Martyrs Menas the Most Eloquent, Hermogenes, and Eugraphus, of Alexandria (ca. 313) St. Ioasaph, bishop of Belgorod (1754).
Martyr Gemellus of Paphlagonia (361). St. Thomas Defourkinos of Mt. Kyminas in Bithynia (10th c.). Blessed John, king of Serbia (1503), and his parents Stephen the Blind (1446) and Angelina (Brancovic) (16th c.).
New Hieromartyr Sergius (Sorokin), hieromonk, of Sreznevo (Ryazan) (1937). New Nun-confessor Anna, schemanun, of Sreznevo (Ryazan) (1958).
Saturday. [Eph. 2:11-13; Luke 13:18-29]
Strive to enter in at the strait
gate. The strait gate is a life not according
to your will, not according to your desires, not for
pleasing yourself; the wide gate is a life according to
all of the stirrings and strivings of a passion-filled
heart, without the slightest refusal of oneself in
anything. Thus, the gate to the kingdom is
self-constraint. Restrain yourself in all things and it
will be the same as pressing or pushing against a door to
open it and squeeze your way through it. How and with what
should you restrain yourself? With the commandments of
God, which are opposed to the passion-filled stirrings of
the heart. When you begin to be angry with someone,
remember the Lord’s commandment not to give place to
wrath, and with this restrain your heart. When lustful
stirrings come, bring to mind the prohibition against even
looking at a woman with lust, and with this restrain your
lustfulness. When you want to judge someone, remember what
the Lord said, that by judging you deprive yourself of
intercession before the Judge of heavenly things, and with
this restrain your arrogance. Do likewise in relation to
every sinful movement [of the heart]. Gather against each
of them sayings from Divine Scripture and keep them in
your memory. As soon as some bad desire comes from your
heart, bind it immediately with a saying directed against
it, or tie up all of your desires and thoughts in advance
with Divine words, and walk in them; you will be as if in
bonds. But in these bonds lies freedom, or a free path to
the Kingdom of God.