by Fr. Dmitri, New Zealand
Saturday 13 December 2008 (4 Koiahk, 4 Kiahk)
St. Andrew the First Called.
For the bread of God is He which cometh down from
heaven, and giveth life unto the world.
And you will have joy and gladness; and many shall
rejoice at his birth.
I now reply on the abundance of thy infinite mercy.
So disregard not a submissive heart, lacking for
(Vespers Prayer Litany)
Excessive talk may come from covetousness and
greediness or from environment and habit.
(St. John Climacus)
The human being is formed of a body and a soul.
If he does not feed the body with bread, he will not live.
The same applies to the soul, if it is not fed with
prayer and spiritual knowledge, then it is dead.
(Ephraim the Syrian)
My Lord Jesus, here I keep the door of my palace open
for Your Greatness. Open therefore the door of Your
Mercy before my face.
(St. Anna Simon)
Accept these prayers from us, O our God, who has
descended to us. Accept the tears of sinners and
show mercy to the guilty.
(Ephrem the Syrian)
Fasting is a sound period for us to let God in on every
problem. It is a period for a crushed heart to call and
for God to listen.
(Pope Shenouda III)
My memorizing psalms & prayers, you'll be able to
pray all the time.
(Pope Shenouda III)
All who receive Jesus in Communion are filled with
every good. Their temptations are overcome. Their
troubles are turned into Joy. And their piety finds
Lord JESUS, help us to received You in Communion
frequently and with fervour. Grant that all our
Communions may enable us to do good, and live
as dedicated Christians.
(Anthony of Padua)
Temptation is enticement to sin, and this does not proceed from God, but from Satan, and from the evil of our own hearts, 'God cannot be tempted with evil, and He Himself tempteth no man.' (Jas. 1:13)
Satan seeks to bring us into temptation, that he may claim us as his own. In the symbolic prophecy of Zechariah, Satan is seen standing at the right hand of the Angel of the Lord, accusing Joshua the high priest, who is clothed in filthy garments, and resisting the work that the Angel desires to do for him. This represents the attitude of Satan toward every soul whom Christ seeks to draw to Himself.
The prayer, 'Lead us not into temptation,' is itself a promise St. Paul tells us in 1 Cor. 10:13 'He will not suffer you to be tempted above that you are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.'
The petition:' But deliver us from evil'. We have many promises of Christ. He will never abandon a soul for whom He died. Look at John 3:16 and you see the most amazing promise. Yet another: 'Behold, I give you power to tread on serpents and scorpions and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing will hurt you.' (Luke 10:19). Look how many times that He delivered the Apostles from the evil of the Jews and the Saints from the evil of Roman Emperors.
The last like the first sentence of the Lord's Prayer, points to Our Father as above all power, and authority, and authority, and every name that is named. The Saviour beheld the years that stretched before His disciples. They were to see Jerusalem a desolation, the Temple swept away, its worship forever ended. Jesus said: 'Ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars.' Nation shall rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, pestilences and earthquakes in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows. (Matt. 24:6-8)*
The Temple worship of the Christian likewise is heading for a fall as they have turned away from God, teaching for Doctrine the Commandments of Men.
The Power and the Glory belong to Him whose great purpose would still move on unthwarted toward their consummation. The ruin of Jerusalem was a symbol of the Final Ruin that shall overwhelm the world. We are on the threshold of great and solemn events.
'Thine, O Lord, is the greatness, and the Power, and the Glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is Thine.' (1 Chron. 29:11)
* This is indicative of the situation in the world today.
I shall end with a prayer by 'Charlotte Elliott.'
My God, is any hour so sweet.
From blush of morn to evening star,
As that which calls me to Thy Feet,
The hour of prayer?
Lord, till I reach that blissful shore,
No privilege so dear shall be,
As this my inmost soul to pour
In Prayer to Thee.
To Thee be Glory and Praise, now and ever unto Ages of Ages.
Evening: Psalm 68:11,34&35; Gospel: Mark 3:7-21.
Morning: Psalm 145:10-12; Gospel: Luke 6:12-23.
Liturgy: Rom. 10:4-18; 2 Peter 1:12-21; Acts 3:1-16;
Psalm 18:1-2; Gospel: Matt. 10:1-15.
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