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.
For you remember, brethren, our labor and toil; for laboring night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you, we preached to you the gospel of God.
You are witnesses, and God also, how devoutly and justly and blamelessly we behaved ourselves among you who believe;
as you know how we exhorted, and comforted, and charged every one of you, as a father does his own children,
that you would have a walk worthy of God who calls you into His own kingdom and glory.
For this reason we also thank God without ceasing, because when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which also effectively works in you who believe.
For you, brethren, became imitators of the churches of God which are in Judea in Christ Jesus. For you also suffered the same things from your own countrymen, just as they did from the Jews,
There were present at that season some who told Him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices.
And Jesus answered and said to them, “Do you suppose that these Galileans were worse sinners than all other Galileans, because they suffered such things?
“I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.
“Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them, do you think that they were worse sinners than all other men who dwelt in Jerusalem?
“I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.”
He also spoke this parable: “A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came seeking fruit on it and found none.
“Then he said to the keeper of his vineyard, ‘Look, for three years I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree and find none. Cut it down; why does it use up the ground?’
“But he answered and said to him, ‘Sir, let it alone this year also, until I dig around it and fertilize it.
‘And if it bears fruit, well. But if not, after that you can cut it down.’ “
John the Merciful, Patriarch of Alexandria; Nilus the Ascetic of Sinai; Martin, Bishop of Tours; Leondos Styppi, Patriarch of Constantinople
Sayings From The Church Fathers
There is nothing stronger than meekness, nothing more powerful; it preserves our soul in quiet, and strives to lead it as into a harbor, and is the cause of every kind of satisfaction for us; and nothing else can give the soul repose and great quiet as well as meekness and humble mindedness
– St. John Chrysostom