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Monday, February 07, 2005

Daily Reading:

ICON OF THE MOTHER OF GOD "SOOTHE MY SORROWS"
ST GREGORY THE THEOLOGIAN
Monday January 25th/February 7th
37th Week After Pentecost

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In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit:

Illumine my heart, O Master who lovest mankind, with the pure light of Thy divine knowledge. Open Thou the eyes of my mind to the understanding of Thy Gospel teachings. Implant also in me a love for Thy blessed commandments. Grant me the grace to overcome all my carnal desires, so that I may enter more completely into a spiritual manner of living, both thinking and doing such things as are well pleasing to Thee. For Thou art the illumination of our souls and bodies, O Christ our God, and unto Thee do we ascribe glory, together with Thine all-holy, good and life-creating Spirit; now and ever and unto the ages of ages. Amen.


O Lord Jesus Christ, open Thou the eyes of my heart, that I may hear Thy word and understand and do Thy will, for I am a sojourner upon the earth. Hide not Thy commandments from me, but open mine eyes, that I may perceive the wonders of Thy law. Speak unto me the hidden and secret things of Thy wisdom. On Thee do I set my hope, O my God, that Thou shalt enlighten my mind and understanding with the light of Thy knowledge, not only to cherish those things which are written, but to do them; that in reading the lives and sayings of the Saints I may not sin, but that such may serve for my restoration, enlightenment and sanctification, for the salvation of my soul, and the inheritance of life everlasting. For Thou art the enlightenment of those who lie in darkness, and from Thee cometh every good deed and every gift. Amen.

By the intercessions of Thine All-immaculate Mother and of all Thy Saints, Lord Jesus Christ, our God, have mercy on us and save us. Amen


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Monday

LITURGY

James 2:14-26



What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? Can faith save him? If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, And one of you say unto them, "Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled"; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, "Thou hast faith, and I have works": shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only. Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way? For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

Mark 10:46-52


And they came to Jericho: and as He went out of Jericho with His disciples and a great number of people, blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the highway side begging. And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out, and say, "Jesus, thou son of David, have mercy on me." And many charged him that he should hold his peace: but he cried the more a great deal, "Thou son of David, have mercy on me." And Jesus stood still, and commanded him to be called. And they call the blind man, saying unto him, "Be of good comfort, rise; He calleth thee." And he, casting away his garment, rose, and came to Jesus. And Jesus answered and said unto him, "What wilt thou that I should do unto thee?" The blind man said unto him, "Lord, that I might receive my sight." And Jesus said unto him, "Go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole." And immediately he received his sight, and followed Jesus in the way.



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ICON OF THE MOTHER OF GOD "SOOTHE MY SORROWS"
ST GREGORY THE THEOLOGIAN
ST FELICITAS AND HER SEVEN MARTYRED SONS
ST EOCHOD


Troparion of the Icon of the Mother of God Tone 5
Sooth the pains of my much-sighing soul,/ O thou who hast wiped away every tear from the face of the earth:/ for thou dost drive away the sickness of men,/ and quench the afflictions of sinners./ We have obtained hope and support in thee,/ O most holy Virgin.

Troparion of St Gregory the Theologian Tone 1
The shepherd's pipe of thy theology/ conquered the philosophers' trumpets;/ for since thou didst search out the depths of the Spirit,/ beauty of speech was added to thee./ Intercede with Christ our God that our souls may be saved,/ O Father Gregory.

Troparion of St Felicitas and her seven martyred sons Tone 1
Truly thou art blessed, O holy Felicitas,/ for thou didst never doubt the mercy of Christ our God,/ and in spite of all temptations, with thy seven sons thou didst rejoice/ to return to Him rather than to languish in dishonour on earth./ Wherefore pray for us that we may follow thy example/ for the salvation of our souls.

Troparion of St Eochod Tone 6
The Picts of Galloway honoured thee as their Apostle,/ O righteous Hierarch Eochod,/ for at the behest of Father Columba/ thou didst open to them the Gospel of Salvation./ Wherefore, O Saint, cease not in thy pious labours,/ praying that our souls may be saved.

Kontakion of the Icon of the Mother of God Tone 6
O holy Lady, do not entrust me to human protection,/ but accept the prayers of thy supplicant./ I am fettered by sorrow and unable to endure the demon's darts./ I have no shelter, nor place to run, I am wretched./ My enemies are on every side,/ and I have no consolation but in thee./ Mistress of creation, protection and hope of the faithful,/ do not turn away when I pray to thee; do that which will profit me.

Kontakion of St Gregory the Theologian Tone 3
With thy theologian's speech thou didst dispel the philosopher's cobwebs,/ O glorious Gregory;/ and thou dost adorn the robe of Orthodoxy woven for the Church from on high./ Wearing this, she cries out with us thy children:/ Rejoice, O Father, most excellent mind of theology.

Kontakion of St Felicitas and her seven martyred sons Tone 2
Unfailing loyalty to Christ was thy virtue,/ O holy Felicitas,/ for despite all threats and torments thou didst inspire thy sons/ to resist all for the salvation of their souls./ Without hesitation thou didst willingly follow them,/ winning the crown of martyrdom./ Wherefore we pray for grace to emulate thine all-praised example.

Kontakion of St Eochod Tone 3
All praise is thy due, most blessed Father Eochod,/ in that thou didst love nothing more than Christ,/ willingly obeying His command to preach the Gospel to all nations./ As both our inspiration and our example,/ pray that we may fearlessly preach Christ for the salvation of our race.


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ST GREGORY THE THEOLOGIAN, ARCHBISHOP OF CONSTANTINOPLE



Gregory was born in Nazianzus of a Greek father and a Christian mother. Before his baptism, he studied in Athens along with Basil the Great and Julian the Apostate. Gregory often prophesied that Julian would become an apostate and a persecutor of the Church which actually happened. Gregory was especially influenced greatly by his good mother Nonna. When he completed his studies, Gregory was baptized. St. Basil consecrated him as bishop of Sasima, and Emperor Theodosius the Great summoned him to fill the vacant archepiscopal throne of Constantinople. He wrote numerous works of which his most famous are those concerning theology for which he is called The Theologian. Especially known because of its depth is his work: Homilies on The Holy Trinity. Gregory wrote against the heretic Macedonius who erroneously taught that the Holy Spirit is a creation of God and, Gregory also wrote against Appolinarius who erroneously taught that Christ did not have a human soul but that His divinity was in lieu of His soul. Additionally Gregory wrote against Emperor Julian the Apostate, his one-time colleague in school. In 381 A.D., when a debate began regarding his election as archbishop, he withdrew on his own and issued a statement: "Those, who deprive us of our archepiscopal throne cannot deprive us of God." After that, he left Constantinople and went to Nazianzus and there lived a life of solitude and prayer, writing worthwhile books. Even though he was in poor health throughout his entire life, nevertheless, Gregory lived to be eighty years old. His relics were later transferred to Rome. A reliquary containing his head reposes in the Cathedral Church of the Assumption in Moscow. He was, and remains, a great and wonderful light of the Orthodox Church as much by his meekness and purity of character as well as for the unsurpassable depth of his mind. He died in the Lord in the year 390 A.D.

Saint Nikolai Velimirovic, Bishop of Zhicha
The Prologue of Ochrid