Daily Devotional for June 28 – July 4
1 John 6:13… Marvel not, if the world hate you. We
know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in
death. Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know
that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him. Hereby per-
ceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and
we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoso hath
this worlds good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth
up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of
God in him? My little children, let us not love in word, neither
in tongue; but in deed and in truth. And hereby we know that we
are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him. For if our
heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all
things. Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we con-
fidence toward God. And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him,
because we keep his commandments, and do those things that
are pleasing in his sight. And this is his commandment, That we
should believe on the Name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one
another, as he gave us commandment. And he that keepeth his
commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we
know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.
Prayer: O my God I firmly believe that Thou art one God in three Divine Persons, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; I believe that Thy Divine Son became man, and died for our sins, and that he will come to judge the living and the dead. I believe these and all the truths which the Holy Catholic Church teaches, because Thou hast revealed them, who canst neither deceive nor be deceived. (Act of Faith)
Metropolitan Tikhon on the Challenges of Modern Youth… “I would say, broadly speaking, that the biggest issue revolves around the human person: “What is a human person?” The question of progressive ideas today is usually framed in the context of issues like sexuality, gender and all those things, which are issues that come up in our parishes. But I think they come up because there is confusion before those questions about what is a real human person. So, I see especially with the youth those questions, not simply about sexuality, but more broadly: “What is my existence about?” and, “What is the purpose of having religion?” That’s a big general question that many people struggle with. They reject not just Christ, but organized religion or any kind of existence outside of themselves. So the spiritual problems are from that isolation that people bring upon themselves by rejecting Christ or organized religion or even rejecting a sense of community, which you see reflected in divorce and people not getting married to begin with. But I think all of those questions come down to confusion about what it means to be a human person in the image and likeness of Christ, and despair about being in a broken state without knowing how to get out of it. Therefore some turn to false solutions: drugs, pornography and all these other things that promise some kind of answer to life’s questions, but really alienate the person more from true life.”
Prayer: Having risen from sleep I hasten to Thee, O Lord, Lover of men, and by Thy loving-kindness I strive to do Thy work, and I pray to Thee: help me at all times, in everything, and deliver me from every evil thing of the world and every attack of the devil, and lead me into Thine eternal Kingdom. For Thou art my Creator, the Giver and Provider of everything good, and all my hope is in Thee, and to Thee I send up glory, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.
*Prayer for the next day’s morning
Elder St Paisios on God and Pain…
“How can God allow for such a harsh thing to happen? Doesn’t God feel pain – God’s pain for the people who are suffering from ill nesses, from demons, from barbarians and so forth is also full of joy over the heavenly reward He has prepared for them. By keeping in mind the reward that awaits those who endure tribulations and knowing what is there for them in the other life, God is able to “endure” this pain He allowed Herod to do so much evil…The more the child was tortured, the more God was pained, but He was also aware of the great glory awaiting them in Heaven. He could rejoice for these little angels, who would make up His order of angelic martyrs. Angels from martyrs!”
Prayer: Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, our life, our sweetness and our hope! To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve. To thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this valley of tears! Turn, then, O most gracious Advocate, thine eyes of mercy toward us, and after this, our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus. O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary.
V. Pray for us, O holy Mother of God.
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
“In a rightful and accurate look at sin, we see that sin is actually a disease that needs curing… and it’s an epidemic that destroys the soul and the whole person slowly and methodically. In scripture we read that all sin leads to death. And that is true. It is like a dark and heavy shroud that chokes out the light of illumination and separates us from God. In the parable of Lazarus and the Rich man, we see that there is a chasm affixed between those in Hades and those who rested in the Bosom of Abraham. This chasm is the physical representation of the great and giant wound that sin causes in the very fabric of creation. It was impossible for the condemned rich man to cross over to those on the other side and neither would those on the other side cross over to those who receive the just fruits of their sinfulness in Hades. It’s all about the separation. It is a woundedness that begs for healing. It’s actually killing us from within, for as the soul goes, the body is soon to follow… I know… Some will say that its the physical act that is sinful… Jesus corrected those who thought just that when he expounded the fact that adultery began in the heart and even imagined lustful acts were as bad as doing them physically. Sin is an affliction of the soul. Thus the fact remains that it is borne out in the thoughts and in the desires of the heart.”
(Fr. Benedict of Ascension Monastery)
Prayer: Queen of Heaven rejoice, alleluia: For He whom you merited to bear, alleluia, Has risen as He said, alleluia. Pray for us to God, alleluia. Rejoice and be glad, O Virgin Mary, alleluia. Because the Lord is truly risen, alleluia.
Let us pray : O God, who by the Resurrection of Thy Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, granted joy to the whole world: grant we beg Thee, that through the intercession of the Virgin Mary, His Mother, we may lay hold of the joys of eternal life. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.
Elder St Paisios on Egoism…
“Look, there are some people who have some egoism and God gives them a slap so that they will lower themselves a little. Others have a little more egoism and God gives them a slap so that they’ll lower themselves even more. But those who have satanic pride, God leaves them alone. It may appear that they are prosperous, but what prosperity is that? It is a dismal prosperity. And afterwards, they do not simply fall down; they go directly into the abyss. God save us!”
Prayer: The Angel of the Lord declared unto Mary. And she conceived of the Holy Ghost.
Hail Mary, full of Grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us sinners now and in the hour of our death.
Metropolitan Ephrem Kyriakos on the ‘Civilization of the Flesh’… “The world today, and especially the West, is more and more inclined toward secular, worldly life. This means that in its life it departs from the scope of God and is increasingly immersed in material affairs far removed from the Church and spiritual affairs. It is attached to the surface of things, the most important of which is the flesh. There is nothing more common than the greetings “How’s your health?”, “Your health is poor”, “The important thing is health. People are not content with just that, but they go and focus on physical elegance, concerning themselves with outward appearance and going to the gym, as though they have become worshipers of the body rather than God. Members of the Church are not an exception to all this– even priests, bishops, and the construction of churches where “the important thing is the stone, not the people.” All of this is contrary to the rules of religion and the true faith. Among us, one mostly strives after the pleasure of the flesh, the pleasure of food and drink. Life has come to be focused on health and wealth and not on pleasing God first.”
Prayer: Pour forth, we beseech Thee, O Lord, Thy grace into our hearts; that, we to whom the Incarnation of Christ, Thy Son, was made known by the message of an Angel, may by His Passion and Cross, be brought to the glory of His Resurrection. Through the same Christ our Lord.
Romans 5:1 Being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: by whom also we have
access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in
hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in
tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;
and patience, experience; and experience, hope: and hope ma-
keth not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our
hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.
Prayer: May the souls of the faithful departed through the mercy of God rest in peace.