Daily Devotional for January 15 – 21
“Human righteousness says are you at fault? You must be punished. Divine righteousness says do you acknowledge your fault and repent? You are forgiven. You see even by human laws a person who is not under suspicion but has committed a crime if he repents sincerely and on his own initiative confesses his crime to the authorities will be judged with leniency. And if such a person is judged with leniency by his fellow human beings so much more is he judged with leniency by the Righteous and most Compassionate God.” Elder Paisios ~Spiritual Struggle
Prayer: O Gentle Light of the holy glory of the immortal, heavenly, holy, blessed Father, O Jesus Christ: Having come to the setting of the sun, having beheld the evening light, we praise the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit: God. Meet it is for Thee at all times to be hymned with reverent voices, O Son of God, Giver of life. Wherefore, the world doth glorify Thee.
*Eastern Vesper Hymn
“The demons start their warfare in the imagination; they cultivate it with thoughts; they defile the nous; they take it down into the heart; and they make both the soul and body filthy. What decides a person’s entire progress or failure is whether he gives in to or resists the attacks of the imagination. If he makes the mistake of beginning a dialogue with the simple assault and accepting the devil’s garbage by his own consent what will follow are falls of the soul, mind, heart and body. As a result the passion will take him captive.”
Elder Joseph ~ My Elder Joseph the Hesychast
Prayer: Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle, be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray; and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host, by the power of God thrust into hell Satan and all the evil spirits who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.
COMMUNION AND GRACE…
“The breaking of bread [in Acts] was Holy Communion. And the number of those who were being saved increased continually since people saw all the Christians in a state of “great joy and simplicity of heart” and “praising God”…It is an enthusiasm and again a madness…I go to the event, I experienced it, I feel it and am filled with enthusiasm all week. This is divine grace. This is also looking towards Christ. The apostles experienced amongst themselves this great joy [which then] happened to all those who were beneath the upper room. That is they loved each other, they took joy in one another: the ‘one’ had become united with the other. This experience radiates outwards and others experience it.”
Elder Prophyrios ~Wounded by Love
Prayer: Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world: have mercy upon us. Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world: have mercy upon us. Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, grant us peace.
DELUSIONS ABOUT DEATH..
“Even great saints who die in the mists of obvious signs of God’s grace retain a sobering humility about their own salvation…How different this profound and sober Christian attitude is when compared with the superficial attitude of some non-Orthodox Christians today to think they are already “saved” and will not even undergo the judgment of all men and therefore have nothing to fear in death. Such an attitude, very widespread among present-day Protestants, is actually not too far from the occult idea that death is not to be feared because there is no damnation; certainly even though inadvertently it has helped give rise to the latter attitude.”
Fr Seraphim Rose ~The Soul After Death
Prayer: O Lord, save Thy people and bless Thine inheritance. Grant victory over their enemies to Orthodox Christians, and protect Thy people with Thy Cross.
“When you have a bad dream never examine what you saw, how you saw it or whether you’re guilty or how much you may be at fault. The evil one having failed to tempt you during the day tempts you at night. Sometimes God permits the devil to tempt us in our sleep so that we may see the old self is not entirely died. Other times the enemy approaches a person in his sleep and prevents various dreams in order to upset him when he awakes. This is why you should pay any attention to them. Cross yourself and the pillow, place a cross and an icon on your pillow and say the Jesus Prayer til you fall asleep.”
Elder Paisios ~Spiritual Struggle
Prayer: O my God relying on Thy infinite goodness and promises, I hope to obtain pardon of my sins, the help of Thy grace, and life everlasting, through the merits of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Redeemer.
*Act of Hope
“In the not too distant past there was sincere repentance. When someone repented he repented and did not backslide…now I see some people who as soon as they change their way of life begin to be teachers and instructors to others while their old self is still active inside. One must repent, then stop living the prodigal life of the past and begin living spiritually; and this of course is a positive help to others. But for one to go directly from the state of prodigality to become a spiritual person and an instructor, well, that’s an illusion.”
Elder Paisios ~Spiritual Struggle
Prayer: O my God I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee, and I detest all my sins, because I dread the loss of heaven and the pains of hell, but most of all because they offend Thee, my God, who art all-good and worthy of all my love. I firmly resolve, with the help of Thy grace, to confess my sins, to do penance, and to amend my life.
*Act of Contrition
ON ELDER JOSEPH…
“Naturally his first choice in reading was Holy Scripture and especially the New Testament and the Psalms. His mind was so steeped in the concepts found in the Psalms that he wrote his letters with a style similar to that of biblical texts. The also like reading lives of the Saints which relax the mind, sweeten the heart, enrich ones discernment and increase one’s zeal for greater ascetical feats. He said that the lives of the Saints are like a mirror in which one can see one’s faults. His disciples remembered that no matter what problem they had he would always have some beneficial incident from the lives of the Saints to tell which would shed light on their need or on the issue that concerned them.” Elder Joseph ~My Elder Joseph
Prayer: O my God I love Thee above all things, with my whole heart and soul, because Thou art all-good and worthy of all love. I love my neighbor as myself for the love of Thee. I forgive all who have injured me, and ask pardon of all whom I have injured. (Act of Charity)