Elder St Paisios True Repentance…

God gave man a mind so that he can become aware of his fault, repent and ask for forgiveness. Unrepentance is a cruel thing. The unrepentant person is very foolish in not wanting to repent and thus be spared from the small hell he is now living in, and which will lead him to eternal hell. One is also deprived of earthly blessings – which continue in Paradise, near God – together with the greater, eternal joys.

As long as a person is far from God, he is beside himself. Notice what the Gospel tells us about  the prodigal gal son: ‘When he came to himself, he said, … / will arise and go to my father..?’ Only when he came to his senses, when he repented, did he say,’ I will return to my father’. As long as he continued to live in sin, he was beside himself; he was not in his right mind, because sin is outside the bounds of reason.

– ‘Spiritual Struggle’

We adore Thee O Christ and we bless Thee for by Thy Holy Cross Thou hast redeemed the world.

Monday of the Third Week of Lent

Until his last breath ceaseless repentance is necessary for a Christian. St. Mark the Ascetic says: “Think and you will see that the mystery of devotion in the chosen ones of God was realized through repentance.” Repentance, even at the hour of death! This case occurred: an old ascetic and renown spiritual father was dying and he called for a priest to administer Holy Communion to him. Along the way a robber joined the priest and desired to see for himself how a holy man dies. The holy elder peacefully received Holy Communion and peacefully talked with the priest. The robber then wept and said: “Blessed are you! Alas, what kind of death will I be worthy of?” The holy elder suddenly became proud and responded to him: “Be as I am and it will be to you as it is to me!” The robber returned along the road weeping all the time and lamenting over himself and, at that moment, dropped dead. Then the people saw a “fool for Christ” as he weeps over the holy elder and dances and sings over the robber. When he was asked the reason for this, he replied: “By the pride of that one [the elder] he lost all merits; the repentance of this one [the robber] he reaped all the fruits.”
From St. Nikolai’s ‘Prologue of Ohrid’

Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in Thy sight O Lord my strength and my redeemer


Tuesday of the Third Week of Lent

Do not be vengeful; do not return evil for evil. “But wait on the Lord,” He sees and remembers and, in your time, even you and your evil doer will know that God sees and remembers. You ask yourself: What have I done in that I have not returned evil for evil? You have done the wisest deed that you could do in the given situation, i.e.; you have relinquished your struggle to the One Stronger than yourself and the Stronger will victoriously fight for you. If you enter into battle with the evil doer you might be defeated. But God cannot be defeated. Therefore, relinquish your struggle to the Victorious and Undefeated One and patiently wait.

Learn from a small child. If someone attacks a child in the presence of his parents, the child does not return the attack by attacking but rather looks at his parents and cries. The child knows that his parents will protect him. How is it that you do not know what a little child knows? Your heavenly Parent is constantly beside you. That is why, do not be vengeful; do not return evil for evil rather look at your Parent and cry. Only in this way will you guarantee victory for yourself in conflict with evil men.


O Lord come to my assistance, O Lord make haste to help me.



Wednesday of the Third Week of Lent

We can hardly find a better example as to how we should not become lazy and how we should not procrastinate in prayer and in work for tomorrow’s day than by this example which is given to us by St. Ephrem the Syrian. “Once a brother was inspired by the devil to think: Give yourself rest today and tomorrow rise for vigil.” But he answered the thought, “Who knows, perhaps, I will not even get up tomorrow, that is why I need to rise today.” Before work, he was also inspired with this thought, “Give yourself rest today and complete your work tomorrow.” And again he responded, “No, I will complete my work today and about tomorrow’s day, the Lord will take care of it.” St. Anthony teaches, ” Before the closing of each day, arrange your life as though this is your last day on earth and you will protect yourself from sins.”


From St. Nikolai’s ‘Prologue of Ohrid’


Holy, Holy, Holy Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come.


Thursday of the Third Week of Lent

Vanity because of clothing occupies special momentum in our time. He who has nothing else of which to be proud becomes proud of his attire. He who would have something more costly than clothes of which to be proud, does he not become proud? Just as gold, which does not come out from the surface of the earth, so it is that neither the spiritual values of a man not show outwardly. It is said, that a certain distinguished philosopher saw a young man who displayed pride in his clothing. He approached the young man and whispered in his ear: “The same fleece was previously worn by a ram, but, nevertheless, he was still a ram!” To be a Christian and to display pride in clothing is more insane than to be an emperor and to be proud of the dust under his feet. While St. Arsenius wore cloth of gold in the royal court, no one called him great. He was called Great only then when he unselfishly gave himself over completely to God and dressed in rags.


Holy, Holy, Holy Lord God of Hosts, the whole earth is filled with Thy Glory.

Friday  of the Third Week of Lent

Through their prayers and alms for the deceased, Christians display the relationship between this world and the world to come. The Church in this world and the Church in the other world are one and the same – one body, one in being – as does the root of a tree beneath the earth comprise one organism with the trunk and the branches of the tree above the earth. It is clear from this how we who comprise the Church on earth can receive help from the saints and the righteous ones from the Heavenly Church as well as the deceased sinners in the other world can receive help from us on earth. St. Athanasius says: “As it happens with wine inside a barrel which, when the vineyard blooms in the field, senses it and the wine itself blossoms together with it, so it is with the souls of sinners. They receive some relief from the Bloodless Sacrifice offered for them and from charity” performed for their repose. St. Ephren the Syrian cites that same example with wine and the vineyard and concludes: “And so, when there exists such mutual sensitivity even among plants, is not the prayer and sacrifice felt even more for the departed ones?”


Christ with me, Christ before me,
Christ behind me, Christ in me,
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ on my right, Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down,
Christ when I arise,
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.
(St. Patrick’s Breastplate prayer excerpt)
Saturday   of the Third Week of Lent

In exhorting Christians to attend church for prayer, St. John Chrysostom says: “If someone delivers to subjugated citizens a royal decree, the citizens do not question the life of the messenger, as to whether he is rich or poor or righteous or sinful but all listen attentively to that which he is reading. If someone did not hear, he asks one who has heard. When you have such a great awe of earthly rulers, how much more should you have heed us priests here, where the Creator of the Heavenly Powers speaks through us sinners?” Indeed, what is Holy Scripture but a Grammata [Letter] of the Heavenly King! Why is it that the unique and saving Grammata does not interest us every day and every hour, when the least authority in the country and their trivial orders do interest us? St. Anthony said: “Whatever you do have justification for this in Holy Scripture.” But how can you have justification in Holy Scripture if you are not familiar with Holy Scripture?

From St. Nikolai’s ‘Prologue of Ohrid’


O Come let us worship and fall down before Christ, O Son of God, Who didst rise from the dead, save us who chant unto Thee, Alleluia.