Pentecost Sunday

St Nikolai Velimirovich on Miracles…
“In the Orthodox Church, all miracles which a man who is pleasing to God does are ascribed to God and not to man. Even in our days, countless miracles of deliverance from illness or temptation are done through prayers. In this generation, we also ascribe all those miracles to God and not to man, just as the Apostles did in their time. This is a snare for the heretics who renounce miracles. They cannot believe that man can work miracles, that one can, for example, heal a sick man through prayer, or bring down rain or remove some obvious temptation Neither do we believe that a man can do this on his own, but we believe that the Almighty God can do it through man. Bui heretics cannot comprehend that which is important in the Gospel and that is, that God can dwell in man and act as the subject in man.”
– ‘Missionary Letters Vol 3’

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)


Elder St Paisios on the Secular Spirit
“…that is the Orthodox spirit within which Christ rests, simplicity and piety. Today spiritual people are often lacking in simplicity the sacred simplicity that comforts the soul. If we do not renounce the secular spirit and do not adapt to the simple way in other words, if we do not stop being preoccupied with how others see us, or with what they say about us – who will never experience kinship with God and the saints. For this to happen we need to move to the spiritual plain. The more we live with simplicity…the fewer the “bumps” from our passions, and the smoother we become. Otherwise, we end up creating a fake person. This is why we must always strive to get rid of the secular “carnival”, and become angels!”
– ‘With Pain and Love’

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.


Fr Seraphim Rose on Being Different…
“A person who takes Orthodoxy seriously and begins to really work on understanding it with his heart and changing himself — has at least a little of a quality we might call the fragrance of true Christianity; he is different from people who live by nothing higher than the world. St. Macarius the Great, the 4th-century Egyptian desert father, teaches in his Homilies that “Christians have their own world, their own way of life, their own understanding and word and activity; far different from theirs are the way of life and understanding and word and activity of the people of this world. Christians are one thing, and lovers of the world quite another. Inasmuch as the mind and understanding of Christians is constantly occupied with reflection on the heavenly, they behold eternal good things by communion and participation in the Holy Spirit… Christians have a different world … a different way of thinking from all other men” (Homily V, 1:20)…Orthodox Christians should be absorbing this different world and way of thinking. Orthodoxy, the true Christianity, is not just another set of beliefs; it is a whole way of life that makes us different people, and it is directly bound up with how much heavenly and eternal things are present in our life.

An Orthodox person who is not different can be worse off than the non-Orthodox. There is nothing sadder than the spectacle of Orthodox Christians, who possess a treasure that cannot be valued by any earthly measure, something which many are seeking and do not find in today’s world — nothing is sadder than Orthodox Christians who do not value and do not use this treasure.”

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.


Elder St. Porphyrios on the All-knowing God
“God’s knowledge is beyond comprehension for our own mind. It is infinite and encompasses all beings, visible and invisible, from the beginning of time until the end of time. God knows all things with minute precision in all their depth and breadth. The Lord knows us before we know ourselves. He knows our predispositions and our slightest thought, the temptations we play with and our decisions — before we even take them. But even before our conception and before the creation of the world he knew us well. This is why David cries out in wonderment: ‘Lord, You tried me and knew me… You understood my thoughts from afar off… You traced out my path and You foreknew all my ways…Ps. 138:1-5 You knew all things, the last things and the first things; You formed me [139:1-5] and set your hand upon me.’”
– ‘Wounded by Love’

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.


Elder St Paisios on Lack of Discipline…
“Their condition is the fault of their parents who never understood the nature of discipline. They give children such excessive freedoms that they turn them into little hooligans. You say one word to them, and they respond with five, and with such impudence! One day, they may even turn into criminals. Where are the rules, boundary-lines, and expectations for guiding children today? Parents give their children too much freedom and too little discipline. And this destroys them. Our society tells parents: Don’ttouch the children And of course, our children then think: “Where are we going to find a better system than this?” In other words, our society is deliberately turning them into little rebels who do not want to listen to their parents, their teachers, or anyone else. This serves some people’s designs perfectly. For if children are not taught from a young age to be rebellious, how will they be able to destroy everything later, when they grow up? And you can actually see it on their faces. Poor children, they have a demonized look about them!”
– ‘With Pain and Love’

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.


Elder Ephraim of Arizona on Prayer…
“Prayer is one of the foremost and strongest powers that causes him who prays to be born again, and it grants him bodily and spiritual well-being. Prayer is the eyes and wings of the soul; it gives us the boldness and strength to behold God. . My brother, keep praying with your mouth until divine grace enlightens you to pray also with your heart. Then a celebration and festival will take place within you in a wondrous way, and you will no longer pray with your mouth, but with the attention which works in the heart. If you truly desire to expel every anti-Christian thought and to purify your nous, you will achieve this only through prayer, for nothing is able to regulate our thoughts as well as prayer.”
– ‘Counsels from the Holy Mountain’

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



Elder Joseph the Hesychast on the Whole Man…
“So that is why there is such a big difference among the people and monks that you see. And that is why first and foremost you must “know thyself.” That is, know who you really are in truth, and not what you imagine you are. With this knowledge you become the wisest man. With this kind of awareness, you reach humility and receive grace from the Lord. However, if you don’t obtain self-knowledge, but consider only your toil, know that you will always remain far from the path. The prophet does not say, “Behold, O Lord, my toil,” but says, “Behold my humility and my toil.” Toil is for the body, and humility is for the soul. Moreover, the two together, toil and humility, are for the whole man.”

– ‘Monastic Wisdom’

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)