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Devotional Readings for the Week of July 18th, 2010


Your browser may not support display of this image. The Fathers of the 7th Ecumenical Council Your browser may not support display of this image. St. Emilian, Martyr 

Genesis 18:1-10:  

      Abraham himself sat by the door (cf. Gen 18:1) allowing free entry to divine thoughts, while barring the way to worldly cares. (St. Neilos the Ascetic) 

      In the tent Abraham saw the mystery that is in you, O Mother of God; for he received your Son fleshless. (St. John of Damascus) 

Col. 1:24-28: 

      When people say that it is impossible to attain perfection, to be once and for all free from the dominance of passions, or to participate fully in the Holy Spirit, we should show them that they are ignorant and speak falsely and dangerously by saying as St. Paul did: "we may present every man perfect in Christ." (St. Makarios of Egypt) 

      Behold what the perfect man is – the head and the body, which is made up of all the members, which in their own time shall be perfected. New additions are daily being made to this body while the Church is being built up "for His body's sake which is the Church." (St. Augustine)   

Luke 10:38-42: 

      Remember how the Lord rebukes Martha (the soul that is over-busy with external things) when He says: "You are anxious and troubled about many things: one thing is needful" – to hear the divine word; after that, one should be content with anything that comes to hand. (St. Evagrios the Solitary) 

      We have to work but we need not concern or trouble ourselves about many things, for concern with this life prevents that concern with one's own soul and its state which is the purpose of the man who devotes himself to God and is attentive to himself. (St. Peter of Damaskos) 

      Prayer rightly combined with understanding is superior to every virtue and commandment. The Lord testifies to this. In the house of Martha and Mary He contrasts Martha, who was engaged in looking after Him, with Mary, who sat at His feet joyfully drinking the ambrosia of His divine words. When Martha complained and appealed to Him, He made clear to her what takes precedence. He spoke to her not in order to disparage acts of service, but so as to distinguish clearly what is higher from what is lower. (St. Makarios of Egypt)  


Your browser may not support display of this image. St. Macrina  

Micah 6:1-8: 

      "What does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?" How stupid we are! How is it that we fail to see His awesome mysteries? Precisely that which He seems to demand from us is in fact another, a greater gift. How do we not understand that he who cultivates the virtues is the greatest of men, superior to all, even if he is a pauper and of humble birth? (St. Peter of Damaskos) 

      What is required of you for all that the Lord has done for you, but to do justice, to love mercy and to be ready to walk with the Lord your God? (St. Ambrose) 

Matthew 12:38-42: 

      Jesus was sent to preach repentance. Jonah also was sent. But whereas the one fled, not knowing what would come to pass; the other came willingly to give repentance unto salvation. Jonah was asleep in the ship and snoring amidst the stormy sea. Jesus also slept while the sea by His providence began to rise, to show in what happened next the might of him who slept. The one was cast into a whale's belly. The other of His own accord went down where the invisible whale of death is. He went down that death might cast up those whom death had devoured. (St. Cyril of Jerusalem) 

      What labor do you have to do compared with that of the Queen of Ethiopia, who arose and came from the ends of the earth to see the wisdom of Solomon? Behold a greater than Solomon is here in the judgment of those who reason maturely. Do not hesitate either at length of journey, or distance by sea; or fire, if this too lies before you; or any other, small or great, of the hindrances; that you may attain the gifts of God. (St. Gregory the Theologian) 


Your browser may not support display of this image. St. Elijah the Prophet 

Micah 7:14-20: 

      One has come who casts all our sins into the depths of the sea and brings us back to our original worth. Great is the might, but more wonderful the mercy in that the One Who could help us willed to come to our assistance! (St. Bernard of Clairvaux) 

      It is to the grace of baptism that the prophecy of Micah refers: "He will turn again. He will have compassion on us. He will subdue our iniquities and will cast all of our sins into the depths of the sea." (St. Jerome) 

Matthew 12:46-50: 

      If you are a friend of Christ you should have as friends persons who are of benefit to you and contribute to your way of life. Let your friends be men of peace, spiritual brethren, holy fathers. It is of such that our Lord is speaking when He says: "My mother and brethren are those who do the will of My Father in heaven". (St. Theodoros the Great Ascetic) 

      Do not pass your time with people engaged in worldly affairs or share their table, in case they involve you in their illusions and draw you away from the science of stillness. This is what they want to do. Do not listen to their words or accept the thoughts of their hearts, for they are indeed harmful. Let the labor and longing of your heart be for the faithful of the earth, to become like them. (Evagrios the Solitary) 


Your browser may not support display of this image. St. Victor of Marseilles, Martyr Your browser may not support display of this image. St. Symeon the Fool for Christ 

Jeremiah 1:1-10: 

      God foreknew the future when He sanctified Jeremiah as yet unborn. (St. Jerome) 

      It is the Lord of hosts Who delivers those who love Him from the danger of sin and pacifies the turbulence of their thoughts, Who puts His words into their mouth and protects them under the shadow of His hands. (Nikitas Stithatos)

Matthew 13:1-9: 

      When the word is sown it does not yield a uniform produce of fruit in this human life, but one various and rich; for it brings forth, some a hundred, and some sixty, and some thirty (cf. Mt. 13:8), as the Savior teaches – that Sower of grace, and Bestower of the Spirit. And this is no doubtful matter, nor one that admits no confirmation; but it is in our power to behold the field which is sown by Him; for in the Church the word is manifold and the produce rich. For in sowing, He did not compel the will beyond its power, nor is mercy confined to the perfect, but it is sent down also among those who occupy the middle and third ranks, so that He might rescue all men generally to salvation. To this intent He has prepared many mansions (cf. Jn. 14:2) with the Father, so that although the dwelling-place is various in proportion to the advance in moral attainment, yet all of us are within the wall, and all of us enter within the same fence, the adversary being cast out, and all his host expelled. (St. Athanasius) 

      Whoever receives the good seed let him purge his land from thorns. (Aphrahat) 


Your browser may not support display of this image. St. Mary Magdalene, Myrrh-Bearer and Equal-to-the-Apostles  

Jeremiah 2:1-13: 

      If God is and is called, the Fountain of wisdom and life as when Jeremiah says, "They have forsaken Me the fountain of living waters;" this implies that life and wisdom are not foreign to the essence of the Fountain, but are proper to it, nor were at any time without existence. Now the Son is all this Who says He is the Life (cf. Jn. 14:6) and that He dwells with Wisdom (cf. Prov. 8:12). (St. Athanasius) 

      Where the Church is, there is the Spirit of God. Where the Spirit of God is, there is the Church, and every kind of grace; but the Spirit is truth. Those, therefore, who do not partake of Him, are neither nourished into life from the mother's breasts, nor do they enjoy that most limpid fountain which issues from the body of Christ; but they dig for themselves broken cisterns out of earthly trenches, and drink putrid water out of the mire, fleeing from the faith of the Church lest they be convicted; and rejecting the Spirit, that they may not be instructed. (St. Irenaeus) 

Matthew 13:10-17: 

      One and the same God who blesses some inflicts blindness on those who do not believe, but who set Him at naught; just as the sun, which is a creation of His, acts with regard to those who, by reason of any weakness of the eyes, cannot behold its light; but to those who believe in Him and follow Him, He grants a fuller and greater illumination of mind. (St. Irenaeus) 

      If the speaker does not disclose to us the meaning of what he says, we cannot know what it means. Christ reveals the truth to us only if we have previously resolved to receive this knowledge from Him spiritually through the keeping of the divine commandments; because without this anyone who claims to possess knowledge is lying. He speaks from conjecture, not learning authoritatively from God. In such a case even what he thinks he has will be taken away from him. (St. Peter of Damaskos) 


Your browser may not support display of this image. St. Ezekiel the Prophet Your browser may not support display of this image. St. Brigid of Sweden  

Jeremiah 3:14-17: 

      We have received our call to freedom and we have been gathered from separate places to form the one people of God. "I will take them, one man from a people, and two from a family, and I will bring you to Zion, and I will give you a shepherd after My own heart Who shall feed you with discipline." After this has happened for us, let us not break the bonds of love. (Abba Horsiesios) 

      Let the bad break themselves on him whom they have chosen to lead them, since they will gain nothing thereby but trouble for themselves and no benefit, for God gives the disobedient people a ruler according to their heart. (St. Symeon the New Theologian) 

Matthew 13:18-23: 

      When you come out of the Church do not begin to be distracted toward vain and useless matters, lest the devil come and find you occupied with them. It is as when a crow finds a grain of wheat on the plain before it has been covered up with earth and picks it up and flies off. So the devil removes the memory of the words of the teaching from your hearts and you find yourself empty and deprived of salutary teaching. (St. Symeon the New Theologian) 

      When a man despises the grace given him, and forthwith falls into the cares of the world, he deliver himself over to his lusts; and thus in time of persecution he is offended and becomes altogether unfruitful. (St. Athanasius) 


Your browser may not support display of this image. Sts. Boris and Gleb, MartyrsYour browser may not support display of this image. St. Christina, Virgin-Martyr 

Jeremiah 7:1-11: 

      If heaven and earth must pass away, obviously all things that are earthly must pass away also. Therefore the places which witnessed the crucifixion and the resurrection profit those only who also bear their several crosses, who day by day rise again with Christ and who thus, show themselves worthy of an abode so holy. Those who say "the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord," should give ear to the Apostle: "You are the temple of the Lord" (II Cor. 6:16), and the Holy Spirit "dwells in you" (Rom. 8:11). (St. Jerome) 

      It was not because God was angry like a man that He rejected Israel's sacrifices; but out of compassion to their blindness, and with the view of suggesting to them the true sacrifice, by offering which they shall appease God, that they may receive life from Him. So God says: "Hear the word of the Lord, all Judah. The Lord, the God of Israel, says these things: Make straight your ways and your actions, and I will establish you in this place. Put not your trust in lying words, for they will not profit you at all: as when you say, 'the temple of the Lord, it is here.'" (St. Irenaeus) 

Matthew 13:24-30: 

      Love to occupy your mind with the reading of Scripture. Do not in the good ground of your heart gather only a crop of darnel and wild oats. Do not let an enemy sow tares among the wheat when the householder is asleep (that is, when the mind which ever cleaves to God is off its guard). (St. Jerome) 

      The Wheat that was sown on the third day came up and filled the Garner of Life. (St. Ephraim the Syrian)

via Aquilifier Alexandros

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]


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