Devotional for November 6 – 12
“The Old Testament says: “My spirit will not remain with man because they are flesh.” This applies today. Sodom burned just like a nuclear bomb. Christ does not tolerate such sins. Everywhere the sins of the flesh are worshipped. There is no repentance. The Venerable Mary of Egypt repented… We must think about what Christ has prepared for us, in the good good Paradise, after the Second Coming. Now we go to the narthex of Paradise, but it cannot enter the mind of man what the good good Paradise is like. All light! All fragrance! Joy unspeakable! Blessedness! Nothing will grow old! Christ wants everything new in His Kingdom. Nothing odd. My mother died at 95 years old and I see her in Paradise at thirty years old.”
Elder Ephraim of Arizona ~2014 Interview
Prayer: O Lord, our God, in Thy goodness and love for men forgive me all the sins I have committed today in word, deed or thought. Grant me peaceful and undisturbed sleep. Send Thy Guardian Angel to guard and protect me from all evil. For Thou art the guardian of our souls and bodies, and to Thee we ascribe glory, to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.
*(Evening Prayer and Confession of Sins)
“In the spiritual life things are in reverse: when you’re left holding the short end of the stick you feel good; and when you give it to someone else you feel badly. When you accept an injustice and are prepared to justify your neighbor you accept Christ himself into your heart Who was often wrong and maligned. It is then that Christ cannot be evicted from your heart and fills you with peace and gladness. Try it my children and experience this great joy! Learn to be happy with this spiritual joy not with the wordly one and every day it will be Easter.”
Elder Paisios ~Spiritual Struggle
Prayer: O come, let us worship God our King.
O come, let us worship and fall down before Christ our King and God.
O come, let us worship and fall down before Christ Himself, our King and God.
“Everywhere today the disease of disbelief has entered deeply into the minds, and most of all the hearts, of men. Our Orthodoxy, even when it is outwardly still correct, is the poorest, the feeblest Christianity there has ever been And still the voice of the Northern Thebaid calls us—not, it may be, to go to the desert but at least to keep alive the fragrance of the desert in our hearts: to dwell in mind and heart with these angel-like men and women and have them as our truest friends, conversing with them in prayer; to be always aloof from the attachments and passions of this life, even when they center about some institution or leader of the church organization; to be first of all a citizen of the Heavenly Jerusalem, the City on high towards which all our Christian labors are directed, and only secondarily a member of this world below which perishes.”
Fr. Seraphim Rose ~Correspondence
Prayer: Soul of Christ, sanctify me, Body of Christ, save me Blood of Christ, inebriate me, Water from Christ’s side, wash me, Passion of Christ, strengthen me, O good Jesus, hear me, Within Thy wounds hide me, Suffer me not to be separated from Thee, From the malicious enemy defend me, In the hour of my death call me, And bid me come unto Thee, That I may praise Thee with Thy saints, and with Thy angels, Forever and ever, Amen.
.”Geronda was eager with everything he did. He was first in vigil, first in church when we had Liturgy and first at work. He constantly taught by his example. He worked very much and would only stop at the times allowed by our schedule. He told me: “When a monk realizes that he is working for God he becomes very eager.” Geronda never let us be idle because according to the patristic sayings idleness has brought people many evils and idleness is the mother of all evils. An idle person can’t produce anything to give as alms and doesn’t even earn his own bread. Primarily though the Fathers viewed monastic work as a prayer and as a means of salvation because when a person works he should also be saying the Jesus Prayer without stopping.”
Elder Joseph ~ My Elder Joseph the Hesychast
Prayer: Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thine intercession was left unaided. Inspired by this confidence, I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins, my mother; to thee do I come, before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me.
“If only we begin with the firm intention to live according to God’s law, we need not be afraid of any assaults by unreasonable men. For he who truly begins to live according to God’s law finds that all things done to him by men happen for his benefit, and to the glory of God . One especially need not fear being compelled to move from a place that he loves to a place that he doesn’t care for. Instead of empty fear and fruitless lamentation , it is better to seek out God’s intention for us. What harm did the evil actions of Joseph’s brothers do to him? Did not his involuntary departure to Egypt glorify him, save his brothers from famine, and create the necessary conditions for all the wondrous things God worked through Moses in Egypt and in the wilderness? The pagans and heretics often drove Orthodox Christians into barbarian regions. What did they accomplish by that? Did they destroy Orthodoxy? No— rather, they strengthened it even more in the souls of the persecuted , and spread it among the barbarian peoples .”
Saint Nikolai Velimirovich
Prayer: Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created. And You shall renew the face of the earth. O, God, who taught the hearts of the faithful by the light of the Holy Spirit, grant that by the same Holy Spirit we may be truly wise and ever rejoice in His consolations, Through Christ Our Lord, Amen.
The life of self-centeredness and self-satisfaction lived by most of today’s Christians is so all-pervading that it effectively seals them off from any understanding at all of spiritual life; and when such people do undertake spiritual life, it is only as another form of self-satisfaction. This can be seen quite clearly in the totally false religious ideal both of the charismatic movement and the various forms of Christian meditation: all of them promise (and give very quickly) an experience of contentment and peace. But this is not the Christian ideal at all, which, if anything, may be summed up as a fierce battle and struggle. Orthodox Christians! Hold fast to the grace which you have; never let it become a matter of habit; never measure it by merely human standards or expect it to be logical or comprehensible to those who understand nothing higher than what is human Let all true Orthodox Christians strengthen themselves for the battle ahead, never forgetting that in Christ the victory is already ours.
Fr. Seraphim Rose ~Orthodoxy and the Religion of the Future
Prayer: With the Saints, give rest, O Christ, to the souls of Thy servants, where there is no pain, no sorrow, no sighing, but life everlasting.
*Kontakion of the Departed
“Prostrations are also gymnastics. And – even though we should not think of this at all – there is no better gymnastics for the abdomen, the bowels, the chest, the heart and the spinal column. It is highly beneficial so why should we do it? When this exercise is done for the worship of God and the soul achieves this worship, it is still with joy and becomes calm and peaceful. This is everything. At the same time of course it also benefits the body. The body follows and is benefited in turn. Do you see? Peace and calm come to the soul and good functioning is insured for all our bodily systems – circulatory, digestive, respiratory and endocrine – all of which have a direct relation with our soul.”
Elder Porphyrios ~Wounded by Love
Prayer: Lord, I have cried to Thee, hearken unto me. Hearken unto me, O Lord. Lord, I have cried to Thee, hearken unto me. Attend to the voice of my prayer, when I cry unto Thee. Hearken unto me, O Lord. Let my prayer be set forth as incense before Thee, the lifting up of my hands as an evening sacrifice. Hearken unto me, O Lord.
*Psalm 140 (141)