Friday, November 25, 2022

Homily on the Holy Great Martyr Katherine (St. Luke of Simferopol)

 
 By St. Luke, Archbishop of Simferopol and All Crimea

(Delivered in 1958)

This year, the Holy Church celebrates the memory of the Holy Great Martyr Katherine on the twenty-seventh week after Pentecost. Therefore, I consider it appropriate to draw your attention to the great life of this Saint.

Why is she called the Great Martyr? Is it because, as many people think, that the Holy Church rewards with this name those holy martyrs who have endured especially grave and terrible tortures and torments and the most cruel death for our Lord Jesus Christ? No, not because of this.

Saint Katherine as a Model for Nuns (St. Theophan the Recluse)


By St. Theophan the Recluse
 
The life of Saint Katherine is a rich spiritual delight for those who honor her memory. For you, venerable sisters, it is a richer delight, because her life in general fully expresses the monastic life.

Turn your gaze to the icon that presents her together with the Infant-Holding Theotokos. The Saint is kneeling before the Mother of the Lord, who hands her the engagement ring. This is the most important moment of her life. It is the symbolic moment of dedication.

However, before the dedication came the desire and the search for the best bridegroom, which led her to the Lord. After the spiritual marriage, she entered the stage of martyrdom and was crowned with the unfading crown. This is generally her life. Your own life exists along the same lines as long as you live as befits your monastic calling.

Thursday, November 24, 2022

Homily on Giving Thanks to God For All Things (St. Basil the Great)

 

 Homily on Thanksgiving and Mourning

By St. Basil the Great
 
You have heard the words of the Apostle, in which he addresses the Thessalonians, prescribing rules of conduct for every kind of person. His teaching, to be sure, was directed towards particular audiences; but the benefit to be derived therefrom is relevant to every generation of mankind. "Rejoice evermore," he says; "Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks" (I Thessalonians 5:16-18). Now, we shall explain a little later on, as far as we are able, what it means to rejoice, what benefit we receive from it, and how it is possible to achieve unceasing prayer and give thanks to God in all things.
 
However, it is necessary to anticipate the objections that we encounter from our adversaries, who criticize the Apostles injunctions as unattainable. For what is the virtue, they say, in passing ones life in gladness of soul, in joy and good cheer night and day? And how is it possible to achieve this, when we are beset by countless unexpected evils, which create unavoidable dejection in the soul, on account of which it is no more feasible for us to rejoice and be of good cheer than for one who is being roasted on a gridiron not to feel agony or for one who is being goaded not to suffer pain?
 

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

On Giving Thanks to God For All Things (St. Nikodemos the Hagiorite)

 
 By St. Nikodemos the Hagiorite

Job's imitator, divine Chrysostom, always used to say this memorable quote, on every occasion: "Glory be to God for all things. I will not stop repeating it always, for everything that happens to me." The great Gregory Palamas of Thessaloniki used to say the same in every matter, imitating the divine Chrysostom, who added with his eloquent tongue: "So let us give thanks for everything, for whatever happens, this is thanksgiving. For to do this when all is going well is no great thing, because the very nature of things prompts it. But if we give thanks while we are in the depths of misfortune, this is admirable. Indeed, when we give thanks for those things which others blaspheme and are discouraged by, see how much philosophy there is! First, you make God glad. Second, you have shamed the devil. Third, you have proven that what happened was nothing. That is, at the same time that you give thanks, God removes the sorrow and the devil retreats.

How Saint Amphilochios of Iconium Cleansed the Church of Arian Heretics

 
 By St. Justin Popovich

Saint Amphilochios shepherded the flock of Christ for many years, because his life extended until the reign of Theodosius the Great and his sons. As a teacher of the Orthodox faith, he fought against the heresy of Arius, he suffered many persecutions and tortures from heretics, he was a co-struggler of the Holy Fathers in the fight against the blasphemy of Eunomius, and at the Second Ecumenical Synod he fought a lot against the pneumatomachian Macedonius and supporter of the heresy of Arius. Because of such zeal for the faith and because of his highly virtuous life, Saint Amphilochios was celebrated everywhere and was loved by the Holy Fathers, especially by Saint Basil the Great and Saint Gregory the Theologian, who considered him a close friend and corresponded with him.

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