Since the eyes and the ears are the doors of the soul, an Orthodox Christian must not leave the body without attention. Unlike the religion of Gnosticism, which teaches the separation of soul and body, with the physical world being evil and something to be overcome, historic Christianity teaches the unity the body and soul, with the physical world being transformed and made anew in Christ. This means that, while caring about one’s soul, an Orthodox Christian must not leave the body without attention.
The body is given over to temptation, which is rooted in the mind. As Christians we know that we must never play with temptations, for in doing so we have already fallen half-way. Thus, an Orthodox Christian who takes his salvation seriously would never partake in seductive dances, or enter into flirtation as though it were a sport, for he would know this to be a dangerous game.
Temptations gain hold when we entertain dirty thoughts and ideas, sometimes by allowing our eyes and ears to entertain things that can overcome our will, causing us to fall. It is much easier to stop a temptation in the beginning, than to do battle with a seductive idea once it has gained entry. A person who wants to prevent a burglary makes every effort to prevent a burglar from gaining entrance in the first place. Like taking precautions that will prevent a burglary, we must never allow ourselves to entertain temptations, for that would be like inviting a criminal into your home with the intent of trying to talk him out of steal from you.
Many are convinced that sexual needs are so insurmountable in strength, as to make it impossible to resist. This is only the case when we habitually give in the the passions, and avoid using the tools given to us by the Church to bring our body into submission. If we observe the periods of fasting, especially the Wednesday and Friday days of abstinence, eat moderate amounts of food, avoid the overuse of alcoholic, and say no to drugs, we will have taken a big step forward in our struggle with lust. Remember, a healthy body contributes to the health of the soul.
Finally, it is good to take to heart the advice of Saint Ephraim of Syrian, “Think about the good so as not to think about the bad.” Guard against spending time with people whose jokes and story-telling are occasions for sinful thoughts, and avoid bad company, for “Bad company corrupts good character (1 Corinthians 15:33).”
With love in Christ,
Wednesday June 18, 2014
2nd Week after Pentecost. Tone eight.
Apostles’ (Peter & Paul) Fast. By Monastic Charter: Strict Fast (Bread, Vegetables, Fruits)
Hieromartyr Dorotheos, bishop of Tyre (361).
New Hieromartyr Michael priest (1931).
New Hieromartyr Nicholas priest (1943).
Translation of the relics of the Blessed Igor-George, tonsured Gabriel, great prince of Chernigov and Kiev (1150) to Chernigov.
Blessed Constantine, metropolitan of Kiev (1159).
Repose of St. Theodore Yaroslavich (1233), brother of St. Alexander Nevsky.
Finding of the relics (1599) of Venerables Jonah (1561) and Bassian, monks, of Petroma (Solovki).
Martyrs Marcian, Nicander, Hyperechius, Apollonius, Leonides, Arius, Gorgias, Selenias, Irenaeus, and Pambo, of Egypt (305-311).
Venerable Theodore the Wonderworker, hermit of the Jordan (583).
Venerable Anubius, confessor and anchorite of Egypt (5th c.).
Venerable Abba Dorotheos of Palestine (620).
“Igor” Icon of the Mother of God (1147).
Venerable Peter, monk, of Korisha, Serbia (1275) (Serbia).
New Martyr Mark of Smyrna, who suffered in Chios (1801) (Greek).
St. Illidius (Allyre), bishop of Clermont (385) (Gaul).
Hieromartyr Boniface (Wynfrith) of Crediton, England, archbishop of Mainz (Germany) (754) (Celtic & British).
Martyr Christopher of Rome (Greek).
Martyr Conon of Rome (Greek).
St. Dorotheus, abbot at Chiliokama on the Black Sea (11th c.).
Sts. Agapius and Nicodemus, stewards of Vatopedi (14th c.).You can read the life of the saint by clicking on the highlighted name.
“Blogs and social networks give us new opportunities for the Christian mission…Not to be present there means to display our helplessness and lack of care for the salvation of our brothers.” His Holiness Patriarch Kirill
The Scripture Readings for the Day
The Promise Granted Through Faith
13For the promise that he would be the heir of the world was not to Abraham or to his seed through the law, but through the righteousness of faith. 14For if those who are of the law are heirs, faith is made void and the promise made of no effect, 15because the law brings about wrath; for where there is no law there is no transgression.
16Therefore it is of faith that it might be according to grace, so that the promise might be sure to all the seed, not only to those who are of the law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all 17(as it is written, “I have made you a father of many nations”) in the presence of Him whom he believed—God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did; 18who, contrary to hope, in hope believed, so that he became the father of many nations, according to what was spoken, “So shall your descendants be.” 19And not being weak in faith, he did not consider his own body, already dead (since he was about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah’s womb. 20He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, 21and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform. 22And therefore “it was accounted to him for righteousness.”
23Now it was not written for his sake alone that it was imputed to him, 24but also for us. It shall be imputed to us who believe in Him who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead, 25who was delivered up because of our offenses, and was raised because of our justification.
I Never Knew You
21“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’