Monthly Archives: April 2023

With a Courage Born of Love: Homily for the Sunday of the Myrrh Bearing Women in the Orthodox Church

Christ is Risen!
We have now been celebrating our Lord’s victory over death for two weeks. We will continue to do so for a few more weeks, saying “Christ is Risen” many times. But we must not let our celebration of Pascha stop there. For we want to live the new life that the Lord has brought to the world; we want to participate in His victory over sin, death, and all that separates us from life eternal. And we can learn an important lesson in how to do that from those who were at the empty tomb on Easter morning as the first witnesses of the resurrection to hear the word of the angel: “He is Risen. He is not here…Go tell His disciples—and Peter—that He is going before you to Galilee; there you will see Him, as He said to you.”

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From St. Gregory Palamas…

If you put something fragrant on to burning coals, you motivate those who approach to come back again and to stay near, but if instead you put on something with an unpleasant, oppressive smell, you repel them and drive them away.

It is the same with the mind. If your attention is occupied with what is holy, you make yourself worthy of being visited by God, since this is the sweet savour which God catches scent of.

On the other hand, if you nurture evil, foul and earthly thoughts within you, you remove yourself from God’s supervision and unfortunately make yourself worthy of His aversion.

We know that prayer in and of itself cannot save us, but carrying it out before God can.
For when the Lord’s eyes are upon us He sanctifies us, as the sun warms everything upon which it shines.

~ St. Gregory Palamas

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St Antony teaches ….

St Antony teaches about ceaseless abiding with God: ‘Let your soul be with God at all times, and your body be as some statue on earth. Stand always straight before the face of God. Have the fear of God always before your eyes, as also the remembrance of death and withdrawal from all worldly things. Die daily, that you may live; for he who fears God will live for ever. Be always alert, that you fall not into laziness and idleness. Hate all that is of this world and flee from self, for otherwise it will separate you from God. Hate all that brings harm to your soul.

Do not depart from God for the sake of transient things. Do not take the example of him that is weaker than you, but that of him who is more perfect.

Be attentive to the example of those who have loved the Lord with all their hearts and performed good works. Above all, pour forth constant prayer and give God grateful thanks for all that happens to you. Fulfil all that is commanded, and you will receive the inheritance which “eye hath not seen nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man” (I Cor. 2:9).’

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St. Basil the Great – Celebrated January 1st

Very few of us realize that the beginning of the Church calendar does not start on January 1st. Actually, our Church calendar begins on September 1st. In our daily living, however, with our friends and neighbours and our society, our year begins on January 1st. This is a very important date in our Church since it marks the Feast Day of one of our greatest saints, St. Basil the Great. Continue reading

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St Mary of Egypt

Her feast is set on the Fifth Sunday of Lent. She is the symbol of contrition, conversion and austerity.

The memory of this Saint is celebrated on April 1, where her life is recorded. Since the end of the holy Forty Days is drawing near, it has been appointed for this day also, so that if we think it hard to practice a little abstinence for forty days, we might be roused by the heroism of her who fasted in the wilderness for forty-seven years; and also that the great loving kindness of God, and His readiness to receive the repentant, might be demonstrated. Continue reading

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Our Lord’s Teaching on True Greatness – 5th Sunday of Lent, St Mary of Egypt, Mark 10: 32-45

Today’s gospel reading describes Jesus’ ascent to Jerusalem before His Passion. Jesus takes the twelve apostles aside and starts to tell them that he will be betrayed, condemned and put to death, and that He will rise again from the dead. Continue reading

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