Archive for March, 2009

Clean Tuesday. Strangers.

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2009

For we are strangers on the earth, as were all our fathers; keep our short life without sin, O our Savior, and have mercy on us, as the lover of mankind.

The Troparion of the Prophecy, 1st Tone, Clean Tuesday, At the Sixth Hour.

For we are strangers on the earth.

 

This world is not our home. Sion is our home. We are strangers, pilgrims on this earth, just as Moses was a “stranger in a strange land” We must not act too familiar with the things of the world, because they are not of God.

 

How pathetic we are! We can spend hours in trivial and even wicked pursuits and we can barely spend 5 minutes in prayer! Truly the psalmist was correct: “All men are liars”, because although my lips say that “I am a stranger on this earth”, the way I live shows I consider this to be my home. O Lord, help us to be like Moses, and pass through this life, the strange land, as strangers to it, and find Sion.


Keep our short life without sin.

 

Our life is short. It is good to remember this every day. We will not live in this strange land forever. In this short time, we are to become ready for the Promised Land – but will we waste our time and actually be strangers there?


O our Savior, and have mercy on us, as the lover of mankind.

 

 This “mercy” we ask for is not only the forgiveness of sins. That is not enough! If we do not change our disposition and become strangers to sin, we will always remain strangers to God. The mercy we seek is to change our way of thinking, our priorities, our very inner being so that we would not be inclined towards sin.


Priest Seraphim Holland    St Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church, McKinney, Texas

http://www.orthodox.net/dailylent/great-lent-week-01-tuesday_2008+strangers_sixth=hour,=troparian=of=the=prophecy.doc

http://www.orthodox.net/dailylent/great-lent-week-01-tuesday_2008+strangers_sixth=hour,=troparian=of=the=prophecy.html

 

New material throughout the year is posted on our BLOG: http://www/.orthodox.net/redeemingthetime

Daily Lenten Meditations on the service texts and scripture readings: http://www.orthodox.net/dailylent

Compendium of materials about Great Lent::

http://www.orthodox.net/greatlent

Use this for any edifying reason, but please give credit, and include the URL were the text was found. We would love to hear from you with comments!

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The Great Canon, Monday of Clean Week. All the demon chiefs…

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2009


All the demon chiefs of the passions have plowed on my back, and long has their tyranny over me lasted
(Great Canon, Ode 2, Troparion 12, Clean Monday)


We read this troparion Monday evening in Clean week, the first of four days in which we serve Great Compline and serialize the Great Canon of St Andrew of Crete. In the fifth week, we will sing the entire canon.

 

This is one of many poetic and powerfully brutal representations of sin which St Andrew uses, and it has always particularly moved me.


I suppose it is because we are not able to easily protect our back, and it is on our “blind side”. How many sins do I commit and not see them? How easily the demons punch through my weak defenses – often without me even knowing they are there!


I also always think of the “good ground” from the parable of the Sower when I hear this troparion. We should be “good ground” and yet we grow so many tares from our passions in this ground, which is our soul. St. Andrew likens his soul here to “ground” on his back, over which the demons sow their tyranny over us.


Can you feel how tired he is here? We should be this tired!

 

“LONG HAS THEIR TYRANNY OVER ME LASTED!”.

 

This is the plaintive cry of a man who has had enough. He, like the Apostle Paul, is saying

 

“The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.” (Romans 13:12, read on the Sunday of Forgiveness, 1 day before this troparion, from the Great Canon of St Andrew, is sung on Clean Monday)

 



Oh! if only our soul felt the full weight of our sins, and was truly tired and disgusted with our condition! We would change immediately, if only we could join our weak voice to St Andrew’s with complete sincerity and resolve.

 

 

Priest Seraphim Holland    St Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church, McKinney, Texas

http://www.orthodox.net/dailylent/great-lent-week-01-monday_2008+all-the-demon-chiefs_great=canon2;12.doc  

http://www.orthodox.net/dailylent/great-lent-week-01-monday_2008+all-the-demon-chiefs_great=canon2;12.html

 

New material throughout the year is posted on our BLOG: http://www/.orthodox.net/redeemingthetime

Daily Lenten Meditations on the service texts and scripture readings: http://www.orthodox.net/dailylent

Compendium of materials about Great Lent::

http://www.orthodox.net/greatlent

 

Use this for any edifying reason, but please give credit, and include the URL were the text was found. We would love to hear from you with comments!

 

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The First Week of Great Lent – Clean Monday. Sixth Hour.

Monday, March 2nd, 2009


An Anthem for Great Lent and all of Life.

 

Wash yourselves, and ye shall be clean; put away the wicked ways from your souls before mine eyes; cease to do evil; 17. learn to do well; diligently seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, consider the fatherless, and plead for the widow. 18. Come then, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: and though your sins be as scarlet, I will make them white as snow; and though they red like crimson, I will make them white as wool. 19. If then ye be willing, and obedient unto Me, ye shall eat the good of the land; 20. but if ye desire not, nor will obey me, the sword shall devour you, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken it. (Is 1:1-20, First Monday of Great Lent, the Sixth Hour)

 

Everyone needs to frequently wash. The accumulated grime of the day is unsightly, unpleasant and unhealthy. If we wash carefully, and ignore no dirty place, then we will be invigorated, and healthy, but if we ignore some place for a long time, that place will fester and cause us to be ill.

 

Great Lent is especially a time for careful washing. In us there may be wicked ways: thoughts, feelings, priorities and habits that are not immediately apparent, and are all displeasing to God.

 

This time is a time to consciously attempt to put away wicked ways from ourselves just as we put away from ourselves certain foods.  How to do this? By listening and seeking, with diligence and proper priorities. This will lead to actions accomplished with a merciful heart, that is:

 

“learn to do well; diligently seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, consider the fatherless, and plead for the widow”.

 

Why should we make all this effort? Because some stains are so dark and embedded that we cannot of our own effort wash them out, and their ugliness and stench will always be with us, but if the Lord sees our resolve and or effort, He will wash us so that the scarlet and crimson of our sins, and even of our sinful nature and predilections will be annihilated and forgotten, and will not return to infect us again.

 

18 “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.”

 

And those who struggle, with an honest and good heart, will inherit the good of the land, and know the Lord.

 

 

SIXTH HOUR – Clean Monday Isaiah 1:1-20  1 The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah. 2 Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth: for the LORD hath spoken, I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me. 3 The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master’s crib: but Israel doth not know, my people doth not consider. 4 Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the LORD, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward. 5 Why should ye be stricken any more? ye will revolt more and more: the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint. 6 From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it; but wounds, and bruises, and putrifying sores: they have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with ointment. 7 Your country is desolate, your cities are burned with fire: your land, strangers devour it in your presence, and it is desolate, as overthrown by strangers. 8 And the daughter of Zion is left as a cottage in a vineyard, as a lodge in a garden of cucumbers, as a besieged city. 9 Except the LORD of hosts had left unto us a very small remnant, we should have been as Sodom, and we should have been like unto Gomorrah. 10 Hear the word of the LORD, ye rulers of Sodom; give ear unto the law of our God, ye people of Gomorrah. 11 To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me? saith the LORD: I am full of the burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he goats. 12 When ye come to appear before me, who hath required this at your hand, to tread my courts? 13 Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto me; the new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting. 14 Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth: they are a trouble unto me; I am weary to bear them. 15 And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood. 16 Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil; 17 Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow. 18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. 19 If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land: 20 But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.

 

Priest Seraphim Holland    St Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church, McKinney, Texas

http://www.orthodox.net/dailylent/great-lent-week-01-monday_2009+sixth-hour.doc

http://www.orthodox.net/dailylent/great-lent-week-01-monday_2009+sixth-hour.doc

 

New material throughout the year is posted on our BLOG: http://www/.orthodox.net/redeemingthetime

Daily Lenten Meditations on the service texts and scripture readings: http://www.orthodox.net/dailylent

Compendium of materials about Great Lent::

http://www.orthodox.net/greatlent

 

Use this for any edifying reason, but please give credit, and include the URL were the text was found. We would love to hear from you with comments!

 

Share

The First Week of Great Lent – Clean Monday. Reading of the Sixth Hour

Monday, March 2nd, 2009

An Anthem for Great Lent and all of Life.

 

Wash yourselves, and ye shall be clean; put away the wicked ways from your souls before mine eyes; cease to do evil; 17. learn to do well; diligently seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, consider the fatherless, and plead for the widow. 18. Come then, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: and though your sins be as scarlet, I will make them white as snow; and though they red like crimson, I will make them white as wool. 19. If then ye be willing, and obedient unto Me, ye shall eat the good of the land; 20. but if ye desire not, nor will obey me, the sword shall devour you, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken it. (Is 1:1-20, First Monday of Great Lent, the Sixth Hour)

 

Everyone needs to frequently wash. The accumulated grime of the day is unsightly, unpleasant and unhealthy. If we wash carefully, and ignore no dirty place, then we will be invigorated, and healthy, but if we ignore some place for a long time, that place will fester and cause us to be ill.

 

Great Lent is especially a time for careful washing. In us there may be wicked ways: thoughts, feelings, priorities and habits that are not immediately apparent, and are all displeasing to God.

 

This time is a time to consciously attempt to put away wicked ways from ourselves just as we put away from ourselves certain foods.  How to do this? By listening and seeking, with diligence and proper priorities. This will lead to actions accomplished with a merciful heart, that is:

 

“learn to do well; diligently seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, consider the fatherless, and plead for the widow”.

 

Why should we make all this effort? Because some stains are so dark and embedded that we cannot of our own effort wash them out, and their ugliness and stench will always be with us, but if the Lord sees our resolve and or effort, He will wash us so that the scarlet and crimson of our sins, and even of our sinful nature and predilections will be annihilated and forgotten, and will not return to infect us again.

 

18 “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.”

 

And those who struggle, with an honest and good heart, will inherit the good of the land, and know the Lord.

 

 

SIXTH HOUR – Clean Monday Isaiah 1:1-20  1 The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah. 2 Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth: for the LORD hath spoken, I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me. 3 The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master’s crib: but Israel doth not know, my people doth not consider. 4 Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the LORD, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward. 5 Why should ye be stricken any more? ye will revolt more and more: the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint. 6 From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it; but wounds, and bruises, and putrifying sores: they have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with ointment. 7 Your country is desolate, your cities are burned with fire: your land, strangers devour it in your presence, and it is desolate, as overthrown by strangers. 8 And the daughter of Zion is left as a cottage in a vineyard, as a lodge in a garden of cucumbers, as a besieged city. 9 Except the LORD of hosts had left unto us a very small remnant, we should have been as Sodom, and we should have been like unto Gomorrah. 10 Hear the word of the LORD, ye rulers of Sodom; give ear unto the law of our God, ye people of Gomorrah. 11 To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me? saith the LORD: I am full of the burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he goats. 12 When ye come to appear before me, who hath required this at your hand, to tread my courts? 13 Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto me; the new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting. 14 Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth: they are a trouble unto me; I am weary to bear them. 15 And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood. 16 Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil; 17 Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow. 18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. 19 If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land: 20 But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.

 

Priest Seraphim Holland    St Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church, McKinney, Texas

http://www.orthodox.net/dailylent/great-lent-week-01-monday_2009+sixth-hour.doc

http://www.orthodox.net/dailylent/great-lent-week-01-monday_2009+sixth-hour.doc

 

New material throughout the year is posted on our BLOG: http://www/.orthodox.net/redeemingthetime

Daily Lenten Meditations on the service texts and scripture readings: http://www.orthodox.net/dailylent

Compendium of materials about Great Lent::

http://www.orthodox.net/greatlent

 

Use this for any edifying reason, but please give credit, and include the URL were the text was found. We would love to hear from you with comments!

 

Share

Sunday Of Forgiveness 2009. “Now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.”

Sunday, March 1st, 2009




LISTEN NOW

If the "LISTEN NOW" link does not work, copy this URL into your browser: http://www.orthodox.net/sermons/great-lent-sunday-before-great-lent-05_2009-03-01+sunday-of-forgiveness.m3u

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Romans 13:11-14:4 11 And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. 12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. 13 Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. 14 But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof. 1 Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations. 2 For one believeth that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eateth herbs. 3 Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth: for God hath received him. 4 Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand.

Matthew 6:14-21 14 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: 15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. 16 Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. 17 But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face; 18 That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly. 19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: 20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: 21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

 

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