orthodox Christians, but we don’t live Orthodox lives.
-St. Paisios the Athonite
  
  
Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us! Amen!

Sunday, November 15, 2015

St. Gregory Palamas on the Incarnation

Icon of Christ "The Angel of Great Counsel" (source)
  
However great the heaven of heavens may be, or the upper waters which form a roof over the celestial regions, or any heavenly place, state or order, they are no more marvelous or honorable than the cave, the manger, the water sprinkled on the infant and His swaddling clothes. For nothing done by God from the beginning of time was more beneficial to all and more divine than Christ's Nativity...
-St. Gregory Palamas, "Homily 58: On the Saving Nativity of Christ"
  
  
As we are beginning the Advent season, I pray that the Lord might make us all worthy to see His nativity in the flesh. May we prepare ourselves to have Him born in the manger of our hearts! Amen!
  
Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us! Amen!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

"Let us gather to praise the ever-memorable Menas..."

St. Menas the Great Martyr and Wonderworker (source)
  
Let us gather to praise the ever-memorable Menas, the brave servant of Christ, O faithful, with martyrical praises and spiritual odes. For he set to battle invisible enemies, and lawfully struggled, having rightly received the trophy of victory. And now, he dances in the heavens with the indissoluble choir of the Angels, entreating for peace to the world, and the great mercy.
-Doxastikon of the Praises in the First Tone, by Anatolios.

You were seen as bread, baked by the flames that touched you, offered as a spotless sacrifice, perfect as an offering, and as a spiritual whole-burnt offering, pouring forth divine fragrance, which was smelled by God, O healer of God Menas.
-Troparion from the Canon of St. Menas, Ode VIII.

(amateur translation of text from source)
  
Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us! Amen!

Monday, November 9, 2015

"O venerable Arsenios, you were offered to the Lord..."

St. Arsenios of Cappadocia (Source)
  
O venerable Arsenios, you were offered to the Lord, and served Him spotlessly, through your ascetical way of life, for you received the divine fire, which the Savior came to cast upon the earth, for you surpassed the thought of those who dwell on the earth, and became as one outside of the world and the flesh, living the life of an angel. And you became a treasury of divine gifts, and were shown to be a worker of wonders, and a virtuous icon of praxis, in our generation. Therefore, as you partake of the rewards for the pains which you endured, do not cease to intercede, O Father, on behalf of those who celebrate your holy memory with faith and fervor.
-Doxastikon of the Stichera for the feast of St. Arsenios of Cappadocia
  
(amateur translation of text from source)
  
Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us! Amen!

Sunday, November 8, 2015

"O how holy and pleasing to God was your life..."

Icon of St. Nektarios the Wonderworker, with scenes from his life (source)
  
O how holy and pleasing to God was your life, O God-bearer Nektarios, and O how strange are the wonders which you work daily through your grace! Who would not wonder at you, who are truly worthy of honor? Or who would not glorify you, who was glorified by the Lord? For your divine relics appeared as a spring of healings, curing terrible sicknesses and driving out the unclean spirits, and all who approach them with faith, receive [blessings towards] salvation of souls and healing of bodies, as they glorify Christ, Who wondrously glorified you.
-Idiomelon of the Liti for the feast of St. Nektarios the Wonderworker
  
(source)
  
Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us! Amen!

Saturday, November 7, 2015

"Rejoice with us, all you commanders of the Angels..."

Icon of Archangel Michael the Taxiarch of Mandamados (source)
  
Rejoice with us, all you commanders of the Angels, for your leader and our champion, the great Chief Captain, marvellously appearing today in his sacred shrine, sanctifies it; therefore as is right let us cry out to him with songs of praise: Shelter us in the shelter of your wings, Michael greatest of Archangels!
-Doxastikon of the Stichera
  
With lips of fire the Cherubim sing your praise, Christ God; with bodiless mouths the choir of Archangels sings a never-ending hymn of glory; Michael, the Chief Captain of the Powers above, offers to your glory an unceasing hymn of victory. For he has shone on us today that for this shining festival we may fittingly ring out in song the thrice-holy hymn with lips of clay; for all things have been filled with your praise, and you grant the world through him your great mercy.
-Doxastikon of the Litia
  
 
Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us! Amen!

Thursday, November 5, 2015

St. John of Kronstadt on the Purpose of Life

St. John of Kronstadt, the Wonderworker (source)
  
For what purpose does the Lord add day after day, year after year, to our existence? In order that we may gradually put away, cast aside, evil from our souls, each one his own, and acquire blessed simplicity; in order that we may become, for instance, gentle as lambs, simple as infants; in order that we may learn not to have the least attachment to earthly things, but like loving, simple children, may cling with all our hearts to God alone, and love Him with all our hearts, all our souls, all our strength, and all our thoughts, and our neighbor as ourselves. Let us hasten, therefore, to pray to the Lord, fervently and tearfully, to grant us simplicity of heart, and let us strive by every means to cast out the evil from our souls - for instance, evil suspiciousness, malevolence, malignity, malice, pride, arrogance, boastfulness, scornfulness, impatience, despondency, despair, irascibility and irritability, fearfulness and faint-heartedness, envy, avarice, gluttony, and satiety; fornication, mental and of the heart, and actual fornication; the love of money, and in general the passion for acquisition; slothfulness, disobedience, and all the dark horde of sins. Lord, without Thee we can do nothing! Bless us Thyself in this work, and give us the victory over our enemies and our passions. So be it!
-St. John of Kronstadt, "My Life in Christ"
  
(source)
  
Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us! Amen!