from The Prologue for July 25th
"While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants (slaves) of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage" (2 Peter 2:19)
The apostle still speaks of "the impure, the impudent, and the self-willed", reminding the faithful, to beware of their misleading "proud and false words". He first said about them that: "they speak evil of dignities of the glory of God" and second: "that they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness" (1 Peter 2:18). Now he further speaks about how they promise liberty i.e., they promise something which they themselves do not possess, for being overcome by impure passions, they are slaves to their own passions, submissive slaves to the greatest tyranny of this world. O my brethren, how relevant for us are these apostolic words written some nineteen hundred years ago! Behold, how everywhere around us they get carried away declaiming liberty, those who do not have even a little bit of liberty! Listen to the cry of the despairing slaves of passions and vices; how deceived, they are deceiving; how blinded, preaching light. Passions are a woven net, woven by the devil, to ensnare mankind. Captured in this net, they refer to other men as slaves and themselves as freemen to the laughter of the devil, who silently gathers in the net hauling it toward his shore. O brethren, guard yourselves from those desperate ones who call themselves the heralds of liberty, while they serve their master and lord, the devil, day and night. Their poverty they call wealth and the wealth of others they call poverty, as does the ignorant one calls the entire world ignorant and himself intelligent. Thus, those who are least free call others enslaved. Service to God and to fellow men out of love, they call slavery, while service to the devil, they call liberty. They are malicious both to God and to men, as is the devil himself malicious to God and to men. Whenever you hear anyone who speaks to you of liberty, question him well, as to whether he is not a slave of some passion or vice. By the impurity of their life, by their impudence and their self-will, you will recognize all false teachers of liberty. The apostle reminds you of this.
O Lord, the only Giver of true liberty, safeguard us from the net of all those who are malicious toward You and us.
To You be glory and thanks always. Amen.
Repose of the Righteous Anna, Mother of the Theotokos - July 25
Divinely-wise Anna, you carried in your womb the pure Mother of God, who gave life to our Life. Therefore, you are now carried joyfully to the inheritance of heaven, to the abode of those who rejoice in glory, where you seek forgiveness of sins for those who faithfully honor you, ever blessed one.
Kontakion - Tone 2
We celebrate the memory of the progenitors of Christ, and with faith we ask their help, that deliverance from every affliction be granted to those who cry out: "Be with us, O God, who in Your good pleasure glorified them."