Wednesday, September 30, 2015
Sophia was a widow in Rome in the time of the Emperor Hadrian, and raised her three daughters in the Faith. When the four of them were brought before the persecutors, Faith was twelve years old, Hope was ten, and Charity was nine.
Ordered to make sacrifice to the goddess Artemis, all of them humbly refused. All three daughters were tortured, then executed, before their mother's eyes. Sophia buried their bodies and mourned at their grave for three days and nights, then fell asleep in peace. For her steadfastness and solidarity with her daughters' sufferings she is counted as a martyr along with them. Sophia means "wisdom" in Greek; the three daughters' names in Greek are Pistis, Elpis, and Agape; in Russian, Vera, Nadezhda, and Lyubov.
Sunday, September 20, 2015
16th Sunday after Pentecost
FOREFEAST OF THE NATIVITY OF THE MOST HOLY MOTHER OF GOD
Troparion of the Forefeast Tone 4
From the root of Jesse and from David's loins/ the divine maiden Mary is born for us today,/ and all things are filled with God and renewed./ Rejoice together, heaven and earth!/ Praise her, you countries of the nations!/ Joachim rejoices and Anna keeps festival, crying:/ The barren woman gives birth to the Mother of God and the nurse of our life.
Kontakion of the Forefeast Tone 3
Today the bridal chamber of the heavenly Bridegroom,/ Mary the Virgin Mother of God,/ by God's will is born of a barren woman,/ and the chariot of the Word of God/ is beautifully adorned./ She is the gate and the Mother of life:/ for this God chose her.
Monday, September 07, 2015
Never despair in God's mercy by whatever sins you may have been bound by the temptation of the Devil, but pray with your whole heart, with the hope of forgiveness; knock at the door of God's mercy and it shall be opened unto you. I, a simple priest, am an example for you: however I may sometimes sin by the action of the Devil, for instance, by enmity towards a brother, whatever the cause may be, even though it may be a right cause, and I myself become thoroughly disturbed and set my brother against me, and unworthily celebrate the Holy Sacrament, not from wilful neglect, but by being myself unprepared, and by the action of the Devil; yet, after repentance, the Lord forgives all, and everything, especially after the worthy communion of the Holy Sacrament: I become white as snow, or as a wave of the sea, by the blood of Christ; the most heavenly peace dwells in my heart; it becomes light, so light, and I feel beatified. Then, indeed, I forget all troubles, anxieties, and the oppression of the enemy, I become entirely renewed, and as though risen from the dead. Do not then despair, brethren, whatever sins you may have committed, only repent find confess them with a contrite heart and humble spirit. Glory, O Lord, to Thy mercy! Glory, O Lord, to Thy long-suffering and forbearance!
~St. John of Kronstadt
"Repentance is the renewal of baptism. Repentance is a contract with God for a second life. A penitent is a buyer of humility. Repentance is constant distrust of bodily comfort.. :.Repentance is the daughter of hope and the renunciation of despair .... Repentance is reconciliation with the Lord by the practice of good deeds contrary to the sins. Repentance is purification of conscience. Repentance is the voluntary endurance of all afflictions...
Friday, September 04, 2015
Homily 5 on Romans
St. John Chrysostom
Chap. ii. ver. 1. Therefore you are inexcusable, O man; whosoever you are that judgest; for wherein you judge another, you condemn yourself.
These things he says, with an aim at the rulers, inasmuch as that city then had the rule of the world put into its hands. He anticipated them therefore by saying, You are depriving yourself of defence, whoever you may be; for when you condemn an adulterer, and yourself committest adultery, although no man condemns you, in your judgment upon the guilty person you have also passed sentence against yourself.
Ver. 2. For we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them who commit such things.