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

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

FOR GOD IS WITH US


Great Feast of the Evangelization of Our Most Holy Lady the Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary

"And he brought me back to the way of the gate of the outward sanctuary, which looked towards the east: and it was shut. And the Lord said to me: This gate shall be shut, it shall not be opened, and no man shall pass through it: because the Lord the God of Israel hath entered in by it, and it shall be shut For the prince. The prince himself shall sit in it, to eat bread before the Lord: he shall enter in by the way of the porch of the gate, and shall go out by the same way."-Ez 44:1-3

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Veneration of the Cross


Third Sunday of the Great Fast, on which we celebrate The Adoration of the Precious and Life-giving Cross.
When venerating the cross this week, we sing thrice with prostrations:

Krestu Tvoyemu poklanyayemsya Vladiko,i svyatoye voskreseniye Tvoye slavim (thrice).

We venerate Thy Cross, O Master; and we glorify Thy holy Resurrection (thrice).



Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Together Even in Death


March 19-Sts. Chrysanthos and Daria
A virtuous couple are companions in life. Wherever the man goes, the woman goes with him; wherever the woman goes, the man goes with her. They exist to strengthen each other in Divine Love on the path to Heaven, since each one has as his only objective the salvation of the other. They strengthen each other in the practice of the faith even to the point of strengthening each other on the path to their martyrdom together.

Sts. Chrysanthius and Daria were a married couple that were martyred by being buried alive together in the yer 284 at Rome. Their relics were discovered by St. Damascus I, Pope of Rome a century later and transferred to the Church of the Holy Apostles Philip and James in the Lateran in the 9th Century by Stephen VI, Pope of Rome.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Hearing of Such Miracles Does My Heart Good.


Via Mystagogy, a boy recently had his severed fingers restored by the intercession of St. Luke of Simferopol:

"More specifically, the child was a pianist from an early age when he was ten years old, and two fingers on his right hand were cut off. Doctors said they could do nothing for the child and that he would never be able to play the piano again. His parents learned about Saint Luke and the miracles he does and immediately took the child to Simferopol.

"There at his grave they pleaded to Saint Luke to make their child well and so the miracle took place. After a few days the fingers of the child were restored."
 
Read the rest there.

Friday, March 7, 2014

From Friday to Friday


Throughout Great Lent we read Genesis at Vespers, going from man's initial perfection in paradise, to the fall into sin, through man's progression into deeper and deeper sin, until we arrive at the end to the Savior on the cross, liberating man from his vices.

Tonight at Presanctified Liturgy we hear the passage of the Sin of Adam. On the first Friday of the Great Fast, we hear of the fall, on Holy Friday we behold Christ on the cross. We start the Fast with the first Adam and finish with the New Adam. By eating we became sinful, by fasting at the foot of the cross we become purified. This is our journey. We do not fast for the sake of fasting (that would be only a diet), we fast to be joined to Him who survived His own death that we might survive ours.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Why We Rejoice When We Fast

Today at the Sixth Hour we heard:
"And then come, and accuse me, saith the Lord: if your sins be as scarlet, they shall be made as white as snow: and if they be red as crimson, they shall be white as wool. If you be willing, and will hearken to me, you shall eat the good things of the land."-Isaias 1:18-19

We fast to gain self control over our passions. While we lament our passions, we rejoice in our fasting, since by it we conquer the passions.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

By Fasting We Return to Paradise


Forgiveness Sunday
Today we commemorate the Casting of Adam and Eve from Paradise and tomorrow we begin the Great Fast. By eating we were casting out of Paradise. By fasting we return to Paradise. In the Garden only plants were used for food and clothing since animals were given to Adam and Eve for food and clothing only after their sin. In fasting we return to not using meat and animal products. By a tree the stygian serpent conquered and at the end of our fast, he is conquered by a Tree.

PS: So much is fasting a return to Paradise, that we are allowed grapes and olives, but not wine or olive oil.