Translation of the relics of the Holy Wonderworking Unmercenaries and Martyrs Cyrus and John (412). Sts. Sergius and Herman, founders and abbots of Valaam (14th c.).
St. Xenophon, founder of Robeika Monastery (Novgorod) (1262). St. Paul the Physician, of Corinth (7th c.). St. Heliodorus, schema-archimandrite of Glinsk Hermitage (1879).
Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos “Of the Three Hands” of Hilandar, Mt. Athos (8th c.).
St. Senuphius the Standard-bearer, of Egypt (late 4th c.). St. Austell of Cornwall (6th c.). St. Sergius the Magistrate, of Paphlagonia, founder of the Nikitiatus Monastery in Nicomedia (866).
Repose of Archimandrite Sophrony (Sakharov) of Essex (1993) and Archimandrite Methodius (Popovich) of Jerusalem (1997).
Thursday. [I Cor. 7:24-35; Matt. 15:12-21]
Out of the heart proceed evil
thoughts. From whence in the heart? Their root lies in
sin which lives within us, and their branching out,
multiplying and particular appearance in each person come
from that person’s own will. What should one do?
First, cut off all that comes from your will. This will be
like someone tearing off leaves from a tree, cutting off
branches and twigs, and chopping the trunk almost to its
roots. Then, do not allow new sprouts to come up, and the
root itself will dry up; that is, do not allow evil
thoughts to proceed from your heart, and repel and drive
off those that do, and the sin which lives in us, not
receiving sustenance, will slacken and completely grow
weak. In this lies the essence of the commandment: be
sober, be vigilant (1 Peter 5:8). Take heed unto
thyself (1 Tim. 4:6). Gird up the loins of thy
mind 1 Peter 1:13.” Together with attentiveness
one must have discernment. From the heart not only bad
things proceed, but also good things; yet, one should not
fulfil every good thing suggested by the heart. What one
should truly fulfil is determined by discernment.
Discernment is a gardener’s knife; some branches it
cuts off, while others it grafts in.
Wednesday. [I Cor 7:12-24; Matt. 14:35-15:11]
Not that which goeth into the mouth
defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth,
this defileth a man. The Lord said this not because He
did not favour fasting, or because He considered it not
necessary for us—no, both He Himself fasted, and
taught the apostles to do so, and He established fasts in
his holy Church; but He said this so that we would not
only fast by eating little or only uncooked food, but
rather so that we would keep the fast in our soul, not
indulging it with desires and passionate inclinations. And
this is the important thing. Fasting serves as a powerful
means for this. The foundation of the passions in the
flesh; when the flesh is emaciated, then it is as if a
hole is dug under the passions and their fortress is
destroyed. Without fasting, overcoming the passions would
be a miracle, similar to being in a fire and not being
burned. How can he who profusely satisfies his flesh with
food, sleep and rest, keep anything spiritual in mind and
in his intentions? For him it is as easy to renounce the
earth, to contemplate and strive for the invisible world,
as would be for an old, decrepit bird to take flight and