Orthodox Thought for the Day


Friday, June 28, 2013

Drawing the grace of God

If you keep the way of innocence, the way of righteousness, if you walk with a firm and steady step, if, depending on God with your whole strength and with your whole heart, you only 'be' what you have begun to be, liberty and power to do is given you in proportion to the increase of your spiritual grace.  For there is not, as in the case with earthly benefits, any measure of stint in the dispensing of the heavenly gift.  The Spirit freely flowing forth is restrained by no limits, is checked by no closed barriers within certain bounded spaces; It flows perpetually, It is exuberant in Its affluence. Let our hearts only be athirst, and be ready to receive: in the degree in which we bring to it a capacious faith, in that measure we draw from It an overflowing grace

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Through the intercessions of the Forerunner

Lord, my God, I stand condemned before Your holy face, and I confess my unworthiness, my weakness and my great poverty.  Therefore I pray to You, the sweet fountain and depth of compassion:  Open the gates of heaven and rain the abundance of Your loving kindness upon me that I may thus pour forth tears and weep, cleansing and washing my soul of the stain of sin with true and deep repentance.  I offer as my intercessor for this great gift, O Lord, the forerunner John, and I cry to him, O teacher of repentance and great prophet who are greater than all the prophets, as the Son of God Himself said in the holy Gospel.  You showed the Master Christ to the people; you baptized Him in the Jordan and beheld the heavens opening; you heard the voice of the heavenly father and beheld the Holy Spirit as a dove descending upon Him.  I pray to you to help me by your intercessions as you stand in heaven before the eternal Judge.  Turn Him to have compassion upon me, for you have great boldness before His love.  Stretch forth your hand, with which you baptized Him, and destroy my evil thoughts, and strengthen me to spend my life on the good path of God.  O Prophet, illumine my mind with the commandments of the Lord so that I may remember them and preserve them to the end of my life.  Stand near me at the hour of my death, and lead me before God, my Master.  Intercede also for the whole world, that God may grant help to Christians.  May He grant the living and the departed rest from their many labors, bestowing upon them all which is needful and making them worthy of His kingdom.  Amen. 


Monday, June 24, 2013

On Christian books

The acquisition of Christian books is necessary for those who can use them.  For the mere sight of these books renders us less inclined to sin and incites us to believe more firmly in righteousness. 


Feast Day of the All Holy Spirit

The Comforter, the Holy Spirit, Who fills the whole universe, passes through all believing, meek, humble, good and simple human souls, dwelling in them, vivifying and strengthening them.  He becomes one spirit with them and everything to them—light, strength, peace, joy, success in their undertakings, especially to a pious life, and everything good. 

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Blessed Feast of Holy Pentecost

The power to bear Mysteries, which the humble man has received, which makes him perfect in every virtue without toil, this is the very power which the blessed apostles received in the form of fire.  For its sake the Savior, commanded them not to leave Jerusalem until they should receive power from on high, that is to say, the Paraclete, which, being interpreted, is the Spirit of consolation.  And this is the Spirit of divine visions.  Concerning this it is said in divine Scripture: ‘Mysteries are revealed to the humble,’ (Ecclesiastics 3:19).  The humble are accounted worthy of receiving in themselves this Spirit of revelations Who teaches mysteries. 

Friday, June 21, 2013

Repentance and life in the Spirit

Through repentance the filth of our foul actions is washed away.  After this, we participate in the Holy Spirit, not automatically, but according to the faith, humility and inner disposition of the repentance in which our soul is engaged.  For this reason it is good to repent each day as the act of repentance is unending. 

It is better...

It is better to be persecuted than to persecute; it is better to be crucified than to crucify; it is better to be insulted than to insult; it is better to be slandered than to slander.  Elder Justin (Pârvu) +June 16, 2013 

Fr. Justin (Pârvu) was born in the village of Poiana Larguliu on February 10, 1919; he entered the monastery of Durău in 1936, and in 1939 he enrolled in the Theological Seminary in the Cernica Monastery. He served as a chaplain on the Eastern Front during World War II from 1942-1944, but was imprisoned for political and religious reasons between 1948 and 1964. In 1966 Fr. Justin was received into Secu Monastery, and in 1975 he transferred to Bistrita Monasery. In the autumn of 1991, he placed the foundation stone of Petru Vodă Monastery, where he lived and served as abbot, and in 1999 he began the restoration of a convent for nuns in Paltin.

From the end of March 2013, the stomach cancer that he had secretly suffered for several years metastasized, provoking further medical complications that after martyric torments caused Archimandrite Justin's departure to a better world. Fr. Justin is considered the last of the Romanian elders of the period of communist repression to depart this world. May God give rest to his soul!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Pre and post marital prayers

Master, Lord, our God, who bless marriages and preserve the nature of incorruptibility, and Who govern all earthly affairs in wisdom; from the beginning, You created man and set him as king over Your creation, saying:  It is not good that man should be alone upon earth; let Us make him a helpmate.  You therefore established that a man leave his father and his mother and be joined to his wife.  The two become one body and man shall not separate that which God had joined together.  O Master, send Your heavenly grace upon us, Your unworthy servants, and bless this marriage which shall take place before You.  Cleanse us of all our sins, forgive our transgressions and involuntary iniquities.  Unite us in mind, thought and heart, in pure love and unshakable faith, guiding our steps along Your path so that we may ever fulfill Your holy will.  Fill our house with all which is good; grant us healthy children and enable us to live our entire lives in purity as we strive in every way to please You.  Help us to obey all Your commandments with a pure heart, so that we may glorify and praise Your all honorable and blessed name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages.  Amen.


Lord Jesus Christ our God, Who taught us to pray continually for one another, thus fulfilling Your commandment and manifesting our desire for Your mercy, in Your compassion, watch over and protect my husband (wife) from all seen and unseen enemies.  Grant him (her) health and complete wisdom so that he (she) may fulfill all his (her) obligations according to Your will and commandments.  Protect him (her) from all temptations which he (she) does not have the strength to resist.  Strengthen him (her) in the right faith and in perfect love that we may live together in virtue, and direct our lives according to Your precepts.  For Yours is the power and glory forever.  Amen. 

We implore You, O merciful Lord:  Help us to remember that marriage is indeed holy and strengthen the sanctity of our union.  Shower Your grace upon us so that we may live our lives in true faithfulness and love.  Help us to understand and trust each other fully, keeping quarrels and arguments far from us.  Bestow Your blessings upon us, and in Your mercy, count us worthy of Your kingdom:  for You are our sanctification, and we offer glory to You:  to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages.  Amen.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Prayer in time of need or trouble

The dark clouds of trouble gather above me, O Lord, and the grief of torments terrifies me.  Although I find myself in a state of suffering, I do not complain against You, O Good One, for You are my support and the unshaken rock upon which I place my hope.  You know, O God, the cause of my wretchedness and sorrows, and You continue to look after me.  Even in my suffering I know that You love me, and it is this very knowledge that strengthens me. Thus, hoping in Your very love and goodness, I shall not allow these assaults to overcome me; instead, I will fight with courage, and confident in Your help, I shall be victorious.  It is You Who guide the world and the fate of mortals; thus direct the ship of my life which is assailed by the waves of temptation, so that it may reach the calm harbor.  Alone, I fight in vain against the tempests of life, for without You I can do nothing.  I therefore flee to You, O Good One, and I pray: Come to my aid and save me by Your might, just as You once saved Peter who came to You upon the water.  Stretch out Your hand to me as You did to him, O Lord of mercy, and do not delay.  Amen.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The Lord Jesus helps and saves

icon courtesy of Holy Transfiguration Monastery, Boston
There is no need at all to make long discourses; it is enough to stretch out one’s hand and say, “Lord, as you will, and as you know, have mercy.”  And if the conflict grows fiercer, say, “Lord, help!”  God knows very well what we need and He shows us His mercy. 

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Repent and do not despair

Let us know the great goodness of God for those who sincerely take refuge in Him and who correct their past faults, by repentance, and let us not despair of our salvation.  In truth, as it was proclaimed by the Prophet Isaiah, God washes those who are dirty with sin, whitens them as wool and as snow and bestows the good things of the heavenly Jerusalem on them. 

Forgive me

I'm in the process of moving house...I'll be back with you soon, God willing.

Pres. Candace

Monday, June 10, 2013

On cheerfulness

Cheerfulness consists in not regarding things as our own, but as entrusted to us by God for the benefit of our fellow-servants.  It consists in scattering them abroad generously with joy and magnanimity, not reluctantly or under compulsion. 

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Love will never cease

The blessed apostle described even the higher gifts of the Holy Spirit as things that would vanish.  He points to love alone as without end. Prophecies will end, languages cease and knowledge will fail, (I Cor 13:8).  As for love, love will never cease. 

Actually, all gifts have been given for reasons of temporal use and need and they will surely pass away at the end of the present dispensation.  Love, however, will never be cut off.  It works in us and for us, and not simply in this life.  For when the burden of physical need has been laid aside in the time to come it will endure, more effectively, more excellently, forever unfailing, clinging to God with more fire and zeal through all the length of incorruption.  St. John Cassian

Monday, June 3, 2013

On the grandeur of man

What a grand creature is man; what a wonderful creation of God, created after His own image!  If even in a fallen state he is capable of accomplishing the many wonderful works which he has produced, and still produces, as we constantly see both in history and in the present time, then of what might he not be capable in a state of holiness and perfection!  But that which in him is above all deserving of attention, wonder, reverence and the most heartfelt gratitude is that he may be likened to his Creator, God; that he is predestined to immortality, to eternal bliss in God, and with God; that he will someday shine forth like the sun in the kingdom of his heavenly Father. 

Saturday, June 1, 2013

On attentiveness to Scripture readings

Let everyone pay attention to the reading (cf I Tim 4:13)!  The words of the saints are words of God and not of men.  Let him put them in his heart and keep them securely, since God’s words are words of life and he who has them within himself and keeps them has eternal life.  Were you often guests at a sumptuous banquet I doubt that any one of you would be so indifferent that he would fall asleep and only take from it for his own need, and not be anxious before departing to take with him something for the morrow that he would eagerly share with some of his friends or even with the poor.  But here the words of life are offered to you, which make those who feed on them immortal!  Tell me, is it right for anyone to be inattentive or to fall asleep and snore as if he were a living corpse?  How great the loss!  How great the insensitivity and sluggishness!