The Holy Feast Day of the Conception of Saint John the Baptist and Forerunner

On this day the mercy, miracles and wisdom of God are celebrated: His mercy toward the devout and righteous parents of Saint John, the aged Zacharias and Elizabeth, who all their lives had wished for and begged a child from God; His miracles, that of John's conception in the aged womb of Elizabeth; His wisdom, in the dispensation of man's salvation.

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On Despair

A nun overcome by despair would say: "I am afraid that I will not be saved..." And a wise elder replied to her: "Who then will be saved if monastics are not saved?" (meaning that monastics have all the external means in their way of life for salvation). "Why did God create Paradise? We will be saved...We ought to be happy. We should sense that we are sinners, but we should also glorify God. Trusting in God is one continuous prayer. We should stop being evil-minded. Blasphemous thoughts are like aeroplanes. They fly past, disturb our tranquility and then leave. I'll call myself a sinner whenever I wish, not when the Devil wants me to."

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On Gratitude Towards our Lord and Creator (Part II)

Thanksgiving to God raises us mortals out of the corruption of mortality, releases us from that from which we must all at some time be released, whether we will or not, and binds us to God the Living and Immortal; if we are not bound to Him in this life, then we shall never be in His presence in eternity. Thanksgiving ennobles the thankful and nourishes good works. Thanksgiving inspires benevolence in the world, and gives freshness to every virtue. The mortal tongue of man is far from being able to represent either the beauty of gratitude or the ugliness of ingratitude as graphically as both are presented in the Gospel.

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Children Learn the Love of God From Their Parents

Most Orthodox parents want their children to grow up attending Sunday liturgies and staying active in the life of the Church throughout their lives. Yet few parents demonstrate the importance of having a relationship with God in front of their children. If you do not make God important, neither will your child. Children can see hypocrisy; they know when you are not following through with the teachings of the Church during the week. They hear when you take the Lord's name in vain. They observe when you don't make prayer central to your day. They notice if you only speak of God on Sunday morning.

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On Gratitude Towards our Lord and Creator

ON GRATITUDE TOWARDS OUR LORD AND CREATOR
[A homily on the Gospel on Healing of the Ten Lepers bySaint Nikolai Velimirovic, bishop of Ochrid, from "Homilies, vol. Two: Sunday after Pentecost," Lazaria Press, Birmingham.]

"As Jesus entered into a certain village, there met Him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off; and they lifted up their voices, and said: 'Jesus, Master; have mercy on us!' And when He saw them, He said unto them: 'Go shew yourselves unto the priests.'

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