Monthly Archives: October 2018

The Widow’s Offering

Emperor Nicephorus (Botaniates) of Constantinople reigned from 1078 until 1081. He had decided to build a cathedral that would be almost as grand as St. Sophia. When it was ready, the patriarch of Jerusalem, the patriarch of Alexandria as well as the patriarch of Constantinople were all invited to consecrate the beautiful new church built by the emperor. Announcements had been made about the consecration for several months in advance so that everyone would have time to travel to the great city of Constantinople; remember that during that time there were no cars, planes or trains. Continue reading

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The Ascetic and the Thief

There was an ascetic elder and anchorite, who had been leading an ascetic life in a desert place for seventy years, in fasting, chastity and vigil. Although he laboured for God for so many years, he was never accounted worthy to receive a vision or revelation from God. Thinking about this and bearing this in mind he said, “Perhaps my ascesis is not pleasing to God for some reason I do not know, and my work is unacceptable; and on account of this I am not able to receive a revelation or behold any mystery.” Continue reading

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Elder Cleopa

~ Words of the Church Fathers ~

“Do not do anything without signing yourself with the sign of the Cross! When you depart on a journey, when you begin your work, when you go to study, when you are alone, and when you are with other people, seal yourself with the Holy Cross on your forehead, your body, your chest, your heart, your lips, your eyes, your ears. All of you should be sealed with the sign of Christ’s victory over hell. Then you will no longer be afraid of charms, evil spirits, or sorcery, because these are dissolved by the power of the Cross like wax before fire and like dust before the wind.”

+ Elder Cleopa

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Just Reach Out in Humble Faith

7th Sunday of Luke, Luke 8: 41 – 56

Even in a small parish like ours, it is not hard to see that people are different from one another in many ways. We have different interests, personal backgrounds, and opinions on all kinds of things. We do not all look or dress alike. But what we have in common as Orthodox Christians is far more profound than any of that. Our salvation is not in any conventional human characteristic or endeavor, but in the healing mercy of Jesus Christ. Continue reading

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St Vasilios High Tea Fundraiser

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October 21, 2018 · 12:38 pm

The Good Witness of Becoming our True Selves

6th Sunday of Luke, Luke 8:26-39

If you are like me, you often do not recognize yourself in your own words, thoughts, and deeds. Sometimes we see how we fall short in an instant, while other times it becomes clear to us in retrospect, perhaps even years later. Regardless, it is so easy for us all to be so consumed by anger, pride, lust, envy, and other disordered desires that we lose control of ourselves and act more like a bundle of inflamed passions than like a person created in God’s image and likeness. And then when we calm down and come to our senses, we are understandably ashamed and embarrassed. It is a great blow to our egos to recognize how easily our sense of self disintegrates before the passions that so often run wild within us. Continue reading

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We all receive God’s blessings equally

~ Words of the Church Fathers ~

Saint Peter the Damascene writes: “We all receive God’s blessings equally. But some of us, receiving God’s fire, that is, His word, become soft like beeswax, while the others like clay become hard as stone. And if we do not want Him, He does not force any of us, but like the sun He sends His rays and illuminates the whole world, and he who wants to see Him, sees Him, whereas the one who does not want to see Him, is not forced by Him. And no one is responsible for this privation of light except the one who does not want to have it. God created the sun and the eye. Man is free to receive the sun’s light or not. The same is true here. God sends the light of knowledge like rays to all, but He also gave us faith like an eye. The one who wants to receive knowledge through faith, keeps it by his works, and so God gives him more willingness, knowledge, and power.”

~~~~~

“Be ever more obedient to God and He will save you.”
St. Pachomius

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