16th Week after Pentecost.
Wine and oil allowed.
Prophet Jonah (8th c. b.c.). Hieromartyr Phocas, bishop of Sinope (117). St. Jonah the Presbyter (9th c.), father of Sts. Theophanes the Hymnographer and Theodore Graptus. Blessed Parasceva (“Pasha of Sarov”), fool-for-Christ, of Diveyevo (1915).
Martyr Phocas the Gardener, of Sinope (320). St. Peter of Constantinople, tax collector in Africa (6th c.). St. Jonah, founder of the Yashezersk Annunciation Monastery (Karelia) (1589-1592). St. Macarius, founder of Zhabyn Monastery (Belev) (1623). Hieromartyr Theodosius of Brazi Monastery, metropolitan of Moldavia (1694) (Рум.). Synaxis of the Saints of Tula.
New Hieromartyr Benjamin (Voskresensky), bishop of Romanov (1931).
Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos “She Who Is Quick to Hear.”
Martyrs Maurice and the Theban Legion, including the officers Candidus and Exuperius, at Agaunum (Gaul) (ca. 287). Hieromartyr Emmeram, bishop in Gaul, at Regensburg (Bavaria) (652). 26 Martyrs of Zographou Monastery, Mt. Athos, martyred by the Latins (see October 10th) (1284). St. Cosmas, desert-dweller of Zographou, Mt. Athos (1323).
Repose of Abbot Innocent of Valaam (1828).
Thoughts for Each Day of the Year
According to the Daily Church Readings from the Word of God
By St. Theophan the Recluse
Wednesday. [Eph. 5:25-33; Luke 4:1-15]
The devil approaches the God-man with
temptations. Who among men is free of them? He who goes
according to the will of the evil one does not experience
attacks, but is simply turned more and more toward evil.
As soon as one begins to come to himself and intends to
begin a new life according to God’s will,
immediately the entire satanic realm enters into action:
they hasten to scatter good thoughts and the intentions of
the repentant one in any way they can. If they do not
manage to turn him aside, they attempt to hinder his good
repentance and confession; if they do not manage to do
that, they contrive to sow tares amidst the fruits of
repentance and disrupt his labours of cleansing the heart.
If they do not succeed in suggesting evil they attempt to
distort the truth; if they are repulsed inwardly they
attack outwardly, and so on until the end of one’s
life. They do not even let one die in peace; even after
death they pursue the soul, until it escapes the aerial
space where they hover and congregate. You ask,
“What should we do? It is hopeless and
terrifying!” For a believer there is nothing
terrifying here, because near a God-fearing man demons
only busy themselves, but they do not have any power over
him. A sober man of prayer shoots arrows against them, and
they stay far away from him, not daring to approach, and
fearing the defeat which they have already experienced. If
they succeed in something, it is due to our blundering. We
slacken our attention, or allow ourselves to be distracted
by their phantoms, and they immediately come and disturb
us more boldly. If you do not come to your senses in time
they will whirl you about; but if a soul does come to its
senses they again recoil and spy from afar to see whether
it is possible to approach again somehow. So be sober,
watch, and pray—and the enemies will do nothing to
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.