Hieromartyrs Anthimus, bishop of Nicomedia, and Theophilus, deacon, and Martyrs Dorotheus, Mardonius, Migdonius, Peter, Indes, Gorgonius, Zeno, Domna (virgin), and Euthymius (302). St. Theoctistus of Palestine, fellow-faster with St. Euthymius the Great (467). Blessed John “the Hairy,” fool-for-Christ, of Rostov (1580).
St. Phoebe, deaconess, at Cenchreae, near Corinth (1st c.). Hieromartyr Aristion (Kelladion), bishop of Alexandria (ca. 167). Martyr Basilissa of Nicomedia (309). St. Ioannicius II, first patriarch of Serbia (1354).
New Hieromartyrs Pimen (Belolikov), bishop of Vernensk, and Meletius (Golokolosv), hieromonk of the Issyk-Kul Holy Trinity Monastery (Kyrgyzstan) (1918).
St. Constantine the New, emperor of Byzantium (641). St. Aigulphus of Provence (Gaul) (676). St. Remaclus, bishop of Maastricht (677). St. Edward, martyr and king of England (978). New Martyr Polydorus of Leucosia (Cyprus), at New Ephesus (1794).
Repose of Priest Peter, fool-for-Christ, of Uglich (1866).
Wednesday. [Gal. 6:2-10; Mark 7:14-24]
From within, out of the heart of
men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications,
murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit,
lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride,
foolishness. Here common sins are listed; but all the
rest also, both large and small, proceed from the heart,
and the form in which they proceed are evil thoughts. The
first seed of evil falls as a thought to do this or that.
Why and how does it occur? Part of these occurrences can
be explained by known laws of the combining and linking of
ideas and images, but only part. Another, most significant
part comes from the self-propelled irritation of the
passions. When a passion lives in the heart, it cannot not
demand satisfaction. This demand is revealed in an urge
for something or other; with the urge is united with some
or other object. From here comes the thought: “That
is what I must do.” Here the same thing happens as,
for example, when one is hungry: feeling hunger, one feels
an urge for food; with the urge comes the thought of the
food itself; from this follows obtaining this or eating
that. Third, perhaps a bulkier part, proceeds from unclean
powers. The air is filled with them, they dart around
people in packs, and each according to its kind spreads
its influence around itself onto people with whom it comes
into contact. Evil flies from them like sparks from a
red-hot iron. Where it is readily accepted the spark takes
root, and with it the thought about an evil deed. Only by
this can one explain why evil thoughts arise for unknown
reasons, in the midst of activities which decisively are
not related to them. But this variety of reasons does not
make for variety in terms of how to react to evil
thoughts. There is one law: an evil thought has
come—cast it out and the matter is finished. If you
do not cast it out the first minute, it will be harder the
second minute, and the third minute yet harder; and then
you will not even notice how sympathy, desire, and the
decision will be born; then the means will appear …
and sin is at hand. The first opposition to evil thoughts
is soberness, and vigilance with prayer.