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.
THIRD HOUR PRAYERS
Lord, Who sent down Your Holy Spirit in the third hour to Your Apostles; take not Your Spirit from us, but rather restore Your Spirit in us who pray to You, O Good One. You are Blessed, O Christ God, Who made the fishermen wise by sending down Your Holy Spirit. Through them You have captured the world into their nets. Glory to Your, O Lover of Mankind!
Prayer of Saint Mardarios
O God the Master, Father All-Powerful, O Lord, the Only-Begotten Son, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit; One Godhead, One Power, have mercy on me a sinner and save me, Your unworthy servant, as You are knower of all judgments. For You are blessed now and always. Amen.
TODAY'S SYNAXARION (THE COMMEMORATION OF TODAY'S SAINT):
On January 27th 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: Removal of the holy Relics of Saint John Chrysostom, Archbishop of Constantinople; Saint Peter the Righteous of Egypt; Saint Demetrios the New Martyr of Constantinople.
+By the holy intercessions of Your Saints, Holy Martyrs, Holy Ascetics, Holy Apostles, Holy Righteous, Holy Mothers, Holy Confessors, Holy Evangelists, Holy Prophets, O Christ Our God, have mercy on us, and save us. Amen.
REMOVAL OF THE HOLY RELICS OF SAINT JOHN CHRYSOSTOM, ARCHBISHOP OF CONSTANTINOPLE. This event took place on this day in the year 438 AD, when Saint Theodosius the Younger had been Emperor for thirty years; he was the son of Arcadius, and Evdoxia who has exiled Saint John. The Archbishop of Constantinople at that time was Proclos, who had been the Saint's disciple (+ Nov, 13 and Nov. 20).
SAINT PETER THE RIGHTEOUS OF EGYPT. In Orthodox Christian countries, individuals traditionally celebrate their nameday instead of their birthday. Since Orthodox Christians are usually named after a Saint or feast day of the Church, all those having the same name celebrate together on that Saint's feast or the particular feast of the Church. All those named after Saint Peter the Righteous of Egypt celebrate their nameday on January 27th.
TODAY'S SACRED SCRIPTURAL READINGS ARE THE FOLLOWING:
Holy Epistle Lesson: Hebrews 7:26-28; 8:1-2
Holy Gospel Lesson: Saint John 10:9-16
INSPIRATIONAL WORDS FROM THE HOLY ASCETICS, HOLY MOTHERS AND HOLY FATHERS OF THE CHURCH:
"Provided they live a worthy life, both those who chose to dwell in the midst of noise and hubbub and those who dwell in monasteries, mountains and caves can achieve salvation. Solely because of their faith in Him God bestows great blessings on them. Hence those who because of their laziness have failed to attain salvation will have no excuse to offer on the day of Judgment. For He Who promised to grant us salvation simply on account of our faith in Him is not a liar."
(Saint Symeon the New Theologian)
HOW TO SAVE THE SOUL
by Saint Theophan the Recluse
What does one say to the person who asks: "How can I save my soul?"
This: Repent, and being strengthened by the power of grace in the Holy Mysteries (Sacraments), walk in the path of God's Commandments, under the direction which the Holy Church gives you through its God-given Priesthood. All of this must be done in a spirit of sincere faith which has no reservations.
What Then is Faith?
Faith is the sincere confession that God, Who is to be worshipped by all, the Trinity, Who created all things and provides for all, saves us who are fallen, through the power of the death on the Cross of the Incarnate Son of God and by the grace of the Most Holy Spirit in His Holy Church. The beginnings of renewal, which are established in this life, will appear in all their glory in the future age, in a way that the mind cannot comprehend nor the tongue express.
O Our God, how great are Thy promises!
How then does one walk in the path of the Commandments unswervingly? This cannot be answered in one word, for life is a complex matter. Here is what is necessary:
a) Repent, and turn to the Lord, admit your sins, weep for them, with heartfelt contrition, and confess them before your spiritual father. Vow in word and in your heart before the face of the Lord not to offend Him further with your sins.
b) Then, by abiding in God in mind and heart, endeavor to fulfill in body the duties and affairs which your station in life imposes upon you.
c) In this labor must of all guard your heart form evil thoughts and feelings--pride, vainglory, anger judging of others, hatred, envy, scorn, despondency, attachment to things and people, scattered thoughts, anxiety, all sensual pleasures, and everything that separates the mind and heart from God.
d) In order to stand firm in this labor, resolve beforehand not to withdraw from what you recognize to be necessary, even if it may mean death. To achieve this, when you first resolve to do so, offer your life to God in order to live not for your own sake, but for God alone.
e) A support for life in this manner is a humble offering of one's self to the will of God, and not depending on one's self; the spiritual arena in which this life is accomplished is patience or an unswerving stand in the ranks of redeemed life, with a cheerful endurance of all the labors and unpleasantness that are linked with this.
f) A support for patience is faith, or the assurance that, your Master, Who sees your efforts, is gladdened by them and values them; hope that the help of God which is ever protecting you, is always ready and waiting for you, and will descend upon you in your time of need, and preserving you as one faithful to His Commandments here, among all temptations, He will lead you though death to His Eternal Kingdom; love, which meditates day and night upon the beloved Lord, in every way strives to do only what is pleasing to Him, and avoids everything that might offend Him in thought, word or deed.
g) The weapons of such life are: prayers in Church and at home, especially mental prayer, fasting according to one's strength and the rules of the Church, vigilance, solitude, physical labors, frequent confession of sins, Holy Communion, reading of the Word of God and the writings of the Holy Fathers, conversations with God-fearing people, frequent consultation with one's spiritual father about all the events of one's internal and external life. The foundation of all these labors in measure, time and place is wisdom, with the counsel of those who are experienced.
h) Guard yourself with fear. For this remember the end--death, judgment, hell, the Heavenly Kingdom. Most of all be attentive to yourself and preserve a sober mind and an untroubled heart.
i) Set as a final goal the kindling of the fire of the spirit, so that spiritual fire will burn in your heart, and gathering up all your strength into one, will begin to build your inner man and finally burn up the tares of your sins and passions.
Arrange your life in this manner and with God's Grace you will be saved.
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.
Glory Be To GOD For All Things!
With sincere agape in His Holy Diakonia,
The sinner and unworthy servant of God