Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Feasts: Fast Free


Prayer:
Constant communication with God is imperative as believers. I ask that we pray the following prayer.

O Lord, our God, please bless the Irene Chapter of the Ladies of Philoptochos with a sacred desire to serve with gladness and dedicated hearts. Assign a Guardian Angel to walk before them so that they grow in faith and discernment. Multiply their efforts, sanctify their work and bless all of their endeavors. Grant them well-being and health. Grant them understanding, peace and happiness in this life to help them fulfill Your will. AMEN

Saints:

Domnina the Martyr and her daughters

John the Hermit

Hierotheus, Bishop of Athens

Reading:


According to some, Hierotheus, like Saint Dionysius, was a member of the court of Mars Hill. Having first been instructed in the Faith of Christ by Paul, he became Bishop of Athens. He, in turn, initiated the divine Dionysius more perfectly into the mysteries of Christ; the latter, on his part, elaborated more clearly and distinctly Hierotheus' concise and summary teachings concerning the Faith. He too was brought miraculously by the power of the Holy Spirit to be present at the Dormition of the Theotokos, when, together with the sacred Apostles, he became a leader of the divine hymnody. "He was wholly transported, wholly outside himself and was so deeply absorbed in communion with the sacred things he celebrated in hymnology, that to all who heard him and saw him and knew him, and yet knew him not, he seemed to be inspired of God, a divine hymnographer," as Dionysius says (On the Divine Names, 3:2). Having lived in a manner pleasing to God, he reposed in the Lord.

Apolytikion of Hierotheus, Bp. of Athens in the Fourth Tone

Since thou hadst been instructed in uprightness thoroughly and wast vigilant in all things, thou wast clothed with a good conscience as befitteth one holy. Thou didst draw from the Chosen Vessel ineffable mysteries; and having kept the Faith, thou didst finish a like course, O Hieromartyr Hierotheus. Intercede with Christ God that our souls be saved.

Kontakion of Hierotheus, Bp. of Athens in the Plagal of the Fourth Tone

As Athens' Hierarch, we acclaim thee, since through thee we have received instruction in things awesome and ineffable; for thou wast a God-inspired writer of divine hymns. O Hierotheus all-blessed, do thou pray to God, so that we may be redeemed from all calamities, that thus we may cry: Rejoice, O Father wise in things divine.

Epistle Reading

St. Paul's Letter to the Galatians 5:11-21

Prokeimenon. Grave Mode. 
Psalm 63.11,1

The righteous shall rejoice in the Lord.
Verse: Oh God, hear my cry.

BRETHREN, if I still preach circumcision, why am I still persecuted? In that case the stumbling block of the cross has been removed. I wish those who unsettle you would mutilate themselves! For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love be servants of one another. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." But if you bite and devour one another take heed that you are not consumed by one another. But I say, walk by the Spirit, and do not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh; for these are opposed to each other, to prevent you from doing what you would. But if you are led by the Spirit you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are plain: fornication, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, anger, selfishness, dissension, party spirit, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and the like. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

Gospel Reading

Tuesday of the 3rd Week

The Gospel according to Luke 6:37-45


The Lord said, "Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven; give, and it will be given to you; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For the measure you give will be the measure you get back."

He also told them a parable: "Can a blind man lead a blind man? Will they not both fall into a pit? A disciple is not above his teacher, but every one when he is fully taught will be like his teacher. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, 'Brother, let me take out the speck that is in your eye,' when you yourself do not see the log that is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take out the speck that is in your brother's eye.

"For no good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit; for each tree is known by its own fruit. For figs are not gathered from thorns, nor are grapes picked from a bramble bush. The good man out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil man out of his evil treasure produces evil; for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks."

Evening Compline Prayers
Grant us, Master, as we depart for sleep, rest for body and soul. Protect us from the gloom of sinful sleep and from all dark pleasures of the night. Calm the impulses of passion, and quench the fiery darts of evil which are treacherously cast against us. Check the turbulence of our flesh and lull all our earthly and mundane thoughts. Grant us, O God, a watchful mind, prudent reason, a vigilant heart and tranquil sleep, free from all evil dreams. Raise us up at the hour of prayer, strengthen us in your commandments, and keep unshaken within us the remembrance of your judgments. Grant us to glorify you all night long that we may praise and bless and glorify your all honorable and magnificent name, of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, now and forever and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Most glorious, ever virgin, blessed Theotokos, present our prayers to your Son and our God, and plead with him, that through you he may save our souls.

My hope is the Father, my refuge the Son, my protection, the Holy Spirit. Holy Trinity, glory to you.

My every hope I place in you, Mother of God. Keep me under your protection.


Fr Gary's New Year's Challenge:

Educate yourself in the Word of God. A weekday, Monday - Friday, reading guide has been prepared for the year. By sticking to this plan you will read the entire New Testament (The Gospel of Matthew through Revelation) by the end of the 2016. Milestones are easily set and marked so that you do not fall behind. Reading and knowing God’s Word is essential to Christian growth.

Message from Fr Gary

Fr Gary

God’s Holy Word


A great benefit of spending time at summer camp is the opportunity to disconnect from technology. Not having a phone or internet connection gets you excited to receive mail. A great joy is receiving a (good old fashioned) letter from home. The delight in holding an envelope with the familiar handwriting of a loved one is a highlight for all the staff, counselors and campers. Everyone gets electrified when they get mail (real, handwritten, stamped envelope mail).

One afternoon at St. Sophia Camp, the Director handed me a small envelope sent to me from Christie. I took it, looked at it and put it in my pocket. “You gonna read it?” He asked. I nodded, smiled and walked to the chapel to prepare for evening vespers. I placed it on the altar and put my vestments on for the service.

Vespers ended and the kids were excited to go up the hill to mail call, anticipating their own letters and packages. Prior to their leaving the chapel I shared with them the unopened envelope from my wife. I asked, “What if I just set this letter from my wife on my night stand and never opened or read it?” The responses were touching and hilarious.

One little guy said, “I think you should read it, it will make you happy!” Another jokingly said, “You might end up sleeping on the couch if you don’t.” An older teen girl said, “That’s just coldhearted, what if...

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