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November 16/29

Holy Apostle and Evangelist Matthew (60) (Vespers: (1) I Peter 1:1-2:6; (2) I Peter 2:21-3:9; (3) I Peter 4:1-11. Matins: John 21:15-25. Liturgy: I Cor. 4:9-16; Matt. 9:9-13). St. Fulvianus, prince of Ethiopia, in holy baptism Matthew (1st c.). St. Eucherius of Lyons (449). St. Otmar, abbot and monastic founder in Switzerland (759). St. Lubuinus, missionary to Friesland (Neth.) (773). St. Sergius, abbot, of Malopinega (1585). New Hieromartyr Panteleimon (Arzhanykh), abbot, of Optina Monastery (1937). New Hieromartyr Philoumenus, abbot of the monastery at Jacob’s Well (Nablus) (1979).
Repose of Schemamonk John the Fingerless (1843), disciple of St. Paisius (Velichkovsky).
I Thess. 2:14-19
Luke 16:15-18; 17:1-4
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

Friday. [I Tim. 4:4-8, 16; Luke 16:15-18, 17:1-4]

   It is impossible but that offences will come: but woe unto him, through whom they come! Therefore, one cannot live offhand, uninhibitedly. One must look around carefully not to tempt anyone. The mind is arrogant and does not look at anyone; but it arouses temptations all around in deed, and even more, in word. Tempting increases and magnifies the woe of the tempter, but he does not sense this and even further expands his temptations. It is good that God’s threat in return for tempting here, on the earth, is almost never fulfilled in hopes of correction; it is put off until the future judgement and retribution; only then will the tempters feel how great is the evil of tempting. Here almost nobody thinks about whether he tempts or doesn’t tempt those around him in his deeds and words. Two sins which are very great in the eyes of God are not regarded as anything by people: tempting and condemnation. The tempter, according to the word of the Lord, would be better off not alive; he who condemns is already condemned. But neither the former nor the latter think about it and cannot even say whether they sin in any such way. What blindness, indeed, surrounds us and how carelessly we walk in the midst of death!

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