The restoration of our true nature
Saint Seraphim, who lived deep in the Forest of Sarov, always greeted visitors with the words, “My joy”. This saint’s words bespoke of his continuous joyful state. His holiness was not a sadness, but a joyfulness that everyone encountered when coming into his presence. His whole goodness and kindness shown forth as a votive light in the darkness, and “a thousand around (him) were saved”. Saint Seraphim was transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit, and his purpose became one as a missionary to those who were caught up in the absurdity of the wilderness that is a caricature of existence. His witness was one of joyful, uncontaminated essence, because he had an encounter with the Lamb of God, who destroyed the power of the evil one, and conquered the power of death itself.
Saint Seraphim knew that the wickedness of this world was not natural in and of itself, but alien. This saint knew the truth of the words of Our Lord, when Christ said, “Behold, I send you out as lambs among wolves”. He knew that we are called by this very Christ to return creation to the purpose as it was originally established by God. The saint also greeted visitors with the words, “Christ is Risen” regardless of the season of the Church Year, for he knew that Christ’s resurrection was the central historical moment in all of human history, and his joyfulness was grounded in this central truth of our Divine Faith.
Christ is Risen! Truly He is Risen!
With love in Christ,
Photos: 1) Mount Rainier as seen from Vashon Island. 2) A deer visiting near the cell of Father Paul. 3) Another view of Mount Rainier.
Tuesday May 3, 2016 / April 20, 2016
Bright Week. Fast-free
“Iveron” Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos (movable holiday on the Tuesday of the Bright Week).
Blessed Martyrs and Fathers of the St. David-Gareji Monastery (17th c.) (Georgia) (movable holiday on the Tuesday of the Bright Week).
“Shuisky” Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos (movable holiday on the Tuesday of the Bright Week).
Venerable Theodore Trichinas (“the Hair-shirt Wearer”), hermit near Constantinople (400).
New Hieromartyr Theodosius, bishop of Kolomensk (1937).
Translation of the relics (1991) of St. Nicholas (Velimirovich) of Ochrid and Zhicha (1956) from America to Serbia.
Venerable Alexander (Oshevensky), abbot, near Onega Lake (1479).
Child-martyr Gabriel of Slutsk (Poland) (1690).
Sts. Gregory (593) and Anastasius (599), Patriarchs of Antioch.
Venerable Anastasius, abbot of Sinai (685).
St. Nicholas (Velimirovich), bishop of Ochrid and Zhicha, Serbia (1956) (Serbia).
“Cyprus” (392) and “Keepiazh” Icons of the Mother of God.
Venerables Athanasius (1380) and Ioasaph (1423) of Meteora, abbots.
Apostle Zacchaeus, bishop of Caesarea (1st c.).
Sts. Betran and Theotimus I, bishop of Tomis in Scythia Minor (410) (Romania).
St. Caedwalla, king of the West Saxons (689) (Celtic & British).
Blessed Anastasius I (599), patriarch of Antioch.
Hieromartyr Anastasius II, patriarch of Antioch (610).
14 But Peter, standing up with the eleven, raised his voice and said to them, “Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and heed my words. 15 For these are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day. 16 But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:
17 ‘And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God,
That I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh;
Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
Your young men shall see visions,
Your old men shall dream dreams.
18 And on My menservants and on My maidservants
I will pour out My Spirit in those days;
And they shall prophesy.
19 I will show wonders in heaven above
And signs in the earth beneath:
Blood and fire and vapor of smoke.
20 The sun shall be turned into darkness,
And the moon into blood,
Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord.
21 And it shall come to pass
That whoever calls on the name of the Lord
Shall be saved.’
12 But Peter arose and ran to the tomb; and stooping down, he saw the linen cloths lying[a] by themselves; and he departed, marveling to himself at what had happened.
The Road to Emmaus
13 Now behold, two of them were traveling that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was seven miles[b] from Jerusalem. 14 And they talked together of all these things which had happened. 15 So it was, while they conversed and reasoned, that Jesus Himself drew near and went with them. 16 But their eyes were restrained, so that they did not know Him.
17 And He said to them, “What kind of conversation is this that you have with one another as you walk and are sad?”[c]
18 Then the one whose name was Cleopas answered and said to Him, “Are You the only stranger in Jerusalem, and have You not known the things which happened there in these days?”
19 And He said to them, “What things?”
So they said to Him, “The things concerning Jesus of Nazareth, who was a Prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, 20 and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered Him to be condemned to death, and crucified Him. 21 But we were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel. Indeed, besides all this, today is the third day since these things happened. 22 Yes, and certain women of our company, who arrived at the tomb early, astonished us. 23 When they did not find His body, they came saying that they had also seen a vision of angels who said He was alive. 24 And certain of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said; but Him they did not see.”
25 Then He said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory?” 27 And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.
The Disciples’ Eyes Opened
28 Then they drew near to the village where they were going, and He indicated that He would have gone farther. 29 But they constrained Him, saying, “Abide with us, for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent.” And He went in to stay with them.
30 Now it came to pass, as He sat at the table with them, that He took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. 31 Then their eyes were opened and they knew Him; and He vanished from their sight.
32 And they said to one another, “Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road, and while He opened the Scriptures to us?” 33 So they rose up that very hour and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven and those who were with them gathered together, 34 saying, “The Lord is risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!” 35 And they told about the things that had happened on the road, and how He was known to them in the breaking of bread.