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Devotional Readings for the Week of May 30th, 2010


Your browser may not support display of this image. Feast of the Most Holy Trinity  

Proverbs 8:22-31:  

      Christ, desiring not only to give possession of the kingdom to those who had completed the journey, but also to be Himself the way to those who were just setting out determined to take a fleshly body. This is why it was said, "The Lord created Me in the beginning of His way," that is, that those who wished to come might begin their journey in Him. (St. Augustine) 

      The Son is in no way to be separated from the Father. The Father certainly did not stretch the heavens forth without the Son; for the Son Himself, Who is the Wisdom of God, says: "When He prepared the heavens I was present with Him. (St. Ambrose) 

Romans 5:1-5: 

      Where the grace of the Spirit is asserted, is that of God the Father or of the Only-begotten Son denied? By no means; for as the Father is in the Son, and the Son is in the Father, so, too, "the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit Who has been given to us." As he who is blessed in Christ is blessed in the Name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, because the Name is one and the power one; so, too, when any divine action, whether of the Father, or of the Son or of the Holy Spirit is treated of, it is not referred only to the Holy Spirit, but also to the Father and the Son, and not only to the Father, but also to the Son and the Holy Spirit. (St. Ambrose) 

      Those who have come to maturity must endure tribulation upon tribulation that they may be accounted worthy to receive hope upon hope. (St. Jerome) 

John 16:12-15: 

      The Lord said of the Spirit: "I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. But when He, the Spirit of Truth, shall come, He will lead you into all truth." The Son of God came, and because He had not yet shed forth the Spirit, He declared that we were living like little children without the Spirit. He said that the Spirit was to come Who should make of these little children stronger men, by an increase of spiritual age. This He laid down not that He might set the power of the Spirit in the first place, but that He might show that the fullness of strength consists in the knowledge of the Trinity. (St. Ambrose) 

      The Holy Spirit preached concerning Christ in the Prophets. He worked in the Apostles. He, to this day, seals the souls in Baptism. The Father shares with the Son and the Son shares with the Holy Spirit. Jesus said, "When He, the Spirit of Truth, shall come, He shall glorify Me; for He shall receive what is Mine and shall show it to you." The Father through the Son with the Holy Spirit is the giver of all grace. The gifts of the Father are none other than the gifts of the Son and those of the Holy Spirit; for there is one salvation, one Power, one faith. There is One God, the Father; One Lord, His Only-begotten Son; One Holy Spirit, the Comforter. It is enough for us to know these things; but inquire not curiously into His nature or substance: for had it been written, we would have spoken of it. What is not written, let us not venture on. It is sufficient for our salvation to know that there is Father, Son and Holy Spirit. (St. Cyril of Jerusalem) 

      All that the Father has the Son also has, except the being Unbegotten. All that the Son has the Spirit has also, except the Generation. (St. Gregory the Theologian) 


Your browser may not support display of this image. St. Hermias of Cappadocia, Martyr 

II Peter 1:3-11: 

      We come to bear Christ in us because His Body and Blood are distributed through our members. Thus, according to the blessed Peter, "we become partakers of the divine nature." (St. Cyril of Jerusalem) 

      What greater destiny can befall man's humility than that he should be united with God and by this union should be deified. (St. Gregory the Theologian) 

Mark 12:1-12: 

      The Lord proves most clearly that the chiefs of the Jews did not crucify the Son of God through ignorance, but through envy; for they understood that this was He to whom it was said, "I will give You the heathen for Your inheritance" (Ps 2:8). (Bede the Venerable) 

      The cornerstone, the Church, is the Lord's doing and, for we who believe, it is marvelous in our eyes. Yet among those who do not believe, the Church and even its miracles are slandered. The Church itself is a miracle. The Lord built it together with the Apostles. (Blessed Theophylact) 


Your browser may not support display of this image. St. Justin, Martyr  

II Peter 3:12-18: 

      Let us not look upon God's patience as ignorance. He holds back and delays so that, when we have converted to a better state, we may not be handed over to torments. (Abba Horsiesios) 

      Those who sit in the darkness of unruly passions and whose minds are blinded by ignorance think that he who has the mind of Christ is foolish, and that he who has it not is sensible. Such men twist the whole of Scripture according to their own desires and corrupt themselves in their own passions. It is not the divine Scripture that suffers from this, but those who disfigure it! (St. Symeon the New Theologian) 

Mark 12:13-17: 

      Render to Caesar the money bearing his image, which is collected for him, and render yourselves willingly up to God, for the light of the Lord's countenance and not of Caesar's, is stamped upon us. (St. Jerome) 

      Paying tax to Caesar does not hinder you from giving reverence to God; for you are able both to pay tribute to Caesar and to render to God the things that belong to Him. "Caesar" also means for us the things needed for the body. The Lord is thus commanding us to give to the body that which belongs to it, such as food and necessary clothing, and to God the things that are His, such as vigils and prayer according to our strength. But also throw to the devil, who is "Caesar", the things that were given to you by him, such as anger and wicked desires, but offer to God the things that are His. (Blessed Theophylact) 


Your browser may not support display of this image. St. Nicephoros the Confessor Your browser may not support display of this image. St. Pothinus, Martyr 

II Timothy 1:1-12: 

      St. Paul speaks of the grace that is given to the saints. He speaks of the grace as given at a time when those to whom it was to be given were not yet in existence; because he looks upon that as having been already done in the arrangement and purpose of God, which was to take place in its own time, and he speaks of it as now made manifest. (St. Augustine) 

      That men might not fancy that they had no need of Divine aid for the work of salvation and yet remember that it can be advanced or neglected by us, St. Paul says, "Neglect not the grace of God that is in you; for which reason I exhort you to stir up the grace of God which is in you" (I Tim. 4:14; II Tim. 1:6). (Abba Chaeremon) 

Mark 12:18-27: 

        Since the Sadducees argue from the Law of Moses, the Lord shows them that they are ignorant of the Scriptures. You do not understand, He says, of what kind of resurrection Scripture speaks. You think that there will be then the same kind of life in the body as there is now; but it will not be so. Thus you are ignorant of the meaning of the Scriptures, but you are also ignorant of the power of God. Perhaps you are so busy staring at the complexity of things that you cannot see how a body once separated from its soul can be reunited to it. But by the power of God this is easily accomplished. For there will be a resurrection from the dead, but not to carnality, but to a divine and angelic kind of life. Since we will be incorruptible, and will remain forever the same. (Blessed Theophylact) 

      The flesh belongs to the soul, but the soul does not belong to the flesh; for the lesser belongs to the greater, not the greater to the lesser. The purpose of death is to destroy the law of the flesh. (St. Maximos the Confessor) 


Your browser may not support display of this image. St. Lucillian, Martyr 

II Timothy 2:8-15: 

      "Strive not about words to no profit." This does not mean that, when adversaries oppose the truth, we are to say nothing in defense of the truth. It does mean not to be anxious that our way of expressing the truth be preferred to that of another. (St. Augustine) 

      Let us be partakers in Christ's sufferings that we may also rise up in His resurrection. Let us bear His sign upon our bodies that we may be delivered from the wrath to come. (Aphrahat) 

Mark 12:28-34: 

      When the Father is called the only God, and we read that there is one God, this is not said to the denial of the Son; for He is in that One and Only and First the Only Word and Wisdom and Radiance. He too is the First and Only, being wholly and fully God. (St. Athanasius) 

      We have need of the right conduct to earn the favor of God when He judges us. We must obey His commands and instructions to obtain the reward of our merits. In the Gospel, when He was giving us summary directions for the way of hope and faith, the Lord said: "The Lord your God is one Lord and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. This is the first commandment. The second is like it. You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets." His teaching required both unity and love, including all the prophets and the law in two commandments. But what sort of unity, what sort of love, is preserved or contemplated by the mad fury of discord that rends the Church, destroys faith, disturbs peace, scatters charity and profanes religion? (St. Cyprian) 


Your browser may not support display of this image. St. Martha andYour browser may not support display of this image. St. Mary of Bethany, Sisters of Lazarus Your browser may not support display of this image. St. Metrophanes, First Patriarch of Constantinople  

II Timothy 3:10-17: 

      "All who would live a godly life in Christ shall suffer persecution." It is not only to be counted persecution when sword or fire or other active means are used against Christians; for the direst persecution is often inflicted by non-conformity of practice and persistent disobedience and the barbs of ill-natured tongues. Since all the members of the Church are always liable to these attacks, and no portion of the faithful are free from temptation, so the Christian life is neither one of ease nor devoid of danger. (St. Leo the Great) 

      Recall to your mind what you must never forget, "That all who will live godly lives in Christ suffer persecution." With regard to this I confidently say that you would live less godly if you suffered persecution less. (St. Gregory the Great) 

Mark 12:35-37: 

      The putting down of His enemies by the Father, does not show the weakness of the Son, but the unity of nature, by which One works in the Other; for the Son also subjects the Father's enemies, because He glorifies His Father upon earth. (Bede the Venerable) 

      The confession of one God according to the Law seemed to leave no room for the Son of God in the mystery of the one Lord; so He asks the Scribes how he can call Christ the son of David, when David calls Him his Lord, since it is against the order of nature that the son of so great a Patriarch should be also his Lord. He calls the Scribes who regard Him only in respect to His flesh, and His birth from Mary, the daughter of David, to remember that, in respect of His Spirit, He is David's Lord rather than his son. Thus the words, "Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord," do not sever Christ from the mystery of the one Lord, since so great a Patriarch and Prophet calls Him his Lord, as the Son begotten of the Lord before the morning star. (St. Hilary of Poitiers) 


Your browser may not support display of this image. St. Dorotheos, Martyr Your browser may not support display of this image. St. Boniface, Martyr 

II Timothy 4:1-8: 

      "Reprove, exhort, rebuke." When the mind is wounded, it sickens under the attentions of an unctuous flattery and is again tempered by the bitterness of correction. (St. Ambrose) 

      Men have fallen away from the truth and "have itching ears." Is it a plausible discourse? All listen to it gladly. Is it a word of correction? All turn away from it. Most have departed from right words, and rather chosen the evil, than desire the good. (St. Cyril of Jerusalem) 

Mark 12:38-44: 

      A miser lacks as much what he has as what he has not. The believer has a whole world of wealth. The unbeliever has not a single penny. The widow cast but two small coins into the treasury and yet she shall be preferred before Croesus with all his wealth. (St. Jerome) 

      The Church sends her whole living into God's treasury, because she understands that even her very living is not of her own power, but of Divine grace. (Bede the Venerable)

Released by Primus Pilus
Legio Christi-Ecclesia Militans
"Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another" [St. Paul's Epistle to the Romans 14:19]



Trinity Sunday

ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, who hast given unto us thy servants grace, by the confession of a true faith, to acknowledge the glory of the eternal Trinity, and in the power of the Divine Majesty to worship the Unity; We beseech thee that thou wouldest keep us stedfast in this faith, and evermore defend us from all adversities, who livest and reignest, one God, world without end. Amen.

Psalms 29, 33 | 93, 97, 150 ,   Revelation iv. 1   &   St. John iii. 1

Admonition and Exhortation for Communion

Extract of "On the Trinty"

Shield of the Trinity, St Oswald's, Sowerby, North Yorkshire

How shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?


Hilary wrote in Book II of De Trinitate (On the Trinity):

Concerning the Holy Spirit I ought not to be silent, and yet I have no need to speak; still, for the sake of those who are in ignorance, I cannot refrain. There is no need to speak, because we are bound to confess him, proceeding, as he does, from Father and Son. For my own part, I think it wrong to discuss the question of His existence. He does exist, inasmuch as he is given, received, retained; he is joined with Father and Son in our confession of the faith, and cannot be excluded from a true confession of Father and Son; take away a part, and the whole faith is marred. If any man demand what meaning we attach to this conclusion, he, as well as we, has read the words of the Apostle, Because ye are sons of God, God hath sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, Abba, Father, and Grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, in whom ye have been sealed, and again, But we have received not the spirit of this world, but the Spirit which is of God, that we may know the things that are given unto us by God, and also But ye are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God is in you. But if any man hath not the Spirit of Christ, he is not his, and further, But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwelleth in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall quicken also your mortal bodies for the sake of his Spirit which dwelleth in you. Wherefore since he is, and is given, and is possessed, and is of God, let his traducers take refuge in silence. When they ask, Through whom is he? To what end does he exist? Of what nature is he? we answer that he it is through whom all things exist, and from whom are all things, and that he is the Spirit of God, God's gift to the faithful. If our answer displease them, their displeasure must also fall upon the Apostles and the Prophets, who spoke of him exactly as we have spoken. And furthermore, Father and Son must incur the same displeasure...

Jesus asked in today's Gospel, "How shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?" Hilary and the collect today make a good point; it is by the grace that God has given us, and the visitation of his Holy Ghost, that we are able to hold in faith that which is, as Hilary says, uncomprehensible.

The Quicunque vult has been ascribed to Hilary, and in reading the De Trinitate one cannot but help to see the similarities. This creed was said by tradition on Trinity Sunday, and I encourage you to use it as well today. The Shield of the Trinity, which was created in the Middle Ages, also captures graphically and in words the essence of the creed.

  • "The Father is God"
  • "The Son is God"
  • "The Holy Spirit is God"
  • "God is the Father"
  • "God is the Son"
  • "God is the Holy Spirit"
  • "The Father is not the Son"
  • "The Son is not the Father"
  • "The Father is not the Holy Spirit"
  • "The Holy Spirit is not the Father"
  • "The Son is not the Holy Spirit"
  • "The Holy Spirit is not the Son"

Hilary was born in about 300AD and became the Bishop of Poitiers. You can read more at the links provided in today's homily. 

Released by Primus Pilus
Legio Christi-Ecclesia Militans
"Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another" [St. Paul's Epistle to the Romans 14:19]



Devotional Readings for the Week of May 23rd, 2010


Your browser may not support display of this image. The Feast of Pentecost Your browser may not support display of this image. St. Michael the Confessor  

Acts 2:1-11:  

      When you hear the Scripture saying of the Holy Spirit that He "rested upon each" of the Apostles, do not suppose that the Spirit is subject to some kind of division, variation or change; but be sure that He is unvarying, unchanging and all-powerful. Therefore in all His energies He remains what He is, and in a divine manner He gives to each person what is needful. On those who have been baptized He pours Himself out in His fullness like the sun. (St. Mark the Ascetic) 

      How can we overcome the sinfulness that is already firmly established within us? We must use force. A man labors and struggles, and so by the use of force he escapes from destruction, always striving to raise his thoughts to holiness. We are not forbidden to resist force with force. If in any ascetic task we exert force, however slight, then, "remaining in Jerusalem", we can wait for the "power from on high" which will come down upon us" (cf. Lk. 24:49). In other words, if we persevere in unceasing prayer and the other virtues, there will come upon us a mighty force, infinitely stronger than any we can exert. This force cannot be described in human language; in its great strength it overcomes our worst faults of character and the malice of the demons, conquering both the sinful inclinations of our soul and the disordered impulses of our body. "There came a sound from heaven as of a rushing violent wind"; and this force from heaven dries out the evil that is always pushing us to sin. (St. John of Karpathos) 

Romans 8:8-17: 

      Since we are but children as regards perfection in the virtue of prayer, we have need of the Spirit's aid so that all our thoughts may be concentrated and gladdened by His inexpressible sweetness, and so that with all our being we may aspire to the remembrance and love of our God and Father. As St. Paul says, it is in the Spirit that we pray when we are taught by Him to cry without ceasing to God the Father. (St. Diadochos of Photiki) 

      When a man thinks he is keeping the commandments perfectly, it is obvious that he is mistaken and that he is breaking one of them, since he judges himself and does not submit to the true judge. But when, as St. Paul says, the Spirit of God testifies along with our spirit, then indeed we are worthy of Christ and are children of God. This is not the case when we justify ourselves merely on the basis of what we ourselves think. It is not the man who commends himself that is to be trusted, but he whom Christ commends. (St. Makarios of Egypt)

John 20:19-23: 

      Through our Lord's words "Peace be with you" He bestows control of unruly passions on them, and breathing on them He grants participation in the Holy Spirit, giving them power to combat evil spirits. (St. Maximos the Confessor) 

      The love of the Church, which is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit, remits the sins of those who partake of it; but retains the sins of those who do not. This is why, when He has said, "Receive the Holy Spirit," He instantly makes mention of the remission and retaining of sins. (St. Augustine) 

      We must understand that those who first received the Holy Spirit, for innocence of life in themselves, and preaching to a few others, received it openly after the resurrection, that they might profit not a few only, but many. The disciples who were called to such works of humility, to what a height of glory are they led! Lo, not only have they salvation for themselves, but are admitted to the powers of the supreme Judgment-seat; so that, in the place of God, they retain some men's sins, and remit others. Their place in the Church, the Bishops now hold; who receive the authority to bind, when they are admitted to the rank of government. Great is the honor, but heavy the burden of the place. It is ill if one who knows not how to govern his own life, shall be judge of another's. (St. Gregory the Great) 


Your browser may not support display of this image. St. Vincent of Lerins 

I Peter 1:3-9: 

      He who longs in hope for life in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, through the resurrection of the dead "to an inheritance which is incorruptible, pure and unfading, kept in heaven", will exult and feel unutterable joy in his soul, for he will be unceasingly full of gladness because of his hope for the blessings held in store; but in his flesh and senses he will experience distress, for both pleasure and suffering accompany every virtue. (St. Maximos the Confessor) 

      I have greatly rejoiced with you in our Lord Jesus Christ "In Whom, though you do not now see Him, yet you believe, and believing you rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory;" into which joy many desire to enter. (St. Polycarp) 

Mark 10:17-27: 

      But by this one God, Who is good, we must not only understand the Father, but also the Son, who says, "I am the good Shepherd;" (Jn. 10:11)  and also the Holy Spirit, because it is said, "The Father which is in heaven will give the good Spirit to them that ask him." (Lk. 11:13); for the One and Undivided Trinity itself, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, is the Only and One good God. The Lord, therefore, does not deny Himself to be good, but implies that He is God; He does not deny that He is good Master, but He declares that no master is good but God. (Bede the Venerable) 

      It is worthy of enquiry how our Lord loved a man who He knew, would not follow Him? But this is so much as to say, that since he was worthy of love in the first instance, because he observed the things of the law from his youth, so in the end, though he did not take upon himself perfection, he did not suffer a lessening of his former love; for although he did not pass the bounds of humanity, nor follow the perfection of Christ, still he was not guilty of any sin, since he kept the law according to the capability of a man, and in this mode of keeping it, Christ loved him. (St. John Chrysostom) 


I Peter 1:10-16: 

      Christ is by nature both God and man. In an ineffable and supranatural manner we participate by grace in Him as God, while He in His incomprehensible love for men shares as man in our lot for our sake by making Himself one with us with a form like ours. The saints foresaw Him mystically in the Spirit and were taught that the glory to be revealed in Christ in the future because of His virtue must be preceded by the sufferings which He would endure for the sake of virtue. (St. Maximos the Confessor) 

      God created us in His image and likeness. We are in His likeness if we possess virtue and understanding. "You must be holy, for I am holy" (Lev. 11:44; I Pet. 1:16). (Nikitas Stithatos) 

Mark 10:28-31: 

      He who suffers wrong and does not demand any reparation from the man who wronged him, trusts in Christ to make good the loss; and he is rewarded a hundredfold in this world and inherits eternal life. (St. Mark the Ascetic) 

      You should secretly give from what you have to those in need, so that you receive from God, who sees in secret, a hundred times more, as well as life eternal in the age to come. (St. Gregory Palamas) 


Your browser may not support display of this image. St. Carpos, Apostle of the Seventy Your browser may not support display of this image. St. Philip Neri 

I Peter 1:18-25: 

      Serve the Lord in fear and truth, as those who have forsaken the vain, empty talk and error of the multitude, and have "believed in Him Who raised up our Lord Jesus Christ from the dead, and gave Him glory," and a throne at His right hand. To Him all things in heaven and on earth are subject. Him every spirit serves. (St. Polycarp) 

      Do not trust in riches; for all such things are left here, faith alone will accompany you. Indeed, righteousness will go with you if faith has led the way. Why do riches entice you? "You were not redeemed with gold and silver," with possessions or silk garments, "from your vain way of life; but with the precious Blood of Christ." He then is rich who is an heir of God, a joint heir with Christ. (St. Ambrose) 

Mark 10:32-45: 

      The disciples hearing Christ often speaking of His kingdom, thought that this kingdom was to be before His death, and therefore now that His death was foretold to them, they came to Him, that they might immediately be made worthy of the honors of the kingdom. (St. John Chrysostom) 

      The Lord teaches that he is the greater who is the less, and that he becomes the lord, who is servant of all. Vain, therefore, was it both for the one party to seek for immoderate things, and the other to be annoyed at their desiring greater things, since we are to arrive at the height of virtue not by power but by humility. (Bede the Venerable) 


Your browser may not support display of this image. St. Bede the Venerable Your browser may not support display of this image. St. John the Russian  

I Peter 2:2-12: 

      Let the young men be blameless in all things, being especially careful to preserve purity, and keeping themselves in, as with a bridle, from every kind of evil. It is well that they should be cut off from the lusts that are in the world, since "every lust wars against the spirit;" and those who act on such lusts shall not inherit the kingdom of God. Therefore, it is needful to abstain from these things, being subject to the presbyters and deacons, as unto God and Christ. (St. Polycarp) 

      If you want the commandments to flourish in your actions, you must zealously desire the pure spiritual milk of maternal grace; for it is on this milk of grace that you must suckle yourself if you wish to increase your stature in Christ. (St. Gregory of Sinai) 

Mark 10:46-52: 

      He who, like the blind man, casts away his garment and draws near to the Lord, becomes His disciple and a preacher of true doctrine. (St. Mark the Ascetic) 

      Could the Lord who was able to restore sight be ignorant of what the blind man wanted? His reason then for asking is that prayer may be made to Him. He puts the question to stir up the blind man's heart to pray. (Bede the Venerable) 


Your browser may not support display of this image. St. Eutyches of Melitena, Martyr  

I Peter 4:7-13: 

      Whoever does not confess the testimony of the Cross is of the devil; and whoever perverts the oracles of the Lord to his own lusts, and says that there is neither a resurrection nor a judgment, he is the first-born of Satan. Forsake the vanity of many and their false doctrines. Return to the word handed down to us from the beginning, "watching with prayer," persevering and beseeching the all-seeing God to keep us strong until the end. (St. Polycarp) 

      If anyone, the more he is injured, displays the more patience, blessed is he. If anyone is defrauded, if anyone is despised for the name of the Lord, he truly is a servant of Christ. Take heed that no plant of the devil be found among you, for such a plant is bitter and salt. "Watch and be sober," in Jesus Christ. (St. Ignatius of Antioch) 

Mark 11:11-26: 

      The soul must be free from all evil, especially rancor, at the time of prayer. (St. Peter of Damaskos) 

      The devil is often on account of his pride called by the name of a mountain, this mountain, at the command of those who are strong in the faith, is taken up from the earth and cast into the sea, whenever, at the preaching of the word of God by the holy doctors, the unclean spirit is expelled from the hearts of those who are fore-ordained to life, and is allowed to exert the tyranny of his power over the troubled and embittered souls of the faithless. At which time, he rages the more fiercely, the more he grieves at being turned away from hurting the faithful. (Bede the Venerable) 


Your browser may not support display of this image. St. Theodosia, Virgin-Martyr  

Jude vss. 17-25: 

      A life stained with many faults arising from disorderly passions of the flesh is a soiled garment. The mode of life of a man, as if from some garment, declares him to be either righteous or wicked. The righteous man has a holy life as a clean garment. The wicked man has life soiled with evil actions. Thus a "garment stained by the flesh" is the inner state and disposition of a soul when its conscience is deformed by the recollection of evil impulses and actions arising from the flesh. When this state or disposition constantly envelops the soul like a garment, it is filled with the stink of disorderly passions. But when the virtues, through the power of the Spirit, are interwoven in accordance with the heart, they form a garment of incorruption for the soul. Dressed in this the soul becomes beautiful and resplendent. Conversely, when the passions are interwoven under the primary influence of the flesh, they form a filthy, soiled garment, which reveals the character of the soul, imposing on it a form and image contrary to the divine. (St. Maximos the Confessor) 

      To try to discover the meaning of the commandments through study and reading without actually living in accordance with them is like mistaking the shadow of something for its reality. It is only by participating in the truth that you can share in the meaning of the truth. If you search for the meaning without participating in the truth and without having been initiated into it, you will only find a besotted kind of wisdom. You will be among those whom St. Jude categorized as "sensual" or worldly because they lack the Spirit, boast as they may of their knowledge of the truth. (St. Gregory of Sinai) 

Mark 11:27-33: 

      The Jewish leaders said this, thinking to bring our Lord to judgment, so that if He said, by mine own power, they might lay hold upon Him; but if He said, by the power of another, they might make the people leave Him, for they believed Him to be God. But the Lord asks them concerning John, not without a reason, nor in a sophistical way, but because John had borne witness of Him. (Blessed Theophylact) 

      Since they could not object to His miracles, they bring forward against the Lord the correction of those who sold in the temple. Since they were being crafty and indirect in their attack, He answers them indirectly. Since they would not say John's baptism was of men their perverse heart is exposed. In every case they despise God and do all things for the sake of men: neither reverencing St. John nor believing in Christ for this reason. All their evils were engendered from this. (St. John Chrysostom) 

via Ordo Aquilifer

Released by Primus Pilus
Legio Christi-Ecclesia Militans
"Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another" [St. Paul's Epistle to the Romans 14:19]




commonly called Whitsunday 
Homily of Augustin on Psalm CXLV
Whitsun Home

O GOD, who as at this time didst teach the hearts of thy faithful people, by sending to them the light of thy Holy Spirit; Grant us by the same Spirit to have a right judgment in all things, and evermore to rejoice in his holy comfort; through the merits of Christ Jesus our Saviour, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the same Spirit, one God, world without end. Amen.

Joel ii. 28, Acts ii. 1. St. John xiv. 15.
Psalms 48, 68 | 104, 145
Homily of Augustine on Psalm CXLV

The LORD is nigh unto all them that call upon him,
to all that call upon him in truth.


Augustine wrote in today's homily on Psalm 145:

 "The Lord is nigh unto all that call upon Him" Where then is that, "Then shall they call upon Me, and I will not hear them"? See then what follows: "all who call upon Him in truth." For many call upon Him, but not in truth. They seek something else from Him, but seek not Himself. Why lovest thou God? "Because He hath made me whole." That is clear: it was He that made thee so. For from none else cometh health, save Him. "Because He gave me," saith another, "a rich wife, whereas I before had nothing, and one that obeyeth me." This too He gave: thou sayest true. "He gave me," saith another, "sons many and good, He gave me a household, He gave me all good things." Dost thou love Him for this?...Therefore if God is good, who hath given thee what thou hast, how much more blessed wilt thou be when He hath given thee Himself! Thou hast desired all these things of Him: I beseech thee desire of Him Himself also. For these things are not truly sweeter than He is, nor in any way are they to be compared to Him. He then who preferreth God Himself to all the things which he has received, whereat he rejoiceth, to the things he has received, he "calleth upon God in truth."... 

Augustine speaks of a certain Truth embraced then and today by the orthodox and catholic Church. There are many pretenders nowadays claiming that the Holy Spirit has done this or that new thing. They claim he has come down to guide us away from the errors of the Church for two millennium to truths that look a whole lot like secular-humanist ideas of the 20th century. Their "gospel" sounds different and counter to that which the fathers of the Church have held from generation to generation.  

I think these folk miss the mark, for they do not call upon God in truth, but rather in vanity.  They do not seek him, but seek approval of their will. The only spirit they invoke is the "spirit of the age".  They blaspheme the Holy Ghost.  Suffice it to say that God is not fickle. He does not speak and act to one generation one way, and in a completely different way to another generation. Cultures may change, but his word stands forever (Is 40:8). Those who worship him in Truth do so in accord with the faith once given and which Augustine addresses here. It is the same Truth that those who gathered in the Upper Room held when God sent his Holy Ghost upon them in power. So if you hear a claim that the Holy Spirit has come down and is doing something new, take it with a grain of salt; search the scriptures, search the fathers, consider possible hidden agendas of them who put forth such claims, and call upon God in Truth.  

May the Comforter be with you, who do call upon God in Truth this day; and may those who are lost seek that Truth diligently in the Catholic Churches of Christ.



Released by Primus Pilus
Legio Christi-Ecclesia Militans
"Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another" [St. Paul's Epistle to the Romans 14:19]



Devotional Readings for the Week of May 16th, 2010


Your browser may not support display of this image. St. Theodore the Sanctified Your browser may not support display of this image. St. Brendan the Voyager 

Acts 7:55-60:  

      The specially distinguishing mark of Stephen was the absence of malice. Not even when in peril did Stephen hate his assailants, but was stoned while praying for those who were stoning him as a disciple of Christ, on Whose behalf he was allowed to suffer, and so, in his long-suffering, bearing for God a nobler fruit than his death, he allowed no interval between assault and forgiveness, so that he was almost robbed of pain itself by the speed of pardon. (St. Gregory the Theologian) 

      There is just one place where Stephen says that he saw the Lord Jesus "standing" at the right hand of God. Learn the import of this word. Why do we read everywhere else of the Son as sitting at the right hand of God, but in one place of His standing? He sits as Judge of the living and the dead. He stands as His people's Advocate. He stood as a Priest while He was offering to His Father the sacrifice of a good martyr. He stood, as the Umpire, to bestow, as it were, upon a good wrestler the prize of so mighty a contest. (St. Ambrose) 

Revelation 22:12-20: 

      The fact that many who study the prophetic writings are more interested in finding possible references to space travel and nuclear weapons than in discovering God's commandments for living is a sickening tribute to modern apostasy. From beginning to end, John is intensely interested in the ethical conduct of those who read his prophecy: "Blessed are those who do His commandments" (Rev. 22:14). (David Chilton) 

      God had purposed in the fullness of time to sum up and renew in Christ Jesus all things which are in heaven and on earth. (St. Jerome) 

John 17:20-26: 

      Our unity is recommended by the great example of unity. As the Father is in the Son, and the Son in the Father, so after the likeness of this unity, all may be one in the Father and in the Son. (St. Hilary of Poitiers) 

      The unity of all in God constitutes the ultimate aim of creation and salvation. Christ came in order to gather together all the children of God who are scattered abroad (cf. Jn. 11:52). The Church prays for this unity, for the overcoming of all divisions, for the fulfillment of the prayer of Christ: "that they may become perfectly one." (Fr. Alexander Schmemann) 

      To those upon whom the divine grace of the Spirit has descended, coming to dwell in the deepest levels of their heart, Christ is as the soul. Our Lord thus says: "As I and You are one, so may they be one in Us." What blessing and goodness has human nature received, abased as it was by the power of evil! But when the soul is entangled in the depravity of the passions, it becomes as though one with them, and even though the soul possesses its own will it cannot do what it wants to do. On the other hand, how much closer is the union that the soul enjoys when one with God's will, when His power is conjoined with it, sanctifying it and making it worthy of Him. Then in truth the soul becomes as the soul of the Lord, submitting willingly and consciously to the power of the Holy Spirit. (St. Makarios of Egypt) 


Your browser may not support display of this image. St. Andronicos, Apostle of the Seventy  

Acts 19:1-8: 

      Those who had received only John's baptism and had no knowledge of the Holy Spirit are baptized again, lest any should suppose that water unsanctified could suffice for anyone's salvation. (St. Jerome) 

      There is no baptism outside, and no remission of sins can be given outside the Church. Those who had already been baptized with John's baptism were baptized also by St. Paul. (St. Cyprian) 

John 16:29-33: 

      "In the world you have tribulation." Anyone who would in the smallest degree follow the path of Christ, love Him and give himself to Him, has this tribulation and recognizes this suffering. The Cross is suffering. But through love and self-sacrifice this same tribulation is transformed into joy. It is experienced as being crucified with Christ, and accepting His Cross and hence taking part in His victory. "Be of good cheer, I have overcome the world." (Fr. Alexander Schmemann) 

      For all the deep compassion of the Christian, his tears and prayers for the world, there is none of the despair that destroys. Aware of the breath of the Holy Spirit, he is assured of the inevitable victory of Light. (Archimandrite Sophrony) 


Your browser may not support display of this image. St. Peter of Ancyra, Martyr  

Acts 20:17-27: 

      Paul said, "The Holy Spirit witnesses in every city saying that bonds and afflictions await me." This good Sanctifier of the Church, and her Helper and Teacher, the Holy Spirit, the Encourager, testified before Paul what things should befall him, that he might be the more stout-hearted, from knowing them beforehand. (St. Cyril of Jerusalem) 

      Paul denied himself, when, knowing that chains and tribulations awaited him in Jerusalem, he willingly offered himself to danger. At last, though many were around him weeping and begging him, he did not change his mind, so stern a censor of itself is ready faith. (St. Ambrose) 

John 17:1-11: 

      The kingdom of God is the content of the Christian faith – the goal, the meaning and content of the Christian life. According to the unanimous witness of all scripture and tradition, it is the knowledge of God, love for Him, unity with Him and life in Him. The kingdom of God is unity with God, the source of all life, indeed life Himself. It is life eternal: "And this is eternal life, that they know You." It is for this true and eternal life in the fullness of love, unity and knowledge that man was created. (Fr. Alexander Schmemann) 

      We must cast fear and faint-heartedness aside and in spirit follow after Christ that we may inherit life eternal in true knowledge of the Heavenly Father of Christ, Whom He, the Father, sent into the world. (Archimandrite Sophrony) 


Your browser may not support display of this image. St Patrick of Prusa, Martyr  

Acts 20:28-38: 

      A Christian has not yet renounced the world or achieved perfection so long as they are ashamed to accept for Christ's sake the poverty of the Apostle and to provide for themselves and the needy through the labor of their hands; for only in this way will they be glorified with the Apostle. (St. John Cassian) 

      The Apostle said: "These hands have ministered to my necessities and to those who were with me." This proves that it is more convincing to teach through actions than through words. (St. Neilos the Ascetic) 

John 17:11-19: 

      The Scripture teaches us that not the Godhead of our Lord but His flesh needed sanctification, for He said, "I sanctify Myself for them," in order that you may acknowledge that He is both sanctified in the flesh for us, and sanctifies by virtue of His Divinity. (St. Ambrose) 

      Man in prayer does not merely come into the presence of the truth and contemplate it as an object. He lives "in the truth" Himself. (Hans Urs von Balthasar) 


Your browser may not support display of this image. St. Thalelaeus, Martyr Your browser may not support display of this image. St. Lydia of Philippi  

Acts 22:30-23:11: 

      Find me a man who is never hungry, thirsty or cold, who knows nothing of pain, or fever or torture, and I will grant you under those conditions that a man is able to think of nothing but virtue. When the Apostle was struck by the servant, he responded to the High Priest who commanded that the blow be given: "God shall strike you, you white-washed wall." We miss the patience of the Savior Who was led as a lamb to the slaughter and did not open His mouth, but said to the one who struck Him: "If I have spoken evil, bear witness of the evil; but if well, why do you strike Me? (Jn. 18:23)" We do not disparage the Apostle, but declare the glory of God Who suffered in the flesh and overcame the evil inflicted on the flesh, and the weakness of the flesh. (St. Jerome) 

      The Apostle Paul who was let down in a basket, and fled, when He were told, "You must bear witness at Rome," did not delay the journey, but departed rejoicing. He did not shrink from the time when it came, but gloried in it. (St. Athanasius) 

John 17:20-26: 

      Christ constantly speaks to a Father Who is a Person other than He, but with Whom He is, at the same time, one in essence. It is this that is indicated by the statement that "all My things are Yours, and Yours are Mine." (Hans Urs von Balthasar) 

      Protect the pledge of enriching humility that has been entrusted to you, for in it are stored the hidden treasures of love and the pearls of compunction. In it, too, the King, Christ our God, reposes as on a golden throne, bestowing the gifts of the Holy Spirit on those it nourishes and giving them His great glories: consciousness of His divine knowledge, His ineffable wisdom, the vision of permanent reality, the prevision of human realities, the life-quickening deadness induced by dispassion, and union with Himself, so that we co-reign with Him in the kingdom of God the Father. This accords with His petition to the Father, when He said: "Father, I desire that those whom You have given Me should be with Me wherever I am." (Nikitas Stithatos) 


Your browser may not support display of this image. The Sovereign Constantine and his mother, Helena 

Acts 25:13-21: 

      Every virtue lies between two unnatural passions. Justice lies between over-frugality and greed. (St. Peter of Damaskos) 

      Greed corrupts the equity of justice. (St. Maximos the Confessor) 

John 21:15-19: 

      Our Lord having made Peter declare his love, informs him of his future martyrdom; an intimation to us of how we should love. (St. John Chrysostom) 

      Whatever be the pain of death, it ought to be conquered by the strength of love for our Lord, Who being our life, voluntarily also underwent death for us. (St. Augustine) 


Your browser may not support display of this image. St. Melchizedek, King of Salem Your browser may not support display of this image. The Holy Fathers of the Second Ecumenical Council  

Acts 28:16-31: 

      He who chooses maltreatment and dishonor for the sake of the truth is walking on the apostolic path. He has taken up the Cross and is bound in chains. But when he tries to concentrate his attention on the heart without accepting these two, his heart wanders from the path and he falls into the temptations and snares of the devil. (St. Mark the Ascetic) 

      One would not err in calling Paul's heart both a sea and a heaven: the one for purity and the other for depth. Let us emulate Paul, imitating that noble and adamantine soul, so that, advancing in the steps of his life, we may be enabled to sail through the sea of this present life, and to come to the haven. (St. John Chrysostom) 

John 21:20-25: 

      There is nothing for us to fear in death, nothing for us to mourn, whether life which was received from nature be rendered to her again, or whether it is sacrificed to some duty which claims it, and thus it is an act of religion or the exercise of some virtue. No one has ever wished to remain as they are now. That was supposedly promised to John, but it is not the truth. We hold fast to the words and thus deduce their meaning. He denied that there was a promise that he would not die, that no one from that instance might yield to an empty hope. It is wrong to grieve without limit for what has happened due to the limits placed on us. (St. Ambrose) 

      "There are many other things which Jesus did." Here St. John does not say as he did before (cf. Jn. 20:30), "in the presence of His disciples." In that case he may have been referring to the miracles and other things the Lord did which St. John did not record because others had recorded them. Here he may be referring to the creation of the world, when the Logos was not yet incarnate, and when together with Him the Father created all things out of non-existence. (St. Peter of Damaskos)

via Ordo Aquilifier 
Released by Primus Pilus
Legio Christi-Ecclesia Militans
"Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another" [St. Paul's Epistle to the Romans 14:19]



Sunday After Ascension Day

 O GOD, the King of glory, who hast exalted thine only Son Jesus Christ with great triumph unto thy kingdom in heaven; We beseech thee, leave us not comfortless; but send to us thine Holy Ghost to comfort us, and exalt us unto the same place whither our Saviour Christ is gone before, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the same Holy Ghost, one God, world without end. Amen.

GRANT, we beseech thee, Almighty God, that like as we do believe thy only-begotten Son our Lord Jesus Christ to have ascended into the heavens; so we may also in heart and mind thither ascend, and with him continually dwell, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, world without end. Amen.


WHEN the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, 
even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me: 


The Gospel appointed in the propers for this Sunday calls our attention to Lord's promise of the coming of the Holy Ghost. We will celebrate that event at the Great Feast of Pentecost next week. In thinking on that theme, and the Gospel, this hymn came to mind. No doubt this was composed in about 1829 by Adoniram Judson  as a baptismal hymn, but serves us this day as we anticipate Whitsunday and ponder God's great gift to his elect. I wonder if the apostles and their company had composed a similar hymn in those days after the Ascension as they waited for the promise.

Come, Holy Spirit, Dove divine,
On these baptismal waters shine,
And teach our hearts, in highest strain,
To praise the Lamb for sinners slain.

We love Your Name, we love Your laws,
And joyfully embrace Your cause;
We love Your cross, the shame, the pain,
O Lamb of God, for sinners slain.

We sink beneath the water's face,
And thank You for Your saving grace;
We die to sin and seek a grave
With You, beneath the yielding wave.

And as we rise with You to live,
O let the Holy Spirit give
The sealing unction from above,
The joy of life, the fire of love.

Released by Primus Pilus
Legio Christi-Ecclesia Militans
"Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another" [St. Paul's Epistle to the Romans 14:19]



Devotional Readings for the Week of May 9th, 2010


Your browser may not support display of this image. St. Isaiah the Prophet Your browser may not support display of this image. St. Christopher, Great-Martyr 

Acts 15:22-29:  

      The Apostles, being filled with understanding, saw the presence of the Holy Spirit with them and declared positively that their work was holy and pleasing to the Lord God. They wrote: "It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us." On these grounds they offered what they wrote as immutable truth for the benefit of all the faithful. They were consciously aware of the presence in themselves of the Spirit of God. (St. Seraphim of Sarov) 

      We see that there was no respect of persons among these holy men, which always corrupts sound and right judgments. They confess that there were knaves of their own company; and yet they do not flatter them in any way, or, through corrupt favor, incline to cover their error; but, rather in condemning them freely, they spare not even themselves. (John Calvin) 

Revelation 21:10-23: 

      Our eyes have no other light (neither through nature nor through love) than our Lord. May our eyes behold Him because He is our light in every way. The clear vision of God, the light of heaven is the Son of God. (St. John of the Cross) 

      Christ will be everything for us in the age to come, including our light. This demonstrates that this light is the light of the Godhead, because John, the greatest theologian among the evangelists, shows in the Revelation that the everlasting future "city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God enlightened it, and the Lamb is its light." (St. Gregory Palamas) 

John 14:23-29: 

      We should note and observe the kind of peace Christ left for His disciples in His parting days. He spoke to them and said: "My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you." The world's gifts are treacherous. What kind of peace does Christ mean? He means the inner peace that comes in the midst of hardship, distress, much anguish and misfortune, strain, misery, disgrace and whatever setbacks there are. Through this peace we become cheerful and patient amid tribulations, just as Christ's dear disciples were – and not they alone but all chosen friends of God and true followers of Christ. (Theologia Germanica)

      Our greatest likeness to and union with God is the goal of the Church and its leaders. Divine Scripture teaches us that we will only obtain this through the most loving observance of His commandments and by the doing of sacred acts. "He who loves Me will keep My word and My Father will love him and We will come to him and make Our home in him." What, then, is the starting point for the sacred enactment of the most revered commandments? It is this, to dispose our souls to hear the sacred words as receptively as possible, to be open to the divine workings of God, to clear an uplifting path toward that inheritance which awaits us in heaven, and to accept our most divine and sacred regeneration. (St. Dionysius) 

      Lay hold of Him Who said, "He who loves Me will keep My commandments, and I and the Father will come and make Our home in him." Thus the Lord will raise from the dead him who has attained faith and give him life, and grant him to see Him Who has risen in him and Who has raised him up. This is the reason faith without works is dead, or, rather, they are dead who have faith apart from works. Faith in God is always alive, and since it is living it gives life to those who come with a good intention and receive it. (St. Symeon the New Theologian) 


Your browser may not support display of this image. St. Simon the Zealot, Apostle  

Acts 16:11-15: 

      When we receive visits from the brethren, we should not consider this an irksome interruption of our stillness, lest we cut ourselves off from the law of love. Nor should we receive them as if we were doing them a favor, but rather as if it is we ourselves who are receiving a favor; and because we are indebted to them, we should beg them cheerfully to enjoy our hospitality. (St. Theodoros the Great Ascetic) 

      Ministers do no good by teaching and speaking unless the inward calling of God be added to it. (John Calvin) 

John 15:26-16:4: 

      "The Spirit of truth proceeds from the Father." Just as the waters of a river come from a spring of water, so too God the Spirit proceeds from God the Father and is given through the Son to us, unworthy though we are. It is not to say that He is sent out or distributed against His will, for in fact, through another in the Trinity, the Son Himself, He is fulfilling His own will, which is the good-will of the Father. (St. Symeon the New Theologian) 

      Our Lord ascended for the purpose of sending us the Spirit of truth. Let us weep and pray that the Spirit may find us or rather make us worthy. (St. Bernard of Clairvaux) 


Your browser may not support display of this image. Sts. Cyril and Methodios, Apostles to the Slavs 

Acts 16:22-34: 

      God penetrates everything, and shines forth everywhere in the soul capable of receiving the light of the heavenly truth into itself. Even in the depths of prison Paul and Silas prayed and sang praises to God, and the Lord heard their prayer. (St. John of Kronstadt) 

      What could equal these souls? These men were scourged. They were misused, were in peril of their lives, were thrust into prison and set fast in stocks. They, however, did not let themselves sleep, but kept vigil all night. Do you note what a blessing tribulation is? (St. John Chrysostom) 

John 16:5-11: 

      The Holy Spirit breaks in upon the whole world and convinces it of sin, as if challenging it to battle. (Martin Luther) 

      When someone considers the suffering and death of the Lord, he ought to start out from the fact of the Resurrection so that his basic disposition is one of gratitude. The Holy Spirit sent to us by the risen Christ makes the world conscious that there is sin, justice and judgment. The tremors that shake the earth and cleave it to its depths are forms of the grace of the Holy Spirit by which he stirs it. In fact, what to the earth appears only a judgment passed in justice is itself a beginning of the resurrection, for the splitting of the earth opens hell, and the upturned graves liberate their bodies to resurrection (cf. Mt. 27:51). The darkening of the sun, the withdrawal of the Father's favor – for it is the Father Who makes the sun shine on the just and unjust – is also a sign of the coming judgment, of the dawning of the Day of the Lord, the day on which Israel had placed its entire hope. The dramatic culmination of the death and resurrection of the Lord was the sudden transformation of darkness and perdition in death and hell into eternal redemption and heavenly glory. These two extremes are thus inseparably conjoined, and the descent of the light of heaven into the depths of hell itself indicates that this spiritual light breaks through and prevails. (Hans Urs von Balthasar) 


Your browser may not support display of this image. St. Epiphanios, Bishop of Cypros and St. Germanos, Patriarch of Constantinople  

Acts 17:15-18:1: 

      The Perfect is a Being Who has comprised and embraced in Himself and in all His Being all that is. Without this Being and outside of it there is no true being and in it all things have their being since it is the core of all things. This ultimate Being is in Himself unchangeable and immovable, yet changes and moves everything else. (Theologia Germanica) 

      A person who wants to arrive at union with the Supreme Repose and Good in this life must climb all the steps, which are considerations, forms and concepts, and leave them behind, since they are dissimilar and unproportioned to the goal toward which they lead. This goal is God. Accordingly, St. Paul teaches: "We should not consider or esteem the Divinity to be like gold or silver, or stone sculptured by the artist, or like anything a person can fashion with the imagination." (St. John of the Cross) 

John 16:12-15: 

      That the Holy Spirit first opens our minds and teaches us the things concerning the Father and Son, our Lord told us: "When He, the Spirit of truth comes, Who proceeds from the Father, He will bear witness of Me (Jn. 15:25), and will guide you into all truth (Jn. 16:13)". Do you see how through the Spirit, or, rather, in the Spirit, the Father and the Son are made known inseparably? (St. Symeon the New Theologian) 

      It is the Lord Himself Who has saved us and the very Spirit of God Who has instructed us in all truth. He deigned to make His dwelling in man, to appear to him and speak to him without intermediary, so that man should be not only righteous, but sanctified and purified in advance in soul and body by keeping the divine commandments, and so be transformed into a vehicle worthy to receive the all-powerful Spirit. (St. Gregory Palamas) 


Your browser may not support display of this image. The Feast of the Ascension of Our Lord God and Savior, Jesus Christ Your browser may not support display of this image. St. Glyceria, Virgin Martyr  

Acts 1:1-11: 

      The Only-begotten Son is a bridge joining the Most High with the most lowly. When He returned to the Father forty days after His resurrection, this bridge was raised high above the earth; for He left us and ascended to heaven by the power of the Divine nature to sit at His eternal Father's right hand. On the day of His ascension the disciples were as good as dead, because their hearts had been lifted up to heaven along with the Son, Who is Wisdom. So the angel said to them: "Do not stay here, for He is seated at the Father's right hand." (St. Catherine of Siena) 

      The true teaching of the Gospel says clearly and plainly that the Word of God became flesh, and was called like us a son of man, and suffered for us in the flesh, and will come back in the same way as He went up into heaven. (St. Cyril of Alexandria) 

Ephesians 1:17-23: 

      Learn that it is not merely in the future, but even now that the unutterable treasure which "is above every rule and authority" lies open before your very eyes and hands and feet. Be persuaded that this treasure of which you are told is the light of the world. (St. Symeon the New Theologian) 

      Christ appeared in His Incarnation as if He had gone out of Himself, that is, out of the authority of His natural divinity. When He was resurrected, He returned – so to speak – to Himself and His own former authority of divinity was restored. The resurrection from the dead is an activity of the almighty power and authority of the divinity. St. Paul wrote: "According to the working of His great might, which He accomplished in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and made Him sit at the right hand in the heavenly places." Through the resurrection the body of the Lord, which was previously susceptible to suffering, transcended suffering; the corruptible became incorruptible. The body that had become through suffering and death without form and comely glory was now brightened and beautiful and glorified with the same glory of divinity hypostatically united with Him. (St. Nicodemos of the Holy Mountain) 

Luke 24:46-53: 

      Forty days after the Lord's resurrection having eaten with His disciples, the good Master climbed the Mount of Olives; and then "while they looked on, He lifted up His hands and was carried into heaven," and a cloud engulfed Him as He ascended, and He hid Himself from the view of men. And so "ascending on high, He led captivity captive" (Ps. 67:19; cf. Mic. 2:13); and with the gates of heaven now open, He made a way for His followers and led the exiles into the kingdom. He made them fellow citizens with the angels and members of God's household. Thus He repaired the fall of the angels, increased the honor of His eternal Father, manifested Himself in triumph and proved that He is the Lord of hosts. (St. Bonaventure) 

      The Lord was separated from the disciples in the body (though as God He was with them) and, as He promised them, He was taken up and sat on the right hand of the Father with our human flesh. As He lived, died, rose and ascended, so we all live, die and are resurrected. Not all of us, however, will attain to ascension, but only those for whom to live is Christ, and to die for Him is gain, those who, before they died, crucified sin through repentance and a way of life in accord with the Gospel. After the Resurrection of all, they alone will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air (cf. I Thess. 4:17). A cloud also received the Lord as He ascended. After the Ascension the disciples did not see Him with their bodily eyes but with the eyes of their soul, yet they worshipped Him. Let us do the same, then, like them, stay in peace (for Jerusalem means peace) keeping peace with ourselves and with one another. Let us each go into our own upper room (cf. Acts 1:13), our mind, and stay there praying, and let us purify ourselves from passionate and base thoughts. In this way we shall not miss the coming of the Encourager, and shall worship the Father, Son and Holy Spirit in spirit and truth, now and forever and unto the ages of ages. Amen. (St. Gregory Palamas) 


Your browser may not support display of this image. St. Isidore of Chios, Martyr  

Acts 18:2-22: 

      The Spirit is so simple that He passes through every spiritual and material being; through all reasonable beings and through all creatures not endued with reason, through the heavenly bodies, the earth and all its organic and inorganic bodies, and is not in the least bit limited by them, being always higher than them and quickening them as the Spirit of God, or it easily passes through every kind of matter without quickening it, such as mountains, stones, walls of buildings, as if there was no matter whatever there. God is such, as though there were no other spiritual or material being at all; and therefore I can always truly say that I am always with God, or as though there were only God and myself. "I am with you," says the Lord to the Apostle Paul. (St. John of Kronstadt)

      St. Paul, who had not known the Lord while He was on the earth, or shared the forty days' time with Him after His resurrection, but had communed with the glorified Lord of heaven on the road to Damascus and on many other occasions, spoke from the same experience as the other Apostles, and shared the same longing for His coming. (Hans Urs von Balthasar) 

John 16:16-22: 

      When a man does not try to escape or avoid the grief which is born of the fear of eternal retribution, but follows after it with ready heart and wraps its chains around him all the more, he will then progress more rapidly until he comes to stand before the face of the King of kings. On that day, when he perceives His glory no matter how obscurely, his chains shall immediately fall away. The executioner (who is fear) will run far away from him, and the grief in his heart will be turned to joy. He will feel this sensibly as a spring gushing out, an endless river of tears, and he will understand it intelligibly as peace, sweetness and unspeakable tenderness. It is also a source of strength and freedom which enables us to run without hindrance in complete obedience to the commands of God. (St. Symeon the New Theologian) 

      The soul is first summoned to the struggle by initiatory joy and then rebuked and tested by the truth of the Holy Spirit as regards both its past sins and the vain distractions in which it still indulges. In this manner the soul is tested as if in a furnace and through fervent remembrance of God it actively experiences the joy of perfection. (St. Diadochos of Photiki) 


Your browser may not support display of this image. St. Pachomios the Great Your browser may not support display of this image. St. Dymphna of Flanders, Martyr 

Acts 18:23-28: 

      Do all the good you can, in all the ways you can, to all the souls you can, in every place you can, at all the times you can, with all the zeal you can, as long as you ever can. (John Wesley) 

      Humility consists in constant prayer combined with tears and suffering. This ceaseless calling upon God for help prevents us from foolishly growing confident in our own strength and wisdom. (St. Maximos the Confessor) 

John 16:23-28: 

      Although the Son was made a bridge when He was among us in the flesh, when He was taken from our sight there remained the bridge-way of His teaching, which is held together by the Father's power, the Son's wisdom and the mercy of the Holy Spirit. The Father's power gives the virtue of courage to those who follow this way. Wisdom gives us light to know the truth along the way. The Holy Spirit gives us a love that uproots all sensual love from the soul and leaves only virtuous love. So now as much as before, through His teaching as much as when He was among us in the flesh, He is the way and truth and life – the way that is the bridge leading to the very height of heaven. That is what He meant when He said: "I came from the Father and I am returning to the Father," and "I will come back to you." In other words: My Father sent Me to you and made Me your bridge so that you might escape from the river and be able to reach life. (St. Catherine of Siena) 

      "Truly, truly, I tell you, if you ask anything of the Father in My name, He will give it to you. Till now you have asked nothing in My name; ask and you will receive, that your joy may be full." What a wonderful gift! It is a guarantee of unending, infinite blessings! It came from the lips of the unlimited God, clothed in limited humanity and called by the human name of Savior. The name by its exterior form is limited, but it represents an unlimited object, God, from Whom it borrows infinite, divine value or worth, the power and properties of God. (Ignatius Brianchaninov)

ex Ordo Aquilifer

Released by Primus Pilus
Legio Christi-Ecclesia Militans
"Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another" [St. Paul's Epistle to the Romans 14:19]