The briefness of life has become more evident to me as I face health issues that have come with aging. It has not been a fearful experience for I believe with all my heart that God is there, especially when I am suffering through periods of trial and uncertainty. Death comes to all of us. This inevitability is what many refuse to think about, but an awareness of death is the very thing that should be at the forefront of our thoughts. A prayer life devoid of facing our eventual death is no prayer life at all.
When you live your life focused on enjoyment and lust, you enslave yourself, but freedom from this enslavement comes with love of God. This love creates perfection and faultlessness. When you think on your own death you become free to perform every task you do, for God.
Your heart, imprisoned by your fallen nature is liberated, becoming inflamed with the love of God. This love of God engenders a love that permeates your very essence, allowing you to love every person and every creature. Your heart burns with love. This love turns chaos into harmony and it is Divine energy and Divine strength that transforms you into the being God intended you to be. You are His child, deified and made whole.
With love in Christ,
Photo: Hammi, napping in front of the fireplace, following a long day of greeting visitors.
Tuesday May 20, 2014 / May 7, 2014
Fifth Week of Pascha. Tone four.
Commemoration of the Apparition of the Sign of the Precious Cross over Jerusalem in 351 A.D.
Martyr Acacius the Centurion at Byzantium (303).
Repose of Venerable Nilus, abbot of Sora (1508).
Venerable John of Zedazeni in Georgia, and 12 disciples: Venerables Shio Mgvime, David of Gareji, Anthony of Martq'ophi, Thaddeus of Urbnisi or Stepantsminda, Stephen of Khirsa, Isidore of Samtavisi, Michael of Ulumbo, Pyrrhus of Breta, Zenon of Iqalto, Jesse (Ise) of Tsilkani, Joseph of Alaverdi, and Abibus of Nekressi (6th c.) (Georgia).
Uncovering of the relics (1815) of Venerable Nilus the Myrrh-gusher of Mt. Athos.
Icons of the Most Holy Theotokos "Zhirovits" (1470) and "Lubech" (11th c.).
New Martyr Pachomius of Patmos (1730) (Greek).
St. Domitianus, bishop of Maastricht (560) (Neth.).
St. John of Beverley, bishop of York (721) (Celtic & British).
St. Lydia of Philippi (1st c.).
Uncovering of the relics of St. Euthymius the Great.
You can read the life of the saint by clicking on the highlighted name.
The Scripture Readings for the Day
Barnabas and Saul Appointed25 And Barnabas and Saul returned from Jerusalem when they had fulfilled their ministry, and they also took with them John whose surname was Mark.
13 Now in the church that was at Antioch there were certain prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. 2 As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, “Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” 3 Then, having fasted and prayed, and laid hands on them, they sent them away.
Preaching in Cyprus4 So, being sent out by the Holy Spirit, they went down to Seleucia, and from there they sailed to Cyprus. 5 And when they arrived in Salamis, they preached the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews. They also had John as their assistant.
6 Now when they had gone through the island to Paphos, they found a certain sorcerer, a false prophet, a Jew whose name was Bar-Jesus, 7 who was with the proconsul, Sergius Paulus, an intelligent man. This man called for Barnabas and Saul and sought to hear the word of God. 8 But Elymas the sorcerer (for so his name is translated) withstood them, seeking to turn the proconsul away from the faith. 9 Then Saul, who also is called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked intently at him 10 and said, “O full of all deceit and all fraud, you son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, will you not cease perverting the straight ways of the Lord? 11 And now, indeed, the hand of the Lord is upon you, and you shall be blind, not seeing the sun for a time.”
And immediately a dark mist fell on him, and he went around seeking someone to lead him by the hand. 12 Then the proconsul believed, when he saw what had been done, being astonished at the teaching of the Lord.
52 Then the Jews said to Him, “Now we know that You have a demon! Abraham is dead, and the prophets; and You say, ‘If anyone keeps My word he shall never taste death.’ 53 Are You greater than our father Abraham, who is dead? And the prophets are dead. Who do You make Yourself out to be?”
54 Jesus answered, “If I honor Myself, My honor is nothing. It is My Father who honors Me, of whom you say that He is your God. 55 Yet you have not known Him, but I know Him. And if I say, ‘I do not know Him,’ I shall be a liar like you; but I do know Him and keep His word. 56 Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad.”
57 Then the Jews said to Him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?”
58 Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.”
59 Then they took up stones to throw at Him; but Jesus hid Himself and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.
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