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WEEKLY PROGRAM | BULLETIN in Greek & English
1 AUGUST: BEGINNING OF FAST FOR THE FALLING ASLEEP OF THE THEOTOKOS
The fast begins on 1st August and ends 15th August when Orthodox Christians celebrate the Feast of the Falling Asleep (Koimesis) of the Theotokos. This great feast honours the Virgin Mary through whom the mystery of the incarnation took place. As our Lord’s Mother, we seek her intercession to her Son for our every need. She listens, comforts, and prays for us. This is evident by the many miracles that are performed by her; the countless number of churches that are built in her honour. During this period of fasting there is a Paraklesis service to her each evening (except for 5th August when there are Vespers for our Lord’s Transfiguration, 14th August, and Saturday evenings). Attending the Paraklesis services gives us the opportunity to honour the Theotokos and seek her aid for ourselves and others.
“The Most Holy Mother of God prays for us ceaselessly. She is always visiting us. Whenever we turn to her in our heart, she is there. After the Lord, she is the greatest protection for mankind.”
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 4: 6,7
A Prayer in Light of the Coronavirus Epidemic
By Metropolitan Joel of Edessa
Lord Jesus Christ our God, the chief physician of our souls and bodies, Who became man for us to cure the great wound of humanity; Who did not reject the ten lepers who suffered from an incurable disease, but purified them by Your salvific grace; Who, being God-man, passed Your days on this earth serving and healing all who were sick and those who are ill; Who served and restored to health the paralytics, the blind, those who had committed grave sins, the demonized as well as those who suffered both in the flesh and in the mind, now amiably accept our supplication and by Your power expel this deadly virus that bears the shape of a crown, which has brought fear and even death to those who are sick and wrongfully suffering.
And if, on account of our many sins, You have allowed for this temptation to come to pass, we beseech You as being merciful, that You might lift this from us and from the entire world.
If You have allowed for this to come upon us as a test of faith, put a stop to the troubles of the sick due to this epidemic.
If this has spread because of the wickedness of the adversary or the indifference of frivolous people, extinguish its power as the almighty God.
Protect the youth, keep watch over those who have become ill, and heal the elderly who have been infected by this accursed virus.
Also, purge us all from unrest of the heart, and instead of this, grant us health, comfort, and progress, through the intercessions of the Lady Theotokos and all of Your saints.
PRAYER TO ST BARBARA
O holy Saint Barbara, through your inspiration, intercession, and by your example of courage,
keep me chaste, fervent, and always ready to do God’s Will.
Please help us by your prayers.
WORDS FROM THE CHURCH FATHERS
When we call upon the Saints in prayer, if we pronounce their names from the heart, it already means that we bring them near our heart itself. Therefore ask their prayers and intercession undoubtingly for yourself.
They will hear you, and will speedily lay your prayers before the Lord,
in the twinkling of an eye, for He is omnipresent and omniscient.
St. John of Kronstadt
Giving Thanks to God ~
Gratitude in a Christian is such a great thing that, along with love, it accompanies him into the future life, where he will celebrate the eternal Pascha with the righteous.
St Ambrose of Optina
The soul is greater than the body: the body becomes sick, and with that it is finished. But a spiritual sickness extends into eternity. Deliver us, O lord, from such illness, and grant us healing.
He who busies himself with the sins of others, or judges his brother on suspicion, has not yet even begun to repent or to examine himself so as to discover his own sins.
St Maximos the Confessor
We were created to live on earth unlike animals who die and disappear with time, but with the high purpose to live with God not for a hundred years or so but for eternity.
St Innocent of Alaska
In order to fulfill the commandments of Christ, you must know them! Read the Holy Gospel, penetrate its spirit and make it the rule of your life.
St Nikon of Optina
The Lord calls to him all sinners; He opens His arms wide, even to the worst among them. Gladly He takes them in His arms,
if only they will come to Him.
St Macarius of Optina
Remember, never to fear the power of evil more than your trust in the power and love of God.
Hermas, one of the Seventy
Just as a strongly flowing fountain is not blocked up by a handful of earth, so the compassion of the Creator is not overcome
by the wickedness of his creatures.
St Isaac The Syrian
Happiness can only be achieved by looking inward and learning to enjoy whatever life has and this requires transforming greed into gratitude.
St John Chrysostom
The whole earth is a living icon of the face of God.
St Anthony the Great
Do not be surprised that you fall every day; do not give up, but stand your ground courageously. And assuredly, the angel who guards you will honour your patience.
St John Climacus
If you find that there is no love in you, but you want to have it, then do deeds of love, even though you do them without love in the beginning. The Lord will see your desire and striving and will put love in your heart.
St Ambrose of Optina
We know that prayer in and of itself cannot save us, but carrying it out before God can. For when the Lord’s eyes are upon us He sanctifies us, as the sun warms everything upon which it shines.
St Gregory Palamas
“So be at peace…and call upon God.”
St Nektarios of Aegina
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