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September 21, 2016 + Sonlike Love for God

by St. John of Kronstadt

To what end do fasting and penitence lead? For what purpose is this trouble taken? They lead to the cleansing of the soul from sins, to peace of heart, to union with God; they fill us with devotion and sonship, and give us boldness before God. There are, indeed, very important reasons for fasting and for confession from the whole heart. There shall be an inestimable reward given for conscientious labour. Have many of us the feeling of sonlike love to God? Dare many of us, without condemnation and with boldness call upon the Father in Heaven and say: "Our Father!".... Is there not, on the contrary, no such sonlike voice to be heard in our hearts, which are deadened by the vanities of this world and attachments to its objects and pleasures? Is not our Heavenly Father far from our hearts? Is it not rather an avenging God that we should represent to ourselves, we who have withdrawn ourselves from Him into a far-away land? Yes, by our sins all of us are worthy of His righteous anger and punishment, and it is wonderful how long-suffering and forbearing He is to us--that He does not strike us like the barren fig trees. Let us hasten to propitiate Him by repentance and tears. Let us enter into ourselves; let us consider our unclean hearts in all strictness, and when we see what a multitude of impurities are keeping them from the reach of Divine grace, we shall ourselves acknowledge that we are spiritually dead.

The loving Lord is here: how can I let even a shadow of evil enter into my heart? Let all evil completely die within me; let my heart be anointed with the sweet fragrance of goodness as with a balsam. Let God's love conquer thee, thou evil Satan, instigating us, who are evil by nature, to evil. Evil is most hurtful both to the mind and to the body. It burns, it crushes, and it tortures. No one bound by evil shall dare to approach the throne of the God of love.

From My Life in Christ

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Leavetaking of the Exaltation of the Precious Cross

Troparion, Tone 1

O Lord, save Thy people and bless Thine inheritance, granting to Thy people victory over all their enemies, and by the power of Thy Cross preserving Thy commonwealth.

Kontakion, Tone 4

Do Thou, Who of Thine own good will was lifted up upon the Cross, O Christ our God, bestow Thy bounties upon the new Nation which is called by Thy Name; make glad in Thy might those who lawfully govern, that with them we may be led to victory over our adversaries, having in Thine aid a weapon of peace and a trophy invincible.

 


Readings and Inspiration from the Diocese of Charleston Homepage

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Spiritual Notes of the Diocese of Charleston 09-21-16 (PDF) 351.78 KB