by Fr. Dmitri, New Zealand
Saturday 11 July 2009 (4 Epip; 4 Abib)
S. Austol of Cornwall
Vigil of SS. Peter & Paul
Let your speech be always gracious and in good taste,
and strive to respond properly to all who address you.
Their line is gone out through all the earth and their
words to the end of the world. In them hath he set
a tabernacle for the sun.
The name of Jesus penetrates the soul as a spot of
oil spreads silently in all directions.
Decide, for yourself, on a short prayer that suits you.
You may repeat it often like the Jesus Prayer.
(Pope Shenouda III)
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of Knowledge like
the light that enters a dark home, drives away its darkness
and lights it up. Such is the Fear of God. It enters the heart
of a human being, it banishes ignorance away from him, and
teaches him all the virtues and wisdom.
(Anthony the Great)
Loves distinctive character is to be a fountain of faith, an abyss of
patience, and a sea of humility.
If you feel sorry when giving, then you have lost both
the bread and merit, for God loves the cheerful giver.
The Father created you, and the Holy Spirit came upon you,
and the power of the Highest overshadowed you O Mary.
(The Holy Psalmody)
Remain at peace regarding whatever is said or done in
conversations. If it is good you have something for
which to praise God. If it is bad, you have something
in which to serve God by turning your heart away from it.
Lord God, let our conversations always be for the good
of our souls. Teach us how to turn evil conversations
to good and how to remain untouched by them.
(Francis de Sales)
Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
Pharisees made much of outward cleansings -endless ritual washings. As Our
Lord said: 'Woe unto you Scribes, Pharisees and hypocrites; because you make
clean the outside of the cup and the dish, but within you are full of
rapine, and uncleaness.'(Matt.23:25) When the pharisees grumble about the
disciples not washing before meals, Our Lord retorts by saying it is not
that goeth inside a man that defiles him, but what cometh forth out of his
mouth that defiles a man.
From the heart come forth evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, false
testimonies, blasphemies: these are the things that defile a man. But to eat
with unwashed hands does not defile him.
The common denominator is Greed. Seeking one's own good regardless of God.
Using people for your own ends. Therefore 'Pure or clean of heart' means
'clean from greed.' Our heart must be purified, unmixed with selfishness,
single mindedly bent on the Will of God.
A muddy fountain produces muddy water (says Jerome); and if our heart is
muddy with self seeking, the actions that come forth from it will be muddy
too. 'Love righteousness, ye that be judges of the earth: think of the Lord
with a good heart, and in simplicity of heart seek Him.'
'For they shall see God.'
This does not only mean in Heaven. But the reward is also given in this
life. If we look at St. Mark's Gospel Chapt.10 'Who shall not receive a
hundred fold, now in this time; and in the world to come life everlasting.'
St. Thomas says: Heaven is the perfect fruit. but buds and blossoms of
springtime are beautiful too, so are the beginnings of heaven in this life.
If we look at our own hearts, are they pure or muddy? The Remedy is Penance.
Remember what the Psalmist said: "Create a clean heart in me, O God; and
renew a right spirit within me!"
To Thee be Glory and Praise, now and ever, unto the Ages of Ages.
Evening: Psalm 67:4 & 36; Gospel Matt.10:16-23.
Morning: Psalm 96:11-12; Gospel Mark 13:9-13.
Liturgy: Heb.12:3-14; 1 Peter 4:12-19; Acts 7:44-8:1;
Psalm 33:20-21; Gospel Luke 11:53-12:2.
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