In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
Why does the Church give such veneration to St. John the Baptist, even fixing a strict fast day in his honour? Here are ten reasons:
1. Our Lord Himself said that St. John was the greatest prophet “among those born of women” (Luke 7, 28). Some hearing these words are surprised. They ask: Surely, Christ Himself is the greatest man born of women? However, Christ was not born of a woman (i.e. a married female), he was born of a Virgin. Therefore, in obedience to our Lords words, that St. John is the greatest born of women, the Church duly honours him. In fact, there are no fewer than six feasts of St. John in the Church Year. The first is his Conception on September 23/October 6. Then comes his commemoration on January 7/20, the day after the Feast of the Baptism of Christ. The third is the Second Finding of his head on February 24/March 9. His next feast is the Third Finding of his head on May 25/June 7. The fifth is his Birth, or Nativity, on June 24/July 7, and finally today’s feast, the last in the Church Year, his Beheading on August 29/September 11. Continue reading
~ Words of the Church Fathers ~
Whoever hates his sins will stop sinning; and whoever confesses them will receive remission.A man cannot abandon the habit of sin if he does not first gain enmity toward sin, nor can he receive remission of sin without confession of sin. For the confession of sin is the cause of true humility.
(St. Isaac the Syrian, Homilies, 71)
By obedience a man is guarded against pride. Prayer is given for the sake of obedience. The grace of the Holy Spirit is also given for obedience. This is why obedience is higher than prayer and fasting.
(St. Silouan the Athonite, Writings, XV.4)
~ Words of 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
Matthew 19: 16-26
A person accidentally slipped and fell of a cliff. On the way down he grabbed hold of the branch of a tree and remained suspended there. He started praying as he had never prayed before: “Lord, save me! Lord, Lord!” Suddenly the Lord answered, “Yes?” The man pleaded, “Save me, Lord!”
“Have you attended Church?” asked the Lord.
“Yes, I did whenever I could, but I promise never to miss if You will save me.”
“Have you kept the ten commandments?”
“Yes, as much as I could. I promise to obey them to the letter if You will save me.”
“Have you said your prayers every day?”
“Yes, Lord, but just get me off the side of this cliff and I’ll be the best praying man in the world.”
“Have you given generously to the work of my Church?”
“Yes, I think I have, but I’ll give even more generously in the future. Just get me off the side of this cliff.”
“Do you trust Me?”
“Yes, Lord, of course I trust You — completely.”
“Then let go the branch.”
Let go the man-made crutches you hold onto. Replace them with a tight grip on God. Let go the sin that has possessed you. It seems that we become so accustomed to our sins that we feel comfortable with them and refuse to let go. Continue reading
At the very heart of our faith as Orthodox Christians is the good news that Jesus Christ is risen from the dead. He truly died and was buried as a human being, but Hades and the grave could not contain Him as God. Because He is risen, those who die enter into His presence as they await the resurrection of the body and the Last Judgment. Those who have loved and served Him experience paradise already as a foretaste of heaven, for they are with the Lord to Whom they united themselves during their lifetimes. Our Saviour rose as a whole person with a glorified body and then ascended into heaven forty days later. That is how He has made it possible for us all to share in the eternal joy of the heavenly kingdom. Continue reading
The Koimisis—Falling Asleep of the Theotokos
O Mother of God, in giving birth you still preserved virginity; and in falling asleep you did not forsake the world. You are the Mother of Life and have been transferred to life, and through your prayers have delivered our souls from death.
SUNDAY 5 AUGUST
† 10th Sunday of Matthew | Matthew 17: 14-23
• 7.30 – 11.00am Orthros and Divine Liturgy
• 10.30 – 11.00am Sunday School Classes