We must refrain from the life of the Super Correct
Driven by fear, there are people who leave the Church and head into schism. In Greece there are at least eighteen “Old Calendar” Orthodox churches who claim to be THE Church, not recognizing each other as canonical. In the United States there are nearly the same numbers, some Slavic and others of Greek origin. They are all filled with prideful people, thinking of themselves as the only remnant of Christ’s Church. These people practice a form of Christianity that is filled with self righteous rigidity, totally lacking in humility.
Walling themselves off from World Orthodoxy, they become extremely pharisaical, harsh, punitive and rotten to the core. In their legalistic approach to the canons and traditions of the Church they enter into a state of constant judgment against anyone outside their arrogant, cultish religiosity.
In their narrow minded approach to the Church, they fail to trust that the Holy Spirit is guiding and protecting His Church. They don’t see the Holy Spirit operating in the life of people because they themselves are closed off to the Holy Spirit. Where is the life of the Church manifested among such people? They do nothing for the love of humanity and their lack of love begets more schism. Schism begets schism begets schism. A never ending downward spiral into the abyss.
Their usual premise is based on the issue of the calendar change and false ecumenism. The calendar issue is more important to them than the unity of the Church forgetting, as they do, that the early church celebrated many of the great feasts on different days.
False ecumenism is hardly an issue today, with the numbers of theologians and bishops who are truly caught up in it has dwindled to almost nothing, along with the liberal thinking that has gone out of fashion since the fall of communism. The Russian Church, the largest of the Local Churches, has taken a strong stand against false ecumenism and is powerfully pushing forth the unchanging canons, traditions and faith of the ancient Church.
Orthodox Christianity has withstood two thousand years of attacks and persecution, yet the gates of hell have not prevailed against her. This was Christ’s promise to his disciples before His Holy Resurrection. To believe otherwise is to blaspheme against the Holy Spirit.
Love in Christ,
Friday April 2, 2021 / March 20, 2021
Third Week of the Great Lent. Tone one.
Great Lent. By Monastic Charter: Strict Fast (Bread, Vegetables, Fruits)
The Holy Fathers who were slain at the Monastery of St.Sabbas: Venerables John, Sergius, Patrick, and others (796).
New Hieromartyr Vladimir priest (1918).
New Hieromartyr Basil deacon (1938).
New Hieromartyr Priest Nicholas Holz of Novosiolki (Chelm and Podlasie, Poland) (1944).
Suffering of Venerable Euphrosynus of Blue-Jay Lake (Valaam) (1612).
Martyr Photina (Fatima, Svetlana) the Samaritan Woman and her sons: Martyrs Victor named Photinos, and Josiah with Anatolia, Photo, Photida, Paraskeva, Kyriakia, Domnina and Sebastian (66).
Seven Virgin-martyrs of Amisus (Samsun): Alexandra, Claudia, Euphrasia, Matrona, Juliana, Euphemia, and Theodosia (310).
St. Nicetas the Confessor, bishop of Apollonias in Bithynia (813).
New Martyr Myron of Crete (1793).
St. Martin of Braga in Iberia (580).
St. Wulfram, missionary (703) (Neth.).
St. Cuthbert of Lindisfarne, bishop (687) (Celtic & British).
Righteous Abel, first martyr in history of mankind.
St. Austreigiselis, bishop of Bourges (624) (Neth.).
Martyr Michael the Sabbaite, who suffered at Jerusalem (691).
St. Archil II, king of Georgia (744).
St. Herbert, hermit of Derwentwater.
Martyrs Rodion, Aquila the Eparch, Longinus, and Emmanuel (Greek).
The Scripture Readings
2 “Lift up a banner on the high mountain,
Raise your voice to them;
Wave your hand, that they may enter the gates of the nobles.
3 I have commanded My sanctified ones;
I have also called My mighty ones for My anger—
Those who rejoice in My exaltation.”
4 The noise of a multitude in the mountains,
Like that of many people!
A tumultuous noise of the kingdoms of nations gathered together!
The Lord of hosts musters
The army for battle.
5 They come from a far country,
From the end of heaven—
The Lord and His weapons of indignation,
To destroy the whole land.
6 Wail, for the day of the Lord is at hand!
It will come as destruction from the Almighty.
7 Therefore all hands will be limp,
Every man’s heart will melt,
8 And they will be afraid.
Pangs and sorrows will take hold of them;
They will be in pain as a woman in childbirth;
They will be amazed at one another;
Their faces will be like flames.
9 Behold, the day of the Lord comes,
Cruel, with both wrath and fierce anger,
To lay the land desolate;
And He will destroy its sinners from it.
10 For the stars of heaven and their constellations
Will not give their light;
The sun will be darkened in its going forth,
And the moon will not cause its light to shine.
11 “I will punish the world for its evil,
And the wicked for their iniquity;
I will halt the arrogance of the proud,
And will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible.
12 I will make a mortal more rare than fine gold,
A man more than the golden wedge of Ophir.
13 Therefore I will shake the heavens,
And the earth will move out of her place,
In the wrath of the Lord of hosts
And in the day of His fierce anger.
4 Then the ark rested in the seventh month, the seventeenth day of the month, on the mountains of Ararat. 5 And the waters decreased continually until the tenth month. In the tenth month, on the first day of the month, the tops of the mountains were seen.
6 So it came to pass, at the end of forty days, that Noah opened the window of the ark which he had made. 7 Then he sent out a raven, which kept going to and fro until the waters had dried up from the earth. 8 He also sent out from himself a dove, to see if the waters had receded from the face of the ground. 9 But the dove found no resting place for the sole of her foot, and she returned into the ark to him, for the waters were on the face of the whole earth. So he put out his hand and took her, and drew her into the ark to himself. 10 And he waited yet another seven days, and again he sent the dove out from the ark. 11 Then the dove came to him in the evening, and behold, a freshly plucked olive leaf was in her mouth; and Noah knew that the waters had receded from the earth. 12 So he waited yet another seven days and sent out the dove, which did not return again to him anymore.
13 And it came to pass in the six hundred and first year, in the first month, the first day of the month, that the waters were dried up from the earth; and Noah removed the covering of the ark and looked, and indeed the surface of the ground was dry. 14 And in the second month, on the twenty-seventh day of the month, the earth was dried.
15 Then God spoke to Noah, saying, 16 “Go out of the ark, you and your wife, and your sons and your sons’ wives with you. 17 Bring out with you every living thing of all flesh that is with you: birds and cattle and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth, so that they may abound on the earth, and be fruitful and multiply on the earth.” 18 So Noah went out, and his sons and his wife and his sons’ wives with him. 19 Every animal, every creeping thing, every bird, and whatever creeps on the earth, according to their families, went out of the ark.
God’s Covenant with Creation
20 Then Noah built an altar to the Lord, and took of every clean animal and of every clean bird, and offered burnt offerings on the altar. 21 And the Lord smelled a soothing aroma. Then the Lord said in His heart, “I will never again curse the ground for man’s sake, although the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; nor will I again destroy every living thing as I have done.
31 The mouth of the righteous brings forth wisdom,
But the perverse tongue will be cut out.
32 The lips of the righteous know what is acceptable,
But the mouth of the wicked what is perverse.
The Folly of Wickedness
11 Dishonest scales are an abomination to the Lord,
But a just weight is His delight.
2 When pride comes, then comes shame;
But with the humble is wisdom.
3 The integrity of the upright will guide them,
But the perversity of the unfaithful will destroy them.
4 Riches do not profit in the day of wrath,
But righteousness delivers from death.
5 The righteousness of the blameless will direct his way aright,
But the wicked will fall by his own wickedness.
6 The righteousness of the upright will deliver them,
But the unfaithful will be caught by their lust.
7 When a wicked man dies, his expectation will perish,
And the hope of the unjust perishes.
8 The righteous is delivered from trouble,
And it comes to the wicked instead.
9 The hypocrite with his mouth destroys his neighbor,
But through knowledge the righteous will be delivered.
10 When it goes well with the righteous, the city rejoices;
And when the wicked perish, there is jubilation.
11 By the blessing of the upright the city is exalted,
But it is overthrown by the mouth of the wicked.
12 He who is devoid of wisdom despises his neighbor,
But a man of understanding holds his peace.