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January 27, 2016 + On the Necessity of Reciting the Psalms

by St. Athanasius the Great

Let each one, therefore, who recites the Psalms have a sure hope that through them God will speedily give ear to those who are in need. For if a man be in trouble when he says them, great comfort will he find in them; if he be tempted or persecuted, he will find himself abler to stand the test and will experience the protection of the Lord, Who always defends those who say these words. By them too a man will overthrow the devil and put the fiends to flight. If he have sinned, when he uses them he will repent; if he have not sinned, he will find himself rejoicing that he is stretching out towards the things that are before [Phil 3:16] and, so wrestling, in the power of the Psalms he will prevail. Never will such a man be shaken from the truth, but those who try to trick and lead him into error he will refute; and it is no human teacher who promises us this, but the Divine Scripture itself. For God commanded Moses to write the great song [Deut 31:19] and to teach the people, and him whom He had appointed leader He bade also to write Deuteronomy, to have it ever in his hand and to meditate unceasingly upon its words [Deut. 17:18-19]; because these are sufficient in themselves both to call men's minds to virtue and to bring help to any who ponder them sincerely. It is a certain fact that when Joshua, the son of Nun, entered the land of promise and saw the ordered ranks of the heathen and the Amorite kings all drawn up against him [Josh 8:9], in face of all these swords and weapons he read Deuteronomy in the ears of all and reminded them of the words of the Law, and then, having thus armed the people, he overcame the foe. King Josiah also, when the book was found, and had been read through to all, no longer feared his enemies. [4 Kings 22:8 (2 Kings 22:8)] And at any time when war was threatening Israel, the Ark in which the tables of the Law were kept was carried out before the host, and was sufficient help against any array, except when there was among those who bore it or, elsewhere among the people, any prevailing hypocrisy or sin; [Josh 3:2; 1 Kings 2-4(1 Sam 2-4)] for faith and an honest state of mind are alwaysnecessary if the Law is to be an effectual ally in the fulfillment of man's vows. And I have heard, said the old man, from wise men, that in old days in Israel they put daemons to flight by reading of the Scriptures only, and in thesame way uncovered plots made by them against men. For this reason he rebuked as being worthy of the utmostcondemnation people who neglect the Scriptures..."

From St. Athanasius the Great, the Letter to Marcellinus on the Interpretation of the Psalms

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Translation of the Relics of St. John Chrysostom

Troparion, Tone 8

Grace shining forth from your lips like a beacon has enlightened the universe; it has shone to the world the riches of poverty; it has revealed to us the heights of humility. Teaching us by your words, O Father John Chrysostom, intercede before the Word, Christ our God, to save our souls.

Kontakion, Tone 6

Having received divine grace from heaven, you teach all men to adore the one God in three persons. O all-blessed John Chrysostom, we rightly praise you, for you are our teacher, revealing things divine!


Readings and Inspiration from the Diocese of Charleston Homepage

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