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Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria & All Africa

Archdiocese of Good Hope


All Glory, Honour and Worship to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and forever, and unto the
Ages of ages. Amen. Remembering also our Most Holy, Most Pure, Most Blessed and Glorious Lady, Maria,
Theotokos, yet Ever Virgin, together with all the Saints. And let us commit ourselves and one another and our whole
Life to Christ our God. Amen.

5 March 2016
Memorial Saturday Saturday of the Souls
BEFORE MEATFARE/FINAL JUDGEMENT SUNDAY

Also the Feast of St Conon of Isauria St Conon of Cyprus St Mark the Ascetic of Athens &
Egypt St George the New Martyr of Rapsanis St Theodore the Prince & his sons, St David
& St Constantine of Smolensk & Yaroslav St Adrian, Monk Martyr of Yaroslavl St
Onesimos of Isauria & Palestine St Conon the Gardener of Pamphylia & Nazareth,
Galilee St Irais (Rhais) of Antinoe, Egypt St Evlogios & St Evlampios of Palestine - St
Hesychios the Faster of Bithynia St John the New
Martyr of Bulgaria
FESTAL APOLYTIKION SATURDAY OF THE SOULS

vathi Sofias Filanthropos panta ikonomon, ke to


simferon pasin aponemon, Mone Dimiourge,
anapafson Kyrie, tas psihas ton doulon Sou; en Si
gar tin Elpida anethento, to Piiti ke Plasti ke Theo
imon.
FESTAL KONTAKION SATURDAY

Thou Who with profound Wisdom and Love for


mankind, order all things, and grant to all what is
to their Profit, Only Creator: grant rest, O Lord, to
the souls of Thy servants; for they set their every
Hope in Thee, the Maker and Creator and God of
us all.

OF THE

Meta

ton Agion Anapafson, Hriste, tas psihas ton


doulon Sou, entha ouk esti ponos, ou lipi, ou
stenagmos, alla Zoi Atelevtitos.

SOULS TONE (8) PLAGAL 4

Grant Rest, O Christ, among the Saints to the souls of


Thy servants, where there is no pain, no sorrow, no
grieving, but Life Everlasting.

FESTAL PROKEIMENON TONE (6) PLAGAL 2

Their souls shall dwell among Good Things.


To Thee, O Lord, I cry; O my God, may Thou not pass over me in silence;
may Thee never be silent to me, lest I become like those who do down into the Pit!
ST PAULS FIRST EPISTLE
TH

OSE

TO THE

THESSALONIANS 4 : 13 18

WHO WILL PARTICIPATE IN CH

RIST

S RETURN

Brethren, I do not want you to be ignorant concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no
Hope, for, if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.
For this we say to you by the Word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the Coming of the Lord will by no
means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from Heaven with a shout, with the Voice of an
Archangel and the Trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be
caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.
And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore, comfort one another with these words.
 T HIS IS ONE OF THE CLEAREST PASSAGES OF N EW 1. The Sign spread out IN THE HEAVENS OUR LORD J ESUS
C HRIST AND H IS H EAVENLY H OSTS
C OVENANT S CRIPTURE CONCERNING THE S ECOND
2. The Sign of THE T RUMPET OF GOD
C OMING OR R EAPPEARANCE OF C HRIST OUR L ORD AND
3. T HE R ESURRECTION OF THE DEAD.
S AVIOUR .
 FAITHFUL DISCIPLES OF C HRIST NEVER DIE BUT REPOSE IN FOR those of us who constantly and faithfully Struggle
THE R IGHTEOUS D ISCIPLES OF C HRIST H IS G LORIOUS
PEACE IN CHRIST.
S ECOND C OMING IS OUR GREATEST JOY AND C OMFORT .
ORTHODOX C HRISTIANS REFER TO DEPARTED SOULS AS HAVING
F OR THE UNGODLY AND THE DISOBEDIENT those who are
FALLEN ASLEEP - for at our Resurrection, we will once
stubbornly unrepentant IT IS A GREAT THREAT FOR
again be awakened ready for our Final Judgement
THEY FEAR H IS D IVINE J UDGEMENT , which - although
and (hopefully) Eternal Life in Gods Heavenly
they might choose to vehemently deny it - IS A REALITY
Kingdom of Love.
FOR ALL C REATION WHETHER ONE BELIEVES IT OR NOT !
The first century document, written by Christs Holy
Apostles The Didache - lists THREE S IGNS THAT WILL
R ETURN OF OUR L ORD J ESUS C HRIST :

MARK THE

THE HOLY GOSPEL ACCORDING

TO

ST LUKE 21: 8 9 ; 25 27 & 33 36

OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST WARNS US ABOUT FORTHCOMING EVENTS PRECEDING HIS GLORIOUS RETURN

At that time, our Lord Jesus said: Take heed that you are not deceived, for many will come in My Name, saying: I am
He... and ...the time has drawn near. Therefore do not go after them.
But when you hear of wars and commotions, do not be terrified; for these things must come to pass first, but the end
will not come immediately....
... and there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity,
the sea and the waves roaring; mens hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those thing that are
coming on the earth, for the Powers of the Heavens will be shaken.
Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a Cloud with Power and Great Glory...
...Heaven and earth will pass away, but My Words will by no means pass away.
And take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and
that Day come upon you unexpectedly. For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole
earth.
Watch, therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass,
and to stand before the Son of Man.

SATURDAY

OF THE

SOULS

5 MARCH 2016

1.

 O UR LORD J ESUS CHRIST


FALSE

PROPHETS

AND

WARNS US AGAINST THE MANY


FAKE SAVIOURS who will

pretend to be Him or who will try to mislead us by


claiming to be sent to guide us by the Lord our
God.
All self-appointed, false prophets of doom and gloom will
bring us to despair a hopeless state of Spiritual
Death alienation from God and all His Blessings.
 T HE L AST AND GREATES OF THE H OLY PROPHETS OF GOD
WAS S T J OHN THE B APTIST W HO PREPARED THE H EBREW
N ATION FOR THE C OMING OF THE G REAT M ESSIAH
OUR L ORD J ESUS C HRIST .
Throughout the centuries, PEOPLE HAVE ANTICIPATED
C HRIST S S ECOND C OMING I. E . H IS VISIBLE
R EAPPEARANCE - ALMOST TO THE POINT OF NOT LIVING
THEIR LIVES ACCORDING TO THE W ILL OF G OD .
Although C HRIST has prepared us for a difficult life as
Christians, He IS OUR SOLID R OCK OF H OPE AND WE MUST
LEARN TO TRUST G OD IMPLICITLY WITHOUT ANY
QUESTION OR DOUBT .
 W E MUST CONTINUE TO PRAY, TO R EPENT AND TO WORSHIP
G OD CEASELESSLY THEREBY ENJOYING A FULFILLED
L IFE IN C HRIST and we must not waste any
precious time on ridiculous distractions or
deceptions of the self proclaimed DOOMSDAY
PROPHETS who can only CONFUSE US AND DRAW US
RAPIDLY INTO S PIRITUAL D ARKNESS AND E XILE .
In other words: WE MUST STEADFASTLY CONCENTRATE ON OUR
L IFE IN C HRIST BY STRUGGLING DAILY FOR SPIRITUAL
P ERFECTION IN IMITATION OF OUR L ORD AND S AVIOUR so
that no matter what happens to us, WE WILL BE AS
PREPARED AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE TO FACE H IS A WESOME
J UDGEMENT S EAT in due time, because O NLY GOD THE
F ATHER KNOWS WHEN THAT WILL BE !
We must MAKE EVERY EFFORT AND USE EVERY MOMENT OF
EACH DAY TO IMPROVE OURSELVES AND OUR R ELATIONSHIP
WITH G OD .
We must BE ALERT AND WATCHFUL because the evil one
takes every opportunity to manipulate and misdirect
MEMORIAL SATURDAY

OR

SATURDAY

OF THE

SATURDAY

OF THE

THERE WILL MOST CERTAINLY BE NO MISTAKING IT FOR


ANYTHING ELSE AND THE WHOLE OF C REATION WILL
FULLY EXPERIENCE IT .

So, we must not waste our time with nonsense and


dangerous deceptions but CONTINUE OUR S PIRITUAL
J OURNEY UNINTERRUPTED - FOCUSED UPON OUR O NE T RUE
AND L IVING G OD A LMIGHTY .

SOULS BEFORE MEATFARE-FINAL JUDGEMENT SUNDAY

On the same day, the Holy Fathers of the Church of Christ


appointed a Commemoration of all those who, from
ages past, have piously Fallen Asleep, in the Hope of
Resurrection unto Eternal Life.
Forgive the dead their transgressions O Word, and do
not show Thy Good Compassion to be dead!
Since it often happens that certain people suffer death
prematurely, in a foreign land, at sea, on trackless
mountains, on precipices, in chasms, in famines, wars,
conflagrations, and extreme cold weather, and all
manner of other deaths and perhaps, being poor and
without any resources they have not been granted the
customary Psalter Readings and Memorial Services,
moved by Love for mankind, our Holy Fathers ordained
that the Orthodox Church of Christ Commemorate all
those who have Reposed in Christ a Holy Tradition
that they inherited from Christs Holy Apostles in
order that those who, due to certain peculiar
circumstances, did not or could not receive the
customary obsequies individually, so that whatever is
done on their behalf, confers great Spiritual Benefit on
them.
This is one reason why the Holy Church of God performs
the Commemoration of Souls.
A second reason is that, since our Holy Church Fathers
intended, as is fitting, to assign the observance of the
Second Coming (Reappearance) of Christ to the
following day Sunday they appointed a
Commemoration of all souls on this day, as if
propitiating the Dread and Unerring Judge to show
them His Innate Compassion, and place them in the
Promised Paradise of Delight.
A third reason is that, since they intended to expound the
banishment of Adam on the following Sunday
(Cheesefare/Forgiveness), they devised the present
Commemoration on this day of rest, as a respite from
all our worldly affairs so that we might start from
the beginning again i.e. with the Banishment of Adam
for the Final Event that we will all experience is the
Examination by the Impartial Judge of all our words,
thoughts and deeds that we have committed
throughout our lifespan.

2.

our attention by tempting and diverting us with his


evil tricks.
Every little step closer to Theosis is worth every drop
of sweat or tears.
Our heartfelt Love for God and all His beautiful
Creation motivates us to greater Spiritual Heights
and the closer we get to God the more confident and
assured we become since WE BEGIN TO UNDERSTAND
THAT
WITH
G OD S GRACIOUS P ROVIDENCE AND
P ROTECTION , NOTHING NEED BE FEARED .
In fact THE ONLY FEAR WE SHOULD HAVE IS ONE OF FAILURE TO
GROW
AND TO
PROGRESS AND THE FEAR
OF
DISAPPOINTING OUR M OST B ENEVOLENT AND L OVING
H EAVENLY F ATHER Who grants us everything we could
possible require.
We should ALSO FEAR FAILING OUR FELLOW SINNERS IN OUR
MUTUAL QUEST FOR S ANCTIFICATION AND ETERNAL L IFE in
Gods Heavenly Kingdom.
So MANY NATURAL DISASTERS ARE CAUSED BY HUMAN GREED
AND ERROR , certainly not due to Divine Wrath.
And even when catastrophe strikes that is beyond any
human influence, WE MAY REST ASSURED IN THE GREAT
M ERCY AND I NFINITE L OVE OF GOD .
Why worry? GOD IS IN CONTROL OF EVERYTHING !
 WORRY ABOUT THE THINGS THAT WE CAN AND SHOULD DO
SOMETHING ABOUT ALL THOSE THINGS THAT WE NEED
TO DO - WHICH WILL AFFECT OUR ETERNITY ALL THE
T HINGS THAT C HRIST HAS TAUGHT US .
 Finally: WHEN C HRIST DOES RETURN IN ALL H IS GLORY ,

By putting such Fear of that Final Judgement into us, we


might be prepared for the Contests of the Great Fast of
Lent this Sacred Period of intense Repentance, Prayer
and Fasting.
The Commemoration of Souls is always on Saturday since
the Sabbath (Savvaton) means rest in Hebrew, and
since the departed are Reposing or Resting from all our
worldly cares.
So we offer our Supplication for our loved ones who are no
longer with us on the Day of Rest i.e. on every
Saturday.
On the Saturday of the Souls, however, we observe a
Universal Commemoration, beseeching Gods Divine
and Great Mercy for all our beloved Orthodox Brethren
in Christ..
Our Holy Church Fathers, knowing well that what is done
on behalf of the Reposed Memorial Services,
Almsgiving and Divine Liturgies affords all those
Reposed souls great Respite and Benefit another Holy
Tradition we have received from Christs Holy Apostles.
The Benefits received by the departed souls through such
Memorial Services is evident from many trustworthy
sources such as St Makarios who ceaselessly prayed for
the departed.
Having respectfully asked God to reveal to him whether any
Benefit was conferred upon our Reposing Brethren
while holding a dried skull of an impious pagan along
the roadside, St Makarios heard the skull reply:
Indeed! We receive great Respite, Father, when you pray
for us who have departed your world!
St Gregory the Dialogist Saved the wicked, Christ-hating
Emperor Trajan through Prayer, even though he was
instructed by the Lord our God never again to Entreat
Him for those who are impious.
In addition to this case, through the Intercessory Prayers of
the Saints and Holy Confessors, Empress Theodora
snatched the God-hating Theophilos from Torments
and Saved him, as we have learnt from Ecclesiastical
history.
St Gregory the Theologian, in his Funeral Oration for his
beloved brother, Caesarios, state that Supplications for
the Departed Souls are Beneficial to them.

SOULS BEFORE MEATFARE SUNDAY

5 MARCH 2016

In one of his Homilies on St Pauls Epistle to the


Philippians, St John Chrysostom stated: ... let us think
of some way to Benefit the Departed. Let us give them
whatever Assistance we can by which I mean
Almsgiving and Offerings to the Church on their behalf,
for this affords them Great Profit, Gain and Benefit.
Indeed, not in vain nor haphazardly have these practices
been prescribed. It has been handed down to the Church
of God by His All Wise Disciples, that the Priest should
Commemorate the Departed Faithful at the Dread
Mysteries.
Elsewhere, he said: ...In your will, inscribe the Master as
Fellow-Heir along with your children and kinsfolk.
Let your papyrus contain the Name of the Judge, and let it
not fail to mention the poor, and I will stand surety for
you.
St Athanasios the Great said: ... Even if one who had died in
the True Faith has vanished into thin air, call upon
Christ our God, and do not avoid lighting oil lamps and
candles at his grave for these things are acceptable to
God and bring them Great Recompense.
We must observe these Instructions, therefore, whether the
Reposed Souls are pious or wicked (for only God
knows!) so that we might obtain for them Forgiveness
and Mercy for their sins or for those who are truly
Righteous additional Rewards.
If Departed Souls are strangers and/or without any means,
having thus no one to take care of their Memorial
Services or to pray for them, God in His
Righteousness, Great Mercy and Love for mankind will
provide for them in proportion to the Mercy He sees on
our part.
Furthermore, those who make Offerings on behalf of such
destitute, lonely souls, partakes of the Spiritual
Rewards, since they have shown Loving Concern for the
Salvation of their neighbours just like someone who
anoints another person with fragrant perfume makes
himself fragrant first.
In fact, those who do not fulfil what is Commanded in such
circumstances will assuredly bring Judgement upon
themselves.
Until the Second Reappearance (Parousia) of Christ,
whatever is done on behalf of the Reposed brings
Spiritual Benefit to them, as our Holy Church Fathers
affirm - and in particular, to those who did the smallest
amount of Good when they were numbered among the
living.
Although Holy Scripture says certain things and rightly so
for the Chastening of many, Gods Love of us
Struggling sinners prevails for the most part.
We should know that in the next Age all human beings will
recognise each other those whom they knew and those
whom they had never seen, which, according to St John
Chrysostom, is proved by Christs Account of the Rich
Man and Poor Lazaros.
They will not, however, be recognised in bodily form for
everyone will be the same age and their physical
characteristics will be absent.
Only by the Clairvoyant Eye of the soul, as St Gregory the
Theologian mentioned in his Funeral Oration for St
Caesarios: ... then shall I see Caesarios ... brilliant,
glorious... such as in my dreams I have often beheld
Thee, dearest of Brothers...
St Athanasios the Great, in his Oration on the Departed,
stated: ... even before the General Resurrection, it is
given to the Saints to know each other, and to make
glad with one another, whereas sinners are deprived of
this; and to the Holy Martyrs it is given to see what we
do and to Visit us in our needs.
At the General Resurrection, all will recognise each other
and the secrets of all will be made manifest!
At present i.e. prior to the General Resurrection the
souls of the Righteous exist in a specifically designated
state, while the souls of unrepentant sinners will be in
another state the former Rejoicing in their Hope but
the wicked grieving in expectation of the terrors that
await them since the Saints have not yet received the
Promise of Good Things, as St Paul the Apostle to the
Gentiles wrote to the Hebrews ... God, having provided
some better thing for us, that they without us should
not be made Perfect... ( HEBREWS 11: 40)
Not all who have fallen over precipices, or been burnt by
fire, or drowned at sea, or who perished due to murder,
SATURDAY

OF THE

extreme cold, starvation, etc have suffered such demise


due to the Divine Will of the Lord our God.
These are the Judgements of God some of which
happened according to His Divine Will, while others by
His Divine Permission.
Sometimes these untimely deaths have occurred for the
Purpose of instruction, threatening, or chastisement of
others.
In His Foreknowledge, God sees and knows all things, for
all things occur by His Divine Will as mentioned by St
Matthew and St Luke in their Holy Gospels. (MATTHEW
10:29-31 & LUKE 12: 6 7)

Nevertheless, Our Lord God does not determne that things


should happen in this or that way e.g. that one person
should die in old age, another will Repose due to
natural causes, while others will not survive their
infancy.
Our Lord did Decree once and for all, that there should be a
general lifespan for humanity as well as many different
causes of death.
During our short lifespan, various causes of death are
brought upon us, but God certainly does not determine
them from the very beginning of Creation even though
He does know about them.
In relation to the lifespan of each individual, the Will of
God adumbrates (obscures/hides) the time and manner of
our death.
 Although St Basil the Great spoke about a
predetermination of life, he alluded to the verse:
...Earth art thou, and to Earth shalt thou return...
(GENESIS 3:20)
 St Paul wrote to the Corinthians: ... [because you
partake unworthily,] many are weak and sickly
among you, and many Sleep... (Repose) (1
CORINTHIANS 11:30)

 St David the King, Psalmist and Holy Prophet of God


wrote: ...take me not away in the midst of my
days... (PSALM 101:25)
 And: ... Thou hast made my days as a handbreadth... (PSALM 38:5)
 St Moses instructed the Israelites: ... Honour your
Father, so that you may have length of days...
(EXODUS 20:12)
 St Solomon the King and Holy Prophet of God mentions:
... lest you should die before your time...
(ECCLESIASTE 7 : 18)
 In the Book of Job, God said to Eliphaz: ... I would
have destroyed you were it not for My servant,
Job! (JOB 42:8)
It is clearly evident that there is no predetermined limit of
our lifespan.
If anyone states that there is such a limit, we must realise
that such a limit is according to the Will of God alone,
for He adds years to one persons life according to His
Divine Will and Purpose, while reducing them in other
cases dispensing all things according to what is most
Spiritually Profitable for us.
And when God Wills, He arranges both the manner and
time of death.
Therefore, the limit of each persons life is as St
Athanasios the Great believed, due to the Divine Will
and Counsel of Almighty God.
St Basil the Great believed that death is brought upon us
when the limits of our unique lifespan have been
fulfilled.
However, by limits he meant according to the Divine Will
of Almighty God, for, if there is any limit to our
lifespan, why do we bother beseeching the Lord our God
and calling upon Physicians, and praying that we might
be allowed to live a little longer.
When Baptised infants Repose in Christ, they enjoy the
Delights of Paradise, whereas those who were not
Illumined by Holy Baptism and those born of pagan
parents, repose neither in Paradise nor Gehenna.
When the soul departs from the body, she no longer has
any connection nor concern for the things of this
temporary world only for those concerning the
Heavenly Realm.
We celebrate Memorial Service on the Third Day because on
that Third Day we change our physical aspect.
On the Third Day, our soul is presented before the Throne
of Christ.

SOULS

5 MARCH 2016

3.

On the Ninth Day, our entire body begins to decompose,


with only the heart remaining.
On the Fortieth Day, the body has decomposed, the soul
has passed through all the Aerial Toll Houses and
enters either Paradise to Rest in Peace - or Hades with
its dreadful Foretaste of Eternal Exile Outer Darkness,
away from the Light and Goodness of the Lord our God.
Throughout the Forty Day period, while the soul is being
escorted by two Guardian Angels through the Aerial
Toll Houses, we must pray ceaselessly for Gods Divine
Mercy, so that our Love Ones soul will be able to
Repose in Peace in Paradise.
Every Prayer we utter for others is a Blessing for those for
whom we pray, as well as a Blessing for ourselves.
METROPOLITAN ANTHONY

Death is the Touchstone of our attitude to life.


People who are afraid of Death are afraid of life.
It is impossible not to be afraid of life with all its
complexity and dangers if one is afraid of Death.
This means that to solve the problem of Death is not a
luxury. If we are afraid of Death we will never be
prepared to take ultimate risks; we will spend our life in
a cowardly, careful and timid manner.
It is only if we can face Death, make sense of it, determine
its place and our place in regard to it that we will be
able to live in a fearless way and to the fullness of our
ability.
Too often we wait until the end of our life to face Death,
whereas we would have lived quite differently if only we
had faced Death at the outset.
According to St John Klimakos, one of the essential Steps in
the Transformation of our fallen nature and the
Acquisition of the Virtues is "...Meleti Thanatou..." - the
Remembrance of Death.
In fact, Step 6 of his Ladder of Divine Ascent is dedicated
to this very practice.
Our Holy Church encourages us to read this specific
Chapter of The Ladder of Divine Ascent -from
beginning to end - because at the end is the account of
Blessed Hesychios the Horebite.
St John of the Ladder thought his story was the perfect
seal on this Beneficial Chapter dedicated to the
Remembrance of Death, and to see why below I offer
the ending portion of this Enlightening Chapter:
...Some inquire and wonder: Why, when the Remembrance
of Death is so Beneficial to us, has God hidden from us
the Knowledge of the Hour of Death? not knowing that
IN THIS WAY GOD WONDERFULLY ACCOMPLISHES OUR
SALVATION. For no one who foreknew his death would at
once proceed to Baptism or the Monastic Life; but
ST PAISIOS

THE

HOLY ELDER

OF

Geronda, the final diagnosis has been made. Your tumour


is cancerous and it's aggressive.
ST PAISIOS: Bring me a handkerchief so that I may dance to
the song:I bid farewell to you, O poor world! I have
never danced in my life, but now I will dance for Joy
as my death approaches!
Geronda, the Doctor said he wants to use radiation to
shrink the tumour and then do surgery...
ST PAISIOS: ...First the Air Force will bombard the enemy,
and then the attack will begin! Some people, even the
elderly, when told by the doctor, You will die, or You
have a fifty percent chance of surviving get very
distressed. They want to live. And then what? I
wonder! Now, if someone is young, well, this
is justifiable, but if someone is old and still
desperately trying to hang on - I just don't
understand. Of course, it's quite different if
someone wants to undergo therapy in order
to manage pain. He's not interested in

4.

SATURDAY

OF THE

If we profess to Love our family and friends, and even


acquaintances, we must pray for the sake of their
immortal souls every day during this period after their
Departure.
The Power of Prayer is a Great Mystery to us, but it has
amazing affects on those for whom we pray.
Appoint a place in the Tabernacles of Thy Righteous for
the souls of those who have Departed before us, O
Christ our Master, and have Mercy on us, for Thou
alone art Immortal.
Amen.
ADAPTED AND EDITED BY MP
WRITTEN BY NIKEPHOROS KALLISTOS XANTHOPOULOS
HTTP://WWW.JOHNSANIDOPOULOS.COM
OF

SOUROZH ON DEATH

everyone would spend all his days in iniquities, and only


on the day of his death, would he approach Baptism and
Repentance.
From long habit, he would become confirmed in vice, and
would remain utterly incorrigible.
And I cannot be silent about the story of Hesychios the
Horebite.
He passed his life in complete negligence, without paying
the least attention to his soul.
Then he became extremely ill, and for an hour he expired.
And when he came to himself, he begged us all to leave him
immediately.
And he built up the door of his cell, and he stayed in it for
twelve years without ever uttering a word to anyone,
and without eating anything but bread and water.
And, always remaining motionless, he was so rapt in spirit
at what he had seen in his Ecstasy, that he never
changed this manner of Life but was always as if out of
his mind, and silently shed hot tears.
But when he was about to die, we broke open the door and
went in, and after many questions, this alone was all we
heard from him: Forgive me! No one who has
acquired the Remembrance of Death will ever be able
to sin.
We were amazed to see that one who had before been so
negligent was so suddenly Transfigured by this Blessed
Change and Transformation.
We reverently buried him in the cemetery near the fort, and
after some days we looked for his Holy Relics, but did not
find them.
So by Hesychios True and Praiseworthy Repentance, the
Lord showed us that He accepts those who desire to
Amend, even after long negligence.

MOUNT ATHOS

ON

DEATH (AT 98)

extending life; he only wants to make the pain


somewhat more bearable so that he can take care of
himself until he dies this does make sense.
Geronda, we are praying that God may give you an
extension on your life.
ST PAISIOS: Why? Doesn't the Psalmist say, The days of our
years are threescore years and ten?
But the Psalmist adds the following, And if by reason of
strength they be forescore years...
ST PAISIOS: Yes, but he adds, Yet is their strength labour
and sorrow, in which case it is better to have the
Peace of the other Life.
Geronda, can someone, out of Humility, feel Spiritually
Unprepared for the other Life and wish to live longer in
order to get Prepared?
ST PAISIOS: This is a good thing, but how can he know that,
even if he does live longer, he won't become
Spiritually Worse?

SOULS BEFORE MEATFARE SUNDAY

5 MARCH 2016

Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria & All Africa


Archdiocese of Good Hope
All Glory, Honour and Worship to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and forever, and unto the
Ages of ages. Amen. Remembering also our Most Holy, Most Pure, Most Blessed and Glorious Lady, Maria,
Theotokos, yet Ever Virgin, together with all the Saints. And let us commit ourselves and one another and our whole
Life to Christ our God. Amen.

Tone (7) Varys/Grave


6 March 2016
h
40 Sunday After Pentecost
rd
3 Sunday of the Triodion - Meatfare/Final Judgement
Also the Feast of the Uncovering of the Life-giving Cross & Nails of our Saviour by Empress
Helena in Jerusalem the 42 Holy Martyrs of Ammoria, Phrygia St Conon the Holy
Hieromartyr & his son, St Conon the Monk of Iconium St Arcadios of Cyprus
RESURRECTION GOSPEL 7: JOHN 20: 1 - 10
OUR RESURRECTED LORD JESUS APPEARS TO THE APOSTLES & ASCENDS

ISODIKON/ENTRANCE HYMN

Defte

Proskinisomen ke prospesomen Hristo: Soson imas


Iie Theou, O Anastas ek nekron, psallonta Si: Allilouia

TONE

Come, let us worship and bow down before Christ:

Save
us, O Son of God, Who arose from the dead, who sing
to Thee: Allilouia!

RESURRECTION APOLYTIKION TONE (7) VARYS/GRAVE

Katelisas to Stavro Sou ton Thanaton.

Ineoxas to listi ton


Paradison. Ton Miroforon ton thrinon metevales ke tis
sis Apostolis kirittin epetaxas, oti
Anestis, Hriste O
Theos, parehon to kosmo to Mega Eleos.

TRIODION KONTAKION

MEATFARE

Otan

elthis O Theos, epi Gis meta Doxis, ke tremosi ta


simpanta, Potamos de tou Piros pro tou Vimatos elki, ke
Vivli anigonte, ke ta kripta dimosievonte, tote Rise me,
ek tou Piros tou Asvestou, ke Axioson, ek dexion Sou me
stine, Krita Dikeotate.

By

Thy Cross Thou destroyed Death;


Thou opened
Paradise to the Thief; Thou changed the funeral wail
of the Myrrh-bearing Women, and Commanded them
to announce to Thine Apostles that Thou had Risen
from the dead, O Christ our God, Who bestows upon
the world Great Mercy.

/FINAL

JUDGEMENT

SUNDAY

TONE 1

When Thou come down to Earth, O God, in Thy Glory, all


things will cower tremulously, and a River of Fire will
flow before Thy Judgement Seat, the Books shall be
opened up, and from public knowledge will things no
longer be hidden. Then Deliver me, I pray, from the
Unquenchable Fire, and count me Worthy to stand at
Thy right Hand side, O Thou Most Righteous Judge.

KINONIKON/COMMUNION HYMN PSALM 148/149

Enite ton Kyrion ek ton Ouranon!

Enite Afton en tis Ipstitis.

Praise

the Lord from the Heavens! Praise Him in the


Highest: Alleluia!

Allilouia!

TRIODION PROKEIMENON MEATFARE SUNDAY


PSALM 46/47 TONE 3

Psalate

to Theo imon!
Psalate!

Psalate, psalate to Vasili imon!

Panta ta Ethni krotisate hiras!

Alalaxate to Theo en foni

Sing

Praises to God! Sing Praises!


King! Sing Praises!

All you Nations: clap your hands!

agalliasesos!

Sing Praises to our

Cry out to God with the

voice of Rejoicing!
THE FIRST EPISTLE

OF

ST PAUL

TO THE

CORINTHIANS 8 : 8 9 : 2

LOVE (AGAPE) REIGNS OVER KNOWLEDGE

Brethren: food does not commend us to God; for neither if we eat are we better nor if we do not eat are we worse.
Beware lest somehow this liberty of yours becomes a Stumbling Block to those who are weak! For if anyone sees you who
have Knowledge eating in an idols temple, will not the conscience of him who is weak be emboldened to eat those
things that are offered to the idols?
And because of your Knowledge shall the weak Brethren perish for whom Christ Died? When you thus sin against the
Brethren, and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ!
Therefore, if food makes my Brother stumble, I will never again eat meat, lest I make my Brother scandalised!
Am I not an Apostle? Am I not Free? Have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord? Are you not my Workmanship in the Lord? If
I am not an Apostle to others, yet doubtless I am to you, for you are the Seal of my Apostleship in the Lord.
Whether we Fast from certain foods or not makes no
A little knowledge is a dangerous thing because ALL TOO
difference to our Spiritual Welfare, since G OD DOES
OFTEN
PEOPLE
ASSUME
THEY
FULLY
UNDERSTAND
SOMETHING WHEN THEY ARE IN FACT MISINFORMED OR FAR
NOT J UDGE US ON THE FOOD WE EAT , BUT H E DOES J UDGE
US ON WHETHER WE LIVE OUR LIVES WITH S ELF - DISCIPLE
LESS KNOWLEDGEABLE THAT THEY REALISE .
AND L OVE AND ESPECIALLY HOW TREAT OUR FELLOW
Therefore, IN ORDER TO LIVE IN C HRIST , WE MUST
SINNERS OR WHETHER WE SIMPLY INDULGE OURSELVES
CONSTANTLY LOOK TO H IM FOR D IVINE G UIDANCE , OR
AND WASTE THIS PRECIOUS TIME !
THOSE WHOM H E HAS CALLED TO G UIDE , T EACH AND
Therefore, St Paul reminds us that WE MUST ALWAYS BE VERY
A DVISE especially our Holy Church Fathers whose
Spiritual Experience is priceless.
CAREFUL TO NEITHER OFFEND ONE ANOTHER NOR LEAD
T HAT IS WHY THE INTERTWINED V IRTUES OF H UMILITY AND
EACH OTHER ASTRAY BY OUR PERSONAL HABITS , IDEAS OR
PREFERENCES .
OBEDIENCE ARE SO VITAL TO OUR S PIRITUAL D EVELOPMENT
Throughout this life, WE ARE ALL STRUGGLING TO MAKE GOOD
AND P ROGRESS .
S PIRITUAL PROGRESS AND IT IS THE S ACRED DUTY OF EVERY
Christ our Saviour died for all human beings He paid
the ultimate Ransom for the Salvation of all mankind
F AITHFUL D ISCIPLE OF C HRIST TO ENCOURAGE , TO SUPPORT
AND TO CORRECTLY GUIDE AND TEACH ONE ANOTHER ,
not for just a select few.
40TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST 3RD SUNDAY

OF

TRIODION MEATFARE/LAST

JUDGEMENT

SUNDAY 6 MARCH 2016

S O IF WE LEAD ANYONE ASTRAY THROUGH OUR OWN MISGUIDED


OR ERRONEOUS KNOWLEDGE , WE CAUSE THEM TO SUFFER
S PIRITUAL D EATH i.e. fall into sin, which separates us
from Gods Divine Grace and Presence THE
CONSEQUENCES OF WHICH ARE DIRE INDEED !
Consequently, WHENEVER WE SIN AGAINST EACH OTHER , WE
SIN AGAINST C HRIST i.e. Almighty God the Holy
Trinity for They always operate in Perfect Unity and
Harmony. (ALWAYS ACCORDING TO THE WILL OF THE FATHER,
THROUGH THE SON AND BY MEANS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT.)

St Paul teaches us that IF WE DO SOMETHING THAT CAUSES


THE S PIRITUAL D EATH OF ANYONE ELSE , WE MUST ENSURE
THAT WE NEVER DO SO AGAIN IN CASE IT CAUSES MORE
PEOPLE TO FALL INTO WICKEDNESS OR HARM THEM IN SOME
OTHER MANNER
A S A RESULT , THE BURDEN OF THAT SIN WILL BE UPON US WHO
HAVE CAUSED THEIR FALL AND WE WILL BE ETERNALLY
CONDEMNED FOR IT , UNLESS WE QUICKLY REPENT AND
CORRECT OUR ERROR .
F AITHFUL DISCIPLES OF C HRIST WHO LIVE IN C HRIST , ARE
ALWAYS MOTIVATED BY A SELFLESS REGARD FOR THE

THE HOLY GOSPEL ACCORDING


DIVINE JUDGEMENT OF WORKS AT

BENEFIT OF MANY NEVER FOR THEMSELVES AND


WITHOUT FAIL , FOR THE G LORY , H ONOUR AND W ORSHIP OF
G OD !

The authenticity of St Pauls Apostleship was often


attacked by the Hebrews, so he often had to defend it:
Am I not an Apostle...?
Similar to the Divine Calling of St Paul by our Lord Jesus
Christ, OTHERS HAVE ALSO BEEN C ALLED BY G OD TO SERVE
H IM , BEING FILLED WITH THE W ISDOM AND K NOWLEDGE
AND EVERYTHING NECESSARY BY THE H OLY S PIRIT W HO
MAKES SUCH W ONDERFUL , G OD -I NSPIRED W ORK POSSIBLE
to be achieved by mere human beings.
T HE AUTHENTICITY OF D IVINE C ALLING IS IN THE S PIRITUAL
F RUIT THAT IS BROUGHT FORTH FOR THE EXCLUSIVE GLORY ,
H ONOUR AND W ORSHIP OF ALMIGHTY G OD .
T HE EFFECTIVENESS OF THE C LERGY of the Holy Church of
Christ our Spiritual Shepherds or Holy Fathers - IS
CERTIFIED BY THE S PIRITUAL C ONDITION OF THE F AITHFU l
the Spiritual Flock of God - the Faithful Congregation
or Laity (people of the Parish).
TO
THE

ST MATTHEW 25 : 31 46
SECOND COMING OF CHRIST

At that time, our Lord Jesus said: When the Son of Man comes in His Glory, and all the Holy Angels with Him, then He
will sit on the Throne of His Glory. And all the Nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one
from another, as a Shepherd divides His Sheep from the Goats. And He will set the Sheep on His right hand side,
but the goats on His left.
Then the King will say to those at His right hand: Come, you Blessed of My Father: inherit the Kingdom prepared for
you from the Foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty, and you gave Me
drink; I was a stranger, and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was
in prison and you came to Me.
Then the Righteous shall answer Him, saying: Lord, when did we see Thee hungry and feed Thee, or thirsty and give
Thee drink? When did we see Thee, a Stranger, and take Thee in, or naked and clothed Thee? Or we see Thee sick,
or in prison, and come to Thee? And the King will answer and say to them: Truly, I say to you: inasmuch as you
did so to one of the least of these My Brethren, you did it to Me.
Then He will also say to those at His left: Depart from Me, you cursed, into the Everlasting Fire prepared for the devil
and his angels! For I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; I was a
Stranger and you did not take Me in; naked and you did not clothe Me; sick and in prison and you did not visit Me!
Then they will answer Him, saying: Lord, when did we see Thee hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in
prison, and did not minister to Thee? Then He will answer them, saying: Truly, I say to you: inasmuch as you did
not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.
And those will go away into Everlasting Punishment, but the Righteous will go into Eternal Life.
This is the majestic climax of Christs Discourse
WE IMMEDIATELY TURN THEM INWARDS AND CORRECT
concerning His Second Coming, which is NOT SIMPLY
OUR OWN GLARING ERRORS .
A P ARABLE BUT A D IVINE R EVELATION OF THE U NIVERSAL
Thereby we LEARN H UMILITY AND OBEDIENCE to God,
J UDGEMENT THAT WILL MOST CERTAINLY BE FACED BY
which is the very first big step closer to Spiritual
Perfection and Eternal Life.
ALL C REATION .
...the least of these... Is a reference to all the poor, the
Since His Passion was soon to be fulfilled, OUR L ORD
needy and the destitute of the world in a spiritual
J ESUS RAISED H IS D ISCIPLES TO THE S IGHT OF THE GLORY
and a physical sense.
OF THE S ON OF M AN ON H IS AWESOME J UDGEMENT S EAT
Having been created in the Image and Likeness of God,
WITH THE ENTIRE C REATION BEFORE HIM .
T HE STANDARD OF D IVINE JUDGEMENT IS UNCALCULATED
WE SHOULD SEE ALL HUMANITY AS A REFLECTED D IVINE
I MAGE OF G OD and, as Christ so clearly reminds us :
MERCY TOWARDS ONE ANOTHER .
T HE W ORKS OR G OOD D EEDS THAT ARE PRODUCED BY T RUE
when we TREAT OTHERS WITH AS MUCH L OVE AS WE
PROFESS TO HAVE FOR G OD , we prove our integrity.
F AITH ARE EMPHASISED BY C HRIST because SUCH
S AVING F AITH ALWAYS PRODUCES R IGHTEOUS W ORKS
On the contrary, WHEN WE SHOW NEITHER COMPASSION ,
KINDNESS NOR ANY DEGREE OF L OVE FOR OTHERS , WE
G OOD D EEDS COMPELLED BY DIVINE , UNCONDITIONAL ,
ALL ENCOMPASSING L OVE TRUE A GAPE .
EXPOSE THE WICKEDNESS THAT LURKS WITHIN OUR HEARTS
AND SOULS !
W HATEVER WE DO REFLECTS OUR TRUE I NNER STATE .
No matter what lip-service and empty gestures we use
As much as God Blesses us and as much as we expect to
receive from Him, WE MUST RECIPROCATE BY TREATING
to convince others including ourselves of how
EACH OTHER WITH THE SAME CONSIDERATION with all
well-intentioned we are, OUR DEEDS ULTIMATELY
EXPOSE THE TRUE CONDITION OF OUR SOULS .
our love, mercy, respect, etc. do unto others as you
wish others to do unto you!
Consequently, it is essential to our proper Spiritual
Development to LEARN TO BE ABSOLUTELY HONEST WITH
Furthermore, although we should never do anything in
the expectation of Reward, WHATEVER WITH WE DO FOR
OURSELVES , WITH GOD AND WITH EVERYONE ELSE .
S PIRITUAL
W ATCHFULNESS
AND
CONTINUOUS
ANYONE ELSE WITH THE RIGHT ATTITUDE OF A GAPE , G OD
RETURNS TO US A HUNDREDFOLD He grants us a
( CONSTRUCTIVE) SELF - EXAMINATION , WHICH LEADS TO
R EPENTANCE-C ONFESSION ,
TEACHES
US
TO
hundred times more Blessings!
So whether we do good things or evil things, EVERYTHING
METICULOUSLY
SCRUTINISE
OUR
OWN
PERSONAL
COMES BACK A HUNDRED TIMES MORE TO US !
WEAKNESSES especially those hidden away in the
T HOSE WHO HUNGER AND THIRST are not only those who
darkened crevasses of our soul, so that, BY THE
suffer physical hunger and thirst, but who YEARN FOR
G RACE OF GOD , WE CAN EXPOSE SUCH DEFECTS TO THE
THE ETERNAL H OPE OF THE H OLY G OSPEL OF C HRIST
D IVINE L IGHT OF G OD S T RUTH AND H EAL OURSELVES .
J ESUS .
T HIS IS THE D A I L Y S P I R I T U A L A C C O U N T I N G that is
Our Lord used THE ANALOGY OF S HEEP AND G OATS TO
recommended FOR ALL STRUGGLING D ISCIPLES OF
DIFFERENTIATE THE R IGHTEOUS AND J USTIFIED FROM THE
C HRIST WHO GENUINELY WISH TO IMPROVE THEMSELVES
UNGODLY AND THE UNREPENTANT .
and their Relationship with God as well as with their
A S C HRIST IS OUR GOOD S HEPHERD , WE ARE THE REASONfellow human beings.
W E WILL KNOW IF WE ARE MAKING ANY PROGRESS WHEN
E NDOWED F LOCK OR S HEEP OF GOD WHO EAGERLY
FOLLOW THE SOUND OF HIS VOICE , AND WHO ARE
INSTEAD OF POINTING ACCUSATORY FINGERS ELSEWHERE

6. 4 0 T H S U N D A Y A F T E R P E N T E C O S T 3 R D S U N D A Y

OF

TRIODION MEATFARE/LAST

JUDGEMENT

SUNDAY 6 MARCH 2016

S PIRITUALLY PRODUCTIVE AND GENTLE CREATURES OF


THE L ORD .
The goats are those who remain Spiritually Stubborn
and unrighteous for they ignore or refuse to follow
the voice of our Good Shepherd, choosing to risk
their lives by walking along the treacherous and
dangerous precipices of temptation and sin.
Inheritance suggests family members such as sons and
daughters rather than strangers or servants, for the
R IGHTEOUS ARE THOSE WHO HAVE BECOME C HILDREN OF
G OD BY A DOPTION .
 G A L A T I A N S 4 : 4 7 : ... When the fullness of the
time had come, God sent forth His Son, Born of
a Woman; Born under the Law, to Redeem those
who were under the Law, that we might receive
Adoption as sons.
Son refers to Christ as God by Nature.
God, then is Born of a Woman, and so THE E VER
B LESSED, A LL PURE , AND EVER V IRGIN M ARY IS RIGHTLY
ENTITLED T HEOTOKOS , WHICH MEANS THE M OTHER OF
G OD OR THE B EARER OF GOD .

I.E . G OD I NCARNATE - IN THE FLESH - ( WITHOUT HUMAN SEED ,


WITHOUT HUMAN F ATHER ) - AND IN H IS HUMAN N ATURE
FOR IN H IS D IVINE N ATURE H IS IS E TERNAL , BEGOTTEN OF
GOD THE FATHER , WITHOUT MOTHER
Since Christ was Born under the Law, He can Redeem
those under the Law. (INITIALLY THE HEBREWS, AND THEN,
LATER, THE GENTILES I.E. ALL HUMANITY)

T HE ONGOING GROWTH INTO DIVINE ADOPTION BEING AN


HEIR OF GOD IS D EIFICATION OR T HEOSIS S PIRITUAL
P ERFECTION.
This means that WE ARE BECOMING , BY D IVINE GRACE ,
WHAT G OD IS BY D IVINE N ATURE AND EACH OF THE
T HREE P ERSONS OF THE H OLY T RINITY : F ATHER , SON AND
H OLY S PIRIT IS INVOLVED IN THIS PROCESS OF
S PIRITUAL T RANSFORMATION OF HUMANITY .

Therefore TO BECOME SONS OF GOD BY GRACE , WE MUST


BELIEVE IN AND GET TO KNOW THE F ATHER , AND THE S ON ,
AND THE H OLY S PIRIT .
Finally: THIS IS THE D IVINE T RUTH CONCERNING ETERNITY !
These are not words of speculation, imagination - or
worse, untruth!
T HIS IS D IVINE R EVELATION!
This is what our human existence is all about!
This is why we have been granted a temporary,
complicated life-time for our Spiritual Preparation!
There is no need for discussion or debate because
Christ our Lord explicitly tells us about Eternity the
Ages of ages:
T HOSE WHO CHOOSE TO REJECT G OD S DIVINE T RUTH WHO
THROUGH THEIR WILFUL REBELLION REJECT H IS D IVINE
C OMMANDMENTS THAT BRING US CLOSE TO H IM ...WILL
GO AWAY INTO EVERLASTING P UNISHMENT ... which is
also referred to by Christ as Outer Darkness
because it is UTTER S PIRITUAL E XILE OR A LIENATION
FROM G OD AND ALL H IS G OODNESS A PERPETUAL ,
UNCHANGEABLE STATE OF S PIRITUAL D EATH AND
E TERNAL SUFFERING THE ABSOLUTE ABSENCE OF
ANYTHING PEACEFUL , PLEASANT , JOYOUS OR GOOD !
However, THOSE WHO TAKE EVERY OPPORTUNITY TO FIGHT
THE G OOD F IGHT , BY CEASELESSLY STRIVING FOR
S PIRITUAL P ERFECTION AND A C LOSE R ELATIONSHIP WITH
OUR M OST B ELOVED L ORD G OD WILL BECOME WORTHY
C ITIZENS AND C O - HEIRS WITH C HRIST IN GOD S
H EAVENLY KINGDOM OF L OVE , PEACE AND JOY ... THE
R IGHTEOUS WILL GO INTO ETERNAL L IFE .
We only have this short life-span to correct ourselves
and to reach out to God with all Humility and
Obedience, in the confident Hope of Eternal Life
and all its indescribable Goodness and Wonders!

40TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST - 3RD TRIODION MEATFARE/FINAL JUDGEMENT

Whither shall I flee from Thy Presence? (PSALMS 139:7)


words with regard to Eternal Suffering as conditional,
then we must view the Promise of Eternal Blessedness
Holy Spirit. Amen.
as conditional, too!
The question of the Eternal Suffering of sinners in the
Are we to boldly delude ourselves that our Lord Jesus is
Afterlife became one of the liveliest points of
only frightening us with ...Everlasting Fire... - that it
discussion in the Protestant world, and the rejection of
is only a Pedagogical (teaching) Tool coming from His
the concept found fervent defenders in some Preachers.
Lips? (MATTHEW 25:41),
Human nature would rather answer this question in the
Do we not deceive ourselves and have to suffer the
negative.
Consequences of His Divine Wrath for such a thought In the history of Christianity, there have long been attempts
for such self-consolation?
to see the words concerning Eternal Gehenna in the
 King David the Psalmist wrote: ...Wherefore doth the
Word of God as being only an allegory or with
wicked condemn God? He hath said in his heart,
conditional meaning, and this deceptive viewpoint
Thou wilt not require it... (PSALM 10:13).
sometimes even creeps into our midst!
Let us then not doubt the Truth of Gods Word. If we are
Meanwhile, Meatfare Week is upon us.
not able to discover Gods Thoughts for ourselves, let
The Holy Gospel Lesson concerns the Day of Judgment:
us be satisfied that we can ease our approach by wisely
...and those shall go away into Everlasting
accepting Gods Determinations.
Punishment: but the Righteous into Life Eternal.
Human thought makes two main errors on the Teaching of
(MATTHEW 25:46)
Eternal Sufferings:
These Divine Words the Divine Truth of our Lord Jesus
1.
...how can temporary, even singular, actions lead to
Christ - are a terrifying reminder to us Struggling
Eternal Damnation?
Orthodox Christians - not only on this Sunday of
2. ...if Condemnation is even Just, is not the Law of
Meatfare and the Final Judgement, but for this entire
Fairness defeated by Divine Love?
week that follows.
The first, as we see, touches upon the relationship between
Our Saviour and His Holy Apostles spoke unambiguously
the temporal and the Eternal.
many times of the Eternal Condemnation of sinners,
Yes, our actions can be singular, and one might say fleeting:
which is a fate that could befall each and every one of
time rushes by, our actions, our words and thoughts are
us!
forgotten.
The Fifth Ecumenical Council rejected the teaching of the
But in some deeper sense, nothing in the world disappears
so-called Origenists about the ultimate Salvation of all
forever: everything moves towards Eternity.
people and even of evil spirits.
The
impetus created by one thought, one word, one action,
We must subject our thoughts to the Voice of the Word of
leads to further impetuses and movements; it is simply
God with Humility, Obedience, and with the Knowledge
that we do not notice them or take them into account.
that Divine Determination is far superior to our limited,
The
planted seed takes root and prepares for a future
human reasoning.
harvest.
 ...For My Thoughts are not your thoughts... said our
Time is like a vessel in the vast, infinite Ocean of Eternity.
Lord through His Holy Prophet, St Isaiah:

Death will come, and we will be immersed in Eternity,


...For as the Heavens are higher than the Earth, so
where the existence of our immortal soul continues.
are My Ways higher than your ways, and My
However, in Eternity there is no longer the cycle of day and
Thoughts than your thoughts. (ISAIAH 55:8-9).
night, there is no onset of fatigue followed by time of
But mankind is generous towards himself. He is not
rest, there are no clocks, no time.
inclined to doubt the Promised Eternal Bliss of the
The existence of our soul continues with wide-open and
Righteous, yet he doubts the Eternal Condemnation of
very conscious eyes - directed at ourselves and at all
sinners, carelessly ignoring the notion that in denying
that surrounds us, and also at all the Fruits that we
the latter, one must then deny the former - if we see the

In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the

40TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST 3RD SUNDAY

OF

TRIODION MEATFARE/LAST

JUDGEMENT

SUNDAY 6 MARCH 2016

cultivated throughout our short earthly life, as well as


at the consequences of our actions.
 A Good Tree cannot bring forth Evil Fruit, neither
can a Corrupt Tree bring forth Good Fruit.
(MATTHEW 7:18)
Our Future Life is a direct consequence of what we do now
in this short existence. Planted within time, it is
harvested in Eternity.
Good Deeds will not be lost.
 ...For whosoever shall give you a cup of water to
drink in My Name, because you belong to Christ,
verily I say unto you: he shall not lose his
Reward... said our Saviour as He sent His Disciples
forth to Preach. (MARK 9:41)
That ...cup of water... is our Participation in the Good
News of Faith in Christ - even if the giver does not
recognize it as such.
Evil that is done will likewise not be lost in Eternity:
 Every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give
account thereof in the Day of judgment. (MATTHEW
12:36).

An idle word can serve as a temptation and could spur


others to commit sin and even criminal offences.
Here we clearly see the logic of Reward and Punishment in
Future Life: we gather for ourselves the Priceless Wealth
of the Kingdom of God, and prepare for ourselves either
Reward or Punishment.
 ...For by thy words thou shalt be Justified, and by thy
words thou shalt be Condemned. (MATTHEW 12:37)
 Out of thine own mouth will I Judge thee, thou
wicked servant! said the Lord in His Parable on
The Talents. (LUKE 19:22)
Such is the conclusion of pure fairness - this is the logic of
Justice. This is how the Eternal Fate of mankind is
determined after our temporary life on Earth.
This fate, determined by Justice, would be sorrowful for all
of us without exception, since we are all impure and
sinful:
 ...anything that defiles, shall in no way enter [into the
Kingdom of God]. (REVELATION 21:27)
For in the Eternal Kingdom there is only Holiness and Love there is not a spot of sin.
Meanwhile, the common state of mankind is a mix of good
and evil. But meeting us halfway is Divine Mercy - the
Unconditional Love of God.
Herein lies the answer to the second aspect: on the Meeting
and Concord of the Justice of God with the Mercy of
God.
Gods Love came to us with the Sacrifice on the Cross of the
Eternal, Only Begotten and Beloved Son of God, Who
was prepared to remove impurity from our soul and to
compensate for our lack of personal Holiness.
The Resurrection of Christ opened for us the Eternal
Kingdom of Love - of the Son of God.
But in order for the Forgiving and All-Embracing Love of
Christ to lead us into this Kingdom, we must respond to
it - we must Love our Saviour.
We must also unconditionally Love His Brethren our
Neighbours in order to enter in the Spirit and Body
into His Holy Church, which is His Divine Body in
order to Joyfully Commune with Him - to weave
ourselves into that Prayerful Bond, which spread like
threads in all directions and Unites the Body of the
Church, concentrated in Her centre in God.
Here we find Cleansing, Purification, Justification, and
Sanctification.
 Here ...Mercy and Truth are met together;
Righteousness and Peace have embraced each
other... (PSALMS 85:10).
Truth our Lord Jesus Christ - Appeared on Earth, and the
Truth of Justice bows down before it:
 Truth shall spring out of the Earth; and
Righteousness shall look down from Heaven.
(PSALMS 85:11).
This is the Foundation for our Hope for Future Life in the
Kingdom of God - only according to the Mercy and Love
of God.
We dare not declare any rights nor claim the justice of
Reward.
But what will happen if we choose to reject this infinite
Love of Christ? What if the Hand offered to us from
Above is not taken? What if the Offer of Forgiveness

8. 4 0 T H S U N D A Y A F T E R P E N T E C O S T 3 R D S U N D A Y

OF

goes unheeded? What if our response to Divine Love


and Mercy is antagonism and arrogant refusal?
Our refusal of the Divine Call is indeed possible - reality
demonstrates this. Voltaire expressed this attitude,
declaring his hatred for Christianity. Nietzsche
likewiseat least until his emotional illness overcame
himsharply despised the Teaching of Christianity on
Humility, Patience, Mercy, and he created the prideful
cult of the superman who rose above the concepts of
good and evil.
Similar is todays Militant Atheism, which declared war
against all religion, especially our Christian Faith.
How are we to consider the Afterlife of wicked Emperor
Nero compared to that of the Apostles, St Peter and St
Paul? Or Stalin compared to the Holy Martyrs of our
time all those killed for our Faith the Divine Truth of
God and His Church - and their ungodly brutal
executioners?
On a smaller scale we see how sin distances us from God.
The first sin of Adam led to humanity trying to hide from
God:.
 Adam Where art thou? I heard Thy Voice in the
Garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I
hid myself... (GENESIS 3:9-10).
The urge to hide from God and the impossibility of doing
so is the beginning of suffering for the unrepentant
sinner:
 Whither shall I flee from Thy Presence? (PSALMS 139:7)
What are the Sufferings of Gehenna: Fire, Worms, Outer
Darkness in the Future Age? Our Holy Fathers point out
that this is not a place, but a Condition of Existence.
St John the Damascene wrote: Sinners will be given to
Eternal Flame -, not the physical fire of Earth, but of a
kind known only to God.
Depending on the extent that sin grows in us, we become
alienated and exiled from God and His Divine Kingdom.
According to Fyodore Dostoevsky, the unrepentant sinner
...returns the ticket.... that was offered to him.
Therefore, the sinner draws together upon his own head
the Burning Coals, committing himself to an existence
without the Rays of Divine Light - to complete, ...Outer
Darkness... where there is ... weeping and gnashing
of teeth!
Is this the Torment of our Conscience? Not likely! A
conscience that gnaws is the conscience that has not yet
been extinguished. It is the Light of Truth that has not
yet gone out in our soul. The Sufferings of the
conscience have a Cleansing effect.
Those other Sufferings are probably not the same. There,
the loss of Life in God is combined with an
impossibilityas horrifying as it is - just imaginean
unwillingness to Repent!
The Fall of the devil shows that the Love of God does not
disarm evil. How are pride, envy, jealousy, wrath, hatred
to be replaced with Gratitude, Meekness, Humility and
Love? What power is able to extinguish spitefulness
against our Condemnation, when the state of enmity
might even comprise an excruciating passion of sorts?
St John Chrysostom believed: Many foolish people wish
only to elude Gehenna: but I deem far more torturous
than Gehenna is to be outside the Glory of the
Kingdom of God; and whosoever is deprived of it, I
think, should weep not so much from the Sufferings of
Gehenna, as much as the deprivation of Heavenly
Blessings; for that One Thing is the most cruel of all
Sufferings.
On the Eve of Great Lent, our Holy Church reminds us of
the Dread Judgement and of the Punishment of sinners.
But much more often, on a daily basis, She reminds us of
the Joy of the Kingdom of God, imparting within us the
Hope for it with the words of the Creed, which we read
every day: ...I look for the Resurrection of the dead
and the Life of the Age to come....
Let us keep this reminder of Judgement Day in our heart
and soul so that we will then earnestly Repent-Confess
during this Great Lenten period, in the Hope that
our Merciful and Compassionate Saviour will
welcome us into His Heavenly Kingdom of Eternal
Life and Love.
PROTOPRESBYTER MICHAEL POMANSKY - RUSSIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH
HTTP://WWW.RUSSIANORTHODOXCHURCH.WS/SYNOD/ENGROCOR/ENSER_PROTOPRMPOMAZA
NSKYNEDMYASOPUST.HTML

TRIODION MEATFARE/LAST

JUDGEMENT

SUNDAY 6 MARCH 2016

Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria & All Africa


Archdiocese of Good Hope
All Glory, Honour and Worship to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and forever, and unto the
Ages of ages. Amen. Remembering also our Most Holy, Most Pure, Most Blessed and Glorious Lady, Maria,
Theotokos, yet Ever Virgin, together with all the Saints. And let us commit ourselves and one another and our whole
Life to Christ our God. Amen.

9 March 2016
The 40 Holy Martyrs of Sebaste:
St Acacios, St Aetios, St Aglaios, St Alexander, St Angos, St Athanasios, St Candidos,
Chudion, St Claudios, St Cyril, St Cyrion, St Dometian, St Domnos, St Ecdicios, St Elias,
Eunoicos, St Eutyches, St Eutychios, St Flavios, St Gaios, St Gorgonios, St Helianos,
Herachos, St Hesychios, St John, St Lysimachos, St Meliton, St Nicholas, St Philoctemon,
Priscos, St Sacerdon, St Severian, St Sisinios, St Smaragdos, St Theodulos, St Theophilos,
Valens, St Valerios, St Vivianos, and St Xanthias.

St
St
St
St
St

Also the Feast of St Urpasianos of Nicomedia St Caesarios, (brother of St Gregory the


Theologian) St Tarasios of Liconium
FESTAL APOLYTIKION

OF THE

40 HOLY MARTYRS

SEBASTIA

OF

Tas algidonas ton Agion, as iper Sou epathon, disopithiti Be Entrated,

O Lord, by the Sufferings endured for Thee


by Thy Saints, and we pray Thee: heal all our pain.

Kyrie, ke pasas imon tas odinas, iase Filanthrope,


deometha.

THEOTOKION

Tou Gavriil fthegxamenou Si Parthene to Here, Sin ti Foni When

Gabriel uttered Hail to Thee, O Virgin, then with


the Voice the Lord of all became Incarnate in Thee
Whom the Holy Ark of old prefigured, as Righteous
David said. Thou carried Thy Creator and proved to be
more spacious than the Heavens. Glory to Him Who
dwelt inside Thee! Glory to Him Who came forth
from Thee!
Glory to Him Who through Thy
Childbirth has set us free!

esarkouto O ton olon Despotis, en Si ti Agia kivoto, os efi


O Dikeos David, edihihis Platitera ton Ouranon,
vastasasa ton Ktistin Sou. Doxa to enikisanti en Si!
Doxa to proelthonti ek Sou! Doxa to eleftherosanti
imas dia tou Tokou Sou!

FESTAL KONTAKION THE 40 HOLY MARTYRS

Pasan

Stratian tou kosmou katalipontes to en Ouranis


Despoti prosekollithite, Athloforie Kyriou Tessarakonta;
dia piros gar ke idatos, dielthondes makarii, epaxios
ekomisasthe, Doxan ek ton Ouranon, ke Stefanon plithin,.

OF

SEBASTIA

TONE (6) PLAGAL 2

Forty Champions of the Lord: You abandoned the


armies of the world and attached yourselves to the
Master in Heaven. Having gone through fire and
water, O Blessed Ones, You worthily won Glory from
Heaven and a multitude of Crowns.

FESTAL MATINS GOSPEL LUKE 21 : 12 19


DIFFICULTIES CONFRONTED

BY

FAITHFUL DISCIPLES

OF

CHRIST

At that time, our Lord Jesus said: ... before all these things, people will lay their hands on you and persecute you,
Delivering you up to the Synagogues and prisons. You will be taken before Kings and rulers for My Names sake,
but it will turn out for you as an opportunity for Testimony. Therefore, settle it in your heart not to meditate
beforehand on what you will answer; for I will give you a mouth and Wisdom that all your adversaries will not be
able to contradict or resist. You will be betrayed even by parents and brothers, relatives and friends; and they will
put some of you to death. And you will be hated by all for My Names sake. But not a hair of your head shall be
lost.
By your Patience possess your soul!
PROKEIMENON PSALM 11 TONE (5) PLAGAL 1

Thou, O Lord, shalt keep us and preserve us.


Save me, O Lord, for the Godly man ceases.
THE EPISTLE

OF

ST PAUL

PAY CAREFUL ATTENTION TO GODS C

HEBREWS 12: 1 10

TO THE

HASTENING

AS WELL ARE HIS DIVINE PROMISES

Brethren: since we are surrounded by so great a Cloud of Witnesses, let us lay aside every weight and the sin that so easily
ensnares us, and let us run with Endurance the Race that is set before us, looking to Jesus Christ, the Author and
Finisher of our Faith, Who for the Joy that was set before Him, endured the Cross, despising the shame, and has sat
down at the right Hand of the Throne of God.
For consider Him Who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in
your soul. You have not yet resisted bloodshed striving against sin. And you have forgotten the Exhortation that
speaks to you as to sons: My son: do not despise the Chastening of the Lord. Do not be discouraged when you are
rebuked by Him; for whomever the Lord Loves, He Chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives.
If you endure Chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a Father does not chasten? But if
you are without Chastening, of which al have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons.
Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we respected them. Shall we not much more readily be in
subjection to the Father of spirits, and Live? For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them,
but He Chastens us for our Profit so that we may be Partakers of His Holiness.
THE HOLY GOSPEL ACCORDING
TH

TO

ST MATTHEW 20: 1 16

FIRST & THE LAST TO ENTER THE KINGDOM OF GOD

At that time, our Lord Jesus Christ said: ... the Kingdom of Heaven is like a Landowner Who went out early in the
morning to hire Labourers for His Vineyard. And when He had agreed with the Labourers on one denarius a day,
He sent them into His Vineyard. And He went out about the Third Hour, and saw others standing idle in the
marketplace, and He said to them: You also, go into the Vineyard, and whatever is right, I will give you. So they
went.
40 HOLY MARTYRS

OF

SEBASTE

9 MARCH 2016

Again, He went out, about the Sixth and the Ninth Hour, and did likewise. And about the Eleventh Hour He went out
and found others standing idles, and said to them: Why have you been standing here idle all day? They said to
Him: Because no one has hired us. He said to them: You also go into the Vineyard, and whatever is right, you will
receive.
And when evening had come, the Owner of the Vineyard said to His Steward: Call the Labourers and give them their
Wages, beginning with the last to the first. And when those who had been hired about the Eleventh Hour came,
they each received a denarius. And when the first came, they supposed that they would receive more; yet they
likewise received each a denarius. And when they had received it, they complained against the Landowner, saying:
These Labourers have worked only one Hour, and Thou made them equal to us who have borne the Burden and
the heat of the day.
And He answered one of them, saying: Friend, I Am doing you no wrong. Did you not agree with Me for a denarius?
Take what is yours and go on your way. I wish to give this last man the same as you. Is it not lawful for Me to do
what I wish with My own Things? Or is your eye evil because I Am Good?
So shall the last be first, and he first last, for many are Called, but few are Chosen.
THE 40 HOLY MARTYRS

OF

SEBASTE CONFESSION

"...Suffering with bravery at present, we are Rejoicing at


what we are anticipating, said the Martyrs..."
There was evident readiness from the very beginning to
employ the Confessionary approach to Christianity.
From what were they "...suffering at present"? They were
tortured with whatever the devil threw at them, since he
is always generating ways to prevent the Faithful from
making Spiritual Progress - beginning with minor
internal or external annoyances and ending with the
highest of all evil, Death. Thus, Christians must always
be ready to bravely face the entire range of wickedness
in order to endure what is inflicted on them "...at
present..." - only being able to accomplish this if they
"...Rejoice at what they are anticipating."
Indeed! Once we comprehend what the Divine Trophies will
be, we will be able to say: The sufferings of this
present time are not worth comparing with the Glory
that is to be revealed to us. (ROMANS 8:18).
That Glory is revealed by the Athlete of Love: ...We are
Gods Children now, and what we will be has not yet
appeared; but we know that when He Appears we shall
be like Him. (1 JOHN 3:2)
Our Lord Jesus will then dwell amongst us - God amongst
gods, as He said: You are gods - sons of the Most High,
all of you! (PSALM 82:6)
Thinking about these anticipated Trophies the Forty
Martyrs Rejoiced, Comforted and Encouraged each
other, saying: "Even if we do not die now we will die
one day nevertheless."
If we refuse to die now when we are Called to demonstrate
our Faith, and the devil is obstructing our Path to our
Saviour, we will nonetheless die later, for Death is
unavoidable!
What will we gain if our lives extend a little longer in this
hellish, chaotic life? We will die for the sake of our Lord,
in order to gain His Love.
How prudent they were - and thus they were able to
endure the inexorable cold and all the other torments
inflicted on them, for indeed, such torture would
eventually come to an end, like all worldly things!
Since their Holy Martyrdom in the Second Century, many
millions of Faithful Christians have humbly pleaded for
their Intercessory Prayers, which is their earthly glory,
yet what kind of True Glorious Joy do they now have
the benefit of as Faithful sons of our Lord?
We should be encouraged by these Forty Holy Martyrs,
especially when - as our Lord commented: ...The spirit
is willing but the flesh is weak! (MATTHEW 26:41).
Our spirit and our flesh are two separate entities but they
influence each other since they are currently united.
Unless we discipline ourselves - our "flesh" to reject the
confusing , dark sentiments that were acquired after the
Fall, we will remain sinful and our soul or spirit will be
adversely affected dominated by the selfish demands
of our flesh, which obstructs our Spiritual Progress
despite any good intentions!
Our undisciplined flesh affects and drives us towards
indifference and laziness, preventing us from
accomplishing our fine Goals that grant us so much
Spiritual Benefit. We humans are fine creatures who are
naturally Good and Loving, but we are also inclined
towards wickedness.
Thus we greatly Benefit when encouraged by the good
example of others to remain on the Right Path, since
we are natural imitators and are able to employ
various ways and means, fear and threats, to incite
and persuade ourselves to turn towards Goodness and
avoid evil.

10.

40 HOLY MARTYRS

OF

THROUGH

MARTYRDOM

Spiritual Encouragement is received from the Spiritual


Struggles of our Holy Brethren in Christ, especially the
Holy Martyr, who consoled and encouraged each other
in unwavering, solid and profound Faith.
Since the Fall, our human nature acquired concupiscence
an inclination to sin so, unless we discipline ourselves,
we cannot make any Spiritual Progress!
As soon as one of these Sebaste Martyrs broke down under
the pain of the extreme coldness and surrendered to
the enemy, the others besought our Lord to restore
their numbers to Forty Martyrs as before, and
immediately one of their guards was compelled to
Confess himself to be Christian and took the place of
the deserter.
The next day, having smashed the legs of the Sebaste
Martyrs to speed up their excruciating demise, the
executioners were ordered to burn their bodies before
throwing their Holy Relics into a fast flowing river.
However, the young St Meliton was still alive, so they
separated him from the others since they were ordered
to get rid of only the corpses. His most devout mother
had witnessed their suffering, waiting to encourage her
young son in case he surrendered to the excruciating
pain they all endured.
When her son was left behind, she tried to get the
executioners to take him with the others, but they
ignored her pleas, so she picked him up and followed
them. She desperately wanted her beloved son not to be
excluded from the Glory of Martyrdom, of which he was
worthy.
We cannot describe how she felt! A mother who witnessed
her martyred son screaming in extreme torment instead of trying to comfort him and alleviate his pain
worried that their Love of Christ would not be worthily
fulfilled! She was determined that her son would not
be excluded from the Wholesome Glory of Holy
Martyrdom together with his fellow soldiers!
This is a Perfect Example that ought to move us who have
heeded our Lords Call having been absolved of the
bondage of vainglory and being ready to do battle like
all those who Loved Him exclusively and sacrificed
everything, even their lives, in order to fulfil their Love
for Him.
We are the Ancestors and Co-Athletes of the Forty Sebaste
Martyrs as well as of all those who, having heeded our
Lords Call by the Grace of the Holy Spirit, have
demonstrated their Absolute Love for Him through all
kinds of Self-denials and Adoration to the best of their
ability.
Sadly, however, to our detriment, we have become
Spiritually Weak and ineffectual, whereas our Lord
Jesus Christs Love for us has never changed at all!
We must perpetually wage Spiritual Warfare against the
enemy to the best of our ability, preferring the Love and
Goodness of Almighty God over everything else: ... We
put no obstacle in anyones way, so that no fault may be
found with our Ministry, but as servants of God we
commend ourselves in every way... (2 CORINTHIANS 6:3-4).
Divine Grace never errs and, although we are weak,
worthless, wretched beings, grants us Divine Blessings,
having consigned us among Gods Chosen, while the
Holy Martyrs understand our wretchedness and
support us, Interceding with our Lord to make
allowances for us and to Strengthen us, without
rescinding His Divine Calling, in spite of our treason!
Let us, therefore, complete our Mission in Christ.
TRANSLATED BY OLGA KONARI KOKKINOU FROM GREEK - PEMPTOUSIA
HTTP://WWW.PRAVOSLAVIE.RU/ENGLISH/78070.HTM

SEBASTE

9 MARCH 2016

Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria & All Africa


Archdiocese of Good Hope
All Glory, Honour and Worship to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and forever, and unto the
Ages of ages. Amen. Remembering also our Most Holy, Most Pure, Most Blessed and Glorious Lady, Maria,
Theotokos, yet Ever Virgin, together with all the Saints. And let us commit ourselves and one another and our whole
Life to Christ our God. Amen.

12 March 2016
Cheesefare Saturday
Saturday of the Holy Ascetics
COMMEMORATION

OF ALL

GOD-BEARING HOLY CHURCH FATHERS & MOTHERS


ASCETICISM

WHO SHONE FORTH IN

HOLY

Also the Feast of St Theophanes the Confessor of Sigriane St Phineas, Righteous Grandson
of St Aaron, the ancient High Priest & Patriarch St Gregory Dialogos of Rome St Symeon
the New Theologian of Galatea, Paphlogonia Holy Icon of Christ Not Made by Hands of
Lydda St Demetrios Tavdadebuli, King of Georgia St Kyrion II, Patriarch of All Georgia
FESTAL APOLYTIKION HOLY ASCETICS - TONE4

O Theos ton Pateron imon, O pion ai meth imon kata tin O


Sin epiikian, mi apostisis to Eleos Sou af imon, alla tes
afton ikesies, en Irini kivernison tin Zoin imon.

God of our Father, ever dealing with us according to


Thy Gentleness: take not Thy Mercy from us, but by
their Entreaties, Guide our Life in Peace.

RESURRECTION KONTAKION HOLY ASCETICS - TONE(8) PLAGAL 4

Os Evsevias Kirikas, ke asevias fimotra, ton Theoforon ton As


dimon efedrinas, Kyrie, tin ifilion lamponta. En Irini
telia, tes afton ikesies, tous Se Doxazontas ke
Megalinontas, diafilaxon, psallin ke adin Si, Allilouia.

SEASONAL KONTAKION -

EVER BLESSED THEOTOKOS

THE

Prostasia

ton Hristianon akateskhinte, mesitia pros ton


Piitin ametathete, mi Paridis, amartolon deiseon fonas,
alla profthason os agathi, is tin voithian imon, ton
pistos kravgazonton Si: Tahinon is presvian, ke spefson
is ikesian, i prostatevousa ai, Theotoke, ton timonton Se.

Preachers of True Piety who silenced all impiety, O


Lord, Thou hast made the whole Host of God-bearing
Saints shine forth with splendour upon the world. By
their Prayers and Entreaties, keep all those who extol
and sincerely magnify Thee in Perfect Peace, to chant
and to sing to Thee: Alleluia!

O Protection of the Christians unashamable, Mediation to


the Creator Immovable, despise not, the pleading
voices of those in sin, but hasten O Good One, to the
Aid of all who in Faith cry out to Thee: speed up Thine
Intercession, and press on Thy Supplication, O
Theotokos who forever protects all those who honour
Thee!

PROKEIMENON:
The Holy Ones shall boast in Glory...
The High Praise of God shall be in their mouth!
THE EPISTLE

OF

ST PAUL

TO THE

GALATIANS 5 : 22 6 : 2

THE ESSENTIAL FRUITS (ACHIEVEMENTS)

OF THE

HOLY SPIRIT

Brethren: The Fruit of the Holy Spirit is Love, Joy, Peace, Long-suffering, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, SelfControl against which there is no law. And those who are Christs have crucified the flesh with its passions and
desires. If we Live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, or
envying each other.
Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are Spiritual must restore such a one in a Spirit of Gentleness,
considering yourself lest you also be tempted. Bear one anothers burdens and so fulfil the Law of Christ.
THE HOLY GOSPEL ACCORDING
OUR LORD JESUS CHRISTS SERMON

ON THE

TO

ST MATTHEW 6 : 1 - 13

PLAIN

THE

BEATITUDES

AND THE

WOES

At that time, our Lord Jesus Christ said: Take heed that you do not do your Charitable Deeds before others to be seen
by them. Otherwise you have no Reward from your Father in Heaven.
Therefore, when you do a Charitable Deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the Synagogues
and in the streets, so that they may receive the glory from mankind. Truly, I say to you: they have their reward.
When you do a Charitable Deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your Charitable
Deed may be in secret. And your Father Who sees in secret will Himself Reward you openly.
And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the Synagogues, and on the
corners of the streets, so that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you: they have their reward!
When you pray go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father Who is in the Secret
Place. And your Father Who sees in secret will Reward you openly. And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions
as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father
knows the things that you have need of before you ask Him.
In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in Heaven, Hallowed be Thy Name. Thy Kingdom come. Thy Will be done
on 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 the evil one. For Thine is the Kingdom, and the Power, and the
Glory forever. Amen.
SATURDAY

OF THE

HOLY ASCETICS SATURDAY BEFORE CHEESEFARE SUNDAY

On this day, we commemorate all the righteous and Godbearing Fathers and Mothers, both known and
unknown, who shone forth in asceticism. With these
two weeks of Meatfare and Cheesefare, the Church
gradually eases us into the full fasting which begins on
Monday.
CHEESEFARE SATURDAY SATURDAY

OF THE

The holy acetics are virtuous men and women who


contended against the devil and their own passions. By
examining their lives and their struggles against the
Enemy, we take courage from the victory they have
achieved, and are inspired to imitate their God-pleasing
conduct. They also teach us that fasting is not merely
HOLY ASCETICS 12 MARCH 2016

11

abstinence from food, but involves refraining from


inappropriate speech and unseemly actions.
Since these holy ascetics share the same human nature that
we have, their example is an encouragement to us as we
embark on our own spiritual struggles Their lives are a
model for us to follow as we seek to acquire and
practice the various virtues and to turn away from

everything evil. If we undertake these same struggles of


prayer, fasting, and good works, we shall receive from
God the same reward they did.
Most of the holy ascetics commemorated today have their
own separate Feast Day during the year, while some are
remembered only on this day.

BALANCING GREAT LENT

"Do you Fast? Give me proof of it by your works. If you


see a poor man, take pity on him. If you see a friend
being honoured, do not envy him. Do not let only
your mouth Fast, but also your eye, and your feet,
and your hands and all the members of your body.
Let your hands Fast, by being free of avarice. Let your
feet Fast, by ceasing to run after sin. Let your eyes
Fast, by disciplining them not to glare at that which
is sinful. Let your ears Fast, by not listening to evil
talk and gossip. Let your mouth fast from foul
words and unjust criticism. For what good is it if we
abstain from birds and fishes, but bite and devour
our Brethren?"
(ST JOHN CHRYSOSTOM)
Think for a moment, about the purpose of a tripod. By
definition, it is a stand that provides three-legged
support to steady an object placed on it. It might
serve to secure a video camera for recording
something special, or perhaps to stabilize a telescope
for gazing into the wondrous night sky.
But what would happen if one of the legs was shorter or if
all three of the legs were different lengths? For a
tripod to provide the necessary balance, each leg of
the tripod must be of equal length.
Similarly, our approach to Great Lent should include three
equal supports that will to give us the balance we
need in our Spiritual Climb - Fasting, Prayer, and
Almsgiving.
From the earliest days of the Church, the Great Fast was
not solely about abstaining from food. The physical
Fast was always accompanied by increased Prayer and
Almsgiving.
As families, we should look at all three of these Elements
in order to put into practice a broader and more
fulfilling approach to Great Lent . Regardless of
varying ages and levels of Spiritual Maturity, our
family can share the Joys and Struggles of the Journey
towards the Resurrection.
Taking the time to create a Lenten Family Plan will help
us to properly prepare for Holy Pascha - checking with
our Parish Priest or Spiritual Father for Guidance.
THE PHYSICAL FAST

Fasting from food is an important facet of our Lenten


Discipline. Jesus Christ, Himself, prepared for the
rigours of His Ministry by Fasting from food for Forty
Days and resisting Satan's temptations. And after
casting out a demon that had possessed a child, His
Disciples had wondered why they had been unable to
perform the exorcism.
After rebuking His Disciples for their lack of Faith, He
told them clearly: "...this kind does not go out except
by Prayer and Fasting," thereby extolling the Virtues
of proper Fasting and Prayer. (MATTHEW 17:21)
Abstinence from rich and copious food is cathartic for
the body and refocuses our hunger and desire for
God.
As nutritional requirements vary from one family
member to another, the decision for a Meal Plan
covering Great Lent should be discussed by parents
and other heads of households with Guidance from
our Parish Priest or Spiritual Father. Medical or
physical conditions may override strict adherence to a
Fasting Diet.
INCREASED LITURGICAL PARTICIPATION AND
PRAYER

Just as our Lord Jesus prayed during periods of great


temptation and troubles, so are we to turn to God in
Prayer to Guide us through the 40-Day Period. This
Lenten Period affords numerous Holy Services, which
help to Strengthen and maintain us Faithful in
preparation for the Resurrection.
Services such as the Great Canon of St Andrew of Crete,
Saturday of Souls, Great Compline, Pre-Sanctified
Liturgy, Salutations to the Theotokos, as well as the
five special designations for each Sunday in Lent,
12

CHEESEFARE SATURDAY SATURDAY

OF THE

serve to strengthen our resolve. And while Liturgical


Participation and Prayer are year-round necessities of
our Life in Christ as Orthodox Christians, these Tools
and Weapons are to be especially honed during Great
Lent - a time when the great deceiver, Satan, will
tempt us endlessly with diversions to drag our focus
away from God.
Private Prayer, in addition to Corporate Prayer, should be
increased. Families should gather together at the
home Iconostasis with more frequency. Focus on
quality and concentration of your Prayer and not
necessarily duration. Speak with your Parish Priest or
Spiritual Father for further Guidance in developing a
Lenten rule of Prayer for yourself and your family.
ALMSGIVING

Almsgiving is often completely ignored during the Lenten


Season. Many times, it seems that Christian
Philanthropy is limited to a food drive at
Thanksgiving or charitable gift-giving at Christmas.
As wonderful as these generous acts are, how can we
neglect our Sacred Duty to assist others as we prepare
to celebrate the Feast of Feasts - Crux of our Faith the Resurrection of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus
Christ?
We know as Christians, there is no particular Season for
human need and suffering.
How much more should we address the needs of
humanity than at this Blessed time!
Our Lord Jesus Christ Himself said:"I was hungry and
you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me
drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was
naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you
visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.
Truly, I say to you: inasmuch as you did it to one of
the least of these My Brethren, you did it to Me."
(MATTHEW 25:35-40 - GOSPEL FOR MEATFARE / JUDGMENT SUNDAY)

Here, as a Family, we may become very creative in


devising ways to be Charitable during Great Lent.
Gather unused clothing to distribute to the needy.
Take a few canned goods to a food bank. Visit sick
members of the Parish Family in hospital. Lend a
sympathetic ear to those who have problems. Include
a Bright Week Visit to a nursing home to sing
"Christos Anesti / Christ is Risen" and to share the
Joy of Jesus Christ's Resurrection with our Orthodox
Christian Brethren and others.
Almsgiving goes far beyond the giving of tangible gifts. It
is also the giving of our heart and mind to the ailing,
disheartened, and lonely.
Above all, we should abide in Love. As a family, we must
always choose our words wisely when addressing
others. We must always be patient and considerate...
forgive past grudges and seek understanding.
 If we do not regularly partake of the Holy Mystery of
Repentance-Confession throughout the year, this
is a Most-Blessed Opportunity to seek our All
Merciful Lords Forgiveness and Sanctification
before receiving Holy Communion and Holy
Unction.
We should be aware that these Holy Mysteries are
administered in Love (Divine Love Agape) and bestow
upon us God's ever-abundant Grace.
Fasting, Prayer, and Almsgiving - like the tripod - all
three supports - are essential to keep us in balance
during Lent.
When we are well balanced, we are able to fully
Experience the Resplendence of the Resurrection and
proclaim with hearts filled with Holy Joy: Hristos
Anesti! Christ is Risen! Alithos Anesti! Truly
He is Risen!
GEORGE TSONGRANIS - THE ASSISTANT DIRECTOR OF THE
CATECHISM PROGRAM - ST NICHOLAS GREEK ORTHODOX
CATHEDRAL - TARPON SPRINGS, FLORIDA, USA
HTTP://LENT.GOARCH.ORG/ARTICLES/BALANCINGLENT.ASP

HOLY ASCETICS 12 MARCH 2016

Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria & All Africa


Archdiocese of Good Hope
All Glory, Honour and Worship to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and forever, and
unto the Ages of ages. Amen. Remembering also our Most Holy, Most Pure, Most Blessed and Glorious
Lady, Maria, Theotokos, yet Ever Virgin, together with all the Saints. And let us commit ourselves and one
another and our whole Life to Christ our God. Amen.

Tone (8) Plagal 4


13 March 2016
st
th
41 Sunday After Pentecost 4 of Triodion
Sunday of Cheesefare/Forgiveness
MANKINDS

EXPULSION FROM

PARADISE

Also the Feast of St Nicephoros, Patriarch of Constantinople St Sabinos/Abibos of Egypt St Africanos, St Publios and St
Terence of Carthage (Libya) St Alexander the Presbyter of Macedonia St Christina of Persia St Aninas the
Presbyter, of the Euphrates St Pouplios, Bishop of Athens

 THE GREAT LENTEN FAST BEGINS TOMORROW CLEAN MONDAY


RESURRECTION GOSPEL 8 JOHN 20 : 11 - 18
OUR RESURRECTED LORD JESUS

SPEAKS TO

ST MARY

OF

MAGDALA

RESURRECTION APOLYTIKION TONE (8) PLAGAL 4

Ex ipsous katilthes O Efsplaghnos, tafin katedexo triimeron, Thou


ina imas elevtherosis ton Pathon. I Zoi ke i Anastasis
imon, Kyrie, Doxa Si!

descended from on High, O Tender-hearted One;


Thou endured the three-days burial, so that Thou
might free us from our passions, O our Life and
Resurrection: Glory to Thee!

TRIODION KONTAKION CHEESEFARE/FORGIVENESS SUNDAY

Ti Sofias Odige,

froniseos horige, ton afronon pedefta, ke


ptohon iperaspista, stirixon, sinetison tin kardian mou,
Despotata, si didou mi logon, O tou Patros Logos. Idou
gar ta hili mou, ou mi koliso en to krazin Si. ELEIMON,
ELEISON ME TON PARAPESONTA.

O Guide to Wisdom, Provider of Prudence, Disciplinarian


of fools, and Defender of the poor fortify and
discipline my heart, O Master. Grant me a Word, O
Word of the Father. For behold, I will not hinder my
lips from crying to Thee: O MERCIFUL LORD, HAVE
MERCY ON ME WHO HAS FALLEN.

PROKEIMENON PSALM 75/76 TONE (8) PLAGAL 4

Pray and Return to the Lord your God! All around Him shall bring gifts.
In Judah God is known; In Israel, great is His Name!
THE EPISTLE OF ST PAUL TO THE ROMANS 13 : 11 14 : 4
BE SPIRITUALLY AWAKE, ALERT & PREPARED THE ARMOUR OF DIVINE LIGHT

Brethren: ... do this - knowing the time that now it is high time to awake out of sleep, for now our Salvation is nearer than
when we first believed. The night is far spent the Day is at hand. Let us cast off the works of Darkness, and let us
put on the Armour of Light. As in the day, let us walk properly not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and
lust, not in strife and envy, but put on the Lord Jesus Christ and for the flesh, make no provision to fulfil its lusts.
Receive those who are weak in Faith, but do not dispute over doubtful things. One believes that he may eat all things - he
who is weak, eats only vegetables. Let him who eats, not despise him who does not eat, and let him who does not eat,
not judge him who eats - God has received him.
Who are you to judge Anothers servant? To his own Master he stands or falls. Indeed, he will be made to stand, for God is
able to make him stand.
WE ONLY HAVE A VERY SHORT LIFESPAN IN WHICH TO PREPARE AND
We must clearly understand that EVERY WORD, THOUGHT AND
DEVELOP OUR IMMORTAL SOULS FOR ETERNITY.
DEED HAS A CONSEQUENCE NOT MERELY NOW BUT CERTAINLY
Therefore, St Paul reminds us that WE CANNOT WASTE
LATER.
ANOTHER MINUTE OF SUCH PRECIOUS TIME because THE TIME
However, WITH THE GUIDANCE AND GRACE OF GOD WE CAN
OF OUR REPENTANCE AND SALVATION IS NOW!
CONSTANTLY IMPROVE OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH HIM AND WITH
IT IS TIME TO WAKE UP FROM OUR SIN-INDUCED STUPOR to arise
OUR FELLOW STRUGGLERS who are on the exact same
from our slovenly bed of ignorance, negligence and
Journey of life even though many do not grasp the
Spiritual Death and immediately set off on our lifes
Reality and Purpose of our existence.
journey towards Eternal Life and Gods Heavenly
WE HAVE COME FROM GOD BEING CREATED BY HIM IN HIS DIVINE
Kingdom.
IMAGE AND LIKENESS AND WE HAVE A NATURAL INCLINATION
WHATEVER WE CHOOSE TO DO NOW IN THIS MOMENT OF OUR
TO RETURN TO GOD BY REGAINING OUR LOST LIKENESS TO HIM,
EXISTENCE AND IN EVERY OTHER MOMENT OF EVERY DAY OF THE
which makes us worthy Citizens and Co-Heirs of His
REST OF OUR LIFE WILL AFFECT OUR ETERNITY our own
Eternal Kingdom.
Eternal Life with God or Eternal Death in exile a total
THE ONLY WAY WE CAN CAST OFF OUR WORKS OF DARKNESS THE
absence of God and all His Goodness!
FILTH AND DESTRUCTION OF SIN IS TO PUT ON THE ARMOUR
AS LONG AS WE ARE STILL IN THIS EXISTENCE, WE CAN CHANGE OUR
OF LIGHT i.e. through our Holy Baptism WE PUT ON
COURSE BY SINCERE REPENTANCE-CONFESSION AND A
CHRIST WHO IS DIVINE, UNCREATED LIGHT.
CONCERTED, DETERMINATION TO DO THE BEST WE CAN TO
WE CONTINUOUSLY CLEANSE AND SANCTIFY OURSELVES WITH THE
IMITATE AND TO FOLLOW CHRIST OUR SAVIOUR in Whom we
HOLY MYSTERIES OF HIS HOLY CHURCH and in this
live since our Holy Baptism.
manner we are able to slowly but surely take one tiny
GOD GRANTS US INNUMERABLE OPPORTUNITIES FOR REPENTANCE
step at a time, closer to our ultimate Destination.
and a complete change of heart and attitude that
WE CANNOT MAKE ANY SPIRITUAL PROGRESS WITHOUT GOD AND
brings us closer to Him and enriches our lives - in this
OUR FELLOW SINNERS who are striving just as eagerly
world and the next - beyond our simple
and determinedly as ourselves.
understanding or perception.
41ST SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST 4TH

OF

TRIODION CHEESEFARE/FORGIVENESS - 13 MARCH 2016

13

So whenever we weaken, or stumble and fall, WITH THE


LOVING SUPPORT AND ENCOURAGEMENT OF ALL OUR FAITHFUL
BRETHREN AND DISCIPLES OF CHRIST, AND ESPECIALLY BY THE
GRACE OF OUR MOST LOVING GOD, WE ARE ABLE TO RISE UP
AGAIN, AND SET OFF ONCE MORE, with joyful and
enthusiastic hearts and souls.
With the Love and Strength granted to us by God, WE NEED
NOT WORRY FOR AN INSTANT ABOUT ANY OF OUR PHYSICAL
NEEDS.
WE ARE CONFIDENT IN THE KNOWLEDGE OF DIVINE PROVIDENCE
AND ARE ABLE TO CONCENTRATE OUR EFFORTS ON OUR
SPIRITUAL WELFARE AND DEVELOPMENT.
And THE CLOSER WE GET TO GOD, THE MORE SPIRITUAL STRENGTH
AND ENDURANCE WE WILL BE GRANTED.

With Serenity of soul and the Unconditional Divine Love of


God in our hearts, we help each other in every way
THE HOLY GOSPEL ACCORDING
CHRIST

OUR

necessary, never judging anyone else except


ourselves.
As St Paul reminds us: GOD IS OUR ONLY JUDGE and we are
all His Faithful servants!
Anyone who would dare to point an accusatory finger at
a fellow sinner, should immediately Repent for we are
told by Christ: Judge not lest you be judged! which
means that WHATEVER WE DO TO OTHERS WILL COME BACK TO
US A HUNDRED TIMES MORE!
Consequently, during the next weeks of Great Lent, we
should MAKE EVERY EFFORT POSSIBLE TO THINK, TO SAY AND TO
DO ONLY THOSE THINGS THAT CAN SPIRITUALLY BENEFIT US AND
EACH OTHER so that our words, thoughts and deeds
become Great Blessings rather than dreadful Curses
and Eternal Condemnation for us!!
TO

ST MATTHEW 6 : 14 21

LORD & SAVIOUR TEACHES US ABOUT FORGIVENESS & FASTING

At that time our Lord Jesus Christ said: ... if you forgive others their trespasses, your Heavenly Father will also forgive
you. If you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive you your trespasses!
When you Fast, do not be like the hypocrites, with a sad countenance, for they disfigure their faces so that they may
appear to others to be Fasting. Truly, I say to you: they have their reward!
When you Fast, anoint your head and wash your face, so that you do not appear to others to be Fasting, except to your
Father Who is in the Secret Place. And your Father Who sees in secret will Reward you openly.
Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on Earth where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal.
Lay up for yourselves Treasure in Heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and
steal. For where your Treasure is, there your heart will be also!
state throughout the Fast and the rest of the year,
 OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST INSISTS ON MUTUAL FORGIVENESS
without any discernible difference that others might
BETWEEN US HUMAN BEINGS AS A PRECONDITION OF GODS
notice.
DIVINE FORGIVENESS AND GREAT MERCY.
THOSE WHO DO NOT FORGIVE OTHERS WILL NOT BE
(There is no Ash Wednesday in Orthodox Christianity!)
FASTING IS FOR OUR SPIRITUAL GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT AND
FORGIVEN BY GOD EITHER!
ESPECIALLY FOR THE GLORY, HONOUR AND WORSHIP OF GOD
This is an absolutely clear Teaching of Christ Who will be
our Final and Only Judge before Whom all Creation
AND NOT TO BE SEEN BY THOSE AROUND US.
Fasting is also not merely the abstinence from certain
will stand! So we will not be able to plead ignorance!
foods but consists mainly of A STRICT SELF-DENIAL AND
This Divine Teaching is vital to our Eternity and is
repeated often, such as in Christs Parable of the
SELF-DISCIPLINE IN ALL AREAS OF LIFE so as to escape the
Unforgiving Servant,
physical control and damage caused by our passions
and self-indulgence.
IF WE HOPE FOR DIVINE FORGIVENESS AND MERCY FROM GOD, WE
MUST MAKE EVERY EFFORT TO FORGIVE AND BE MERCIFUL TO
We have TO STRENGTHEN OUR IMMORTAL SOULS so that we are
OUR FELLOW SINNERS!
able TO CORRECTLY CONTROL OUR PHYSICAL AND MENTAL
Whatever we desire to be granted by God for ourselves,
DESIRES AND DEMANDS and even dominate and conquer
we must grant to one another and when we find
the weaknesses of our bodies.
ourselves in dire straits, WE MUST SEARCH WITHIN OUR OWN
WE ONLY HAVE THIS LIFE-SPAN IN WHICH TO STRENGTHEN AND
HEARTS, MINDS AND SOULS TO FIND AND ROOT OUT WHAT IS
DEVELOP OUR IMMORTAL SOUL, WHICH CANNOT DO SO ONCE IT
PREVENTING US FROM MAKING PROPER SPIRITUAL PROGRESS!
IS SEPARATED FROM OUR BODY.
Most tragedies in life are caused by people who are
On the eve of Great Lent we sing: Let us abstain from
selfish and arrogant who are unforgiving and
passions as we abstain from food!
merciless towards others.
St John Chrysostom admonished us: What good is it if we
Once again, the Sacred Lesson is Do unto others what
abstain from eating birds and fish but bite and
you would like done to you ..!!
devour our Brethren?
 PUTTING ON A SAD FACE OR APPEARANCE TO SHOW OFF OR TO
 DURING EVERY FASTING PERIOD, WE MUST MAKE EVERY EFFORT
BRAG ABOUT HOW MUCH YOU ARE SACRIFICING WHILE
TO BE THE MOST PERFECT DISCIPLES OF CHRIST, SO THAT
FASTING, ONLY BRINGS YOU SHAME AND DISCREDIT FOR IT
EVENTUALLY WE GROW INTO SUCH GOOD HABITS THAT IT
EXPOSES YOUR FAST AS A MERE EMPTY GESTURE THAT WILL
BECOMES NATURAL TO US - and with less effort or
NOT BENEFIT YOU IN THE SLIGHTEST DEGREE!
struggle.
By attaching ourselves to material but temporary
OUR LORD JESUS REJECTED AND DESPISED NOTHING ELSE EXCEPT
treasures of this world, we cut ourselves off from the
HYPOCRITES!
Those who Fast correctly by not only fulfilling the selfeverlasting True and Most Priceless Treasures of
Heaven.
denial of the flesh but also of the spirit experience
We become slaves to earthly things rather than being
the Divine Compassion of God which dispels any
Truly Free in Christ Jesus.
difficulty or physical discomfort.
THE FOCAL POINT OF GENUINE DISCIPLESHIP CONCERNS
In other words: IF WE FAST PROPERLY IN BOTH A SPIRITUAL AND
PHYSICAL MANNER WITH ALL THE RIGHT MOTIVATION AND
DISENTANGLING OURSELVES FROM THE CHAINS AND SHACKLES OF
INSIGNIFICANT, FLEETING EARTHLY POSSESSIONS AND SOCIAL
PURPOSE - WE WILL BE GREATLY BLESSED WITH THE LOVING
STATUS AND ATTACHING OURSELVES INSTEAD TO OUR LOVING AND
PRESENCE OF ALMIGHTY GOD.
MOST BENEVOLENT LORD GOD WHO IS OUR TRUE ETERNAL
During the Fasts of our Holy Church, the Hymns call all
Faithful Christians to wash and to anoint themselves
TREASURE!
i.e. to maintain a good, healthy and clean personal
41ST SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST 4TH SUNDAY

 In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the


Holy Spirit... Amin.
Today is called "Forgiveness Sunday." It received this title
from the Pious Orthodox Christian custom during the
Holy Vespers Service of asking each other's forgiveness
for discourtesy and disrespect.
We do so, since in the forthcoming Fast we will approach
the Holy Mystery of Penance and beseech our Lord to
forgive our sins, THE FORGIVENESS OF WHICH WILL BE
GRANTED TO
OTHER.

US ONLY IF WE OURSELVES FORGIVE EACH

14. 4 1 S T S U N D A Y A F T E R P E N T E C O S T 4 T H

OF

TRIODION CHEESEFARE/FORGIVENESS

 "If you forgive (others) their trespasses, your


Heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you
forgive not (others) their trespasses, neither will your
Father forgive your trespasses." (MATTHEW 6. 14, 15)
Yet it is said to be extremely difficult to forgive discourtesy
and to forget disrespect.
Perhaps our selfish nature finds it truly difficult to forgive
disrespect, even though according to our Holy Fathers
... it is easier to forgive than to seek revenge! (ST.
TIKHON OF ZADONSK AFTER ST. JOHN CHRYSOSTOM)

Everything in us that is Good is not accomplished easily,


but with difficulty, compulsion and effort.
OF

TRIODION CHEESEFARE/FORGIVENESS - 13 MARCH 2016

 "The Kingdom of Heaven suffers violence, and the


violent take it by force." (MATTHEW 11. 12)
For this reason we should not be discouraged by the
difficulty of this Pious Act, but should rather seek the
means to its fulfilment.
Our Holy Church offers many means towards this end, and
of them we will dwell on the one way that most
corresponds to the forthcoming Season of Repentance.
"...Yea, O Lord and King, grant me to see my own
transgressions and not to judge my (Brethren)." (LENTEN
PRAYER OF ST EPHAIM OF SYRIA)

The source of forgiving our neighbours, and of not judging


them, is included in seeing (acknowledging) our own
innumerable sins.
St John of Kronstadt wisely taught us: "Think of the
multitude of your sins and imagine how tolerant of
them is our Master of your life - while you are
unwilling to forgive your neighbour even the smallest
offence!
Moan and bewail your foolishness, and that obstruction
within you will vanish like smoke. You will think
more clearly, your heart will grow calm, and through
this you will learn Goodness, as if not you yourself
had heard the reproaches and indignities, but some
other person entirely, or a shadow of yourself."
(LESSONS ON A LIFE OF GRACE)

Those who admit their sinfulness, who through experience


know the weakness of human nature and its inclination
toward evil, will forgive their neighbour all the more
swiftly, dismissing transgressions and refraining from a
haughty judgement of others' sins.
Let us remember that even the Scribes and Pharisees, who
brought the woman caught in adultery to Christ, were
forced to depart, when their conscience spoke out,
accusing them of their own sins. (JOHN 8. 9)
Unfortunately, Brethren, we do not like to acknowledge our
transgressions.
It would seem natural and easy for us to know our own
self, our own soul and our personal shortcomings.
This, however, is actually not so.
We are ready to attend to anything, except a deeper
understanding of ourselves, an investigation of our sins.
We examine various things with curiosity, we attentively
study friends and strangers, but when faced with
solitude without extraneous preoccupation even for a
short while, we immediately become bored and attempt
to seek amusement or distractions.
How much time do we spend examining our own
conscience seeking out all our hidden sins - even
before the Holy Mystery of Confession? Perhaps a few
minutes - and once a year at that.
Casting a cursory glance at our soul, correcting some of its
more glaring faults, we immediately cover it over with
the veil of oblivion until next year, until our next
uncomfortable exercise in boredom.
THE ORTHODOX WAY

OF

Forgiveness is a central aspect of the Orthodox Way of Life.


Being Cheesefare or Forgiveness Sunday and the beginning
of Great Lent, it is worthwhile to reflect on this most
important Holy Virtue.
 Our Lord Jesus Christ clearly told us: ...If you forgive
(others) their trespasses, your Heavenly Father will
also forgive you." (MATTHEW 6:14).
God's willingness to forgive us is linked to our own,
personal willingness to forgive others.
 Furthermore, our Saviour also cautioned us: "...if you
do not forgive (others) their trespasses, neither will
your Father forgive you..." (MATTHEW 6:15)
St Seraphim of Sarov taught us: ...Whatever the offence that
had been given, you must never try to avenge it.
Instead you must all the more try to forgive the offender
with your whole heart, even though your heart itself
may try to resist you....
Do not nurture hatred nor malice in your heart toward
anyone who hates you.
Let us follow the Example of our Lord Jesus Christ
instead, and strive to Love our enemies and do good in
return - as much as we possibly can.
 Our All Wise and All Knowing Lord Jesus constantly
urged us and encouraged us to "... Love your
enemies, Bless those who curse you, do good to
those who hate you, and pray for those who
41ST SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST 4TH

OF

Yet we are quick to observe (and criticise) the sins of


others. Not considering the beam in our own eye, we
notice the mote in our Brethrens eyes. (MATTHEW 7: 3)
Speaking idly to our neighbours detriment, mocking and
criticizing them are often not considered sins but
merely harmless and amusing.
As if our own sins were so few, harmless or amusing! As if
we had been appointed to judge others!
 "There is one Lawgiver, Who is able to Save and to
Destroy!" (JAMES 4:12)
 "Who are you to judge Another's servant? It is before
his own Master that he stands or falls." (ROMANS 14: 4)
 "You have no excuse, O man, whoever you are who
judges. For wherein you judge another, you
Condemn yourself. For you who judge, do the same
things yourself!" (ROMANS 2:1)
 "Examine yourselves - whether you are in the Faith;
put yourselves to the test." (2 CORINTHIANS 13:5)
The Pious Ascetics provide good examples of this. They
turned their minds to themselves, meditated on their
own sins and thereby avoided judging their neighbours
at all costs.
A certain wise Starets, noticing that his Brother had
committed a sin, sighed and said, "Woe is me! As he
sinned today, so will I tomorrow!"
Another example concerns the account of when a Monk had
committed a sin, and the Brethren who had assembled
to decide his case, sent for Abba Moisei,
However, the humble Starets refused to attend the
gathering, and after the Rector sent for him a second
time, he appeared, but in quite a striking manner.
He had taken an old basket, filled it with sand and was
carrying it upon his back.
"What does this mean?" asked the startled Monks when they
noticed him, and the Holy Elder responded: "See how
many sins I bear upon my back!" He gestured towards
the heavy sand-filled basket upon his back.
"I don't see them, yet I have come to pass judgement
upon another."
So, Beloved Brethren, following the good example of the
Wise and Holy Ascetics with regard to the sins of
others, we, too, should rather carefully seek out and
consider the depth and number of our own personal
sins, and then contritely Repent!
We should rather regard our own innumerable
transgressions and never judge our Brethren.
And should we hold anything against others, let us pardon
and forgive them so that our Most Merciful Lord may
forgive us also.
Amin
ST. TIKHON (BELLAVIN)
THEN BISHOP OF ALASKA AND THE ALEUTIAN ISLANDS
LATER - PATRIARCH OF MOSCOW AND ALL RUSSIA 1901
TRANSLATED FROM RUSSIAN AND PUBLISHED IN HOLY TRINITY CATHEDRAL'S
BULLETIN ON FEBRUARY 28, 1993.

LIFE ON FORGIVENESS

spitefully use you and persecute you." (MATTHEW


5:44).

Although this is an extremely difficult Divine Teaching that


our Lord God has taught us to strive to fulfil, it is also
essential if we are to be United with Him in Love
Agape.
When we cannot, will not or do not forgive others, we are
alienated from the Lord our God Who is Love - because
our heart is hardened and angered by our grudges that
keep us entrapped and isolated in Spiritual Exile from
His Divine Love.
Why is this imperative so difficult for us to fulfil? Why are
we so reluctant and unwilling to forgive others?
Are we also not sinners? Do we not want others to forgive
us when we fail to act out of Love?
Do we not want to be United with God in His Love?
Unfortunately we are confused and overwhelmed by our
intellect and, especially, by our ego.
If we truly, sincerely, examine ourselves, we will realise that
we erroneously consider ourselves as being superior to
others, which causes us to judge them and to condemn
them for sins that we, ourselves, are even more guilty of
having committed!
We should contemplate
 the long-suffering, but Faithful Job who rejected all
temptations and wickedness despite his great
trials and tribulations

TRIODION CHEESEFARE/FORGIVENESS - 13 MARCH 2016

15

how Joseph did not seek revenge against his


brothers who had sold him into slavery...

St Stephen the Proto-Deacon and Great Holy
Martyrs actions even while being stoned
 how all our Lords Holy Martyrs and Saints
demonstrated the great Virtues of Love and
Forgiveness even though they were brutally
persecuted.
 The Life in Christ of our own Patron Saint and see
how he or she was able to forgive others.
Imitating the Good Example of all Gods Faithful Saints and
Disciples, we should separate the person from the evil
working in them, thereby being able to unconditionally
Love them, while rejecting the sins they commit.
We are all sinners and we usually notice and criticize our
own sins that are reflected in others.
In addition: we are all created in the Image and Likeness of
the Lord our God so when we look at each other, we
should visualise our Beloved Saviour Whom we profess
to Love!
Forgiving each other is the proper manner whereby to begin
this period of Great Lent - to begin our Lenten Fast with
a heart filled with Love, followed by constant self
examination and reflection, which compels us to


AS I

FIND YOU

SO WILL

St Basil the Great and St John Chrysostom commented on


the following words of our Lord: ...As I find you, so will
I Judge you, saying that forgetting to practise the
smallest of the Commandments of our Lord is all that is
sufficient to send one to Gehenna and exclude us from
the Kingdom of Heaven. (EZEKIEL 33:20)
Think about this for a moment. How many of us are
ignoring the reality of our sinfulness? How many blame
others for our shortcomings? How much time do we
spend complaining about what others do? Do we spend
the same amount of time thinking about our own
actions?
St Basil of Poiana Marului commented: ... we sin every day
willingly and unwillingly - at times unconsciously or due
to forgetfulness, or involuntarily, or because of
weakness, or because of our flawed human nature.
Is this not what St Paul refers to when he says: I do what I
do not want, and what I do not want, is what I
do.? (ROMANS 7:15)
All of us commit excusable sins without asking to be
excused. Or rather, we fall into sins that can be forgiven
and yet we feel no contrition and thus become guilty of
God's Judgment and bring God's Wrath upon ourselves.
In the words of an ancient saying: ...we have made a habit
of sitting with her own free will...- that is, we are
consciously aware of committing sins and have
developed the habit of sitting with our own free will.
The recognition of the Reality of our sinfulness, the fact
that we do sin many times each and every day, is the
starting point for our Salvation. It is important for us to
recognize that we must continually beseech our Lord
for forgiveness, as well as those against whom we
transgress.
St Basil advises us that ...we should ask forgiveness of our
fellow man face-to-face and beg forgiveness of God with
the intellect and in secret.
We all have habitual passions, which we have not yet
acknowledged nor attempted to eradicate. These
passions are different for each individual such as
gluttony, avarice, greed, anger, pride, arrogance, etc, all
of which increase and worsen over time if ignored!
St Hesychios reminds us what the great Lawgiver, Moses,
exhorted us all to ... pay attention to yourself so that
you have no secret thoughts in your heart!(DEUTERONOMY
15:9)
Needless to say, it is therefore utterly imperative to closely
examine ourselves each and every day for we all have
weaknesses that require our fervent, ceaseless Prayers
to God, which should be offered ...with a broken heart
and contrite spirit.
Instead of accusing others for our sins, we much forgive
one another, which is pleasing to God, Who will forgive
us accordingly, through His Great Mercy.
Our Life in Christ i.e. our Spiritual Life means that we
fulfil every moment of the day according to His
Divine Commandments and Teachings!

16. 4 1 S T S U N D A Y A F T E R P E N T E C O S T 4 T H

OF

Repent-Confess with sincere Humility and Obedience to


the Lord our God.
 Let us actually put into practise what our Lord and
Saviour, Jesus Christ, taught us with His Daily
Prayer to our Heavenly Father, Whom we constantly
beseech to "...Forgive us our trespasses as we
forgive those who trespass against us..."
Let us dig down deeply within our heart and soul, seeking
and ripping out all signs and inclinations towards
wickedness by means of our daily Self-examination, so
that we can truly Life in Christ Whom we put on when
we were Baptised in the Name of our Triune God:
Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Alexander Schmemann explained: ...to forgive is to put
between me and my enemy the Radiant Forgiveness of
God Himself.
To forgive is to reject the hopeless dead-ends of human
relations and to refer them to Christ.
Forgiveness is truly a breakthrough of the Kingdom into
this sinful world... (GREAT LENT, P 28)
Let us all make every effort to attend the Forgiveness
Service in our Parish on the Eve of Forgiveness Sunday.

JUDGE YOU

This requires great effort to the best of our ability and by


the Grace of God, since we are incapable of doing
anything extraordinary by ourselves.
This short, preparatory period before Eternity, is a Life of
ceaseless Repentance constantly correcting our errors
and seeking the Forgiveness of God and each other.
Life in Christ requires the inseparably Virtues of Humility
and Obedience, which will, hopefully, eventually replace
our arrogance and desire for self-gratification.
St Basil pointed out the widespread practice of being
obedient for human reasons and purposes, such as
when seeking a promotion or earning a favour or
reward of any kind.
In this materialistic, existential world, people are only
obedient to rules and norms of organisations so as to
gain material or social benefits and status.
However, worldly obedience does not require any humility
at all and is usually driven by self-seeking egos.
In order to truly Live in Christ by fulfilling all His Divine
Commandments and Teachings for the Spiritual Benefit
of ourselves and others, we require the Holy Virtues of
Humility and Obedience, which makes all the other
essential Virtues attainable as well!
There can be no self-seeking egos!
St Basil explained: ...those who force themselves in
Obedience for Christ alone and submit themselves to His
Precepts will find relief from their passions.
Those who force themselves for the things of the world,
hoping to obtain prestige and riches along with physical
pleasures, are unaware of their burden.
This is why the Fathers rightly say that there is Obedience
for God's sake and obedience for the devil's sake....
As for us, let us force ourselves to demonstrate the Power of
Obedience for the sake of God."
He also told us that the most powerful way to deal with this
weakness is the practice of what we know as the Jesus
Prayer.
For, if we turn to God by saying with our mind: ...O Lord
Jesus Christ, Son of God, have Mercy on me a sinner,'
beyond all doubt this will obtain Forgiveness of sins for
(us), and with this Prayer also (we) will fulfill (our) entire
Rule, following the example of that Widow of the Gospel
who used to cry out to the Judge day and night claiming
her desire... (LUKE 18:18 ).
The practice of the Jesus Prayer does not come without
effort. We have to commit ourselves to a daily Prayer
Rule were we repeat this Prayer over and over and over
each and every day. By doing so, this Prayer becomes
ingrained, etched, programmed in our physical brain, so
that it is instantly available to us. Living with this Prayer
is the easiest way to constantly be Reconciled with our
God. The only way that we will receive Divine Help is
through our continual Repentance - thus the Jesus
Prayer as a Powerful Way to practice Humility and
Obedience to God. [BY DEACON CHARLES JOINER, SAINT GEORGE
GREEK ORTHODOX CATHEDRAL IN GREENVILLE, SOUTH CAROLINA, USA]
HTTP://ORTHODOXWAYOFLIFE.BLOGSPOT

TRIODION CHEESEFARE/FORGIVENESS - 13 MARCH 2016

Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria & All Africa


Archdiocese of Good Hope
All Glory, Honour and Worship to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and forever, and unto the
Ages of ages. Amen. Remembering also our Most Holy, Most Pure, Most Blessed and Glorious Lady, Maria,
Theotokos, yet Ever Virgin, together with all the Saints. And let us commit ourselves and one another and our whole
Life to Christ our God. Amen.

19 March 2016
The Miracle of St Theodore the Recruit
Also the Feast of St Chrysanthos, St Darios, St Claudios the Tribune, his wife, St Hilaria,
their sons, St Jason and Mauros, and St Diodoros the Presbyter & St Marianos the Deacon
of Rome St Innocent of Komel, Disciple of St Nilos of Sora, Vologda St Pancharios the
Repentant Apostatist of Nicomedia

FESTAL APOLYTIKION ST THEODORE

Megala ta tis Pisteos katorthomata!

SEASONAL KONTAKION -

THE

TYRO -

TONE 2

Magnificent

En ti pigi tis flogos,


os epi idatos anapafseos, O Agios Martis Theodoros
igalleto. Piri gar olokavtothis, os artos idis, ti Triadi
prosinekte. Tes aftou ikesies Hriste O Theos, Soson tas
psihas imon.

art Faiths accomplishments! The Holy


Martyr Theodore greatly rejoiced as he stood in the
fountain of fire as if beside the Still Waters. He was
consumed by fire and offered like sweet bread to the
Trinity. At his Entreaties, O Christ God, Save our
souls.

EVER BLESSED THEOTOKOS

THE

Prostasia

O Protection of the Christians unashamable, Mediation to

ton Hristianon akateskhinte, mesitia pros ton


Piitin ametathete, mi Paridis, amartolon deiseon fonas,
alla profthason os agathi, is tin voithian imon, ton
pistos kravgazonton Si: Tahinon is presvian, ke spefson
is ikesian, i prostatevousa ai, Theotoke, ton timonton Se.

the Creator Immovable, despise not, the pleading


voices of those in sin, but hasten O Good One, to the
Aid of all who in Faith cry out to Thee: speed up Thine
Intercession, and press on Thy Supplication, O
Theotokos who forever protects all those who honour
Thee!

PROKEIMENON PSALM 63/64 TONE (7) VARYS/GRAVE

Eufranthisete Dikeos en Kyrio ke elpii ep afton.

The

Isakouson,

Hear my voice, O God, in my Supplication.

Righteous Man shall be glad in the Lord, and shall


Hope in Him.

O Theos, tis Fonis mou, en to deesthe me pros

Se.
ST PAULS SECOND EPISTLE
TRANSMITTING

THE

TO

ST TIMOTHY 2 : 1 10

FAITH, STRENGTHENING OTH

ERS

, DISCIPLINE & SUFFERING

Timothy, my Son: be strong in the Grace that is in Christ Jesus, and what Thou hast heard from me before many witnesses,
entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.
Share in suffering as a Good Soldier of Christ Jesus. No Enlisted Soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is
to satisfy the One Who Enlisted him. An Athlete is not crowned unless he competes according to the Rules. It is the
hardworking Farmer who ought to have the first share of the crops.
Contemplate what I say, for the Lord will grant Thee Understanding in everything. Remember Jesus Christ Risen from the
dead, descended from David, as preached in my Gospel the Gospel for which I am suffering and wearing fetters like a
criminal. But the Word of God is not fettered. Therefore, I endure everything for the sake of the Elect, that they also
may obtain Salvation in Christ Jesus with Eternal Glory.
THE HOLY GOSPEL ACCORDING
OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST TRANSCENDS

THE

TO

ST MARK 2 : 23 3 : 5

SABBATH DAY & HEALS

WITHERED

ARM

At that time, our Lord Jesus Christ went through the grain fields on the Sabbath; and, as they went, His Disciples began to
pluck the heads of grain. And the Pharisees said to Him: Look! Why do they - on the Sabbath - do what is unlawful?
And He said to them: Have you never read what David did when he was in need and hungry? he and those who were
with him how he went into the House of God in the days of Abiathar the High Priest, and ate the Showbread,
which is not lawful to eat except for the Priests and also gave some to those who were with him?
And He said to them: The Sabbath was made for mankind, not mankind for the Sabbath! Therefore, the Lord is the
Son of Man and also of the Sabbath.
And He entered the Synagogue again. And there was a man who had a withered hand. And they watched Him closely if
He would Heal him on the Sabbath - so that they might accuse Him. And He said to the man with the withered hand:
Step forward. And He said to them: Is it Lawful on the Sabbath to do good, or evil ? to save life or to kill?
They were silent. And when He had looked around at them - being grieved by the hardness of their hearts - He said to the
man: Stretch out your hand. And he stretched it out - and his hand was restored - as whole as the other.
THE MIRACLE

OF

ST THEODORE

On Saturday of the First Week of Great Lent, we


celebrate the remarkable Miracle of the Holy and
Glorious Great Martyr, St Theodore the Recruit,
through the kolyva.
After Konstantios, the son of Constantine the Great, the
Imperial Throne of Constantinople passed to Julian
the Apostate, who had been a Christian but having
renounced Christ and His Divine Truth, had become
pagan, and set in motion a harsh persecution
against Christians, both publicly and in secret.
ST THEODORE

THE

THE

RECRUIT & GREAT HOLY MARTYR

Having exhausted the different ways of punishing


Christians openly with brutality and unspeakable
inhumanity, the impious, treacherous Emperor
became obsessed with sinister, secret schemes for
defiling Christianity.
Knowing that Christians purified themselves through
strict Fasting in the first week of Great Lent
abstaining from any flesh foods, meat derivatives or
dairy products - Julian the Apostate summoned the
Eparch of Constantinople and ordered him to
withdraw from the marketplace all produce and

TYRO (THE RECRUIT) & HOLY MARTYR

19 MARCH 2016

17

beverages, and to replace them with other produce


that had been splattered and polluted with the
blood of the sacrificial animals of the pagan
temples.
The Eparch immediately issued the secret orders to his
servants who quickly and quietly did as he
commanded.
But God sees all things and He protected His Faithful
People from the disgraceful schemes of the
malicious Apostate by sending His Great Champion,
St Theodore the Recruit, to appear before the
Patriarch in a Vision, whereby he informed him:
Get up at once and gather together the Flock of
Christ and issue them with strict orders that no-one
should purchase any of the food in the marketplace because it has been contaminated with the
blood of the pagan sacrificial animals by order of
the impious Emperor, Julian!
The Patriarch wondered how it would be possible for
the Christians to resist purchasing any fresh produce
from the marketplace, but St Theodore instructed
the Patriarch to tell them to eat Kolyva (boiled
wheat) instead.
When Patriach Evdoxios asked him what Kolyva was, St
Theodore explained: In Efhata (Euchaita) we
referred to boiled wheat as Kolyva.

The Patriarch asked St Theodore to identify himself and


explain why he was so concerned for the Spiritual
Welfare of the Christian Community, he replied: He
who has been sent to help you at this time is Gods
Martyr, Theodore.
The Patriarch then gathered together Christs Flock,
and when he had told them what he had
experienced, they all obeyed his instructions and in
that manner they remained untainted by the
repulsive machinations of our devious enemy and
the violator of our Faith.
When Emperor Julian the Apostate saw that his
diabolical plan had failed miserably, he was
ashamed, so he ordered the marketplace to be restocked with the clean produce and beverages.
The Faithful Flock of Christ, on the other hand, since the
end of the First Week of the Fast was approaching,
expressed their sincere gratitude to their Holy
Benefactor, St Theodore the Recruit, and since then,
every year we joyfully Commemorate that Great
Miracle of St Theodore the Recruit with Kolyva on the
first Saturday of Great Lent.
8 MARCH 2014 - GEORGE D. PAPADIMITRIOU,
, APOSTOLIKI DIAKONIA, PP. 6871.

OUR SECRET LIFE

The Truth of a person is always more than the person


himself knows and always more than anyone else
knows. Created in the Image of God, human beings
have an inherent transcendence. The soul is a
Mystery. [Everywhere Present: Christianity in a OneStorey Universe]
What is a soul? This is the sort of question that Priests
dread (particularly on the lips of children). There is
nothing to point to, nothing to show as an answer to
the question. To believe we even have a soul is an act
of Faith.
For myself, to speak of a soul is to confess a transcendent
aspect to human beings. The soul is the something
more of our existence. We are more than chemicals
and proteins.
 OUR SOUL CANNOT BE WEIGHED OR MEASURED OR DESCRIBED.
Some English translations of the New Testament render
the word for soul (psyche) as life. It is an attempt to
speak the unspeakable and is surely as useful as
soul.
The soul is not the ghost in the machine, although the
expression comes close to describing what many
imagine the soul to be. To make matters more
difficult, St. Gregory of Nyssa once said that ...the soul
is not in the body, but the body in the soul.
The expression, something more, ultimately works best
for me. What it is to be human cannot be reduced to
something we can know.
 I will praise Thee, for I am fearfully and wonderfully
made; marvellous art Thy Works! (PSALM 139:14).
What we often think of as myself, is not the self at all, but
a feeble construct maintained feverishly in its
existence
with
fantasy,
delusion,
deception,
comparison and a host of other strategies. It begets
anxiety and anger, criticality and envy.
It is not being Saved nor will it be.
For lack of a better description, there is a true self, an
identity of the person whom we are in Christ. There
are, doubtless, elements of this identity entwined or
enmeshed with the false self (Archimandrite Meletios
Webber names this the ego).
These same elements, however, are often hidden by the
tireless work of the ego. We do not recognize them nor
understand them. The identity upon which we lavish
such energy is a source of loneliness since it is a
stranger to True Communion. It hungers but never
eats; thirsts but never drinks; is lonely but does not
Love. Its needs are infinite.
 THE TRUE SELF REMAINS A MYSTERY and this is also part
of its Salvation. For we only come to know the True
Self in the same manner, and at the same time we
come to know the True and Living God.
Made in His Image, it is revealed from Glory to Glory as
we grow in the Knowledge and Love of God.
18

ST THEODORE

THE

 GOD

IS A MYSTERY AND IS ONLY KNOWN IN THE SLOW AND


PATIENT WORK OF REPENTANCE, FORGIVENESS AND
ILLUMINATION.

 The Commandment to ...be still and know that I am


God... is a Commandment to cease from the
useless construction of the ego. (PSALM 46:10),
We give up the project of endlessly re-inventing ourselves.
Our goals and accomplishments, our endless
comparisons and judgments of others, our fears and
anxieties - the fantasies and delusions that we call the
self are all allowed to rest.
Before the Reality of God we learn to become still and to
let the frenzy of our identity cease. Who I am is not
known in my goals and accomplishments,
comparisons and judgments, fears and anxieties, etc.
Those are the busy efforts of a corpse that seeks to create
the illusion of reality.
Who I am is a Mystery that has largely escaped my
notice. It is at Peace with God; Forgives its enemies
and Loves as God Loves. It is not anxious or in despair.
It has no need to compare or judge but Rejoices in the
excellence of everyone. This is truly a Great Mystery.
It is for this Mystery that the Monk seeks Solitude.
 It is a secret because its existence is hidden with Christ
in God. (COLOSSIANS3:3)
Just as the Kingdom of God is like a Treasure hidden in a
field, so the True Self is the hearts greatest Treasure.
A man ...sells all that he has that he may go and buy the
field. All that he has (the false self and its selfdefinitions) is as nothing to the man who understands
the Nature of the Treasure.
From the time of Christ until now, there have not ceased
to be those who sold all that they had and followed
Him. It is the only True Pilgrimage.
As surely as my own life is a secret so much more the life
of another.
If I do not yet know myself, how can I begin to know
another? We cannot judge correctly regardless of the
care we take.
 Who are you who judges another Mans servant
(ROMANS 14:4)?
The fact that the True Self is a secret tells us something of
the way in which it can be known: it must be
revealed.
 I WILL NOT KNOW THE TRUTH OF WHO I AM UNLESS AND UNTIL
GOD TELLS ME.
In the meantime, we watch and pray, never knowing
when the Master of the House will Return. He will
Return and will bring us with Him.
BY: FATHER STEPHEN, GLORY TO GOD FOR ALL THINGS
HTTPS://THEINNERKINGDOM.WORDPRESS.COM/2012/04/06/OURSECRET-LIFE/#MORE-1627

TYRO (THE RECRUIT) & HOLY MARTYR

19 MARCH 2016

Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria & All Africa


Archdiocese of Good Hope
All Glory, Honour and Worship to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and
forever, and unto the Ages of ages. Amen. Remembering also our Most Holy, Most Pure, Most
Blessed and Glorious Lady, Maria, Theotokos, yet Ever Virgin, together with all the Saints. And let
us commit ourselves and one another and our whole Life to Christ our God. Amen.

Tone 1

20 March 2016
42 Sunday After Pentecost
th
5 Sunday of Triodion 1st Sunday of Great Lent
Sunday of Orthodoxy
nd

THE RESTORATION

OF THE

VENERATION OF HOLY ICONS


WORSHIP

IN

ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN

Also the Feast of the Holy Fathers of St Savvas Monastery St Euphrosynos of Blue Jay Lake Monastery, Novgorod St
Photina (Svetlana) the Samaritan Woman, her sons, St Victor (St Photinos) & St Joses, her sisters: St Anatola, St Phota,
St Photis, St Paraskeva, St Kyriake, Emperor Neros daughter, St Domnina, & St Sebastian of Carthage St Alexandra,
St Claudia, St Euphrasia, St Matrona, St Juliana, St Euphemia & St Theodosia, Virgin Martyrs of Amisos St Nicetas,
Confessor & Archbishop of Apollonias, Bithynia St Cuthbert, Wonderworker of Britain St Myron, New Martyr of
Crete
RESURRECTION GOSPEL

9 : JOHN 20: 19 31

RESURRECTION APOLYTIKION TONE 1

Tou

lithou sfragisthentos ipo ton Ioudeon ke stratioton


filassonton to ahranton Sou Soma, Anestis trimeros,
Sotir, Doroumenos to kosmo tin Zoin. Dia touto e
Dinamis ton Ouranon evoon si Zoodota.
Doxa ti
Anastasi Sou, Hriste! Doxa ti Vasilia Sou! Doxa ti
Ikonomia Sou, mone Filanthrope!

While the stone was sealed by the Judeans, and soldiers


stood on guard over Thine Undefiled Body, Thou rose
on the Third Day, O Saviour Who gives Life to the
world. For which cause the Heavenly Powers cried
aloud to Thee: O Giver of Life: Glory to Thy
Resurrection, O Christ! Glory to Thy Kingdom! Glory
to Thy Providence, O Thou Who alone Loves mankind!

TRIODION APOLYTIKION ORTHODOXY SUNDAY

Tin

ahranton Ikona Sou proskinoumen Agathe, etoumeni


sighorisin ton ptesmaton imon, Hriste O Theos. Voulisi
gar iidokisas Sarki, anelthin en to Stavro, ina risi ous
eplasas ek tis doulias tou ehthrou. Othen efharistos
voomen Si. Haras eplirosas ta panta O Sotir imon,
paragenomenos is to Sose ton kosmon.
SEASONAL KONTAKION -

Ti

THE

- TONE 2

We venerate Thy Most Pure Image, O Good One, and ask


Forgiveness of our transgression, O Christ God. Of Thy
own Will Thou were pleased to ascend the Cross in the
Flesh to Deliver Thy creatures from bondage to the
enemy. Therefore, with Thanksgiving, we cry aloud to
Thee: Thou has filled all with Joy, O our Saviour, by
coming to Save the world!

EVER BLESSED THEOTOKOS TONE (8) PLAGAL 4

Ipermaho Stratigo ta Nikitiria, os litrothisa ton dinon


Efharistiria, anagrafo Si i Polis Sou Theotoke. All os
ehousa to Kratos aprosmahiton, ek pantion me
kindinon eleftheroson, ina krazo Si: Here Nimfi
Animfevte!

To

PROKEIMENON THE PRAYER

Thee, O Theotokos, Invincible Defender, having been


Delivered from peril, I, Thy City, dedicate the Victory
Festival as a Thanksgiving Offering.
In Thine
Irresistible Might, keep me Free from all Trials, so that I
may call out to Thee: Hail, O Unwedded Bride!

OF

AZARIAH TONE 4

Blessed art Thou, O Lord God of our Fathers, for Thou art Praiseworthy and Exalted beyond measure unto the ages.
For Thou art Righteous in all Thou did for us, all Thou brought on us and on Jerusalem, the Holy City of our Fathers.
THE EPISTLE
FAITH

OF

ST PAUL

FROM

TO THE

ST MOSES

TO

HEBREWS 11:24-26 & 32 40


ST JOSH

UA

THE

SON

OF

NUN

Brethren: by Faith Moses when he became of age refused to be called the son of Pharaohs daughter, choosing
rather to suffer affliction with the People of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, esteeming the Reproach
of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt; for he looked to the Reward...
...And what more shall I say? For the time would fail me to tell of Gideon and Barak and Samson and Jephthah, also of
David and Samuel and the Prophets who, through Faith subdued Kingdoms, worked Righteousness, obtained
Promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of
weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. Women received
their dead raised to life again. Others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, so that they might obtain a better
Resurrection. Still others had trials of mockings and scourgings yes, and of chains and imprisonment.
They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were tempted, slain with the sword. They wandered about in
sheepskins and goatskins being destitute, afflicted, tormented of whom the world was not worthy.
They wandered about in deserts and mountains, in dens and caves of the Earth. And all these people having
obtained a Good Testimony through Faith did not receive the Promise God having provided something better for
us, so that they should not be made Perfect apart from us.
These verses are self-explanatory.
Yet our Faith is possibly much weaker than all those who
St Paul reminds us how the Old Covenant Saints had the
went before us because although they only had their
most amazing, unshakable Faith in God, no matter
deep seated Love of God and Steadfast Faith in Him
what they were forced to suffer and endure.
to encourage and to Guide them, they never doubted
We are so greatly Blessed to live in this day and age
nor did their own thing like all egocentric pagans or
when so much human history and Divinely Inspired
non-believers do.
Writings, personal witnessing, etc is available to those
who seek Divine Truth.
42ND SUNDAY

AFTER

PENTECOST 5TH TRIODION 1ST LENT SUNDAY

OF

ORTHODOXY

2 0 M A R C H 2 0 1 6 19

All too often, in the mistaken belief that we are so clever,


we need proof before we accept anything as being
true.
However, Divine Truth the Perfect and Absolute Truth of
God cannot be put in a test tube, dissected nor
examined under a microscope!
True Faith comes from deep within our soul for it is a
natural recognition of and response to Divine Truth
and Love
In other words: it is natural for us to yearn for God and His
Goodness.
Despite or perhaps because of the tremendous deep
seated and sincere Faith of the Old Covenant Saints,
they did not ...receive the Promise... of either resting
or reposing in Peace in Paradise until the General
Resurrection and our Final Judgement until after
Christs Death on the Cross the final and ultimate
Great Blood Sacrifice for our sins and for our Eternal
Salvation His Harrowing of Hades and His Glorious
Resurrection.
The good and the bad were imprisoned by Death in
Hades until Christ broke open the Gates and allowed
the Justified immortal souls to Rest in Peace in His reopened Paradise, whence He had already sent the
soul of the Repentant Thief, St Dismas.
HOLY GOSPEL ACCORDING
THE CALLING

OF OUR

After the beheading of St John the Baptist the final and


greatest Holy Prophet of God the departed souls
heard the Preaching of the Forerunner, who
announced and prepared them for the Coming of the
One True Messiah.
Only once did the departed souls have an opportunity to
Repent their sins and follow Christ into His Paradise to
await the Final Judgement and Eternal Life or
Condemnation and Eternal Death in exile from God
and all His Joyful Goodness.
Since the Glorious Resurrection of Christ, we now only
have this lifetime in which to develop a close
Relationship with God and to improve our Spiritual
State.
As soon as we begin the Transition from this life through
death towards Eternity, we no longer have the
opportunity to Repent our sins and to improve
ourselves and our Relationship with God and with one
another.
Whatever Spiritual State we depart this life whether in a
state of Spiritual Life in Christ or Spiritual Death in sin
and Alienation from God, so too will our immortal
souls exist for all Eternity.

TO

ST JOHN 1 : 44 52

LORDS TWELVE HOLY APOSTLES

At that time, Jesus went to Galilee, and He found Philip and said to him: Follow Me.
Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. Philip found Nathanael and said to him: We have found Him
of Whom Moses in the Law, and also the Prophets, wrote Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph. And Nathanael
said to him: Can anything Good come out of Nazareth? Philip said to him: Come and see!
Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward Him and said of him: Behold! An Israelite indeed, in whom is no deceit!
Nathanael said to Him: How dost Thou know me? And Jesus answered: Before Philip called thee when thou
were under the fig tree I saw thee.
Nathanael said to Him: Rabbi: Thou art the Son of God! Thou art the King of Israel!Jesus said to him: Because I said
to you I saw you under the fig tree, do you believe? You will see greater Things than these!
And He said to him: Truly, truly, I say to you: hereafter you shall see Heaven open, and the Angels of God ascending
and descending upon the Son of Man.
being so diligent and careful in their search for the
Our Lord Jesus Christs first Disciples had been followers
True Messiah.
of St John the Baptist.
They were St Andrew, Simon - who is known to us as St
Christs Foreknowledge and ability to see into his heart
stirred St Nathanael to this sincere Confession of Faith.
Peter (or Cephas) - St Philip and St Nathanael or St
The title Son of Man, is that of the long awaited Messiah
Bartholomew and St John (THE DIVINE, THE THEOLOGIAN,
THE EVANGELIST AND THE GOD-INSPIRED AUTHOR OF THIS HOLY
that had a level of Mystery in its meaning, indicating
GOSPEL.)
Someone of Heavenly Origin Who would usher in the
When Christ referred to St Nathanael/Bartholomew as
Eternal Kingdom of God. (REFER DANIEL 7: 13 14)
having no deceit, it revealed that He could see deep
In Old Testament imagery, St Jacob dreamt of a Ladder
within his soul to a pure heart i.e. Christ knew him to
connecting Earth to Heaven, upon which the Angels
be a person who was always straightforward and
of God were ascending and descending. (GENESIS 28: 12
honest with others.
15)
Whatever happened under the fig tree, is not stated by
Our Lord Jesus Christ is this exact Divine Ladder Who
St John but St John Chrysostom believed that this was
Unites us on Earth to Heaven, and thus is really the
the meeting place of St Philip and St Nathanael and
Son of mankind.
that our Lord Jesus was praising St Nathanael for
42ND SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST 5TH

OF

TRIODION 1ST

 In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the


Holy Spirit. Amen.
In the 8th and 9th centuries for more than 100 years, the
Holy Church of Christ was deeply disturbed and
troubled by the persecution of the Iconoclasts (those
who were against Holy Icons) and the Iconophiles
(those who understood the significance and
importance of Holy Icons in the Orthodox Faith.)
This great and bloody controversy began during the
reign of Emperor Leo III and ended during the reign
of Emperor Theophilos.
After the Repose of Emperor Theophilos in 842, his widow,
St Theodora the Empress, together with the Patriarch,
St Methodios, confirmed Orthodox Christian practises
when St Theodora publicly Venerated the Holy Icon of
our Ever Blessed, All Holy Lady, Theotokos in the
presence of Patriarch Methodios and all the other
Confessors and Righteous Faithful of Christ our Lord.
Their loud Proclamation reverberated throughout the
Byzantine Empire with the words: If anyone does not
offer relative veneration to the Holy Icons NOT
ADORING THEM as though they were gods, but
VENERATING THEM out of Love, as Images of the
Archetype, let him/her be anathema!
With common Prayers and Fasting during the whole of
the First Week of the Forty Fay Fast of Great Lent, St

20. 4 2 N D S U N D A Y

AFTER

OF

GREAT LENT SUNDAY

OF

ORTHODOXY

Theodora the Empress besought Gods Forgivenes for


her misguided late husband, Emperor Theophilos.
On the First Sunday of the Great Lenten Fast, she and her
son, Emperor Michael, made a Procession with all the
Clergy and the people each one carrying at least
one Holy Icon and thereby restoring the Holy Icons to
their rightful place in our Christian Worship and Life
in Christ once again adorning the Church of Christ
and granting us windows into Heaven.
Since time immemorial, the Holy Church of Christ has
Venerated and Loved the Image of our Beloved Lord
God and Saviour, Jesus Christ, which is evident in
early Church accounts until this present day, for the
Holy Icon is a testimony and confirmation that ... God
was manifest in the Flesh... seen by Angels, preached
on in the world, and received into Glory...
Indeed, the Holy Icons reveal that it was from THIS WORLD
that our Lord assumed His human Nature, thereby
Sanctifying our own human nature and restoring it
(from the inside out!), filling it with His Incorruptible
Divinity, and raising it to the Very Throne of the
Almighty Godhead!
This is the dignity that you and I share through our Holy
Baptism (having been made in His Image and
Likeness).
Consequently, we must enter more deeply into our Life in
Christ through living every moment of the day for Him

PENTECOST 5TH TRIODION 1ST LENT SUNDAY

OF

ORTHODOXY

20 MARCH 2016

Who paid the Great Ransom with His own Life for the
sake of our Eternal Salvation.
St John of Damascus informed us that ... in times past,
God without Body or Form could in no way be
represented. Hence the Old Covenant prohibition of
images especially of the Lord our God.
However, since God the Son has truly appeared in the
Flesh and lived amongst us, we can now depict that
which is visible to us of our Saviour for Christ our
Lord is indeed ... the Image of the Invisible God.
(COLOSSIANS 1:15)
We do not Venerate the matter, but the Creator of
matter, Who became matter for us, Who
condescended to live in (our world of) matter, and
Who, through matter, accomplished our Salvation.
We do not cease to respect the matter through which our
Salvation is accomplished...
In our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, we find the fullest
affirmation of the Innate Goodness of matter, which
now can be the medium of Divine Energy and Grace.
Icons depicting our Lord Jesus Christ, His Saints and Holy
Martyrs, and our Ever Blessed, All Pure Lady,
Theotokos are Pledges of the Coming Victory of our
Redeemed Cosmos over the fallen world, and thus
show forth the Restoration of Creation to its original
Purpose, which is to Glorify our Creator.
In the Holy Icon we see a concrete example of matter that
has been Restored through Divine Grace in the Life of
the Holy Church to its original Harmony and Beauty,
now serving as a Holy Vessel of the Divine Grace of
the All Holy Spirit.
As we Commemorate Sunday of Orthodoxy, we are not
merely remembering an Event of ages past, but
rather we are professing the Triumph of Divine Truth
over heresy, which the Holy Icons proclaim.
Theologically, what is heresy but a distortion of the True
and Correct Vision of God, which is Salvation?
And what is Dogma, but the Words that describe the
Vision of Who God is and what He is really like?
Again, for us Orthodox Christians, our Eternal Salvation is
this Vision of Almighty God.
Many of the Saints and Holy Martyrs of our Church from
St Paul to St Silouan beheld Christ in Glory and were
completely Transfigured to the very fabric of their
existence, being Saved through it.
We represent in Image, our Lord Jesus Christ not only so
that the Incarnation is shown forth as Real and True,
and not a phantasm or ghost, but even more so, to
show forth the Beloved Face of our Lord God, which
therefore reveals the Pledge of this Vision of God that
is our Salvation.
The Canons of the Council of 867 states: ... if one does
not Venerate the Icon of Christ our Saviour, let him
not behold His Face at the Second Coming!

The Veneration of the Image of Christ our Lord is the


Sacred Pledge and the beginning of our own
personal Experience of the Vision of the Glory of God
in the Face of our Lord Jesus.
Therefore, Brethren, let us Venerate the Holy Icon of our
Saviour, of His Holy Saints and Martyrs, and His All
Pure, Ever Blessed Mother, thereby proclaiming the
inherent Goodness of the entire Creation and its
Redemption, Restoration, and Transfiguration through
the Incarnation of Christ our God.
It is now our turn to offer our own personal world as a
Eucharistic Sacrifice, Redeeming and Transfiguring
the material world that we inhabit through our
Prayers, Fasting and Thanksgiving to our Creator Who
perpetually without fail sustains us, Enlightens us,
and Saves us through the incalculable Treasury of our
Orthodox Faith, which we have been granted, and
which we joyfully celebrate today.
The Triumph of Orthodoxy occurs in our personal life
when Christ becomes Incarnate through our constant
efforts to fulfil His Commandments and Teachings.
Orthodoxy Triumphs when we become Icons of Christ
through our Love, Compassion and Kindness to others,
and when we are True Vessels of His Divine Presence.
Orthodoxy Triumphs when the falsehood of our passions
is denounce and demolished, and Christ our God is
Enthroned as King and God in our heart.
Today is the First Day of the rest of Great Lent, so let us
fortify ourselves by abstaining from meat, from sin
and from devouring our neighbours with our criticism.
Let us Glorify God in the short time we have remaining in
our lifespan by doing Works of Charity (Love),
Almsgiving, and Prayer.
Let us build up His Holy Church and one another, placing
our time and talents into those things that will benefit
us all Eternally, and let us give Thanks to God Who
brought us here today, Who has granted us the
priceless Treasury of our Orthodox Faith, that Divine
Gift of the Undistorted Vision of God, which is Salvation
for the world.
The Triumph of Orthodoxy is the Triumph of the Only True
and Living Way that leads our entire human race to
Salvation.
Let us enter more deeply into it, embrace it, Confess it,
and fervently live our Orthodoxy through the Grace
and Mercy of our God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit, to
Whom belongs all Glory, Honour and Worship now
and forever, world without end.
Amen
ABBOT SERGIUS OF THE MONASTERY OF ST TIKHON
HTTP://STTIKHONSMONASTERY.ORG/FILES/SERMON-OF-SUNDAY-OFORTHODOXY.PDF

TAKING LENT SERIOUSLY - REPENTANCE

Lent is not just about Fasting, but more importantly it is a


period for introspection and Repentance.
If we are taking Lent seriously we will have made time for
quiet reflection and made plans for a full Confession
with a Priest.
Repentance is not something we do only in Lent, but is
part of our Orthodox Way of Life.
After all Christ began His Teaching by urging us to
"Repent! For the Kingdom is at hand."
And during Great Lent our Holy Church gives special
emphasis to our Repentance.
Elder Sergei of Vanves tells us that there are two kinds of
Repentance:
1. Repentance that involves the Confession of a specific
sin.
2. Repentance that is based on a general sinful state.
The first type of Repentance is critical, because to not
Repent for a specific sin is to remain in sin and to be
separated from God and His Church.
For a specific sin there are three stages of Repentance.
1. Repent as soon as we commit sins.
2. We must recall our sins at the end of the day and ask
for God's Forgiveness.
3. Confess our sins by means of the Holy Mystery of
Repentance-Confession.
On through the Holy Mystery of Repentance-Confession
do we receive a full pardon and are Reunited with
42ND SUNDAY

AFTER

Christ through the Holy Spirit as the Prayer of


Absolution is read by the Priest.
In the Eyes of God our Repented sins no longer exist, for
our Heavenly Record is cleared and our Conscience is
relieved of its burden.
If we immediately Repent our sins, we are able to gain
Forgiveness from God for our lesser sins such as our
wicked thoughts.
Elder Sergei says: "If we have a wicked thought and
Repent by desiring to think and act otherwise, this sin
is erased immediately."
However, he emphasizes the need for us to recall all our
sins at the end of each day, and to beseech Gods
Forgiveness.
Furthermore, Elder Sergei advises us to provide a specific
concentrated time for Repentance each day, even if it
is only for a short while.
The daily accounting of our sins involves searching our
Conscience and making a Spiritual Critique of all our
activities throughout the day.
We should identify all that was evil as well as the good
we did not do, and that which was done without the
proper attitude or thought.
After our self-examination we can ask God for
Forgiveness, but this must be done with sincerity and
with a contrite heart - feeling remorse for not being
able to do everything according to His Will.

PENTECOST 5TH TRIODION 1ST LENT SUNDAY

OF

ORTHODOXY

2 0 M A R C H 2 0 1 6 21

Elder Sergei also encourages us not to pay attention to


our past sins. We are to live each day as a new day.
We must remember that sin is not part of our true nature.
If we are not careful, we can be led to despair, and this
we must avoid as it is an even greater sin.
Our self-examination at the end of each day is a more
general condition, which many of us may have
neglected.
This is our sinful state ancestral sin - that we inherited
from our ancestor, Adam, which has separated us
from God.
It is a general state of our human condition, as we have
the inborn tendency to sin.
The recognition of this may be termed as contrition.
Because of this condition we must also Repent for the
sins we have unknowingly committed.
Yet how can we ask for forgiveness for that which we do
not know we have done?
Are we not only responsible for those sins we have
knowingly committed?
The reality is that this may be our largest area of
sinfulness.
Due to our ignorance and our psychological needs, such
sins are hidden in our mind but linger underneath
our awareness.
We frequently do, or say, or think things that unknowingly
offends of affects others without realising nor
acknowledging the impact of our actions.
Each time we cause others to suffer - knowingly or
unknowingly - we have sinned.
We need to admit the limits of our conscience and our
Spiritual Weakness that leaves us in a condition
where we are unable to discern such sins.
Elder Sergei advises us to ask God: "Forgive me for all the
sins of which I do not know - all my unconscious
sins."
In addition, we should recognize all our failures and
insufficiencies. This means acknowledging before
God - our sorrow for not Loving Him or our neighbour
sufficiently, for not having sufficient Kindness, Love or
Compassion for others and for neglecting our Prayers
and Worship.

Elder Sergei emphasises that Repentance is necessary for


everyone because we are all sinners. We all have to
struggle against our habitual tendency to sin - from
birth to death.
Fortunately, our All Merciful God knows our weak
condition but He expects us to continually Struggle
against the temptations and to Repent our sins when
we have fallen.
God does not look favourably on those who dare to
regard themselves as being sinless for they think they
have no need for Repentance!
Even if we are not conscious of our sins, we must still
Repent for our unknown sins, because we are indeed
sinful.
However, unless we possess Humility and Obedience, we
will neither Repent not strive to improve ourselves by
fulfilling the Lord our Gods Teachings and
Commandments.
Repentance is "...the Key to Spiritual Life."
Repentance is the Way we gain Forgiveness from God.
Repentance allows us to become Purified so we can be
United with God.
Repentance grant us effective Prayers and a True
Relationship with God.
Through the Holy Virtues of Humility and Obedience that
we receive through a Life of Repentance, we are
granted the Strength and Energy of the Holy Spirit
Who helps us in every type of difficult situation.
Repentance is the normal state for Orthodox Christian,
which is evident from and characteristic of the Lives
of the Saints and Martys.
Repentance is our most surest Path for Spiritual Progress
and Well Being.
So, if we take Great Lent seriously and conscientiously, we
must Repent our daily sins and failures, and seek a
deeper Understanding of our sinful nature, knowing
that God will always help us.
Great Lent is a good opportunity for those who have not
regularly participated in the Holy Mystery of
Repentance-Confession to consult the Priest and
arrange a mutually suitable time to do so.
ELDER SERGI OF VANVES: HIS LIFE AND TEACHINGS
BY JEAN-CLAUDE LARCHET, PP 29-34
HTTP://ORTHODOXWAYOFLIFE.BLOGSPOT.CO.ZA/SEARCH/LABEL/LENT

ABBOT TRYPHON ON WATCHFULNESS

Not an hour should pass without taking time to examine


our heart, for the Hour of Judgement can come at any
time, and we must be ready to give account to God
for our life.
In the Holy Gospel according to St Matthew, we read:
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see
God (MATTHEW 5:8)
It is clear that without a humble and contrite heart we
shall not see God.
St Isaac of Syria tells us: No one has Understanding if he
is not humble, and he who lacks Humility lacks
Understanding.
The prescription given to us by all the Holy Fathers point
out that Discrimination and Watchfulness are the
Paths that lead to Purity of heart, for those who are
proud, and who have not rooted out the sickness that
is within their heart, will be unable to please God, for
THE LENTEN TRIODION

Let us observe a Fast acceptable and pleasing to the


Lord.
True Fasting is to put away all evil, to control the tongue,
to forbear from anger, to abstain from lust, slander,
falsehood and perjury.
If we renounce these things, then is our Fasting True and
acceptable to God.
Let us keep the Fast not only by refraining from food,
but by becoming strangers to all the bodily passions.
While Fasting with the body, Brethren, let us also Fast in
spirit. Let us loose every bond of iniquity; let us undo
the knots of every contract made by violence; let us
tear up all unjust agreements; let us give bread to the
hungry and welcome to our house the poor who have
no roof to cover them, that we may receive Great
Mercy from Christ our God.
Consider well, my soul: dost thou Fast? Then despise not
thy neighbour.

22. 4 2 N D S U N D A Y

AFTER

only Holiness of Life opens the Doors to the Paradise


that awaits us.
No Spiritual Improvement can be made if we do not seek
to please God with Holiness of Life, yet any Good in
our deeds must be attributed to God.
 There is none that doeth Good no, not one!
(ROMANS 3:12)

 For there is not a just man upon Earth, who does


Good, and does not sin! (ECCLESIASTES 7:20)
If we find we have neglected our Spiritual Struggle, and
acted with foolish abandon, we, in our weakness,
must turn to God in Repentance, and this can happen
only with an hourly examination of the heart.
We must resolve to turn ourselves around, with Gods
Help, and fight against the enemy of our souls, for
Holiness comes only to those who Struggle.
HTTP://BLOGS.ANCIENTFAITH.COM/MORNINGOFFERING/2016/02/WATCHFULN
ESS-2/
ON

TRUE FASTING

Dost thou abstain from food? Condemn not thy Brother.


Come, let us Cleanse ourselves by Almsgiving and Acts of
Mercy to the poor, not sounding a trumpet or making
a show of our Charity.
Let not our left hand know what our right hand is doing;
Let not vainglory scatter the Fruit of our Almsgiving;
but in secret let us call on Him Who knows all secrets:
Father, forgive us our trespasses, for Thou Lovest
mankind.
Knowing the Commandments of the Lord, let this be our
Way of Life: let us feed the hungry, let us give the
thirsty drink, let us clothe the naked, let us welcome
strangers, let us visit those in prison and the sick.
Then the Judge of all the Earth will say even to us:
Come, ye Blessed of My Father, inherit the
Kingdom prepared for you.

PENTECOST 5TH TRIODION 1ST LENT SUNDAY

OF

ORTHODOXY

20 MARCH 2016

Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria & All Africa


Archdiocese of Good Hope
All Glory, Honour and Worship to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and forever, and unto the
Ages of ages. Amen. Remembering also our Most Holy, Most Pure, Most Blessed and Glorious Lady, Maria, Theotokos,
yet Ever Virgin, together with all the Saints. And let us commit ourselves and one another and our whole Life to Christ
our God. Amen.

25 March 2016
The Annunciation
THE BEGINNING

OF OUR

ETERNAL SALVATION

Also the Feast of the Independence of Greece St Senuprios the Confessor


FESTAL HYMNS OF THE DIVINE LITURGY:
FIRST FESTAL ANTIPHON - ANNUNCIATION TONE 2
1
O Theos, to krima Sou to Vasili dos ke tin
Dikeosinin Sou to vio tou Vasileos.

1
O God, give Thy Judgements to the King. And
Thy Righteousness to the Kings Son.

STIHO S

VE RSE

Tes Presvies tis Theotokou, Soter, Soson imas.

Through

the Intercessions
Saviour, Save us.

2
Analaveto ta ori Irinin to lao ke i vouni
Dikeosinin.

VE RSE

Evangelizesthe imeran ex imeras to Sotirion tou


Theou imon.

VE RSE

STIHO S

STIHO S 3

STIHO S

Omose Kyrios to David Alithian ke ou mi athetisi

of

the

Theotokos,

2
Let the mountains raise up Peace for Thy People
and the hills in Righteousness.

Proclaim day to day the Salvation of our God


The Lord swore to David this Truth and He

3
4

VE RSE

shall not reject it.

Aftin.
SECOND FESTAL ANTIPHON - ANNUNCIATION TONE 2
STIHO S

Katavisete

os vetos epi pokon ke osi stagon i

1
He shall come down like rain on the fleece and
like raindrops falling on Earth.

VE RSE

stazousa epi tin gin.

Soson

imas Iie Theou, O


psallontas Si: Allilouia!

STIHO S
STIHO S

2
3

DI

IMAS

Igase to Skinoma Aftou O Ipsotos


O Theos emfanos ixi, O Theos

SARKOTHIS

Son of God, W H O W A S I N C A R N A T E F O R O U R
S A K E , Save us who sing to Thee: Alleluia

VE RSE 2

imon ke ou

VE RSE3

parasiotisete.
STIHO S

The Most High Sanctified His Tabernacle


Our Lord shall plainly come, and shall not

keep

silent.

Anateli en tes imeres aftou Dikeiosini ke plithos

In His Days, Righteousness and abundance of Peace


shall flourish...

VE RSE4

Irinis.

THIRD FESTAL ANTIPHON PSALM 71 TONE 4


STIHO S 1

Este to Onoma Aftou Evlogimenon is tous eonos.

Simeron

tis Sotirias imon to Kefaleon, ke tou ap Eonos


Mystiriou i fanerosis; O Ios tou Theou, Ios tis Parthenou
ginete, ke Gavriil tin Harin evangelizete. Dio ke imis sin
afto, ti Theotoko voisomen: Here Keharitomeni! O
Kyrios meta Sou!

VE RSE

Today is the Crown of our Salvation, and the Revelation of


the Mystery planned from Eternity: the Son of God
becomes the Virgins Son, and Gabriel announces the
Grace. Wherefore, let us along with him cry out, to the
Theotokos: Hail! O Full of Grace! The Lord is with Thee!

2 Evlogitos Kyrios O Theos tou Israil, O pion


Thavmasia Monos

VE RSE

Evlogimenon to Onoma Aftou is ton Eona ke is


ton eona tou eonas.

VE RSE

STIHO S

STIHO S 3

His Name shall be Blessed forever

2 Blessed be the Lord the God of Israel Who


only does Wondrous Things
3 And Blessed be His Glorious Name unto the Ages
and unto the Ages of ages.

ISODIKON

Evangelizesthe

imeran ex imeras to Sotirion tou Theou

Tell

forth from day to day the Glad Tidings of the


Salvation of our God.

imon.

Soson imas,

Iie Theou, O di imas Sarkothis, psallontas Si:

Save us, O Son of God, Incarnate of the Virgin, who sing to

Allilouia!

Thee: Alleluia!
FESTAL KONTAKION ANNUNCIATION -

Ti

Ipermaho Stratigo ta Nikitiria, os litrothisa ton dinon


Efharisiria, anagrafo Si i Polis Sou Theotoke. All os ehousa
to Kratos aprosmahiton, ek pantion me kindinon
eleftheroson, ina krazo Si. Here Nimfi Animfevte!

To

TONE (8) PLAGAL 4

Thee, O Theotokos, Invincible Defender, having


been delivered from peril, I, Thy City, dedicate the
Victory Festival as a Thanks Offering. In Thine
Irresistible Might, keep me safe from all trials, so
that I may call out to Thee: Hail, O Unwedded
Bride!

FESTAL APOLYTIKION THE ANNUNCIATION

Simeron

tis Sotirias imon to kefaleon, ke tou ap eonos


Mistiriou i fanerosis; O Ios tou Theou, Ios tis Parthenou
ginete, ke Gavriil tin Harin evangelizete. Dio ke imis sin
afto, ti Theotoko voisomen: Here Keharitomeni! O Kyrios
meta Sou!

TONE

Today is the Crown of our Salvation, and the Revelation


of the Mystery planned from Eternity: the Son of God
becomes the Virgins Son, and Gabriel announces the
Grace. Wherefore, let us along with him cry out, to the
Theotokos: Hail! O Full of Grace! The Lord is with Thee

THE ANNUNCIATION

25 MARCH 2016

23.

MATINS GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ST LUKE 1: 39 49 & 56


ST ELIZABETH PRAISES THE EVER BLESSED, THEOTOKOS (MOTHER OF GOD) WHO EXALTS
MAGNIFICAT

GOD:

THE

At that time, Mary arose and went into the hill country with haste, to a city of Judah, and entered the house of
Zachariah and greeted Elizabeth. And it happened, when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, that the babe
leapt in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. Then she spoke out with a loud voice and said,
Blessed art Thou among women, and Blessed in the Fruit of Thy Womb! But why is this granted to me, that the
Mother of my Lord should come to me? For indeed, as soon as the voice of Thy greeting sounded in my ears, the
babe leaped in my womb for Joy. Blessed is she who believed, for there will be a fulfilment of those things which
were told her from the Lord.
And Mary said: My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Saviour. For He has regarded the
lowly state of His maidservant; for behold, henceforth all generations will call me Blessed. For He Who is
mighty has done great things for me, and Holy is His Name!
THE EVER-BLESSED VIRGIN MARYS FAITHFUL RESPONSE TO
THE TITLE THEOTOKOS [THE MOTHER OF GOD (INCARNATE)],
ARCHANGEL GABRIELS ANNOUNCEMENT MAKES HER THE
GIVEN TO THE VIRGIN MARY BY THE CHURCH, WAS
HIGHEST MODEL OF OBEDIENCE TO GOD.
DERIVED FROM THE TRUTH OF THIS CONFESSION.
 THE INCARNATION OF THE SON OF GOD IS NOT ONLY THE Because the One Who was in Her Blessed, Pure Womb is
God, the world is freed from enslavement to sin.
WORK OF THE HOLY TRINITY, BUT ALSO THE WORK OF
The passage from verses 46 - 56 is called the Magnificat,
THE WILL AND THE ABSOLUTE FAITH OF THE HUMBLE AND
which is the first word of this hymn in Latin.
OBEDIENT VIRGIN MARY.
THE MAGNIFICAT IS A REMARKABLE HYMN OF PRAISE TO GOD
Therefore, the Ever Blessed Virgin Mary is honoured not
which comes from the heart of the Ever Blessed Virgin
only because God chose her, or because she bore the
Mary, who was probably only 14 - 16 years old at the
Son of God in the Flesh, but also BECAUSE SHE FREELY
time.
CHOSE TO BELIEVE AND TO OBEY GOD COMPLETELY AND
It also comes from the heart of ST HANNAH, WHO WAS OF A
WITHOUT ANY HESITATION OR QUESTION.
MORE MATURE AGE AT THE TIME, AND WHO FIRST UTTERED
The babe who would become known as ST JOHN THE
THIS INSPIRED PRAYER AND WHICH HAD BEEN PRAYED BY
BAPTIST, FORERUNNER TO CHRIST, WAS IN HIS SIXTH MONTH
EXPECTANT JEWISH MOTHERS FOR CENTURIES. [1 SAMUEL 2:1-10]
OF GESTATION.
From this New Testament passage we learn:
HE LEAPT IN HER WOMB AS A JOYOUS RESPONSE TO THE
PRESENCE OF GOD, the Lord Jesus Christ, in St Marys
 CHRISTIAN BELIEVERS FOR ALL TIME WILL HONOUR OR VENERATE
Womb.
THE VIRGIN MARY, for all generations will call me
Blessed.
 THE EVER BLESSED THEOTOKOS RECEIVES VENERATION FROM
BOTH ANGELS AND MANKIND: Archangel Gabriel and St
 IT IS NOT POSSIBLE TO BELIEVE AND OBEY HOLY
Elizabeth both called Her Blessed
SCRIPTURE AND NOT BLESS THE MOTHER OF
GOD.
 OUR LADY THEOTOKOS IS THE MOST PERFECT MODEL OF
Identity between the Theotokos and Israel is implicit here
WOMANHOOD.
as THE ISRAEL OF GOD, THE CHURCH, RECEIVES HIS MERCY.
No other woman has ever received the Glory given to Her either in Holy Scripture or throughout Church History.
THE REIGN OF GOD IS over our hearts, Kings and Rulers, the
SHE IS CONFESSED AS THE MOTHER OF MY LORD by St
poor and the rich, and the Faithful of God i.e. OVER ALL
Elizabeth because THIS WAS NO MERE MAN THAT THE
CREATION!
THEOTOKOS CARRIED IN HER BLESSED WOMB.
FESTAL PROKEIMENON THE MAGNIFICAT SONG

My soul magnifies

OF

PRAISE TONE 3

the Lord.
For He has regarded the Humility of His Handmaiden.
THE

EPISTLE

OF

ST PAUL

TO THE

HEBREWS 2: 11- 18

CHRIST BECAME HUMAN SO THAT HE COULD BE OUR HIGH PRIEST

Brethren: both He Who Sanctifies, and they who are being Sanctified, are all of one, for which reason He is not
ashamed to call them Brethren, saying: I will declare Thy Name to My Brethren; in the midst of the Church will I
praise Thee. And again: I will put my trust in Him. And again: Behold I and My children, whom God has
given Me.
Therefore because the children are Partakers of Flesh and Blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, so that
through Death, He might destroy him who had the power of death - that is to say, the devil - and release those who,
through the fear of death, were all their lifetime subject to bondage. For indeed He does not give aid to the Angels:
but H does give aid to the seed of Abraham.
Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His Brethren, so that He might become a Merciful and Faithful High
Priest in Things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For in that He Himself has
suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted.
CHRIST DESTROYED THE DEVILS POWER BY USING SATANS
CHRIST WAS PERFECT EVEN BEFORE HIS CRUCIFIXION YET HE
STRONGEST WEAPON DEATH AGAINST HIM.
VOLUNTARILY TOOK ON HUMAN NATURE THAT COULD BE SAVED
There is A RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN SIN AND DEATH: EACH ONE
AND PERFECTED ONLY BY HIS OWN SUFFERING AND DEATH.
LEADS TO THE OTHER.
CHRIST COULD ONLY DIE AND ENTER HADES IN HIS HUMAN NATURE. THEN IN HIS DIVINE
SIN CAUSES DEATH ESPECIALLY SPIRITUAL DEATH AND THE FEAR
NATURE, HE WAS ABLE TO SMASH OPEN THE IMPRISONING GATES OF HADES AND RELEASE
OF DEATH LEADS PEOPLE TO SIN and thereby into bondage
THE RIGHTEOUS AND REPENTANT SOULS TO REST IN PEACE IN HIS RE-OPENED PARADISE,
or slavery to Satan who certainly does not want any
WHERE THE REPENTANT THIEF HAD ALREADY BEEN ADMITTED.
souls returning to our Almighty Creator to Whom they
CHRIST IS THE PIONEERING CAPTAIN OF THE NARROW PATH TO GOD
belong.
in His Suffering for our sins, Death, and Descent into
O
NLY OUR BELOVED LORD JESUS CHRIST IS ABLE TO FREE US FROM
Hades, His Resurrection and Ascension into Heaven
THIS BONDAGE OR SLAVERY OF SIN AND DEATH.
where HE HAS REGAINED HIS RIGHTFUL POSITION AT THE
It behoved Him in all things to be made like unto His
PLACE OF HONOUR - ENTHRONED NEXT TO OUR HEAVENLY
Brethren
means that EVEN CHRIST WAS TEMPTED
FATHER.
because
WHATEVER IS NOT ASSUMED [TAKEN ON] IS NOT
In Salvation we take on Christs Way of Suffering.
HEALED, AND WHAT IS UNITED TO ALMIGHTY GOD IS SAVED.
OUR PERFECTION THEOSIS - REQUIRES SPIRITUAL GROWTH THAT IS
The Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, is like us in His human
MANIFESTED IN SUFFERING.
Nature but WE DO NOT BECOME LIKE HIM IN HIS
In the Incarnation of Christ, GOD DID NOT COME IN
DIVINE NATURE.
This is impossible because WE
APPEARANCE ONLY. HE TRULY ASSUMED [TOOK ON] HUMAN
CANNOT BECOME A PART OF THE GODHEAD. However, WE CAN
FLESH AND BLOOD from the Ever Blessed Virgin Mary,
BECOME GOD-LIKE IN OUR SPIRITUAL CONDITION
Theotokos, AND BECAME THE SAME AS WE ARE - EXCEPT FOR
OUR PERSONAL GOAL IN LIFE IS TO REACH THEOSIS SPIRITUAL
THE ABILITY TO SIN SO THAT HE COULD REALLY ENTER THE
PERFECTION!
STATE OF DEATH AND THEREBY BRING US ALL HUMANITY
St Paul wrote about CHRIST AS ULTIMATE SACRIFICE to CHRIST
SALVATION.
AS OUR ONLY HIGH PRIEST without transition because HE IS

24

THE ANNUNCIATION

25 MARCH 2016

BOTH THE DIVINE SACRIFICIAL OFFERING AND THE DIVINE


OFFERER, THE HIGH PRIEST.
CHRIST IS MERCIFUL ON BEHALF OF THOSE WHOM HE SERVES AND
FAITHFUL IN HIS SACRED MINISTRY TO ALMIGHTY GOD.

As Apostle and High Priest, OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST IS BOTH


GODS DIVINE REPRESENTATIVE TO MANKIND AND ALSO
MANKINDS MEDIATOR BEFORE ALMIGHTY GOD. In Him, the
Offices of PROPHET AND PRIEST are combined.

Christians are Holy Brethren


TO BE IN CHRIST IS A HEAVENLY CALLING THAT SEPARATES THOSE
IN CHRIST FROM THOSE WHO HAVE IGNORED OR REFUSED HIS
CALL.
THE HOLY GOSPEL ACCORDING

TO

ST LUKE 1 : 24 38

THE COMING BIRTH OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST IS ANNOUNCED TO HIS MOTHER, THE EVER VIRGIN MARY

At that time, Zachariahs wife, Elizabeth, conceived, and hid herself five months, saying: Thus has the Lord dealt with
me in the days wherein He looked upon me, to take away my reproach among men.
And in the sixth month the Angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, to a Virgin espoused
to a man whose name was Joseph, of the House of David; and the Virgins Name was Mary. And the Angel came in
with Her, and said: Hail, Thou who art Full of Grace! The Lord is with Thee! Blessed art Thou among women!
And when She saw him, She was troubled at his saying, and cast in Her mind what manner of Salutation this should
be.
And the Angel said to Her: Fear not, Mary, for Thou has found Favour with God. And behold, Thou shalt Conceive in
Thy Womb, and bring forth a Son, and shall call His Name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son
of the Highest; and the Lord God shall give to Him the Throne of His Father, David. And He shall reign over the
House of Jacob forever; and of His Kingdom there shall be no end.
Then said Mary to the Angel: How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? And the Angel answered and said to Her:
The Holy Spirit shall come upon Thee, and the Power of the Highest shall Overshadow Thee. Therefore also that
Holy One Who shall be Born of Thee shall be called the Son of God. And, behold, Thy cousin, Elizabeth, has
also conceived a son in her old age; and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren. For with God
nothing shall be impossible.
And Mary said, Behold the Handmaiden of the Lord! Be it unto me according to Thy Word. And the Angel departed
from her.
The name Mary, Maria, or Miriam literally means
CHRIST THE ETERNAL ONLY BEGOTTEN SON OF GOD THE
FATHER - SHE IS THE MOST BLESSED WOMAN OF ALL TIME.
THE EXALTED ONE.
THE EVER BLESSED VIRGIN MARY WAS BETROTHED, BY THE WILL OF
EVEN MORE RELEVANT IS HER ABSOLUTE OBEDIENCE TO GOD, as
GOD, TO HER AGED UNCLE, ST JOSEPH, WHO WAS OF ROYAL
pointed out by Christ Himself.
LINEAGE. He was of the House or family of David the
According to St Lukes description of her, SHE IS PRAISED IN
THE ORTHODOX CHURCH AS BEING SURROUNDED WITH DIVINE
ancient King who had been Anointed by Almighty
God.
GRACE AND SHINING WITH NATURAL HOLINESS.
He was the elderly widowed husband of Salome, sister of
Verses 31 33 and behold, Thou shalt Conceive in Thy
St Anna, whom the Priests at the Temple had CHOSEN BY
Womb, and bring forth a Son, and shalt call His Name
DIVINE INSPIRATION AND THROUGH A MIRACULOUS SIGN - TO
Jesus is an amazingly accurate description of the
PROTECT HER BECAUSE SHE HAD TAKEN A SACRED VOW OF
long-awaited Messiah!
CHASTITY THAT COULD NEVER BE BROKEN.
HOLY SPIRIT AND POWER OF THE HIGHEST ARE SYNONYMOUS.
THERE WAS NO INTENTION OF ACTUAL MARRIAGE AND IT WAS NEVER
This is a case of repetition for emphasis.
CONSUMMATED.
HOLY ONE IS A MESSIANIC TITLE and the fact that Christ was
ST JOSEPH IS ENTITLED THE BETROTHED BECAUSE IT WAS A WELL
to be BORN (without Seed,) OF THE EVER VIRGIN MARY
KNOWN FACT THAT HE WAS INDEED THE RIGHTEOUS GUARDIAN
DEMONSTRATES HIS TRULY DIVINE NATURE
OF BOTH THEOTOKOS AND CHRIST, AS WELL AS THE OTHER
Note in particular the reference to THE HOLY TRINITY: GOD
VIRGINS WHO KEPT HER COMPANY.
THE FATHER (THE HIGHEST), THE SON, AND THE HOLY SPIRIT.
Women had to be married as soon as they reached
THE BLESSED THEOTOKOS FAITHFUL RESPONSE MAKES HER THE
puberty, especially if they had no immediate family to
HIGHEST AND MOST PERFECT MODEL OF HUMAN OBEDIENCE TO
protect and care for them.
ALMIGHTY GOD.
St Luke twice mentions the fact that the Ever Blessed
THE INCARNATION OF THE SON OF GOD WAS NOT ONLY THE DIVINE
Theotokos was a Virgin.
WORK OF THE HOLY TRINITY, BUT ALSO THE WORK OF THE WILL
SHE WAS PURE AND VIRGINAL BEFORE, DURING AND AFTER THE
AND FAITH OF THE EVER VIRGIN MARY.
INCARNATION OF CHRIST. AND SHE MAINTAINED HER VIRGINITY
THEREFORE SHE IS HONOURED NOT ONLY BECAUSE GOD CHOSE HER,
AND CHASTITY THROUGHOUT HER LIFE.
OR BECAUSE SHE BORE THE SON OF GOD IN THE FLESH, BUT
Highly favoured [Charitou] can also be translated as
BECAUSE SHE FREELY AND WILLINGLY CHOSE TO BELIEVE AND
FULL OF GRACE.
OBEY GOD WITHOUT QUESTION OR HESITATION!
THE YOUNG THEOTOKOS WAS GREETED WITH AN EXALTED
SALUTATION BECAUSE AS THE MOTHER OF THE INCARNATED
OUR EVER BLESSED LADY THEOTOKOS

Our All Holy Lady is entitled Theotokos Birth-giver of


God and St Gabriel, the Heavenly Archangel and
Bearer of Good Tidings of God honoured Her for being
Full of Grace, and St Elizabeth, the Righteous Mother
of St John the Baptist, first addressed Her as Mother of
our Lord and said: Blessed art Thou among women,
and Blessed in the Fruit of Thy Womb!
Even our Lady, amazed at this Extraordinary Miracle and
what it meant for all mankind, remarked:
...henceforth all generations shall call me Blessed ...
In most of our Holy Services we exclaim: "O Most Holy
Theotokos, Save us!" for through Her unique, close
Relationship with our Lord and Saviour, She is able to
Intercede with Him for us.
Elder Cleopa explained: ...The Veneration that we render
unto Her is called Honorific and Reverential, as she is
the Mother of our Lord Jesus Christ, having not only a
Spiritual Relationship with Him, as happens with other
Saints, but also a physical Union with Him. For this
reason we chant: "It is truly meet to Bless Thee, O
Theotokos, who art Ever-Blessed and All-Blameless
and the Mother of our God. More Honourable than
the Cherubim, and more Glorious beyond compare

than the Seraphim, Thou who - without corruption


Bore God the Word, and art truly Theotokos: we
Magnify Thee." She is ranked higher than the Saints
and Heavenly Hosts, and therefore from Angels and
Saints She receives Veneration. Thus it was that the
Archangel
Gabriel
venerated
Her
at
the
Annunciation, and in the same manner St Elizabeth,
the Mother of St John the Baptist, also venerated Her.
The Holy Virgin Herself prophesied in the Holy Spirit that
all generations would honour Her: "...for behold, from
henceforth all generations shall call me Blessed, for
He Who is Mighty has done Great Things to me..."
Hence, the honour rendered to Her is according to the
Will of God....
Elder Cleopa explains the meaning of the words when we
pray to our Lady: "We have no other Hope besides
Thee!
These words do not deny the Uniqueness of Christ as
Mediator of our Salvation, yet neither are we
indifferent to the rendering of any sort of Help related
to our personal Salvation.
The meaning of these words are, for example,

THE ANNUNCIATION

25 MARCH 2016

25.

"Thou can grant us the most Help for our personal


Salvation..." or
We have no other superior Helper, not even amongst the
other Saints...
Or, "We have none other who is able to help us as much
as Thou, O Mother of our Saviour."
With regard to the exclamation: O Most Holy Theotokos,
Save us! it means:
"Entreat Thy Son to Save us," or "...Redeem us."
In the Greek language, the word Save means to
Redeem from evil, temptations, distress and
necessity.
Consequently, it means: "Help us by Thy (Intercessory)
Prayer to be Redeemed from evil... or from the works
of the devil... or, from our passions."
Therefore, by "Save us" we do not mean "Forgive us our
sins," but rather, O our Lady Theotokos, please
Entreat Thy Son and God for our Salvation.
All veneration shown to the All Holy Mother of God is a
constituent part of the veneration shown to Her Son,
Who chose Her and Blessed Her to be His Mother.
In Holy Scripture
 God foretold us that after the Fall of Adam and Eve,
the Mother of our Lord and Saviour would be a
Virgin who, with Her Son, would slay the dragon.
(GENESIS 3:15)
 St Isaiah prophesied that a Virgin would give Birth to
Emmanuel. (God with us.) (ISAIAH 7:13)
 Archangel Gabriel honoured and venerated Her by
addressing Her as being Full of Grace, and
Blessed... among women.(LUKE 1 : 28)
 St Elizabeth venerated and honoured Her by
addressing Her as the Mother of my Lord... and
Blessed... among women.(LUKE 1 : 40 43)
WHEN BELIEF

IS

ELDER CLEOPA: THE TRUTH OF OUR FAITH,


HTTP://ORTHODOXWAYOFLIFE.BLOGSPOT.CO.ZA

COMPLICATED! FATHER STEPHEN FREEMAN

Its complicated! This statement sums up much of the


modern experience. I dont think the world we
encounter is actually complicated but our
experience is. Simplicity is the reflection of an inner
world free of conflicts and undercurrents. The Truth of
the modern inner-world is that it is generally pulled in
many directions.
Modernity is a juncture in history a place where many
rivers meet to form one raging torrent. The stream of
history meets a stream that distrusts the past. The
stream of religion meets the stream of science. The
stream of affluence meets the stream of ever-present
poverty.
We live as though we are trapped in a spiders web not
drawn to one direction but drawn to all. And so the
world seems complicated.
Kierkegaard wrote that ...Purity of heart is to will one
thing. But we dont will one thing. We will everything,
regardless of the contradictions.
Alasdair MacIntyre offered a work, reflecting on the
competing visions of good in the modern
world: Whose Justice, Which Rationality?
We do not agree with one another because we dont even
agree with ourselves. This makes Faith in God very
difficult. Faith is not a matter of belief, an act of
intellectual willing. Faith is a perception of things that
do not necessarily appear obvious.
In the language of Scripture Faith is the evidence of
things not seen. But the perception of Faith is similar
to the perception of objects beneath the surface of a
lake. If the surface is disturbed, the objects disappear.
The objects do not go away but we can no longer
perceive them. In a world of manifold complication
the surface of the water is rarely still.
The Journey of Faith thus becomes a movement away
from complication. In the Christian Tradition, many
have sought the stillness of the desert, the absence of
distraction, as a means to Spiritual Perception.
The Orthodox Faith has generally held to this Tradition of
Stillness. To the seeker who wants to know the Truth
of Orthodoxy, the advice given is usually: Come and
see! The noise of argument and the cacophony of
comparison are not the place of discovery.
I have always been struck by Metropolitan Kallistos
(Timothy) Wares story of his first Encounter with
Orthodoxy and although he is a great scholar,
he did not find Orthodoxy in books. He found it

26

 Our Lord Jesus Christ was Obedient and respectful to


his Mother, which is evident from the account of
the Wedding in Cana. (LUKE 2:51 & JOHN 2:3-10)
 Our Lord Jesus Love and cared for His Beloved
Mother, even ensuring Her future safety and
protection while suffering crucifixion, when he
entrusted Her welfare to His Most Beloved Disciple,
St John.
Furthermore, and even more significant, was Her
absolute Humility and Obedience to God, which our
Lord Jesus Christ commented on when He pointed out
that more Blessed than being His Mother, She not only
heard the Word of God but fulfilled all His Teachings
and Commandments throughout Her Life.
Elder Cleopa further explained: How can we not Honour
the All Holy Mother of God when Scripture itself shows
us that even the Archangel Gabriel esteemed Her
worthy of Honourable Veneration?
How can we not Venerate the Ever Blessed Theotokos
who is the Living Temple of the King of Glory and is
Glorified above the Heavens, since She bore in Her
Womb God, Whose Glory can be contained neither in
Heaven or on Earth?
For this reason we Venerate Our Lady Theotokos who,
according to the Testimonies of Scripture and of the
Evangelist, is "Full of Grace."
Likewise, for this reason the Ever Virgin is considered a
Woman of Great Virtue, for She had Grace from God
and was the most Blessed of all women.

in a street while walking in London one summer


afternoon (in 1952) when he entered the Russian
Orthodox Cathedral, which seems to have happened
rather by chance than design. In the dim light of the
early evening, the hushed tones of the Cathedral
choir offered the Hymns of Orthodox Vespers. His
initial impression was that the Cathedral was entirely
empty. But in time he realized quite the opposite - it
was completely full, with invisible worshippers. He
stayed rather longer than he intended he stayed for
the rest of his life.
C.S. Lewis told of his acceptance of the Existence of God
occurring on a bus ride in Oxford. He had engaged in
long conversations and arguments with his friend,
J.R.R. Tolkien (and, doubtless, even longer arguments
with himself). But it was only a bus ride, an occasion
where we usually lapse into a numbed silence, that
the Existence of God became a clear perception for
him. He boarded the bus as an atheist and got off as
a Believer, yet he had no sense of having made a
decision.
Not everyone goes into a church at just the right moment,
or boards the right bus at the right time. But it is
possible to understand that sometimes more
information is not a solution. Less noise and a quiet
mind are more to the point.
1. Quit caring so much. The world does not depend on
you getting the right answer to lifes questions.
Answers often come when we learn to wait patiently
for them.
2. Quit comparison shopping. Truth is not a commodity.
You dont want the better one. You want the right
one.
3. Quit thinking so much. If thinking would solve the
problem and make things less complicated, youd be
through by now.
4. Look for beauty. Beauty doesnt make us think so much
as it makes the heart a better listener.
5. Take some time off from as much as you can.
6. Get some sleep.
7. Give away money. At least someone will benefit by this
discipline.
8. Sing (beautiful things). The part of your brain that sings
is much more closely wired to your heart than the part
that thinks.
9. Ride a bus. It worked for C.S. Lewis
10. Enter a church. It worked for Kallistos Ware

THE ANNUNCIATION

25 MARCH 2016

Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria & All Africa


Archdiocese of Good Hope
All Glory, Honour and Worship to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and forever, and unto the
Ages of ages. Amen. Remembering also our Most Holy, Most Pure, Most Blessed and Glorious Lady, Maria,
Theotokos, yet Ever Virgin, together with all the Saints. And let us commit ourselves and one another and our whole
Life to Christ our God. Amen.

26 March 2016
Apodosis of the Annunciation
Synaxis of St Gabriel the Holy Archangel of God
Bearer of Good Tidings
Also the Feast of St Irenaeus of Sirmium, Hungary 26 Holy Martyrs of Crimea: St
Bathusios & St Verkos the Presbyters, St Arpilos the Monk, St Abibos, St Agnos, St Reasos, St
Igathrax, St Iskous, St Silas, St Sonirilos, St Suimbalos, St Thermos, St Phillos, St Anna, St
Alla, St Larissa, St Monco, St Viriko, St Animais, St Gaatha the Queen & St Duclida the Princess - St Malchos of
Chalcis, Syria St Basil the New Anchorite of Constantinople St Monatanos the Presbyter & St Maxima, his wife, of
Singidunum St George of Sofia
FESTAL APOLYTIKION SYNAXIS

ARCHANGEL GABRIEL

OF

Ton Ouranion Station Arhistratige, disopoumen Se ai O


imis i anaxii, ina tes ses deisesi tehisis imas, Skepi
ton pterigon tis ailou Sou Doxis, frouron imas
prospiptontas ektenos ke voontas. Ek ton kindinon
Litrose imas, os Taxiarhis ton Ano Dinameon.

FESTAL KONTAKION -

THE

Commanders of the Heavenly Host, we the


unworthy beseech You, that through Your
Entreaties You will Fortify us, Guarding us in the
Shelter of the wings of Your Ethereal Glory, even as
we fervently bow before You crying: "Deliver us
from all danger, as Commanders of the Powers
on High! "

SYNAXIS

Arhistratige

Theou Litrouge Thias Doxis, ton


anthropon Odige ke ar hige asom aton, to simferon
imin pre sveve, ke to Mega Eleos, os ton Asomaton
Arhistratigos.

ARCHANGEL GABRIEL

OF

Supreme

Commander of God and Minister of the


Divine Glory, Guide of men and Leader of the
Bodiless Hosts: Ask for what is to our profit and for
Great Mercy, since Thou art Supreme Commander
of the Bodiless Hosts.

FESTAL KONTAKION ANNUNCIATION -

Ti

TONE 4

TONE (8) PLAGAL 4

To Thee, O Theotokos, Invincible Defender, having

Ipermaho Stratigo ta Nikitiria, os litrothisa ton dinon


Efharisiria, anagrafo Si i Polis Sou Theotoke. All os
ehousa to Kratos aprosmahiton, ek pantion me kindinon
eleftheroson, ina krazo Si. Here Nimfi Animfevte!

been delivered from peril, I, Thy City, dedicate


the Victory Festival as a Thanks Offering. In
Thine Irresistible Might, keep me safe from all
trials, so that I may call out to Thee: Hail, O
Unwedded Bride!

TRIODION PROKEIMENON - PSALM 31 TONE (6) PLAGAL 2

Be Glad in the Lord, and Rejoice, you Righteous!


Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven
THE EPISTLE

OF

ST PAUL

TO THE

HEBREWS 3 : 12 16

Brethren: take heed lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the Living God, but exhort
one another daily, while it is called today, lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. For we are
Partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end.
It is said: Today, if you will hear His Voice, harden not your heart, as in the provocation.
For some, when they had heard, did provoke, but not all who came of out of Egypt by Moses.
THE HOLY GOSPEL ACCORDING

TO

ST MARK 1 : 35 44

At that time, our Lord Jesus departed into a solitary place, to pray. And Simon and those who were with him followed
after Him. And when they had found Him, they said to Him: All are seeking Thee.
And He said to them: Let us go into the next towns, that I may Preach there also, for thus I came.
And He Preached in their Synagogues throughout all Galilee, and cast our demons. And there a leper went to Him,
beseeching Him, and kneeling down before Him, and saying to Him: If Thou Wilt, Thou can Cleanse me.
Jesus, moved with Compassion, stretched out His Hand and touched him, and said to him: I Will. Be Cleansed. And
as soon as He had spoken, the leprosy departed from him and he was Cleansed.
And He charged him and forthwith sent him away, saying: See that thou says nothing to anyone, but go thy way and
show thyself to the Priest, and offer for thy Cleansing, those things that Moses commanded, as a testimony to
them.
THE SYNAXIS

OF

ST GABRIEL,

THE

HOLY ARCHANGEL

We celebrate St Gabriel, the Holy Archangel of God and


Bearer of Good Tidings on 26 March.
Today we celebrate and honour him for all his
Appearances and Miracles throughout the entire
history of our Salvation.
It is believed that his celebration was first established on
Mount Athos in the ninth century, during the reign of
Emperor
Basil
and
Empress
Constantin
SYNAXIS

OF

OF

GOD & BEARER

OF

GOOD TIDINGS

Porphyrogenitos
and
Patriarch
Nicholas
Chrysoverges, on the occasion of the Appearance of
Archangel Gabriel in a humble Ascetic Monks cell
near Karyes, where after singing the Hymn Axion
Estin which is addressed to our Ever Blessed Lady,
Theotokos, he wrote the words on a rock with his
finger.

ARCHANGEL GABRIEL APODOSIS

OF

THE

ANNUNCIATION

26 MARCH

27.

As a result of this, that particular cell is known as the


Axion Estin Cell.
Other Appearances of St Gabriel the Holy Archangel are
also Commemorated:
 His Appearance to St Moses while he tended the flocks
of Jethro and, at which time, he related how the
world was created, and everything else that Moses
later recorded in his Book of Creation (Genesis).
 His Appearance to St Daniel, the Holy Prophet of God,
revealing to him the Mystery of future Kingdoms
and the Appearance/First Coming of our Lord and
Saviour.
 His Appearance to St Anna, when he announced to
her the Birth of her Daughter the Ever Blessed, All
Holy Virgin Mary our Lady Theotokos.
 His brief Appearance to the young Ever Blessed Virgin
Mary while she lived at the Temple in Jerusalem
 His Appearance to St Zachariah, the High Priest,
giving him joyful tidings of the birth of his son, St
John the Baptist and Forerunner to Christ, and
striking him dumb for questioning such a Divine
Miracle.
 His Appearance to our Lady Theotokos, when She
agreed to Conceiving the long-awaited Messiah
the Annunciation, which we celebrated yesterday.
ON DEALING

WITH

 His Appearance to St Joseph the Betrothed the


Divinely Chosen Guardian and Protector of our
Lady Theotokos and Her Child, our Lord and
Saviour, Jesus Christ. assuring him that the Child
his Holy Ward carried was indeed by the Will and
Power of Almighty God, without seed of mankind.
 His Appearance to the humble Hebrew Shepherds
who watched over the flocks outside Bethlehem,
announcing the Birth of the Great Messiah, so that
they became the first to worship God Incarnate in
a modest stable.
 His Appearance to our Lord Jesus Christ in the Garden
of Gethsemane, when he Encouraged and
Strengthened Him for His Passion.
 His Appearance to the Eight Holy Myrrh-bearing
Woman at the Empty Tomb of our Resurrected
Lord Jesus Christ.
St Gabriel, the Holy Archangel of God and Bearer of Good
Tidings continue to Appear before those to whom God
sends His Good News, and no doubt, will continue
doing so until the end of time.
http://www.johnsanidopoulos.com/2010/07/synaxis-ofarchangel-gabriel.html

SIN THE INNER KINGDOM

God wants to help us deal with sin but He waits for us to


come to Him, to invite Him, to welcome Him.
Advent and Great Lent is an opportunity for doing just
that, for by opening our heart to our Lord with
Contrition filled Prayer is the most important thing we
can do to prepare for the joy of Christmas and Holy
Pascha. Not to do so is to prefer to live in selfcontradiction, a cold dark misery not worthy of
human dignity.
To live in sin is a self-contradiction: it is to cleave to a
word of doubt that stands against all that is truly
human so that we permeate our culture with Death
and sew malice in our civilization.
We are made to live in the Truth with integrity, that
Spiritual Harmony with God, the world and ourselves.
Sin contradicts all of this. This absence of Love, this
misery, diminishes our capacity to live with ourselves,
the world and God.. To believe this fantasy is to turn in
on oneself, fight against oneself, to be consumed in
self-occupation. The fantasy proposes that the
Obedience of Love by which we live is oppressive;
therefore, we should protect ourselves and secure
our destiny by our own cleverness and industry.
In the logic of sin, Love not a Gift but a tool it must be
calculated. This project is the opposite of being
human, which is a Destiny attained by Trust in God
alone.
Yet this lie is so spell-binding, we cannot free ourselves
from its enchantment by our own power and
resources. Stifling, crushing, perverting, defacing,
subjecting to futility all that is Good, True and
Beautiful about being human, this lack of interior
Harmony can become a un-spiritual cacophony.
Without the ability to relate in Truth, we cannot give the
Gift of ourselves in Love to God, and without God we
are unable to give ourselves in Love to all those with
whom God has Blessed us in this brief moment we
share together in this world.
Made in the Image and Likeness of God who has
entrusted Himself to us, we contradict our existence
when we limit ourselves to mediocre, insipid
ST SERAPHIM

substitutes for the Love we were made to share


together.
This self-contradiction causes guilt. Engaging in various
forms of mental hygiene to alleviate guilt does not
make the disease go way. No method for meditation
or psychological technique can free us from the selfcontradiction in which we are trapped. Since all that
is natural is subject to the futility of the selfcontradiction in which we live, we need a Power
beyond and above our nature to free us from the
misery that enslaves us.
Sin, the cause of guilt, has a horrific social dimension.
This this self-contradiction is contagious if we do not
seek the antidote and we refuse the only Medicine
that can Heal us it kills not only us personally, but also
those we most Love, wounding them in ways I am
sorry can never heal.
Brutal, cruel, dehumanizing this hostility threatens to
break hearts, ruin lives, and shatter families. This
cancer, this living death, robs us of the capacity to
Love and without this capacity, what are we?
Advent and Lent is when we deal with the Reality of sin
by Repentance and Faith in our Lord Jesus.
Due to our self-contradiction, God sent His Son to Save us.
The Word became Flesh and revealed the meaning of
our hostility on the Cross. He is the Antidote for Death
and the Medicine of Immortality. In Prayer, we submit
our self-contradiction to the Cross, the Sign of
Contradiction. In this Mystery of Divine Contradiction
the Word of God Who is Love speaks to our lack of
Love, His Mercy overcomes our misery.
If we open wide the doors of our hearts to our Redeemer,
He pierces our hearts and moves us with Saving
Sorrow. Contrition filled Prayer deals with the
contradiction of sin and the guilt it causes this Holy
Sorrow moves us to Repent, to Confess our sins, to beg
for Mercy and to do Penance which is to Live in the
Truth of what our Lord has done for us - to make
Straight a Pathway in our heart and to prepare the
Way for Him.
OF

SAROV

In spite of our sinfulness, in spite of the darkness surrounding our soul, the Grace of the Holy Spirit, conferred by
Baptism in the Name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, still shines in our heart with the Inextinguishable
Light of Christ and when sinners Repent the Light smoothes away every trace of sin, clothing the Repentant in the
Garments of Incorruption, spun of the Grace of the Holy Spirit .
ST JOHN CHRYSOSTOM

Every Virtue is a good thing, but most of All gentleness


and Meekness. This shows us men; this makes us differ
from wild beasts; this makes us worthy to vie with
Angels. Wherefore Christ continually expended many
words about this Virtue, bidding us be Meek and
Gentle. Nor did He merely expend words about it,
but also taught it by His Actions; at one time
buffeted and bearing it, at another reproached
28.

SYNAXIS

OF

ARCHANGEL GABRIEL APODOSIS

and plotted against; yet again coming to those who


plotted against Him. For those men who had called
Him a demoniac, and Samaritan and who had often
desired to kill Him, and had cast stones at Him, the
same surrounded and asked Him: Art Thou the
Christ? Yet not even in this case did He reject them
after so many and so great plots against Him, but
answered them with Great Gentleness.
OF

THE

ANNUNCIATION

26 MARCH

Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria & All Africa


Archdiocese of Good Hope
All Glory, Honour and Worship to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and forever, and unto the Ages
of ages. Amen. Remembering also our Most Holy, Most Pure, Most Blessed and Glorious Lady, Maria, Theotokos, yet Ever
Virgin, together with all the Saints. And let us commit ourselves and one another and our whole Life to Christ our God.
Amen.

Tone 2

27 March 2016
43 Sunday After Pentecost 6 of Triodion
2nd Sunday of Lent St Gregory Palamas
rd

th

Also the Feast of St Matrona, the slave, of Thessalonika St Philitis & St Lydia & St Pavlos the
Bishop of Corinth - Synaxis of the Venerable Holy Fathers of the Kiev Caves Lavra St Manuel
& St Theodosios of Sirmium St John the Clairvoyant & Anchorite of Egypt RESURRECTION GOSPEL 10 -

JOHN 21 : 1 14

RESURRECTION APOLYTIKION TONE 2

Ote katilthes pros ton Thanaton, i Zoi i Athanatos, tote ton When

Thou descended unto Death, O Lord Who Thyself


art Immortal Life, then did Thou mortify Hades by the
Lightning Flash of Thy Divinity. And when Thou raised
the dead from the netherworld, all the Powers of the
Heavens were crying out: O Giver of Life, Christ our
God:  Glory to Thee!

Edin enekrosas ti astrapi tis Theotitos, ote de ke tous


tethneotas ek ton katahthonion anestisas, pase e
Dinamis ton Epouranion ekravgaon. Zoodota Hriste O
Theos imas:  Doxa Si!

TRIODION APOLYTIKION ST GREGORY PALAMAS TONE (8) PLAGAL 4

Orthodoxias

O Fostir, Ekklisias to stirigma ke didaskale,


ton monaston i Kalloni, ton Theologon ipermahos
aprosmahitos, Grigorie Thavmatourge, Thessalonikis to
kavhima, kirix tis Haritos, iketeve dia pantos, sothine tas
psihas imon.
SEASONAL KONTAKION -

Ti

THE

Ipermaho Stratigo ta Nikitiria, os litrothisa ton dinon


Efharistiria, anagrafo Si i Polis Sou Theotoke. All os
ehousa to Kratos aprosmahiton, ek pantion me
kindinon eleftheroson, ina krazo Si: Here Nimfi
Animfevte!

Beacon

of Orthodox Belief, the strong Support of the


Church and Her Teacher Inspired by God, Thou art the
Ornament of Monks, the unassailable Champion of
Theologians, O Gregory the Wonderworker and Boast
of Thessalonika, the Messenger of Grace. Forever
earnestly Entreat for the Salvation of our soul.

EVER BLESSED THEOTOKOS

To

Thee, O Theotokos, Invincible Defender, having been


Delivered from peril, I, Thy City, dedicate the Victory
Festival as a Thanksgiving Offering.
In Thine
Irresistible Might, keep me Free from all Trials, so that I
may call out to Thee: Hail, O Unwedded Bride!

PROKEIMENON PSALM 117/118 TONE 2

The Lord is my Strength and my Song, and became my Salvation.


The Lord Chastened and Corrected me, and did not give me up to Death.
THE EPISTLE

OF

ST PAUL

TO THE

HEBREWS 1 : 10 2 : 3

In the beginning, Thou, O Lord founded the Earth, and the Heavens art the Work of Thy Hands. They will grow old like
a garment, like a mantle Thou wilt roll them up, and they will be changed.
But Thou art the same, and Thy years will never end. To which Angel has He ever said: Sit at My Right Hand, until I
make Thine enemies a stool for Thy Feet? Art they not all ministering spirits sent forth to serve, for he sake of those
who are to obtain Salvation?
Therefore, we must pay closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it. For if the Message declared
by Angels was valid and every transgression or disobedience received a Just Retribution, how shall we escape if
we neglect such a Great Salvation?
It was declared at first by the Lord, and was attested to us by those who heard Him.
THE HOLY GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ST MARK 2 : 1 12
THE FAITHFUL PARALYTIC AND HIS FOUR FRIENDS

At that time, our Lord Jesus entered Capernaum, where His house was. And many had gathered together, so that there
was no longer room for them not even about the door. And He was preaching the Word to them.
And they went, taking to Him a Paralytic, carried by four men. And when they could not get near to Him because of
the crowd, they removed the roof above Him, and when they had made an opening, they let down the pallet on
which the Paralytic lay. Beholding their Faith, Jesus said to the Paralytic: Son: thy sins art forgiven thee.
Some of the Scribes were sitting there, questioning in their heart: Why does this Man speak thus? It is Blasphemy! Who
can forgive sins but God alone?
And immediately Jesus, perceiving in His Spirit that they thus questioned within themselves, said to them: Why do you
question thus in your heart? Which is easier to say to the Paralytic: Thy sins are forgiven or to say: Rise and
take up thy pallet and walk? So that you may know that the Son of Man had Authority on Earth to forgive sins...
He turned and said to the Paralytic: I say to thee: Rise. Take up thy pallet and go to thy House. And he rose,
and immediately took up his pallet and went out before them all.
They were all amazed, and they Glorified God, saying: We never saw anything like this!
ST JOHN KLIMAKOS

Do not be surprised that you fall every day; do not give up, but stand your ground courageously. And
assuredly, the Angel who guards you will honour your Patience.

43RD S U N D A Y

AFTER

PENTECOST-6TH TRIODION-2ND LENT ST GREGORY PALAMAS - 27 MARCH 2016

29

3RD SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST 6TH

OF

TRIODION 2ND

In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the
Holy Spirit...
...Thy will be done on Earth, as it is in Heaven...
When we embarked on Great Lent, Brothers and Sisters in
Christ, the Words of the Gospel Words spoken by our
Saviour stood before the eyes of our mind and
spirit: ... if you forgive not (others) their sins, neither
will your Father forgive your sins! [MATTHEW 6:15].
These
Divine
Words
primarily
concern
noncondemnation, how condemning one another
prevents us from entering the Kingdom of Heaven, of
being with Christ and of being with God.
It is non-condemnation that leads us into the Kingdom of
Heaven and Unites us with Christ. It is in this spirit of
non-condemnation that we ask forgiveness of one
another on the Sunday of Forgiveness before Great
Lent.
We entered Great Lent and began to follow the Path
characterized best of all by the Prayer of St Ephraim
the Syrian, which we repeat many times during the
first week of Great Lent not just daily, but hourly beseeching Gods Help by removing from us all those
bad habits and errors hidden within us - of which
there are so many!
We implore God to grant us the essential Holy Virtues of
Chastity, Humble-mindedness, Patience, and Love, as
well as the ability to clearly see our own sins instead
of criticising and condemning our Brethren. We have
repeated and repeated this Prayer many times hourly, and not just daily.
During the first days of the First Week of Great Lent some
of us heard, and others read, the Penitential Canon of
Andrew of Crete, which teaches us to see our sins and
not to condemn others.
Close to St Seraphim of Sarov, lived the simple Monk, St
Paul, who did not undertake any Ascetic Struggles:
not the Struggle of Repentance, nor the Struggle of
Prayer, nor of Fasting nothing distinguished him
from ordinary people. But when St Paul Reposed, St
Seraphim of Sarov, to whom Heavenly Mysteries were
disclosed, said: Look! Brother Paul, who was in no
way distinguishable from ordinary people by Ascetic
Struggles, has in fact entered the Kingdom of Heaven
for the mere fact that he never and nowhere
condemned anyone!
It is in this Spirit of Non-condemnation that the Church
calls us to Live and to undertake all Struggles: both
the penitential Struggle of Fasting and all others.
We pay great attention to the regime of eating during the
Fast, which does have special significance, but we
need not attribute greater significance to it than it
really has.
One should not think that potatoes and vegetable oil lead
one into the Kingdom of Heaven. No, it is rather the
Struggle of Non-condemnation of people, and of
Patience: Yea, O Lord and King, grant me to see my
own failings, and not to condemn my Brother, for
Blessed art Thou unto the ages of ages. Amen.
The Prayer of Ephraim the Syrian: O Lord and Master of
my Life... accompanied us throughout the entire first
week. It taught us how to live, and what to live for, in
order to be with Christ and to be with God.
And we tried to Live this Way during the First Week of
Great Lent, reciting this Prayer and having it
constantly not only in our memory, but also in our
heart and in our mouth.
The First Sunday of Great Lent arrived, which the Church
dedicates to the Triumph of Orthodoxy.
What Triumph? What does this Triumph consist of? Of
course, in the establishment of the Veneration of
Icons, since it is this Event that the First Sunday of
Great Lent commemorates. But we did not celebrate it
as an historical event; rather, we celebrated the
Dogmatic meaning of the establishment of the
Veneration of Icons.
Initially Christians did not know how to regard Icons, and
eventually a dispute arose among certain Christians:
The Iconoclasts declared: No! Icons should not be
venerated! How can one depict God, Whom no one
has ever seen? God has never been seen and,
therefore, He cannot be depicted. And much bitter

30.

43RD SUNDAY

AFTER

OF

LENT ST GREGORY PALAMAS

fighting, arguments and destruction occurred, until,


finally, the Seventh Ecumenical Council decided that
the Lord our God can be depicted because between
the Prototype and the Image of God (ikon means
image), and between God and the Icon, there is a
living, actual, and real connection.
When we Venerate any Holy Icon depicting our Lord
Jesus Christ, we are venerating neither wood nor
some kind of sculpture, but rather God Himself,
because this connection is such that certain qualities
of the Prototype (in this case, God Himself) extend to
the depiction, to the Icon, to the Image of God.
Therefore Icons serve as a Sacred Meeting Place between
mankind and God, or mankind and Saint.
Certain properties of that which is depicted on the Icon
either of God or a Saint are conveyed to each Icon,
and the Sanctification of each becomes a property of
the Icon itself.
Therefore, when we bow down before an Icon and
Venerate it, we are actually venerating the Holiness
of the Prototype God or one of His Holy Saints or
Martyrs - and there partake of the Power and Sanctity
of God Himself, or His Saint, or His Martyr, or His Ever
Blessed, All Holy Mother, our Lady Theotokos, who is
depicted.
The meaning of the Triumph of Orthodoxy lay in the fact
that a New Truth of the Orthodox Church had been
brought to light.
We Then Entered The Second week, along a New Path.
An Icon depicting God, as our Holy Fathers taught us, can
be United with certain Holy Properties of God,
inasmuch as God the Creator Himself has inscribed in
every person His Image, His Icon. We all bear within
ourselves this Living Image of God.
So, having entered the Second Week of Great Lent, we
came to know well that the Image of God is in us, and
has in itself Properties of God Himself.
The Goal of our striving to Fast and to fulfil everything
for which we Struggle - Repentance, Prayer, and our
Entreaties is the unveiling in us of the Image of God
that is inscribed in our human nature and essence by
the Hand of God the Creator Himself.
It becomes easier to breathe, life becomes better, and we
become purer when we see where we are going, why
we are going there, and what we should ask God for.
The Second Week of Great Lent led us to the Second
Sunday of Great Lent, which draws our thoughts and
spirit to the Inspired Teachings of St Gregory Palamas
concerning the Image of God in us, because we ask
ourselves: Just what is this Image of God inscribed
by God Himself in us? How is this? What is it? What
does it mean?
St Gregory Palamas precisely answers such questions,
having written many works, the greatest of which is
his Tomos of Faith.
In it, St Gregory Palamas explains that the Image of God
in us is first and foremost Light - not physical light but rather that Uncreated Light with which our Lord
Jesus Christ Shone on Mount Tabor in the Hour of His
Glorious Transfiguration.
This is the meaning of the Teaching of St Gregory
Palamas concerning the Image of God in us, which is
imperishable and possesses the Power of Divine
Energy.
Once we know something about this, then in the
following week we will go forward even more lightly
than we had previously, for this is what we have
within ourselves and this is what we can unveil!
Let us return to St Seraphim of Sarov who had a Disciple
named Motivilov.
Once Motivilov asked him: Father, what is the Kingdom
of Heaven and the Glory of God of the Heavenly
Kingdom? and St Seraphim of Sarov replied: I will
show you and he showed him.
St Seraphim entered a deep state of Prayer and became
entirely Illuminated with a strange Uncreated Light
that was brilliant and extraordinarily beautiful,
whereupon the Disciple Motivilov was able to
experience Something Unique, similar to that which
the Faithful Apostles of Christ had experienced on
Mount Tabor and for whom it was so good that St

PENTECOST-6TH TRIODION-2ND LENT ST GREGORY PALAMAS - 27 MARCH 2016

Peter was compelled to comment: Lord, we do not


wish to leave here. Let us build three tabernacles and
stay here.
When
Motivilov
beheld
that
Uncreated
Light
overshadowing St Seraphim of Sarov, it was
amazingly good in just the same manner for him, for
that Uncreated Light was a Divine Light - a Reflection
and Ray of the Divine Glory that was witnessed by the
three
Holy
Apostles
at
Christs
Magnificent
Transfiguration on Mount Tabor in all His Divine
Glory!
That Uncreated Light of the Divine Trinity is also present
in us, for It is granted to each of us in the Image of
God, which is inscribed in every human being.
Let us walk along the Path of the Prayer of St Ephraim the
Syrian, so that every word is fulfilled within us.
Let us proceed with even more confidence and Courage
now that we know that within us is that Uncreated
Light, which can be revealed by our continuous,
sincere, determined and True Repentance.
St Gregory Palamas begins his Tomos with the
remarkable words of St Paul, the Great Apostle to the
Gentiles: We are Partakers of the Divine... as well as
the words of St Peter, who expressed it even more
strongly: ... we are Partakers of the Divine Nature ...[2
PETER 1:4].

 PARTAKERS

OF THE DIVINE
HUMAN BEINGS ARE!!

NATURE IS WHO AND WHAT WE

Among those who will hear or read this Homily are


people involved in literature, music, and the arts, who
know better than I, of course, how many great the
very greatest minds of mankind remarked that
...the meaning of Life lies in man finding himself!
The great writer Ibsen wrote about this in one of his major
works: ...Man is searching for himself, and he must
seek and find himself.... The hero of this great
classical writer also became the hero of a famous
THE MEANING

OF THE

PRAYER

OF

ST. EPHRAIM

Every day of Great Lent, with the exception of Saturdays


and Sundays, the Prayer O Lord and Master of my
Life is read. This Prayer was written in Syria in the
fourth century by the Great Holy Ascetic, St Ephraim
the Syrian, who was a Monk, Poet, and Theologian,
one of the most eminent sons and remarkable writers
of the Syrian Orthodox Christian Church.
The words of the Prayer, were quite accurately
translated from Syrian by Pushkin* .[ *DESERT FATHERS &
IMMACULATE WOMEN - A POEM WRITTEN BY PUSHKIN IN 1836.)

O Lord and Master of my Life... meaning: O Ruler of


my Life, Who gave me life, Who is the centre and focal
point of my Life (in Christ)...
Grant me not a spirit of idleness, meaning, ...do not let
me be lazy... which is, according to the old adage, ...
is the mother of all vices.
Laziness seems innocent but it engenders much that is
Spiritually Dark and wicked.
Despondency: Christianity is a Joyful Doctrine; Joyful,
too, are those who are despondent for it will soon
leave them.
St Seraphim of Sarov, said: We have no need to be
despondent, for Christ has Saved everyone.
Ambition. This means love of authority. Everyone has it;
do not think that the cult of personality exists only in
politics: it can also be present in the family or in any
small Community.
Everyone has within the seeds of the aspiration to crush
the will of others, to strangle and subdue it.
Idle talking. Young children are exempt for they have
the right to chatter, but only until the age of fifteen or
sixteen.
When children chatter they are learning to communicate
and are practising their language; but when these
children are already twenty, or sometimes older
than forty this means they are being pitiless towards
their own Life.
Let us consider (and let us be honest with ourselves): how
much longer do we have to live? Not much longer at
all!
Therefore, I repeat, we should value life and Love the Gift
that God has given us, remembering that we will
carry into Eternity only that which we have in our
heart.
Idle talk and blathering are frightful words, for they
involve killing time.
43RD S U N D A Y

AFTER

musical composition by another great musician,


Grieg, (I am reminding you of this so that it will be
easier for you to follow what I am saying).
But what does it mean to find oneself? This. in fact.
means FINDING IN ONESELF, SEEING IN ONESELF, THE
PARTICIPATION OF THE DIVINE, and TO ARRANGE ONES
LIFE IN SUCH A WAY THAT THIS PARTICIPATION OF THE
DIVINE WOULD BE MADE MANIFEST.

This is made manifest when one follows the Path of Faith


in God and Faith in mankind, of which our Holy
Church preaches.
This Participation is disclosed, and this Image is made
manifest in mankind - along that same Path of which
the Prayer of St. Ephraim the Syrian speaks.
Our Holy Church maternally takes each of us by the hand
and leads us along that Path whereby we will
certainly find ourselves in the very most elevated
sense of these words: FINDING THE PARTICIPATION OF THE
DIVINE IN THE DEPTH OF OUR BEING.
Of course, the Kingdom of God exists objectively outside
us, but never forget that CHRIST SAID THAT THE KINGDOM
OF GOD IS ALSO WITHIN US.
So, in order to uncover this within ourselves, WE NEED TO
OBEY THE CHURCH, WE NEED TO ACCEPT HER MATERNAL
GUIDANCE, AND WE NEED TO REACH OUT OUR HANDS TO THE
MOTHER CHURCH.
And She, taking us by our hand, will surely lead us to the
Happiness of the Revelation in ourselves of the very
best and Most Holy Aspect there can be: PARTAKING OF
THE DIVINE, FOR TRULY, ...WE ARE PARTAKERS OF THE DIVINE!
as St Gregory Palamas reminded us.
Amen.
ARCHPRIEST VSEVOLOD SHPILLER (TRANSLATED FROM RUSSIAN)
HTTP://WWW.PRAVMIR.COM/WE-ARE-PARTAKERS-OF-THE-DIVINE-SERMON-ON-THESUNDAY-OF-ST-GREGORY-PALAMAS/
THE

SYRIAN PROTOPRESBYTER ALEXANDER MEN

Further on the Prayer mentions:


...a spirit of Chastity Patience, and Love bestow upon
me, Thy servant. Chastity is Purity of relations with
the world and with people, wholeness of soul, without
duality, and without the passions gaining possession
over you. (i.e. without the selfish demands of the flesh
dominating and subduing our immortal soul. mp)
Humble-mindedness. This means the Wisdom of the
healthy person.
Humility here, in the given context, means knowing
where you stand against the backdrop of Eternity.
Do not inflate yourself like the frog in Krylovs fable it
burst! [THE FABLE IS THE FROG AND THE OX WHICH ORIGINATED WITH AESOP
AND WAS ADAPTED BY KRYLOV)

There is no need to exaggerate, but one should know


ones worth.
The Wisdom of Modesty is extraordinary and beautiful.
The Wisdom of Modesty is not abasement beyond pride,
but healthiness of soul.
For example: when someone begins to imagine himself
as something that he is not, he is only a few steps from
megalomania.
Megalomania is a pathological state of pride.
One person announces that he is the Chairman of the
Council of Ministers or Napoleon, and he is placed in
a psychiatric hospital; another makes no such
pronouncement, for which reason he is not in the
hospital, but in his soul he thinks he is superior to
everyone else.
Patience, and Love. What is Patience?
Patience is not the state of cattle, which tolerate
everything. It is not humiliation not at all.
Patience is not a compromise with evil under no
circumstances!
Patience is the ability to maintain equanimity of spirit in
circumstances that impede such equanimity.
Patience is the ability to achieve ones Goals when
encountering various Obstacles along the Way.
Patience is the ability to maintain a Joyful Spirit even
when there is an excess of grief.
Patience is a Victory and an overcoming.
Patience is a form of Courage, for that is what real
Patience is.
Finally, Love. Love is the Utmost Happiness of mankind.

PENTECOST-6TH TRIODION-2ND LENT ST GREGORY PALAMAS - 27 MARCH 2016

31

Love is the ability of our souls to be open, immanent (as


the Philosophers say), [existing everywhere in the
Universe], being inwardly open to others.
When you are riding the escalator in the subway, test
yourself to see if you are able to Love others or not.
As you look at the people passing by on the other side, if
you find it repulsive to look at their faces, it means
that all the pores of your soul are clogged and that
your Love (i.e. Agape Unconditional, Divine Love) is
in an embryonic state!
But the Power of Christs Grace is capable of rebuilding
Renewing and Restoring - us in such a way that we
will see others in an entirely different manner; so that
our first reaction will be of Blessed Benevolence we
will immediately see the created beauty in all people
young and old - in an Inspired manner - even
where no one else sees it!
We will immediately feel Compassion, Kindness, Sorrow
and Love when confronted by the suffering and
struggles of others because our heart is open and
filled with Divine Love Agape.
Such people are always serene and happy, because they
are United with God and with everyone else - every
word, thought and deed is compelled by Divine Love.
The Prayer ends: Yea, O Lord and King, grant me to see
my failings and not condemn my Brother!
This is clearly understood.
The greatest Cure for the vice of condemnation and
judgement is the ability to see our own flaws and sins,
RADICAL OBEDIENCE - ABBOT

We must not become detached from our original Goal.


If we are radically Obedient to the Holy Gospel of our
Lord Jesus Christ, we can face anything, even
extreme fear, and stay connected to the heart. If we
are to avoid becoming hard-hearted, we must keep
ourselves focused on the Goal of Union with God, for
we know that Triumph over our fallen nature comes
when our heart is centred in Christ. If we are Faithful
in a very little, we will also be Faithful in much.
However, if we are dishonest in a very little we will also
be dishonest in much! For just as gold - with every
firing - becomes purer, so does the heart grow in
Purity and Holiness with every firing by the hot coals
that
comes
when
we
Encounter
the
Transformational Power of the Holy Spirit.
CONTROLLING

Our challenge is to learn how to control our passionsto


tame them and direct them for the good of Gods
Kingdom as He originally intended. This involves a
Struggle: ...for what I am doing, I do not understand.
For what I will not to do, that I do not practice; but
what I hate that I do I find then a law, that evil is
present with me. I delight in the Law of God
according to the inward man. But I see another law in
my members, warring against the Law of my mind,
and bringing me into captivity to the law of
sin... (ROMANS 7:15, 21-23)
Like Adam and Eve, we are tempted by our pride to
disobey our Creator and God. We are fooled into
believing that we know better than God, just like Eve
was deceived by the Serpent in Paradise. We trust in
our own will, not realizing that we are under the
influence of negative forces of evil nature.
Our challenge is to learn ObedienceThy will be done.
Unfortunately, Obedience is a bad word in our society.
Most of us rebel at the thought of Obedience of almost
any kind. But this is what our Lord Jesus taught us. He
prayed to His Father; ...not my will but Thine be
done. (LUKE 22:42). He willing gave up His Life for us to
carry out the Will of the Father. Just like He offered His
full Life to His Father, so too must we offer our full Life
to our God and Father.
The Church gives practical Guides for this Obedience:
1. Follow the Liturgical Cycle of Divine Services.
2. Adhere to the Canons established for our well being
by the Councils of the Church i.e. Prayer, Fasting
and regular partaking of Repentance-Confession and
Holy Eucharist.
3. Follow the Guidance and Teachings of our Spiritual
Father.

32.

43RD SUNDAY

AFTER

and to constantly judge and criticize our own


thoughts, words and deeds.
We are extremely vigilant i.e. observant and even
psychologically sophisticated when we consider
the sins of other people.
We assume to possess maximum knowledge of all moral
laws in all their subtleties, and we act like strict
judges, although we have n absolutely no right to do
so at all, since we, ourselves, are guilty of the very
things of which we condemn others otherwise we
would not recognise them as being sinful and often
our own sins are far worse than those whom we dare
to judge!
You ask me: perhaps this is appeasement and
compromise with evil? Under no circumstances!
Never!
We must identify evil by its name. However, we must
have Compassion for those who falls into such
wickedness.
In other words, we despise and even hate the sin but we
must Love the sinner unconditionally and strive to
help them by our own unconditional Love.
This is the essence of this most important Lenten Prayer of
St Ephraim the Syrian, which we must read daily with
prostrations throughout Great Lent.
BY PROTOPRESBYTER/ARCHPRIEST ALEXANDER MEN - HIS LECTURE ON GREAT LENT,
DELIVERED ON 1APRIL 1989. TRANSLATED FROM RUSSIAN.
ADAPTED & EDITED BY MP-HTTP://WWW.PRAVMIR.COM
TRYPHON MORNING OFFERING

Those who do not have resolve, will dissolve, for if we


have no plan to overcome temptation, we are
destined to be corrupted by temptation.
This is because our character is much easier to defend
than to restore, and we cannot accept defeat by
thinking that swimming in a sea of corruption will
cause our demise.
Defeat comes only when the sea of corruption is
allowed to enter into us, and we become detached
from our original Goal. We must resolve, therefore,
to keep ourselves from detaching from the original
Goal, which is to be Transformed by the Power of
Gods Grace, and be made Holy.
HTTP://BLOGS.ANCIENTFAITH.COM/MORNINGOFFERING/2016/02/RADICALOBEDIENCE/
OUR

PASSIONS

We are required to undertake an Ascetical or Disciplined


Way of Life focused on Gods Kingdom, which cannot
be solely for our own benefit. We must be willing to
fulfil Gods Work and Holy Mission.
Our All Merciful God always helps us, but only if we reach
out to Him: Thou hast come into the world to save
sinners, of whom I am chief ! (CF I TIMOTHY 1:15).
This Ascetical Life serves a twofold Purpose.
1. To remind us to ...fulfill the Call to Mission to take
serious stock of our Struggle and our Life (in Christ)
and work to better what is wanting.
2. To remind us that ...it is precisely in our serious
attentiveness to the Struggle and its right contours,
that we have the Power to speak to the world the True
Message of Christ, of the Holy Spirit, of God the
Father.
This requires boldness to think, speak, act, and orientate
ones whole life toward a Kingdom, the very existence
of which may be questioned by those around us.
St Basil explained ...Examine what sort of being you are.
Know your own nature, that your body is mortal but
your soul is immortal, and that our life is twofold in
kind. One kind is proper to the flesh, quickly passing
by, while the other is akin to the soul, not admitting of
circumscription. Therefore be attentive to yourself
neither remaining in mortal things as if they were
Eternal, nor despising Eternal Things as if they were
passing. [] Understand yourself with all exactness,
that you may know what Gift to apportion to eachfor
the flesh nourishment and coverings, and for the soul
doctrines of piety, education in courtesy, training in
virtue, correction of the passions... (DEUTERONOMY 15:9),
 Through the defeat of our passions our self-will
can be overcome.

PENTECOST-6TH TRIODION-2ND LENT ST GREGORY PALAMAS - 27 MARCH 2016