October 2, 2013 + "Thou shalt enter the tomb in abundance" [Job 5:26]


by St. Gregory the Great, Commentary on Job, from The Early Church Fathers Series, edited by John Morrehead, Routledge Taylor & Franscis Group: London and New York, p. 130.

Those who are striving to gain the highest point of perfection, when they yearn to take hold of the stronghold of contemplation, should first test themselves through exercise in the field of work, so that with the necessary care they might come to know whether they are doing anything wrong to their neighbours, whether they are bearing with calmness of mind what their neighbours are doing to them, and whether their mind is neither set free so as to be joyous when temporal goods are placed before it nor wounded with great sorrow when they are taken away; after this, they should consider carefully whether, when they return to themselves inwardly for a thorough investigation of spiritual things, they are not drawing with them the slightest shadows of bodily things; or whether, if it turns out that they have been drawn, they are able to drive them away with the hand of discretion; whether, in their yearning to see the infinite light, they repress all images of what is finite and whether, given that they are striving to attain something that is above themselves, they overcome that which they are. And so it is now said rightly "Thou shalt enter the tomb in abundance" [Job 5:26]. Yes, a perfect man enters the tomb in abundance because he first gathers together the works of an active life and then conceals completely from the world the capacity for feeling belonging to his flesh, which has died through contemplation. And so it fittingly goes on: Like as a sheaf of grain cometh in his season [Job 5:26]. For action comes at the beginning, and contemplation at the end. So it is necessary that whoever is perfect should first exercise the mind with virtues and then put it away in the barn of quiet.

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Virgin Martyr Justina of Nicomedia

Troparion, Tone 4

You abandoned ungodly darkness, becoming a light of truth; you were illustrious as a pastor; you were glorified in contest: O righteous Father Cyprian together with godly Justina, intercede for us before God the Creator of all!

Kontakion, Tone 1

You turned from the art of sorcery to the knowledge of God, and were shown forth as a skilful healer for the world, Cyprian, inspired by God. Together with Justina you grant cures to those who honor you; with her, pray to the Master who loves mankind that He may save our souls.