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December 19/January 1


Martyr Boniface, at Tarsus in Cilicia (290) and Righteous Aglae (Aglaida) of Rome (ca. 303). Martyrs Elias, Probus, and Ares the Egyptians, in Cilicia (308). Martyrs Polyeuctus, at Caesarea in Cappadocia, and the deacon Timothy, at Mauretania (309). Hieromartyr Capito, bishop of Cherson (4th c.). St. Boniface the Merciful, bishop of Ferentino (6th c.). St. Gregory (Gregentius), archbishop of Omirits (552). Sts. George the Scribe and Sabbas, monks of Khakhuli (11th c.). St. Elias of Murom, wonderworker of the Kiev Caves (1188). St. Seraphim (Romantsov), schema-archimandrite, of Sukhumi (Abkhazia), elder of Glinsk Monastery (1975). (Gr. Cal.: Martyrs Eutyches and Thessalonica, and with them 200 men and 70 women.)
Repose of Hieromonk Hermogenes, founder of Kirensk and Albazin Monasteries in Siberia (1690).
Tuesday
Heb. 12:25-26; 13:22-25
Mark 10:2-12
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

Tuesday. [Heb. 12:25-26, 13:22-25; Mark 10:2-12]

           What God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. With these words the Lord affirms the integrity of marriage; only one lawful ground for divorce is indicated—a spouse’s unfaithfulness. But what should one do if one discovers something like this? Be patient. We have a universal commandment—to bear one another’s burdens; even more willingly should close ones, such as spouses, mutually fulfill this with respect to one another. Unwillingness to be patient blows up some unpleasantness out of proportion, and trifles pile up into a dividing wall. What is the mind given us for? To smooth out the path of life. Wisdom will work out any unpleasantness which is met. Because of lack of earthly wisdom, it not worked out; even more because of an unwillingness to think over well the state of things, and even more from not having any goal in life other than pleasure. Pleasures cease, satisfaction with one another ceases; on it goes until divorce. The more goals in life are debased, the more frequent divorces become on the one hand, and on the other—unlawful temporary cohabitation. The source of this evil lies in materialistic views of the world and life.

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
http://www.stherman.com/Catalog/St_Herman_Calendar/sthermancalendar.htm
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