Quietude, silence and prayer
It is in keeping constant vigilance, guarding our senses, and living a life of repentance and self-rapprochement, that we can hope to gain control of our passions and enter into true communion with God. The basic element of such a life has got to include quietude, for it is in states of calmness and inner reflection that we can begin to know ourselves, and in doing so, begin to know God. Silence and prayer must have an important place in our lives if we are to progress in spiritual wisdom and acquire the peace that comes from knowing God. Let us usher in the New Year with a renewed commitment to make our communion with God the center of our being.
With love in Christ,
Photo: I’m standing on the lower road up to the monastery, wishing all of you a Happy New Year!
Wednesday January 1, 2020 / December 19, 2019
29th Week after Pentecost. Tone three.
Nativity (St. Philip’s Fast). By Monastic Charter: Strict Fast (Bread, Vegetables, Fruits)
Martyr Boniface at Tarsus in Cilicia (290) and Righteous Aglae (Aglaida) of Rome.
Venerable Elias of Murom, wonderworker of the Kiev Caves (1188).
Martyrs Elias, Probus, and Ares, in Cilicia (308.
Martyrs Polyeuctus at Caesarea in Cappadocia, and Timothy the Deacon in Mauretania (309).
St. Boniface the Merciful, bishop of Ferentino (6th c.).
St. Gregory (Gregentius), archbishop of Omirits (552).
Hieromartyr Capito, bishop of Cherson (4th c.).
Martyra Hermylus and Phocas.
Martyrs Eutyches and Thessalonica and with them 200 men and 70 women (Greek).
Sts. George the Scribe and Sava of Khakhuli (11th c.).
The Scripture Readings
11 of whom we have much to say, and hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing.
12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. 13 For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. 14 But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
The Peril of Not Progressing
6 Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, 2 of the doctrine of baptisms, of laying on of hands, of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. 3 And this we will do if God permits.
4 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, 5 and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, 6 [f]if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame.
7 For the earth which drinks in the rain that often comes upon it, and bears herbs useful for those by whom it is cultivated, receives blessing from God; 8 but if it bears thorns and briers, it is rejected and near to being cursed, whose end is to be burned.
11 So He said to them, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her. 12 And if a woman divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.”
Jesus Blesses Little Children
13 Then they brought little children to Him, that He might touch them; but the disciples rebuked those who brought them. 14 But when Jesus saw it, He was greatly displeased and said to them, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God. 15 Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it.” 16 And He took them up in His arms, laid His hands on them, and blessed them.