March 2011

"She who is quick to hear"

“They that do not know thee to be the Theotokos will not behold the light of Him Who was born of thee, O all pure Mother of God.”

– Theotokion, from Ode 5, Matins Canon for St. Theophylactus the Confessor


Verses from “Lord I Call at Forgiveness Vespers (from the Lenten Triodion):

Let us humble the flesh by abstinence: As we follow the divine path of pure fasting. With prayers and tears let us seek the Lord who saves us. Let us put an end to anger, crying out: Save us who have sinned against Thee! Save us, O Christ our King, as Thou didst save the men of Nineveh, and make us partakers of Thy heavenly Kingdom, O compassionate One!

When I think of my deeds, O Lord, I am filled with despair, and know that I am worthy of every torment. I have despised Thy commandments, O Saviour. I have spent my life as a prodigal. I pray to Thee, only merciful one: Cleanse me by repentance, enlighten me through prayers and fasting, and despise me not, most gracious Benefactor of all!

Let us begin the fast with joy! Let us prepare ourselves for spiritual efforts! Let us cleanse our soul and cleanse our flesh! Let us abstain from every passion as we abstain from food! Let us rejoice in virtues of the Spirit and fulfil them in love! That we all may see the Passion of Christ our God, and rejoice in spirit at the holy Pascha!


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“As it is not to be imagined that the (unrepentant) fornicator and the blasphemer can partake of the sacred Table, so it is impossible that he who has an enemy, and bears malice, can enjoy Holy Communion. […] I forewarn, and testify, and proclaim this with a voice that all may hear! ‘Let no one who has an enemy draw near the sacred Table, or receive the Lord’s Body! Let no one who draws near have an enemy! Do you have an enemy? Do not approach! Do you wish to draw near? Be reconciled, and then draw near, and only then touch the Holy Gifts!’”

– St. John Chrysostom on forgiveness (Homily 20)

O Lord and Master of my life, take from me the spirit of sloth, despair, lust of power and idle talk.

But give rather the spirit of chastity, humility, patience, and love to Thy servant.

Yea, O Lord and King, grant me to see my own transgressions and not to judge my brother, for blessed art Thou unto ages of ages. Amen.