Reflections


29
Nov 2023

DAILY REFLECTION  •  SEPTEMBER 14  •  ELEVATION OF THE CROSS REFLECTION Just as a candle is lighted from another candle, so also a good work is born from a good work. A patrician wanted to donate a gold cross to a church. He summoned a young but experienced goldsmith, gave him a great deal of gold that he weighed out, and told him to fashion whatever sort of cross he desired. The poor goldsmith, seeing what a large donation this patrician was making for the sake of his soul, became inflamed with......

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29
Nov 2023

DAILY REFLECTION  •  SEPTEMBER 15  •  Greatmartyr Nikitas the Goth REFLECTION God is not mocked (Galatians 6:7). God either punishes the mockers in order to correct them or He converts them into that which they had mocked. Initially, St. Porphyrius was famous among the pagans as a mocker of Christianity. On one occasion, he was mocking the Christian Mystery of Baptism before Emperor Julian the Apostate and his retinue. But something totally unexpected happened. When Porphyrius immersed himself in the water and pronounced the words of baptism in the name of the......

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29
Nov 2023

DAILY REFLECTION  •  SEPTEMBER 16  •  Greatmartyr Euphemia the All-praised REFLECTION Often unexpected misfortune befalls us, and in vain we ask “why?” The Church of Christ alone knows how to explain the cause of every misfortune. The Church basically classifies misfortunes into two groups. Some misfortunes befall the sinner because of old, unrepented sins. Other misfortunes assault the righteous and serve, according to the words of St. John Chrysostom, “as a means of receiving a wreath, as was the case with Lazarus and Job.” The Empress Eudocia secretly agreed with the Eutychian......

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29
Nov 2023

DAILY REFLECTION  •  SEPTEMBER 17  •  Holy Martyr Sophia, and her daughters, Faith, Hope and Love REFLECTION A faithful and God-fearing ruler is a true blessing for all people. King Vatslav of the Czechs was such a ruler. His zeal for the sanctity of the Faith and his steadfastness remind us of the ancient ascetics. During the day he devoted himself to the affairs of the state, and at night to prayer. In winter, he often walked barefoot to the church for Matins with his old servant Podivoi. He often prepared and......

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29
Nov 2023

DAILY REFLECTION  •  SEPTEMBER 18  •  Saint Eumenes, Bishop of Gortyna REFLECTION The Lord said: Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these My brethren, ye have done it unto Me (Matthew 25:40). Similar things happen in almsgiving and in Holy Communion. In Holy Communion we receive the Living Lord Christ Himself, in the form of bread and wine; in almsgiving we give to the Living Lord Christ Himself, in the form of the poor and needy. A certain man in Constantinople......

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29
Nov 2023

DAILY REFLECTION  •  SEPTEMBER 19  •  Martyrs Trophimus, Sabbatius, and Dorymedon of Synnada REFLECTION Even the dead sense and know the good deeds that are performed for them. Christians need not have any doubt in this. A good deed spreads through the heavenly world like an electrical current. An imperial clerk, Magistrian, was sent by the emperor on an important errand. Along the way, Magistrian saw a poor dead man, completely naked. He was moved with pity, removed his shirt, dressed the dead man, and buried him honorably. After a while, Magistrian......

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29
Nov 2023

DAILY REFLECTION  •  SEPTEMBER 1  •  CHURCH NEW YEAR  •  St. Simeon Stylites REFLECTION We should use all that is necessary in this world for the cultivation of our souls, for when death separates us from this world we will take nothing to the other world except our souls, in whatever state they have been formed here. When he was eighteen, St. Simeon the Stylite was so concerned about the salvation of his soul that one day he fell face down on the earth and prayed to God that He would show......

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29
Nov 2023

DAILY REFLECTION  •  SEPTEMBER 2 Martyr Mamas of Caesarea in Cappadocia, and his parents Theodotus and Rufina REFLECTION The life of the Orthodox Church provides us with numerous examples of how Almighty God manifests His power through small and lifeless things-especially those things that serve as signs of the Incarnation, life and suffering of our Lord Jesus Christ. Such things include the Cross, icons of the Theotokos and the saints, holy water, oil, myrrh, and so forth. For example, a miracle was wrought through an icon of the Holy Mother of God......

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29
Nov 2023

DAILY REFLECTION  •  SEPTEMBER 9  •  Holy and Righteous Ancestors of God, Joachim and Anna REFLECTION One should not give alms with pride but rather with humility, considering that the one to whom the alms is given is better than oneself. Did not the Lord Himself say: “Insomuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me” (St. Matthew 25:40). Theophanes the Confessor, even as a child, possessed a mind illumined by the light of Christ. Once, while walking along the street, he......

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29
Nov 2023

DAILY REFLECTION  •  SEPTEMBER 10  •  Martyrs Menodora, Metrodora, and Nymphodora, at Nicomedia REFLECTION Examples of courage and patience displayed by martyred Christian women-thousands upon thousands of them-have shone with radiant glory on all the pages of the history of the Christian Church. However, as amazing as these examples of voluntary martyrs are, the examples of ascetics, known and unknown, are not a bit less amazing, for asceticism is nothing less than prolonged martyrdom. Paul, the Bishop of Monemvasia, has given to posterity an instructive example of women ascetics. While he was......

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