The Protection of Our Most Holy Lady the
Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary
(Vespers: (1) Gen. 28:10-17; (2)
Ezek. 43:27-44:4; (3) Prov. 9:1-11. Matins: Luke 1:39-49, 56. Liturgy:
Heb. 9:1-7; Luke 10:38-42; 11:27-28).
Apostle Ananias of the
Seventy (1st c.) (Acts 9:10-19; Luke 10:16-21). Martyr Domninus of
Thessalonica (4th c.). Miracle of the Pillar over the Robe of the Lord
at Mtskheta, Georgia (ca. 330). King Mirian and Queen Nana of
Mtskheta, St. Abiathar of Mtskheta, and St. Sidonia, disciple of St.
Nina (4th c.). St. Remigius of Rheims, apostle to the Franks (533).
St. Romanus the Melodist, of Constantinople (556). St. Bavo, hermit,
of Ghent (654). Hieromartyr Michael, abbot of Zovia Monastery
near Sebaste, and 36 Monk Martyrs with him (ca. 790). St.
Melchizedek, catholicos-patriarch of Georgia (ca. 1030). St. John
Kukuzelis the Singer, of Mt. Athos (ca. 1341). St. Gregory the
Singer, of Mt. Athos (1355). St. Sabbas, abbot of Vishera
(Novgorod) (1461). New Hieromartyr Archpriest Ismael
Rozhdestvensky of Strelna (St. Petersburg) (1938). Icons of the Most
Holy Theotokos “Pokrov” (Pskov) and Lublin.
Hieroschemamonk Euthymius of Valaam (1829).
19th Sunday after Pentecost
Matins: (VIII) John 20:11-18
Liturgy: II Cor. 11:31-12:9
“Hodigitria” (“Directress”) Icon
of the Theotokos at Xenophontos
Thoughts for Each Day of the Year
According to the Daily Church Readings from the Word of God
By St. Theophan the Recluse
Nineteenth Sunday After Pentecost. [II Cor. 11:31-12:9;
The fundamental, original commandment
is: love! It is a small word, but it expresses an
all-encompassing thing. It is easy to say: you must love,
but it is not easy to attain love to the necessary degree.
It is also not exactly clear how to attain it; this is why
the Saviour surrounds this commandment with other
explanatory rules: love as thyself; and as ye would
that men should do to you, do ye also to them
likewise. Here is shown a degree of love that one can
call boundless; for is there any limit to one’s love
for oneself? And is there any good which one would not
want for himself from others? Meanwhile, however, the
instructions are not impossible to fulfil. The matter
depends upon having perfect compassion toward others, to
fully transfer their feelings to yourself, to feel the way
they feel. When this occurs, there will be no need to
point out what you must do for others in a given
situation: your heart will show you. You must only take
care to maintain compassion, otherwise egoism will
immediately approach and return you to itself and confine
you in itself. Then you will not lift a finger for
another, and will not look at him, though he might be
dying. When the Lord said: love thy neighbor as
thyself, He meant that our neighbour should be in us,
that is, in our heart, instead of our own selves. If our
“I” remains in there as before, we cannot
expect anything good to come of it.
SAINT THEOPHAN THE RECLUSE (1815–1894) was one of the most prolific and beloved spiritual writers of nineteenth-century Russia. His works, which comprise over twenty volumes, include such classics as The Path to Salvation and A Commentary on Psalm 118, as well as many volumes of letters. Although he lived the last twenty-eight years of his life as a hermit, his impact on his homeland was immense. His articles appeared in the popular spiritual journals of his time, his books were in great demand, and he personally replied to an average of thirty letters daily.
In the present book, Thoughts for Each Day of the Year, St. Theophan takes us through the yearly cycle of Gospel and Epistle readings, humbly and reverently offering us brief but powerful daily meditations on the word of God. He also addresses the problems of his day—lack of faith, coldness of heart, trust in the rational mind rather than in the revealed Truth of God—which are problems of our day as well.
Contemplating the sacred texts together with St. Theophan, the reader will learn to penetrate more deeply into Holy Scripture, and will receive answers to many dogmatic, moral, and spiritual questions which touch upon our salvation. Thoughts for Each Day of the Year can help us to more closely connect our lives with the life of Christ in His Holy Church, and to gain a better knowledge of how to fulfill His commandments. By reading St. Theophan's daily exhortations and taking them to heart, one can be changed by the grace-filled power of our Savior, in accordance with the teaching of the Apostle Paul: Be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God (Rom. 11:2).
Thoughts for Each Day of the Year is published by St. Herman of Alaska Brotherhood and Sretensky Monastery.
It is available at stherman.com/Catalog/Spiritual_Counsels/Daily_Thoughts_Book.html.
For further information on the Saint Herman Calendar contact St. Herman Press:
St. Herman Press, P.O. Box 70, Platina, CA 96076