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.
Let All Things Praise the Lord
Praise the Lord! Praise God in His sanctuary; Praise Him in His mighty firmament!
Praise Him for His might acts; Praise Him according to His excellent greatness!
Praise Him with the sound of the trumpet; Praise Him with the lute and harp! Praise Him with the timbrel and dance; Praise Him with stringed instruments and flutes! Praise Him with loud cymbals; Praise Him with clashing cymbals!
Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.
Praise the Lord!
MORNING PRAYER TO THE HOLY TRINITY
+In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Arising from sleep, I thank You, O Most Holy Trinity, that, for the sake of Your great kindness and longsuffering, You have not had indignation against me, for I am slothful and sinful. Neither have You destroyed me in my transgressions; but You have shown Your customary love toward mankind, and have raised me up as I lay in heedlessness, that I might sing my morning hymn and glorify Your sovereignty. Now enlighten the eyes of my understanding, open my ears to receive Your words, and teach me Your Commandments. Help me to Your will, to sing to You, to confess from my heart, and to praise Your All-Holy Name: of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen.
TODAY'S SYNAXARION (THE COMMEMORATION OF TODAY'S SAINTS):
On February 13, our Holy Orthodox Christian Church commemorates, honors, entreats and supplicates 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 Evlogios, Archbishop of Alexandria; Saint Martinian of Caesarea; Saints Aquila and Priscilla, Apostles of the Seventy; St. Symeon the Myrrh-gusher of Hilander; Saint Zoe of Bethlehem and virgin Photini; Saint Joseph of Volokomsk; father and son, crucified; St. Castor of Karden, Hieromonk and Missionary.
+By the holy intercessions of Your Saints, Holy Martyrs, Holy Apostles, Holy Archbishops, Holy Ascetics, Holy Hieromonks, Holy Mothers, Holy Confessors, Holy Virgins, Holy Missionaries, O Christ Our God have mercy on us and save us. Amen.
OUR HOLY FATHER SIMEON THE OUTPOURER OF MYRRH. Stevan Nemanja, the great ruler of the Serbian people, unifier of the Serbian lands, creator of an independent Serbian government, defender of Orthodoxy, driver-out of heresy, was first baptized in the Latin church, but later became a member of the Orthodox Church. In its organization, it was at first dependent on Greece, but later shook off this dependence and became completely autonomous. When he had strengthened the state and the Orthodox Church within the state he then, following the example of his son Sava, received the monastic habit at the monastery of Studenica in 1195, being given the name of Simeon. His wife Anna also received the monastic habit and the name Anastasia, and retired to a women's monastery. After two years' monasticism at Studenica, Simeon went to the Holy Mountain in Northern Greece. There he stayed at first in the monastery of Vatopedi, together with Sava. Father and son spend days and nights in prayer. They built there six chapels; to the Savior, the Unmercenaries, Saint George, Saint Theodore, the Forerunner and Saint Nicolas. They bought the ruins of Hilandar and built a beautiful monastery, in which Simeon lived only eight months before his death. When he was at his last breath, Sava, according to his wish, placed him on a simple rush mat. With his eyes fixed on the holy icon of the Mother of God with the Savior, the blessed elder pronounced these words: "Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord." And he went to the Lord, on February 13th, 1200.
TODAY'S SACRED SCRIPTURAL READINGS ARE THE FOLLOWING:
Holy Epistle Lesson: 1 Corinthians 14:20-25
Holy Gospel Lesson: St. Matthew 25:1-13
INJUSTICE IS A GREAT SIN
By Saint Paisios of Mount Athos [Source: With Paid and Love for Contemporary Man]
It is important for a man to have God's blessing. It is great wealth! What God blesses will stand firm; it will not crumble. Whatever is not blessed, will crumble. Injustice is a great sin. All sins have some "extenuating circumstances", but injustice has none. Injustice draws the wrath of God. It is a tremendous thing! Those who commit injustice set their heads on fire. You see them do all kinds of injustices, and then their loved ones die and they seem not to care at all. How can people who are so unjust prosper? They do the things they do, they give the devil rights over them, and for this reason they suffer so much, they get sick and so on and then they come to you and say, "Pray that I get well!"
Most bad and harmful things happen when we wrong other people. For example, when a fortune is made unjustly, the owners may live a few years like royalty, but, in the end, they will spend all their money on doctors. Remember the saying: "What is gathered by the wind is also scattered by the wind." Or remember what the Psalm says, "Better is a little that the righteous hath than the abundance of many wicked." What they collect is spent, blown away. Rarely will an illness, a bankruptcy and so on be sent as a trial from God. In such cases, one's reward will be great, and he will later become richer, as happened with Job. Some people are buried and their bodies do not decompose; it's usually because they have done some kind of injustice.
The Unjust Person is Tormented
An unjust person and in general all those who commit injustice and do not ask for forgiveness, end up haunted by their conscience and the indignation of those they have treated unjustly. For if the wronged do not forgive and complain, then the unjust are tormented and suffer very much. They cannot sleep. They feel like they are at the mercy of crashing waves that twist them around from every side. It's a mystery how the perpetrator is informed of this! When we love somebody and think about him in a good way, he knows it. So too, in this case, the victim's pain tears the unjust into pieces! It does not matter where he may be, in Australia or in Johannesburg; as long as the person he has treated unfairly is indignant with him, he cannot find peace.
--And what happens if he is insensitive?
--Do you think that insensitive people do not suffer? The best they can do is resort to some sort of entertainment to be distracted. Then again, those wronged may have forgiven the offender but sill harbor some resentment. In this case, the victim suffers to a degree, but the wrong-doer suffers to an even greater extent from his victim's indignation. But if the perpetrator seeks forgiveness and his victim refuses to forgive him, then it's the victim that suffers. There is no greater fire than the inner burning of the soul by the conscience. Unless one repents in this life for the injustices he has committed and makes reparation, his soul will be tortured and eaten away by woodworm and in the eternal life by the "sleepless worm." Even if he has no other way of showing repentance, the least he can do is have the right intent...
How the World Has Cheapened
People's malice has exceeded all bounds. They try to deceive one another and they consider it to be an achievement! Our world has become so cheap! Everything they make these days is a fake. And imagine that today people make more money than their parents and grandparents who were poor and only made a little. The quality of most things is so cheap. One day someone brought me some tomato plants. Each plant was inside a very small bag containing coarse soil, and some coarse sand to keep the moisture. They didn't even bother to poor some water or manure; they had sprinkled some on the top like salt and pepper! When I took them out of the bag, I realized that their roots were rotten. I had to put a layer of soil on top, so that the plants could grow new roots...
The Just Person Has God on His Side
Not all people fit well in the world today, especially those who want to lead spiritual and honest lives; they seem to have such a hard time.
---Geronda (Elder), why don't they fit?
--When someone is sensitive and finds himself in a harsh environment and people make his life hell, how can he put up with it? Either he has to begin cursing, or he must leave. But that's difficult because one needs to make a living. His boss tells him, "I trust you because you don't steal, but put some rotten produce among the fresh. Take these fresh clover bales and stick some fermented ones in the package." He even makes him manager in order to keep him on the job and the poor man has to do as told to stay employed. And of course, he cannot sleep at night and starts taking sleeping pills. Do you know how hard life is for honest people? They run into all kinds of difficulties and have to take all kinds of abuse from their employers. Life becomes hell for them. And they cannot quit because they have a family to feed. If they stay on, it's trouble every day. They are between a rock and a hard place. Wherever they turn their eyes, they see a dead end. It makes one go crazy. So, they carry on and try to manage as best they can...
When someone follows the devil's path, and comes up with tricks and all kinds of deceptive schemes, God will not bless his work. Schemes of deception don't work; they appear to flourish, but they collapse in the end. It's important that we start with God's blessing in everything we do. A just man has God on his side. And if he has some boldness before God, then miracles happen. When someone lives according to the Gospel, he is entitled to divine help. He walks with Jesus Christ. What can we say? The man has earned His blessing. This is the foundation of it all. Once that is given, there is nothing to fear. The important thing is that Christ, Panagia and the Saints should find rest in everything we do, and when that happens, we will have their blessing and the Holy Spirit will overshadow us. Honesty is the most precious Holy Cross. If someone is dishonest even if he has a piece of the Honorable Holy Cross on him, it's like he has nothing. But if one is honest, he has God's help even though he doesn't have a piece of the Honorable Cross. Now, if he has both, well, then he's got everything!
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