Daily Devotional for October 2 – 8
Fr. Seraphim Rose…
“If you wish to be an Orthodox Christian you must begin now, from this very day and hour and minute, to love God and your fellow men. _is means: not to act in an arbitrary way with people, not just saying the first thing that enters your head, not picking fights or quarrels with people over anything, big or small, being constantly ready to ask forgiveness of them (and to ask it more than you think is necessary), to have compassion for them and fervently pray for them.”
We adore Thee O Christ and we bless Thee for by Thy Holy Cross Thou hast redeemed the world.
Elder Joseph of Vatopaidi+ on Distractions in the Jesus Prayer…
In his way we fortify our determination, we receive some courage and continue on our way. Doesn’t the mind stay on the prayer? Is it confused and stressed by various thoughts? Never mind. The lips are praying. The lips will not stop. They will continue reciting the prayer and will call out: ‘Yes, Devil. You will not allow the mind to concentrate on the prayer? I will call out with my lips. My Lord knows even the movements of my hands. I insist and I will call upon Him and He will come to my rescue. ‘Raise the war cry you nations, and be shattered! Listen all you distant lands. Prepare for battle, and be shattered! Prepare for battle, and be shattered! Devise your strategy, but it will be thwarted; propose your plan, but it will not stand, for God is with us’ (Isaiah 8, 9-10).
– ‘The Practical Expression of Love’
Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in Thy sight O Lord my strength and my redeemer
Elder St. Paisios on Facing Adversity in Life…
“People who have been buffeted by rough winds, either because God allowed it in order to rein them in, or because of the devil’s envy, are in need of much sunshine and spiritual refreshment before they can blossom and bear fruit. They are like trees that have grown bold during winter’s halcyon days only to face the cold north wind afterwards; they will need constant spring sunshine and showers for their sap to circulate again and to blossom and bear fruit….It takes a philotimo-filled [Christ-like atttitude towards life] effort, with hope and trust in God. Trust in God, simplicity, and struggle with philotimo will lead to inner peace and security, and then the soul fills with hope and joy.”
– ‘Spiritual Awakening’
O Lord come to my assistance, O Lord make haste to help me.
Elder St. Paisios on Obtaining a Spiritual Crown…
“For the athlete to be crowned with victory takes patience, philotimo and spiritual bravery. Bravery stems from a heart filled with philotimo; and when one does something with his heart for Christ, he neither tires nor feels pain, because such suffering for Christ is a spiritual feast. Spiritual progress can be rapid with a little philotimo-filed effort and awareness of our inner self. In the meantime, the soul will be befriended by Jesus Christ, by Panaghia, the Angels and the Saints. Study, prayer, introversion and some peace and tranquillity help a lot too. Christ helps those who are fighting the good fight that all the Saints embraced in order to subdue the flesh…” – ‘Spiritual Awakening’
Holy, Holy, Holy Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come.
Elder Ephraim of Arizona on the Conscience…
“How many times has our conscience reproved us! The more a person listens to his conscience, and the more he attends to it, the more precisely it guides him. And the more discreetly it guides and reproves him, the more he ascends in purity. There is also the so-called “evil conscience,” which often comes with the pretense and shape and form of the good conscience, yet in essence it is the evil, perverted conscience, the conscience which is opposed to God. The evil conscience is that voice which teaches things deceitful, perverted, and contrary. The good conscience has humility and obedience as its starting point, source, and foundation. The evil conscience has pride and disobedience as its source…Humble-mindedness gives birth to the good conscience. Since the two consciences are entangled, one often asks himself, “Is this the evil conscience or the good one? Should I believe this thought or that one?” So to learn—or rather to be taught—what is the good conscience, one needs to have humility; but above all, he needs to place himself under the guidance of another…”
– ‘Counsels from the Holy Mountain’
Holy, Holy, Holy Lord God of Hosts, the whole earth is filled with Thy Glory.
Fr Seraphim Rose on Modern Errors…
Fr. Dimitry Dudko, in the little newspaper he puts out, said there came it him someone who claimed to be Christian. As he began to talk to him, he began to feel that this person wasn’t Orthodox, and he said, “What confession are you?” “Oh, that’s not important. We’re all Christians. The only important thing is that we be Christians.” He said, “Well, no, no, we have to be more precise than that. For example, if you’re a Baptist and I’m an Orthodox, I believe that we have the Lord’s Body and Blood, and you don’t.” We must be precise because there are many differences. It’s good to have the attitude: I have respect for you, and I won’t interfere with your faith, but nonetheless there’s a true way of believing and there are ways which go away from the truth. I must be according to the truth.
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)
Elder Joseph of Vatopaidi+ on Mental Prayer…
“We wish to be saved – and we most certainly must be saved – but our passions are more powerful since we are weak and have no selflessness. Unfortunately we also commit more sins. Therefore, we must get rid of the passions since their existence hampers our deliverance. Thus, we must hasten to cause the influence of Grace, so that she can help us, free us from the bondage of our passions and from our weaknesses and guide us to our salvation…Thus, we, more than our predecessors, need to locate Divine Grace operating inside us, both in quality and quantity. We are only required to express our love towards the Lord through this means, namely His memory. Therefore, we ought to force ourselves to recite the mental prayer. If someone wishes to keep remembering the Lord there is no better way than this.”
– – ‘The Practical Expression of Love’
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.