Readings taken from St Nikolai’s ‘Prologue  of Ohrid’ this week…

The adversaries of Christ have always achieved results opposite to their efforts against Christ. Instead of stopping the river of Christianity, they have widened it, deepened it, and made it louder. Instead of drying Christianity up, they have, so to speak, caused a flood throughout the The adversaries of Christ have always achieved results opposite to their efforts against Christ. Instead of stopping the river of Christianity, they have widened it, deepened it, and made it louder. Instead of drying Christianity up, they have, so to speak, caused a flood throughout the

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


God and all the hosts of heaven see everything that happens in the world. Therefore, how can man conceal the truth from so many witnesses of the truth? And not only do the heavenly hosts see the truth but they are also zealous for the truth. Therefore, how can a mortal man go against the truth, which means, against the myriads of heavenly zealots for the truth? In truth, darkened in the mind is the one who thinks that he can conceal the truth and proclaim a lie instead of truth.  When millions of discerning angels know the truth, can a man conceal the truth? Can someone rise up against the truth and not be punished? O my brethren, there is nothing more false than falsehood! Nothing more unsuccessful! Nothing more arrogant! Nothing more insane! God and all the hosts of heaven see that which occurs inside a man. A man’s guardian angel especially sees it. And this guardian angel does not tolerate a man’s bringing forth from himself and about himself that which is not in him. If a man remains persistent in his lie, his angel will abandon him and will turn him over completely to the spirits of falsehood. Then, woe to that man! Of what benefit is it to witness falsely against the entire world, if his angel will witness truthfully against him before God and the hosts of heaven? It would be better for that man if he had not been born. For, whoever lies, lies to the Spirit of God, and the Spirit of God leaves the liar in darkness and death.


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



As a scientist examines natural phenomena with great attention, so should we, with even greater attention, examine the phenomena and actions of the grace of God. Behold what one of the great spiritual fathers witnesses about the act of Holy Communion. Father John of Kronstadt writes: “I am amazed at the greatness and the life-giving power of Divine Communion. An elderly woman, who was spitting blood and was so completely exhausted that she was unable to eat, began to recover the day that she received Communion from me. A young girl close to death began to recover, eat, drink and speak after Communion, whereas before that she had been unconscious and in convulsions and was not eating or drinking anything.” Oh, if every priest, with the attention of a scientist and the love of a prayerful man, would observe and follow the actions of the grace of Holy Communion as did Father John!


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



The poor man who begs and the rich man who gives—both make the Lord their debtor, but only under the condition that the poor man begs in the name of the Lord and with humility and that the rich man gives in the name of the Lord and with compassion. Everyone who receives should know that he receives that which belongs to God, and everyone who gives should know that he gives that which belongs to God. Such giving has a price and such receiving has a price. All of us enter this world naked, and naked we shall leave this world. All of us are beggars before the Lord, for we possess nothing that we have not received from the Lord. Therefore, give to the poor man as God has given to you. You take what is another’s and you give to your own when you give alms. The poor man is closer to you than all of your goods, just as to God, the Creator of men, every man is incomparably more precious than all of his goods. If you have been given riches, they have been given to you for temptation: that your heart be tempted! That God and all the heavenly hosts might see whether you have understood whence are all your riches and why they were given to you. Blessed are you if you know that your goods are from God and belong to God! Blessed are you if you consider the poor as your companions,



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

The monks once inquired of Paisius the Great: “Father, speak to us a word of salvation. How should we live according to God?” The elder replied to them: “Go and keep the commandments of God and preserve the tradition of the Fathers.” The tradition of the Fathers is the experience of the saints in the spiritual field, the enormous experience of nearly two thousand years, the experience of many hundreds and thousands of holy men and women. What an extremely rich depository of wisdom! What an immense mass of proofs of every truth of Holy Scripture! All that wealth, all that wisdom, all those proofs, all that experience, the Protestants have rejected! Oh, what inexpressible madness! Oh, the poverty of beggars!


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


Do not be vengeful; do not return evil for evil. The evil from your neighbor is sufficient. If you return evil for evil to him, you will double the evil in the world. If you do not return evil for evil to him, he can still burn away his evil through repentance. Thus, through patience and forgiveness, you will reduce the evil in the world. Do not be vengeful; do not return evil for evil, but wait on the Lord. He sees and remembers, and in your own time both you and he who does you evil will know that God sees and remembers. You ask yourself: What have I done in not returning 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 One will fight victoriously for you. If you enter into battle with the evildoer, 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 to 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. Thus, do not be vengeful; do not return evil for evil; rather look to your Parent and cry. Only in this way will you guarantee victory for yourself in the conflict with evil men


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)

St. Cyprian writes on immortality: “If a famous man promised you something, you would believe his promise and would not even dare to think that he who is always faithful to his word would deceive you. But behold, O treacherous one, God Himself speaks to you, and you are wavering with doubt. God has promised you immortality after your departure from this world, and do you impudently doubt this promise? This means you do not recognize God at all; it means that by your unbelief you insult Christ the Lord and Teacher.” O how powerful is the faith of the saints of God! How clear and understandable and well-explained it is with simple and powerful examples! The unholy doubt, not because they are ostensibly more rational, but because they are unholy. The holier man is always the more rational, for in the clear mirror of his heart he sees the truth.



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.