The Life of Our Holy Mother, St Mary of Egypt

“It is good to hide the secret of a king, but it is glorious to reveal and preach the works of God” (Tobit 12:7) So said the Archangel Raphael to Tobit when he performed the wonderful healing of his blindness. Actually, not to keep the secret of a king is perilous and a terrible risk, but to be silent about the works of God is a great loss for the soul. And I (says St. Saphronius), in writing the life of St. Mary of Egypt, am afraid to hide the works of God by silence. Remembering the misfortune threatened to the servant who hid his God-given talent in the earth (Mat. 25:18-25), I am bound to pass on the holy account that has reached me. And let no one think (continues St. Saphronius) that I have had the audacity to write untruth or doubt this great marvel –may I never lie about holy things! If there do happen to be people who, after reading this record, do not believe it, may the Lord have mercy on them because, reflecting on the weakness of human nature, they consider impossible these wonderful things accomplished by holy people. But now we must begin to tell this most amazing story, which has taken place in our generation.

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Mid-Lent: The Worship of the Cross… A Weapon of Victory!!

The Adoration of the Cross. Etching by Wenzel Hollar (1607–1677).

Archbishop Dimitri of Dallas and the South

«And he said unto them: Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s the same shall save it. For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his own soul? Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.» (Mark 8:34-38. From the reading for the Sunday of the Cross.)

This, the Third Sunday of the Fast is dedicated every year to the Adoration of the Holy Cross. As the Cross is at the center of our Faith, it seemed natural to the Church over the course of history, to place this «weapon of victory» in the midst of the assembly mid-way through the most spiritually intense season of the year. Gazing and meditating upon it, the faithful, who have chosen the way of the Cross as the way that leads to life, are renewed and strengthened for what remains of their Lenten pilgrimage to Pascha. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

SUNDAY OF THE CROSS

Metropolitan  Anthony  of  Sourozh

In the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.

As we progress deeper and deeper into the weeks of Lent, we can say with an ever-growing sense of gratitude and of joy, of a serene and exulting joy the words of a Psalm, ‘My soul shall live, and with gratitude I will give glory to the Lord’.

In the first week of Lent we have seen all the promises of salvation given in the Old Testament fulfilled: God became man, salvation has come, and all hopes are possible. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

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Great Canon of St. Andrew of Crete (Thursday of the First Week of Great Lent)

On Thursday of the First Week of Great Lent, after Psalm 69 in Great Compline, the fourth portion of the Great Canon is sung. The Eirmosi are sung twice, once at the beginning and once at the end of each Ode. Before each troparion the Refrain is sung and we make the sign of the Cross with three low bows.

Ode 1. Tone 6

Eirmos: He is my Helper and Protector, and has become my salvation.This is my God and I will glorify Him. My father’s God and I will exalt Him. For gloriously has He been glorified. (Exodus 15:2, 1; Psalm 117:14)

Refrain: Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me.

Troparia:

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Catechetical Homily on the Commencement of Holy and Great Lent

BARTHOLOMEW

By God’s Mercy

Archbishop of Constantinople the New Rome, and Ecumenical Patriarch

To the Plenitude of the Church

Grace and Peace be to you from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ

Together with our Prayer, Blessing, and Forgiveness

Beloved brothers and sisters, children in the Lord,

Tomorrow, we enter the period of Holy and Great Lent. In the Lenten vespers of Forgiveness chanted this evening, we shall hear the sacred hymnographer urging us to “begin the time of fasting with joy, submitting ourselves to spiritual struggle” in preparing to welcome the great Passion and joyful Resurrection of our divine-human Lord. Διαβάστε τη συνέχεια του άρθρου »

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“These Truths We Hold” (Part XXXVII)

holy sepulcher church praying

Continued from (Part XXXVI)

Mechanics of Prayer.

The Church of Christ teaches us prayers composed by righteous and holy men. The Holy Fathers and Ascetics of the Church, enlightened by the grace of God, have composed many beautiful prayers, filled with holy thoughts and deep feeling for the guidance and admonition of Christians. We hear these prayers in Church during the Divine Services, but for private prayer at home, each Christian must recite the prayers contained in the Prayerbook.

When we begin to pray, we do not immediately break off from our daily tasks and just start praying, but we must prepare ourselves. As the Prayerbook says: “Stand in silence for a few moments until all your senses are calmed.” Furthermore, as Holy Scripture tells us: Before offer-ing a prayer, prepare yourself; and do not be like a man who tempts the Lord (Sirach 18:23). In addition to this, before entering into prayer, one must prepare himself not only inwardly, but also outwardly.

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“These Truths We Hold” (Part XXXVI)

prayer

Continued from (Part XXXV)

Orthodox Prayer.

The goal of the Christian’s life on earth is salvation in our Lord Jesus Christ and, at the same time, communion with God. The means for this communion is prayer, and through his prayer the Christian is joined in one spirit with the Lord (I Cor. 6:17). Prayer is the focal point and foundation of spiritual life and the source of salvation. Without prayer, as St. John Chrysostom says, there is no life in the spirit. Without prayer man is deprived of communion with God and can be compared to a dry and barren tree, which is cut down and thrown into the fire (Matt. 7:19).

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