Please Remember in Your Prayers

Archpriest Vincent Saverino; Archpriest Michael Hatrak; Deacon Michael Bishop; Mat. Myra Kovalak; Mat. Klavdiya Burbelo; Kh. Frederica Mathewes-Green; Nun Elizabeth; Nun Magdalena; Mat. Natalia Kosich; Mat. Diane Winsky; Mat. Catherine Kowalchik; Marie Vass; Charles Snipes; Arthur-Stephen Lisowsky; Yelena Radchenko; Lydia Zorina; Tatiana; Katherine Plaskowitz; Philip Plaskowitz, Michael Stanka; Bernadine Borawick; Julia Aymold; Mary Johnson; Lilli Ann Hoffman; Lara Marinich; Oleg Marinich; Ioann and Galina Zernetkin; Monika-Anastasia & Stephanie Handley; Blanche-Julia Stolkovich; Ekaterina Koroleva; Nina Lewis; Maryann Black; Lyudmila, Anton & Aleksander Karnup; John Alexander Bylen; Katherine Garrett; Stephen Kaminitsky; Constantine; John-Thomas Planinshek; Kenneth Pukita; William and Ann Ferkile; Sergei Krektyshev; Irina Kononova; Petr and Lyudmila Borodkin; Anthony Bakie; Svetlana & Aleksey; Nina; Mat. Galina, Alla; Anna; Alla; Raisa, Zinaida; Joseph Germano; Pavel, Vladimir, Valentina, Nina, and Maria; Maria Pappas; Bonnie Duke; Joseph Lacomy; Diana Radchenko; Aleksey Potapov; Oleg and Andrei; Vitaliy, Tatiana, Olena & Nicholas Berchuk; Marian, Irena and Isabella; David, Selina-Sophia, John, Maryann, David, Joseph, Lisa Ann Eichelberger; Cynthia and Bill (Basil) Popomaronis; Katerina Spilio; Ekaterina Kuzmina.

 

ru

Bulletin

Sunday of the Terrible Judgment

Tone 3

January 29 / February 11, 2018

Meat-Fare Sunday

Last day for eating meat & meat products

 

Translation of the relics of Hieromartyr Ignatius the God-bearer, Bishop of Antioch (107); Martyrs Romanus, James, Philotheus, Hyperechius, Abibus, Julian and Paregorius at Samosata (297); Martyrs Silvanus, Bishop of Emesa, Luke the Deacon, and Mocius (Mucius) the Reader (312); Holy Hierarch Lawrence, recluse of the Kiev Caves and Bishop of Turov (1194); Holy Hierarchs Gerasimus (1441), Pitirim (1455), and Jonah (1470), Bishops of Perm; Synaxis of the Saints of Kom’; Synaxis of the Saints of Ekaterinburg; Synaxis of the Saints of Perm; Hieromartyrs John and Leontius Priests, Constantine Deacon and with them 5 Martyrs (1920).

 

 

 

Today’s Scriptural Readings:      

1 Corinthians 8:8 – 9:2 /  Matthew 25: 31-46

Fr. John’s Sermons (Video): Click here  

 

 

This  Week’s  Liturgical  Calendar

Maslenitsa / Cheese Week – Dairy & Eggs allowed all week: Feb. 11-18

Wednesday, February 14th – 6:00 PM 

Vigil Service in the Chapel

Thursday, February 15th – 9:00 AM

Divine Liturgy in Church

Meeting of our Lord in the Temple

Saturday, February 17th – 6:00 PM 

Vigil Service in Church

Sunday, February 18th – 10:00 AM 

Confessions at 9:15 – 10:00 AM

Divine Liturgy in Church

Cheese-Fare Sunday

Sunday February 18th – 6:00 PM

Forgiveness Vespers in Church

Rite of Forgiveness

 

 

Divine Services at Holy Trinity are now live-streamed at

https://www.youtube.com/user/HolyTrinitySermons

 

Welcome

Please join us for the reception after Divine Liturgy in honor of our Bishop’s visit

 

Welcome Dear Bishop John

Today, Sunday, February 11, we warmly welcome His Grace Bishop John of Naro-Fominsk, the Administrator of the Patriarchal Parishes in the USA to serve Divine Liturgy in our church. This will be his first archpastoral visit to our parish. We will also acquaint him with the progress of our church renovations. After Divine Liturgy we will conduct a special dinner in honor of the Bishop’s visit. All are welcome. Menu: chicken, rice, vegetable/salad, dessert and various beverages. Cost: $10/adult and $5.00 for children 12 & under; children 5 & under: free.

 

Next Sunday – Blini Luncheon / Cheesefare Sunday – February 18 

Next Sunday is Cheesefare Sunday – the last day for dairy products before the start of the Great Fast. So after Divine Services we will conduct a Blini Luncheon. Freshly made blini will be served with a variety of toppings of your choice, salads and other desserts. Contact Anna Shkurba ZumratShkurba@yahoo.com.

 

Great Lent Begins on Monday, February 19, 2018

 



First Week of Great Lent – Divine Services Schedule

Feb. 18          Sunday           6:00 PM

Forgiveness Vespers

Church

Feb. 19         Monday          7:00 PM

Great Compline & Canon of St. Andrew of Crete

Church

Feb. 20         Tuesday          7:00 PM

Great Compline & Canon of St. Andrew of Crete

Church

Feb. 21         Wednesday    7:00 PM

Great Compline & Canon of St. Andrew of Crete

Church

Feb. 22         Thursday        7:00 PM

Great Compline & Canon of St. Andrew of Crete

Church

Feb. 24         Saturday      10:00 AM

Divine Liturgy – St. Theodore of Tyre

Church

 

Lenten Discussion Group – Begins February 21

During Great Lent after Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts each Wednesday evening, join us for a discussion on the book The Spiritual Life – And How to Be Attuned to It, by St. Theophan the Recluse. In this book, rightly called a primer for spiritual life, St. Theophan with fatherly care leads the reader with a gentle yet firm approach on the narrow way to which we are called, but also explains life and all that it can bring in a light that stresses hope, forgiveness and mercy. The book is on sale in our book store for $24. Our first discussion is February 21. 

 

Special Presentation – Thank  you!

On Sunday, February 4th Vladimir Marinich, History Professor Emeritus, gave a presentation on “The Russian Civil War and Aftermath.” We sincerely thank him his talk featuring materials from his recently published book on the memoirs of his grandfather who served as Tsar Nicholas’ last chief of security in St. Petersburg. It was a very interesting presentation and slide show. Approx. 60 attended. Thank you to all who helped to make this possible.

 

House Blessings

How to Prepare for the Blessing of your Home? A lighted candle, an icon or cross, and a bowl for holy water should be placed on a table covered with a clean tablecloth preferably white. All radios, TVs, computers, etc. should be turned off. All who are present in the house should come together and stand by the table where the service takes place. The first names of the members of the immediate family should be clearly printed on a sheet of paper for commemoration. To schedule your house blessing, call Fr. John at frjohnv@verizon.net or 443-527-7067.  


Restoration of our Church – A Historic Project ! – Please Help

We ask for your support and generosity! With your help these significant projects will prepare our church for the Centennial Commemoration in 2019!

 

Phase 1

Restoration & Beautification of Large Icons

$65,000

Partially Paid

Almost complete

Phase 2

Repair & Painting of Walls

$130,000

Need Donations

June, 2018

Phase 3

New iconography on entire ceiling

$100,000

Need Donations

July-Aug., 2018

Phase 4

Flooring, Electrical & Lighting Upgrades

$70,000

Need Donations

2018/19

 

 

Amazon Smile  &  Popular Gift Cards

Every time you shop on Amazon go to https://smile.amazon.com/ log in as you usually do, select our church – Holy Trinity Russian Orthodox Church (Baltimore, MD) – as your targeted charity, and Amazon will donate 0.5% of your purchase (every purchase) to our church. 

 

Looking for a simple way to contribute to the church restoration? Consider Gift Cards for your shopping and gift giving. When you use gift cards to pay for your purchases and gift giving, you automatically contribute to our church restoration! You raise money by paying for your shopping with gift cards you purchase from our church! 

 

Just look at the earnings from these popular retailers:

·      Earn 2.5% on gifts from Amazon (remember to purchase at smile.amazon.com)

·      Earn 10% when you shop at Macy's

·      Earn 6% with gift cards from CVS

·      Earn 7% with gift cards from Marshalls, TJ Maxx and Home Goods

·      Earn 14% on your holiday outfits from GAP or Old Navy

·      You can even earn 4% when you’re buying holiday meal supplies at Safeway, Shop Rite or Giant!

 

If you want to start raising easy money in-store, online, on-the-go, or on last-minute gifts, email tania_masiuk@yahoo.com  410-987-4850 or stop by the Gift Kiosk in the parish hall for our enrollment code so you may purchase your gift cards today!   Invite your family and friends to purchase gift cards from Holy Trinity too!

 

 

Church School Camping Trip – May 18-20, 2018

The 18th Annual Church School Camping Trip at Camp Running Bear (formerly Camp Alkor) in Monkton, MD for children ages 6-12 will take place May 18-20. Our theme this year is “Old Testament Prophecies of the Messiah.” Registrations due by April 27th. Registration forms are on the bulletin table. For more information contact Dr. Pat Disharoon pdisharoon@aol.com  410-233-5337. Also, all adult chaperones MUST register with Dr. Pat by April 20th to expedite background checks.

 

Vigil Candles: On the Altar and near St. Barbara

Feb. 11-17: Candles offered by the Frujinoiu Family for the health/salvation of the servant of God: Anna-Maria Frujinoiu.

A $15 donation will keep all three candles lit for one week. Schedule your candle offering with Vadim Radchenko 410-465-6172.

 

Birthday / Anniversary Celebrations:  Feb. 11-17

We offer our best wishes and birthday congratulations to Eka Chighladze-Reider (2/13), Adele-Catherine Pastor (2/16) and Sarah Blaszak (2/17).

May God bless them with health, prosperity and many years. To include your birthday/anniversary in the bulletin call Fr. John.

 

Cleaning Group – Group #1 /  Join a Group – Help your brothers and sisters

Group #1 will clean this week Feb. 12-17: Adele Pastor (captain), Drew Pastor, Dan Walsh,

Natalie & Andrei Burbelo, and Erica Lawson. This group needs more members. Any volunteers??

 

Submit your 2018 Pledge

The mission of our parish is to spread the Word of God, to grow, to expand, to improve and not just to preserve our traditions.  Our parish shouldn’t become stale, but pursue holiness.

 

We strive to fulfill the mission of our parish, through prayer, work and sacrifice. Prayer – because we are called to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thess. 5:17); work – because we are taught to increase the talents given to us (Matt. 25: 14-30); and sacrifice – because "everyone to whom much is given, from him will much be required" (Luke 12:48).

 

Please be generous as the Lord is generous to you. When completing your pledge for the new year, please consider raising your level of giving. Our church cannot operate without your financial contributions. Our parish will grow only through your prayers, work and generous sacrifice.

 

When you are generous, you are not bestowing a gift, but repaying a debt. Everything you possess materially comes from God, who created all things. And every spiritual and moral virtue you possess is through divine grace. Thus, you owe everything to God. More than that, God has given you his Son, to show you how to live: how to use your material possessions, and how to grow in moral and spiritual virtue. St. John Chrysostom 

 

Please Remember in Your Prayers…

Archpriest Vincent Saverino; Archpriest Michael Hatrak; Deacon Michael Bishop; Mat. Myra Kovalak; Mat. Klavdiya Burbelo; Kh. Frederica Mathewes-Green; Nun Elizabeth; Nun Magdalena; Mat. Natalia Kosich; Mat. Diane Winsky; Mat. Catherine Kowalchik; Marie Vass; Charles Snipes; Arthur-Stephen Lisowsky; Yelena Radchenko; Lydia Zorina; Tatiana; Katherine Plaskowitz; Philip Plaskowitz, Michael Stanka; Bernadine Borawick; Julia Aymold; Mary Johnson; Lilli Ann Hoffman; Lara Marinich; Oleg Marinich; Ioann and Galina Zernetkin; Monika-Anastasia & Stephanie Handley; Blanche-Julia Stolkovich; Ekaterina Koroleva; Nina Lewis; Maryann Black; Lyudmila, Anton & Aleksander Karnup; John Alexander Bylen; Katherine Garrett; Stephen Kaminitsky; Constantine; John-Thomas Planinshek; Kenneth Pukita; William and Ann Ferkile; Sergei Krektyshev; Irina Kononova; Petr and Lyudmila Borodkin; Anthony Bakie; Svetlana & Aleksey; Nina; Mat. Galina, Alla; Anna; Alla; Raisa, Zinaida; Joseph Germano; Pavel, Vladimir, Valentina, Nina, and Maria; Maria Pappas; Bonnie Duke; Joseph Lacomy; Diana Radchenko; Aleksey Potapov; Oleg and Andrei; Vitaliy, Tatiana, Olena & Nicholas Berchuk; Marian, Irena and Isabella; David, Selina-Sophia, John, Maryann, David, Joseph, Lisa Ann Eichelberger; Cynthia and Bill (Basil) Popomaronis; Katerina Spilio; Ekaterina Kuzmina.

 

Restoration Committee Meeting: Thursday, March 1st – 6:30 PM in the Church Hall

Next Council Meeting: Thursday, March 1st – 7:30 PM in the Church Hall

 

Fr. John Vass, Pastor  443-527-7067

Fr. Deacon Michael Bishop:                    410-563-0472

Victor Marinich, Council President:           443-512-0985

Vadim Radchenko, Vice President:          410-465-6172

Andrei Burbelo,  Recording Secretary:     443-567-6031

Albert Blaszak, Treasurer:                         410-799-3226

Monika Handley, Stewardship Chair:       410-263-5758

Vacant Member-At-Large:                                                      

Natallia Makarava Sisterhood President:  443-625-8470

Michael Mickel, Cemetery Manager:        410-666-2870

 

Sunday of the Fearful Judgment

 

Matthew 25:31-46

When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on His right hand, 'Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 'for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; 'I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you c ame to Me.' Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see Thee hungry and feed Thee, or thirsty and give Thee drink? 'When did we see Thee a stranger and take Thee in, or naked and clothe Thee? 'Or when did we see Thee sick, or in prison, and come to Thee?' And the King will answer and say to them, 'Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.' Then He will also say to those on the left hand, 'Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels: 'for I was hungry and you gave Me no food; I was thirsty and you gave Me no drink; 'I was a stranger and you did not take Me in, naked and you did not clothe Me, sick and in prison and you did not visit Me.' Then they also will answer Him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see Thee hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to Thee ?' Then He will answer them, saying, 'Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.' And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.

 

When Thou Shalt Sit to Judge the World, Count Me Worthy to Sit at Thy Right Hand

 

On this day we commemorate the inexorable Second Coming of Christ. The holy fathers have ordained that it be observed after the second parable of the Prodigal Son, so that no one who has learned from it of God's love of for mankind will live in laziness, saying, "God loves mankind, and when I am separated from Him by sin, I will nevertheless be restored." This terrible Day of Judgment is now commemorated, so that through fear of death and the expectation of future torment, those who live in laziness may be encouraged to strive for the virtues, not only trusting in the love of God, but also realizing that He is the righteous Judge, who will judge all men according to their deeds. In other words, those souls who have passed over to the next life must undergo judgment. And this present feast is symbol of this, for it is presented now as a final celebration, just as it will be the last event after our death. For it behooves us to contemplate that as the beginning of the world and Adam's fall from Paradise are commemorated on the following Sunday, so this day is the end of all days and of the world itself. 

 

The commemoration is appointed for this day of Meatfare, that in awe of this event we should limit our intake of earthly food, not giving ourselves over to gluttony, and be encouraged to love our neighbor. In other words, since we were banished from Eden, cursed and condemned through eating of the fruit, so the present event has been ordained at this time, as next Sunday we will be banished through Adam until Christ comes again to raise us up to Paradise. It is called the Second Coming because Christ appeared to us at His first coming in the flesh and delivered the human race, and He will come again to judge whether we have observed what He commanded us. And when will this Second Coming occur? No one knows; for although He mentioned several preceding signs, the Lord concealed it from His Apostles. Before His coming the antichrist will appear. He will live his life after the manner of Christ, performing miracles like those which Christ performed, and raise the dead. Yet all he does will be an illusion. After this, suddenly, like lightning from heaven, the Lord will come, before His Holy Cross; a river of boiling fire will go before Him, cleansing the earth of its defilement. 

 

The antichrist will be seized immediately along with his servants and will be committed to eternal fire. When the angels sound the trumpets, all the nations of mankind will gather from all places and from all the ends of the earth in Jerusalem, for it is the center of the earth. There the thrones will be set for judgment. Then all souls will be reunited with their bodies and clothed in incorruptible beauty, transformed into one likeness. Then, with one word the Lord will separate the righteous from the sinners. Those who have done good will receive eternal life, and the sinners will be once more sent to eternal and everlasting torment. Let it be noted that Christ will not ask who fasted, or who was naked, or who performed miracles—for although these things are good, mercy and compassion are far better. He will question both the righteous and the sinners on six commanded virtues, of which everyone is capable: For I was hungry, and ye gave me to eat. I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink. I was a stranger, and ye took me in; naked, and ye clothed me. I was sick, and ye visited me. I was in prison, and ye came to me. Inasmuch as ye have done it to one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it to me. Then all will confess the Lord Jesus Christ in the glory of God the Father. 

 

Then begin the torments—according to the Holy Gospel, weeping and the gnashing of teeth, where their worm dies not and the fire is not quenched—and the sinner shall be cast into outer darkness. The entire Church of God will joyfully delight in attaining the Kingdom of Heaven, being close to God in His holy place, and receiving everlasting glory and exaltation. But those who are separated from God because they wasted the life of their souls in laziness and temporal nourishment will receive torment and darkness and be eternally deprived of the divine radiance. 

 

In Thine ineffable love for mankind, O Christ our God, make us worthy of Thy voice, which we long to hear, number us among those at Thy right hand, and have mercy on us. Amen.    http://www.pravoslavie.ru/english/51666.htm 

 

 

The Sunday of the Fearful Judgment: The two past Sundays spoke to us of God’s patience and limitless compassion, of His readiness to accept every sinner who returns to Him. On this third Sunday, we are powerfully reminded of a complementary truth: no one is so patient and so merciful as God, but even He does not forgive those who do not repent. The God of love is also a God of righteousness, and when Christ comes again in glory, He will come as our judge. ‘Behold the goodness and severity of God’ (Rom. 11:22). Such is the message of Lent to each of us: turn back while there is still time, repent before the End comes… This Sunday sets before us the ‘eschatological’ dimension of Lent: the Great Fast is a preparation for the Second Coming of the Savior, for the eternal Passover in the Age to Come. Nor is the judgment merely in the future. Here and now, each day and each hour, in hardening our hearts towards others and in failing to respond to the opportunities we are given of helping them, we are already passing judgment on ourselves.   

Metropolitan Kallistos Ware,  The Lenten Triodion.

 

Writings from the Holy Fathers

On that dreadful and amazing day, Thou shalt say to us sinners, O Lord: "You men know well what I have undergone for you...what have you suffered for Me?" What shall I say to that; I who, though penitent, am evil, sinful and polluted? The martyrs will point to their wounds, their sufferings, the severed parts of their bodies, and to their endurance to the end. The ascetics will point to their asceticism, to their long fasts and vigils, to their liberality, their tears and their endurance to the end. But I, idle, sinful, transgressing as I am, what shall I be able to point to? Spare me, O merciful One! Spare me, O Thou Lover of mankind!"   St. Ephraim the Syrian quoted in the Prologue, Vol. 2, 5/10

 

At the Terrible Judgment the righteous will be recognized only by their humility and their considering themselves worthless, and not by good deeds, even if they have done them. This is the true attitude.   St. Peter of Damascus

 


On the Feast of the Meeting of the Lord

Thursday, February 2/15

On the Feast of the Meeting of the Lord, the Church commemorates an important event in the earthly life of our Lord Jesus Christ (Lk 2: 22-40). On the 40th day after birth the God-Infant was taken to the Jerusalem Temple – the centre of religious life of the God-chosen nation. By the Law of Moses (Lev 12) a woman, having given birth to a child of the male gender, was forbidden for 40 days to enter into the Temple of God. After this interval the mother came to the Temple with the child, so as to offer to the Lord thanksgiving and a purification sacrifice. The Most Holy Virgin, the Mother of God, did not have need for purification, since without defilement she had given birth to the Source of purity and sanctity, but in profound humility she submitted to the precepts of the Law.

 

 

At this time there lived at Jerusalem the righteous elder Simeon. It had been revealed to him that he would not die until he should behold Christ the Savior. By inspiration from above, the pious elder went to the Temple at that very moment when the Most Holy Mother of God and Righteous Joseph had brought there the Infant Jesus, so as to fulfill the ritual ceremony of the Law. The God-Bearer Simeon took the God-Infant in his arms, and having given thanks to God, he uttered a prophecy about the Savior of the world: "Now lettest Thou Thy servant depart, O Lord, with peace according to Thy word, wherefore hath mine eyes beheld Thy salvation, which Thou hast prepared before the face of all peoples, a light to the enlightening of gentiles and the glory of Thy people Israel" (Lk 2: 29-32). Righteous Simeon said to the Most Holy Virgin: "Behold, This One is set for the fall and rising up of many in Israel and for the sign spoken against, and for Thee Thyself a sword shall pierce the soul, so that the thoughts of many hearts might be revealed" (Lk 2: 35).

 

 

At the Temple also the 84 year old widow Anna the Prophetess, daughter of Phanuel (Comm. 3 February), "who did not leave the temple, serving God both day and night in fasting and prayer. And she also at that time, having drawn near, glorified the Lord and spoke about Him (the God-Infant) to all awaiting deliverance at Jerusalem" (Lk 2: 37-38).

 

 

Before the Birth of Christ, all righteous men and women lived by faith in the Future Messiah the Savior of the world, and they awaited His coming. The final righteous ones of the closing Old Testament – Righteous Simeon and the Prophetess Anna – were deemed worthy to meet at the Temple the Bearer of the New Testament, in the Person of Whom both Divinity and humanity do meet. © 1996-2001 by Fr. S. Janos.

 

 

St. Theophan the RecluseHomily on the Meeting of the Lord

What a tender scene the Meeting of the Lord shows us! The venerable elder Simeon, holding the infant God in his hands, on either side of him are the righteous Joseph and the Most Holy Mother of God. Not far away is the Prophetess Anna, an eighty-year-old faster and woman of prayer. Their eyes are all directed toward the Savior. Their attention is absorbed by Him and they drink in spiritual sweetness from Him, which feeds their souls. You can judge for yourself how blessed was the state of these souls! 

 

However, brethren, we are called not only to think about this blessedness, but also to taste it in reality, for all are called to have and carry the Lord in themselves, and to disappear in Him with all the powers of their spirit. When we have reached that state, then our blessedness will be no lower than that of those who participated in the Meeting of the Lord. They were blessed who saw it; we shall be blessed who have not seen, but believed. Pay attention. I will show you briefly how to achieve this. Here is what you should do. 

 

 

1. First of all, repent. Remember that nothing must be done in spiritual life without repentance. No matter what anyone endeavors to seek, let the beginning of it be repentance. Just as a house cannot be built without a foundation, nor a field be sown or planted without first being cleared, so also without repentance we cannot begin our spiritual search; anything begun without repentance was begun in vain. Thus, first of all, repent—that is, weep over everything bad that you have done, and resolve to do only what is pleasing to God. This will be like turning your gaze and your whole body towards the path of meeting the Lord and taking the initial step upon that path.

 

2.  Next, keep this state of repentance constant; establish for yourself a manner of life and conduct that would make every step or movement something directing your attention to our Lord and Savior. Such an order of life will establish itself naturally, if: a) you do everything that you do for the Glory of the Lord and Savior, for Christ's sake. Here we mean not only great deeds, but all deeds. For, seeing and hearing, silence and speaking, food and drink, sitting and walking, work and rest can all be dedicated to the Lord and sanctified by His All-Holy Name. There isn't a minute when we are not doing something; so, by thus dedicating your activity, you will be meeting the Lord minute by minute, directing all of your activities to His glory. You can even more conveniently do this and reap fruits from it if you also: b) insert into the order of your daily activities the practice of prayer—both in church and at home; and in general make it your rule to be a strict fulfiller of all the rules and order of the Holy Church to the last iota, without vain elaboration and distorted commentary, and with simplicity of heart. As the content of all prayer is the Lord and our turning to Him, by doing it and participating in it you will be meeting the Lord through your heart's sympathy and delight. If after this: c) you fill all your interim time with reading the Scriptures about the Lord, listening to talks about Him, or with your own contemplation of Him and the great work of salvation that He wrought on earth, then you will see for yourself that nothing will remain within us or outside of us that does not bring remembrance of the Lord, bring Him to your attention, or carry your spirit to meet Him. 

 

3. Just the same, you should not forget that all of these labors and occupations are only preparation. You should not stop at them, but rather strive onward. Just as food taken in rough form later imbues refined elements needed for life, so must these occupations performed visibly and tangibly turn into a spirit of a very refined inclination or striving toward the Lord. Namely, the labor of consecrating all our activities to the Lord should have the quality of reaching with our whole soul's desire only for the Lord; when we do all our prayers or attend the Divine services, a feeling should form in our hearts of accord only with the Lord and what is His. Underlying our reading and hearing the Holy Scripture about the Lord should only be the eager directing of our mind's attention toward the Lord alone. These labors are that very working of the field, and these strivings are the growth of what has been sown. The first are the stem and branches, the latter are the flower and fruit. When these inclinations come up in us, it will mean that our spirit has gone out with all its consciousness and disposition to meet the Lord. Since the Lord is everywhere, and He Himself seeks to meet with our spirit, their mutual meeting will then come about by itself. From that moment on, our spirit will begin to taste the blessedness of Righteous Simeon; that is, it will begin to bear in the embrace of its powers a striving for the Lord, Who is its complete satiety and satisfaction. This is what is called tasting the Lord, rest in Him, mentally standing before the Lord, walking in the presence of the Lord, and ceaseless prayer—the object of all God's saints' labor, desire, and seeking. 

 

I wish that all of you who celebrate the Meeting of the Lord be vouchsafed this blessing. If anyone complains that he would like the fruit but the labor it takes to get it is too hard, the answer is: Good. There is an easier method, a method simpler than the one laid out. Here it is! Repent; then, with zeal for keeping all of God's commandments, walk unfailingly in the Lord's presence, striving for Him with all your mind's attention, all your heart's feelings, and all your will's desires. If you thus dispose yourself, you will soon meet the Lord. He will come down to you and abide in you, as in the embrace of Righteous Simeon. There is no other way to lighten the labor needed to seek a meeting with the Lord. The Jesus Prayer: Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, is powerful and strong to help in this work. Again, however, not by itself; but under the condition that all the strength of our spirit be directed toward the Lord! Be sober, be vigilant (1 Pet. 5:8). Seek those things which are above … and your life is hid with Christ in God (Col. 3:1, 3). Then, having become one in spirit with the Lord (cf. 1 Cor. 6:17), you will behold and embrace the Lord, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you (Jn 16:22), neither in this age, nor in the age to come. Amen.   Translated by Nun Cornelia (Rees)

 

O Most Holy Trinity, Our God, Glory to Thee!