Creating harmony out of chaos
The inevitability of death is particularly difficult to face for most Americans, as we’ve become a people that eschew traditional funerals, preferring to “celebrate the life of our loved one, while disposing of the body, and banning any sign of death from the memorial service should we even decide to have a service. Yet the awareness of our own eventual death is the very thing we should be thinking about, if we want to be prepared for Eternity.
When we live our life focused on enjoyment, pleasure, and the acquisition of material goods, we enslave ourselves, and can only find freedom in God’s love. This love creates perfection and faultlessness, and when we think on your own death we become free to perform every task for God.
Our fallen and imprisoned heart is liberated, and becomes inflamed with the love of God when we enter into a relationship with Him. This love of God engenders a love that permeates our very essence, allowing us to love every person and every creature. Our heart burns with love. This love turns chaos into harmony and it is Divine energy and Divine strength that transforms us into the being God intended us to be. We are His child, deified and made whole, and the chaos of our lives is turned into harmony.
With love in Christ,
Photo: Entrance to the Monastery, with sign for our Way of a Pilgrim Bookstore.
Friday November 30, 2018 / November 17, 2018
27th Week after Pentecost. Tone one.
Nativity (St. Philip’s Fast). Food with Oil
St. Gregory the Wonderworker of Neo-Caesarea (266).
Venerable Nikon, abbot of Radonezh, disciple of St. Sergius (1426).
Sts. Acisclus and Victoria of Cordoba (4th c.).
Venerable Lazarus the iconographer of Constantinople (857).
Martyr Gobron (Michael) and 133 soldiers of Georgia (914) (Georgia).
Venerable Longinus of Egypt (4th c.).
St. Maximus (Maximian), patriarch of Constantinople (434).
Venerable Gennadius, abbot of Vatopedi, Mt. Athos (14th c.).
St. Gregory, bishop of Tours, and with him Venerable Aredius, abbot of Limoges and Venerable Vulfolaic, stylite of Trier (Gaul).
Venerable Hilda, abbess of Whitby (680) (British).
Martyrs Zachariah the Cobbler and his wife, Mary (3rd c.) (Greek).
Hieromartyr Basil, bishop of Hamah (282).
Martyrs Gregory, Victor, and Geminus of Heracleon in Thrace (304).
150 philosophers converted by St. Catherine, and who suffered in Alexandria (305).
St. John the Cobbler of Olumba, Cairo, and Sinai (7th c.).
St. Sebastian (Dabovich) of Jackson (1940) (Serbia).
The Scripture Readings
2 Timothy 1:1-2
1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, according to the promise of life which is in Christ Jesus,
2 To Timothy, a beloved son:
Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.
2 Timothy 1:8-18
Not Ashamed of the Gospel
8 Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner, but share with me in the sufferings for the gospel according to the power of God, 9 who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began, 10 but has now been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who has abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel, 11 to which I was appointed a preacher, an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles. 12 For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day.
Be Loyal to the Faith
13 Hold fast the pattern of sound words which you have heard from me, in faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. 14 That good thing which was committed to you, keep by the Holy Spirit who dwells in us.
15 This you know, that all those in Asia have turned away from me, among whom are Phygellus and Hermogenes. 16 The Lord grant mercy to the household of Onesiphorus, for he often refreshed me, and was not ashamed of my chain; 17 but when he arrived in Rome, he sought me out very zealously and found me. 18 The Lord grant to him that he may find mercy from the Lord in that Day—and you know very well how many ways he ministered to me at Ephesus.
15 And He said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is highly esteemed among men is an abomination in the sight of God.
16 “The law and the prophets were until John. Since that time the kingdom of God has been preached, and everyone is pressing into it. 17 And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one tittle of the law to fail.
18 “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced from her husband commits adultery.
Jesus Warns of Offenses
17 Then He said to the disciples, “It is impossible that no offenses should come, but woe to him through whom they do come! 2 It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones. 3 Take heed to yourselves. If your brother sins against you, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. 4 And if he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times in a day returns to you, saying, ‘I repent,’ you shall forgive him.”