|Orthodox Calendar 2018|
Repose of St. Theophan the Recluse, bishop of Tambov (1894)
New Hieromartyr Archpriest Andrew Zimin, his wife Lydia, his mother-in-law Domnica, his two daughters, and his servant Maria, of Ussurisk, Siberia (1919).
New Hieromartyr Romanus, priest, of Lacedemonia, at Constantinople (1695).
Repose of Schemamonk Nicholas of Valaam (1824) and Schemamonk Sergius (Yanovsky) (1876), disciple of St. Herman of Alaska.
Thoughts for Each Day of the Year
Fr. Seraphim HollandWhat happened to the man who had the demons taken out of him, and the demon went around deserts and rocky places, and desolate areas, and the found no place to dwell? What did the demon do? He got seven other demons worse than himself, and he went back to the man. They found his soul was all swept and garnished inside, but since the man had not lived a virtuous life since his deliverance from the one demon, and the demons were able to make their abode in him, and the last state of the man is worse than the first!
St. Ignatius (Brianchaninov)It is very easy for us to be continually with Christ, to ceaselessly hear His sweet voice, and to nourish ourselves with His life-giving teaching; for the Lord Jesus Christ still abides with us. He abides with us in His Holy Gospels, through the Holy Mysteries of the Church.
St. John of ShanghaiOn Theophany, that is, the Day of the Lord's Baptism, every year a great miracle is performed. The Holy Spirit, coming down upon the water, changes its natural properties. It becomes incorrupt, that is it does not spoil, remains transparent and fresh for many years, receives the grace to heal illnesses, to drive away demons and every evil power, to preserve people and their dwellings from every danger, to sanctify various objects whether for church or home use.
Met. Philaret (Voznesensky)The time has come when mankind has been consumed with activities which displease God, in which the Enemy of mankind reigns, and, as they said in old days, this Enemy makes everyone dance to his flute. This fuss and bother, which envelops our daily lives, is distasteful to God, and God is absent from it, and the Enemy of God is master and ruler of it. If we gave the promise to renounce Satan and all his works, then we must fulfill it, and try not to crush our souls with daily cares, remembering what the Church teaches: “there is one thing needful,” only one thing necessary—to remember that we must unite ourselves with Christ, that is, not only fulfill His commandments but to try to unite with Him.
|Why do we bless houses (and almost anything else that we can sprinkle) with water?|
St. John ChrysostomThere is not one Theophany, but two: the one actual, which already has occurred, and the second in future, which will happen with glory at the end of the world. About this one and about the other you will hear today from Paul, who in conversing with Titus, speaks thus about the present: "The grace of God hath revealed itself, having saved all mankind, decreeing, that we reject iniquity and worldly desires, and dwell in the present age in prudence and in righteousness and piety"—and about the future: "awaiting the blessed hope and glorious appearance of our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ"
St. John of KronstadtWhat is there to wash away in Thee, Who art more pure than the sun; or to enlighten in Thee, the Sun of Righteousness? -- But is it for us sinful and short-sighted ones, deprived of far-sightedness, to gainsay the Lord Himself, Who created all tthings and Who wisely does much that is beyond word and reason?
|Then novice Igor Brus walked up and told me conspiratorially, “Don’t sleep tonight, or you’ll sleep through the whole Kingdom of Heaven! Come at midnight to the well. We’ll look at the bottom and see if the Lord will give us a sign—if it will “boil” as it is blessed. Tomorrow is the “Jordan”|
|The Jordan River flows through the Jordan Rift Valley into the Kinneret and then continues down into the Dead Sea with no outlet. It is a place of many important biblical events. However, for most Christians the first association with the river would be the scene of Jesus Christ being baptized by John the Baptist.|
St. HippolytusBut give me now your best attention, I pray you, for I wish to go back to the fountain of life, and to view the fountain that gushes with healing. The Father of immortality sent the immortal Son and Word into the world, who came to man in order to wash him with water and the Spirit; and He, begetting us again to incorruption of soul and body, breathed into us the breath (spirit) of life, and endued us with an incorruptible panoply. If, therefore, man has become immortal, he will also be God. And if he is made God by water and the Holy Spirit after the regeneration of the layer he is found to be also joint-heir with Christ after the resurrection from the dead.
|The sixth of January is the feast of the Epiphany. Originally it was the one Christian feast of the “shining forth” of God to the world in the human form of Jesus of Nazareth. It included the celebration of Christ’s birth, the adoration of the Wisemen, and all of the childhood events of Christ such as his circumcision and presentation to the temple as well as his baptism by John in the Jordan.|
Archpriest Antony GabrielThe task of theology today I believe is to "quicken" the convergence of Traditions; to recover its lost Catholicity; its wholeness in which man fulfills the Biblical injunction by offering himself, the stuff of this world, as its Priest and King. Our "hosanna" to God must ultimately be the restoration of faith, of ultimate values as we stand face to face to a hostile world. Whether we admit it or not, Christianity is in a similar position as the first Christian era.
|This miraculous occurrence lasted as long as the two Crosses remained in the river. Right after the Crosses were taken out, the Jordan started reverting to its original course (to the right) until the change was complete.|
Priest Sergei BegiyanThe most important trait of holy water is its incorruptibility, without having any change to its chemical composition. Incorruption belongs to the Kingdom of Heaven, and when we sprinkle something with holy water, we want to impart to it God’s grace, present in the water. And the first place we all want to see sanctified is our home.
St. Ignatius (Brianchaninov)Brethren! In order to believe in our Lord Jesus Christ repentance is needed; in order to remain in this salvific faith, repentance is needed; in order to be successful in it, repentance is needed; in order to inherit the Kingdom of Heaven, repentance is needed.
St. Theophan the RecluseAlong with lost paradise, the heavens were shut closed by God’s righteous judgment. But as a strong gate cannot hold back a powerful surge of water, so did the fortress of righteous judgment finally melt from the fire of Divine love—and now the heavens are opened. Brethren, let us also open the forces of our nature, let us insatiably receive the revealed God, and delight in Him. Let us soak all our senses with Him, all our thoughts and desires.
Varvara KashirinaOn January 19, 1894, on the feast of the Theophany, Holy Hierarch Theophan peacefully reposed in the monastery of Vysha, having lived there for twenty-eight years, twenty-two of which were spent in strict reclusion. The period of reclusion is one of the most hidden periods in the life of the Vysha ascetic, known only to the Lord.