April 19/May 2
St. John of the Ancient Caves in Palestine (8th c.).
Martyrs Christopher, Theonas, and Antoninus, at Nicomedia (303).
St. George the Confessor, bishop of Antioch in Pisidia (813-820). St.
Tryphon, patriarch of Constantinople (933). Hieromartyr Alphege,
archbishop of Canterbury (1012). St. Nicephorus, abbot of Katabad.
Hieromartyr Paphnutius of Jerusalem. St. Symeon the Barefoot, of
Philotheou Monastery, Mt. Athos (1594). Uncovering of the relics
(1621) of St. Joachim, founder of Opochka Monastery (Pskov) (ca.
1550). New Monk-martyr Agathangelus of Esphigmenou, Mt. Athos,
at Smyrna (1819). New Hiero-confessor Victor (Ostrovidov), bishop
of Glazov (1934). St. Matrona the Blind, of Moscow (1952). (Gr.
Cal.: Martyrs Theodore of Perge in Pamphylia, his mother Philippa,
and Dioscorus, Socrates, and Dionysius [2nd c.].)
Repose of fool-for-
Christ Asenetha of Goritsy (1892) and Hieroschemamonk Alexis of Valaam
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. [Acts 5:1–11; John 5:30–6:2]
Why did Ananias and Sapphira sin so
badly? Because they forgot that God sees their deeds and
thoughts. If they kept in mind that God sees everything
both internal and external more clearly than all people
see, even with regard to themselves, it would not have
entered their mind to lie in such a way before the
Apostles. This is why all of our sins and sinful plans
arise. We contrive to conceal everything from the gaze of
man, and think that everything is fine. People seem not to
see anything, assume we are in good shape; but this does
not change our essential nothingness. Knowing this, repeat
each of you to yourself: why doth Satan fill my heart to
lie before the face of God? His eyes which are brighter
than the sun see into the innermost recesses of the heart;
neither night nor sea, nor cave are concealed from Him.
Remember this and so arrange your inward and outward
behaviour, though it be unseen. If the All-seeing One were
alien to us, it would be possible to regard His
omniscience indifferently. But He is judge, and He often
pronounces His judgment, by virtue of His Omniscience,
sooner than we expect. It could be that He has already
pronounced judgment upon us the very moment we thought to
hide ourselves and our sins with a dark lie, saying,
“God doesn’t see!”
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