∼ Words from the Church Fathers ∼
Many think that the saints are far from us. But they are far from those who distance themselves from them, and very close to those keep the commandments of Christ and have the grace of the Holy Spirit. In the heavens, all things are moved by the Holy Spirit. But the Holy Spirit is on earth too. He lives in our Church. He lives in the Mysteries. He is in the Holy Scriptures. He is in the souls of the faithful. The Holy Spirit unites all things, and therefore the saints are close to us. And when we pray to them, then the Holy Spirit hears our prayers, and our souls feel that they are praying for us.
St. Silouan the Athonite, Writings, XII.3
“Whoever loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and whoever loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.” These are the words of Jesus in today’s Gospel reading, from the First Sunday of Matthew (10:32-33, 37-38; 19:27-30) and the Sunday of All Saints. And Jesus’ words may jar some of us as we reflect on our own father on this Father’s Day 2014. But it is providential that these words come to us today through our Orthodox lectionary because they provide one of the clearest instructions to help fathers be better fathers and children be better children. Continue reading
The names of the Twelve Apostles are these: Simon, who was called Peter, and his brother Andrew, the First-called; James the son of Zebedee, and his brother John, who was also the Evangelist and Theologian; Philip, and Bartholomew (see also June 11); Thomas, and Matthew the publican, who was also called Levi and was an Evangelist; James the son of Alphaeus, and Jude (also called Lebbaeus, and surnamed Thaddaeus), the brother of James, the Brother of God; Simon the Cananite (“the Zealot”), and Matthias, who was elected to fill the place of Judas the traitor (see Aug. 9). Continue reading
Filed under Readings, Saints
SUNDAY 19 JUNE
† Sunday of Pentecost | Acts of the Apostles 2:1-11, John 7:37-52; 8:12
• 7.30 – 11.00am Orthros and Divine Liturgy
• 10.30 – 11.00am Sunday School for ages ranging 5 to 17 yrs.
Lessons take place in the building behind the church and begin at the time of Holy Communion until Church dismissal. Lessons are taught in a relaxed, friendly environment. Please bring your children along to learn of their rich Orthodox faith and come close to God and His Love.
• 11.00am – 12.00pm After Church each Sunday, join us for tea & coffee in our Coffee Room.
This Week’s Readings:
In the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
Today we are keeping the Feast of the Holy Spirit. What do we know about Him? We heard wonderful words of prayer about Him yesterday on Trinity Sunday, but let us think of Him, of the name He is given in the Gospel, which is translated ‘The Comforter’ in English, in other translations ‘The Advocate’. He is the One Who is the Comforter indeed, the One Who consoles us for our separation from Christ, Who consoles us who are like orphans, who long to be with Christ our God, our Saviour, and who know that as long as we are in the flesh – and these are the words of St. Paul – we are separated from Him. But for Him to be our Comforter, to be our consolation, we must first be aware of the fact that we are separated and this is the first question we must ask ourselves: are we aware of it, or do we live in the delusion that we are in God and God in us, and that nothing more is needed? How much more is needed! Continue reading
Today is the Sunday of Pentecost, when we commemorate the Holy Spirit coming upon the followers of the Risen Jesus, which is the birthday of the Church. The Lord had already ascended into heaven and had promised to send the Holy Spirit upon His followers. He would not leave them alone, cut off from the new life that He had brought to the world. The Spirit is, of course, the third Person of the Holy Trinity and fully God and eternal as are the Father and the Son. By the coming of the Holy Spirit, Jesus’ followers share together in the unity, power, and blessing of the Kingdom. Continue reading
∼ Words from the Church Fathers ∼
No matter how much we may study, it is not possible to come to know God unless we live according to His commandments, for God is not known by science, but by the Holy Spirit. Many philosophers and learned men came to the belief that God exists, but they did not know God. It is one thing to believe that God exists and another to know Him. If someone has come to know God by the Holy Spirit, his soul will burn with love for God day and night, and his soul cannot be bound to any earthly thing.
– St. Silouan the Athonite, Writings, VIII.3
If from one burning lamp someone lights another, then another from that one, and so on in succession, he has light continuously. In the same way, through the Apostles ordaining their successors, and these successors ordaining others, and so on, the grace of the Holy Spirit is handed down through all generations and enlightens all who obey their shepherds and teachers.
– St. Gregory Palamas, “On how the Holy Spirit was manifested and shared out at Pentecost”