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March 18, 2015 + Cleaving to the Lord Firstly

St. Macarius the Great, Homily 9 from Spiritual Homilies

12. Lovely it is, when the soul, devoting herself wholly to the Lord, and cleaving to Him only, and dwelling mindfully in His commandments, and worthily honoring the Spirit of Christ which has come upon her and overshadowed her, is permitted to be one Spirit and one composition with Him, as the apostle says, He that is joined unto the Lord is one Spirit.13 But if a man gives himself away to cares, or glory, or power, or human honors, and seeks after these things, and his soul is mixed up and enters into composition with earthly considerations, or is bound and held by anything belonging to this age, and if such a soul longs to transfer itself and escape and get away from the darkness of passions, in which it is held by the evil powers, it cannot do so, because it loves and does the will of darkness, and does not perfectly hate the practices of wickedness.

13. Let us therefore prepare ourselves to travel to the Lord with an undivided will and purpose, and to become followers of Christ, to accomplish whatever He wills, and to think upon His commandments to do them.14 Let us sever ourselves altogether from the love of the world, and attach our souls to Him only, and keep in mind Him only as our business and care and quest. If we have to be somewhat busied also in body, with the business laid upon us, and with obedience for God's sake, let not the mind be parted from its love and quest and longing after the Lord; so that striving in such a mind, and journeying along the way of righteousness with an upright intention, and always taking heed to ourselves, we may obtain the promise of His Spirit, and may through grace be delivered from the perdition of the darkness of the passions, by which the soul is exercised, that we may be made meet for the eternal kingdom, and permitted to enjoy all eternity with Christ, glorifying the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit forever. Amen.

13 1 Cor. 6:17.
14 Ps. 103:18.

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St. Nicholai of Zhicha and South Canaan, PA, USA

Troparion, Tone 4

In truth you were revealed to your flock as a rule of faith, an image of humility and a teacher of abstinence; your humility exalted you; your poverty enriched you. Hierarch Father Nicholai, entreat Christ our God that our souls may be saved.

Kontakion, Tone 3

Born at Lelich in Serbia, you served as archpastor at the church of Saint Nahum in Ochrid. You presided on the throne of Saint Sava at Zhicha, teaching the people of God and enlightening them with the Gospel, bringing them to repentance and love for Christ. And for His sake you endured suffering at Dachau. Therefore, Nicholai, we glorify you as one newly well pleasing to God.