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.
+In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Come, let us worship!
Save me, O God, by Your Name and vindicate me by Your Might. Hear my prayer, O God; give ear to the words of my mouth. For insolent men have risen against me, ruthless men seek my life; they do not set God before them. Behold, God is my helper; the Lord is the upholder of my life. He will requite my enemies with evil; in Your faithfulness put an end to them. With a freewill offering I will sacrifice to You; I will give thanks to Your Name O Lord, for it is good. For You have delivered me from every trouble and my eye has looked in triumph on my enemies!
O Christ God, on the sixth day and hour, You nailed to the Cross the sin which rebellious Adam committed in Paradise. Tear asunder also the bond of our iniquities, and save us! You have wrought salvation in the midst of the earth, O Christ God. You stretched out Your All-Pure hands upon the Cross; You gathered together all the nations that cry aloud to You; Glory to You, O Lord! --Prayer of Saint Basil the Great
O God, Lord of hosts and Maker of all created things, Who in Your great compassion and mercy sent down Your Only-begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, for the redemption of mankind, and by His precious Cross destroyed the writing of our sins, thereby triumphing over the source and power of darkness: O Lord and Lover of man, accept also the thanksgiving and fervent prayers of us sinners. Deliver us from every dark and harmful transgression and from all the visible and invisible enemies which seek to destroy us. Nail our flesh to the fear of You, and do not incline our hearts to words or thoughts of guile. But wound our souls with Your love, that ever looking to You, and guided by You in the light, and beholding You, the Light ineffable and everlasting, we may offer ceaseless praise and thanksgiving to You: To the Father Who has no beginning, together with Your Only-begotten Son and Your All-Holy, Good and Life-Giving Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.
Through the prayers of our holy Fathers, may the Lord have mercy on us. Amen.
THE SECOND DAY OF THE MONTH
"And the woman said, the serpent beguiled me and I ate. And God said to the serpent...I will make you and her seed enemies; He shall bruise your head and you shall bruise His heel" (Genesis 3:14-15).
I weep in sorrow when I think of the wondrous Paradise which we humans lost through sin. Now, we have fallen into bondage to that serpent, the Evil-One, whose name is Satan. O unhappy race that we are. We serve the devil who hates us, rather than God Who loves us.
But what is this promise which God made to our mother Eve, "your seed will crush the serpent's head"? Do we have any hope? Will the power of Satan ever be crushed so that we might be free and walk with our God once more? When will we see that mother whose offspring will bruise the head of Satan, even as the evil-one wounds His heel?
Think about these things, O believer, and call to mind the Holy Virgin Theotokos, that your heart might be comforted. Remember, that her Child, Jesus Christ has truly bruised the head of that evil serpent, the devil, and crushed his power beneath the Cross. When Satan wounded the heel of Christ on the Cross, he did not understand that, on the Cross, Christ was crushing his head.
Do you now understand, that Mary is the new Eve, the new Mother of mankind, whose offspring has set us free from our bondage to the evil-one? That first Gospel promise which God gave to Eve has been fulfilled through Mary. What joy fills our hearts when we think on these things and see the love and mercy of God, as we say to the Theotokos in awe:
"How were you chosen to be that special spiritual Mother of mankind, that new Eve? The old Eve lived in Paradise, and became filled with disobedience because of pride. You, O Theotokos, lived in the temple and became completely obedient through humility and meekness. I glorify you, O Spotless Virgin, for through you pure faith and humility, my Savior was born into the world.
Seeing this great wonder and victory that has come forth through you, O Most Pure and Ever Virgin Mother, my soul humbly cries to you:
Most Holy Mother of Jesus Christ our God, pray to our Lord and Savior that I may find the path of humility and obedience through repentance. Pray for me, that the eyes of my heart may be opened to understand that on the Cross, Christ crushed the head of the serpent to set me free from bondage to the evil-one, into the hope of everlasting life.
(Source: The Most Holy Theotokos by Archbishop Lazar Puhalo)
The Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God the Father, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with all. Amen.
May the Lord God strengthen the Holy and Pure faith of devout Orthodox Christians, and of His Holy Church, this city and Parish, to the endless ages. Amen.
With sincere agape in His Holy Diakonia,
The sinner and unworthy servant of God