Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Hebrews 4:14-16
Not as man sees does God see,
because man sees the appearance
but the LORD looks into the heart.
—1 Samuel 16:7

1 John, chapter 3


                                                               Jean Jacques Henner

Hebrews 12:1

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Ecclesiasticus 2:1–6

Thursday, August 01, 2013

Lord, teach me to be generous.
Teach me to serve you as you deserve;
to give and not count the cost;
to fight and not heed the wounds;
to toil and not seek for rest;
to labor and not ask for reward, except to know
that I am doing your will.

-Saint Ignatius

Friday, July 26, 2013

 I believe, O Lord, and I confess that Thou art truly the Christ, the Son of the Living God, who camest into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the first... -from the Byzantine prayers of preparation to receive Our Lord in Holy Communion

“Our concern is the Church as idea, as institution, as an organization, as a teaching. Our concern is the services and the choir, the social and cultural groups and the religious instruction and church-tourism and so forth. It is not that these questions aren’t sometimes important. But there is one thing needful: the purification of the heart and the acquisition of the Holy Spirit.

This is a deviation from the essence of the matter that keeps those who are considered believers-- most pastors and flock equally-- pagans, worshiping themselves, seeking their own glory. They are only concerned with their own power and their own reputation and their own honor. They are satisfied with only the outward form of the worship of God. What is sought in any case, in the understanding of the people, is not change of heart but rather some practices and the keeping some obligations and giving lip service.

In what pertains to the exterior of the church, today, it is sometimes, but not always, gleaming by worldly standards, souls graze in their own impurities and lack of awareness. Is this not the ideal church the devil desires and lords over? A worldly church, ritualistic, like a museum, a nominal Christianity but without Christ and without holiness and without truth and without Spirit and without new life, filled with the thoughts of the world and the concerns of the world! Is this not the church that most people receive today and for which they work? The devil has succeeded in making people think that this is the true and desirable church of modernity!

This is exactly a church against Christ! And we, without our attention to holiness, are building it contentedly, persistently and continuously!"

Archimandrite Touma (Bitar), Abbot of the Monastery of St. Silouan the Athonite, Douma, Lebanon

Monday, July 08, 2013

Christ and St. Mary Magdalene by Albert Edelfelt
Lord, give me grace and strength of character to tear myself away promptly from what, if not bad, is less good, and to give myself earnestly, self-denyingly, perseveringly, to the better and the best.-Father William Doyle