Beloved brothers and sisters in Christ Our Only God and Our Only Savior,
CHRIST IS IN OUR MIDST! HE WAS AND IS AND EVER SHALL BE. Ο ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ ΕΝ ΤΩ ΜΕΣΩ ΗΜΩΝ. ΚΑΙ ΗΝ ΚΑΙ ΕΣΤΙ ΚΑΙ ΕΣΤΑΙ.
PRAYER OF SAINT SYMEON THE TRANSLATOR
O Only Pure and sinless Lord, Who through the ineffable compassion of Your love for us did assume our whole nature through the pure and virgin blood of her who supernaturally conceived You by the coming of the Divine Spirit and by the will of the Eternal Father; O Christ Jesus, Wisdom and Peace and Power of God, Who in Your assumption of our nature did suffer Your Life-Giving and Saving Passion--the Cross, the Nails, the Spear and Death-mortify all the deadly passions of my body. You Who in Your burial did spoil the dominions of hell, bury with good thoughts my evil schemes and scatter the spirits of wickedness. You Who by Your Life-Giving Resurrection on the third day raise up our fallen first Parent, raise me up who am sunk in sin and suggest to me ways of repentance. You Who by Your glorious Ascension did deify our nature which You had assumed and did honor it by Your session at the right hand of the Father, make me worthy by partaking of Your holy Mysteries of a place at Your right hand among those who are saved. You Who by the descent of the Spirit, the Paraclete, did make Your holy Disciples worthy vessels, make me also a recipient of His coming. You Who art to come again to judge the world with justice, grant me also to meet You on the clouds, my Maker and Creator, with all Your Saints, that I may unending glorify and praise You with Your Eternal Father and Thy All-Holy and God and Life-Giving Spirit, now and ever, and to the age of ages. Amen.
On October 12th Our Holy Orthodox Christian Church commemorates, honors and entreats the holy intercessions of the following Saints, Forefathers, Fathers, Patriarchs, Prophets, Apostles, Preachers, Evangelists, Martyrs, Confessors, Ascetics and Teachers of Our Holy Orthodox Christian faith: Saint Symeon the New Theologian; Saints Provos, Andronicus, and Tarachos, holy Martyrs of Tarsus; Saint Martin; Saint Cosmas the Hymnographer.
THE HOLY MARTYRS TARACHUS, PROVOS AND ANDRONICUS. Saint Tarachus was born in Syrian Claudiopolis, Saint Provos in Pamphylian Side and Saint Andronicus was the son of an eminent citizen of Ephesus. They were all three martyred together by the Proconsul, Hymerius Maximus, in the time of the pagan Roman Emperor Diocletian (284-305 AD). Saint Tarachus was 65 years old when he was martyred. When the Proconsul asked him three times for his name, he answered all three times: "I am a Christian". They were first beaten with rods, then, all bloody and wounded, thrown into prison. After that, they were brought out again for further torture. When the Proconsul urged Saint Provos to deny Christ, promising him honors from the Emperor and his own friendship, holy Provos replied: "I neither desire imperial honors nor seek your friendship." When he put Saint Andronicus to ever greater physical torture, Christ's young martyr replied: "My body is before you; do with it what you will." After long-drawn-out torture in various places, these three holy Martyrs were thrown into the theatre before the wild beasts. Before them, others were torn to pieces by the animals in this same theatre, but the beasts would not touch the Saints; both the bear and the ferocious lioness fawned around them. Seeing this, many people believed in Christ the Lord and cried out against the Proconsul. Wild with anger, and more ferocious than the beasts, the Proconsul ordered soldiers to go in and cut Christ's soldiers to pieces, and their bodies lay mingled with the bodies of the others who had been slain. Three Christians: Macarius, Felix and Verianus, who witnessed the slaughter of the holy martyrs, came that night to take their holy bodies. All the bodies being mixed up and the night being very dark, they, in uncertainty about how to distinguish the martyr's bodies, prayed to God, and three lights suddenly appeared above the holy bodies of the Saints. They took them and gave them a Christian burial.
SAINT SYMEON THE NEW THEOLOGIAN. "One of the most beloved Holy Fathers is Saint Symeon the New Theologian, who was the abbot of Saint Mamas in Constantinople. He is one of three great Fathers whom the Orthodox Church has granted the title of "Theologian", because he is one of a few, in the history of Christianity, to 'know' God. The other two Theologians are Saint John the Evangelist, and Saint Gregory of Nazianzus (390 AD).
Saint Symeon was born in Galatia in Paphlagonia (Asia Minor) in 949 AD. His parents, Basal and Theophana, were Byzatine provincial nobles. Saint Symeon received only the basics of a primary Greek school education until he was about eleven years old. He finished his secondary education at the age of 14 in the court of the two brother emperors Basil and Constantine Porphyrogenetes. At 14, he met Saint Symeon the Studite, who became his spiritual father and who led him into the life of asceticism and prayer. Although he wanted to enter the famous monastery of the Stoudion at the age of 14, his spiritual father had him wait until he turned 27. During this period of preparation, Saint Symeon's elder continued to counsel and guide him, preparing him gradually for the Monastic life even in the midst of worldly cares. Saint Symeon occupied himself with the management of a patrician's household and possibly entered the service of his emperor as a diplomat and a Senator. While 'busy in the world' he also strove to live a monk's life in the evenings, spending his time in night vigils and reading the spiritual works of Mark the Hermit and Diadochus of Photike. One of his elder's advice was, "if you desire to have always a soul-saving guidance, pay heed to your conscience and without fail do what it will instill in you."
Saint Symeon's words still speak to us today, even though he lived a thousand years ago. Of special note is his emphasis to return to the essence or spirit of the early Orthodox Church, and merely depend on or shelter under the outward forms of church life. His burning conviction is that the Christian life must be more than just a routine or habit, but rather it should be a personal experience of the triune God, calling himself the "enthusiastic zealot" who has personal, mystical experiences. His spiritual emphasis is, however, misused by many 'charismatic Christians' and other today who claim to have gifts of the Holy Spirit', which are probably emotional or 'scholastic' rather than spiritual. The following is a quote from Saint Symeon on spirituality:
"Do not say that it is impossible to receive the Spirit of God. Do not say that it is possible to be made whole without Him. Do not say that one can possess Him without knowing it. Do not say that God does not manifest Himself to man. Do not say that men cannot perceive the divine light, or that it is impossible in this age! Never is it found to be impossible, my friends. On the contrary, it is entirely possible when one desires it".
Saint Symeon the New Theologian fell asleep in the Lord in 1022 AD. The Saint's feast is celebrated on October 12th.
Quotations from the writings of Saint Symeon the Theologian:
"Woe to those who say, 'When shall the day of the Lord come? And they don't care to know and understand that day. For the Lord's Presence in the faithful has already come, and is continuously coming, and to all those who wish for it, has arrived and is firm. Because, if He is indeed the Light of the world (St. John 8:12) and to His Apostles has said, that with us until the end of time will be (St. Matthew 28:20; 1:23), how, with us being, will come? Not at all. For we are not sons of darkness and son of night, in order for the light to overtake us, but sons of Light and son of the Lord's day, hence and living in the Lord we are, and dying in Him and with Him will live, as Saint Paul says (Acts 17:28). About this also the Theologian thus speaks, Gregory: 'This exactly that the sun is to sensible things, this is God to spiritual."
He will be the future age and the eternal day and Kingdom of heavens, bridegroom and bed and earth of the peaceful and divine paradise and King and servant, as himself thus spoke: "Blessed are those servants, their Lord will come and find awake. Verily I say to you, He will lie them in comfort and He will be prepared to serve them" (St. Luke 12:37).
"Blessed are they...who have received Christ coming as Light in the darkness" (St. John 1:5,12), for they are become sons of Light and of Day (I Thes. 5:5).
"The soul cannot live unless it is ineffably and without confusion united to God Whos is truly the life eternal (1 John 5:20). Before this union in knowledge, vision and perception it is dead, even though it is endowed with intellect and is by nature immortal…"
"God is called light, Who transcends all light, because He illumines us; and life, Who is beyond all life, because He vivifies us. Shining around us all, and encircling and cherishing us with glory of His Divinity, He is called raiment, and so we saw that we clothe ourselves with Him Who is intangible in every way and Who cannot be grasped. Uniting Himself without mingling with our soul and making it all as light, He is said to indwell us and, uncircumscribed, become circumscribed."
"He therefore who has died to the world--for this is the cross--and lives no longer himself, but it is Christ Who lives in him (Gal. 2:20); who has mortified his earthly members (Col. 3:5), that is, the passionate sensations of the body, such that he has become no longer a participant in any passion or evil lust: how tell me, can he take in any kind of passionate sensation, or surrender to any movement of pleasure, or ever be troubled in his heart?"
+By the holy intercessions of Your Saints and Holy Martyrs, O Christ Our God, have mercy on us and save us. Amen.
TODAY'S SACRED SCRIPTURAL READINGS ARE THE FOLLOWING:
Holy Epistle Lesson: Philippians 1:27-30; 2:1-4
Holy Gospel Lesson: St. Luke 9:12-18
FOR YOUR PERSONAL REFLECTION AND CONTEMPLATION:
"A person who suffers bitterly when slighted or insulted should recognize from this that he still harbors the ancient serpent in his breast. If he quietly endures the insult or responds with great humility, he weakens the serpent and lessens its hold. But if he replies acrimoniously or brazenly, he gives it strength to pour its venom into his heart and to feed mercilessly on his inward parts. In this way the serpent becomes increasingly powerful; it destroys his soul's strength and his attempts to set himself right, compelling him to live for sin and to be completely dead to righteousness." [Saint Symeon the New Theologian]
THE THREE OFFICES OF CHRIST AND THE FAITHFUL: PROPHETIC, PRIESTLY AND ROYAL.
by Father Athanasios Mitilinaios
Combined, these Three Offices of Christ work out our salvation. These Three Offices--the Prophetic, the Priestly, and the Royal--aid our salvation. With the First Office, the Prophetic, the True God is revealed. The Second, the Priestly Office, is what lifts humanity to God--the oblation, or the anaphora. The priest during the prayer of oblation, or anaphora, lifts the Holy Gifts to God. He offers the gifts to God: "Thine own of Thine own we offer to thee…" But here we have the lifting, the raising--the anaphora--of the entire humanity. This anaphora was offered by Christ on the Cross. He offered this oblation by His archpriestly office. He exercised His priestly office on the Cross. He lifted, raised, offered--we use all these words for the Greek word, Anaphora--the human nature to the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
With the third office, the Royal Office, nature becomes a true Kingdom of God and ruled by God. The Holy Baptism and Holy Chrism that each faithful receives incorporate Him in the Body of Christ, that is, the Church. [So that he becomes one body with Christ.] In this manner, each faithful participates or takes on these offices of Christ to a certain degree. Christ is a prophet, so the faithful becomes a prophet, to a certain extent. Christ is the King, so the faithful becomes a king to a certain extent. Therefore, this means that the Christian receives these offices form Christ, which Christ receives from the Father. Christ was anointed with the three offices, the triple office, and now we can see that Saint John the Evangelist and Theologian talks about this type of thing in Revelation, after the triple office of Christ, and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve God and Father.
When did Christ make us a kingdom and priests to serve God? He did this after He proved to be the Faithful Witness, the Firstborn from the dead, and the Ruler of the kings of the earth. We find this position in the Old Testament as well. God Himself says through Moses, and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel (Exodus 19:6). Can we grasp the meaning of these words, my friends? God wants His nation to be holy. That is what Prophet Isaiah says, "You shall be called the priests of the Lord…ministers of God; you will become priests of God, second you shall eat the wealth of the nations, and in this wealth you will be glorified, which means--and here is where the Jews totally misinterpret--No, this does not mean to dominate and extract all the wealth from the world and keep it in some banks. What a shame! This is how the blessed people of the Old Testament, how these pitiful people, God's elect of the Old Testament, misunderstand the Scriptures. The true meaning is that you will become kings and priests, and the true meaning of the king and the priests will only be given to us in Christ Jesus. If I do not have the presence of Jesus Christ, and if I study the Old Testament without the light of the New Testament, I can interpret Holy Scripture according to my selfish, national or racist ambitions and interests. So, if I am a Jew and I reject the New Testament, I reject Jesus Christ. Then I can say, "Here it is. God tells me to be wealthy, to rule the wealth of entire world, and to govern the entire world."
But this is a horrible mistake, a terrible misunderstanding of the word God, and the elitist group, the Zionist have been moving in this direction for years. They are worth many tears, because they will never rule the world, and they will not get much joy out of this wealth, because when they finally accomplish it, they will bring the Antichrist; and then, they will be destroyed. Therefore, they will not enjoy any of these efforts..
With sincere agape in His Holy Diakonia,
The sinner and unworthy servant of God