On the grace of God

~ Words of the Church Fathers ~

‘My grace is sufficient for thee’ (II Cor. 12:9)

Christ did not spare even His holy apostles from temptation, and He therefore gave them grace. When Satan himself began to wreak his malice on the Apostle Paul, Paul prayed that Satan be removed from him. But the Lord replied: ‘My grace is sufficient for thee.’ In other words: if you have to suffer at Satan’s hands, My grace is sufficient for your suffering. If you have to struggle with Satan, again My grace is sufficient for you. If you desire to overcome Satan, again My grace is sufficient. Grace is a weapon that can be used for everything. Grace is stronger than all adversities, all assaults, all the powers of darkness. Grace is both unconquerable and conquering. Continue reading

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Jesus Christ heals the Centurian’s sick servant

FOURTH SUNDAY OF MATTHEW, Matthew 8: 5-13

So much in our world today seems to boil down to money and power. So many will sacrifice everything for those false gods. But today we are reminded that God’s ways are not our ways, that His love, mercy, and blessing are not the prisoners of the false boundaries that we have constructed between ourselves and others – and between ourselves and Him. That was shocking news to the Jews of first century Palestine and it still challenges us all today. Continue reading

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We should give thanks to God…

~ Words of the Church Fathers ~

“The saints were people like all of us. Many of them came out of great sins, but by repentance they attained the Kingdom of Heaven. And everyone who comes there comes through repentance, which the merciful Lord has given us through His sufferings.”

~ St. Silouan the Athonite

St. Peter of Damaskos: We should give thanks to God . . .

“We should give thanks to Him, as it is said: ‘In everything give thanks’ (I Thess. 5:18). Closely linked to this phrase is another of St. Paul’s injunctions: ‘Pray without ceasing’ (I Thess. 5:17), that is, be mindful of God at all times, in all places, and in every circumstance. For no matter what you do, you should keep in mind the Creator of all things. When you see the light, do not forget Him who gave it to you; when you see the sky, the earth, the sea and all that is in them, marvel at these things and glorify their Creator; when you put on cloth- ing, acknowledge whose gift it is and praise Him who in His providence has given you life. In short, if everything you do becomes for you an occasion for glorifying God, you will be praying unceasingly. And in this way your soul will always rejoice, as St. Paul commends (cf. I Thess. 5:16).”

~ St. Peter of Damaskos, “Book I: A Treasury of Divine Knowledge”

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The Birds of the Air and the Lilies of the Field

In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit!
Today, on this Sunday, the Gospel reading is about what we really need in life, about what our real requirements are. In this Gospel, the Lord offers several images or comparisons, saying: The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thy eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thy eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness (Matthew 6:22-23).
Here the Lord offers us three images. Continue reading

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June 29: The Holy Apostles Peter and Paul

The divinely-blessed Peter was from Bethsaida of Galilee. He was the son of Jonas and the brother of Andrew the First-called. He was a fisherman by trade, unlearned and poor, and was called Simon; later he was renamed Peter by the Lord Jesus Christ Himself, Who looked at him and said, “Thou art Simon the son of Jonas; thou shalt be called Cephas (which is by interpretation, Peter)” (John 1:42). Continue reading

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Having God, fear nothing

~ Words of the Church Fathers ~

A man went into the forest to choose a tree from which to make roof-beams. And he saw two trees, one beside the other. One was smooth and tall, but had rotted away inside, and the other was rough on the outside and ugly, but its core was healthy. The man sighed, and said to himself: “What use is this tree to me if it is rotten inside and useless for beams? The other it is rough and ugly, is at least healthy on the inside and so, if I put a bit more effort into it, I can use it for roof-beams for my house.” And, without thinking any more about it, he chose that tree. Continue reading

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The Nativity of the Holy Forerunner and Baptist of the Lord, John

The Gospel (Lk. 1: 57-80) relates that the righteous parents of Saint John the Baptist, the Priest Zachariah and Elizabeth, lived in the ancient city of Hebron, and reached old age being childless, since Elizabeth was barren.

One time, Saint Zachariah was making Divine services at the Jerusalem Temple and saw the Archangel Gabriel standing on the right side of the incense offertory. He predicted that Saint Zachariah would father a son, who would announce the Saviour – the Messiah, awaited by the Old Testament Church. Zachariah was troubled, and fear fell upon him. He had doubts that in old age it was possible to have a son, and he asked for a sign. And it was given to him – it appeared at the same time as a chastisement for his unbelief: Zachariah was struck speechless until the time of the fulfilment of the Archangel’s words.

 

 

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“Follow Me” Applies to Us All

SECOND SUNDAY OF MATTHEW, Matthew 4: 18-23

In some ways, we may envy Peter, Andrew, James, and John for the clarity of their call. On the day that Jesus Christ called them to leave everything behind and follow Him, there was no question what He wanted them to do. The message was clear and they did as they were told. Continue reading

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The Action of God the Holy Spirit…

St Nikolai Velimirovic asks us to ponder on:

THE ACTION OF GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT UPON THE APOSTLES: Continue reading

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Sunday of All Saints

Matthew 10: 32-33, 37-38, 19: 27-30

Saints are models of transformation. They are people just like all of us, who lived in this world. They show us it is possible to follow Christ, to be a Christian, even fully united to and transformed by Christ in this world, in our lifetime – despite the world and the times we live in! Continue reading

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