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Showing posts from January, 2021

Patristic Comments on the First Monastic Reading

  READING FROM THE WISDOM OF SOLOMON [3:1-9]. But the souls of the righteous are in the hand of God, and there shall no torment touch them. In the sight of the unwise they seemed to die: and their departure is taken for misery, and their going from us to be utter destruction: but they are in peace. For though they be punished in the sight of men, yet is their hope full of immortality. And having been a little chastised, they shall be greatly rewarded: for God proved them, and found them worthy for himself. As gold in the furnace hath he tried them, and received them as a burnt offering. And in the time of their visitation they shall shine, and run to and fro like sparks among the stubble. They shall judge the nations, and have dominion over the people, and their Lord shall reign for ever. They that put their trust in him shall understand the truth: and such as be faithful in love shall abide with him: for grace and mercy is to his saints, and he hath care for his elect. When St. August

Meaning behind Vespers Old Testament Readings for Monastic Saints

  The Old Testament lessons (or parameia readings) for monastic saints reveal some interesting aspects of the monastic life, some of which are misunderstood in modern Orthodoxy, especially in America. The strongly Protestant-derived culture of the United States affects both those converting to Orthodoxy from Protestantism, but also those who have grown up Orthodox, but from within a non-Orthodox culture. What is immediately noticeable is the similarity between the readings for monastic saints and those for martyrs; two of the three readings are shared. Of the three monastic readings presented below, the first and the third are also used for martyrs. This somewhat helps define what it is to be a monastic: those who have chosen a living martyrdom. In the book of Revelation, when St. John the Theologian sees of the martyrs under the throne, there is a key word that speaks to this living martyrdom: “When He opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain