The Life in Christ

Virginmartyr Glyceria at Heraclea

Virginmartyr Glyceria at Heraclea

My beloved spiritual children in Our Risen Lord, Redeemer, God and Our Only True Savior,
CHRIST IS RISEN! TRULY HE IS RISEN! ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ ΑΝΕΣΤΗ! ΑΛΗΘΩΣ ΑΝΕΣΤΗ!

RESURRECTION ODE

Let us who have beheld the Resurrection of Christ, worship our Holy Lord Jesus, Who is alone without sin. We worship Thy Cross, O Christ, and praise and glorify Thy Holy Resurrection. For Thou art our God, and we know none other beside Thee, and we call upon Thy Name. Come, all ye faithful, let us worship Christ's Holy Resurrection, for behold, through the Cross, joy has come to the whole world. We praise His Resurrection, and forever glorify the Lord. He endured the Cross for us, and by death destroyed Death. Jesus, having risen from the grave, as He foretold, has given to us Eternal Life and the Great Mercy. Amen.

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

On May 13th 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 soul made perfect in Our Holy Orthodox Christian faith: Holy Virgin-Martyr Glykeria at Heraclea, and with her Laodicius, her jailer; Saint Sergius the Confessor; Saint Pafsicakius, Bishop of Synnada; Saint Alexander or Rome; St. Nikephoros of Ephapsios; Holy Martyrs killed by the Latins (Roman Catholics) at the Iveron Monastery at Mt. Athos; Saints John, Efthymius, George, and Gabriel of Iveron Monastery; St. Alexandros of Tiverias; St. Leander of Seville; Saint Macarius, Archmandrite of Ovruch; Holy Virgin Glykeria of Novgorod; Consecration of the church of the Theotokos Pantanassa.

+By the Holy intercessions of Your Saints, Holy Martyrs, Holy Confessors, Holy Monks, Holy Ascetics, Holy Fathers, Holy Mothers, Holy Bishops, O Christ Our God, have mercy on us and save us. Amen.

HOLY MARTYR GLYKERIA. The daughter of a governor or Rome, she became poor after her father's death and went to live in Trajanopolis in Thrace. In the time of the evil emperor Antoninus, St. Glykeria was brought to offer sacrifice to the idol of Zeus. She traced the Cross on her forehead and, when the governor asked her where was her lamp (for they all carried lamps in their hands), St. Glykeria indicated the Cross on her forehead and said: "This is my lamp!" At her prayers, the idol was struck by lightning and broken into pieces. The governor was furious with her and commanded that she be thrown into prison. He sealed the door of the prison, intending to starve the maiden to death, but an Angel of God appeared to St. Glykeria and gave her heavenly food. After a certain time, when the governor reckoned that the maiden must have died of hunger, he opened the prison and was astounded to see her in good health, bright and happy. The warder, Laodicius, seeing this wonder, himself confessed Christ the Lord and was at once beheaded. After that St. Glykeria was thrown into a burning furnace, but she remained untouched by the flames. Standing in the midst of the fire, she praised the Lord, commemorating the wonder with the Three Children in the burning fiery furnace in Babylon. Finally, she was thrown to the lions and, praying to God, this holy maiden gave her soul into the hands of the Lord for Whom she had heroically suffered much torture. She suffered with honor in the year of our Lord 141 AD. A healing myrrh flowed from her holy relics, which healed the sick of the gravest illnesses.

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TODAY'S HOLY SCRIPTURAL READINGS ARE THE FOLLOWING:

Holy Epistle Lesson: Acts 13:13-24
Holy Gospel Lesson: St. John 6: 5-14

INSPIRING SAYINGS FROM THE HOLY ASCETICS, HOLY FATHERS AND HOLY MOTHERS OF THE CHURCH:

"At the times when you remember God, increase your prayers, so that when you forget Him, the Lord may remind you." (Saint Mark the Ascetic)

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THE LIFE IN CHRIST
HOW WE MUST CLEAVE TO CHRIST THE SOURCE OF LIFE

By St. Nicholas Cabasilas (Source: The Life in Christ)

It follows, therefore, that he who has chosen to live in Christ should cling to that Heart and that Head, for we obtain life from no other source. But this is impossible for those who do not will what He wills. It is necessary to train one's purpose, as far as it is humanly possible, to conform to Christ's will and to prepare oneself to desire what He desires and to enjoy it., for it is impossible for contrary desires to continue in one and the same heart. As He says, "the evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart knows how to produce nothing but evil" (cf. St. Luke 6:45), and the good man that which is good.

The faithful in Palestine, since they desire the same things, "were," as it says, "of one heart and soul" (Acts 4:32). In the same way, if one does not share in Christ's purpose but goes against that which He commands, he does not order his life according to Christ's heart but is clearly dependent on a different heart. In contrast, God found David to be according to His heart, for he said, "I have not forgotten Thy Commandments" (Psalm 119:16, 61, etc.). Since it is impossible, then, to live [in Christ] unless we depend on His heart, and one cannot depend on Him without willing what He wills, let us examine how we may love the same things as Christ and rejoice how we may love the same things as Christ and rejoice at the same things as He, in order that we may be able to live.

How the Love of Christ Leads to Detachment From the Things of Earth

The beginning, then, of every action is desire, and the beginning of desire is reflection Therefore we must above all try to divert the eye of the soul (nous) from vain things by having the heart always filled with good thoughts, so that it at no time may give place to evil thoughts by being empty.

Since there are many things which are fit to supply matter for contemplation, work for the soul, and delight and employment for the mind, it would appear that the consideration of the Mysteries and the riches we derive from them would be most pleasant and profitable both for speech and reflection. We may also reflect on what we were before we were initiated and what we have become by being initiated, on our former servitude and our present freedom and royal state, on the benefits which have already been bestowed on us and those which yet await us. Above all things, we may think on Him Who is the Giver of all these gifts, how great is his beauty, what is His kindness, how He has loved mankind and how great is His love.

When these things which are so beautiful and attractive take possession of the mind and take hold of the soul, it is not easy to contemplate anything else and to transfer desire towards a different object. His benefits overcome us by their number and greatness, and the affection which moves Him to bestow them is so great that the thoughts of men cannot conceive it.

Just as human affection, when it abounds, overpowers those who love and causes them to be beside themselves, so God's love for men emptied God (Philippians 2:7). He does not stay in his own place and call the slave, He seeks him in person by coming down to him. He who is rich reaches the pauper's hovel, and He displays His love by approaching in person. He seeks love in return and does not withdraw when He is treated with disdain. He is not angry over ill treatment, but even when He has been repulsed He sits by the door (cf. Revelation 3:20) and does everything to show us that He loves, even enduring suffering and death to prove it.

Two things reveal him who loves and cause him to prevail--the one, that he in every possible way does good to the object of his love; the other, that he is willing, if need be, to endure terrible things for Him and suffer pain. Of the two the latter would seem to be a far greater proof of friendship than the former. Yet it was not possible for God since He is incapable of suffering harm. Since He loves man it was possible for Him to confer benefits on him, yet it was not possible at all for the divine nature to suffer blows. While His affection was exceeding great, ye the sign by which He might make it plain was not available.

It was necessary, then, that the greatness of His love should not remain hidden, but that He should give the proof of the greatest love and by loving display the utmost measure of love. So He devised this self-emptying and carried it out, and made the instrument [i.e., Christ's human nature] by which He might be able to endure terrible things and to suffer pain. When He had thus proved by the things which He endured that He indeed loves exceedingly, He turned man, who had fled from the Good One because he had believed himself to be the object of hate, towards Himself.

But this is the most astounding thing of all. Not only did He endure the most terrible pains and die from His wounds, but also, after He came to life and raised up his body from corruption, He still retained those wounds. He bears the scars upon His body and with them appears to the eyes of the Angels; He regards them as an ornament and rejoices to show how He suffered terrible things. While He discards the other features that belong to the body and possesses a spiritual body without weight or dimensions or any other physical condition, He has by no means discarded the scars, nor has He wholly rid Himself of the wounds. He saw fit to cherish them because of His affection for man, because by means of them He found him who was lost, and by being wounded He laid hold on him whom He loved. How else would it have been fitting for an immortal body to retain the traces of wounds which art and nature have sometimes eliminated even in mortal and corruptible bodies?...

Yet I have not mentioned the greatest thing of all. The Master is present with His servants not only to that extent, but He imparts of His own. He not only gives them a hand, but He has given us His whole self. Wherefore we are the temple of the living God; our members are Christ's members who head the Cherubim adore. These very feet, these hands, depend on his heart.

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CHRIST IS RISEN! TRULY HE IS RISEN! ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ ΑΝΕΣΤΗ! ΑΛΗΘΩΣ ΑΝΕΣΤΗ!

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Glory Be To GOD For All Things!

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With sincere agape in Our Risen Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,
The sinner and unworthy servant of God

+Father George