Lessons From The Good Samaritan

8th Sunday of Luke, Luke 10: 25-37

Regarding the people of Samaria, also known as Samaritans, Jews had no dealings with them. This is told to us in Gospel of John (4) when Jesus encounters the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well. That’s why she ask Jesus, “How is that you, a Jew, ask a drink of me, a woman of Samaria?” To the Jews, the word “Samaritan” meant ‘dog’ or ‘devil’. They were considered half-breeds and heretics. However, because of the parable Jesus told in today’s Gospel, from the Eighth Sunday of Luke (10:25-37), everyone thinks of Samaritans as “good”. If I asked anyone who/what a “Good Samaritan” is, virtually all of them could tell me that it’s a person who helps someone in need, even if they are a stranger. Continue reading

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On Humility & Pride

~ Words of the Church Fathers ~

Draw nigh to the righteous, and through them you will draw nigh to God.
Communicate with those who possess humility, and you will learn morals from them.
A man who follows one who loves God becomes rich in the mysteries of God; but he who follows an unrighteous and proud man gets far away from God, and will be hated by his friends.
St. Isaac the Syrian, Sermon 57,8

The Lord does not show Himself to a proud soul. The proud soul, no matter how many books it reads, will never know God, since by its pride it does not give place for the grace of the Holy Spirit, while God is known only by the humble soul.
St. Silouan the Athonite, Writings, III.11

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9 November: St. Nectarios of Aegina

St. Nectarios was born on October 1, 1846, in Selymbria in Thrace to a poor family. His given name was Anastasios Cephalas. At the age of 14 he moved to Constantinople (Istanbul) to work and further his education. In 1866 he left to the island of Chios to take a teaching post. He then became a monk at the age of thirty. Continue reading

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8 November: The Holy Archangel Michael and all the Bodiless Powers of Heaven

The angels of God have been commemorated by men from the earliest times, but this commemoration often degenerates into the divinization of angels (IV Kings 23:5; A.V. II Kings). Heretics always wove fantasies round the angels. Some of them saw the angels as gods and others, if they did not so regard them, took them to be the creators of the whole visible world. The local Council in Laodicea, that was held in the fourth century, rejected in its 35th Canon the worship of angels as gods, and established the proper veneration of them. Continue reading

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Repentance – St Nectarios of Aegina

Two factors are involved in man’s salvation: the grace of God and the will of man. Both must work together, if salvation is to be attained.

Repentance is a Mysterion through which he who repents for his sins confesses before a Spiritual Father who has been appointed by the Church and has received the authority to forgive sins, and receives from this Spiritual Father the remission of his sins and is reconciled with the Deity, against Whom he sinned.

Repentance signifies regret, change of mind. The distinguishing marks of repentance are contrition, tears, aversion towards sin, and love of the good.

~ Saint Nectarios Of Aegina

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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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