Second Week of the Great Fast

February 22-28, 2021

St. Gregory Palamas Isaiah 6:1-8 - In the year that King Uzzi'ah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and his train filled the temple. Above him stood the seraphim; each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called to another and said: "Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory."

And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke. And I said: "Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!"

Then flew one of the seraphim to me, having in his hand a burning coal which he had taken with tongs from the altar. And he touched my mouth, and said: "Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin forgiven." And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?" Then I said, "Here am I! Send me." (RSV – Part of the Reading for the Sixth Hour on Thursday)

St. John of Damascus – With eyes, lips and faces turned toward it, let us receive the divine burning coal, so that the fire of the coal may be added to the desire within us to consume our sins and enlighten our hearts, and so that by this communion with the divine fire we may be set afire and deified. (On the Orthodox Faith)

The icon is of St. Gregory Palamas, who is commemorated in the Byzantine Church especially on the Second Sunday of the Fast.  Saint Gregory Palamas (1296-1359) was a monk, archbishop and eminent theologian.  He was also a major figure in fourteenth-century Byzantium.  His greatest work, In Defense of Holy Hesychasts [commonly known as the Triads], was written between 1338 and 1341 as a response to the charges of BarlaamBarlaam denied the legitimacy of the spiritual methods of Byzantine monastic groups known as hesychasts and discredited their claims to experience the divine presence.  Hesychasm, a movement dating back to the Fathers of the desert, believed that since the body itself receives the grace of sacraments and the pledge of final resurrection it would properly have a share in "pure prayer".  They believed that God is accessible to personal experience because He shared His own life with humanity.  It is from this tradition that we have the famous "Jesus Prayer": “Lord, Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner!”


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Christ is Risen!

Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and to those in the tombs bestowing life! (Troparion)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Although You descended into the tomb, O Immortal One, * You destroyed the power of Hades; * You arose as the victor, O Christ God, * proclaiming to the myrrh-bearing women: “Rejoice!” * And granting peace to Your Apostles, * O, You, Who gives resurrection to the fallen. (Kontakion)

Teachings of Christ

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied." (Matthew 5:6 ESV)

Feasts & Fasts

March
6 - Third All Souls Saturday
7 - Third Sunday of the Great Fast (Veneration of the Cross)
13 - Fourth All-Souls Saturday
14 - Fourth Sunday of the Great Fast (St. John of the Ladder)
18 - Canon of St. Andrew of Crete
20 - Akathistos Saturday
21 - Fifth Sunday of the Great Fast (St. Mary of Egypt)
25 - Annunciation to the Mother of God
27 - April 4 - Great and Holy Week

Please pray!

"They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword...." (Hebrews 11:37a)

Please lift up in prayer all those who are persecuted and deprived of liberty, everywhere in the world. Please especially remember the peoples of Iraq, Syria, Egypt, Niger - the whole Middle East and Africa - who are literal martyrs for Christ. Also the peoples of Ukraine. They are our brothers, for all are one in Christ.

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Entry into Jerusalem

As we were buried with You through Baptism, O Christ our God, * we were made worthy of immortal life by Your Resurrection, * and we praise You in song, crying out: * “Hosanna in the highest! * Blessed is He Who comes in the Name of the Lord.” (Troparion, Tone 4)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and to the ages of ages. Amen.

As you were carried upon a throne in heaven and upon a colt on earth, * O Christ God, you accepted the praise of angels and the songs of children who cry out to You: * “Blessed are You Who has come to to call back Adam!” (Kontakion, Tone 6)

Random Proverb

"My son, be attentive to my wisdom; incline your ear to my understanding, that you may keep discretion, and your lips may guard knowledge." (Proverbs 5:1,2 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

God is a fire that warms and kindles the heart and inward parts. Hence, if we feel in our hearts the cold that comes from the devil - for the devil is cold - let us call on the Lord. He will come to warm our hearts with perfect love, not only for Him but also for our neighbor, and the cold of him who hates the good will flee before the heat of His countenance.

St. Seraphim of Sarov