In every way we must strive to restrain anger
Abba Evagrius the Monk said that, “Anger is by nature designed for waging war with the demons and for struggling with every kind of sinful pleasure. Therefore angels, arousing spiritual pleasure in us and giving us to taste its blessedness, incline us to direct our anger against the demons. But the demons, enticing us towards worldly lusts, make us use anger to fight with men, which is against nature, so that the mind, thus stupefied and darkened, should become a traitor to virtues.”
The Fathers tell us that whenever anyone takes God’s name in vain the ramifications reverberate throughout the entire cosmos. However insignificant we may think our uttered angry words may be, they impact the whole of God’s universe. Redemption is not just about us, but the whole of the universe. My salvation and your salvation are interconnected. When a Christian falls into such sin it is especially tragic, for there are many non-believers who guard their words better than many who profess Christ.
We must strive by every means to preserve peace of soul and not allow ourselves to be disturbed by offenses from others. In every way we must strive to restrain anger and remain attentive to the mind and heart. We must make every effort to bear the offenses and insults of others, and accustom ourselves to such a disposition of spirit that their offenses not concern us. By guarding our thoughts, we can give quietness to our heart and make it as dwelling for God Himself
Abba Nilus said, “Prayer is the seed of gentleness and the absence of anger.” If we truly be of Christ we have the means to change, for it is because we have Christ in us that victory over the passions can be ours. There is simply no excuse for a Christian to lose his temper.
Ephesians 4:26, “Do not let the sun go down on the anger of your brother,” and Ephesians 4:29, “Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.”
Love in Christ,
Thursday February 6, 2020 / January 24, 2020
34th Week after Pentecost. Tone eight.
Venerable Xenia of Rome and her two female slaves (5th c.).
St. Xenia of Petersburg, fool-for-Christ (18th c.).
Martyr Nicholas (1918).
St. Gerasimus, bishop of Perm (1441).
Martyr John of Kazan (1529).
Martyrs Babylas of Sicily and his two disciples Timothy and Agapius (3rd c.).
Venerable Macedonius, hermit of Syria (ca. 420).
Translation of the relics (632) of St. Anastasius the Persian (628).
Venerable Dionysius of Olympus and Mt. Athos (1541) (Greek).
St. Felician, bishop of Foligno in Italy (254).
St. Lupicinus of Lipidiaco (500) (Gaul).
St. Neophytus the Recluse of Cyprus (1214) (Greek).
Martyrs Hermogenes and Mamas (Greek).
Martyrs Paul, Pausirius, and Theodotian, of Egypt (3rd c.).
St. Philo, bishop of Carpasia in Cyprus (5th c.).
The Priest Martyr Philippikos the Presbyter and Martyr Barsima of Syria and his two brothers.
Venerable Zosimas, bishop of Babylon in Egypt (6th c.).
The Scripture Readings
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. 24 And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.
Bear and Share Burdens
6 Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted. 2 Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.
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.
20 Then He lifted up His eyes toward His disciples, and said:
“Blessed are you poor,
For yours is the kingdom of God.
21 Blessed are you who hunger now,
For you shall be filled.
Blessed are you who weep now,
For you shall laugh.
22 Blessed are you when men hate you,
And when they exclude you,
And revile you, and cast out your name as evil,
For the Son of Man’s sake.
23 Rejoice in that day and leap for joy!
For indeed your reward is great in heaven,
For in like manner their fathers did to the prophets.