In every way we must strive to restrain anger
Abba Evagrius the Monk said that, “Anger is by nature designed for waging war with the demons and for struggling with every kind of sinful pleasure. Therefore angels, arousing spiritual pleasure in us and giving us to taste its blessedness, incline us to direct our anger against the demons. But the demons, enticing us towards worldly lusts, make us use anger to fight with men, which is against nature, so that the mind, thus stupefied and darkened, should become a traitor to virtues.”
The Fathers tell us that whenever anyone takes God’s name in vain the ramifications reverberate throughout the entire cosmos. However insignificant we may think our uttered angry words may be, they impact the whole of God’s universe. Redemption is not just about us, but the whole of the universe. My salvation and your salvation are interconnected. When a Christian falls into such sin it is especially tragic, for there are many non-believers who guard their words better than many who profess Christ.
We must strive by every means to preserve peace of soul and not allow ourselves to be disturbed by offenses from others. In every way we must strive to restrain anger and remain attentive to the mind and heart. We must make every effort to bear the offenses and insults of others, and accustom ourselves to such a disposition of spirit that their offenses not concern us. By guarding our thoughts, we can give quietness to our heart and make it as dwelling for God Himself
Abba Nilus said, “Prayer is the seed of gentleness and the absence of anger.” If we truly be of Christ we have the means to change, for it is because we have Christ in us that victory over the passions can be ours. There is simply no excuse for a Christian to lose his temper.
Ephesians 4:26, “Do not let the sun go down on the anger of your brother,” and Ephesians 4:29, “Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.”
Love in Christ,
Friday May 23, 2014
Fifth Week of Pascha. Tone four.
Fast. Fish Allowed
Apostle Simon the Zealot (1st. c.).
St. Simon, bishop of Vladimir and Suzdal (Kiev Caves) (1226).
Martyrs Philadelphus, Cyprian, Alphaeus, Onesimus, Erasmus, and 14 others, in Sicily (251).
Martyr Hesychius of Antioch (4th c.).
Venerable Isidora the Fool of Tabenna (Egypt) (365).
Blessed Thais (Taisia) of Egypt (5th c.).
Blessed Simon of Yurievits and Zharki, fool-for-Christ (1584)
Icon of the Mother of God “Kiev-Bratsk” (1654).
Venerable Laurence, monk, of Egypt (6th c.). Venerable Dionisius of Radonezh (14-15th c.).
Translation of relics (1670) of Martyr Basil of Mangazea (Siberia) (1602).
St. Synesius of Irkutsk, friend of St. Sophronius (1787).
St. Conleth, hermit and bishop of Kildare (520) (Celtic & British).
You can read the life of the saint by clicking on the highlighted name.
The Scripture Readings for the Day
5But some of the sect of the Pharisees who believed rose up, saying, “It is necessary to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses.”
The Jerusalem Council
6Now the apostles and elders came together to consider this matter. 7And when there had been much dispute, Peter rose up and said to them: “Men and brethren, you know that a good while ago God chose among us, that by my mouth the Gentiles should hear the word of the gospel and believe. 8So God, who knows the heart, acknowledged them by giving them the Holy Spirit, just as He did to us, 9and made no distinction between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith. 10Now therefore, why do you test God by putting a yoke on the neck of the disciples which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? 11But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved in the same manner as they.”
12Then all the multitude kept silent and listened to Barnabas and Paul declaring how many miracles and wonders God had worked through them among the Gentiles. 13And after they had become silent, James answered, saying, “Men and brethren, listen to me: 14Simon has declared how God at the first visited the Gentiles to take out of them a people for His name. 15And with this the words of the prophets agree, just as it is written:
16‘After this I will return
And will rebuild the tabernacle of David, which has fallen down;
I will rebuild its ruins,
And I will set it up;
17So that the rest of mankind may seek the Lord,
Even all the Gentiles who are called by My name,
Says the Lord who does all these things.’
18“Known to God from eternity are all His works. 19Therefore I judge that we should not trouble those from among the Gentiles who are turning to God, 20but that we write to them to abstain from things polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from things strangled, and from blood. 21For Moses has had throughout many generations those who preach him in every city, being read in the synagogues every Sabbath.”
The Jerusalem Decree
22Then it pleased the apostles and elders, with the whole church, to send chosen men of their own company to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas, namely, Judas who was also named Barsabas, and Silas, leading men among the brethren.
23They wrote this letter by them:
The apostles, the elders, and the brethren,
To the brethren who are of the Gentiles in Antioch, Syria, and Cilicia:
24Since we have heard that some who went out from us have troubled you with words, unsettling your souls, saying, “You must be circumcised and keep the law” —to whom we gave no such commandment— 25it seemed good to us, being assembled with one accord, to send chosen men to you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul, 26men who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. 27We have therefore sent Judas and Silas, who will also report the same things by word of mouth. 28For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things: 29that you abstain from things offered to idols, from blood, from things strangled, and from sexual immorality. If you keep yourselves from these, you will do well.
Continuing Ministry in Syria
30So when they were sent off, they came to Antioch; and when they had gathered the multitude together, they delivered the letter. 31When they had read it, they rejoiced over its encouragement. 32Now Judas and Silas, themselves being prophets also, exhorted and strengthened the brethren with many words. 33And after they had stayed there for a time, they were sent back with greetings from the brethren to the apostles.
34However, it seemed good to Silas to remain there.
27My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. 28And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. 29My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand. 30I and My Father are one.”
Renewed Efforts to Stone Jesus
31Then the Jews took up stones again to stone Him. 32Jesus answered them, “Many good works I have shown you from My Father. For which of those works do you stone Me?”
33The Jews answered Him, saying, “For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy, and because You, being a Man, make Yourself God.”
34Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your law, ‘I said, “You are gods”’? 35If He called them gods, to whom the word of God came (and the Scripture cannot be broken), 36do you say of Him whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’? 37If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me; 38but if I do, though you do not believe Me, believe the works, that you may know and believe that the Father is in Me, and I in Him.”