Faith is of Two Kinds

Venerable Pelagia the Penitent

Venerable Pelagia the Penitent

My beloved spiritual children in Christ Our Only True God an 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 CONTRITE PRAYER TO OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST

O Lord, Lover of mankind, forgive them that hate and wrong us. Do good to them that do good. Grant our brethren and kinsmen their saving petitions and life eternal; visit the infirm and grant them healing. Guide those at sea. Journey with them that travel. Help Orthodox Christians to struggle. To them that serve and are kind to us, grant remission of sins. On them that have charged us, the unworthy, to pray for them, have mercy according to Thy great mercy. Remember, O Lord, our fathers and brethren departed before us, and grant them rest where the Light of Thy countenance shall visit them. Remember, O Lord, our brethren in captivity, and deliver them from every misfortune. Remember, O Lord, those that bear fruit and do good works in Thy holy churches, and grant them their saving petitions and life eternal. Remember also, O Lord, us Thy lowly and sinful and unworthy servants, and enlighten our minds with the Light of Thy knowledge and guide us in the way of Thy Commandments; through the intercessions of our Most Pure Lady, the Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary, and of all Thy Saints, for Blessed art Thou unto the ages of ages. Amen.

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TODAY'S SYNAXARION (THE COMMEMORATION OF TODAY' SAINTS):

On October 8th 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 of every righteous soul made perfect in Our Holy Orthodox Christian faith: Saint Taisia (Thais) of Egypt; St Pelagia the Penitent of the Mount of Olives; Holy Virgin-Martyr Pelagia of Antioch; St. Tryphon of Vyatka; St. Dositheos, Egoumenos(Abbot) of Verkneostrov; St. Anthony, Bishop of Novgorod; New Holy Martyr Ignatius of Bulgaria and Mt. Athos; Saint Iwi of Lindisfarne; St. Triduana, nun of Restalrig; St. Keyene, hermitess of Cornwall.

+By the holy intercessions of our Saints, Holy Martyrs, Holy Virgins, Holy Egoumenoi, Holy Bishops, Holy Nuns, Holy Hermitesses, O Christ Our God, have mercy on us and save us. Amen.

VENERABLE TAISIA OF EGYPT. Saint Taisia was a beautiful harlot and the daughter of a harlot. Men were brought to poverty because of her. When the monk Paphnutios heard about this, he dressed as a layman and took gold to her, pretending to want to lie with her. Saint Paphnutios asked if there was a more private place to be with her, and she answered that he could not hide from God. The monk asked, if she knew of God, then why did she ruin so many souls? He said that fire and torment awaited her for her sins, as well as those she defiled. She threw herself at his feet, wanting repentance. First, she publicly burned all of her wealth, which was worth pounds of gold, and she followed Paphnutios to a women's monastery. He nailed her door shut, leaving her only a window and instructions for prayer. She ate bread and drank water just once each day. After three years, she told St. Paphnutios that her sins were ever before her and she had wept and prayed during all that time. Fifteen days later, she died peacefully. During an all-night vigil, Saint Paul the Simple had a vision and he saw Taisia in heaven with the Angels.

TODAY'S SACRED SCRIPTURAL READINGS ARE THE FOLLOWING:

Holy Epistle Lesson: Philippians 1:20-27
Holy Gospel Lesson: St. Luke 7:17-30

INSPIRING WORDS FROM THE HOLY ASCETICS, HOLY MOTHERS AND HOLY FATHERS:

"He who is humble in his thoughts and engaged in spiritual work, when he reads the Holy Scripture, will apply everything to himself and not to his neighbor." (St. Mark the Ascetic)

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FAITH IS OF TWO KINDS
By the Monks Callistus an Ignatius (Source: Writings from the Philokalia on Prayer of the Heart)

Note that, according to Divinely inspired words, faith is of two kinds: one, common to all Orthodox Christians, the faith into which we were originally baptized, and in which we shall quit this world; and another which belongs to very few. These latter are men who, by keeping all the Divine Commandments, have reached the state of being fashioned in God's image and likeness. Being thus enriched with the Divine Light of grace, they have put all their hope in the Lord to such measure that, in accordance with the word of our Lord (St. Mark 11:23), when they pray they do not think in their heart about their petitions to God, but with faith both ask and readily receive what is needful. But these blessed men acquired such firmness of faith through pure works, because they had steadfastly renounced all knowledge, speculation and hesitation, had free themselves of all cares and were totally absorbed in the Divine rapture of faith, hope and love of God, thus, according to divine David, undergoing a change to a better and more blessed state by the 'right hand of the Most High'.

It is not timely to speak now in detail about the first faith. But it is most timely to speak of the second which springs from the first, blossoms and bears Divine fruit. This faith is, as it were, the root and beginning of divine silence. Saint John of the Ladder (Climacus) says: 'If the hesychast has no faith, how will he lead a life of silence?' (27 68). The divine David also says: 'I believed, therefore have I spoken'. And the great Apostle Paul says: 'Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen' (Heb. 11:1); and: 'the just shall live by faith' (Hebrews 10:38). And the Lord, when the disciples asked Him to increase their faith, said: 'If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed ye might say unto this sycamine tree, be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you' (St. Luke 17:6); and another occasion: 'If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall say unto this mountain, be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done. And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive' (St. Matt. 21:21-22). Saint Isaac also writes: 'Faith is more subtle than knowledge, as knowledge is more subtle than sensory things. All the Saints who have embraced this life of awe-inspiring veneration of God, by the power of their faith remain in enjoyment of this supernatural life…by faith we mean here is faith ignited in the soul by the light of grace; which, through the evidence of the mind, fortifies the heart in sureness of hope remote from all self-opinion, which shows itself not in inclining the ear of hearing but in contemplating with spiritual eyes the mysteries hidden in the soul, those riches of grace, concealed from the eyes of the sons of the flesh, and revealed by the Spirit to those who feed at the feast of Christ by practicing His laws, as He said: "If you keep My Commandments, I shall send you a comforter, the spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive…he shall teach you all things" (Saint John 14:17, 26)...It is the same Comforter, Who ignites the forces of the soul with the force of faith, as with a flame, and the soul soars on high, oblivious of all danger through its hope in God. On the wings of faith, it rises abobe all visible creation and forever remains in a state of rapture in wonder at the divine solicitude for us, and in pure contemplation of Divine Being.'

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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.

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Glory Be To GOD For All Things!

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

+Father George