Changing the world one person at a time
The Elder Sophroni of Essex said he believed in changing the world, one person at a time. These words are in agreement with those of Saint Seraphim of Sarov, who said acquiring inner peace causes a thousand around us to be saved. As long as we concentrate on the failings of others, inner transformation will elude us, and the world will remain in darkness. If we remain stuck in the quagmire of sin, and focused on the failings of others, we will fail in the work of conforming ourselves to the will of God.
It is, of course, much more personally comfortable to notice the failings and the sins of others, but if we do not take stock of ourselves, we will do great harm to our soul. Judging others opens wide the gates for evil spirits to enter, whereby laying waste and destroying the grace of baptism that resides within our hearts. We are in a battle against evil forces, and we had better be on guard. Our eternal life depends on it.
With love in Christ,
Photo: Participants in the Ancient Christianity Conference in Columbia, South Carolina. (Click on photo to enlarge.)
Thursday October 11, 2018 / September 28, 2018
20th Week after Pentecost. Tone two.
Venerable Chariton the Confessor, abbot of Palestine (350).
Venerables Cyril, schemamonk and Maria, schemanun (1337) (parents of St. Sergius of Radonezh).
Uncovering of the relics of St. Elizabeth Romanov (1918).
Martyress Anna (1925).
New Martyr Hilarion, Virgin-martyr Michaela (1937).
Virgin-martyr Tatiana (1942).
Synaxis of the Saints of the Kievan Caves Monastery, venerated in the near caves of Venerable Anthony: Anthony the Founder (1073) – Prochorus the Gardener and Wonderworker (1107) – John the Faster (12th c.) – Juliana the Virgin, Princess of Ol’shansk (c.1550) – Monkmartyrs Basil and Theodore (1098) – Polycarp, Archimandrite of the Kievan Caves (1182) – Varlaam, Abbot of the Kievan Caves (1065) – Damian the Presbyter and Healer (1071) – Nicodemus the Prosphora-baker (12th c.) – Lawrence the Hermit, Bishop of Turov (12th C) – Athanasius the Hermit (c.1176) – Gerasim the Black-Robed (12th c.) – Luke, Steward of the Kievan Caves (13th c.) – Agapit the Unmercenary Physician (c.1095) – Theophilus the Clear-sighted and John the God-pleasing (12th c.) – Nectarios (12th c.) – Gregory the Iconographer (12th c.) – Hieromartyr Kuksha, Enlightener of the Vyati (12th c.) – Alexis the Hermit (13th c.) – Sava the God-pleasing (13th c.) – Sergius the Obedient (13th c.) – Mercurius, Bishop of Smolensk (1239) – Pimen the Muchailing (1110) – Nestor the Chronicler (c.1114) – Monkmartyr Evstratius (1097) – Elladius the Hermit (12th-13th c.) – Jeremiah the Clairvoyant (11th c.) – Monkmartyr Moses the Hungarian (c.1031-1043) – John the Much-ailing (1160) – Mark the Grave-Digger (12th c.) – Nikola Svyatosha, Prince of Chernigov (1143) – Martyr Gregory the Wonderworker (1093) – Onysimus the Hermit (12th-13th c.) – Matthew the Clairvoyant (11th c.) – Isaiah the Wonderworker (1115) – Abraham the Lover of Labor (12th-13th c.) – Niphont, Bishop of Novgorod (1156) – Sylvester the Wonderworker (12th c.) – Pimen the Faster (12th c.) – Onuphrius the Silent (12th c.) – Anatolius the Hermit (12th c.) – Alipy the Iconographer (1114) – Sisois the Hermit (12th-13th c.) – Theophilus the Hermit (12th-13th c.) – Arethas the Hermit (c.1195) – Spiridon the Prosphora-baker (12th c.) – Onysiphorus the Confessor (1148) – Simon, Bishop of Suzdal (12th c.) – Nikon, Abbot of Kievan Caves (1088) – Theophan the Faster (12th c.) – Macarius (12th c.) – Monkmartyr Anastasius the Deacon (12th c.) – 12 Master Architects (11th c.) – Abraham the Hermit (12th-13th c.) – Isaac the Hermit (c.1190) – Martyr John the Infant (11th-12th c.) – Elias of Murom (c.1188) – Nikon the Lean (12th c.) – Ephraim, Bishop of Pereyaslavl’ (c.1098) – Tito the Hieromonk (1190).
Venerable Chariton, monk, of Syanzhema Lake (Vologda) (1509).
Venerable Herodion, abbot, of Iloezersk (1541).
Prophet Baruch (6th c. B.C.).
Martyrs Alexander, Alphius, Zosimas, Mark, Nicon, Neon, Heliodorus, and 24 others in Pisidia and Phrygia (4th c.).
Martyrdom of St. Wenceslaus, prince of the Czechs (935).
St. Juliana, Princess of Olshansk.
Martyr Eustace of Rome (Greek).
St. Faustus, bishop of Riez (495).
St. Leoba, abbess of Bischofsheim, English missionary to Germany (779).
St. Alkison, bishop of Nicopolis (Preveza) in Epirus (561).
St. Auxentius the Alaman, Wonderworker of Cyprus (12th c.).
St. Neophytus the Recluse of Cyprus (1214) (Cypriote).
St. Machan, disciple of St. Cadoc.
The Scripture Readings
25 Great multitudes followed Him—from Galilee, and from Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea, and beyond the Jordan.
5 And seeing the multitudes, He went up on a mountain, and when He was seated His disciples came to Him. 2 Then He opened His mouth and taught them, saying:
3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit,
For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 Blessed are those who mourn,
For they shall be comforted.
5 Blessed are the meek,
For they shall inherit the earth.
6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
For they shall be filled.
7 Blessed are the merciful,
For they shall obtain mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart,
For they shall see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers,
For they shall be called sons of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake,
For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. 12 Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Believers Are Salt and Light
13 “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.
All for Christ
3 Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. For me to write the same things to you is not tedious, but for you it is safe.
2 Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the mutilation! 3 For we are the circumcision, who worship God in the Spirit, rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh, 4 though I also might have confidence in the flesh. If anyone else thinks he may have confidence in the flesh, I more so: 5 circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of the Hebrews; concerning the law, a Pharisee; 6 concerning zeal, persecuting the church; concerning the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.
7 But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. 8 Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ
The Twelve Apostles
12 Now it came to pass in those days that He went out to the mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God. 13 And when it was day, He called His disciples to Himself; and from them He chose twelve whom He also named apostles: 14 Simon, whom He also named Peter, and Andrew his brother; James and John; Philip and Bartholomew; 15 Matthew and Thomas; James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon called the Zealot; 16 Judas the son of James, and Judas Iscariot who also became a traitor.
Jesus Heals a Great Multitude
17 And He came down with them and stood on a level place with a crowd of His disciples and a great multitude of people from all Judea and Jerusalem, and from the seacoast of Tyre and Sidon, who came to hear Him and be healed of their diseases, 18 as well as those who were tormented with unclean spirits. And they were healed. 19 And the whole multitude sought to touch Him, for power went out from Him and healed them all.