Monthly Archives: November 2019

Focusing on the one thing needful this Advent: Homily for the Entrance of the Theotokos into the Temple

Luke 10: 38-42, 11: 27, 28

In an age of seemingly endless controversy and conflict in our society and world, it is easy to allow what is prominent in our culture to dominate our lives, our sense of who we are, and of what is ultimately most important. In other words, it is easy to make the world our temple and to offer our lives to its false gods. No matter what form it takes, that is simply idolatry. Today we celebrate a feast that invites us to a totally different way of living and thinking that is focused on offering ourselves to our Lord, and not to idols.

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Wise Counsel from the Elder: St Iakovos (Tsalikis) of Evia

St Iakovos (Tsalikis) of Evia – Reposed November 21st 1991, Commemorated November 22nd

“We are not sanctified by the place in which we live, but by the way we live.”

“The faithful shouldn’t tell others of things they have confessed, of details of their life or their spiritual endeavour.”

“Chase away the bad thoughts and fantasies that the devil presents. Don’t even notice them.”

“Don’t hesitate [to come to confession]. Don’t be ashamed. Whatever you may have done, even the greatest of sins, the spiritual father has power from the Lord Christ Himself and from the Apostles to forgive you with his stole.”

“I asked God in prayer for the gift of discerning men’s hearts by looking at their faces, so that I might be able to help them; and God granted it.”

Wise Counsel from the Elder (from Precious Vessels of the Holy Spirit)

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Sunday Homily on Luke 10: 25- 37

8th SUNDAY OF LUKE, Luke 10: 25- 37

There are some people who think that worshiping God in beautiful liturgical services distracts us from serving our neighbors and accomplishing His purposes for us in the world. There are those who say that focusing on prayer, fasting, and other spiritual disciplines wastes time and energy that could be better used in helping others. On November 17 we commemorate St John Chrysostom, whose life and ministry demonstrate that we do not have to choose between liturgical life and practical service, for true worship and prayer enable us to make all dimensions of our life in the world an entrance into the heavenly kingdom through Jesus Christ, our eternal High Priest.

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Honour the Body of the Saviour

~ Words of the Church Fathers ~

Do you wish to honour the Body of the Saviour? Do not despise it when it is naked.

Do not honour it in church with silk vestments while outside it is naked and numb with cold. He who said, “This is my body,” and made it so by His word, is the same who said, “You saw me hungry and you gave me no food. As you did it not to the least of these, you did it not to me.”

Honour Him then by sharing your property with the poor. For what God needs is not golden chalices but golden souls.

St John Chrysostom, Homily 50, Homilies on the Gospel of St Matthew

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The great value of our prayers for our departed

~ Words of the Church Fathers ~

The venerable Saint Paisios the Athonite used to pray and commemorate the departed souls.

The Elder related:

“As soon as I went to live at the skete, old Thanassis, who worked for Philotheou as a forester, found out about it and came to see
me. He was a friend of mine, and he brought me some blessings, since it was early on then, and I didn’t have anything. I thanked him, and I told him to write down the names of his departed relatives , so that I could commemorate them. Influenced by a Jehovah’s Witness, he replied, ‘When someone dies, there’s nothing else―after death everything’s lost.’ Soon after that, he himself died. When I found out, I went to Philotheou and saw his grave. Every day I prayed from the heart that God would give rest to his soul. About thirty days afterward, I found out that someone from Philotheou was looking for me. He came to me all upset. It was one of the stewards of the monastery. ‘Father,’ he said to me, ‘old Thanassis, the one who just died, came to me and complained that I’ve forgotten him and haven’t done anything for him, and that you’re the only one who helps him
with your prayers. And the truth is, I haven’t commemorated him in my prayers. I’m in charge of things at the monastery now, and I have a lot of work. What can I do? I’ve had to put my prayer rule aside.’

‘Well, now you’ll have to do even more.’ ”

This event strengthened the Elder, so that he prayed even more for the souls of all the departed.

source :
Elder Paisios of Mount Athos

©2012 For the English Language by The Holy Monastery Saint Arsenios the Cappadocian

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Feast day of St Nektarios – 9 November

St Nektarios

The Holy Nektarios of Aegina was born on October 1, 1846, in Silyvria, Eastern Thrace and is considered one of the most widely known and beloved Greek Orthodox Saints. His parents Demosthenes and Vasiliki were poor, humble and pious Christians having been blessed with seven children.  He was the third child and at Holy Baptism was named Anastasios. As a young child, he was very humble and obedient to his parents who brought him up in a God pleasing manner. His faith was also cultivated by his devout grandmother who played a significant role in his spiritual upbringing. 

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Homily on 5th SUNDAY OF LUKE

Sunday’s Gospel Luke 16: 19- 3 challenges us in its soberness: We see one man who suffered in this life, saved, and another man, who had everything in this life, condemned. This image is such a challenge because we live in an age where many assume they’re good (by their own definition of what ‘good’ is) and, therefore, ‘automatically’ going to heaven. But this subjective understanding of Heaven just doesn’t square with the Gospel, which makes it clear that the Kingdom of Heaven means foremost this: life with and in God, participation in the divine life of the Holy Trinity—what we call, ‘theosis’—and the bearing of the fruit of that theosis in how and for Whom we live out our earthly lives.

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