All Saints for January 3

The Holy Martyr Gordius (January 3)
The Prophet Malachi (January 3)
St Genevieve (January 3)


God looses ruin and debasement on man in his pride, when the lat-ter thinks that his strength is eternally assured. When the wicked Roman governor Tarquinius had beheaded blessed Timothy, he summoned St Sylvester and threatened him with death if he did not reveal the whereabouts of Timothy's earthly possessions and if, furthermore, he did not immediately offer sacrifice to idols. The saint, gifted with foresight, answered fearlessly in the words of the Gospel: "Thou fool, thy soul shall be required of thee this nigh! (Lk. 12:20), and that which thou art pleased to bring upon me (i.e. death) shall come upon thee! The proud governor put Sylvester in chains and cast him into prison, with the intention of swiftly bringing about his death. Having done this, he sat down to his mid-day meal. As he ate, a fishbone stuck in his throat. From mid-day to midnight doc-tors strove to save his life, but all in vain. At midnight Tarquinius was deprived of his proud spirit in the greatest torment. And so the prophecy of St Sylvester was fulfilled, as also the biblical words: "Pride goeth before destruction" (Prow. 16:18).


Let me ponder on my guardian angel: 1. How he stands at my right hand, sustaining me and strengthening me to cleave to the commandments of God. 2. How I have many times insulted him and driven him from me, sinning against the commandments of God.


- that it is with the heart that we attain to the Kingdom of God,and not with the tongue.

"Not everyone that sayeth unto Me: Lord, Lord, shall enter into the Kingdom of heaven" (Matt. 7:21).

It is not with the tongue, my brethren, that the Kingdom of heaven is won, but with the heart. The heart is the treasury of those riches from which the Kingdom is purchased; the heart, not the tongue. If the treasury is full of God's riches - strong faith, firm hope, ardent love and good works - then the tongue is also the faithful and gentle herald of these riches. But if the treasury is empty of them, then its herald is false and rude. As the heart is, so are our words. As the heart is, so are our actions. All depends on the heart.

Hypocrisy is a feeble thing even in the sight of men. How much more feeble is it, then, in the sight of God? "If l be a father" says the Lord through the Prophet Malachi: "If I be a father, where is Mine honour? And if I be a master, where is My fear?" (1:16) This means:`I hear you call Me "Father", but I do not see you honour Me in your heart. I hear you call Me "Master", but in your heart I see no fear of Me.'

Our prayer: "Lord, Lord" is worthwhile only when it rises from a prayerful heart. God Himself has commanded that we pray unceasingly, not just with our lips, to be heard of men, but shut in the cell of our heart, to be heard and seen by God.

O wonderful and magnified Lord, deliver us from hypocrisy and pour Thy fear into our hearts, that we may ever stand upright in prayer before Thee. 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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