Monthly Archives: June 2018

There Is Hope for Us All: Homily for the Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul in the Orthodox Church

None of us can tell the story of our lives without pointing to particular persons we have known and who have shaped us. In our families and friendships, people are not interchangeable, for we are all unique in our relationships with one another and with God. We play particular roles that are colored by our character, personal history, and distinctive blend of strengths and weaknesses. That is also how it is in the life of the Church. Particular people matter. Continue reading

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Feast of the Nativity of St. John the Forerunner

~ Words of the Church Fathers ~

The great Forerunner shines forth today, from fruitless loins, coming forth from Elizabeth, he who is the Prophet greater than all the Prophets. There is none like him, nor will there come another after, for after the light of the lamp that is the Forerunner follows the surpassingly radiant voice of the Logos, and the Bridegroom of the Bride, the Lord Who prepares a people for Himself, and cleanses them beforehand by the Spirit through the water.

[John is] the root of Zacharias, and the beautiful fruit of the desert, the preacher of repentance, the cleansing of offences, he who preaches to those in Hades of the Resurrection from the dead, and who intercedes on behalf of our souls.

~ Idiomelon of the Stichera for the Feast of the Nativity of St. John the Forerunner, by St. Andrew of Crete

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The Eye is the Lamp of the Body

Third Sunday of Matthew, Matthew 6: 22-33

One summer a tailor toured Europe. Somehow he arranged for a meeting with the Pope. When he returned to work, his friend eagerly asked, ‘Tell me, what kind of man is the Pope?’ He pondered a moment, then answered, ‘He is a 39 short.’

It is one of the truths of life that we see as we are. The painter sees the world in color, the sculptor in form; the musician perceives the world in sound, and the economist in commodities. Show two people the very same painting and each will notice something different in it.

Jesus begins today’s Gospel Reading, Third Sunday of Matthew 6:22-33, by saying, ‘22 The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light. 23 But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness!’ Continue reading

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On Divine Providence

~ Words of the Church Fathers ~

It is an indubitable truth that the highest Divine Providence arranges all of creation. God considers all things beforehand and takes care for all things. This is the Divine fatherly care of which the blessed apostle Peter speaks: “Cast all of your cares upon Him, because He is concerned for you.” (I Pet. 5:7)

~ St. Elias Minjatios. Sermon on the Great Fast, 1

……..
The Lord has given the Holy Spirit upon the earth, and in whomsoever He dwells, that one feels paradise within himself. You might say: why hasn’t this happened to me? Because you have not given yourself over to the will of God, but you live according to yourself. Look at the one who loves his own will. He never has peace in himself and is always displeased with something. But whoever has given himself over to God’s will perfectly has pure prayer. His soul loves the Lord, and everything is acceptable and good to him.

~ St. Silouan the Athonite, Writings, VI.14

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St. Luke the Surgeon – Feast Day June 11

St. Luke the Surgeon, Bishop of Simferopol & Crimea (1877-1961) – The Surgeon and Saint, Scientist, Ophthalmologist, Surgeon, Professor of Anatomy and Surgery, Priest, Bishop, Prisoner, Confessor of the Faith

The province of Crimea dominated the news back in March as the nations of Ukraine and Russia were locked in a struggle to determine the future of this region. Whatever one’s political leanings – toward Ukraine or Russia, Orthodox Christians know that the land of Crimea is blessed by the presence of a modern day saint and miracle worker: St. Luke the Surgeon, bishop of Simferopol and Crimea. The future St. Luke was born on April 27, 1877 with the name Valentin Felixovich Voino-Yasenetsky in the eastern area of Crimea. Continue reading

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St. Silouan the Athonite – On Obedience

~ Words of the Church Fathers ~

Obedience is necessary not only for monks, but for all people.

Even the Lord was obedient. The proud and self-regarding do not allow grace to live in them, and therefore they never have spiritual peace, while in the obedient soul the grace of the Holy Spirit enters easily and gives joy and peace.

Whoever bears even a little grace in himself joyfully submits himself to all direction. He knows that God directs even the heavens and the netherworld, and himself, and his business, and everything in the world, and therefore he is always at peace.

St. Silouan the Athonite, Writings, XV.2

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Sermon for the Sunday of All Saints

Matt. 10: 32-33, 37-38, 19: 27-30

In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, One God. (Amen)

Brothers and Sisters, on this day we observe a very meaning-filled celebration, after the many radiant Sundays of Great Lent and of the Season of Pascha, leading up to the glorious feast of Pentecost. Pentecost, as last week’s Gospel reading told us, was “the last and greatest day of the feast,” in Saint John’s words, and, as it was celebrated by the Jewish nation in the time of Christ, it was a very festive holiday celebrating the harvest. Special offerings and sacrifices were prescribed by the Law for this holiday. Continue reading

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