Sayings from the Church Fathers
“One should not think about the doings of God when one’s stomach is full; on a full stomach there can be no vision of the Divine mysteries.”
+ St. Seraphim of Sarov, “The Spiritual Instructions to Laymen and Monks”
Prayer Before Reading Holy Scripture
O Master Who loves mankind, illuminate our hearts with the pure light of Your divine knowledge and open the eyes of our mind to understand the teachings of Your Gospel. Instill in us also the fear of Your blessed commandments, that we may overcome all carnal desires, entering upon a spiritual life and understanding and acting in all things according to Your holy will. For You are the enlightenment of our souls and bodies, O Christ God, and to You we give glory together with Your eternal Father and Your all-holy, gracious and life-giving Spirit, now and ever and forever. Amen.
Therefore, if you died with Christ from the basic principles of the world, why, as though living in the world, do you subject yourselves to regulations;
“Do not touch, do not taste, do not handle,”
which all concern things which perish with the using; according to the commandments and doctrines of men?
These things indeed have an appearance of wisdom in self- imposed religion, false humility, and neglect of the body, but are of no value against the indulgence of the flesh.
If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God.
Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.
For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
“The lamp of the body is the eye. Therefore, when your eye is good, your whole body also is full of light. But when your eye is bad, your body also is full of darkness.
“Therefore take heed that the light which is in you is not darkness.
“If then your whole body is full of light, having no part dark, the whole body will be full of light, as when the bright shining of a lamp gives you light.”
And as He spoke, a certain Pharisee asked Him to dine with him. So He went in and sat down to eat.
And when the Pharisee saw it, he marveled that He had not first washed before dinner.
But the Lord said to him, “Now you Pharisees make the outside of the cup and dish clean, but your inward part is full of greed and wickedness.
“Foolish ones! Did not He who made the outside make the inside also?
“But rather give alms of such things as you have; then indeed all things are clean to you.
Acepsimas the Bishop, Joseph the Presbyter, & Aeithalas the Deacon, Martyrs of Persia; Dedication of the Temple of the Holy Great Martyr George in Lydda; George of Neapolis the New Martyr; Holy Father and New Hieromartyr Gregory of Neapolis; Theodore the Confessor, Bishop of Ancyra; Winifred of Treffynnon
Categories: Nativity Fast