It is very easy to live our lives in hypocrisy if we are not mindful of the pitfalls of the spiritual life. We can become Pharisees without even noticing, if we let our Christianity be artificially lived. Living our lives as though we have been rehearsed by a stage director, we will have accomplished nothing, and will remain no more than an actor. Putting on the mask of Christianity, is not living in Christ. An honest, daily examination of our conscience, together with regular guidance by our confessor, is the only way we can live a Christian life that will lead to transformation of the heart.
If we simply put on a show of being a Christian, without any true repentance, we will remain mired in false religiosity, and our heart will grow dark. Christ must be invited into the heart on a daily basis, through prayer, and honest examination of our conscience, without which there can be no spiritual growth. We can not play at being a Christian, for to do so will lead to spiritual death.
We must "put on Christ', daily, and make sure our public expression of our faith is not being acted out for others, but is ever entering into a deeper relationship with this very Christ. Playing at spirituality only leads to spiritual death. If our life does not give witness to Christ in us, and if our attention is given over to self promotion, or a desire to please others, but avoids honest examination of our sins, we will be like fruit that dies on the vine.
With love in Christ,
Photo: Coptic family visits monastery.
Saturday September 20, 2014 / September 7, 2014
15th Week after Pentecost. Tone five.
Saturday before the Universal Elevation of the Precious and Life-Creating Cross of the Lord
Forefeast of the Nativity of the Theotokos.
Martyr Sozon of Cilicia (304).
St. John, archbishop and wonderworker of Novgorod (1186).
Martyrdom of St. Macarius, archimandrite of Kanev (1678).
Venerable Macarius of Optina (1860).
New Hieromartyrs Peter and Michael priests, Alexander diacon (1918).
New Hieromartyr Priest John Maslovsky of Verkhne-Poltavka, Amur (1921).
New Hieromartyrs Eugine metropolitan of Gorky, Stephan priest and Hieromartyrs Eugine, Nicholas and Pakhomius, New Hieromartyrs Gregory, Basil priests, Hieromartyr Leo (1937).
Venerables Alexander Peresvet and Andrew Osliaby (1380).
Venerable Serapion of Spaso-Eleazar Monastery in Pskov (1480).
Apostles Evodus (Euodias) (66) and Onesiphorus (67) of the Seventy.
Martyr Eupsychius of Caesarea in Cappadocia (2nd c.).
Venerable Luke and St. Peter the Cappadocian, abbots of the monastery of the Deep Stream (10th c.).
St. Cassia (Cassiane) the Hymnographer (9th c.).
Venerable Cloud (Clodoald), abbot-founder of Nogent-sur-Seine near Paris (560) (Gaul).
You can read the life of the saint by clicking on the highlighted name.
"Blogs and social networks give us new opportunities for the Christian mission...Not to be present there means to display our helplessness and lack of care for the salvation of our brothers (His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia)."
The Scripture Readings for the Day
1 Corinthians 4:17-5:517 For this reason I have sent Timothy to you, who is my beloved and faithful son in the Lord, who will remind you of my ways in Christ, as I teach everywhere in every church.
18 Now some are puffed up, as though I were not coming to you. 19 But I will come to you shortly, if the Lord wills, and I will know, not the word of those who are puffed up, but the power. 20 For the kingdom of God is not in word but in power. 21 What do you want? Shall I come to you with a rod, or in love and a spirit of gentleness?
Immorality Defiles the Church5 It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and such sexual immorality as is not even named among the Gentiles—that a man has his father’s wife! 2 And you are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he who has done this deed might be taken away from among you. 3 For I indeed, as absent in body but present in spirit, have already judged (as though I were present) him who has so done this deed. 4 In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when you are gathered together, along with my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, 5 deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.
Jesus Predicts the Destruction of the Temple24 Then Jesus went out and departed from the temple, and His disciples came up to show Him the buildings of the temple. 2 And Jesus said to them, “Do you not see all these things? Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down.”
The Signs of the Times and the End of the Age3 Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?”
4 And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. 6 And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.
9 “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. 10 And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. 11 Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. 12 And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. 13 But he who endures to the end shall be saved.
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