O Lord Thou shalt open my lips and my mouth shall declare Thy praise.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

The Burning Sun of Divine Love

O Thou who didst trample death by death, whose burning Divine Love is inescapable and did shine on us to call us to Thyself, shine forth from the grave in which Thou hast been placed by the sins of the sinner and restore her purity for Thou O Life canst not be bound by death and Thou O Love canst not be bound by sin. Thou dost trample all to raise Thy beloved to Thyself. Thou hast proceeded forth from Thy bridal chamber, O Bridegroom, and hast rejoiced as a giant to run the way and there is none that can hide himself from Thy heat: not in Heaven, for Thou dwellest there, nor in Hades, for Thou didst trample Thine enemies there, and Thou hast shone the brilliance of Thy Divine Love to us to call us to Thyself, that our whole minds, and our whole bodies, and our whole souls may participate in the exchange of Thy Divine Love in which Thou dost exist with the Father and the Holy, Immortal, and Life-creating Spirit. Destroy now, O Trampler of Death, all that separates us from Thy Divine Love, for impurity cannot survive in Thy presence, that we may perfectly participate in the exchange of Thy Divine Love for Thou comest with great mercy for our souls!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Being Pastoral and Tolerating Sin

Pastors of souls need to look each of their people in the eye and say: "God shows Himself to me through you and I want you two to be together." There is no tolerance for sin. Sin is adultery against God. Sin is separation from God-that is the single most basic definition of sin. This attitude is the essence of being pastoral, of shepherding souls.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Bridegroom Carries Bride with Broken Ankle

From Jacksons' Orthodox Mission to Guatemala via Byzantine, Texas comes this story of a bridegroom who carried his bride with a broken ankle in the procession at their wedding:

Anny fractured her ankle a week before the wedding so she was in a cast. The priest told her to stay seated and that Ben should walk around the table by himself, but Ben had a different idea. He carried her three times.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Bring Shame Upon Them

O Sovereign Theotokos, glory of Christians, silence the blasphemy of the impious and bring shame upon those who will not venerate your sacred icon, O all-holy one.
-from the Apostiha at Orthros this morning

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

The Holy Penitent Pelagia

St. Nonnus praying to God for St. Pelagia's conversion.

Today we celebrate the Holy Penitent Pelagia of Antioch. I wrote of her life here.

Troparion, Tone 8: The divine image was faithfully preserved in thee, O Mother, for taking the cross thou didst follow Christ. By thy deeds thou hast taught us to see beyond flesh, which passes, and care for the soul, a thing immortal. And so, O Venerable Mother Pelagia, thy spirit rejoices with the angels.

Kontakion, Tone 2: For the love of the Lord, O Venerable Mother, thou didst scorn the desire for rest and enlightened thy soul through fasting, for thou hast mightily conquered the beasts. Through thy prayers thwart the rage of fiends.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

St. Thomas the Doubter

Today we celebrate the Holy and Glorious Apostle Thomas the Doubter and the 20th Sunday after Pentecost.