THE PROTECTION OF OUR MOST HOLY LADY THE MOTHER OF GOD AND EVER-VIRGIN MARY.
“The virtues build a new person radiating love to the world.”
(Metropolitan Paul (Yazigi) of Aleppo who consecrated our temple.)
“For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”
SUNDAY 1st OCTOBER. The Protection of Our Most Holy Lady the Mother of God and Ever-Virgin Mary. Apostle Ananias, of the 70 (1st). St. Romanos the Melodist (Syria 6th). St. John (Koukouzelis) the Hymnographer (Athos 14th). Commemoration of the Apparition of the Pillar with the Robe of the Lord under it at Mtskheta in Georgia.
THE PROTECTION OF THE MOTHER OF GOD.
May the Most Holy Mother of God hold her veil over us as she did in times past, to protect, help and guide us on our lifelong pilgrimage towards the True Light of her Beloved Son.
St. Silouan the Athonite. Feastday 24th September.
St. Silouan of Russian parentage was born in 1866. At the age of twenty seven he became a monk on Mount Athos at the Monastery of St. Panteleimon. He was a great ascetic who received the grace of unceasing prayer, receiving a vision of Christ. His spiritual trials led to his great humility and internal stillness. He put great emphasis on the love of enemies. Although barely literate he was sought out by lots of people for his wise counsel. He reposed in the Lord on 24th September 1938. He chose the martyrdom of asceticism and constant prayer. Many of his contemporary Orthodox Christians suffered martyrdom in the many hundreds of thousands in persecution and destruction and the attempt to annihilate the Church. Thus through the ages the Church has witnessed many martyrdoms for Christ and His church and in many forms and because of this we are, God willing, to receive, nurture and pass on our Orthodox Christian faith. May St. Silouan pray for us in the world of today in which we find ourselves.
TODAY'S GOSPEL. Luke 6:31-36. “And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise. But if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive back, what credit is that to you? For even sinners lend to sinners to receive as much back. But love your enemies, do good and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil. Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful."
If we want people to treat us as we ourselves want to be treated there is a problem! Other people may think and act differently to us and so we may not make the right decisions in our dealings with others and may even innocently cause offence. The simple cure for this is that we do not judge others, for if we do, we are not expecting them to be “like us" and so there is no credit to us. To judge others is putting ourselves above others, when we know in our hearts that this is merely a smokescreen to protect ourselves, to keep ourselves “safe”.
We are called to love our enemies, to be good and lend, to be generous without thought of reward. In this way we become truly His children and not children of the fallen world in which we live. Christ tells us that our Father is kind to the ungrateful and evil. This is a facet of the great Love that He calls on us to imitate, to be like Him. To be merciful is a God-like thing. This is our calling, this is our joy and yet we find it so difficult to do. Even in our church life we tend to judge our brothers and sisters often over absolute trivia that is magnified by our own lack of love. Let us love each other as we are loved by our merciful God, as Jesus says in today's Gospel, “Therefore be merciful, just as your Father is also merciful.” Even if we are unthankful and evil His great love will conquer all. Let us listen to the angels of the Nativity proclaiming, “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” What other song do we need to hear?
Please continue to pray for all in need and for peace in the world. Also keep praying for Fr. Michael and the mission in Scunthorpe and its witness there.
Please pray for the sick and those in need:
Anne Marie and her baby daughter, Stephanie; Margaret; (Fr.) Bill; Magdalena; Mother Esodia; Doris; Mary, Maria; Emma; Megan; Olga; James; Jessie; Nick, Maddy and family; Catrina and Michael; Cornelia; Theo Valentino, Fr Gregory and Helen; George; Ondar; Christine, Christos and family. Also Archbishops Paul and John and all held in captivity.
and for the departed whose memory occurs this month:
Joan Wilkinson (11th); Lois Talbot (23rd)
Name days this month:
Thomasa Best and Thomas Ward (St Thomas the Apostle - 6th); Zlatina Pavlova (St Zlata Maglen 18th); Demitri (St Demitri 26th)