We must not correct the stumbling of others
“Christians, above all men, are forbidden to correct the stumbling of sinners by force…it is necessary to make a man better not by force but by persuasion. God gives the crown to those who are kept from evil, not by force, but by choice (Saint John Chrysostom).”
The use of force in the correction of those who are living in opposition to the laws of God is often a temptation for Christians, yet it must be remembered that the sins of others is better corrected by lovingly demonstrating their value in God’s eyes.
Demonstrating our own love for them by refusing to demonize them with our judgment and harsh treatment, we become agents of the love of Christ. In seeing ourselves as the worst of sinners, and demonstrating our personal gratitude for God’s love and mercy in our own lives, projects that hope of redemption, and forgiveness, to the persons living in sin. Our love for them helps open their hearts to the action of the Holy Spirit. God’s grace can change any heart, and we must be sure we are not the stumbling block for that change by harboring a judgmental tone.
With love in Christ,
Photo: This trail view of Mount Rainier and the Salish Sea, is about a mile and a half from the monastery.
Wednesday March 14, 2018 / March 1, 2018
Fourth Week of the Great Lent: Adoration of Cross. Tone seven.
Great Lent. By Monastic Charter: Strict Fast (Bread, Vegetables, Fruits)
Martyr Eudocia of Heliopolis (152).
New Hieromartyr Olga (1937).
New Hieromartyrs Basil, Peter, John, Benjamin, Michael priests, New Hieromartyr Anthony, Virgin-martyrs Anna, Daria, Eudokia, Olga, Alexandra, Matrona, Martyr Basil, Virgin-martyr Nadezhda (1938).
New Hieromartyr Alexander priest (1942).
New Hieromartyr Basil priest (1943).
New Hieromartyrs Abbess Antonina of Kizliar (1924), Methodius (1920) and Anastasia Andreyevna, fool-for-Christ.
Venerable Martyrius, abbot of Zelenets (Tikhvin) (1603).
Martyrs Nestor, Tribimius, Marcellus, and Anthony of Perge in Pamphylia (3rd c.).
Martyr Antonina of Nicaea in Bithynia (284-305).
Venerable Domnina of Syria (450-460).
Venerable Agapius of Vatopedi Skete of Kolitsou, Mt. Athos, and his four companions.
Venerable Swidbert, monastic founder on the Rhine River (713).
St. David of Wales, bishop (6th c.) (Celtic & British).
St. Albinus, bishop of Angers (550).
St. Leo-Luke of Corleone, Sicily (900).
New Martyr Paraskevas of Trebizond (1659).
Martyrs Sophronius and Silvester (Greek).
Martyrs Charisius, Nicephorus, and Agapius (Greek).
The Scripture Readings
21 For behold, the Lord comes out of His place
To punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity;
The earth will also disclose her blood,
And will no more cover her slain.
27 In that day the Lord with His severe sword, great and strong,
Will punish Leviathan the fleeing serpent,
Leviathan that twisted serpent;
And He will slay the reptile that is in the sea.
The Restoration of Israel
2 In that day sing to her,
“A vineyard of red wine!
3 I, the Lord, keep it,
I water it every moment;
Lest any hurt it,
I keep it night and day.
4 Fury is not in Me.
Who would set briers and thorns
Against Me in battle?
I would go through them,
I would burn them together.
5 Or let him take hold of My strength,
That he may make peace with Me;
And he shall make peace with Me.”
6 Those who come He shall cause to take root in Jacob;
Israel shall blossom and bud,
And fill the face of the world with fruit.
7 Has He struck Israel as He struck those who struck him?
Or has He been slain according to the slaughter of those who were slain by Him?
8 In measure, by sending it away,
You contended with it.
He removes it by His rough wind
In the day of the east wind.
9 Therefore by this the iniquity of Jacob will be covered;
And this is all the fruit of taking away his sin:
When he makes all the stones of the altar
Like chalkstones that are beaten to dust,
Wooden images and incense altars shall not stand.
Noah and His Sons
18 Now the sons of Noah who went out of the ark were Shem, Ham, and Japheth. And Ham was the father of Canaan. 19 These three were the sons of Noah, and from these the whole earth was populated.
20 And Noah began to be a farmer, and he planted a vineyard. 21 Then he drank of the wine and was drunk, and became uncovered in his tent. 22 And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brothers outside. 23 But Shem and Japheth took a garment, laid it on both their shoulders, and went backward and covered the nakedness of their father. Their faces were turned away, and they did not see their father’s nakedness.
24 So Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done to him. 25 Then he said:
“Cursed be Canaan;
A servant of servants
He shall be to his brethren.”
26 And he said:
“Blessed be the Lord,
The God of Shem,
And may Canaan be his servant.
27 May God enlarge Japheth,
And may he dwell in the tents of Shem;
And may Canaan be his servant.”
28 And Noah lived after the flood three hundred and fifty years. 29 So all the days of Noah were nine hundred and fifty years; and he died.
Nations Descended from Noah
10 Now this is the genealogy of the sons of Noah: Shem, Ham, and Japheth. And sons were born to them after the flood.
23 A prudent man conceals knowledge,
But the heart of fools proclaims foolishness.
24 The hand of the diligent will rule,
But the lazy man will be put to forced labor.
25 Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression,
But a good word makes it glad.
26 The righteous should choose his friends carefully,
For the way of the wicked leads them astray.
27 The lazy man does not roast what he took in hunting,
But diligence is man’s precious possession.
28 In the way of righteousness is life,
And in its pathway there is no death.
13 A wise son heeds his father’s instruction,
But a scoffer does not listen to rebuke.
2 A man shall eat well by the fruit of his mouth,
But the soul of the unfaithful feeds on violence.
3 He who guards his mouth preserves his life,
But he who opens wide his lips shall have destruction.
4 The soul of a lazy man desires, and has nothing;
But the soul of the diligent shall be made rich.
5 A righteous man hates lying,
But a wicked man is loathsome and comes to shame.
6 Righteousness guards him whose way is blameless,
But wickedness overthrows the sinner.
7 There is one who makes himself rich, yet has nothing;
And one who makes himself poor, yet has great riches.
8 The ransom of a man’s life is his riches,
But the poor does not hear rebuke.
9 The light of the righteous rejoices,
But the lamp of the wicked will be put out.