The Icon of the Mother of God,"She who gives suck". (January 12)
The Holy Martyr Tatiana of Rome (January 12)
Our Holy Mother Theodora (January 12)
The Holy Martyr Peter Apselamus (January 12)
There is no greater honour or calling on earth than to be a Christian. When the judge-torturer Sevirus asked the young Peter Apselamus: `Of what family are you?', Peter replied: `I am a Christian.' The judge questioned him further: `Of what rank are you?' To this he replied: `There is no higher or finer rank than that of a Christian.' Father John of Kronstadt writes: `The whole world is as thistle-down in comparison with the soul of a Christian man.' A Christian is an earthen vessel into which are poured godly strength and light. If that vessel be placed on a king's golden throne or tucked away in some lightless beggar's hovel, its worth, is thereby neither mag-
' (Pateritsa-the name used foi a bishop's staff, the fat hefs rod. -Tr.)
nified nor diminished. Does not gold have the same worth, whether wrapped in a silk scarf or a cabbage leaf?
Let me ponder on the meekness of the Lord Jesus, on: 1. His meekness in His hidden life at Nazareth until the age of thirty. 2. His meekness in associating with the sick and with sinners. 3. His meekness in associating with Judas the traitor and with unrighteous judges.
- on how man is most dear to God, and God to man.
"l seek not yours, but you"(II Cor. 12:14).
By these words, which could only be pronounced by the flame of the Apostle's love for those around him, is stated the essence of the relationship of the Christian with God and of God with the Christ-ian. The love of God might say: 'Thou, O Christian, dost fast for My sake, thou pcrformest works of mercy for My sake, thou liftest ardent prayer for My sake, thou buildest churches for My sake, thou makest sacrifices and doest many other goodly deeds for My sake. All this is good and pleasing in My sight, but thou thyself art dearer to Me than all of these. In the end, I seek nothing of all these, but thee, thee alone.' The love of the Christian might reply: 'Thou, Lord, givest me health, and that is good. Thou makest the light, releasest the rain, refreshest the air with Thy lightning, and that is good. Thou givcst wealth and wisdom and length of days and issue, and abundantly spreadest countless other blessings on the dining-table of this life. And all this is good and precious, and I receive it all with thankfulness. But in the end, it is but the edge of Thy skirts; in the end I seek nothing of all these but Thee, Lord, Thee alone.' Oh my brethren, God is not seen with bodily sight, and neither is man. That which is seen in the whole of nature is only something of God, and that which is seen in bodily clothing is only something of man. God is love, my brethren, bringing heaven down to earth; and man is love, my brethren, lifting earth up to heaven.
O Lord, Thou who Invest mankind, the Creator and Sustainer of all, do Thou abide more and more in us by Thy life-giving Spirit, that we may live in Thy deathless Kingdom. To Thee be glory and praise for ever. Amen.
* From "The Prologue from Ochrid", by Bishop Nikolai Velimirovic - Lazarica Press - Birmingham 1985
Four Book Edition - Translated by Mother Maria - Dates based on old church calendar.
Please see our calendar for conversion between old and new calendar dates.