Our Response to God’s love
Casts Aside all Estrangement
When we feel estranged from God it is a true sign we are in need of working more diligently on building up our faith. Faith is a gift from God that requires our cooperation and when we are feeling dry we must quickly turn our eyes to Christ, asking him to fill the void and quicken our belief. Our cooperative response begins when we commit to increasing our time in prayer, both corporate and in private. The corporate prayer of the Church brings us into contact with the Holy Mysteries, which in turn feeds our souls.
The hearing of God’s Word and the partaking of the Lord’s Body and Blood, together with a repentant heart, push aside the estrangement and open the door to a deepening faith. Like the spouse who responds to the touch of her husband, so too does our soul respond to the love of God and our faith comes alive by the power of the Holy Spirit.
A woman whose husband never tells of his love will feel her love diminish, whereas the husband who tenderly expresses his love for his wife will see the rebuilding of a relationship that began with love and passion. Our soul, as well, responds to our tenderly expressed love of God and sees love of Christ increase and faith restored to a state of blissful vigor, with all estrangement cast aside.
Photos: The completed iconostasis of All-Mericful Saviour Monastery’s, Protection of the Holy Virgin Katholicon (main temple). Our iconographer is Matushka Ann Margitich of Saint Seraphim Orthodox Church in Santa Rosa, CA. She and her husband, Father Lawrence, have been my friends for over 28 years.
Monday March 24, 2014
Fourth Week of the Great Lent: Adoration of Cross. Tone six.
Great Lent. By Monastic Charter: Strict Fast (Bread, Vegetables, Fruits)
St. Sophronius, patriarch of Jerusalem (638).
St. Euthymius, Bishop of Novgorod, wonderwoker (1458).
Venerable Alexis of Goloseyevsky Skete, Kiev Caves (1917).
Venarable Patrikius confessor (1933).
New Hieromartyr Basil, priest (1937).
Venerable Sophronius, recluse of the Kiev Caves (13th c.).
Hieromartyr Pionius of Smyrna and those with him: Asclepiades, Macedonia, Linus and Sabina (250).
Translation of the relics of Martyr Epimachus of Pelusium to Constantinople (250).
St. Sophronius of Vratsa (1815) (Bulgaria).
Venerable George, abbot of Sinai, brother of St. John Climacus (7th c.).
Venerable John Moskhos (622).
Venerable Oengus the Culdee, compiler of first Irish martyrology (824) (Celtic & British).
Venerable George the New, wonderworker of Constantinople (970) (Greek).
St. Theodora, queen of Arta, wife of Despot Michael II of Epirus (1275) (Greek).
Hieromartyr Eulogius, metropolitan of Cordova (859).
Martyrs Trophimus and Thalus of Laodicea (300) (Greek).
Hieromartyr Constantine, in Kintyre.You can read the life of the saint by clicking on the highlighted name.
The Scripture Readings for the Day
24The Lord of hosts has sworn, saying,
“Surely, as I have thought, so it shall come to pass,
And as I have purposed, so it shall stand:
25That I will break the Assyrian in My land,
And on My mountains tread him underfoot.
Then his yoke shall be removed from them,
And his burden removed from their shoulders.
26This is the purpose that is purposed against the whole earth,
And this is the hand that is stretched out over all the nations.
27For the Lord of hosts has purposed,
And who will annul it?
His hand is stretched out,
And who will turn it back?”
28This is the burden which came in the year that King Ahaz died.
29“Do not rejoice, all you of Philistia,Because the rod that struck you is broken;
For out of the serpent’s roots will come forth a viper,
And its offspring will be a fiery flying serpent.
30The firstborn of the poor will feed,
And the needy will lie down in safety;
I will kill your roots with famine,And it will slay your remnant.
31Wail, O gate! Cry, O city!
All you of Philistia are dissolved;
For smoke will come from the north,
And no one will be alone in his appointed times.”
32What will they answer the messengers of the nation?
That the Lord has founded Zion,
And the poor of His people shall take refuge in it.
21And the Lord smelled a soothing aroma. Then the Lord said in His heart, “I will never again curse the ground for man’s sake, although the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; nor will I again destroy every living thing as I have done.
22“While the earth remains,
Seedtime and harvest,
Cold and heat,
Winter and summer,
And day and night
Shall not cease.”
God’s Promise to Noah
9 So God blessed Noah and his sons, and said to them: “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth. 2And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be on every beast of the earth, on every bird of the air, on all that move on the earth, and on all the fish of the sea. They are given into your hand. 3Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. I have given you all things, even as the green herbs. 4But you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood. 5Surely for your lifeblood I will demand a reckoning; from the hand of every beast I will require it, and from the hand of man. From the hand of every man’s brother I will require the life of man.
6“Whoever sheds man’s blood,
By man his blood shall be shed;
For in the image of GodHe made man.
7And as for you, be fruitful and multiply;
Bring forth abundantly in the earth
And multiply in it.”
19As righteousness leads to life,
So he who pursues evil pursues it to his own death.
20Those who are of a perverse heart are an abomination to the Lord,
But the blameless in their ways are His delight.
21Though they join forces, the wicked will not go unpunished;
But the posterity of the righteous will be delivered.
22As a ring of gold in a swine’s snout,
So is a lovely woman who lacks discretion.
23The desire of the righteous is only good,
But the expectation of the wicked is wrath.
24There is one who scatters, yet increases more;
And there is one who withholds more than is right,
But it leads to poverty.
25The generous soul will be made rich,
And he who waters will also be watered himself.
26The people will curse him who withholds grain,
But blessing will be on the head of him who sells it.
27He who earnestly seeks good finds favor,
But trouble will come to him who seeks evil.
28He who trusts in his riches will fall,
But the righteous will flourish like foliage.
29He who troubles his own house will inherit the wind,
And the fool will be servant to the wise of heart.
30The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life,
And he who wins souls is wise.
31If the righteous will be recompensed on the earth,
How much more the ungodly and the sinner.
12 Whoever loves instruction loves knowledge,
But he who hates correction is stupid.
2A good man obtains favor from the Lord,
But a man of wicked intentions He will condemn.
3A man is not established by wickedness,
But the root of the righteous cannot be moved.
4An excellent wife is the crown of her husband,
But she who causes shame is like rottenness in his bones.
5The thoughts of the righteous are right,
But the counsels of the wicked are deceitful.
6The words of the wicked are, “Lie in wait for blood,”
But the mouth of the upright will deliver them.