Holiness Comes Only to Those Who Keep Vigil
Not an hour should pass without taking time to examine our heart, for the hour of judgement can come at any time, and we must be ready to give account to God for our life. In the Gospel of Matthew (5:8), we read "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God". It is clear that without a humble and contrite heart we shall not see God.
Saint Isaac of Syria tells us, "No one has understanding if he is not humble, and he who lacks humility lacks understanding." The prescription given to us by all the Holy Fathers point that discrimination and watchfulness are the path to achieve purity of heart, for someone who is proud, and who has not rooted out the sickness that is within his heart, will be unable to please God, for only holiness of life opens the doors to the Paradise that awaits us.
No spiritual improvement can be made if we do not seek to please God with holiness of life, yet any good in our deeds must be attributed to God. "There is none that doeth good, no not one (Romans 3:12)", and "For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not (Ecclesiastes 7:20)".
If we find we've neglected our spiritual struggle, and acted with foolish abandon, we, in our weakness, must turn to God in repentance, and this can happen only with an hourly examination of the heart. We must resolve to turn ourselves around, with God's help, and fight against the enemy of our souls, for holiness comes only to those who struggle.
With love in Christ,
|click on photo to enlarge|
Photos: Members of Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in Tacoma, WA, made a pilgrimage to the monastery on Tuesday.
Wednesday August 21, 2013 / August 8, 2013
9th Week after Pentecost. Tone seven.
Dormition (Theotokos) Fast. By Monastic Charter: Strict Fast (Bread, Vegetables, Fruits)
Afterfeast of the Transfiguration.
St. Emilian the Confessor, bishop of Cyzicus (820).
St. Philaret of Ichalka, Ivanovo (1913).
New Hieromartyr Joseph (1918).
New Hieromartyr Nicholas priest (1937).
New Hieromartyr Nicodemus (Krotov) archbishop of Kostroma and Galich (1938).
Venerable Gregory, iconographer of the Kiev Caves (12th c.).
Translation of the relics (1566) of Venerables Zosimas (1478) and Sabbatius (1435) of Solovki.
Second translation of the relics (1992) of Venerables Zosimas, Sabbatius, and Herman of Solovki.
St. Myron, bishop of Crete (350).
Martyrs Eleutherius and Leonides of Constantinople, and many infants with them.
Venerable Gregory of Sinai (Mt. Athos) (1346).
"Tolga" Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos (1314).
Martyr Gormizdas of Persia (418).
New Martyr Triandaphyllus of Zagora in Thessaly (1680) (Greek).
Twelve Ascetics of Egypt (Greek).
Two Martyrs of Tyre (Greek).
Martyr Styracius (Greek).
New Martyr Anastasius (Spaso) of Radovishte in Strumica who suffered at Thessalonica (1794) (Greek).
St. Gregory, wonderworker of the Kiev Caves (14th c.).
St. Zosimas the Sinaite of Tumana Monastery, Serbia (14th c.).
Monk-martyr Euthymius, abbot of the Monastery of St. John the Baptist at Garesja, Georgia (1804). You can read the life of the saint in red, by clicking on the name.
THANKS to all of you who have been able to contribute towards the support of the monastery. These difficult times of economic hardship have impacted the monastery, and those of you who have been able to donate, have been our lifeline. May God bless you for your generosity, and kindness.
With love in Christ,
Donations can be made directly to the monastery through PayPal, or you may send donations to:
All-Merciful Saviour Monastery
PO Box 2420
Vashon Island, WA 98070-2420 USA
The Scripture Readings for the Day
1 Corinthians 13:4-14:5
8 Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part. 10 But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.
11 When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 12 For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.
13 And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
Prophecy and Tongues14 Pursue love, and desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy. 2 For he who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God, for no one understands him; however, in the spirit he speaks mysteries. 3 But he who prophesies speaks edification and exhortation and comfort to men. 4 He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself, but he who prophesies edifies the church. 5 I wish you all spoke with tongues, but even more that you prophesied; for he who prophesies is greater than he who speaks with tongues, unless indeed he interprets, that the church may receive edification.
The Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard20 “For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard. 2 Now when he had agreed with the laborers for a denarius a day, he sent them into his vineyard. 3 And he went out about the third hour and saw others standing idle in the marketplace, 4 and said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard, and whatever is right I will give you.’ So they went. 5 Again he went out about the sixth and the ninth hour, and did likewise. 6 And about the eleventh hour he went out and found others standing idle, and said to them, ‘Why have you been standing here idle all day?’ 7 They said to him, ‘Because no one hired us.’ He said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard, and whatever is right you will receive.’
8 “So when evening had come, the owner of the vineyard said to his steward, ‘Call the laborers and give them their wages, beginning with the last to the first.’ 9 And when those came who were hired about the eleventh hour, they each received a denarius. 10 But when the first came, they supposed that they would receive more; and they likewise received each a denarius. 11 And when they had received it, they complained against the landowner, 12 saying, ‘These last men have worked only one hour, and you made them equal to us who have borne the burden and the heat of the day.’ 13 But he answered one of them and said, ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong. Did you not agree with me for a denarius? 14 Take what is yours and go your way. I wish to give to this last man the same as to you. 15 Is it not lawful for me to do what I wish with my own things? Or is your eye evil because I am good?’ 16 So the last will be first, and the first last. For many are called, but few chosen.”
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