from The Prologue, January 3rd
by St. Nikolai Velimirovich
"Not everyone who says, `Lord, Lord'will enter the Kingdom of Heaven" (Matthew 7:21)
Brethren, one does not gain the Kingdom of God with the tongue, but with the heart. The heart is the treasury of those riches by which the kingdom is purchased; the heart and not the tongue! If the treasury is full with the riches of God, i.e., a strong faith, good hope, vivid love and good deeds, then the messenger of those riches, the tongue, is faithful and pleasant. If the treasury is void of all those riches, then its messenger [the tongue] is false and impudent. The kind of heart, the kind of words. The kind of heart, the kind of deeds. All, all depends on the heart.
Hypocrisy is helpless before men, and is even more helpless before God. "If then I am a father," says the Lord through the Prophet Malachi, "If then I am a father where is the honor due to me?" And If I am a master, where is the reverence due to me?" (Malachi 1:6). That is, I hear you call me father, but I do not see you honoring me with your heart. I hear you call me master, but I do not see fear of me in your hearts.
Our prayer: "Lord! Lord!" is beautiful and beneficial only when it emerges from a prayerful heart. The Lord Himself commanded that we pray unceasingly, but not only with the tongue to be heard by men, but rather enclosed in the cell of the heart so that the Lord could hear and see us.
Lord, majestic and wonderful, deliver us from hypocrisy and pour Your fear into our hearts so that our hearts could stand continually upright in prayer before You.
St. Olga of Russia, Equal-to-the-Apostles
Giving your mind the wings of divine understanding, you soared above visible creation seeking God the Creator of all. When you had found Him, you received rebirth through baptism. As one who enjoys the Tree of Life, you remain eternally incorrupt, ever-glorious Olga.
Kontakion - Tone 4
Today let us praise God the Benefactor of all, who glorified divinely-wise Olga, that through her prayers, He may grant our souls remission of sins.