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September 25

"Just as the bee is attracted by the fragrance of the flower, people will be attracted to a church community by its spiritual beauty and fresh growth. Allow God to prosper your community by His grace, be open to the inquirer and minister to the suffering. In loving others, you allow God to love you all the more." -- His Eminence, Metropolitan JOSEPH

September 24

St. John Chrysostom says of the wonderful Christian heroine and Saint Thekla: "It seems to me that as I see this blessed virgin, in one hand she offers Christ virginity, and in the other hand, martyrdom."

September 23

"The Lord wants us to love each other; this is the essence of freedom — love for God and for your neighbor. This is both freedom and equality. But in earthly titles there can be no equality; this is of no concern to the soul, however. Not everyone can be a king or a prince; not everyone can be a patriarch or an abbot, or a leader, but no matter what your title you can love God and serve Him, and that is all that matters. And whoever loves God more on earth shall be in greater glory in the Kingdom." -- St. Silouan of Mount Athos

September 22

"The soul of a humble man is like the sea: throw a stone into the sea--for a moment it will ruffle the surface a little, and then sink to the bottom. Thus do afflictions disappear down into the heart of the humble man, because the strength of the Lord is with him." - St. Silouan of Mount Athos

September 21

"The Word of God is not a book; the Word of God is a person, Jesus Christ." -- His Eminence, Metropolitan JOSEPH

September 20

"The more we love people, the more our differences disappear." -- His Eminence, Metropolitan JOSEPH

September 19

When the torturer asked the Holy Martyr Sabbatius who he was and what his rank was, he replied: "My rank and dignity and homeland and glory and wealth is Christ, the Son of God, Who lives forever, and by Whose providence the universe exists and is governed."

September 18

"The more we serve others with no agenda, the more we sanctify ourselves." -- His Eminence, Metropolitan JOSEPH

September 17

Before their suffering, St. Sophia encouraged her daughters, Faith, Hope, and Love, to endure to the end: "Your heavenly Bridegroom, Jesus Christ, is eternal health, inexpressible beauty and eternal life. When your bodies are slain by torture, He will clothe you in incorruption and the wounds on your bodies will shine in the heavens as stars."

September 16

"If a man fasts either through vanity or thinking that he is achieving something specifically virtuous, he fasts foolishly and later begins to criticize his brother, considering himself something great. Thus not only does it prove that while he put down one stone he took away two, but he is in danger of bringing down the whole wall through his condemnation of his brother. A man who fasts wisely does not wish to be praised for his fast. He thinks that through abstinence he will win chastity and thereby will come to humility, as the fathers say, 'The way to humility is bodily labors, performed intelligently,' and so on. Such a man proves himself a skilful builder, able to build his house solidly." -- Abba Dorotheus

September 15

"Just as a candle is lighted from another candle, so also a good work is born from a good work." -- St. Nicholai of Zica

September 14

"The saints endured sufferings in order to testify to the Holy Orthodox faith. Christ Himself did not avoid suffering, but 'endured the cross, despising the shame.'" -- His Eminence, Metropolitan JOSEPH

September 13

The Centurion Soldier, Cornelius, said to St. Peter: "Four days ago I was fasting until this hour; and at the ninth hour I prayed in my house, and behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing, and said, ‘Cornelius, your prayer has been heard, and your alms are remembered in the sight of God. Send therefore to Joppa and call Simon here, whose surname is Peter. He is lodging in the house of Simon, a tanner, by the sea. When he comes, he will speak to you.’ So I sent to you immediately, and you have done well to come. Now therefore, we are all present before God, to hear all the things commanded you by God."

September 12

Before his death, the Holy Martyr Julian prayed to God in this manner: "To those who take of my dust, grant to them, O Lord, forgiveness of sins and the subduing of their passions; let no ravaging birds, or grasshoppers, or caterpillars, or any other death-carrying destruction attack their fields. And receive my spirit in peace."

September 11

"What is more necessary for man than God and His divine love? He is our refuge, He is our treasure, He is our food and drink, He is our raiment and shelter, He is our health and strength, He is our happiness and joy, He is our hope and our trust. Strive then, my son, to gain Him. If you succeed in gaining the One God, it will be sufficient for you; you will rejoice more in Him than if you had gained the entire world." -- St. Theodora

September 10

After cruel tortures, the governor Fronton cried out to Menodora, who was wounded and bloody: "Offer sacrifice to the gods!'' To this the holy martyr replied: "Do you not see that I am offering my entire self as a sacrifice to my God?''

September 9

"Who shall not beatify thee, most holy Virgin? Who shall not praise thy birth-giving, free of travailing and pain? For the only Son rising timelessly from the Father, himself did come incarnate from thee in an inexplicable way. He, who while God by nature, became for our sakes Man by nature, not divided into two persons, but known by two natures without mixture or confusion. To him, O noble and most blessed one, plead for the salvation of our souls." -- Dogmatikon from Saturday Evening Great Vespers in Tone 6

September 8

"By thy holy nativity, O pure one, Joachim and Anna were delivered from the reproach of barrenness; and Adam and Eve were delivered from the corruption of death; thy people do celebrate it, having been saved from the stain of iniquity, crying unto thee, The barren doth give birth to the Theotokos, who nourisheth our life." -- Kontakion of the Nativity of the Theotokos

September 7

"The Lord grant mercy to the household of Onesiphorus, for he often refreshed me, and was not ashamed of my chain; but when he arrived in Rome, he sought me out very zealously and found me. The Lord grant to him that he may find mercy from the Lord in that Day—and you know very well how many ways he ministered to me at Ephesus." -- II Tim 1:13-18

September 6

"The power of Communion is within us, and it is our obligation to bring it to concrete expression." -– His Beatitude, Patriarch IGNATIUS IV

September 5

"If one studies a great deal in order to acquire knowledge and to teach others, without living the things he teaches, he does no more than fill his head with hot air. At most, he will manage to ascend to the moon using machines. The goal of the Christian is to rise to God without machines." -- Elder Paisios the Athonite

September 4

"The goal of reading is the application, in our lives, of what we read. Not to learn it by heart, but to take it to heart. Not to practice using our tongues, but to be able to receive the tongues of fire and to live the mysteries of God." -- Elder Paisios the Athonite

September 3

"The icons of the holy men and women reestablish and recover souls that are weighed down by affliction and anguish. The saints are like a cloud protecting those who are burned by the hot rays of earthly afflictions." -- His Eminence, Metropolitan JOSEPH

September 2

The emperor told Mamas that he needed only to deny Christ verbally, Mamas replied: "Neither in my heart nor with my lips will I renounce my God and King, Jesus Christ.''

September 1

"The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because of which He anointed Me. He sent Me to proclaim good news to the poor, to heal the brokenhearted, to preach liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind; to declare the acceptable year of the Lord, the day of recompense, and to comfort all who mourn." -- Isaiah 61:1-2

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