by Fr. Dmitri, New Zealand
Saturday 20 February (13 Mechir; 13 Amshier)
St. Theodore the Tyro.
When you fast, groom your hair and wash your face. Your father
who sees what is hidden will repay you.
Do not remember the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions;
According to Your mercy remember me, For Your goodness's
sake, O Lord.
I do not know what words to use in the attempt to justify myself
in Thy presence, Lord. What excuse have I before Thee, seeing
that all my hidden secrets are laid open before Thee?
And God saw their words, that they turned from their evil way;
and God repented of the evil that He had said that He would do unto
them; and He did not.
First of all we have to learn to pray unceasingly.
(St. Gregory Nazianzus)
O, my heart, why are you striving for happiness in this world,
when you know that there is no peace or joy in it?
(Mystery of Godliness)
There is a lad here who has five barley loaves, and two small
fish, but what are they among so many.
Exalt the Lord, our Lord. And worship at His footstall.
He is holy.
Fasting, (when rightly practiced) lifts the mind to God and mortifies
the flesh. It makes virtue easy to attain and increases our merits.
Heavenly Father, help us to fast for the right reason. Teach us to
fast to curb illicit desires and to obtain closer union with you.
(Francis de Sales)
The Homily today comes from an article sent to me from the Community of
Saint Ita and Saint Fillan.
1. Thou shalt not gossip; Proverbs 18:8. Before any evil story whispered in the ear is passed on, it should be treated as the housewife treats apples for a pie.
2. Thou shalt not use a multitude of empty words; Proverbs 10:19. Your tongue reveals the nature of your thinking and your character.The divine Master Himself admonishes the children of me to 'let your yea be yea, and nay nay, for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.
3. Thou shalt not boast. Proverbs 27:2, do not draw attention to yourself.
4. Thou shalt not flatter. Proverbs 26:28. Someone has said that flattery is like soft soap. It is 90% lye. The words of a man or woman who would flatter you, according to the Psalmist who had a great deal of experience with that sort of thing, they are softer than oil.
5. Thou shalt not grumble. Philippians 2:14. The prescription for this malady is to saturate your life with loving kindness.
6. Thou shalt not backbite or slander; Psalm 64:3. The tongue that backbits or slanders is the weapon that empties churches and lashes men and women to Satan's kingdom.
7. Thou shalt not mock or make fun. Job 11:3. Remember angels visit the earth in all sorts of guises.
8. Thou shalt not lie. Exodus 20:16. The first recorded lie was told in the Garden of Eden. Since then, the practice has spread like wild fire throughout the earth. Everyone hates a lying tongue.
9. Thou shalt not swear. Exodus 20:7. Profanity is the official language of the devil's kingdom.
10. Thou shalt not argue in anger. Hosea 7:16. Whatever the provocation. Remember that silence is golden and that a soft answer turns away wrath, and grievous words stir up anger. Proverbs 15:11
To Thee be Glory and Praise, now and ever, unto Ages of Ages.
Morning: Psalm 25:7-8 &11; Gospel: Mark 9:43-50.
Liturgy: Rom. 14:1-18; James 1:22-27; Acts 22:17-30;
Psalm 118:19-20; Gospel: Matt. 7:13-21.
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