From Abba Dorotheos:
There are people who are so enfeebled by illness and adversities of this life, that they prefer to die, just to rid themselves of afflictions. This happens to them from faint-heartedness and great folly, for they do not think of that great need which befalls people when their soul leaves their body. Here is what is written in the book "Paterikon" (sayings of the Holy Fathers).
One ardent novice asked his elder, "Why do I wish to die?" The monk replied, "Because you are avoiding afflictions and do not know that the forthcoming affliction is much worse than the one here." Another novice asked the elder, "Why is it that when I find myself in my cell I fall into carelessness and despondency?"
The Monk answered him, "It is because you have not as yet learned neither the anticipated tranquility, nor future torments, for if you had truly understood this, then, even if your cell were to be full of worms so that you would be standing in them up to your neck, you would bear it, without becoming in the least enfeebled." But we, while living, wish to save ourselves and, therefore, become weak from afflictions at a time when we should have been thanking God and counting ourselves blest that we may sorrow a little here so that we can obtain peace there.
Saturday, February 13, 2010
Romans 14:19-23; 16:25-27
Romans 14:19-23; 16:25-27
Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another. For meat destroy not the work of God. All things indeed are pure; but it is evil for that man who eateth with offence. It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak. Hast thou faith? have it to thyself before God. Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth. And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin. Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith: To God only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ for ever. Amen.
Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven. Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly. And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him. After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
Commemoration of all the holy and God-bearing Fathers who shone forth in the ascetic life.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another. Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.
All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him. Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
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HOLY AND WONDERWORKING UNMERCENARIES CYROS AND JOHN
ST NICETAS, BISHOP OF NOVGOROD
ST MELANGELL, VIRGIN RECLUSE
ST NICETAS, BISHOP OF NOVGOROD
ST MELANGELL, VIRGIN RECLUSE
Troparion of Ss Cyros and John Tone 5Thou hast given us the miracles of thy holy Martyrs/ as an impregnable wall, O Christ our God./ By their prayers frustrate the plans of the heathen and godless,/ and strengthen the Christians in faith and love,/ for Thou alone art good and the Lover of mankind.
Troparion of St Nicetas, Bishop of Novgorod Tone 4As one who delighted in abstinence/ and bridled the desire of the flesh/ thou didst sit on the episcopal throne;/ and as a star thou didst enlighten the hearts of the faithful/ by thy radiant miracles./ O Father and Hierarch Nicetas,/ entreat Christ our God to save our souls.
Troparion of St Melangell Tone 8Preferring the rigours of monasticism to worldly status and marriage, O pious Melangell,/ thou wast fifteen years on a rock, emulating the example of the Syrian Stylites./ Wherefore, O Saint, pray to God that He will give us strength to serve Him as He wills,/ that we may be found worthy of great mercy.
Kontakion of Ss Cyros and John Tone 3Having received the gift of working miracles by divine grace, O Saints,/ you unceasingly work wonders,/ cutting out all our diseases and passions by invisible surgery,/ O divinely-wise Cyros and glorious John;/ for you are divine healers.
Kontakion of St Nicetas, Bishop of Novgorod Tone 6Thou wast honoured with the office of Archbishop,/ and didst stand before God Most Pure in purity,/ and quench the flames of the city./ Now, O Hierarch Nicetas, entreat Christ our God/ that all Orthodox Christians making supplication may be saved,/ that all may cry to thee: Rejoice, O Hierarch Nicetas .
Kontakion of St Melangell Tone 4Praise, glory and honour are thy due, O righteous Melangell,/ for in consecrating thy virginity to Christ,/ thou didst give us a model of Christian living./ Wherefore we who keep thy festival, pray for grace to amend our lives according to thy example,/ glorifying God in every word and deed.
Friday, February 12, 2010
St. John of Kronstadt , My Life in Christ
Synaxis of the Three Hierarchs:
St. Basil the Great, St. Gregory the Theologian,
and St. John Chrysostom.
Deuteronomy 1:8-11, 15-17
Behold, I have set the land before you: go in and possess the land which the LORD sware unto your fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give unto them and to their seed after them. And I spake unto you at that time, saying, I am not able to bear you myself alone: The LORD your God hath multiplied you, and, behold, ye are this day as the stars of heaven for multitude. (The LORD God of your fathers make you a thousand times so many more as ye are, and bless you, as he hath promised you!) So I took the chief of your tribes, wise men, and known, and made them heads over you, captains over thousands, and captains over hundreds, and captains over fifties, and captains over tens, and officers among your tribes. And I charged your judges at that time, saying, Hear the causes between your brethren, and judge righteously between every man and his brother, and the stranger that is with him. Ye shall not respect persons in judgment; but ye shall hear the small as well as the great; ye shall not be afraid of the face of man; for the judgment is God's: and the cause that is too hard for you, bring it unto me, and I will hear it.
Behold, the heaven and the heaven of heavens is the LORD's thy God, the earth also, with all that therein is. Only the LORD had a delight in thy fathers to love them, and he chose their seed after them, even you above all people, as it is this day. Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no more stiffnecked. For the LORD your God is God of gods, and Lord of lords, a great God, a mighty, and a terrible, which regardeth not persons, nor taketh reward: He doth execute the judgment of the fatherless and widow, and loveth the stranger, in giving him food and raiment. Love ye therefore the stranger: for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt. Thou shalt fear the LORD thy God; him shalt thou serve, and to him shalt thou cleave, and swear by his name. He is thy praise, and he is thy God, that hath done for thee these great and terrible things, which thine eyes have seen.
But the souls of the righteous are in the hand of God, and there shall no torment touch them. In the sight of the unwise they seemed to die: and their departure is taken for misery, And their going from us to be utter destruction: but they are in peace. For though they be punished in the sight of men, yet is their hope full of immortality. And having been a little chastised, they shall be greatly rewarded: for God proved them, and found them worthy for himself. As gold in the furnace hath he tried them, and received them as a burnt offering. And in the time of their visitation they shall shine, and run to and fro like sparks among the stubble. They shall judge the nations, and have dominion over the people, and their Lord shall reign for ever. They that put their trust in him shall understand the truth: and such as be faithful in love shall abide with him: for grace and mercy is to his saints, and he hath care for his elect.
I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep. The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep. I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep. And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.
Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation. Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever. Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines. For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace; not with meats, which have not profited them that have been occupied therein. We have an altar, whereof they have no right to eat which serve the tabernacle. For the bodies of those beasts, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned without the camp. Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate. Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach. For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come. By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name. But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.
Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Behold, I will save my people from the east country, and from the west country; And I will bring them, and they shall dwell in the midst of Jerusalem: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God, in truth and in righteousness. Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Let your hands be strong, ye that hear in these days these words by the mouth of the prophets, which were in the day that the foundation of the house of the LORD of hosts was laid, that the temple might be built. For before these days there was no hire for man, nor any hire for beast; neither was there any peace to him that went out or came in because of the affliction: for I set all men every one against his neighbour. But now I will not be unto the residue of this people as in the former days, saith the LORD of hosts. For the seed shall be prosperous; the vine shall give her fruit, and the ground shall give her increase, and the heavens shall give their dew; and I will cause the remnant of this people to possess all these things. And it shall come to pass, that as ye were a curse among the heathen, O house of Judah, and house of Israel; so will I save you, and ye shall be a blessing: fear not, but let your hands be strong. For thus saith the LORD of hosts; As I thought to punish you, when your fathers provoked me to wrath, saith the LORD of hosts, and I repented not: So again have I thought in these days to do well unto Jerusalem and to the house of Judah: fear ye not. These are the things that ye shall do; Speak ye every man the truth to his neighbour; execute the judgment of truth and peace in your gates: And let none of you imagine evil in your hearts against his neighbour; and love no false oath: for all these are things that I hate, saith the LORD.
Thus saith the LORD of hosts; The fast of the fourth month, and the fast of the fifth, and the fast of the seventh, and the fast of the tenth, shall be to the house of Judah joy and gladness, and cheerful feasts; therefore love the truth and peace. Thus saith the LORD of hosts; It shall yet come to pass, that there shall come people, and the inhabitants of many cities: And the inhabitants of one city shall go to another, saying, Let us go speedily to pray before the LORD, and to seek the LORD of hosts: I will go also. Yea, many people and strong nations shall come to seek the LORD of hosts in Jerusalem, and to pray before the LORD. Thus saith the LORD of hosts; In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you: for we have heard that God is with you.
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OUR HOLY FATHERS AND GREAT HIERARCHS BASIL THE GREAT, GREGORY THE THEOLOGIAN AND JOHN CHRYSOSTOM
THE FINDING OF THE ICON OF THE MOTHER OF GOD ON THE ISLE OF TINOS
ST TUDY, VIRGIN
Troparion of the Three Great Hierarchs Tone 1Let all who love their words come together and honour with hymns/ the three luminaries of the light-creating Trinity:/ Basil the Great, Gregory the Theologian,/ and renowned John of golden speech,/ who have enlightened the world with the rays of their divine doctrines,/ and are mellifluous rivers of wisdom/ who have watered all creation with streams of divine knowledge;/ they ever intercede with the Trinity for us.
Troparion of the Mother of God Tone 1O people of Tinos and all faithful, come and acclaim with hymns our Protectress;/ the all-venerable icon of the pure Mother of God/ is found to be a source of healing for us./ Let us cry to her:/ Rejoice, O our glory and boast./ Rejoice, thou who hast delivered mankind from the ancient curse.
Troparion of St Tudy Tone 6Thou didst serve God in virginity, most holy Tudy,/ offering thy life to Him in purity and innocence./ Wherefore we beseech thee, pray to Christ our God,/ that He will look not upon our wretchedness but will grant us great mercy.
Kontakion of the Three Great Hierarchs Tone 2Thou hast taken the sacred and divinely inspired heralds,/ the crown of Thy teachers, O Lord,/ for the enjoyment of Thy blessings and for repose./ For Thou hast accepted their sufferings and labours above every burnt offering,/ O Thou Who alone dost glorify Thy Saints.
Kontakion of the Mother of God Tone 8O Lady, we joyfully celebrate the finding of thine icon and we praise thy boundless blessings;/ for thou dost pour forth abundant grace on all/ and grant healing to all who cry to thee: Rejoice, unwedded Bride.
Kontakion of St Tudy Tone 2We sing hymns of praise to thee,/ most pure daughter of Brychan, O holy Tudy./ Pray to Christ our God that our prayers will be found acceptable to Him,/ that we be not cast into outer darkness.
Thursday, February 11, 2010
What Is to Be Done?
By Hieromonk Sava (Yanjic), Orthodox America:
This question stands in the mind of many Orthodox Christians today, who daily witness the spread of worldwide ecumenical apostasy on all levels. Numerous examples of modern history clearly show that today everything possible is being done in order to establish an anti-Church, a "reborn" Christianity; dogmas are being revised, church history is being rewritten; there is an intense secularization and modernization of spiritual life. We live at a time that is more dangerous, in many ways, than the time of Saint Mark of Ephesus or the time of the Arian, Monophysite, or Monophylite heresies. At that time our forbears could participate in only one heresy that threatened the Church. Today's ecumenism is like a package, a Pandora's box, from which hundreds of heresies are breaking loose. We know that to this day the Church has always been victorious in her battle against all dangers. For example, after the ill-fated Union of Florence, Orthodoxy experienced a real flowering of its spiritual life. Today there arises a serious question: It is possible that the time has come when Christ's Church can exist only in the catacombs and deserts, and there meet Christ, from where she will return to her historical path.
At the present time there exist two basic ways in which contemporary Orthodox Christians react to the heresy of ecumenism. The first is battling against ecumenism within the canonically established enclosure of the local Orthodox Churches; the second-leaving this enclosure and cutting off all official ties with those Churches whose leaders actively participate in the ecumenical movement. Those who hold to the first way believe that it is still possible to restore all of Orthodoxy to the patristic path, that the heresy of ecumenism can be overcome, or at least they see that not all possibilities have been exhausted for battling within the established enclosure. They are not creating schisms in the wounded and suffering body of the Church. On the other hand, those who openly leave the official church organization are developing a course that can be defined as an "ecclesiology of resistance." Who is right?
Essentially it is understood that any separation, any divisions in the church body are a negative phenomenon, for the Church is grounded upon love, peace, and concord. In this sense, any division or schism comes from personal and non-church aims and is unjustified, for it rends the robe of Christ. In history, however, we can see that when the Church was attacked by wolves in sheep's clothing, even if these were highly placed church officials, the clergy and the people shunned them and severed relations with them. In this connection it is important to examine the fifteenth canon of the so-called First-and-Second Council of Constantinople from the ninth century:
...So that in case any Presbyter of Bishop or Metropolitan dares to secede or apostatize from the communion of his own Patriarch, and fails to mention the latter's name in accordance with custom duly fixed and ordained, in the divine Mystagogy, but, before a conciliar verdict has been pronounced and has passed judgment against him, creates a schism, the holy Council has decreed that this person shall be held an alien to every priestly function if only he be convicted of having committed this transgression of the law. Accordingly, these rules have been sealed and ordained as respecting those persons who under the pretext of charges against their own presidents stand aloof, and create a schism, and disrupt the union of the Church. But as for those persons, on the other hand, who, on account of some heresy condemned by holy Councils, or Fathers, withdrawing themselves from communion with their president, who, that is to say, is preaching the heresy publicly, and teaching it barehead in church, such persons not only are not subject to any canonical penalty on account of their having walled themselves off from any and all communion with the one called a Bishop before any conciliar or synodal verdict has been rendered, but, on the contrary, they shall be deemed worthy to enjoy the honor which befits them among Orthodox Christians. For they have defied not Bishops but pseudo-bishops and pseudo-teachers; and they have not sundered the union of the Church with any schism, but, on the contrary, have been sedulous to rescue the Church from schisms and divisions. (Pedalion, pps. 470-471.)
On the basis of this canon it is evident that a Christian is obliged to show complete and unreserved obedience to his pastors, even if they should exhibit moral weaknesses and other sins that imply all conciliar decisions. The only case in which it is permitted not to wait for a conciliar decision exempting one from obedience to one's superior is if he openly preaches heresy, inasmuch as he thereby ceases to be a true bishop and pastor. The Apostle Paul teaches us obedience to our spiritual fathers:
Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God; whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation... Obey them that have the rule over you and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account... (Heb. 13:7, 17).
But how are our teachers to be zealous for good? Saint John Chrysostom replies: "And what if a (leader) is not good? Does that mean one does not have to be obedient to him? Not good in what sense? If it is in relation to faith, then run from him and have nothing to do with him-even if he be not just a man but an angel from heaven." (Commentary on Hebrews, #34) Holy Scripture teaches us the same: Though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again: If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. For do I now persuade men, or God? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ (Gal. 1:8-10. Many ecumenists deny that they are preaching another faith. Moreover, they openly declare that they possess the correct interpretation of Christ's teaching. Let us see what Saint Theodore Studite says about this: "We who are Orthodox flee every heresy and accept all generally recognized councils, whether Ecumenical or Local. And we likewise firmly stand by the sacred canons which they adopted. For no one can fully teach the word of truth, supposing himself to have the right Faith, if he does not accept the guidance of the divine canons. " (Letter 1:30)
Can a person who scorns the holy canons be Orthodox? Can one consider oneself an Orthodox Christian and an heir of the Holy Fathers and at the same time do what is contrary to the works of the Holy Fathers, martyrs, and confessors of the Faith?
The example of Saint Theodore the Studite is instructive for our time as well, just as are similar examples of Saint Athanasius the Great at the First Ecumenical Council and of Saint Maximus the Confessor at the Sixth. Saint Theodore saw in iconoclasm not only a fight against the holy icons, but a more wide-ranging heresy. The heretics demanded the implementation of a single, broad church reform that would gradually have done away with the veneration of saints, relics, the Mother of God. The Liturgy was abbreviated, fasts and feasts were eliminated, monastic rules were liberalized, monastic holdings were confiscated, the number of clergy and monastics was reduced, and bishops were chosen only with the approval of the royal council. The result was a kind of Eastern Reformation.
But let us return to the ecclesiological basis of "Orthodox resistance." It comes from the contention that those church communities that participate in the ecumenical movement are a sick part of the Church of Christ. This contention differs from the radical ecclesiology of extremist traditionalist groups, that go so far in denying that these Churches have grace that they fall into a much greater danger than ecumenism itself. What at the present time is the basis of the above-mentioned church communities that constitute the front for the Orthodox resistance to ecumenism? These are very diverse. On the question of the Russian Church Abroad alone there are disagreements. On the one hand, the official Moscow Patriarchate never stripped hierarchs of the ROCA of their rank, nor anathematized them; nor did the ROCA do so in regard to hierarchs of the MP; the Serbian Church unofficially is in communion with the hierarchs of the ROCA in view of their spiritual faithfulness to Tradition.
On this question Constantinople [i.e., the ecumenical Patriarchate] holds an extreme opinion. Still earlier, the patriarchs of Constantinople fought to gain a consensus on the matter of the ROCA, officially and definitively declaring it a schismatic group. This harsh contention was prompted by the fact that hierarchs of the ROCA had ordained several bishops for the Greek Old Calendarists, which enlivened that movement considerably. Additionally, the ROCA assisted many opponents of Constantinople's ecumenical course, receiving them around the world under its omophorion. Currently, there is a great deal of controversy over the fact that the ROCA has opened dioceses of its own in Russia, a fact that has badly strained its relations with the MP. The hierarchs of the ROCA explain this by the need to meet halfway those individual parishes and priests that are clearly displeased that Moscow has not renounced Sergianism point-blank, that it does not acknowledge the truth concerning the suffering of the Russian Church, and that it continues to participate in the ecumenical movement. The Moscow Patriarchate accuses the ROCA of fanatical extremism, of broadening the schism within the Russian people, and of taking away her right to assert that she herself underwent those sufferings that came upon the Church in the homeland.
Concerning the Old Calendar question in Greece, Romania, and Bulgaria, the Local Churches that remained faithful to the Julian Calendar had no desire to imitate that movement under threat of severing ties with the new calendar Orthodox Churches, which have an extremely intolerant and aggressive attitude towards their Old Calendarist brethren, an attitude that has frequently resulted in terrible persecutions. Besides, they see no difference between the quite dissimilar positions of the various Old Calendarist groups. The conduct of the Jerusalem Patriarchate is unique; in recent times it has purposely maintained ties with some moderate Old Calendarists and the ROCA, which has had a long-standing presence there in the Holy Land.
However, independent of official church positions and other grounds for schism that have received attention, we cannot but note that these church communities, without going into their irregular and uncanonical status (from the point of view of the modernists-Russian editor), through their anti-ecumenical position, serve today as a living voice of Orthodox Tradition, serving as a strong support for all those who are battling against ecumenism within the official Orthodox Churches. We have only to recall the impact of the so-called "sorrowful epistles" of the head of the ROCA, Metropolitan Philaret (Voznesensky) (1965-85), who, in 1966, began an active battle, with his open letters to the heads of the local Orthodox Churches and other bishops, in which he exposed the pan-heresy of ecumenism as a sign of the coming kingdom of Antichrist. While these epistles received a very positive response among some Orthodox Churches, the official reaction of all local Churches to this "voice crying in the wilderness" was and remains silence. In agreement with these epistles were Archimandrite Justin (Popovich) and Elder Philotheos (Zervakos), when they warned not only the faithful people but the hierarchy of the danger of the false path of ecumenism. In their works, just as also in the works of Bishop Nikolai (Velimirovich) and Archbishop Averky (Taushev), we can see how the Orthodox Church in truth views ecumenism and the "reforms" of Orthodoxy. Fathers Justin and Philotheos shared the same considerations as those people who left the official Churches in sign of protest against ecumenism, modernism, growing secularization, and cooperation with godless authorities, although they themselves never took that path and from the outset did not approve it, trying to avoid a still greater schism and disturbance. But they continued until they died to profess standing fast in the Truth.
This position, we can say with full justification, represents the royal, middle path, which on the one hand openly opposes the heresy of ecumenism, and on the other avoids the chaotic panic and confusion caused by new schisms, and, at any rate, the "super-orthodox" opinions of individual zealots. In other words, they always bore in mind that it was essential for Orthodox truth to be preached to the heterodox with love, without embellishments-not by means of any false "dialogue of love," but rather by means of a true Orthodox life, by following the Holy Fathers and the holy Ecumenical Councils. The "super-orthodoxy" of individual zealots differs significantly from the spirit of the Holy Fathers, who were strict concerning questions of the truth while at the same time they had ample capacity for love-not for heresy, for heresy itself merits abhorrence and condemnation, but for people who become victims of this great spiritual deception. The exaggerations of the zealot extremists in the battle with ecumenism only harm the truth of Orthodoxy and do not serve for its benefit. Today, unfortunately, many zealots of Orthodoxy declare all ecumenists to be heretics. There used to be people who courageously confessed before heretics the truth of the one Orthodox Church as the Church of Christ. Unfortunately, in recent times more and more people are silent on this score. In so doing, they come to the verge of heresy, for they are silent about the truth of love, which is the same as to deny truth.
In any case, one must not imagine that some Great united Council could bring a complete stop to the apostasy or hinder its advance. It is possible, however, that a local Church, or at least a part of it, can free itself from these destructive nets by hasting to withdraw from the WCC and to cut off all communion with heretics. It is very important here to expose the heresy of ecumenism, which exists and is spreading thanks to the fact that many are unaware of its true course and of its real aims. In any case, if ecumenical activity continues to increase, and if eventually communion with heretics is legitimized, it will be necessary to act according to the above-mentioned canons, i.e., to separate oneself from the ruinous influence of heretics.
Furthermore, on the basis of some writings of more modern church fathers as, for example, Bishop Ignatius (Brianchaninov) and Bishop Theophan the Recluse, we can conclude that it is precisely in our time that the apostasy will overtake the mainstream and that heresy will take complete hold even of the official church administration, compelling the true Orthodox Church to go into the catacombs. Concurring with this prophecy, many contemporary spiritual fathers-for example, Elder Lavrenty of Chernigov, Hieromonk Seraphim (Rose), and Archbishop Averky (Taushev)-foresaw that the new, false "united Christianity" will spread the lie that in all the world it alone is the Church of Christ. Churches will be built, majestic ecumenical "liturgies" of peace (very likely of the type we saw in Canberra and Assisi) will be held, and everywhere there will be talk of a new era of peace and truth. But in all this tower of Babel, which may well bear a perfect external resemblance to the Church, there will be no truth, God's Spirit will be absent. The One and true Church of Christ, the Orthodox Church, living in little catacomb communities in towns, in deserts, and in forests, headed by God-bearing bishops, priests and monks, will be completely hidden from the bright lights of projectors and TV cameras. Many of these little ones will not know of one another. They will be united not by apparent administrative ties but by a unity of Orthodox faith, of patristic tradition, and, most importantly, by a unity of communion in the Body and Blood of the Lord. These communities of faithful may be cruelly persecuted, just as in Roman and Soviet times. The adherents of the false "Christianity" and other united religions will accuse them of being fanatics, of being intolerant and hateful people, opponents of the New World Order and, by extension, of the welfare and happiness of mankind.
Many may be imprisoned in special camps for "reeducation," where they will be severely tortured in an effort to force them to deny the Living God and His Church, and to bow down before the rulers of this world. And thus the Church, like a pure and undefiled virgin, washed in the blood of martyrs and confessors just as in the early years of Christianity, will wait to greet her Bridegroom.
Thus, we are faced with a number of questions. How many Orthodox Christians will be able to await that day, remaining in the faith of the fathers, for the Lord Himself said: When the Son of man cometh, shall He find faith on the earth? (Luke 18:8) How many Christians will there be then who claim to be Orthodox but who will be separated from the spirit of truth? The answers to these questions will become evident only with the times that are already drawing near.
Two chapters from the book of the same title, published in Prizren, 1995. Translated from Serbian into Russian by K.V. Glazkov inPravoslavnaya Rus, #1 and 2, 2000 [1646, 1647], Jordanville, NY.
Church tradition and the example of the Holy Fathers teach us that no dialogue is conducted with Churches that have fallen away from Orthodoxy. To them is always directed sooner the monologue of the Church's preaching, in which the Church calls them to return to her bosom through rejection of every teaching not in accord with her. A genuine dialogue supposes an exchange of opinions, admitting the possibility of the persuasion of the participants in it for the attainment of agreement.... [A]ny agreement with error is foreign to the whole history of the Orthodox Church and to her very being. It could lead, not to unanimous confession of the truth, but to a visionary external union similar to the agreement of the differently-minded Protestant societies within the Ecumenical Movement. May such a betrayal of Orthodoxy not penetrate to our midst! Metropolitan Philaret, "An Appeal to Patriarch Athenagoras," 1966.
And what do we see now in contemporary "Orthodoxy" -the "Orthodoxy" that has entered into the so-called "Ecumenical Movement"? We see the ... renunciation of true Orthodoxy in the interest of spiritual fusion with the heterodox West. The "Orthodoxy" that has placed itself on the path of "Ecumenism" thinks not of raising contemporary life, which is constantly declining with regard to religion and morals, to the level of the Gospel commandments and the demands of the Church, but rather of "adapting" the Church herself to the level of this declining life. Archbishop Averky "Should the Church Be In Step with the Times?"
...For what does it mean to be Orthodox? It means: to be constantly struggling away from man toward the God-man, to be constantly making oneself divine-human through struggles. In Western Europe, Christianity has gradually been transformed into humanism .. In both [Roman Catholicism] and Protestantism, man has re-placed the God-man as both the supreme value and the supreme criterion. A painful and sorrowful "correction" has been made of the God-man, of His work and of His teaching. Archimandrite Justin Popovich, "The Supreme Value and Infallible Criterion".
...The Eastern Orthodox Church does not have a habit of making innovations, but rather follows the teachings of the Apostles, the Teachers, the Holy Fathers and the Seven ‘cumenical Councils, whose teachings the wise among the Latins and Protestants ought also to follow..., so that they might be delivered from the penances the anathemas and excommunications of the holy ‘cumenical Councils and of the Holy Fathers. We are obligated to pray for them so that God may return them from delusion to the straight path, and so that we may all become one flock with the Ruler and Founder of our true Orthodox Faith as Leader, our Lord Jesus Christ and Saviour, the Deliverer and Liberator of our souls and bodies. Elder Philotheos Zervakos Paternal Counsels.
By Hieromonk Sava (Yanjic), Orthodox America:
TRANSFER OF RELICS OF PRIESTMARTYR IGNATIOS THE GOD-BEARER (+ 107).
MONK LAVRENTII (LAWRENCE), HERMIT OF PECHERSK AND BISHOP OF TUROV, IN NEARER CAVES (+ 1194).
SAINTED-HIERARCHS GERASIM (+ C. 1441), PITIRIM (+ 1455), JONA (+ 1470), BISHOPS OF GREAT PERM AND USTIUG.
MARTYRS: ROMANOS, JAMES, PHILOTHEOS, HYPERICHIOS, HABIB, JULIAN AND PARIGOREAS (+ 297).
MARTYRS SILUAN THE BISHOP, LUKE THE DEACON AND MOKIOS THE READER (+ 312).
SAINTED IGNATII, BISHOP OF SMOLENSK, WONDERWORKER (+ C. 1210).
MONK APHRAATES (+ 370).
MONK LAVRENTII (LAWRENCE), HERMIT OF PECHERSK AND BISHOP OF TUROV, IN NEARER CAVES (+ 1194).
SAINTED-HIERARCHS GERASIM (+ C. 1441), PITIRIM (+ 1455), JONA (+ 1470), BISHOPS OF GREAT PERM AND USTIUG.
MARTYRS: ROMANOS, JAMES, PHILOTHEOS, HYPERICHIOS, HABIB, JULIAN AND PARIGOREAS (+ 297).
MARTYRS SILUAN THE BISHOP, LUKE THE DEACON AND MOKIOS THE READER (+ 312).
SAINTED IGNATII, BISHOP OF SMOLENSK, WONDERWORKER (+ C. 1210).
MONK APHRAATES (+ 370).
The Transfer of the Relics of the PriestMartyr Ignatios the God-Bearer: (the account about him is located under 20 December). After the holy PriestMartyr Ignatios was thrown for devouring by wild beasts at Rome dying in the year 107 -- on orders of the emperor Trajan, Christians gathered up his bones and preserved them at Rome. Later in the year 108 they were transferred to the outskirts of Antioch. A second transfer -- into the city of Antioch itself, was done in the year 438. And after the taking of Antioch by the Persians, the relics of the PriestMartyr Ignatios were returned to Rome and placed into the church in honour of the holy PriestMartyr Pope Clement in the year 540 (but according to other histories, the year was 637). The PriestMartyr introduced antiphonal singing into Church Divine-services. He has left us seven archpastoral epistles in which he provided instruction on faith, love and good works, he urged likewise the preserving of the oneness of the faith and to beware of heretics, and he bid the obeying and honouring of bishops, "looking upon the bishop as upon Christ Himself".
"Hearken ye unto the bishop, so that God in turn might hearken unto you... let Baptism remain with you, like a shield and buckler; faith -- like an helmet; love -- like a spear; patience -- like full armour".
The Monk Lavrentii (Lawrence), Hermit of Pechersk and Bishop of Turov, in the Nearer Caves -- at first asceticised as an hermit at the monastery of the GreatMartyr Demetrios, built by Greatprince Izyaslav at Kiev near the Pechersk monastery. Later he transferred to the Pechersk monastery, and was glorified by a gift of healing. From the Pechersk monastery he was elevated in 1182 to the cathedra-seat of Turov (Turov is a city in the Minsk region) and was successor to Sainted Kirill (Cyril) of Turov. He died in 1194, and was buried in the Nearer Caves. His memory is celebrated also on 28 September and on the 2nd Sunday of Great Lent.
Sainted-Hierarchs Gerasim, Pitirim, Jona were bishops of Great Perm and Ustiug. Saint Gerasim -- was the third bishop of the Zyryan people, and a worthy successor of Saint Stefan (Stephen), Enlightener of Perm. He was elevated to the Perm cathedra-seat sometime after the year 1416, when only part of the Zyryani had been converted to Christianity. He was zealously concerned over his flock, which suffered incessant incursions from the Novgorodians and pagan Vogulians. He boldly went into the Vogul camps, urging them to cease plundering the defenseless Perm Christians. During the time of one of these journeys he died a martyr's death: he was murdered (according to tradition -- strangled with his omophor) by his Vogul servant in 1441. He was buried in the Annunciation church of the village of Ust'-Vym' not far from the city of Yarensk, at the River Vychegda (also Comm. 24 January).
The successor of Saint Gerasim was his disciple, the archimandrite Pitirim. Even during his time the Voguli had not ceased attacking the peaceful Zyryani, the settlers of the Permian land. Bishop Pitirim, just like his predecessor, stood forth for his flock. In 1447 at Moscow he personally appealed to the great-prince about rendering aid to the Zyryani. The saint often visited among his flock, which was spread out over a wide territory, instructing them in the Word of God and coming in help over their misfortunes. And to enlighten the pagan Voguli he undertook far-flung journeys, during the time of which his life was frequently in danger, and wherein he had to endure all sorts of privation. But the saint did not slacken his efforts, he enlightened and instructed people in the homes, in the churches, and in the open places.
By his preaching he converted to Christianity many of the Voguli, who lived along the tributaries of the River Pechora. By this he roused the terrible wrath of the head leader of the Voguli, named Asyk, who murdered the saint in a field during the time of his making a molieben. This occurred not far from Ust'-Vym' on 19 August 1455. Saint Pitirim compiled the vita (life) of Sainted Alexei and the canon of the uncovering of his relics.
After Saint Pitirim, Saint Jona came upon the Perm cathedra-seat. He converted to Christianity the remaining part of Great Perm, i.e. the pagan tribes living along the Rivers Vishera, Kama, Chusova and others. By his efforts the idols were eradicated and in their place was erected churches, nearby which the saint opened schools. Experienced pastors were transferred to the newly-converted at Ust'-Vym', who preached and taught at these schools.
Saint Jona reposed on 6 June 1470. His relics rest together with the relics of Saints Gerasim and Pitirim in the Annunciation temple in Ust'-Vym' (in Vologda district).
The commemoration in common of these three saints acknowledges their apostolic activity in this Eastern expanse of Russia.
The Holy Martyrs Romanos, James, Philotheos, Hyperichios, Habib, Julian and Parigoreas suffered in the year 297, during the persecution by Diocletian (284-305), in the city of Samosata (in Syria on the River Euphrates). They bravely denounced the foolish serving of idols, for which they were arrested and given over to various terrible tortures: they cut at their bodies with iron, they hung on their necks heavy iron fetters, they locked them up in prison, and finally, nailed their heads while suspended on a cross.
The Holy Martyrs Siluan the Bishop, Luke the Deacon and Mokios the Reader suffered in the city of Phoenician Emeza in 312. After tortures, imprisonment and exhaustion by hunger, they were given over for devouring by wild beasts. The holy martyrs died praying, untouched by the wild beasts. By night Christians took up the bodies of the holy martyrs and buried them with reverence.
Sainted Ignatii, Bishop of Smolensk and Wonderworker (+ c. 1210): By some accounts, Saint Ignatii was the first bishop of Smolensk. He was a friend of the Monk Avraamii (Abraham) (Comm. 21 August), whom he ordained to the priesthood. Bishop Ignatii was a kindly and pious elder, heading the trial instigated by the enemies of Saint Avraamii, at which the monk was acquitted. Saint Ignatii founded a monastery in honour of the Placing of the Robe of the Mother of God. To him likewise is ascribed the construction of the most ancient Avraamiev monastery in which he, in resigning as bishop, spent the remainder of his days. During the death of Saint Ignatii there occurred a miracle: "A great light came down from heaven upon him, wherein fear befell all". The relics of the saint rest in the Smolensk cathedral church.
The Monk Aphraates, by descent a Persian, having come to believe in Christ, disavowed his illustrious lineage and departed his pagan countrymen by going to Edessa, and then to Antioch, where by his holy life he attracted many and preached them the Word of God. He died in the year 370.
© 2000 by translator Fr. S. Janos.
Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core. These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots; Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever. And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him. These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men's persons in admiration because of advantage. But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts. These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit. But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. And of some have compassion, making a difference: And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh. Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.
Luke 23:2-34, 44-56
And they began to accuse him, saying, We found this fellow perverting the nation, and forbidding to give tribute to Caesar, saying that he himself is Christ a King. And Pilate asked him, saying, Art thou the King of the Jews? And he answered him and said, Thou sayest it. Then said Pilate to the chief priests and to the people, I find no fault in this man. And they were the more fierce, saying, He stirreth up the people, teaching throughout all Jewry, beginning from Galilee to this place. When Pilate heard of Galilee, he asked whether the man were a Galilaean. And as soon as he knew that he belonged unto Herod's jurisdiction, he sent him to Herod, who himself also was at Jerusalem at that time. And when Herod saw Jesus, he was exceeding glad: for he was desirous to see him of a long season, because he had heard many things of him; and he hoped to have seen some miracle done by him. Then he questioned with him in many words; but he answered him nothing. And the chief priests and scribes stood and vehemently accused him. And Herod with his men of war set him at nought, and mocked him, and arrayed him in a gorgeous robe, and sent him again to Pilate. And the same day Pilate and Herod were made friends together: for before they were at enmity between themselves. And Pilate, when he had called together the chief priests and the rulers and the people, Said unto them, Ye have brought this man unto me, as one that perverteth the people: and, behold, I, having examined him before you, have found no fault in this man touching those things whereof ye accuse him: No, nor yet Herod: for I sent you to him; and, lo, nothing worthy of death is done unto him. I will therefore chastise him, and release him. (For of necessity he must release one unto them at the feast.) And they cried out all at once, saying, Away with this man, and release unto us Barabbas: (Who for a certain sedition made in the city, and for murder, was cast into prison.) Pilate therefore, willing to release Jesus, spake again to them. But they cried, saying, Crucify him, crucify him. And he said unto them the third time, Why, what evil hath he done? I have found no cause of death in him: I will therefore chastise him, and let him go. And they were instant with loud voices, requiring that he might be crucified. And the voices of them and of the chief priests prevailed. And Pilate gave sentence that it should be as they required. And he released unto them him that for sedition and murder was cast into prison, whom they had desired; but he delivered Jesus to their will. And as they led him away, they laid hold upon one Simon, a Cyrenian, coming out of the country, and on him they laid the cross, that he might bear it after Jesus. And there followed him a great company of people, and of women, which also bewailed and lamented him. But Jesus turning unto them said, Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for me, but weep for yourselves, and for your children. For, behold, the days are coming, in the which they shall say, Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bare, and the paps which never gave suck. Then shall they begin to say to the mountains, Fall on us; and to the hills, Cover us. For if they do these things in a green tree, what shall be done in the dry? And there were also two other, malefactors, led with him to be put to death. And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left. Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots. And it was about the sixth hour, and there was a darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour. And the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was rent in the midst. And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost. Now when the centurion saw what was done, he glorified God, saying, Certainly this was a righteous man. And all the people that came together to that sight, beholding the things which were done, smote their breasts, and returned. And all his acquaintance, and the women that followed him from Galilee, stood afar off, beholding these things. And, behold, there was a man named Joseph, a counsellor; and he was a good man, and a just: (The same had not consented to the counsel and deed of them;) he was of Arimathaea, a city of the Jews: who also himself waited for the kingdom of God. This man went unto Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus. And he took it down, and wrapped it in linen, and laid it in a sepulchre that was hewn in stone, wherein never man before was laid. And that day was the preparation, and the sabbath drew on. And the women also, which came with him from Galilee, followed after, and beheld the sepulchre, and how his body was laid. And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the sabbath day according to the commandment.
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TRANSLATION OF THE RELICS OF THE HOLY HIEROMARTYR IGNATIUS THE GODBEARER TO THE CITY OF ANTIOCH
ST GILDAS THE WISE
Troparion of St Ignatious the Godbearer Tone 3Soaring with love for Him Who holds thee in His hands,/ thou wast shown to be a Godbearer, O Ignatius./ Thou didst finish thy course in the West/ and pitch thy dwelling in the unwaning day of the heavens./ O righteous Father, entreat Christ our God to grant us His great mercy.
Another Troparion of St Ignatius Tone 4Like a treasure of rich and abundant gifts/ thy relics were carried piously from Rome to thy flock./ Whilst lovingly celebrating their return/ we receive the grace of healing of our souls and bodies: /and we ever sing of thy martyr's contest, O glorious Hieromartyr Ignatius.
Troparion of St Gildas the Wise Tone 8Truly thou art surnamed 'The Wise', O righteous Gildas,/ for in thy monastic solitude thou didst use thy God-given gift of words for His greater glory./ Teach us to despise nothing, that all our talents, however small,/ may be employed in God's service, for the salvation of our souls.
Kontakion of St Ignatius Tone 4Thou didst rise in the East today,/ and having enlightened all creation with thy teachings/ thou wast adorned with martyrdom, O Godbearing and divine Ignatius.
Kontakion of St Gildas the Wise Tone 2As one learned in the art of writing,/ O wise Gildas,/ thou didst not hide thy talent,/ but brought it forth to glorify thy Creator./ Singing praise to thee, we pray for grace to follow thee/ in offering everything to God for His glory alone.
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Early Fathers from the Philokalia
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"We must also know, beloved brethren, that every secret converse, every good care of the intellect directed toward God and every meditation upon spiritual things is delimited by prayer, is called by the name of prayer and under its name is comprehended; whether you speak of various readings, or the cries of a mouth glorifying God, or sorrowing reflection on the Lord, or making bows with the body, or psalmody in verses, or all the other things from which the teaching of genuine prayer ensues. From genuine prayer the love of God is born, for love comes of prayer, and prayer from the practice of seclusion. We have need of seclusion, that we may have the possibility to converse with God by ourselves."
The Ascetical Homilies of St. Isaac the Syrian
Therefore also now, saith the LORD, turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning: And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the LORD your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil. Who knoweth if he will return and repent, and leave a blessing behind him; even a meat offering and a drink offering unto the LORD your God? Blow the trumpet in Zion, sanctify a fast, call a solemn assembly: Gather the people, sanctify the congregation, assemble the elders, gather the children, and those that suck the breasts: let the bridegroom go forth of his chamber, and the bride out of her closet. Let the priests, the ministers of the LORD, weep between the porch and the altar, and let them say, Spare thy people, O LORD, and give not thine heritage to reproach, that the heathen should rule over them: wherefore should they say among the people, Where is their God? Then will the LORD be jealous for his land, and pity his people. Yea, the LORD will answer and say unto his people, Behold, I will send you corn, and wine, and oil, and ye shall be satisfied therewith: and I will no more make you a reproach among the heathen: But I will remove far off from you the northern army, and will drive him into a land barren and desolate, with his face toward the east sea, and his hinder part toward the utmost sea, and his stink shall come up, and his ill savour shall come up, because he hath done great things. Fear not, O land; be glad and rejoice: for the LORD will do great things. Be not afraid, ye beasts of the field: for the pastures of the wilderness do spring, for the tree beareth her fruit, the fig tree and the vine do yield their strength. Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the LORD your God: for he hath given you the former rain moderately, and he will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month. And the floors shall be full of wheat, and the vats shall overflow with wine and oil. And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpiller, and the palmerworm, my great army which I sent among you. And ye shall eat in plenty, and be satisfied, and praise the name of the LORD your God, that hath dealt wondrously with you: and my people shall never be ashamed.
Let the heathen be wakened, and come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat: for there will I sit to judge all the heathen round about. Put ye in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe: come, get you down; for the press is full, the fats overflow; for their wickedness is great. Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision. The sun and the moon shall be darkened, and the stars shall withdraw their shining. The LORD also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake: but the LORD will be the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel. So shall ye know that I am the LORD your God dwelling in Zion, my holy mountain: then shall Jerusalem be holy, and there shall no strangers pass through her any more. And it shall come to pass in that day, that the mountains shall drop down new wine, and the hills shall flow with milk, and all the rivers of Judah shall flow with waters, and a fountain shall come forth out of the house of the LORD, and shall water the valley of Shittim. Egypt shall be a desolation, and Edom shall be a desolate wilderness, for the violence against the children of Judah, because they have shed innocent blood in their land. But Judah shall dwell for ever, and Jerusalem from generation to generation. For I will cleanse their blood that I have not cleansed: for the LORD dwelleth in Zion.
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OUR HOLY FATHERS EPHRAIM AND ISAAC THE SYRIANS
Troparion of Ss Ephraim and Isaac the Syrians Tone 1Let the multitudes of monastics and cenobites/ honour our divinely-shining pillars and protectors and intercessors,/ divine Ephraim and Isaac who are truly of Christ./ And let us glorify them with hymns while crying:/ Glory to Him Who has sanctified you; glory to Him Who has made you wonderful;/ glory to Him Who has glorified you both in heaven and on earth.
Kontakion of St Ephraim Tone 2O Ephraim, as a lover of silence/ thou didst ever forsee the hour of reckoning and bitterly lament;/and by thy words thou wast indeed a teacher, O righteous one./ Wherefore, O father of all the world,/ thou dost rouse the slothful to repentance.
Kontakion of St Isaac Tone 8We acclaim thee as a Godbearing and righteous Hierarch,/ as a citizen of the desert, O Isaac, our protector and revealer of things sacred./ Since thou hast boldness with the Lord, pray to Him for all who honour thee/ and cry to thee: Rejoice, O divinely-wise Father.