The soul requires discipline to overcome disinclination
The soul suffers from a certain blindness when it comes to itself. In its desire to be more relaxed, indolence, insensitivity and deceit rule the soul, and in our refusal to master the work of salvation, complacency sets in.
Since no one can enter into our inner life but ourself, we are the only ones who can persuade ourselves to bring discipline into our spiritual life. We are the one who must reason with ourselves before depravity and sin can extinguish the light of the knowledge of the truth.
In truth, change can only come about when it begins in the soul. Throwing off our own blindness can in itself bring light to countless others, which is why Saint Seraphim said, “if you acquire inner peace, a thousand around you will be saved”.
We are the ones who must overcome our disinclination to do anything that has salvation at the forefront, otherwise we will be the person who drags down those around us as they fail to thrive in the difficult world that is coming.
With love in Christ,
Saturday January 23, 2021 / January 10, 2021
33rd Week after Pentecost. Tone seven.
Saturday after the Baptism of Our Lord and God and Saviour Jesus Christ
Venerable Pachomius of Kensk (16th c.) (movable holiday on the Saturday after the Baptism of Our Lord and God and Saviour Jesus Christ).
St. Gregory of Nyssa (395).
Venerable Dometian, bishop of Melitene (601).
St. Theophan the Recluse, bishop of Tambov (1894).
Venerable Marcian, presbyter of Constantinople (471).
Venerable Paul, abbot of Obnora (Vologda) (1429), and his disciple St. Macarius, abbot of Pisma Monastery.
Venerable Antipas of Valaam (1882).
New Hieromartyr Zenobius priest (1920).
New Hieromartyr Peter priest (1930).
New Hieromartyr Anatolius metropolite of Odessa (1938).
Woman Hieromartyr Arsenia abbess (1939).
Venerable Macarius of Pisemsk and Kostroma (14c).
Blessed Theosebia the Deaconess (385), sister of St. Basil the Great and St. Gregory of Nyssa.
Venerable Ammon of Nitria, monk (5th c.).
Venerable Antipas of Galapodeshti, Romania and Valaam Monastery (1882) (Romania).
Martyred Elder Ephraim and six incorrupt monks of Obnora (1538).
The Scripture Readings
Jesus the True Shepherd
10 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. 2 But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. 5 Yet they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.” 6 Jesus used this illustration, but they did not understand the things which He spoke to them.
Jesus the Good Shepherd
7 Then Jesus said to them again, “Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. 8 All who ever came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. 9 I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.
2 Timothy 2:11-19
11 This is a faithful saying:
For if we died with Him,
We shall also live with Him.
12 If we endure,
We shall also reign with Him.
If we deny Him,
He also will deny us.
13 If we are faithless,
He remains faithful;
He cannot deny Himself.
Approved and Disapproved Workers
14 Remind them of these things, charging them before the Lord not to strive about words to no profit, to the ruin of the hearers. 15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 16 But shun profane and idle babblings, for they will increase to more ungodliness. 17 And their message will spread like cancer. Hymenaeus and Philetus are of this sort, 18 who have strayed concerning the truth, saying that the resurrection is already past; and they overthrow the faith of some. 19 Nevertheless the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: “The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity.”
2 saying: “There was in a certain city a judge who did not fear God nor regard man.3 Now there was a widow in that city; and she came to him, saying, ‘Get justice for me from my adversary.’ 4 And he would not for a while; but afterward he said within himself, ‘Though I do not fear God nor regard man, 5 yet because this widow troubles me I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.’ ”
6 Then the Lord said, “Hear what the unjust judge said. 7 And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them? 8 I tell you that He will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?”