January 27/February 9
Translation of the relics (437) of St. John
Chrysostom, archbishop of Constantinople (407) (Vespers: (1) Prov.
10:7, 6; 3:13-16; 8:6, 34-35, 4, 12, 14, 17, 5-9; 1:23; 15:4; (2) Prov.
10:31-32; 11:2; 10:2; 11:7, 19; 13:2, 9; 15:2; 14:33; 16:33; 22:11;
17:24; Wis. 6:12-16; 7:30; 8:2-4, 7-9, 13, 18, 21; 9:1-5, 10, 11, 14; (3)
Prov. 29:2; Wis. 4:1, 14; 6:11, 17-18, 21-23; 7:15-16, 21-22, 26-29;
10:9-10, 12; 7:30; 2:1, 10-17, 19-22; 15:1; 16:13, 8; Prov. 3:34. Matins:
John 10:1-9. Liturgy: Heb. 7:26-8:2; John 10:9-16). St. Peter of
Egypt (5th c.). New Martyr Demetrius at Constantinople (1784). St.
Demetrius Klepinine, priest, of Paris (1944).
Repose of Nun Neonilla of the Farther Davidov Convent (1875) and Schemanun Margarita (Lakhtionova) of Diveyevo (1997).
Sunday of the Publican and the
Matins: (XI) John 21:15-25
Liturgy: II Tim. 3:10-15
Sunday of the Holy New Martyrs
and Confessors of Russia
Vespers: (1) Is. 43:9-14; (2) Wis.
3:1-9; (3) Wis. 4:7-15
Liturgy: Rom. 8:28-39
Thoughts for Each Day of the Year
According to the Daily Church Readings from the Word of God
By St. Theophan the Recluse
Sunday of the Publican and the Pharisee (33rd). [II Tim.
3:10–15; Luke 18:10–14]
Yesterday the Gospel reading taught us persistence in
prayer, and now it teaches humility, or a feeling of
having no right to be heard. Do not assume that you have
the right to be heard, but approach prayer as one unworthy
of any attention, allowing yourself only the boldness
needed to open your mouth and raise up your prayer to God,
knowing the Lord’s boundless condescension toward us
poor ones. Do not even allow the thought to come to your
mind, “I did such and such—so give me such and
such.” Consider whatever you might have done as your
obligation. If you had not done it you would have been
subject to punishment, and what you did is actually
nothing deserving reward; you did not do anything special.
That Pharisee enumerated his rights to be heard, and left
the church with nothing. The harm is not that he had
actually done as he said, for indeed he should have done
it. The harm is that he presented it as something special;
whereas, having done it he should have thought no more of
it. Deliver us, O Lord, from this sin of the Pharisee! One
rarely speaks as the Pharisee in words, but in the
feelings of the heart, one is rarely unlike him. For why
is it that people pray badly? It is because they feel as
though they are just fine in the sight of God, even
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