A Brief Exposition of Thoughts Which Dispose to Repentance

Remember, O my soul, the terrible and frightful wonder: that your Creator for your sake became Man, and deigned to suffer for the sake of your salvation. His Angels tremble, the Cherubim are terrified, the Seraphim are in fear, and all the heavenly powers ceaselessly give praise; and you, unfortunate soul, remain in laziness. At least from this time forth arise and do not put off, my beloved soul, holy repentance, contrition of heart and penance for your sins. Putting them off year after year, month after month, day after day, you will not at all desire with your whole heart to repent, and you will not find one to have compassion on you, O! with what torture you will then begin to repent, but without success. Having the opportunity today to do some good deed, do not put off until tomorrow, my beloved soul, holy repentance, because you do not know what today will bring forth or what misfortune might happen to you this night.

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"Pursue Peace With All People..." (Hebrews 12:14)

In his Epistle to the Hebrews Saint Paul says, "Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which n one will see the Lord." The Christian believes that Christ is our peace and therefore the way of peace is the way of Christ. Pelagius writes: "Everything which resembles the teaching of God is at peace with Him, but everything which is contrary to it is at odds with Him." Saint Basil the Great speaking on the significance of peace writes: "For the true peace is above. Yet, as long as we were bound to the flesh, we were yoked to many things which trouble us. Seek, then, after peace, a release from the troubles of this world. Possess a calm mind, a tranquil and unconfused state of soul, which is neither agitated by the passions nor drawn aside by false doctrines that challenge by their persuasiveness to an assent, in order that you may obtain 'the peace of God which surpasses all understanding and guards your heart.' He who seeks after peace, seeks Christ, because 'He Himself is our peace,' Who has made two men into one new man, making peace, and 'making peace through the blood of His Cross, whether on earth or in heaven." (Homilies 16.10)

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Prayer to the Ever-Virgin Mary the Theotokos

O spotless, undefiled, incorruptible, chaste and pure Virgin-Bride of God, who by Your wondrous conception united God the Logos/Word with man, and joined our fallen nature with the Heavens; the only hope of the hopeless, and the help of the persecuted; the ever-ready to rescue all that flee unto You, and the refuge of all Christians, spurn me not, the branded sinner, who by shameful thoughts, words and deeds, has made my whole being useless, and through indolence has enslaved my judgment to the pleasures of this life. But as the Mother of the Merciful God, mercifully show compassion unto me, the sinner and prodigal, and accept my supplication which is offered from impure lips unto You.

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The Mother of God, the Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary Through the Akathist Hymn and Paraklesis

Having secretly received the command, the Archangel hastened unto Joseph's abode and spoke to the Holy Virgin. He Who bowed the Heavens with His descending, is wholly contained, yet unchanged in You. And seeing Him taking the likeness of a servant in Your womb, I stand in amazement and cry unto You: "Hail! O Bride Ever-Virgin."

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August Fast: Time of Almsgiving (Philanthropy) [Part II]

Doctors who have much practice, and receive much money from sick people, ought, for their soul's sake, to give alms generously, if they believe that they have an immortal soul. Rich priests who are generously rewarded for their prayers and spiritual labors ought also to give alms freely, so as not to be condemned with Judas the betrayer, who sold the Lord of Glory for pieces of silver. Merchants who make large profits ought absolutely to practice almsgiving, and be generous in adorning God's temples.

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