All Saints for February 2


Speaking of the spread of the celebration of Christmas, St John Chrysostom says: `As beautiful and prolific fruit-trees, when planted in the earth, quickly attain a great height and ripen and bear fruit; so with this day.' So also with the day of the Presentation of the Lord. This day was commemorated among Christians from the beginning, but its solemn celebration began in the time of the great Emperor Justinian. At that time, Constantinople and its surround-ings were struck by an epidemic, with five thousand or more people dying every day. At the same time there was a terrible earthquake in Antioch. Seeing the powerlessness of men to avert these catas-trophes, the Emperor and the Patriarch together decided to call for fasting and prayer throughout the whole empire. On the day of the Presentation itself, they arranged processions through the towns and villages to implore the Lord to have mercy on His people. And the Lord did have mercy, the epidemic and the earthquake ceasing instantly. This happened in the year 544. As a result, the Presenta-tion came to be celebrated as a great feast of the Lord. Trees sprout at this time and begin the process of bringing forth their abundant fruit.


Let me ponder on the Lord Jesus as health: 1. As the health of our minds, for in Him we think aright. 2. As the health of our hearts, for in Him we feel aright. 3. As the health of our wills, for in Him we act aright. 4. As the health of the family, the Church, the schools, the people and of every human institution.


-on guidance by the Spirit of God.

`Jesus being full of the Holy Spirit returned from Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness' (Lk. 4:1).

You see, my brethren, what it means to be filled with the Holy Spirit of God. Without the Spirit of God, a man is filled with cares: whither should he go, how should he act? But with the Spirit of God, a man is without these cares. For then the Spirit Himself instructs a man whither to go and how to act, and the man is without sin in his movements and actions because it is the sinless Spirit who leads and guides him. No man can walk or act aright unless the almighty and all-seeing Spirit of God instructs him. He who is not guided by the Holy Spirit of God is guided either by his own personal spirit or by the spirit of an evil demon, and he thus becomes helpless, full of sor-row, wrath and despair. We are not able to endure the Spirit of God in His fullness, as Christ the Lord was able, but we can receive Him as and how it is necessary for us, in order to know whither, what and how. The Spirit indwells the heart of the pure man, and therefrom instructs him.

This is why the Church repeats with great frequency this prayer to the Holy Spirit: `O heavenly King, O Comforter, the Spirit of truth ... come and abide in us.'

O Holy Spirit, 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.


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