Orthodox Thought for the Day


Friday, May 31, 2013

Meditations of St. Tikhon of Zadonsk

We see the water of a river flowing uninterruptedly and passing away, and all that floats on its surface, rubbish or beams of trees, all pass by.  Christian!  So does our life…I was an infant, and that time has gone.  I was an adolescent, and that, too, has passed.  I was a young man, and that, too, is far behind me.  The strong and mature man that I was is no more.  My hair turns white, I succumb to age, but that, too, passes; I approach the end and will go the way of all flesh.  I was born in order to die.  I die that I may live.  Remember me, O Lord, in Thy Kingdom!
My poor soul!  Sigh, pray and strive to take upon you the blessed yoke of Christ, and you will live on earth in a heavenly manner.  Lord, grant that I may carry the light and goodly yoke, and I shall be always at rest, peaceful, glad and joyous; and I shall taste on earth of crumbs which fall from the celestial feast, like a dog that feeds upon the crumbs which fall from the master’s table.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Contrast virtue & sin

For virtue is a light and buoyant thing, and all who live in her way “fly like clouds” as Isaiah says, “and as doves with their young ones,” but sin is a heavy affair, as another of the prophets says, “sitting upon a talent of lead.” 

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Respect others and God's working through them

Remember that the Lord is in every Christian.  When your neighbor comes to you, always have great respect for him, because the Lord is in him, and often expresses His will through him.  It is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure, Phil 2:13.  Therefore, do not grudge anything to your brother, but do unto him as unto the Lord; especially as you do not know in whom the Lord will come and visit you; be impartial to all, be kind to all, sincere and hospitable.  Remember that sometimes God speaks even through unbelievers, or disposes their hearts towards us, as it happened in Egypt when the Lord gave Joseph favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison (Gen 39:21). 


Monday, May 27, 2013

Solid advice for the Christian life

Conquer evil men by your gentle kindness, and make zealous men wonder at your goodness.  Put the lover of legality to shame by your compassion.  With the afflicted be afflicted in mind.  Love all men, but keep distant from all men. 

Saturday, May 25, 2013

The greatest acquisition of all

That I am a monk and you are a layman is of no importance…rather that we are both in the light of the Holy Spirit…Acquire peace, and thousands around you will be saved. 

Friday, May 24, 2013

On sins of the brethren

A brother asked Abba Poemen, "If I see my brother sin, is it right to say nothing about it?"  The old man replied, "Whenever we cover our brother's sin, God will cover ours; whenever we tell people about our brother's guilt, God will do the same about ours.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Righteous Job, a model of long-suffering

How long will you torment me
and crush me with words?
Ten times now you have reproached me; shamelessly you attack me.
If it is true that I have gone astray,
my error remains my concern alone.
If indeed you would exalt yourselves
above me and use my humiliation against me, then know that God has wronged me and drawn his net around me.”

Job 19: 2-6
Holy and righteous Job lived in Avsitida, a teritory between South Arabia and Edomit.
His father was Zaret and his mother, Vosora.
The story of Job is historical and Scriptural and not merely a legend or a myth.
This is certified by the Prophet Ezekiel who calls Job – one of the greatest Old Testament righteous, along with Noäh, Daniël and Jesus, the son of Sirah.
For us faithful Christians, Job is a great model
of Patience, Love and Obedience towards God.
Suffering is a Medicine
Sufferings are bitter medicines
with blessed effects.
They cure our various sins,
especially our Pride, and humble us.
When the doctor treats a sick man,
he does not give him sweet dainties,
but medicines which are usually bitter.
If the sick man is wise, he accepts these bitter drugs with gratitude
and without grum­bling, knowing that they will cure him.
Only foolish children make faces and do not want to drink the saving medicines

because they are bitter to the tongue!
How much we resemble foolish children when we grumble against the sufferings and sorrows in life which God sends to us!
In our times of deepest grief, we must remember righteous Job who suffered
without guilt and, despite that,
accepted all misfortunes which piled upon him without grumbling and blaspheming.
He lost his property, his herds, his servants, and even his children.
One after the other came the messages which informed him of the woes
which had come upon him.
At receiving every tragic piece of news, he only repeated the wonderful words:
“The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away;
blessed be the name of the Lord.
In all this, Job sinned not,
nor charged God foolishly”.
Job 1: 21-22

Patience to the End
Through his sufferings,
Job received Salvation.
However, not all suffering is beneficial
to the soul and elevates it,
taking it into the Heavenly Kingdom.
It is only that suffering which is en­dured patiently, with gratitude and trust in God,
and without grumbling.
Those who suffer must have great patience,
so that they will be able to see how the bitter green buds on the branches of the virtuous life slowly and gradually, under the care of the warm Sun of righteousness,
ripen and turn into sweet fruits of Perfection and Salvation.
Endure unto the end
Those who suffer must have great patience
lest they despair and, because of their impatience,
the fruits fall before their due time-sour, bitter, and green.
In such a case their suffering is in vain.
Only he that shall endure unto the end shall be saved”
Matth.24: 13
“The Christian must stand among
the various sorrows and temptations like
an anvil which, even though it is constantly hammered upon, does not move from its place, nor does it get ruined, but stays the same [as firm as it was in the beginning]“.
Saint Ephraim the Syrian

We cannot be saved without suffering;
how else could we be tested by God for being firm and unwavering in virtue?
God arranges many things in life in such a way that man is tempted,
so that his free will can be manifested,
and he, through the enduring of all trials, can receive Salvation.
“Because those”, according to the words of Saint Macarius the Great,
“who live in suffering and temptations
and endure to the end will not lose the Kingdom of Heaven”.

It is told about a saint that he, like the holy Apostle Paul,
was seized and taken to Heaven where he saw the bright homes of the righteous.
He stopped in front of a wondrous palace in which a righteous and blissful soul was shining, and he asked: “What were you on earth”?
It answered: “I was a leper, and I constantly thanked God for that mercy”.
Such are the fruits of sufferings
which are borne with gratitude and without grum­bling.

Some are bothered by the thought
that their suffering may be pointless and fruitless for the Salvation of their souls.
They tell themselves:
the saints endured for Christ’s sake, and that is why they were certain that through the enduring of suffering they would save their souls.
But we, unlike the Saints, suffer either for our sins,
or because of the envy of evil people, or by some chance;
and because we do not suffer for Christ’s sake
our sufferings
weigh us down with their aimlessness and torment us doubly
because of their uselessness.
To this we should answer that nothing in this world happens by chance
-without God’s Will or God’s Permission.
Even a single hair does not fall from our heads without God’s knowledge [cf. Luc.21: 18].
If we are suffering because of our own sins
but we endure and repent before God,
these sufferings free us from future punishment in the life beyond the grave and save us. The good thief who was saved was crucified for his sins on a cross
on the right side of Christ but through his endurance and repentance,
he entered Paradise.

Suffering is to the soul what fire is to ore.
Ore, mixed with dirt, gravel, and other things, is purified when it passes through fire.
The soul, muddied by sins, clears up when it passes patiently­ through sufferings.
Even though the sinner does not suffer like the martyrs for Christ’s sake,
these woes of his are counted as sufferings for God s sake
and are beneficial to him when he consumed with a yearning to be saved,
humbles himself in his sorrows, repents of his sins, and says:
“For my lawlessness, I deserve much greater sufferings than the merciful God has sent me.”
Saint John Chrysostom says that “the soul is cleansed when it suffers sorrows for God’s sake”.
Muddy water cannot be made clear unless it passes through the filter of sand.
In the same way the soul cannot be cleansed unless it goes through sufferings.

From the website:  http://www.lucascleophas.nl/; posted on 05/05/2012 by lucas

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

A wrathful man is a sick man

A man who is wrathful with us is a sick man; we must apply a plaster to his heart - love; we must treat him kindly, speak to him, gently, lovingly.  And if there is not deeply-rooted malice against us within him, but only a temporary fit of anger, you will see how his heart, or his malice, will melt away through your kindness and love - how good will conquer evil.  A Christian must always be kind, gracious and wise in order to conquer evil by good.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Who shall roll the stone from the tomb for us? For it is very great...

The Gospels have told us today[1] about the exploits of the holy women who followed the God-Man during His earthly wanderings. They witnessed His sufferings and were present at his burial. The burial took place on Friday evening. While the Jews’ wrath was pouring out like the fiery lava of Aetna not only upon the Lord, but upon all of those close to Him; while the Holy Apostles were forced to hide or observe the extraordinary events only from a distance; while only John, the beloved disciple who leaned upon the breast of the Lord, feared nothing and remained always near the Lord, the secret disciple, Joseph of Arimathea, who had always concealed his heart’s allegiance due to persecution from the Sanhedrin, suddenly disregards all the obstacles, hesitations, and anxiety that had bound and worried him until then, and he appears before cold, cruel Pilate to beg the body of the One who was shamefully executed. He receives the Lord’s body and buries it with reverence and honor.

The Gospels imply that Joseph’s deed was big-hearted and courageous. That is truly what it was. In the presence of the Sanhedrin which had committed deicide, in the very Jerusalem that had participated in that deicide, a member of the Sanhedrin takes the body of the God-man killed by men down from the tree and carries it to the garden located near the city gates and walls. There, in quiet and solitude, under shady trees, he places the body by which the bodies and souls of all mankind are redeemed in a new tomb hewn from a solid rock, with an abundance of fragrances and oils, and wraps it like a precious treasure in fine, clean linen. Another member of the Sanhedrin also took part in the Lord’s burial. This was Nicodemos, who came to the Lord by night and acknowledged that the Lord was sent from God. Having rolled a great stone to the door of the grave—doors which Gospels call a low opening to the cave—Joseph has satisfactorily finished his service and so he departs. The Sanhedrin followed Joseph’s movements. Seeing him gone, it took care to set a guard at the grave and place a seal on the stone which covered the entrance. The Lord’s burial was witnessed by both His friends and His enemies. Although some members of the Sanhedrin in their frenzy and rage committed a great evil, they unconsciously brought a great sacrifice (cf. Acts 17:18): through the slaughter of the all-pure Sacrifice they redeemed the whole human race, ended the fruitless number of transformative sacrifices, and made these sacrifices and their very institution superfluous. Other members of the Sanhedrin, representatives of all the righteous people of the Old Testament, served with a God-pleasing intention and disposition of soul in the burial of the Redeemer of mankind, and by this action ended and placed a seal upon the pious works of the sons of the Old Testament. From this point begins the exceptional service of those of the New Testament.

The holy women show no less courage than the selfless Joseph. Present at the burial on Friday, they did not deem it permissible on the Sabbath—the day of rest—to disrupt that peace in which the body of Christ rested in sacred darkness and reclusion within the sepulchral cave. The women were intent upon pouring out their zeal for the Lord by pouring myrrh upon His body. When they returned from the burial on Friday, they immediately bought a goodly amount of aromatic substances and waited for the break of the day which follows the Sabbath, then called the “week,” now Sunday. On that day, as soon as the sun shone forth, the pious women went to the grave. On the way they remembered that a large stone had been rolled to the grave. This worried them, and the women began to say amongst themselves, Who shall roll the stone from the tomb for us? (Mk. 16:2). The stone was very great. Having arrived at the tomb, they saw to their amazement the stone rolled away. A light-bearing mighty angel had rolled it away: at the Lord’s resurrection, he had descended from heaven to the grave which encompassed Him whom the heavens cannot encompass, stunned the guards with terror, broke the seal, and rolled away the stone. He sat on the stone, waiting for the women’s arrival. When they came, he announced the Lord’s resurrection to them, telling them to inform the Apostles. For their zeal for the God-man, for their resolve to render honor to the all pure body that was guarded by the military guard, after which the Sanhedrin in their hatred sharply watched, the holy women were the first among humans to receive exact and sure testimony of Christ’s resurrection; they were made the first strong preachers of the resurrection, as ones who heard about it from the lips of the angel. The all-perfect God is impartial: for Him all people are equal. And those people who strive toward Him with great self-denial are are made worthy of a special abundance of Divine gifts and spiritual elegance.

Who shall roll the stone from the tomb for us? These words of the holy women have their own mysterious meaning. They are so edifying that love of neighbor and a desire for his spiritual benefit will not allow us to be silent about it.

The tomb is our heart. The heart was once a temple, but it became a tomb. Christ enters it by means of the sacrament of Baptism, in order to dwell in us and work in us. Then the heart is consecrated as a temple to God. We steal from Christ the possibility to work in us and enliven our “old man”, which ever follows its attraction to our fallen will, our reason poisoned by falsehood. Brought in by Baptism, Christ continues to abide in us, but He is as if wounded and mortified by our behavior. The temple of God not made by hands is turned into a cramped, dark tomb. A very great stone is rolled over its entrance. The enemies of God set a guard over the tomb, and seal its entrance blocked by the stone. They seal the stone to the cave so that in addition to the stone’s great weight, this famous seal forbids anyone to even touch the stone. The enemies of God themselves watch over the preservation of this deadness! They have thought through and set up all these obstacles in order to forestall the resurrection, to prevent it, and make it impossible.

The stone is the soul’s illness by which all the other spiritual illnesses are guarded incurably and which the holy fathers call insensibility.[2] Many will say, what sort of sin is this? We have never heard of it. According to the fathers, insensibility is the deadening of spiritual feelings, the unseen death of the human soul with respect to spiritual things in a life that is flourishing with respect to material things. From a long-term physical sickness all strength can become exhausted and the body’s abilities withered; then the illness cannot find any more food, and ceases to torment the body’s constitution. It leaves the sick man alone and wasted, as if dead and incapable of movement due to the debilitating suffering, the terrible, dumb morbidity that is not expressed by any particular suffering. The same thing happens to the human soul. Long-term slackness of life amidst continuous distractions, constant voluntary sins, forgetfulness of God and eternity, inattention or only superficial attention to the Gospel teachings removes from our spirit any inclination toward spiritual things, and deadens it to them. Although they continue to exist, they cease to exist for our spirit because its life has ended for them—all its strength is directed toward the material, the temporal, the vain, and the sinful.

Everyone who wants to dispassionately and seriously investigate the state of his soul will see the illness of insensibility in it; he will see its broad significance, its gravity and consequence, and will have to admit that it is the manifestation and witness of his deadness of soul. When we want to study the Word of God, what boredom hits us! Everything we read seems hard to understand, not worthy of attention, and strange. How quickly we want to be free of that reading! Why is this? Because we feel no affinity for the Word of God.

When we rise for prayer, what dryness and coldness we feel! How we rush to finish our cursory, completely distracted prayer! Why? Because we are estranged from God: we believe in God’s existence with a dead faith; He does not exist to our sensibility. Why have we forgotten eternity? Are we excluded from the number of those who must enter into its boundless realm? Doesn’t death stand before us face to face, as it does to all humans? Why is this? It is because we do not want to think about eternity; we have lost the precious foretaste of it, and acquired a false perception of our earthly sojourn. This false perception imagines that our earthly life is endless. We are so deceived and distracted by this false perception that we conform all our actions to them, bringing all the potential of our soul and body as a sacrifice to corruption, not caring at all about what awaits us in the other world. After all, we must inevitably become permanent inhabitants of that world.

Why does idle talk, snide laughter, judgment of our neighbors and derision of them beat forth from us as from a wellspring? Why do we spend so many unburdened hours in empty amusements, cannot get enough of them, are always leaping from one vain pastime to another, but we do not want to dedicate even the tiniest bit of time to reviewing our own sins and lamenting over them? Because we have acquired an affinity for sin, for everything vain, for everything that brings sin into a person, and by which sin is preserved within a person. Because we have lost our affinity for all exercise that brings God-beloved virtues into us; that multiplies and preserves them. Insensibility is rooted in the soul by the world which is at enmity with God, and by the fallen angels at war with God, with the aid of our own free will. It grows and gathers strength through a life according to the principles of this world; it grows and gathers strength when we follow our fallen reason and will, when we abandon service to God, and because we serve Him carelessly. When insensibility stagnates in the soul and becomes a property of it, then the world and its rulers place a seal on the stone. This seal consists in the concourse of the human soul with fallen spirits, in the spirit’s assimilation of human impressions wrought upon him by fallen spirits, and in its subjection to the aggressive influence and domination by these outcast spirits.

Who shall roll the stone from the tomb for us? This is a question filled with anguish, sadness, and perplexity. Those souls feel this anguish, sadness, and perplexity that have directed themselves toward the Lord, leaving behind service to the world and sin. Before their gaze is revealed the sickness of insensibility in all its horrifying enormity and gravity. They desire and pray with contrition, exercise themselves in the reading of the Word of God beyond all other reading, and abide in constant awareness of their sinfulness, in constant mourning over it. In a word, they desire to become part of God and to belong to Him. They meet an unexpected resistance in their own selves that is unknown to those who serve this world: insensibility of heart. The heart stricken by its former careless life as by a mortal wound does not discover any signs of life. In vain does the mind gather thoughts about death, about God’s judgment, about the multitude of its sins, about the torments of hell, about the sweetness of paradise; in vain does the mind strive to beat upon the heart with these reflections—the heart remains devoid of feeling for them, as if hell, paradise, God’s judgment, sinfulness, and the state of fallenness and demise have no relation whatsoever to the heart. It is asleep in a deep sleep, the sleep of death; it is asleep, drunken with sinful poison. Who shall roll the stone from the tomb for us? This stone is very great.

According to the teachings of the holy fathers, in order to conquer insensibility a person must have constant, patient, uninterrupted action against that insensibility; he must have a constant, pious, and attentive life. Such a life beleaguers the life of insensibility; however this death of the human spirit cannot be put to death through human efforts alone—insensibility is destroyed by the action of divine grace. An angel of God, at God’s command, comes down to help the laboring and troubled soul, rolls away the stone of hardness from the heart, fills the heart with compunction, announces to the soul the resurrection, which is the usual result of continual compunction.[3] Compunction is the first sign of a heart revived toward God and eternity. What is compunction? Compunction is a person’s feeling of mercy and compassion toward himself, toward his grave state, his fallen state, a state of eternal death. Holy Scripture writes of the people of Jerusalem who were brought to this state by the preaching of the Apostle Peter and were inclined to accept Christianity that they were pricked in their heart (Acts. 2:37).[4]

The Lord’s body had no need of the myrrh-bearers’ fragrant myrrh. Any anointing with myrrh was forestalled by the resurrection. But by their timely purchase of myrrh, their early arrival at the first rays of the sun to the life-giving tomb, their disdain of any fear brought on by the Sanhedrin’s wrath and the militant soldiers guarding the tomb and the One interred there, the holy women showed and proved by experience their heartfelt dedication to the Lord. Their gift turned out to be unnecessary. It was rewarded a hundredfold by the appearance of the angel, up to then invisible to them, and by the announcement that could not be anything but bountifully true—that the God-Man has risen and resurrected mankind with Himself.

Our dedication of our life and all our strength and abilities to the service of God are not needed by God for Himself—they are needed by us. We bring them like myrrh to the Lord’s tomb. We shall timely buy myrrh—our good intentions. We shall renounce from our youth up all sacrifices to sin; and with the price of this we shall buy myrrh—our good intentions. It is not possible to unite service of sin to service of God: the former is destroyed by the latter. We shall not allow sin to deaden in our spirit affinity toward God and all things divine! We shall not allow sin to mark us with its impressions, or to forcibly prevail over us.

Whoever enters into service of God from the very days of an unspoiled youth and remains in this service with constancy submits himself to the endless influence of the Holy Spirit, marks himself with the all-holy grace-filled impressions that emanate from the Spirit, acquires in good time an active knowledge of Christ’s Resurrection, comes alive in spirit in Christ, and becomes chosen by God to be a preacher of the resurrection to his brothers and sisters. Whoever has become a slave to sin through his ignorance or inclination, who has entered into concourse with fallen spirits, has become one of their number, who has lost in his spirit the connection to God and to the dwellers of heaven—let him heal himself with repentance. Let us not put off our healing from day to day, so that death might not creep upon us unawares and take us suddenly, so that we would not be proved incapable of entering the habitations of unending rest and festival, so that we would not be cast down as useless chaff into the fires of hell that burn eternally but do not consume. The healing of old illnesses does not happen so quickly and conveniently as ignorance might imagine. There is a reason why God’s mercy grants us time for repentance; there is a reason why all the saints begged God to give them time for repentance. Time is needed to erase the sinful impressions; time is needed for us to be marked by the impressions of the Holy Spirit; time is needed to cleanse us from defilement; time is needed to clothe ourselves in the garments of virtue, to adorn ourselves in the God-beloved qualities that adorn all those who dwell in heaven.

Christ is resurrected in the person who is prepared for it, and the tomb—the heart—again becomes a temple of God. Arise, O Lord, save, O my God (Ps. 3:7); in Thy mysterious and yet essential Resurrection is my salvation. Amen.
St. Ignatius (Brianchaninov)
Translation by Nun Cornelia (Rees)
29 / 04 / 2012
[1] Mk. 15:43–16:8.
[2] The Ladder of Divine Ascent, Homily 18.
[3] The Ladder, Homily 1.
[4] The Church Slavonic scripture uses the phrase umilashesya serdtsem, which means they became contrite in heart.

Do this and God's will is understood

In the measure that we pay attention and take care to carry out what we hear, God will always enlighten and make us understand His will. 

Friday, May 17, 2013

Poem on the Liturgical Week

Below is a meaningful poem from the heart and pen of Bishop Paul of Tracheia, retired, who now lives as a monastic in the monastery of St. Anthony the Great in France.  He has written a number of books of rhyming poetry on Orthodox themes which can be found on Amazon.com.  You can find his publications by searching on the Amazon site, under “Bishop Paul of Tracheia.”  The following is from his book, Christmas Poems: 

On MONDAY we remember all the angels of the Lord,
Gabriel the messenger, and Michael with his sword,
Thrones and powers and dominations, six-winged Seraphim;
Holy!  Holy!  Holy!  Yes, thrice-holy is their hymn.
Michael the archangel kept the door of Paradise,
He leads the heavenly armies, and opposes wicked vice
He is the guardian angel of all faithful Christian folk,
Destroying evil demons, for invincible’s his stroke.
Gabriel the messenger flew down from Heaven on high
When man’s salvation by the Son of God was drawing nigh,
He found the Virgin Mary, and he told her of the plan
That she would help to realize, when God became as man. 

How many times this angel has come down to us on earth,
He came to Zacharias and announced the Baptist’s birth,
He travelled with the Kings who’d come from very far away,
To worship and adore the Saviour, born on Christmas Day. 

On TUESDAY we remember John, forerunner of the Lord.
Ascetic, very humble, he was greatly over-awed
When Jesus came to tell him that He wished to be baptized;
This holy man obeyed, but was astonished and surprised. 

‘See, the Lamb of God, who comes to wash away our sin!’
The prophet said to Andrew, ‘You must go and follow Him.’
Jesus then called Philip, who went to tell Nathanael,
Who said, ‘This is the Son of God and King of Israel.’ 

Near the River Jordan when he’d just baptized the Lord,
Because of his obedience, John received a great reward.
He saw the Holy Trinity, the blessed Three-in-One,
The Father, Son and Spirit, the eternal Triple Sun. 

This greatest of the prophets says to all of us today,
‘Repent and follow Jesus, for it’s He who is the Way!’
He raised his hand and touched the Son of God come from above,
He heard the Father speak, he saw the Spirit as a dove. 

WEDNESDAY we consider as the middle of the week,
Come and see the Virgin Mother, humble, mild and meek,
Standing with the other virgin, weeping bitter tears,
As the sound of hammers strike her pure maternal ears. 

As the second Eve, she stood before another tree,
And looked upon the fruit that hung thereon for you and me;
She wept to see how wicked men ignored that God is Love,
And for their salvation, had come down from Heaven above. 

She remembered then the words that Simeon had said;
A sword indeed had pierced her soul, when Life she saw as dead.
She took Him from the Cross, and then she laid Him in a tomb,
Fertile as had been her pure and ever-virgin womb. 

She saw the day become as night, the rocks that trembled too,
As her Son and God then opened Paradise anew,
His Cross was standing upright in the middle of the earth,
For this hour it was indeed, that she had given birth. 

On THURSDAY we remember the Apostles of the Lord,
And with them Bishop Nicolas, so easily implored;
They travelled far, and suffered much, to teach and to install
The Holy Church which is, today, the mother of us all. 

Peter, James and John, with Thomas and Bartholomew,
Philip, Luke and Matthew, Mark, Matthias and Andrew,
And with them we remember, too, the great Apostle Paul –
Jesus Christ, the risen Lord, was wisely taught by all. 

At the Holy Liturgy are mentioned all the Saints,
Yet somehow, with Saint Nicolas, one easily acquaints;
He comes to help so quickly, and he saves so many lives,
One hardly has the time to call his name, and he arrives! 

From Heaven, this holy company looks down upon the Church,
Encouraging theology, and spiritual research.
On all these great Apostles was the Spirit of the Lord,
To live with Him in Paradise—their well-deserved reward! 

On FRIDAY we remember Jesus Christ was crucified—
To save us all from death, upon the Tree of Life He died.
This precious Wood discovered by a very pious queen,
From the town of Colchester, where maybe you have been. 

Many are the relics of this very sacred Tree,
Which the Lord of Glory used to save both you and me,
With this sign we bless ourselves; yes, blessings now abound,
Wherever Jesus’ Cross—His sign of victory—may be found. 

O Tree of Life!  O Tree of Love!  O Tree of Sacrifice!
The wood which made the Cross is now the door to Paradise,
For you revealed theology, and showed that GOD IS LOVE,
When Jesus on your branches, was then lifted up above. 

I will follow Jesus, with my cross upon my back;
I pray to have humility, then I will never lack
The patience that is necessary, if I want to be
Crucified with Jesus, and be nailed upon a tree. 

On SATURDAY we pray for all those who’ve gone before,
And sailed across the ocean, and have reached the other shore.
Jesus knows this place, and so He went there to prepare
Eternal joy in Paradise, that all may come and share. 

The Son of God Himself reposed upon this sacred day,
No longer in the manger, in a sepulcher He lay,
Resting from his work accomplished perfectly on earth,
Hidden like a jewel of inestimable worth. 

We pray that God remember those that we commemorate.
The godly souls of all who resurrection now await.
They loved Him and they served Him, and they offered Him their life,
Hierarchs, priests or monks, or those who lived as man and wife. 

To pray is to remember, to remember is to love,
And love unites us here below, with those who are above.
O Jesus Christ, may every soul for-ever find in Thee
A harbor, having crossed the waves of life’s tempestuous sea. 

On SUNDAY, in the morning, when the sun began to rise,
The holy women, bearing myrrh, were taken by surprise,
They found the tomb was empty, and they heard an angel’s voice;
They came to weep, but they returned for-ever to rejoice. 

They saw the holy angel who was sitting on the stone
Which had sealed the sepulcher—he used it as a throne.
Dressed in light, he turned to them and this is what he said,
‘Christ is risen!  Do not seek the living with the dead.’

But Mary Magdalena could in no way be consoled,
Despite the angel’s presence, and the news she had been told,
As she wept, she saw a man was standing very near,
She thought He was the gardener, for so He did appear… 

‘Tell me, was it you who came and took my Lord this night?’
‘Mary,’ said the gardener, and great was her delight,
For when she heard that voice she knew for certain it was He,
Who, risen from the dead, would live and reign eternally. 

Before we end this lesson, which I hope you’ve understood,
I believe it is important that we live as Christians should,
God would like us all to be His children, loving, true;
Less important what we know, than what in fact we do. 

On MONDAY, like the angels, we shall offer hymns of praise,
On TUESDAY we shall try to mend and straighten out our ways,
On WEDNESDAY, with the Virgin, we shall stand at Calvary,
On THURSDAY as Apostles and disciples we shall be. 

On FRIDAY we’ll be crucified with Jesus Christ our King,
On SATURDAY we know that death no longer has its sting,
On SUNDAY, when we wake from sleep, immediately we say:
‘CHRIST IS RISEN!  Let us all rejoice upon this day!’