Daily Devotional for July 17 – 23
*Wisdom from Orthodox Elders this week
Elder St Paisios on Obeying God…
“We are truly free, in the spiritual sense, when we obey the will of God. But you see, whereas it is obedience that gives us true freedom, the evil one works the opposite way, presenting obedience as enslavement. Thus our youth, who have been poisoned by the spirit of rebellion, reject obedience. It is understandable that young people are tired of the various ideologies of the twentieth century. These systems have brought so much distortion to God’s beautiful creation and filled His creatures with anxiety, separating them from Him, the only source of true joy.
– ‘With Pain and Love’
Glory to God in the Highest and on earth peace good will among men.
Elder St. Porphyrios on the Work of the Holy Spirit…
“The Holy Spirit permeates everywhere. And that is why the person who is borne on and infused with the Holy Spirit also possesses the knowledge of God. He knows the past, the present and the future. The Holy Spirit reveals these things to him. Nothing of our actions is un- known to God; all are recorded. They are recorded and yet they are not recorded. They are born, brought into being, and exist, and yet they are not born. What you know now, God knows before the creation of the world. Let me remind you what Saint Symeon the New Theologian says in the Prayer of Preparation for Holy Communion: ‘Your eyes knew my yet unaccomplished work; and in Your book the things I have not yet done are for You already written.’”
– ‘Wounded by Love’
Prayer: May the Strength of God guide us. May the Power of God preserve us.
May the Wisdom of God instruct us. May the Hand of God protect us.
May the Way of God direct us. May the Shield of God defend us.
May the Angels of God guard us. – Against the snares of the evil one.
Prayer for the Faithful of St. Patrick Part 1
Elder Joseph the Hesychast on the Importance of All…
“Who has conquered the devil? He who knows his own weaknesses, passions, and shortcomings. Whoever is afraid of knowing himself remains far from knowledge, and he doesn’t love anything else except seeing faults in others and judging them. He doesn’t see gifts in other people, but only shortcomings. And he doesn’t see his own shortcomings, but only his gifts. This is truly the sickness that plagues us men of the eighth millennium:* we fail to recognize one another’s gifts. One person may lack many things, but many people together have everything. What one person lacks, another person has. If we acknowledged this, we would have a great deal of humility, because God, Who adorned men in many ways and showed inequality in all of his creations, is honored and glorified; not as the unbelievers say, who toil trying to bring equality by overturning the divine creation. God made all things in wisdom.”
– ‘Monastic Wisdom’
May Christ be with us! May Christ be before us! May Christ be in us, Christ be over all!
May Thy Grace, Lord, Always be ours, This day, O Lord, and forevermore. Amen.
Prayer for the Faithful of St. Patrick Part 2
Elder St Paisios on Unbelief…
“Everything evil today stems from not believing. In the past people believed in God; even the most indifferent ones had at least a bit of faith. Maybe people were simple; maybe they did not understand much of what they heard in church. Some didn’t even know that the Gospels are four; some thought they were twelve, but what faith, what devotion they had! And the nurses what philotimo they had! So many of them went to war as volunteers! Having both faith and a sacrificial spirit, they were most helpful. Today someone told me that a patient was saying the Creed and the nurse struck him, thinking that he was doing some sort of magic! She didn’t even know the Symbol of the Faith! What have we come to! Take young people and ask them “What do you believe?” “I don’t know,” they say, “” Haven’t decided yet.” “What is your parents’ religion?” “I don’t know. I haven’t asked them.” He wasn’t at all interested in finding out his parents’ religion! How can one who is so indifferent be helped?”
(Elder St Paisios in ‘Passions and Virtues’)
Glory to Jesus Christ – Glory forever!
St. Nikolai Velimirovich on Passions as Diseases…
“Understand and confess your passion, the moralists say. But Is that enough? If one is not frightened and disgusted by his passion, as he would be by any physical illness, then he cannot truly healed. Let everyone see passions like bodily illnesses. This is crucial. For example, imagine vainglory as pneumonia, fomication as cancer, avarice as scurvy, envy as cholera, drunkenness as typhus, gluttony as bubonic plague, vanity as arthritis, boastfulness as a heart condition, pride as stiffness of the anus. Only then will man be able to cry out like the Prophet “From the sole of the foot even to the head, There is no soundness m it, hut wounds and bruises and putrefying sores; They have not been…bound up, or soothed with ointment” (Isa. 1: 6); or like the ‘pcntant Apostle, “O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me inun this body of death?” (Rom. 7: 24).”
– ‘Missionary Letters Vol. 3’
For as many have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ…Alleluia
Elder St. Paisios on Dead Knowledge…
“Some worldly people read newspapers, others romantic literature or an adventure novel, still others watch a football game at the stadium and pass their lime. The same thing is done by some people who read spiritual books. They may spend the whole night reading spiritual books with great intensity and be content. They like a spiritual book, sit comfortably, and begin reading. ‘Oh, I profited from that,” they say. It would be better ‘I enjoyed myself, I spent my time pleasantly.” But this is not profit. We profit when we understand what we read, when we censure ourselves and discipline ourselves by applying it: “What does this mean? Where do I stand in relation to this spiritual truth? What must I do now?” After all, ilie more we learn, the more responsibility we have to live up to what we have learned.”
– ‘Spiritual Awakening’
Christ is in our midst – He is and always shall be
Metropolitan Tikhon Shevkunov on Ecumenism..
“Extreme church liberals, like their secular peers, are on fire it would seem with the laudable desire to change for the better everything their enlightened minds deem improper in the Church. You know, St. Joseph of Optina once said, “Zeal that desires to uproot all evil is in fact the very worse evil.” Having begun with the demands for radical ritual innovations, they inevitably move on to the revision of dogmas. Their most charismatic leaders insist that nowadays it is ridiculous and senseless to believe in the immortality of the human soul, that Moslems are, as it turns out, the same as Christians, that the Holy Scripture was written without any particular action of divine grace, and they call the belief of Orthodox Christians that the Gospels and our other sacred books were written at the inspiration of the Holy Spirit (“all Scripture is God-inspired.”—Apostle Paul) “grandmother tales”. They allow themselves to make other statements no less unacceptable to the Orthodox consciousness. There is no need to doubt or deceive ourselves—these are the realest Church Bolsheviks, the spiritual brothers of the merciless revolutionaries in leather jackets. They have no pity for anything we have.”
– Quote in pravoslavie.ru
Preserve O Lord while waking and guard us while sleeping that awake we may watch with Christ and asleep we may rest in peace.