These eight passions should be destroyed as follows: gluttony by self-control; unchastity by desire for God and longing for the blessings held in store; avarice... by compassion for the poor; anger by goodwill and love for all men; worldly dejection by spiritual joy; listlessness by patience, perseverance and offering thanks to God; self-esteem by doing good in secret and by praying constantly with a contrite heart; and pride by not judging or despising anyone in the manner of the boastful Pharisee, and by considering oneself the least of all men. + St. John of Damascus
There are 2 ways a sermon can help: Some rise from a sermon greatly strengthened, others wake up greatly refreshed!
UNCLE WHACK SPEAKS TRUTH!
(Reflections from Sireen Jackson's Uncle Whack)
Uncle Whack sez, "Caucasian Sam is my enemy, but it turns out that the enemy of my en...emy is my friend. So Caucasian Sam, is actually my friend. However, because he is his own worst enemy, the enemy of my friend is also my enemy, so actually, Caucasian Sam is my enemy. But because we have such a friend in Jesus I must love my enemy. And because I love my enemy, Caucasian Sam is my friend....but that doesn't mean that we have to hang....watching ice hockey while drinking beers named after a head of a moose. So go ahead...love your neighbor...love your enemy too...cuz you just might be, like me, killing the same bird with one stone. Walking With The King...Loving Everybody! Word!"
This evening’s meditation is from pastor and theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945), who was martyred 70 years ago today in a German concentration camp for ...his resistance to the Nazi regime. A witness recounts the scene -- “"I saw Pastor Bonhoeffer kneeling on the floor praying fervently to God. I was most deeply moved by the way this lovable man prayed, so devout and so certain that God heard his prayer. At the place of execution, he again said a short prayer and then climbed the few steps to the gallows, brave and composed. His death ensued after a few seconds. I have hardly ever seen a man die so entirely submissive to the will of God."
A MAN IS NEVER MORE A MAN THAN WHEN HE IS ON HIS KNEES BEFORE GOD!- The Catholic Irishman
Are you looking for beauty? Read this!
The Peace of the Lord! FFF
The importance of intercessory prayer in the life of a Christian
When we first become aware that someone we know is suffering, we must begin... to pray for them. We must pray with much sincerity, and with tears, knowing that our brother is being tormented, and is filled with despondency. As Christians we must believe that intercessory pray, when spoken with love and complete attention, leads to the intervention of the Holy Spirit, Who will bring about healing of body, and peace of soul, to the person that is being tormented.
If you have a neighbor or coworker who despises you, and who is overcome with hatred even seeing you, start praying for them. Pray not that they like you, but that they find freedom from the anger and hatred that is ruling their life. If you have a relative who can never say anything nice about you, start praying for them, asking that God free them from the sin of gossip, and infuse their heart with the understanding that they are a worthy person in their own right, and need not remove the scrutinizing attention that would betray them, by gossiping about another.
If there is a person you dislike, pray all the more for them, knowing that true love for them will grow in your own heart, through the sincere act of remembering them before the Throne of God. Intercessory prayer is not just for monks, but is a necessary component for every Orthodox Christian, for it is a wonderful way of remembering we are all connected together as the children of the Most High.
Our Orthodox faith teaches that Jesus, in praying to his Father, prayed for his people. Jesus Christ is the only intercessor for mankind before God, for in His resurrected glory, He prays eternally to His Father on behalf of all. It is only in and through Christ, that Orthodox Christians become competent to intercede before God. All prayer is to God the Father, through his Son, in his Holy Spirit. It is in the name of Jesus, that we Christians are authorized to pray for each other and for all creation.
God eternally hears the prayers of his people, and knows what is asked even prior to it being asked, for he knows all of life in one divine act of all-embracing vision and knowledge. Prayers, even for those who are dead, are heard and considered by God before they are said. Failure to pray is also known to God from eternity, and takes its effect in God's plan of salvation. When you are asked to pray for someone, know that your prayers are heard by God. When you are in need of intercessory prayers yourself, do not hesitate to ask other Christians to pray for you, for failure to ask for their prayers deprives them of their chance to fulfill their obligation as a fellow Christian, and suggests you dismiss their prayers as ineffective, as though God would dismiss their prayers as well.
With love in Christ,
Photo: Walking with my friend, Archbishop Abuna Lukas, of Seattle's Ethiopian cathedral.