The restoration of the true self
The Lord Jesus Christ was humble, meek and good, and with the help of the Lord we too can be humble. Fasting and prayer are the means by which God can change our hearts, but we must approach both with humility and purpose. Saying our prayers quickly just to get through them is no prayer at all. Fasting, likewise, must be done as an offering to God and with a commitment to restore our soul to it’s original state. True repentance is the beginning of life and leads to communion with God. The restoration of our true self can only be done with God’s help, for without Him we can do nothing.
The mystery of the Church is that her canons are guidelines for the attainment of wisdom, as long as their application directs the soul towards a proper relationship with God. The freedom we have as persons within the life of the Church is that the “true self” is nurtured, and the “false self” is done away with. In other words, we lose our false self in order to find the true self.
When the Spirit of the Lord is present, there is liberty. The paradox of our relationship with God is that in our obedience we are not enslaved, but sets free. It is the same as the paradox of the Cross. Christ said of the Cross, “No man takes my life from me. I lay it down of my own self” (John 10:18). It is the same for us, for no one can take our life from us, we must lay it down of our own self.
Love in Christ,
Photos: The newly planted cross at the entrance to the monastery.
Wednesday July 11, 2018 / June 28, 2018
7th Week after Pentecost. Tone five.
Apostles’ (Peter & Paul) Fast. Food with Oil
Translation of the relics (412) of the Holy and Wonderworking Unmercenaries Cyrus and John (311).
Venerables Sergius and Herman (14th c.), abbots of Valaam.
New Hieromartyr Basil, deacon (1918).
Virgin-martyr Sebastiana (1938).
New Hieromartyr Gregory, deacon (1940).
Venerable Xenophon, abbot of Robeika (Novgorod) (1262).
Venerable Paul the Physician of Corinth (7th c.).
Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos “Of the Three Hands” (8th c.).
Venarable Sergius of Crete.
Venerable Moses the Anchorite.
St. Sennuphius the Standard-bearer of Egypt (4th c.).
St. Austol of Cornwall (6th c.) (Celtic & British).
Hieromartyr Donatus of Libya (Greek).
Three Martyrs of Galatia (Greek).
70 Martyrs of Scythopolis (Greek).
Martyr Pappias (Greek).
Martyr Macedonius (Greek).
Venerable Magnus, monk who reposed while praying to the Lord (Greek).
Martyrs Serenus, Plutarchus, Heraclides, Heron, Raiso, and others in Alexandria (202).
The Scripture Readings
1 Corinthians 7:12-24
12 But to the rest I, not the Lord, say: If any brother has a wife who does not believe, and she is willing to live with him, let him not divorce her. 13 And a woman who has a husband who does not believe, if he is willing to live with her, let her not divorce him. 14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband; otherwise your children would be unclean, but now they are holy. 15 But if the unbeliever departs, let him depart; a brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases. But God has called us to peace. 16 For how do you know, O wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, O husband, whether you will save your wife?
Live as You Are Called
17 But as God has distributed to each one, as the Lord has called each one, so let him walk. And so I ordain in all the churches. 18 Was anyone called while circumcised? Let him not become uncircumcised. Was anyone called while uncircumcised? Let him not be circumcised. 19 Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing, but keeping the commandments of God is what matters.20 Let each one remain in the same calling in which he was called. 21 Were you called while a slave? Do not be concerned about it; but if you can be made free, rather use it. 22 For he who is called in the Lord while a slave is the Lord’s freedman. Likewise he who is called while free is Christ’s slave. 23 You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of men. 24 Brethren, let each one remain with God in that state in which he was called.
35 And when the men of that place recognized Him, they sent out into all that surrounding region, brought to Him all who were sick, 36 and begged Him that they might only touch the hem of His garment. And as many as touched it were made perfectly well.
Defilement Comes from Within
15 Then the scribes and Pharisees who were from Jerusalem came to Jesus, saying, 2 “Why do Your disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat bread.”
3 He answered and said to them, “Why do you also transgress the commandment of God because of your tradition? 4 For God commanded, saying, ‘Honor your father and your mother’; and, ‘He who curses father or mother, let him be put to death.’ 5 But you say, ‘Whoever says to his father or mother, “Whatever profit you might have received from me is a gift to God”— 6 then he need not honor his father or mother.’ Thus you have made the commandment of God of no effect by your tradition. 7 Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying:
8 ‘These people draw near to Me with their mouth,
And honor Me with their lips,
But their heart is far from Me.
9 And in vain they worship Me,
Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ ”
10 When He had called the multitude to Himself, He said to them, “Hear and understand: 11 Not what goes into the mouth defiles a man; but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man.”