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).
Thursday. [II Cor. 10:7-18; Mark 3:28-35]
He that shall blaspheme against the
Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness. Does it take long
to fall into this terrible sin? Not long at all, for
behold the sins of this nature: “great or excessive
hope in God’s grace; despair or lack of hope in
God’s compassion; contradicting manifest and
confirmed truth, and rejection of the Orthodox Christian
faith. Some add to this jealousy over spiritual gifts
which a close one receives from God; obstinacy in sin and
chronic wickedness; carelessness about repentance before
departure from this life” (Orthodox Confession part
3, question 38). See how many paths! Begin to walk any of
these and it will be difficult to return; it will carry
you to a devouring abyss. Opposition to the truth begins
with small doubts, arising through evil words or writing.
If you leave them without paying attention to them or
treating them, they will lead to unbelief and obstinacy in
it. People also reach despair unnoticeably: “I will
repent,” they say, and then sin. Thus it goes on
several times; then, seeing that repentance does not come,
they say to themselves, “So let it be, you cannot
control yourself,” and then give themselves over to
sin in its full power. A chasm of sins gathers; and at the
same time they tolerate a chasm of opposition to the
obvious calling of God’s grace. When in such a
condition a person comes to the thought of improving
himself, the multitude of his sins restrains him, while
his opposition to grace takes away his boldness to
approach the Lord. He then decides, “My guilt is too
great to have it be remitted.” This is despair!
Beware of the rudiments of unbelief and love of sin, and
you will not fall into this chasm.