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Мч. Левкий КесарийскийСвятитель Вассиан (Пятницкий), архиепископ Тамбовский, исповедник
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December 14/27

Martyrs Thyrsus, Leucius, and Callinicus (Coronatus), with others, of Bithynia (ca. 250). Martyrs Apollonius, Philemon, Arianus, Theoctychus, and four guards converted by St. Arianus, at Alexandria (ca. 305). St. Venantius Fortunatus, bishop of Poitiers (ca. 605). St. Hygbald, abbot in Lincolnshire (7th c.). St. Folciunus, bishop of Tervas (Neth.) (855). St. Daniel the Hesychast, of Voronet (Romania) (17th c.). New Hiero-confessor Bassian (Pyatnitsky), archbishop of Tambov (1940). Repose of Blessed Recluse John of Sezenovo (1839).
Heb. 10:35-11:7
Mark 9:10-16 Nativity Fast
Wine and oil allowed

Thoughts for Each Day of the Year
According to the Daily Church Readings from the Word of God
By St. Theophan the Recluse

Thursday. [Heb. 10:35-11:7; Mark 9:10-16]

   History flows on and, it seems, inexorably determines individual events. How many preparations there were to receive the Saviour!… At last His closest indicator came, John, but what came of it? With John, They have done…whatsoever they listed, and the Son of Man suffered and was humiliated. The flow of events could not be broken; it took its own. So the flow of history always draws everything after it. People ask, “Where is freedom? What is it, given such an order of events? No more than a phantom.” Thus fatalists usually reason. But this all-determining necessity for the flow of events is only an appearance; in reality all human events, both common and individual, are the fruit of man’s free undertakings. The common [history] flows exactly the way it does because everyone, or a majority of people, want this; and the individual enters into agreement with the common [majority] because one or another in particular wants it. The proof of this is obvious: in the midst of general good there occur bad particulars; and in the midst of general bad there occur good particulars. Also, in the midst of a firmly established commonality are born particulars which, spreading and becoming stronger and stronger, overpower the former commonality and take its place. But these particulars are always a matter of freedom. What in di Christianity have in common with the character of time in which it was conceived? It was sown by several individuals who were not a result of the necessary flow of history; it attracted those who desired it; it spread vigorously and became the general affair of mankind of the time, and yet it was a matter of freedom. Similarly, only in a bad direction—how did the West become corrupted? It corrupted itself: instead of learning from the Gospels they began to learn from pagans and adopt their customs—and they became corrupted. The same will happen with us: we have started to learn from the West which has fallen from Christ the Lord, and have transferred its spirit to ourselves. Finally, like the West, we will renounce true Christianity. But in all of this there is nothing necessarily determining the matter of freedom: if we want to, we will drive away the Western darkness. If we don’t want to, of course, we will submerge ourselves in it.

Russian version

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