Beloved brothers and sisters in Christ Our Only True God and Our Only True 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.
DELIVER ME FROM APATHY AND SLOTHFULNESS
[Saint Ephraim the Syrian]
The sinless Lamb of God freely chose to suffer the Cross in the flesh and was slain for the salvation of us sinners. In incorrupt flesh did He taste death in order to save our fallen nature. Thou Who art the Wisdom and the Strength of God the Father, the Radiance of His glory, O incomprehensible Jesus, O unfathomable Christ, O only kindhearted Lover of mankind, pour out on me, a sinner, Thy grace mercy, and by Thy grace chase away from me all apathy, slothfulness and impatience, that in Thy Second Coming I might not hear Thy terrible denunciations: What didst Thou suffer for My sake?
Spare me, O Lord! Spare me, O kindhearted One! Spare me, O Lover of man! Spare me, O only Good One! Be merciful and have mercy on me according to Thy singular kindness. Strengthen my soul which has been corrupted by my slothfulness and apathy, O Thou Who exaltest the lowly and rescues the distressed!
Thou knowest how negligent and wretched I am, Thou knowest how many cunning and evil thoughts war against me, Thou seest the enemy's malice and the many wiles which he uses against me. Help me according to Thy great mercy, make me sober and vigilant, quicken me and save me by Thy grace through the prayers of our most pure Lady the Mother of God and of all the Saints. Amen.
On November 19th 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, Teachers and every righteous spirit made perfect in Our Orthodox Christian faith: Obadiah the holy Prophet; Varlaam the holy Martyr; Saint Azes and 150 soldiers with him; Saint Philaret, Metropolitan of Moscow; Saint Hilarion of Georgia, Wonderworker of Thessaloniki.
THE HOLY PROPHET OBADIAH. Holy Obadiah lived at the court of King Ahab, but, when the king turned away from true worship and bowed down to idols, Obadiah did not follow the king's example, but continued to serve the one, True God. When the wicked Queen Jezebel, because of her feud with Elias, hunted down all the Prophets of God, Obadiah took a hundred of them and hid them in two caves, feeding them till the persecution was over (I Kings 18:4). A contemporary of the great Prophet Elias, Obadiah revered him greatly and hearkened to him in all things, being a follower and pupil of his. He lived nine hundred years before Christ, and entered peacefully into rest.
+By the holy intercessions of Your Saints and Holy Prophets, O Christ Our God, have mercy on us and save us. Amen.
TODAY'S SACRED SCRIPTURAL READINGS ARE THE FOLLOWING READINGS:
Holy Epistle Lesson: 2 Thessalonians 1:1-10
Holy Gospel Lesson: St. Luke 17:20-25
FOR YOUR PERSONAL REFLECTION AND SANCTIFICATION
"As long as man regards man, and not Satan, as the source of evil in society, fratricide will rule in place of brotherly love." [Saint Nikolai Velimirovich]
THOUGH OUR ARE DIFFICULT AND DANGEROUS TIMES, CHRIST WILL TRIUMPH IN THE END.
by Geronda[Elder] Paisios of Mount Athos, Spiritual counsels [source: With Pain and Love for Contemporary Man]
Nowadays people have all kinds of insurances, but being estranged from Christ, they feel the greatest insecurity of all. No other age has seen as much insecurity as our own. No human insurance can help people. Seeing that the world's ship is sinking, people rush to board the ship of the Church, to find spiritual safety there. But if they see that the Church is also taking on water, and that she has been caught up in the secular spirit and not the Holy Spirit, they too, will go away disappointed having nothing to hold on to.
So many people are suffering and feel lost being forced to live in this hellish world. Others feel abandoned and indifferent to all things, especially now. They have nowhere to go in order to find help, so they grab onto anything they can find like a drowning man grabbing onto a straw. In desperation, a drowning man will clutch at anything to be saved. You see, a boat is sinking and those on board are reaching to hold on to the mast, not thinking that the mast will sink, too. So they grab it and go down ever faster. All I am trying to say is that people are looking for a place to rest, for something solid to hold on to. And as long as they don't have enough faith to hold on to, as long as they cannot trust in God and abandon themselves completely to Him, they will go on suffering. The most important thing is to put one's total trust in God.
Though ours are difficult and dangerous times, Jesus Christ will triumph in the end. You will see that many will come to appreciate the Church. But we must be and remain upright; people will then understand that without the Church, there is no way out. Even the politicians have come to realize that in the state of madness we have around us, only the people of the Church can make a difference. Do not be surprised that even those who govern us have thrown up their hands in helplessness! Some folks came to see me in my Kalyvi [A Kalyvi is a simple monastic dwelling, with a little property around it and an attached Chapel, suited to accommodate a limited number of monks under an Elder [Geronda].
With sincere agape in His Holy Diakonia,
The sinner and unworthy servant of God