Archive for November, 2009

St. Basil the Great on the Psalter from the Russian Orthodox Psalter

Thursday, November 12th, 2009

 Oct 30/ Nov 12 2009 23rd Thursday after Pentecost

 

Holy Prophet and King David. An icon in the Russian Orthodox Psalter, Paradise Press, 2009.No other book so glorifies God, as does the Psalter. It profits the soul; it glorifies God together with the angels, and exalts and extols with a powerful voice, and imitates the angels.

 

At times, it flogs the demons and drives them out, and causes them much weeping and injury. It prays to God for kings and princes, and for the whole world. With the Psalter you can pray to God even for yourself, for it is the greatest and most exalted of books.

 

This book called the Psalter is like a great sea: for as the water of the sea is never diminished or exhausted by the outpouring of its rivers and streams, neither does the chanting of the Psalter ever fail.

 

The Psalter has been called bravery and boldness before God for the salvation of the soul, for there is great reward in fasting, and in bows, and in the reading of the Psalter.

 

If, brother, you say that you are weak, and cannot perform this rule, being but flesh – look up into the air, and see how the sun and the moon and the stars do not rest day or night from following their path, performing the commandments of the Lord, and how this fiery creation does not eat, or drink, or look for the torment to come, but, rather, fears God, and performs His commands without ceasing.

 

You, brother, though flesh, have clothing for your body. If you are in want, you eat and drink, and sleep as needed. There are those who get up at midnight, and worship, and pray to God, and occupy themselves with handiwork, and yet give thanks to their Maker for all things. And again he says, How weak and infirm is the nature of water, and yet it fears the Lord. Day and night it continues to ebb and flow, washing not only men, but also their darkness, giving drink to cattle, and birds, and beasts, and creeping things, and pouring itself out upon the earth.

 

And you, brother, how is it that you neither examine nor attend to yourself? With God, all things are possible, but with man, nothing is possible. Simply take courage and be strong, and God will help you. For David says, “Wait thou on the Lord, and keep His way, and He shall promote thee, that thou shalt possess the land” [Ps. 36:34]; so let not a single day pass without singing from the Psalter.

 

If, for some reason, you are obliged to set it aside, mark the place, and begin again the next morning, not stopping out of slothfulness. For, as Peter, the chief of the apostles, says, “One day of our life is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day,”[1] and it makes no difference.

 

For all the seasons of this world, brethren, turn like a wheel. Today, there is sun, and, tomorrow, darkness, and rain, and snow. Today, there are parties and weddings, and, tomorrow, weeping and despondency. But if you take action to save your soul, you will correct your speech and learn the commandments of God, and He will open your eyes, so that you might understand the wonders of the Law of the Lord.

 

The great John Chrysostom was asked by the brethren, “Is it good to lay aside the Psalter?” He replied, “It would be better for the sun to fall from its orbit, than to neglect reading the Psalter, for it is of great benefit to study the psalms, and to read the Psalter diligently. For all books are profitable for us, and grieve the demons, but there is none like the Psalter.” Let us, then, take heed.

 

Priest Seraphim Holland 2009.     St Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church, McKinney, Texas

 

This article is at:

http://www.orthodox.net/journal/2009-11-12_st-basil-the-great-on-the-psalter+russian-orthodox-psalter.html

&

http://www.orthodox.net/journal/2009-11-12_st-basil-the-great-on-the-psalter+russian-orthodox-psalter.doc

 

New Journal entries, homilies, etc. are on our BLOG: http://www.orthodox.net/redeemingthetime

 

Journal Archive: http://www.orthodox.net/journal

 

Blog posts & local parish news are posted to our email list. Go to here: http://groups.google.com/group/saint-nicholas-orthodox-church to join.

 

Redeeming the Time BLOG: http://www.orthodox.net/redeemingthetime

Use this for any edifying reason, but please give credit, and include the URL of the article. This content belongs to the author. We would love to hear from you with comments! (seraphim@orthodox.net)

 



[1] A paraphrase of II Peter 3:8.



[1] This homily by St Basil is on page 25 of the Russian Orthodox Psalter. It has been edited (by adding whitespace) to read better on the web.  Used with permission. The footnote about II Peter is in the Psalter.

[2] The Russian Orthodox Psalter, edited by David James, has recently been approved by Bishop Jerome of ROCOR. It is based on the Miles Coverdale translation, edited to conform to the Septuagint., and contains all the extra prayers and instructional material found in a traditional Russian Psalter.

 

To buy a self published copy of the Psalter, send $40.00 to

David James, PO Box 530, Rye, NH 03870-0530

 

This blog will announce when a printing run is made.

You can access a PDF file of the entire Psalter at: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/orthodox_psalter/files/Psalter091110.pdf

 

 

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The Athanasian Creed from the Russian Orthodox Psalter

Wednesday, November 11th, 2009

Mystery

Oct 29/ Nov 11 2009 23rd Wednesday after Pentecost

A traditional Russian Orthodox Psalter has a lot of things in it besides the Psalms. There are prayers said before and after each Kathisma, the Biblical Odes, and lots of instructional material. To my knowledge, the Russian Orthodox Psalter, edited by David James and recently approved by Bishop Jerome, is the only one of its kind in English, and for many, including myself, the prayers between the Kathismas and certain other materials will be seen for the first time. I thought I would publish, with David’s permission, some of the additional material in the Psalter.

 

This Psalter may be purchased right now for forty dollars (postpaid) from David directly (see below). Eventually, he will have it printed, and is planning, at my request, to make a pocket sized addition.

 

I think EVERY Christian should have a pocket sized Psalter with them at all times (and when this edition is pocket sized, it will be preeminently suited to private prayer since it has all the prayers between Kathismas, which, I believe, are not used in church)

 

We waste so much time, and have so many times during the day when we are waiting. We wait thirty minutes to get our oil changed, or 20 minutes when we are early for a meeting, or 10 minutes before dinner when we do not want to start something else. We can chant a stasis in a few minutes, a kathisma in perhaps 15. Is there a better use of our “filler” time?

 

This Psalter is a new translation, using the beloved “Coverdale” translation of the Psalms as a base. It has been reworked extensively to conform better to the Slavonic Psalter. To tell the truth, I want to give it a try, because the language is excellent, and it has so much more in it than the “Boston” Psalter, Of course, I know many of the “Boston” Psalter psalms by heart, so the transition will be difficult. I have no linguistic opinion about which is better, because I am not a linguist. Of course, this new Psalter is the only one officially approved by our church for liturgical use, but I must admit that I am not the best rule follower, so that will not be my main motivation (did I just say that?).

 

Anyway, I know David and want to support his work, and am thrilled to see it is of such a high quality. So almost without further ado, I present the Athanasian Creed (with some whitespace added to Make it easier to read on the web and footnotes, which are mine, and then a few comments), which is traditionally present in the Russian Orthodox Psalter.

 

To buy a self published copy of the Psalter, send $40.00 to

David James
PO Box 530
Rye, NH 03870-0530

 

This blog will announce when a printing run is made.



Psalter Divider

The Athanasian Creed

being the Confession of Faith of our holy Father,

Athanasius the Great, Patriarch of Alexandria

.

 

W

hosoever will be saved, before all things it is necessary that he hold the Catholic [1] Faith. Which Faith except every one do keep whole and undefiled, without doubt he shall perish everlastingly. And the Catholic Faith is this, That we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity; neither confounding the Persons, nor dividing the Substance.

 

For there is one Person of the Father, another of the Son, and another of the Holy Spirit.

 

But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, is all one, the Glory equal, the Majesty co-eternal.

 

Such as the Father is, such is the Son, and such is the Holy Spirit.

 

The Father uncreate, the Son uncreate, and the Holy Spirit uncreate.

 

The Father incomprehensible, the Son incomprehensible, and the Holy Spirit incomprehensible.

 

The Father eternal, the Son eternal, and the Holy Spirit eternal.

 

And yet they are not three eternals, but one eternal.

 

As also there are not three incomprehensibles, nor three uncreated, but one uncreated, and one incomprehensible.

 

So likewise the Father is Almighty, the Son Almighty, and the Holy Spirit Almighty. And yet they are not three Almighties, but one Almighty.

 

So the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Spirit is God. And yet they are not three Gods, but one God.

 

So likewise the Father is Lord, the Son Lord, and the Holy Spirit Lord.

 

And yet not three Lords, but one Lord. For like as we are compelled by the Christian verity, to acknowledge every Person by himself to be God and Lord; so are we forbidden by the Catholic Religion, to say, There be three Gods, or three Lords.

 

The Father is made of none, neither created, nor begotten.

 

The Son is of the Father alone, not made, nor created, but begotten. Likewise also the Holy Spirit is of the Father, neither made, nor created, nor begotten, but proceeding.

 

So there is one Father, not three Fathers; one Son, not three Sons, one Holy Spirit, not three Holy Spirits. And in this Trinity none is afore, or after other, none is greater, or less than another; But the whole three Persons are co-eternal together, and co-equal. So that in all things, as is aforesaid, the Unity in Trinity, and the Trinity in Unity is to be worshipped. He therefore that will be saved, must thus think of the Trinity.

Concerning Christ

Furthermore, it is necessary to everlasting salvation, that he also believe rightly the Incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

For the right Faith is, that we believe and confess, that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God and Man; God, of the Substance of the Father, begotten before the worlds, and Man, of the Substance of his Mother, born in the world; perfect God, and perfect Man, of a reasonable soul and human flesh subsisting; equal to the Father, as touching his Godhead, and inferior to the Father, as touching his Manhood.

 

Who although He be God and Man, yet He is not two, but one Christ; one; not by conversion of the Godhead into flesh, but by taking of the Manhood into God; one altogether; not by confusion of Substance, but by unity of Person. For as the reasonable soul and flesh is one man, so God and Man is one Christ; Who suffered for our salvation, descended into hell, rose again the third day from the dead. He ascended into heaven; He sitteth on the right hand of the Father, God Almighty, from whence He shall come to judge the quick and the dead. At whose coming all men shall rise again with their bodies, and shall give account for their own works. And they that have done good shall go into life everlasting, and they that have done evil into everlasting fire. This is the Catholic Faith, which except a man believe faithfully, he cannot be saved.

 

 

 

The Holy Trinity is the greatest mystery of our faith. A “Mystery” is not something which will always remain incomprehensible, as we use the word in our day (for instance some(!) men may say “Women are a mystery!”) The biblical understanding is that a mystery is something about God that is difficult to understand, but will be revealed in due time.

 

How will it be revealed? We cannot understand God until we become more like Him. Our Lord showed us the way to live and made us capable, but we cannot understand until we become morally perfected.

 

The Holy Trinity is only understood by the Holy. “Holy things for the Holy”. “To the pure, all tings are pure”.

 

I remember years ago when Kareem Abdul-Jabbar  explained why he became a Muslim (he was raised Roman Catholic). He said that the idea of God being three persons was incomprehensible to him, and he thought it must be wrong. He tried to appropriate the understanding of the Holy Trinity with his mind, and inevitably failed, as we all would. For the Orthodox, The Holy Trinity can only be understood by moral perfection. This is possible. It is also very hard. That is why there will be few who will ever understand the Holy Trinity. Will we be among them?

 

 

Priest Seraphim Holland 2009.     St Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church, McKinney, Texas

 

This article is at:

http://www.orthodox.net/journal/2009-11-11_athanasian-creed+russian-orthodox-psalter+mystery.html

&

http://www.orthodox.net/journal/2009-11-11_athanasian-creed+russian-orthodox-psalter+mystery.doc

 

New Journal entries, homilies, etc. are on our BLOG: http://www.orthodox.net/redeemingthetime

 

Journal Archive: http://www.orthodox.net/journal

 

Blog posts & local parish news are posted to our email list. Go to here: http://groups.google.com/group/saint-nicholas-orthodox-church to join.

 

Redeeming the Time BLOG: http://www.orthodox.net/redeemingthetime

Use this for any edifying reason, but please give credit, and include the URL of the article. This content belongs to the author. We would love to hear from you with comments! (seraphim@orthodox.net)

 



[1] “Catholic” – a much misunderstood word in our day! It means “Universal” and does not mean “Roman Catholic”.

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“Hope in our Lord Jesus Christ” is only possible when there is “work of faith, and labor of love”

Tuesday, November 10th, 2009

Hope in our Lord Jesus Christ”

is only possible when there is

“work of faith, and labor of love”

When is the Gospel…

 “not … in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost”?

 

Oct 27/Nov 9 2009 23rd Monday after Pentecost

 

We begin 1 Thessalonians  in the cycle of readings today. The Apostle uses a very important and often misunderstood word – “hope”:

 

“We give thanks to God always for you all… 3 Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father…” (1 Thess 1:2-3)

 

We cannot understand what “hope” is or be able to “hope” unless we are living a careful, powerful [1] Christian life. This is why in his prayer for the Thessalonians, he prefaces that they have “hope in our Lord Jesus Christ” by mentioning their “work of faith and labor of love”.

 

What is “hope”? Here is something that it is not: “wishful thinking”. When we say that we hope that something will come to pass, such as a good test grade, we are expressing our desire for a good outcome, along with some doubt that it may come to pass. This is decidedly not the hope described in the scriptures, such as:

 

And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; (4) and patience, experience; and experience, hope:  (5) And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. (Rom 5:3-5)

 

For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,  (12)   Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;  (13)   Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;  (14)   Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.  (Tit 2:11-14)

 

In the scriptures, hope refers to something of which we are certain, but have not attained. It is a longing for something not completely realized (or seen, see below), but increasingly realized.

 

For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?  (25)   But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it. (Rom 8:24-25)

 

Hope is the expectation of becoming what God became incarnate for, that we each become

 

“a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ”(Eph 4:13)

 

All this is possible only because of Christ – His incarnation, teaching, example, mentoring of His disciples to continue His work in the church, and above all, His changing of human nature so that it would be capable of perfection.

 

For a Christian, the expectation inherent in hope is not merely waiting. It is an earnest striving. Hope involves patience, but not in the sense that we passively wait. Scriptural “patience” is continual, steadfast effort to obtain something we believe in. Hope is impossible to have without morality. Scriptural references to hope always have a moral context. To the extent that we live in Christ, following all His commandments, fulfilling the Greatest Commandment [2], we have strong hope. Any moral problem of any kind, especially one we are not giving every effort to eradicate, weakens hope.

 

The Apostle goes on to mention power:

 

“For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance;”

 

From whence comes this power? From the grace of God working in us of course, and it will only work with power when we are making powerful efforts to live morally. The Gospel is not words, it is power. Any word spoken without power, that is without a strong moral foundation, is not the Gospel. Anything we do without strong moral convictions is not done with power; it is not according to the Gospel.

 

At the end of this short selection the Apostle tells his beloved flock that:

 

“As ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake.”

 

We cannot hide from who we are. Eventually people will know “what manner of” person we are. No amount of words or prevarications will keep our true nature hidden forever. Politicians do not understand this, or criminals, or habitual liars, or anyone who is not living according to the Gospel. The Apostle was confident that his flock would see him as the kind of man he truly was, and he was not afraid of this. I daresay that many people could not say these words without fear, because they are hiding inner motivations; they are living a lie. The question we must ask ourselves when we read words such as these is: can we say them without hypocrisy?

 

 

Today’s Epistle:

1 Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus, unto the church of the Thessalonians which is in God the Father and in the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ. 2 We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers; 3 Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father; 4 Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God. 5 For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake. (1 Thessalonians 1:1-5)

 

 

 

Here are a few more references to hope in the scriptures.

 

Gal 5:5 KJV  For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.

 

Col 1:4-5 KJV  Since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love which ye have to all the saints,  (5)   For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel;

 

Col 1:23 KJV  If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;

 

1Th 4:13-18 KJV  But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.  (14)   For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.  (15)   For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.  (16)   For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:  (17)   Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.  (18)   Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

 

Tit 2:11-14 KJV  For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,  (12)   Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;  (13)   Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;  (14)   Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

 

1Pe 1:3-5 KJV  Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,  (4)   To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,  (5)   Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

 

1Jn 3:2-3 KJV  Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.  (3)   And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.

 

 

Priest Seraphim Holland 2009.     St Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church, McKinney, Texas

 

This article is at:

http://www.orthodox.net/journal/2009-11-09+hope-in-our-lord-jesus-christ+work-of-faith-and-labor-of-love+gospel-and-power_1thessalonians1-1-5.doc

&

http://www.orthodox.net/journal/2009-11-09+hope-in-our-lord-jesus-christ+work-of-faith-and-labor-of-love+gospel-and-power_1thessalonians1-1-5.html

 

New Journal entries, homilies, etc. are on our BLOG: http://www.orthodox.net/redeemingthetime

 

Journal Archive: http://www.orthodox.net/journal

 

Blog posts & local parish news are posted to our email list. Go to here: http://groups.google.com/group/saint-nicholas-orthodox-church to join.

 

Redeeming the Time BLOG: http://www.orthodox.net/redeemingthetime

Use this for any edifying reason, but please give credit, and include the URL of the article. This content belongs to the author. We would love to hear from you with comments! (seraphim@orthodox.net)



[1] For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake. (1 Thessalonians 1:5)

 

[2] Master, which is the great commandment in the law?  (37)  Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. (Mat 22:36-37 KJV )

 

 

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Parable of the Rich Man & Lazarus. A important pinciple is taught. 22nd Sun after Pentecost. Audio Homily.

Sunday, November 8th, 2009

LISTEN NOW

Luke 16:19-31 19 There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day: 20 And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, 21 And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. 22 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; 23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. 24 And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. 25 But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. 26 And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence. 27 Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father’s house: 28 For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment. 29 Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. 30 And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. 31 And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.



If the "LISTEN NOW" link does not work, copy this URL into your browser: http://www.orthodox.net/sermons/pentecost-sunday-22_2009-11-08+parable-of-the-rich-man-and-lazarus+a-important-principle-is-taught_luke16-19-31.m3u

If this file does not work for you, try the direct link to the actual mp3 file:http://www.orthodox.net/sermons/pentecost-sunday-22_2009-11-08+parable-of-the-rich-man-and-lazarus+a-important-principle-is-taught_luke16-19-31.mp3



RSS feed of Sunday and some weekday homiliesRSS feed of Sunday and some weekday homilies:http://feeds.feedburner.com/OrthodoxChristianSermonsOnTheGospelsEpistlesAndOtherTopics

Archive of Audio and text homilies:http://www.orthodox.net/sermons

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The (plywood) roof is on and solea built – photos

Sunday, November 8th, 2009

2009-11-06_construction+solea-and-deaconesses-02.jpg

New photos, taken Sunday afternoon. The workers put the roof on and built the solea on Saturday. We would have more photos, but the batteries died! 

Look at the set of pictures here

Slideshow

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The rafters are up! Lots of photos.

Sunday, November 8th, 2009

Rafters looking WestLots of photos of the construction, from three sources. All taken Thursday,  a few at night. the rest during the day.

Go here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/saint-nicholas/sets/72157622753530266/

Try this link: http://www.flickr.com/photos/saint-nicholas/sets/72157622753530266/show/ for a slideshow.

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The Rich Man and Lazarus 22nd Sunday after Pentecost

Saturday, November 7th, 2009

lazarus_and_the_rich_man_gustave_dore.jpg http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/59/Gustave_Dore_Lazarus_and_the_Rich_Man.jpg In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, Amen. Today is the twenty second Sunday after Pentecost [1], and also is the day we celebrate the memory of St. Hilarion the Great. We wish many years to our beloved Archbishop Hilarion, who is down under now.

 

This day is appointed the reading of the parable of the Rich man, and Lazarus. [2] This parable is only given in St. Luke. We should understand that sometimes the Evangelists spoke about the same things, sometimes, they didn’t. Part of the reason why this was done was because they were individual human beings, and they gave their own imprint to the gospel they wrote.

 

Also, we can see better see the marvelous agreement of the gospels, because we can see how they were written in different styles, and with a different temperament, but when they speak of the same stories, they agree. They only have a little bit different perspective, since, two people can look at the same event, and both can have a true perspective. They just see different things in the event. This should make us want to read more, knowing that every gospel is different. Each story rendered is different. Sometimes all four gospels may give the same story, other times only three, or two, or one.

 

This should make us want to read more, and I admonish you — READ. Read the Gospels. Read what is necessary for your salvation, all the Holy Scriptures: the Gospels, the Epistles, the Old Testament and the Psalter. Read all these things for your salvation. You should so this every day. At least read the daily readings.

 

This parable, like all parables, has a literal and an allegorical meaning. Out Lord spoke in parables in order to convey a deeper meaning to those who wish to look into it, to those who are willing to struggle and try to learn. Those who just see the surface meaning lose out on the benefit that our Lord has intended for them.

 

This parable is particularly rich in meanings, MANY meanings. It speaks of the Jews and the Gentiles, Lazarus being the Gentiles, and the Rich man being the Jews. He makes several comparisons, and basically says that the Gentiles are at the threshold of salvation – they were laying at the gate of the rich man.

 

We also learn about the righteous and the unrighteous, how we are to act and how we are not to act. We see the endurance of Lazarus and the greediness and lack of compassion of the rich man. We learn something about how you are to act if you are rich, and something about how you are to act if you are poor.

 

Also, we learn something about what it will be like in the next life, especially for the damned. When I read what the rich man says, I am terrified. We see how it will be in the next life, both for the rich and the poor, that is, those who are rich in God, otherwise known as poor in spirit. We just read about that didn’t we? [3] We also learn something about rewards and punishments in this parable.

 

Oh, yes, indeed, we will be rewarded or punished, depending on how we live our life. This is true!

 

It is only recently, in the past few hundred years, that this heresy has come about that tries to remove responsibility from a man. Oh yes, we have plenty of responsibility. Our Lord tells us on every page of the Gospels how we are to act, how we are to live, and if we do not try to live in that way, yes, we will be judged. We can see something of this judgment in this parable. Lastly, at the end of this parable, we hear about the word of God and it must be listened to. If we don’t listen to that, we cannot be expected to be convinced by any other means, even if a man would rise from the dead.

 

The Parable begins There was a certain rich man” [4] . A certain rich man – he doesn’t even have a name. But wouldn’t that be the way it would be? The scripture says about such a man, who is rich only in things in the temporal world, but poor in virtue, “Let his posterity be cut off; and in the generation following let their name be blotted out.” [5] And the Lord says also, “a froward heart shall depart from me: I will not know a wicked person.” [6] And then our Lord says, when He is speaking of the Judgment, “I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out. [7].

 

Isn’t that what happened to the rich man? He saw Abraham and he knew he was thrust out, and he was a man with out a name anymore. He was a man that God knew not. “His remembrance shall perish from the earth, and he shall have no name in the street.” [8], so says the Prophet Job. God help us, that we would not be like that, that we would have a name when eternity dawns. This man had no name anymore.

 

And he was was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day.” [9]

 

There are two meanings here. The Jews were clothed with the law, and God’s grace toward them, and it is not a sin to be clothed with purple and fine linen, and to fare sumptuously on the teaching of God, but it is a sin to be luxurious, or to not appreciate what God has given us, like the rich man. He had plenty enough to spare, and as we see later on in the parable he KNEW Lazarus. After all, when he was in hell, he certainly could call him by name, but he never bothered while he was on the earth to even cast a glance at him.

 

”And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus [10] , it says. Ah, this man HAS a name. God knows him. God knows him WELL. Lazarus also represents the Gentiles, and they indeed were beggars at the time, because they were as yet outside of the kingdom. The kingdom had not been revealed to them yet, and they were beggars. “Their remembrance is unto generation and generation”, that is the man who follows Christ, and he will have a name. That’s why Lazarus was named, and the rich man, the rich man who people would fawn over in this life, was nameless, faceless, without an identity anymore in the next life.

 

And it says that Lazarus “was laid at his gate, full of sores.” [11] Again there are two meanings. This gate — the Gentiles are laying by the gate, about to enter into the kingdom of heaven, right at the threshold of salvation. Harlots and tax collectors are entering into the Kingdom [12], and the Pharisees and the Sadduces didn’t know it, because they were too arrogant to see. They thought that their purple and fine linen would last into the next age, and indeed, it would not.

 

And we also have another meaning to think about here. Who is laid at our gate? Is there a beggar at our gate, whether he be a beggar for clothing, a beggar for money, or a beggar for salvation, a beggar for comfort, a beggar for consolation? Who is laid at our gate? We had better know. The rich man was without excuse, concerning this man Lazarus, because he knew him. He saw him at his gate every day, and he ignored him.

 

Also, these sores, what are they? They are sins. Lazarus was blessed, but he certainly was a sinner like you and I. The rich man was wretched, and he also was a sinner, but Lazarus’ sins were on the outside of his skin. His sores were there, so the dogs came and licked them, and comforted him. The rich man’s sins were internal. They were not out to be purged, to be cauterized, and so he died in his sins. Confess your sins, while you can, so that you need not confess them when there is no forgiveness.

 

And so, when it says that the dogs came and licked his sores” [13] , what are we to understand by this? Do you see how alone the man was? He had no comfort. The DOGS came to lick his sores. No one else came, ONLY the dogs. He had to endure much, didn’t he? Do you see the greatness of his soul? The scripture does not come right out and say how great a man he was, but can you see, can you infer? Look at what he endured – coldness, nakedness, hunger, paralysis, loneliness, dejection, and also to see the warmth of the house of the rich man, and to see all the foodstuffs being brought in, and not to have anything to eat! And not to be warm. He endured much indeed, and the scriptures show that he did not complain one whit.

 

 “The beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom.”This beggar, he died, and to the world, it was a non-event. Someone had to grab him, because after all, he would start to smell, and throw him somewhere, into some potter’s field. No one came to pray for him. No one cared. No one knew him. The rich man might have noticed after two or three weeks, “Oh the beggar is not there anymore. I don’t have to step over him anymore. That’s good”. His death was of no consequence. It did not cause a ripple in the life of that time.

 

But he did NOT die alone, and his death was a matter of great rejoicing in the heavens, because the angels escorted him into Abraham’s bosom. What does it say about those that die who are righteous, and the appearances, both in this world, and the REAL appearances in the next? Solomon says,

 

“But the souls of the righteous are in the hand of God, and there shall no torment touch them. In the sight of the unwise they seemed to die: and their departure is taken for misery, and their going from us to be utter destruction: but they are in peace. For though they be punished in the sight of men, yet is their hope full of immortality. And having been a little chastised

 

Lazarus’ wounds were a little bit of chastisement mind you. Don’t look at the appearances, look at the truth! And

 

“they shall be greatly rewarded: for God proved them, and found them worthy for himself. As gold in the furnace hath he tried them, and received them as a burnt offering. And in the time of their visitation they shall shine, and run to and fro like sparks among the stubble.” [14]

 

 

So it is with the righteous when they die. The world sees a false picture, but we know the truth.

 

What is Abraham’s bosom? Of course, it is salvation. And our Lord made that comment because part of the reason he said this parable was in order to show the Jews their foolishness. And they got the message. This is one of the reasons they hated him so much, because they saw what He was saying in this parable – that they were unbelievers, and of course, the bosom of Abraham would be understood by the Jews to be salvation. After all, He said to them in another place, “I say unto you, that many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven. But the children of the kingdom” [15], the Jews, those who did not understand, those who did not WANT to live according to what they had learned, “shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth”. [16]

 

The East and West represents the Jews and the Gentiles, the Greek, and everyone else. Salvation was being made manifest for everyone, and it was before the eyes of these proud Jews, and they DIDN’T SEE IT.

 

Then it mentions the rich man in this parable. ”The rich man also died, and was buried.” [17] . Period.

 

He died alone, brothers and sisters. Oh, I am sure there was a great fanfare. I am sure there was a GREAT funeral for him, and there were orations about him, and he was buried with great pomp and circumstance. And there were probably paid mourners who were weeping, and playing their horns, as the Jews were wont to do to show how much they loved him. And yet, so many of those people that were saying those things were rejoicing, because after all, he probably was hated by his servants. There were probably people who owed him money and thought, ”Now this is wonderful. Now that he has died, I don’t owe him anymore. I am sure glad he died before me”. And there was probably someone who said “Ah ha! I can take what he had, and add it to my larder, because he is gone now, and I can appropriate his goods.”

 

David says, “Their graves shall be their houses, unto eternity”. This is not the mansion [18] that our Lord speaks of. That’s the house that I want to live in. “Their graves shall be their houses, unto eternity”. The Lord will say to him, “Your feasting is finished, your name is blotted out of the book of life. And I DON’T know you.” And that is what happened to the rich man.

 

“And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.” [19]

 

Oh yes, there are actual torments, and these torments are, shall we say, the “would-ofs” the “could-ofs” and the “should-ofs”. We will know what we should have done when we die. May it be that we will rejoice, because God will say, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant”. He is far off. He sees Abraham afar off, in brightness. He is in murk, and he sees the light afar off. He is far removed. And He sees Lazarus. Notice that Lazarus does not see him. Lazarus was in bliss. He did not see him. Those in the light have trouble seeing into the darkness, don’t they? But the people in the dark can see into the light. Lazarus was unencumbered by the knowledge of the Rich man’s situation.

 

Don’t let the Devil trick you now. I think one of the tricks that he has, especially for people that are converts, living in an unorthodox country, and where we have family, perhaps children, our spouse, brothers, sisters, parents that are not of the Orthodox faith or are even far away from anything even remotely resembling Christianity is this. We worry and we fret about them, and wonder, what will it be like when we die.

 

I have had this temptation, wondering how can I be happy if I know that my father or mother is not in heaven. Well, in heaven, you will have understanding, because all things will be revealed. You will be at peace. You will understand then. You don’t understand now, but you will understand then. Now we cannot fully understand. So don’t let the Devil trick you. Save your soul, because if you don’t save your soul, how can you help anyone to save theirs? And pray also for your mother and your father, your sister and your brother.

 

And the rich man, or we know him as the poorest wretch don’t we? says, “send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.” [20]

 

He who denied even a crumb to Lazarus is denied even a drop of water for his tongue. What a state he is in now!

 

Instead of music, he hears groaning.

Instead of the lust of the eyes and the pride of life, he is in darkness.

Instead of drinking and carousing, and eating to his fill, he has thirst, and hunger, burning thirst. Instead of gaiety he has despair.

This is the state of the man!

 

The Words of the Law were in his mouth. He was a Jew! I am sure that he went to synagogue, and that he said some prayers, and gave some alms for appearances sake, but the things he said, that he didn’t believe, they burn him now! That’s what is burning his tongue, you know. That is why his tongue is so hot, and parched, because he didn’t do what he said. He said he believed something, but he didn’t really, because he did not act like it.

 

The Lord says some things about these people, who are knowledgeable, but do not do His commandments,

 

”Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honor me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men: Therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvelous work among this people, even a marvelous work and a wonder: for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid” [21].

 

These wise men, so called, are those who trust in their riches, and their gaiety, and their feasting, and have not compassion, and their wisdom, and their prudence is hid in HADES, and their name is FORGOTTEN. The Lord says to us on every page of the scripture, “Why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? [22] And the rich man is exactly like this kind of person: “He that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great.” [23] And that house was forgotten.

 

And Abraham said to him, “Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. [24]

 

Abraham said to him, SON! Ah, this is a person who was in the church, this is one of those tares that grew up. Oh yes, there will out and out pagans in hell, and idol worshippers, and yet, there will also be those who call themselves Christians, those who call themselves good Jews. Abraham recognized, “Yes, you are one of us, and I call you Son, but that doesn’t do you any good now, because the place of torment is reserved for those who do not do the commandments, whether they are sons, or aliens” .

 

And He says that that thou in thy lifetime receivedst THY good things”.

 

In English, we really cannot see this distinction, but in the Slavonic, and Greek, this word “receivest” has a connotation of “receive because of what you have done”. What does it say in the other scriptures today, in the usual reading for venerable fathers, men who fasted and prayed, and became great Saints? St. Paul says “He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.” [25] He reaped what he sowed, because he sowed nothing. So he had nothing. He was naked in the next life, and without comfort.

 

And likewise, Lazarus received evil things in this world, evil in appearances! But our Lord has something to say about that in the other Gospel as well, because He says,

 

“Blessed be ye poor: for yours is the kingdom of God. Blessed are ye that hunger now: for ye shall be filled”, not NOW, but in the kingdom you will be filled! Be patient!. “Blessed are ye that weep now: for ye shall laugh.” [26], and run to and fro, like sparks among the stubble.

 

So Lazarus had evil things and the rich man had those things that he thought were good things. And he made a trade, like Esau made. [27] He traded a pot of lentils for is birthright, is what he did. He made the choice. He decided what he wanted, and we indeed can make that choice also, brothers and sisters. We can decide, when we want our good things? Do we want them now, or do we want them in the kingdom? You can have good things now, according to your abilities, you can have everything you want. But you will have nothing in the Kingdom if you only pursue temporal happiness now. Lazarus punishment was only for a moment, only for a short time. He suffered grievously for only a short period, and then he had eternal life.

 

And Abraham then says to the rich man, to explain to him why he has no help, no comfort, no chance: “between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.” [28]

 

Oh yes, hell is permanent and real! And I tell you, the gulf was made by the rich man. He dug his own pit, and jumped into it, and he has no recourse after jumping into that pit. And see what he understood? The rich man knew what he had done! The rich man repented, he wanted to make amends. He was not a man with absolutely no good feelings whatsoever.

 

He said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father’s house: For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment. [29]

 

His memory is all preserved! He remembers his brothers. He remembers how they act. He knows Lazarus. He knows Abraham, and yet he had never met the man! He never met him at all, because he never cared about the things he said, did he?

 

The senses in the next life are finer and stronger. We see and we understand more, we calculate more quickly in the next life, when we are unencumbered by the flesh. Indeed, even those in Hell have finer senses, so that they can more exquisitely feel their pain.

 

Do you see how terrifying this is? All their passions are still preserved, but there is no fulfillment for their passions. His thirst for liquor will never be fulfilled, his thirst for women, for song, all of it will go unfulfilled and will GNAW at him, and hurt him, and cut him, for eternity! “Their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.”[30], it says in the scripture. And that is the worm, brothers and sisters! Our passions are the worm! They will eat at us, unless we exorcise them now, so that we will be unencumbered by them. And in the next life, every knee shall bend [31], and all things shall be made known. Those in Hades, they will know, they will see Father Abraham, and this will make their pain even more real and more exquisite.

 

And Abraham says to him, “They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them”(the word of God). “And he said, Nay, father Abraham…”.He knew his brothers because he was one of them. “… but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.”. [32] And the Jews certainly heard this, and it angered them, and just increased their foment, and their desire to put him to death.

 

Why is it some men will not be “persuaded”, whether by the Word of God, or even obvious miracles? Certainly most people here in America would say they “believe” in God, and even call themselves Christians, and yet so many are not really “persuaded” to live as Christians. Why is this so?

 

It is because they do not understand that the Christian life is a moral life, with moral change and amendment a necessity.

 

The rich man, like so many in this life, said he believed, but did not change. He was not compassionate. His wallowing in luxury dulled his senses, and he perished in worldly splendor. Lazarus, the blessed one, endured with patience and was saved. May God help us to endure all things, and to change ourselves to be like Him, to love, to be patient, eventually to see Him in paradise.

 

Amen

Luke 16:19-31

 There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day: {20} And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, {21} And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. {22} And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; {23} And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. {24} And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. {25} But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. {26} And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence. {27} Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father’s house: {28} For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment. {29} Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. {30} And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. {31} And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one

 rose from the dead.

 

 

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

 

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[1] This homily was transcribed from one given On Oct 21, 1996 according to the church calendar (Nov 3 ns), being the Twenty Second Sunday after Pentecost and the day appointed for the commemoration of St. Hilarion the Great. There are some stylistic changes and minor corrections made and several footnotes have been added, but otherwise, it is essentially in a colloquial, “spoken” style. It is hoped that something in these words will help and edify the reader, but a sermon read from a page cannot enlighten a soul as much as attendance and reverent worship at the Vigil service, which prepares the soul for the Holy Liturgy, and the hearing of the scriptures and the preaching of them in the context of the Holy Divine Liturgy. In such circumstances the soul is enlightened much more than when words are read on a page.

[2] Cf. Luke 16:19-31

[3] Cf. Luke 6:17-23, the Gospel reading for St. Hilarion the Great.

[4] Luke 16:19

[5] Psalm 109:13

[6] Psalm 101:4

[7] Luke 13:27-28

[8] Job 18:17

[9] Luke 16:19

[10] Luke 16:20

[11] Ibid.

[12] Cf. Matthew 21:31

[13] Ibid.

[14] Wisdom 3:1 – 7

[15] Matthew 8:11-12

[16] Matthew 8:11-12

[17] Luke 16:22

[18] Cf. John 14:2

[19] Luke 16:23

[20] Luke 16:24

[21] Isaiah 29:13-14

[22] Luke 6:46

[23] Luke 6:49

[24] Luke 16:25

[25] 2 Corinthians 9:6. The appointed epistle reading for venerable Fathers is 2 Cor. 9:6-11

[26] Luke 6:20-21. The appointed Gospel reading for venerable Fathers is Luke 6:17-23.

[27] Cf. Genesis 25:29-34

[28] Luke 16:26

[29] Luke 16:27-28

[30] Isaiah 66:2, quoted in Mark 9:44,46,48

[31] Cf. Philippians 2:10

[32] Luke 16:31

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Summing things up in the Akathist to St Nicholas Understanding prayer to the Saints Nighttime pictures of temple construction.

Friday, November 6th, 2009

Holy Father Nicholas, pray to God for us!

Oct 24/ Nov 6 2009 22nd  Friday after Pentecost



St Nicholas the wonderworker. saintnicholas.jpg O most-holy and most-wonderful Father Nicholas, consolation of all that sorrow, accept our personal offering, and entreat the Lord that we be delivered from Gehenna through thy God-pleasing intercession, that we may sing: Alleluia!

(Kontakion 13, Akathist to St Nicholas)

2009-11-05_construction+moleben-02.jpgMoleben Thursday night in the under construction temple. 2009-11-05_construction+moleben-01.jpg


 We sing this Kontakion every Thursday night in our new temple in construction, as part of the Akathist to St Nicholas. We have been serving a Moleben for quite awhile now, on Thursday nights, on the land. We started serving in front of a large wooden cross, with the dog barking next door. Building has proceeded, we have served on the slab, inside a structure with walls only (by this time, the dog was gone!), and now, finally, last night, with the roof joists all installed. If the weather holds, the next time we will serve with a roof over our heads!

 

2009-11-05_construction+roof-joists-altar-area-01.jpg2009-11-05_construction+roof-joists-altar-area-02.jpg


Serving a Moleben every week in which we sing the Akathist to our beloved patron increases our intimate feelings concerning his life and intercession for us. The thirteenth and last Kontakion of his Akathist sums up our feelings about him, which we had only just recently been chanting in detail in sweet melody, as we recounted various important parts of his life and intercession for his flock, both during and after his earthly life. This is generally the case for all “Kontakion thirteens”, which are always chanted 3 times, with “Alleluia” sung three times after each, before we repeat the first Ikos and Kontakion to finish the Akathist.

 

This Kontakion also sums up the correct understanding concerning “prayer to the saints”, or better, “asking the saints to intercede for us”. We have confidence in the prayers of St Nicholas for us because we know he is righteous, and therefore we know that his intercessions are “God-pleasing”.

 

“The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” (James 5:16)

 

The more I sing this Akathist, the more I feel the holiness of St Nicholas and sure knowledge that since his intercessions to God are God-pleasing, our intercessions to him must certainly also be.

 

Priest Seraphim Holland 2009.     St Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church, McKinney, Texas

 

This article is at: http://www.orthodox.net/journal/2009-11-06_holy-father-nicholas-pray-to-god-for-us+akathist-to-st-nicholas+understanding-prayer-to-the-saints.doc

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St James, Brother of the Lord. 10 things.

Thursday, November 5th, 2009

aka James the Just

Commemorated Oct 23/ Nov 5

10 Things [1]

 

 

St James the Just, Brother of the Lord, first bishop of Jerusalem.<br />
james-brother-of-the-lord.jpg1. St James is called the “Brother of the Lord”. He was one of 4 sons of Joseph from a previous marriage, all of which are named in scripture [2]. He is given this title because, as the Prologue [3] explains:

 

“When Joseph was dying, he shared out his goods among his sons and wanted to leave a share to the Lord Jesus, the Son of the most holy Virgin Mary, but his sons opposed this, not reckoning Jesus to be a brother of theirs. James, though, loved Jesus greatly and announced that he would include Him in his share, counting himself to be indeed brother to the Lord.” 

 


The Flight into Egypt. St James is seen behind the Theotokos.<br />
flight-into-egypt-01.jpg (from http://www.struggler.org/birth3.htm)

2.  The Holy Apostle accompanied his family when they fled to Egypt, to escape the wrath of Herod, shortly after Jesus was born. (St James is behind the Theotokos in the icon.)

 

3. The Holy James was counted among the Seventy disciples of the Lord. No doubt he was always near Jesus but the two Apostles among the twelve named James are different men.

 

4. Although James was not one of the Twelve, he was so highly respected by his peers that he became the first bishop of Jerusalem, even with some of the Apostles living there at the time. From this it is clear that he was respected as a holy and righteous man.  He governed Jerusalem for thirty years, before his martyrdom.

 

5. St James was so respected by all, including even unbelieving Jews, that he was nicknamed “the Just”.

 

6. St James remained a virgin all of his life, and is said to have never eaten fat or oil.

 

7. He was also a great lover of long prayer vigils at night, and is said to have “knees like a camel”, from kneeling in prayer often.

 

8. He composed the first Liturgy, on the instruction of the Lord. It proved to be too long for later Christians to use everyday, and was later shortened by St Basil and St John Chrysostom. We still serve the “Liturgy of St James” to this day, in some places.

 

9. St James wrote the Epistle of James. It is remarkable in the NT for bluntly and plainly stressing the moral life that a Christian must lead.

 

10. St James was martyred in Jerusalem. From The Prologue from Ohrid:

 

“When Ananias became High Priest, he decided, along with other of the Jewish elders, to kill James as a preacher of Christ. One day, at Pascha, when many people were gathered in Jerusalem, the elders told him to climb up onto a roof and speak against Christ. St James climbed up there, and began to speak to the people about Christ as the Son of God and the true Messiah, and of His Resurrection and eternal glory in heaven. The infuriated priests and elders cast him down from the roof, and he was badly injured though still alive. A man then ran up and gave him such a vicious blow on the head that his brains spilled out. Thus this glorious apostle of Christ died a martyr’s death and entered into the Kingdom of his Lord. James was sixty-three years old when he suffered for Christ.”

 

 

From St Nicholas Orthodox Church, McKinney Texaswww.orthodox.net

 

This documentis at

http://www.orthodox.net/10things/james-brother-of-the-lord.html

&

http://www.orthodox.net/10things/james-brother-of-the-lord.doc

 

 

New 10 things” entries, sermons, journal entries , scripture commentary &amp; more are posted on our BLOG: http://www/.orthodox.net/redeemingthetime

 

Archive of “10 things”: http://www.orthodox.net/10things

 

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!



[1] This document is a list of ten (more or less) things about a particular topic. More “Ten Things” topics may be found at http://www.orthodox.net/10things. They are also posted to the blog of St Nicholas Orthodox Church, McKinney Texas, called  “Redeeming the Time” – http://www.orthodox.net/redeemingthetime. Look under the category “10things”. Use anything you wish, but please indicate authorship, with the URL.

[2] Mat 13:54-57 KJV  And when he was come into his own country, he taught them in their synagogue, insomuch that they were astonished, and said, Whence hath this man this wisdom, and these mighty works?  (55)  Is not this the carpenter’s son? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas?  (56)  And his sisters, are they not all with us? Whence then hath this man all these things?  (57)  And they were offended in him. But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, save in his own country, and in his own house.

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“Let us attend!”

Wednesday, November 4th, 2009

From time to time during our church services we hear the words "LET US ATTEND!" … In ordinary language we might say "let us pay attention", "let us be attentive.’ These are ‘minor words" which are often repeated during our services but which can easily escape our attention. Strange, is it not, that the very words which urge us to be attentive should escape our attention. These are minor words but words of great meaning and responsibility.

Attentiveness is one of the important qualities even in our everyday life. From childhood we have been taught to pay attention – by parents, by teachers, by superiors. Yet it is not always easy to pay attention. Our minds tend to wander, to be forgetful. It is difficult to force oneself to be attentive. Church recognizes this weakness and so tells us every now and again "LET US ATTEND", let us pay attention, be attentive.

This text is excerpted from "Minor Words in Orthodox Divine Services," by Archpriest G. Benginson. For more of this excellent and edifying article, see:

http://www.stjohndc.org/Russian/liturgy/e_minor_words.htm.

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