Category Archives: saints

On pilgrimage…

This week I am one of several women from my parish who are flying together to Arizona, on pilgrimage to The Holy Monastery of Saint Paisius. I don’t expect to be posting to my blog for a few days, but I thought I would share this quote from their patron St. Paisius Velichkovsky that the sisters have on their website; he offers plenty to meditate on while I am away:

I IMPLORE and exhort you, my beloved fathers, brethren, and children, in the following: Love the Lord with all thy soul and all thy heart. Be righteous and just, submissive, with bowed head and your mind turned towards heaven. Have contrition towards God and men. Be a consoler of the sorrowful, patient in trials, and not given to irritation, bountiful, merciful, a feeder of the poor, receiver of strangers, sorrowful for the sake of sins, joyful in God, hungry and thirsty, meek, patient, not a lover of glory, not a lover of gold, a lover of your neighbor, not hypocritical, not proud, a lover of labor for the sake of God, silent, pleasant in replies, fervent in fasting, in frequent prayers, vigils, and psalm-singing, sensible. Do not judge any man, but condemn yourself. And for this you will be the child of the Gospel, the son of the Resurrection, the inheritor of life in Christ Jesus our Lord. To Him may there be honor and power and worship, with the Father and the Most Holy Spirit, both now and ever and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

Please pray for us. ❤

Holy Monastery of Saint Paisius in Safford, Arizona

The Beheading of the Forerunner

Embroidery from Elena Voloshanka’s Workshop, 15th century, Russian.

THE PROPHECY of ISAIAH

Thus saith the Lord: Comfort ye, comfort ye My people, saith God. Speak ye, priests, unto the heart of Jerusalem, cry unto her that her humiliation is at an end, since her iniquity is pardoned, for she hath received of the Lord’s hand double for her sins.

The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness: Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight the paths for our God. Get thee up into the high mountain, O Zion, that bringest good tidings; lift up thy voice with strength, O Jerusalem, that bringest good tidings, lift it up, be not afraid: I am the Lord God, I will hear the poor of Israel and will not forsake them, but will cause rivers to flow in high places and fountains in the midst of the fields.

I will turn the wilderness into meadow and the dry land into water-springs. Let heaven above rejoice and let clouds sprinkle down righteousness; let the earth shine and let mercy shoot forth and let righteousness spring up together. With a voice of singing declare ye, and let it be heard, utter it even to the end of the earth, say ye: The Lord hath redeemed His servant Jacob, and if they thirst in the wilderness, He will cause water to flow out of the rock for them.

Sing, O barren one, thou that didst not bear, break forth into singing and cry aloud, thou that didst not travail, for more are the children of the desolate than the children of the married wife.

-A reading for the Feast of the Beheading of John the Baptist

We are destined for higher things.

“If life always went well, would we not become so attached to our present state, even though we know it will not last, and by deception become enslaved to pleasure? In the end we would think that our present life is the best and noblest, and forget that, being made in the image of God, we are destined for higher things.”

-St. Maximus the Confessor, On The Cosmic Mystery of Jesus Christ

“Maximus the Confessor (580–662) lived, historically and to some extent geographically, betwixt and between. Historically, he lived in the indefinite transition between ‘early’ and ‘medieval’ Christianity: after the downfall of the Western Roman Empire and the zenith of the Byzantine Christian Empire under Justinian, but before the schism of Byzantine and Roman Churches had reached the point of no return; after the crucial Councils of Nicea (325), Constantinople (381), and Chalcedon (451), but before the age of the Ecumenical Councils had ended; after the most creative epoch in patristic thought, stretching from Origen to the Cappadocian Fathers and Augustine, but before the tendency toward theological scholasticism East or West had fully gained momentum.”

-Fr. John Behr, Editor of On the Cosmic Mystery of Jesus Christ

I very much enjoyed this video interview with a St. Maximus scholar, Fr. Maximos Constas: “The Relevance of St. Maximus Today.” And you can read more about St. Maximus HERE. Today we commemorate the translation of his relics, and sing this hymn:

Champion of Orthodoxy, teacher of purity and of true worship,
enlightener of the universe and adornment of hierarchs:
All-wise father Maximus, your teachings have gleamed with light upon all things.
Intercede before Christ God to save our souls.