My beloved spiritual children in Christ Our Only True God and Our Only True Savior,
CHRIST IS IN OUR MIDST! HE WAS, IS, AND EVER SHALL BE. Ο ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ ΕΝ ΤΩ ΜΕΣΩ ΗΜΩΝ! ΚΑΙ ΗΝ ΚΑΙ ΕΣΤΙ ΚΑΙ ΕΣΤΑΙ.
A COMMUNION PRAYER OFFERED BEFORE RECEIVING IT
Saint John Chrysostom
O Lord Jesus Christ my God, remit, forgive, absolve and pardon the offences and iniquities and transgressions which I, Thy sinful, unprofitable and unworthy servant have committed from my youth, up to the present day and hour, whether in knowledge or ignorance, whether by words or deeds or intentions or thoughts, and whether by habit or through any of my senses. And by the supplication of her who in purity conceived Thee, the All-Pure and Ever-Virgin Mary Thy Mother, the only hope which maketh not ashamed, and my protection and salvation, do Thou make me worthy without condemnation to receive Thy pure, immortal, Life-Giving and fearful Mysteries, unto the forgiveness of sins and unto eternal Life. May they be for sanctification and enlightenment and strength and healing and health of soul and body, and unto the blotting out and complete destruction of my evil reasonings and intentions and prejudices and nocturnal imaginings of dark and evil spirits. For Thine is the Kingdom and the power and the glory and honor and the worship with the Father and the Holy Spirit now and forever and unto the Ages of the Ages. Amen.
TODAY'S SYNAXARION (THE COMMEMORATION OF TODAY'S SAINTS):
On October 13th Our Holy Orthodox Christian Church commemorates, honors and entreats the holy intercessions of the following Saints, Forefathers, Fathers, Patriarchs, Prophets, Preachers, Evangelists, Martyrs, Confessors, Ascetics, Teachers and of every righteous soul made perfect in Our Holy Orthodox Christian faith: Holy Martyrs Carpus, Bishop of Thyatira, Papylas his Deacon, Agathodoros their servant, and Agathoniki, sister of Saint Papylas; Holy Martyr Florentius of Thessaloniki; Holy Martyr Dioscoros of Skenopolis in Egypt; our Righteous Father Nicetas of Paphlagonia, the Patrician and Confessor; Holy Martyr Benjamin of Persia, the Deacon; Holy Martyr Antigonus was perfected in martyrdom by fire; Holy New Martyr Zlata, also called Chryse, who was martyred by dismemberment in 1795 in Slatena; Holy Martyrs Faustus, Januarius, and Martial of Cordova; our Righteous Father Venantius, Egoumenos (Abbot) of the Monastery of Saint Martin in Tours; our Righteous Father Benjamin of the Kiev Caves; Holy New Martyr James of Hamatoura in Lebanon, who was tortured and beheaded by the Mamelukes in Tripoli in the fifteen century; our Righteous Father Anthony, Metropolitan of Chqondidi in Georgia; Holy New Hieromartyr Benjamin, Archimandrite of the Solovki Monastery, who was slain by the atheists and communists in the year 1918; Holy New Hieromartyr Benjamin, Bishop of Ufa; the translation of the venerable Holy Icon of our Most Holy Lady the Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary, which is called Keeper of the Portal (Portaitissa) of Iveron Monastery.
+By the holy intercessions of Your Saints, Holy Martyr, Holy Confessors, Holy Hieromartyrs, Holy Fathers, Holy Ascetics, Holy Mothers, Holy Righteous, Holy Bishops, Holy Deacons, Holy Archimandrites, Holy Bishops Holy Metropolitans, Holy Egoumenoi (Abbots), O Christ our God, have mercy on us and saves us. Amen.
HOLY MARTYRS CARPUS, BISHOP OF THYATIRA, PAPYLUS THE DEACON, AGATHODORUS, AND AGATHONICA. Saint Carpus was Bishop of the Church of Thyatira in Asia Minor and Papylus was his deacon, whom he had ordained. Seized as Christians and tormented in Thyatrira, they were taken to Sardis, whither Agathodorus, their servant, followed them, and also confessed Christ, and beheaded during the reign of the pagan Roman emperor Decius, in the year 250 AD.
Apolytikion (Dismissal) Hymn. Fourth Tone
Thy Martyrs, O Lord, in their courageous contest for Thee received as the prize the crowns of incorruption and life from Thee, our immortal God. For since they possessed Thy strength, they cast down the tyrants and wholly destroyed the demons' strengthless presumption. O Christ God, by their prayers, save our souls, since Thou art merciful.
Kontakion Hymn. Fourth Tone
To those on earth our Sovereign Master hath granted your sacred relic as a most precious treasure and as a fountain pouring forth great streams of cures. For thy purge away the ills of the manifold passions and bestow upon our souls grace divine without ceasing. Wherefore with one accord we keep your feast with fervent longing, O Carpus and Papylus.
TODAY'S SACRED SCRIPTURAL READINGS ARE THE FOLLOWING:
Holy Epistle Lesson: Philippians 1:1-7
Holy Gospel Lesson: St. Luke 7:36-50
INSPIRING SAYING FROM THE HOLY ASCETICS, HOLY MOTHERS AND HOLY FATHERS OF THE CHURCH:
"We must first correct the nous, for it to be focused when it prays, when it reads and when it is taught. Otherwise, everything else is futile and progress will never come to the soul. For the extent to which the nous is corrected, everyone is also given the measure of the knowledge and awareness of themselves and God. The nous is the eye of the soul. When the nous is illumined, then man can see the glory of God, can truly know Him, and can acquire self-knowledge. In this state, his prayer is pure and heard by God. The nous is illumined when one struggles to apply the Commandments of God in their life, and to live the ascetic, prayerful, and sacramental life."
AN HOMILY ON PRAYER (PART III)
By Saint John Chrysostom
Someone among the indolent who does not wish to pray diligently may raise an objection about all this with the words spoken by Christ: "Not everyone who simply says, 'Lord, Lord' will enter into the Kingdom of Heaven, but he who does the will of My Heavenly Father" (St. Matthew 7:21). Certainly someone may indeed say this, if I were of the opinion that prayer alone is sufficient for our salvation. But because I say that prayer is the crown of good things and the foundation and root of the virtuous life, let no one say this as an excuse for their indolence. For neither prudence alone can save without the other virtues, nor the care of the poor, or goodness, or any other of the virtues, for they must all work together in our souls. Prayer is always there as the root and the foundation. As the keel makes the ship strong and holds it together as a unified whole, and as the foundations hold up the building, by the same token, our life is upheld and strengthened by prayers, without which nothing good and salutary can come to us: "Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving" (Col. 4:2). In another place he says: "Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you" (1 Thessalonians 5:17). Again he says in another place: "Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication" (Ephesians 6:18). With many such divine words the preeminent Apostle Paul exhorts us to live our life with prayer and to nurture constantly our mind with it, because all human beings have need of prayer just as trees have need of water. As the trees cannot bear fruit unless they drink from their roots abundant water, so also we cannot produce the precious fruit of piety unless we are nurtured by prayers.
This is why we must pray and worship when we rise from our bed before the dawn of the sun, when we are about to have our meals, and when we prepare to recline for sleep. We must at every moment offer a prayer to God. During the winter months we should devote the greater part of the night to prayers and ascetic vigils. Moreover, we should be praying with much delight, but also with much fear, considering ourselves as fortunate and blessed for being able to worship God. Tell me, how will you look upon the sun if you do not worship the One Who sends upon your eyes that most pleasant and sweet light? How will you enjoy the meal if you do not first thank in prayer the Giver and Provider of so many gifts and blessings? With what hope will you spend the hours of the night? What dreams do you hope to see if you do not guard yourself with prayers, but recline for sleep unprotected by prayers? You will be easily despised and become the play thing of the cunning demons, who wander constantly to see which one of us they can opportunely snatch suddenly by finding us without prayer. But if these demons see us well protected by prayers, they run away like startled thieves and evil doers, seeing that a fiery sword stands by the soldier of Christ in prayer. And if anyone should be found to be barren of any prayer, such a person is readily drawn by the demons and guided toward sins and misfortunes and many other evil things.
Since we fear all these evil things and want to be protected from them, let us guard ourselves with the holy prayers, so that God may have mercy upon us all and make us worthy of the Kingdom of Heaven through His Only-Begotten Son, Jesus Christ, Whose power and Glory will endure until the end of the ages. Amen.
On Shunning Reading of Books Containing False Teachings
By Saint Ignatius Brainchaninov
"Again I bring you, faithful sons and daughters of the Orthodox Church, a word of sincere and good counsel. This word does not belong to me: It is the Holy Fathers'. All my counsels are from them.
Keep your mind and heart from the doctrine of falsehood. Do not talk about Christianity with people contaminated by false thoughts; do not read books on Christianity written by false teachers.
The Holy Spirit is present in Truth; He is the Spirit of Truth. The spirit of the devil, who is falsehood and the father of deception and falsehood. Let this not seem strange, incredible to you: thus affirms the lights of the Church - the Holy Fathers.
If your mind and heart are not written over with anything, let Truth and Spirit write upon them the Commandments of God and His teachings.
If, however, you allowed the tablets of your soul to be written over and scribbled upon by various conceptions and impressions, not discerning wisely and carefully-who is the writer, what does he write: then erase what was written by alien writers, erase by repentance and renunciation of everything contrary to God. Let the finger of God alone be the writer on the tablets of your soul."
MY BLESSING TO ALL OF YOU
The Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and Father, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen.
With sincere agape in His Holy Diakonia,
The sinner and unworthy servant of God