The Aim of Monastic Life Consists in Studying the Will of God...

St. George

Beloved brothers and sisters in Christ Our Only True God and Our Only True Savior,


Lord of the Powers, come and be with us; For, in times of trouble, no other helper have we than You. Lord of the Powers, have mercy on us.

Praise the Lord God in His holy places; Praise Him in the firmament of His power.

Lord of the Powers, come and be with us; For, in times of trouble, no other helper have we than You. Lord of the Powers, have mercy on us.

Praise Him for His mighty acts, Praise Him for the multitude of His majesty.

Lord of the Powers, come and be with us; For, in times of trouble, no other helper have we than You. Lord of the Powers, have mercy on us.

Praise Him with the sound of the trumpet, Praise Him with the psalter and the harp....


On November 3rd 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: The Consecration of the church of Saint George the Great Martyr at Lydda; Saints Akepsimas, Joseph and Aeithalas of Persia; Saint Elias of Egypt; Saint Hubert of Maastricht; Saint George the Younger of Neopolis; Saint Nicholas, Radiant Star of Georgia; Nine holy Martyrs slain by the sword; 28 holy Martyrs slain by fire; Holy Martyrs Dasios, Severos, Andronas, Theodotos, and Theodote; Saint theodore, bishop of Ancyra; Saint Snandulia of Persia; Saint Pimen of Zographou; Righteous Acepsimas, Hermit of Cyrrhus in Syria.

THE HOLY AND GREAT MARTYR GEORGE. On this day we celebrate the translation of St. George's Holy Relics from Nicomedia to the city of Lydda in Palestine, where he suffered in the time of the pagan Roman Emperor Diocletian ( 284-305 AD.). The sufferings of this wonderful Saint are recorded on April 23rd. At the time of his death, Saint George asked his servant to take his body and carry it to Palestine, to the place where his mother was born, and where he had much land that he had given away to the poor. His servant did this. In the time of the Emperor Constantine (305-337 AD.), a beautiful church was erected in the city of Lydda by devout Christians, and, on the occasion of the consecration of that church, the Saint's Holy Relics were translated (anakomide ton lipsanon) and buried there. Innumerable miracles have been wrought by the Holy Relics of Saint George, Christ's great martyr.

by Bishop Ignatius (Brianchaninov) 1807-1867 [source: THE ARENA]

The essence of the monastic life consists in healing our impaired will, uniting it with the will of God, and sanctifying it by this union. Our will, in its fallen state, is hostile to the will of God. On account of its blindness and its hostility to God it is constantly endeavoring to oppose the will of God. When its efforts are unsuccessful, it leads a person to irritability, discontent, confusion, sorrow, despondency, accidie, grumbling, blasphemy, and despair. In the renunciation of one's own will to follow the will of God consists the self-renunciation commanded by the Savior, which is an indispensable condition of salvation and Christian perfection. In fact, this is so indispensable that unless this condition is satisfied, salvation is impossible, and Christian perfection even more impossible. "In his will is life" (Psalm 29:6) said the Prophet.


In order to do the will of God, it is necessary to know it. Only with this knowledge is the renunciation of one's damaged will possible and its healing by the will of God. The will of God is a divine mystery. "No one knows the thoughts of God," says the Holy Apostle Paul, "except the Spirit of God" (1 Corinthians 2:11). Consequently, men can obtain knowledge of the will of God only through Divine Revelation. "Teach me to do Thy will", prayed inspired David, "for Thou are my God." "Thy good Spirit will guide me to the right land" (Psalm 142:10).

"Unveil my eyes, and I shall discern the wonders of thy Law. I am a stranger on earth; hide not Thy Commandments from me". [Psalm 118:18-19]

The will of God is revealed to mankind in the Law of God. ["The Law of God" is a Russian term signifying Holy Scripture and Holy Tradition as taught by the Orthodox Church]. But pre-eminently, with special clarity and detail, it is made known to us by the Incarnate Word [Logos] of God. As the highest knowledge, it is received by faith. "I have come down from Heaven," said the Savior, "not to do my own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. And this is the will of the Father who sent Me, that I should not lose one of all he has given me, but should raise them all at the last day. And this is the will of Him who sent me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day." (St. John 6:38-40). "I have not spoken on my own initiative: but the Father who sent me has Himself given me this Commandment what to say and what to tell. And I know that His Commandment is eternal life" (St. John 12:49-50).

The study of the will of God is a task filled with joy, filled with spiritual consolation. At the same time it is a task that presents great sorrows, disappointments, trials and temptations. It is also inseparable from self-renunciation, the mortification of our fallen nature, and the saving destruction of the soul. It involves the crucifixion of the old man (Galatians 5:24; Col. 3:9-10).It requires that the carnal mind and outlook be renounced, spurned, annihilated. "Do not be conformed to the world; but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may know experimentally what is the good, acceptable and perfect will of God" (Romans 12:2), says the holy Apostle.

With such precision and authenticity has the Son of God revealed God's will to men, with such substantial consequences has he linked this revelation of the will of God, that Sacred Scripture calls Him the "exegesis of God" (Saint John 1:18) or ("The One Who narrates, expounds, interprets, or confesses God); that is to say, the one who reveals in as a full a manner as men are capable of receiving--not capable of themselves, but through the super-abundant action of Divine Grace. Such also is the meaning of our Lord's words: "I have made known Thy name to men. I have told them Thy name, and will tell it, that the love with which Thou hast loved Me may be in them, and I in them" (St. John 17:6, 26). The revelation of the name of Him who is above every name is the most perfect knowledge of Him who is above all knowledge. The supreme knowledge which is revealed as a result of the sanctification of man by the Divine Will leads to divine love, to the union of man with God.

Some of the Commandments of the Gospel teach us how to act in a manner pleasing to God; others teach us how to react so as to please God when outside forces act upon us. It is more difficult to learn the latter than the former. But the former will be understood satisfactorily when the soul learns and accepts the latter. It is essential to convince oneself that God rules the destiny of the world and the destiny of every individual. The experiences and trials of life will not be slow to confirm and establish this teaching of the Gospel. A consequence of the acceptance by faith of this teaching is a humble submission to God, the flight of troubles and worries, peace of soul, the power of fortitude. He who thus accepts the teaching of the Gospel "takes the shield of faith with which he can quench all the fiery darts of the Evil One" (Ephesians 6:16).

It is essential to maintain an attitude of reverent trust toward the inscrutable (for us) judgments of God in all the manifestations of His will and in all that He permits, both in God's special and general providences, alike in private and public or social life, equally in civil as in moral and spiritual affairs. "Humble yourselves" says the Holy Apostle Peter, "under the strong arm of God, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you"  (1 Peter 5:6-7).We should humble ourselves after that superb example presented to us by Holy Scripture in the prayer of the Three Holy Children whose fidelity to God was put to a severe test in Babylon, and who acknowledged that all God's providences are the consequences of His just judgment (Daniel 3:24-45). It is "inevitable that temptations come," (St. Matthew 18:7), declared our Lord. And in foretelling the terrible calamities that would befall those who believed in Him and all mankind, He said: "see that you are not alarmed, for all these things are bound to happen" (St. Matthew 24:6). If so, then neither have we the right, nor is it feasible, to say or think anything against the decrees or decisions pronounced by the All-good, All-wise, Almighty God.

+By the holy intercessions of Your Saints and Holy and Great Martyrs, O Christ Our God, have mercy on us and save us. Amen.


Holy Epistle Lesson: 2 Corinthians 5:1-10
Holy Gospel Lesson: St. Luke 9:1-6


"You should have the fear of God as a constant adornment, humility as a modest garment...The death of your soul is walking beside you; it precedes your steps, it hovers around your heart, flies in your eyes, wrestles with your thoughts. Be careful with your life, guard your soul greatly." [Geronda[Elder] Joseph the Hesychast]

With sincere agape in His Holy Diakonia,
The sinner and unworthy servant of God

+Father George