This site is humbly offered to Christ and dedicated to all the faithful of the Catholic and Orthodox Churches and all traditional Trinitarian believing faithful Christians and all Muslims who revere Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ as the only Messiah ('Isa al-Maseeh) Who is the Word of God in this Surat and Ayat of the noble Qu'ran which professes Allah Word Spirit the Undivided Trinity Holy Unity (Surat IV, Ayat 171) and especially all of Christ's sheep that He, the Good Shepherd seeks to bring unto Him in His salvation; He Who is the Only Saviour. Who warned us not to have anything to do with the wolves in sheep’s clothing. To confirm the utter importance of not having anything to do with the wolves in sheep's clothing the Lord especially had St. John the Apostle and Evangelist remain until the Lord had especially appeared to him and had him record that appearace and the visions Our Lord showed St. John at that time, in the last book of the bible, the Apocalypse. The message throughout it is absolutely clear, we are to have nothing to do with paganism or man made conventions that try to change what Our Lord taught us. Such as men forgiving the sins of other men. Only God forgives sin. Note that in the book of the Apocalypse that the keys (the Davidic key) that Christ promised Peter are still with Christ, that He, Jesus Christ alone locks and unlocks. this is extremely important. It means that every believing individual receives the keys that Christ gave to the Apostles, including Peter.
Only two times in history have the synchretist hypocrites reached the current level of complete misrepresentation of the truth, once 2000 years ago and now today.
Any Christian who knows the witness and preaching of St. John The Forerunner and Baptist of The Christ and any Christian who knows Christ’s denunciation of the hypocrites (see below from the Gospel of St. Matthew) knows that it is the hypocrites who are going to hell.
Most professing Christians do not understand the importance of St. John The Baptist and Forerunner of Christ. He was the last of the Old Testament prophets and the first of the New Testament prophets. He was the last of the Old Testament martyrs and the first of the New Testament martyrs. He is the only Old Testament and New Testament Apostle (one who saw Christ in the flesh and was commissioned by God to preach Christ!). In short, as St. Irenaeus reminds us constantly and rightly so (against Marcion and the rest of the apostate Gnostics), there is NO difference between Old Testament and New Testament faith. It is in the same God, period. It was Our Lord Jesus Christ Who taught us that there is no communion of light with dark; that either our eye is full of light or it is full of darkness, that a tree bears good fruit or bad fruit but not both.
There is a new version of Catholic, nowadays, one who believes that God is too maudlin to not save all men; there is a new version of Orthodox Church believer who believes that light and dark can indeed be combined, in fact, he believes God commands it; there is a new version of Protestant who doesn't protest any heresy but only a lack of tolerance, especially if it gets in the way of his making money; there is a new version of what Our Lord meant by "born again", now supposedly according to those calling themselves evangelical, you can't lose your salvation no matter what you do (obviously they never had what their free will can't forfeit so their comments, as utterly self serving as they are, mean absolutely nothing). It was the unswerving uncompromising Baptist that God the Holy Trinity, yes all three Persons, chose to baptize Jesus Christ in the
From the Gospel of St. Matthew chapter 24:
24 Blind guides, who strain out a gnat, and swallow a camel.
25 Woe to you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites; because you make clean the outside of the cup and of the dish, but within you are full of rapine and uncleanness.
26 Thou blind Pharisee, first make clean the inside of the cup and of the dish, that the outside may become clean.
27 Woe to you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites; because you are like to whited sepulchres, which outwardly appear to men beautiful, but within are full of dead men's bones, and of all filthiness.
28 So you also outwardly indeed appear to men just; but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.
29 Woe to you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites that build the sepulchres of the prophets, and adorn the monuments of the just,
30 And say: If we had been in the days of our Fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets
31 Wherefore you are witnesses against yourselves, that you are the sons of them that killed the prophets.
32 Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers.
33 You serpents, generation of vipers how will you flee from the judgment of hell?
34 Therefore behold I send to you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them you will put to death and crucify, and some you will scourge in your synagogues, and persecute from city to city:
35 That upon you may come all the just blood that hath been shed upon the earth
from the blood of Abel the just, even unto the blood of Zacharias the son of Barachias, whom you killed between the temple and the altar.
36 Amen I say to you, all these things shall come upon this generation.
38 Behold; your house shall be left to you, desolate.
39 For I say to you, you shall not see me henceforth till you say: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.
See the lives of the Martyrs in either The Great Horologion or the Lives of the Saints of Fr. Alban Butler for examples of martyrs who kicked the idols over when they refused to worship them and put up with no depravity; this is real witness to Christ!
The Great Horologion Or Book of the Hours
Translated from the Greek by the Holy Transfiguration Monastery
Copyright @ 1997 by the
Holy Transfiguration Monastery Brookline, Massachusetts 02146
All rights reserved Printed in the United States of America ISBN 0-9434°5-08-4 Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 97-70106
Lives of the Saints
For Every Day of the Year
Compiled from the “Lives of the Saints” by
Fr. Alban Butler
WITH NEW SAINTS AND SAINTS WHOSE FEASTS ARE SPECIAL TO THE UNITED STATES
John M. Feams, SID. Censor Librorum
114 Francis Cardinal Spellman Archbishop of New York New York
March 15, 1955
Copyright @ 1878, 1887, 1894, 1954, 1955 by Benziger Brothers, Inc., New York.
Originally published as Lives of the Saints-With Reflections for Every Day in the Year.
Frontispiece from an illustrated edition of
Library of Congress Catalog Card No.: 95-60703
Printed and bound in the
TAN BOOKS AND PUBLISHERS, INC. P. O. Box 424 Rockford, Illinois 61105 1995
Command of Jesus
Husbands, love your wives, as Christ also loved the church, and delivered himself up for it: That he might sanctify it, cleansing it by the laver of water in the word of life: That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle. or any such thing; but that it should be holy, and without blemish. - Eph. v. 25-27.
Let us draw near with a true heart in fulness of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with clean water. - Heb. x. 22.
Jesus answered, and said to him: Amen, amen I say to thee, unless a man be born again, he cannot see the
Commission of the Apostles
16. But the eleven disciples went into
And when they saw him they worshipped him;
but some doubted. 18. And Jesus drew near and spoke to them saying, “All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
19. Go, therefore, and make disciples
of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, 20. teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and behold, I am with you all days, even unto the consummation of the world.” Until the endless ages of ages to come. Gospel of St. Matthew chapter 28
Commission of the Apostles
14. At length he appeared to the Eleven as they were at table; and he upbraided them for their lack of faith and hardness of heart, in that they had not believed those who had seen him after he had risen. 15. And he said to them, “Go into the whole world and preach the gospel to every creature. 16. He who believes and is baptized shall be saved, but he who does not believe shall be condemned. 17. And these signs shall attend those who believe: in my name they shall cast out devils; they shall speak in new tongues; 18. they shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands upon the sick and they shall get well.” Gospel of St. Mark chapter 16
It is clear from the following that Jesus Christ did away with the Mosaic law and priesthood. It is also clear from the following that they had been temporary and only from the time of Moses because of the hardness of the Israelites hearts. It is also crystal clear in the following that the patriarchs before Moses and the prophets from Moses on were not likened to that, but indeed did worship God from the heart as the Church is commanded to do. At first the Church did not recognize any Episcopal authority the way it has been theorized from the fourth century on. See the Didache for anyone that has any doubts about that. In the Didache (which is Scripture written by the Apostles at the Council of Jerusalem – the only COMPLETE council the Church has ever had) every individual house church had complete authority on their own to hold the communion of the Lord’s Eucharist and to select their own bishops and deacons.
The following is from the Didache (49 A.D.):
14. On the Lord's own day gather together and break bread and give thanks, having first confessed your sins so that your sacrifice may be pure. (2) But let no one who has a quarrel with a companion join you until they have been reconciled, so that your sacrifice may not be defiled. (3) For this is the sacrifice concerning which the Lord said, "In every place and time offer me a pure sacrifice, for I am a great king, says the Lord, and my name is marvelous among the nations."
15. Therefore: appoint for yourselves bishops and deacons worthy of the Lord, men who are humble and not avaricious and true and approved, for they too carry out for you the ministry of the prophets and teachers. (2) You must not, therefore, despise them, for they are your honored men, along with the prophets and teachers.
The following is from St. Irenaeus (180 A.D.)
St. Irenaeus Book Four Against Heresy
Chapter XV.-At First God Deemed It Sufficient to Inscribe the Natural Law, or the Decalogue, Upon the Hearts of Men; But Afterwards He Found It Necessary to Bridle, with the Yoke of the Mosaic Law, the Desires of the Jews, Who Were Abusing Their Liberty; And Even to Add Some Special Commands, Because of the Hardness of Their Hearts.
1. They (the Jews) had therefore a law, a course of discipline, and a prophecy of future things. For God at the first, indeed, warning them by means of natural precepts, which from the beginning He had implanted in mankind, that is, by means of the Decalogue (which, if any one does not observe, he has no salvation), did then demand nothing more of them. As Moses says in Deuteronomy, "These are all the words which the Lord spake to the whole assembly of the sons of
2. And not only so, but the Lord also showed that certain precepts were enacted for them by Moses, on account of their hardness [of heart], and because of their unwillingness to be obedient, when, on their saying to Him, "Why then did Moses command to give a writing of divorcement, and to send away a wife? "He said to them, "Because of the hardness of your hearts he permitted these things to you; but from the beginning it was not so; "179 thus exculpating Moses as a faithful servant, but acknowledging one God, who from the beginning made male and female, and reproving them as hard-hearted and disobedient. And therefore it was that they received from Moses this law of divorcement, adapted to their hard nature. But why say I these things concerning the Old Testament? For in the New also are the apostles found doing this very thing, on the ground which has been mentioned, Paul plainly declaring, But these things I say, not the Lord."180 And again: "But this I speak by permission, not by commandment."181 And again: "Now, as concerning virgins, I have no commandment from the Lord; yet I give my judgment, as one that hath obtained mercy of the Lord to be faithful."182 But further, in another place he says: "That Satan tempt you not for your incontinence."183 If, therefore, even in the New Testament, the apostles are found granting certain precepts in consideration of human infirmity, because of the incontinence of some, lest such persons, having grown obdurate, and despairing altogether of their salvation, should become apostates from God,-it ought not to be wondered at, if also in the Old Testament the same God permitted similar indulgences for the benefit of His people, drawing them on by means of the ordinances already mentioned, so that they might obtain the gift of salvation through them, while they obeyed the Decalogue, and being restrained by Him, should not revert to idolatry, nor apostatize from God, but learn to love Him with the whole heart. And if certain persons, because of the disobedient and ruined Israelites, do assert that the giver (doctor) of the law was limited in power, they will find in our dispensation, that "many are called, but few chosen; "184 and that there are those who inwardly are wolves, yet wear sheep's clothing in the eyes of the world (foris); and that God has always preserved freedom, and the power of self-government in man,185 while at the same time He issued His own exhortations, in order that those who do not obey Him should be righteously judged (condemned) because they have not obeyed Him; and that those who have obeyed and believed on Him should be honoured with immortality.
Chapter XVI.-Perfect Righteousness Was Conferred Neither by Circumcision Nor by Any Other Legal Ceremonies. The Decalogue, However, Was Not Cancelled by Christ, But is Always in Force: Men Were Never Released from Its Commandments.
1. Moreover, we learn from the Scripture itself, that God gave circumcision, not as the completer of righteousness, but as a sign, that the race of Abraham might continue recognisable. For it declares: "God said unto Abraham, Every male among you shall be circumcised; and ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskins, as a token of the covenant between Me and you."186 This same does Ezekiel the prophet say with regard to the Sabbaths: "Also I gave them My Sabbaths, to be a sign between Me and them, that they might know that I am the Lord, that sanctify them."187 And in Exodus, God says to Moses: "And ye shall observe My Sabbaths; for it shall be a sign between Me and you for your generations."188 These things, then, were given for a sign; but the signs were not unsymbolical, that is, neither unmeaning nor to no purpose, inasmuch as they were given by a wise Artist; but the circumcision after the flesh typified that after the Spirit. For "we," says the apostle, "have been circumcised with the circumcision made without hands."189 And the prophet declares, "Circumcise the hardness of your heart."190 But the Sabbaths taught that we should continue day by day in God's service.191 "For we have been counted," says the Apostle Paul, "all the day long as sheep for the slaughter; "192 that is, consecrated [to God], and ministering continually to our faith, and persevering in it, and abstaining from all avarice, and not acquiring or possessing treasures upon earth.193 Moreover, the Sabbath of God (requietio Dei), that is, the kingdom, was, as it were, indicated by created things; in which [kingdom], the man who shall have persevered in serving God (Deo assistere) shall, in a state of rest, partake of God's table.
2. And that man was not justified by these things, but that they were given as a sign to the people, this fact shows,-that Abraham himself, without circumcision and without observance of Sabbaths, "believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness; and he was called the friend of God."194 Then, again, Lot, without circumcision, was brought out from
3. Why, then, did the Lord not form the covenant for the fathers? Because "the law was not established for righteous men."197 But the righteous fathers had the meaning of the Decalogue written in their hearts and souls,198 that is, they loved the God who made them, and did no injury to their neighbour. There was therefore no occasion that they should be cautioned by prohibitory mandates (correptoriis literis),199 because they had the righteousness of the law in themselves. But when this righteousness and love to God had passed into oblivion, and became extinct in Egypt, God did necessarily, because of His great goodwill to men, reveal Himself by a voice, and led the people with power out of Egypt, in order that man might again become the disciple and follower of God; and He afflicted those who were disobedient, that they should not contemn their Creator; and He fed them with manna, that they might receive food for their souls (uti rationalem acciperent escam); as also Moses says in Deuteronomy: "And fed thee with manna, which thy fathers did not know, that thou mightest know that man cloth not live by bread alone; but by every word of God proceeding out of His mouth doth man live."200 And it enjoined love to God, and taught just dealing towards our neighbour, that we should neither be unjust nor unworthy of God, who prepares man for His friendship through the medium of the Decalogue, and likewise for agreement with his neigbbour,-matters which did certainly profit man himself; God, however, standing in no need of anything from man.
4. And therefore does the Scripture say, "These words the Lord spake to all the assembly of the children of
5. The laws of bondage, however, were one by one promulgated to the people by Moses, suited for their instruction or for their punishment, as Moses himself declared: "And the Lord commanded me at that time to teach you statutes and judgments."205 These things, therefore, which were given for bondage, and for a sign to them, He cancelled by the new covenant of liberty. But He has increased and widened those laws which are natural, and noble, and common to all, granting to men largely and without grudging, by means of adoption, to know God the Father, and to love Him with the whole heart, and to follow His word unswervingly, while they abstain not only from evil deeds, but even from the desire after them. But He has also increased the feeling of reverence; for sons should have more veneration than slaves, and greater love for their father. And therefore the Lord says, "As to every idle word that men have spoken, they shall render an account for it in the day of judgment."206 And, "he who has looked upon a woman to lust after her, hath committed adultery with her already in his heart; "207 and, "he that is angry with his brother without a cause, shall be in danger of the judgment."208 [All this is declared, ] that we may know that we shall give account to God not of deeds only, as slaves, but even of words and thoughts, as those who have truly received the power of liberty, in which [condition] a man is more severely tested, whether he will reverence, and fear, and love the Lord. And for this reason Peter says "that we have not liberty as a cloak of maliciousness,"209 but as the means of testing and evidencing faith.
Chapter XVII.-Proof that God Did Not Appoint the Levitical Dispensation for His Own Sake, or as Requiring Such Service; For He Does, in Fact, Need Nothing from Men.
1. Moreover, the prophets indicate in the fullest manner that God stood in no need of their slavish obedience, but that it was upon their own account that He enjoined certain observances in the law. And again, that God needed not their oblation, but [merely demanded it], on account of man himself who offers it, the Lord taught distinctly, as I have pointed out. For when He perceived them neglecting righteousness, and abstaining from the love of God, and imagining that God was to be propitiated by sacrifices and the other typical observances, Samuel did even thus speak to them: "God does not desire whole burnt-offerings and sacrifices, but He will have His voice to be hearkened to. Behold, a ready obedience is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams."210 David also says: "Sacrifice and oblation Thou didst not desire, but mine ears hast Thou perfected;211 burnt-offerings also for sin Thou hast not required."212 He thus teaches them that God desires obedience, which renders them secure, rather than sacrifices and holocausts, which avail them nothing towards righteousness; and [by this declaration] he prophesies the new covenant at the same time. Still clearer, too, does he speak of these things in the fiftieth Psalm: "For if Thou hadst desired sacrifice, then would I have given it: Thou wilt not delight in burnt-offerings. The sacrifice of God is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart the Lord will not despise."213 Because, therefore, God stands in need of nothing, He declares in the preceding Psalm: "I will take no calves out of thine house, nor he-goats out of thy fold. For Mine are all the beasts of the earth, the herds and the oxen on the mountains: I know all the fowls of heaven, and the various tribes214 of the field are Mine. If I were hungry, I would not tell thee: for the world is Mine, and the fulness thereof. Shall I eat the flesh of bulls, or drink the blood of goats? "215 Then, lest it might be supposed that He refused these things in His anger, He continues, giving him (man) counsel: "Offer unto God the sacrifice of praise, and pay thy vows to the Most High; and call upon Me in the day of thy trouble, and I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify Me; "216 rejecting, indeed, those things by which sinners imagined they could propitiate God, and showing that He does Himself stand in need of nothing; but He exhorts and advises them to those. things by which man is justified and draws nigh to God. This same declaration does Esaias make: "To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto Me? saith the Lord. I am full."217 And when He had repudiated holocausts, and sacrifices, and oblations, as likewise the new moons, and the sabbaths, and the festivals, and all the rest of the services accompanying these, He continues, exhorting them to what pertained to salvation: "Wash you, make you clean, take away wickedness from your hearts from before mine eyes: cease from your evil ways, learn to do well, seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow; and come, let us reason together, saith the Lord."
2. For it was not because He was angry, like a man, as many venture to say, that He rejected their sacrifices; but out of compassion to their blindness, and with the view of suggesting to them the true sacrifice, by offering which they shall appease God, that they may receive life from Him. As He elsewhere declares: "The sacrifice to God is an afflicted heart: a sweet savour to God is a heart glorifying Him who formed it."218 For if, when angry, He had repudiated these sacrifices of theirs, as if they were persons unworthy to obtain His compassion, He would not certainly have urged these same things upon them as those by which they might be saved. But inasmuch as God is merciful, He did not cut them off from good counsel. For after He had said by Jeremiah, "To what purpose bring ye Me incense from
3. And again, when He points out that it was not for this that He led them out of Egypt, that they might offer sacrifice to Him, but that, forgetting the idolatry of the Egyptians, they should be able to hear the voice of the Lord, which was to them salvation and glory, He declares by this same Jeremiah: "Thus saith the Lord; Collect together your burnt-offerings with your sacrifices and eat flesh. For I spake not unto your fathers nor commanded them in the day that I brought them out of Egypt, concerning burnt-offerings or sacrifices: but this word I commanded them, saying, Hear My voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be My people; and walk in all My ways whatsoever I have commanded you, that it may be well with you. But they obeyed not, nor hearkened; but walked in the imaginations of their own evil heart, and went backwards, and not forwards."221 And again, when He declares by the same man, "But let him that glorieth, glory in this, to understand and know that I am the Lord, who doth exercise loving-kindness, and righteousness, and judgment in the earth; "222 He adds, "For in these things I delight, says the Lord," but not in sacrifices, nor in holocausts, nor in oblations. For the people did not receive these precepts as of primary importance (principaliter), but as secondary, and for the reason already alleged, as Isaiah again says: "Thou hast not [brought to] Me the sheep of thy holocaust, nor in thy sacrifices hast thou glorified Me: thou hast not served Me in sacrifices, nor in [the matter of] frankincense hast thou done anything laboriously; neither hast thou bought for Me incense with money, nor have I desired the fat of thy sacrifices; but thou hast stood before Me in thy sins and in thine iniquities."223 He says, therefore, "Upon this man will I look, even upon him that is humble, and meek, and who trembles at My words."224 "For the fat and the fat flesh shall not take away from thee thine unrighteousness."225 "This is the fast which I have chosen, saith the Lord. Loose every band of wickedness, dissolve the connections of violent agreements, give rest to those that are shaken, and cancel every unjust document. Deal thy bread to the hungry willingly, and lead into thy house the roofless stranger. If thou hast seen the naked, cover him, and thou shalt not despise those of thine own flesh and blood (domesticos seminis tui). Then shall thy morning light break forth, and thy health shall spring forth more speedily; and righteousness shall go before thee, and the glory of the LoRD shall surround thee: and whilst thou an yet speaking, I will say, Behold, here I am."226 And Zechariah also, among the twelve prophets, pointing out to the people the will of God, says: "These things does the Lord Omnipotent declare: Execute true judgment, and show mercy and compassion each one to his brother. And oppress not the widow, and the orphan, and the proselyte, and the poor; and let none imagine evil against your brother in his heart."227 And again, he says: "These are the words which ye shall utter. Speak ye the truth every man to his neighbour, and execute peaceful judgment in your gates, and let none of you imagine evil in his heart against his brother, and ye shall not love false swearing: for all these things I hate, saith the Lord Almighty."228 Moreover, David also says in like manner: "What man is there who desireth life, and would fain see good days? Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips that they speak no guile. Shun evil, and do good: seek peace, and pursue it."229
4. From all these it is evident that God did not seek sacrifices and holocausts from them, but faith, and obedience, and righteousness, because of their salvation. As God, when teaching them His will in Hosea the prophet, said, "I desire mercy rather than sacrifice, and the knowledge of God more than burnt-offerings."230 Besides, our Lord also exhorted them to the same effect, when He said, "But if ye had known what [this] meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice, ye would not have condemned the guiltless."231 Thus does He bear witness to the prophets, that they preached the truth; but accuses these men (His hearers) of being foolish through their own fault.
5. Again, giving directions to His disciples to offer to God the first-fruits232 of His own, created things-not as if He stood in need of them, but that they might be themselves neither unfruitful nor ungrateful-He took that created thing, bread, and gave thanks, and said, "This is My body."233 And the cup likewise, which is part of that creation to which we belong, He confessed to be His blood, and taught the new oblation of the new covenant; which the Church receiving from the apostles, offers to God throughout all the world, to Him who gives us as the means of subsistence the first-fruits of His own gifts in the New Testament, concerning which Malachi, among the twelve prophets, thus spoke beforehand: "I have no pleasure in you, saith the Lord Omnipotent, and I will not accept sacrifice at your hands. For from the rising of the sun, unto the going down [of the same], My name is glorified among the Gentiles, and in every place incense is offered to My name, and a pure sacrifice; for great is My name among the Gentiles, saith the Lord Omnipotent; "234 -indicating in the plainest manner, by these words, that the former people [the Jews] shall indeed cease to make offerings to God, but that in every place sacrifice shall be offered to Him, and that a pure one; and His name is glorified among the Gentiles.235
6. But what other name is there which is glorified among the Gentiles than that of our Lord, by whom the Father is glorified, and man also? And because it is [the name] of His own Son, who was made man by Him, He calls it His own. Just as a king, if he himself paints a likeness of his son, is right in calling this likeness his own, for both these reasons, because it is [the likeness] of his son, and because it is his own production; so also does the Father confess the name of Jesus Christ, which is throughout all the world glorified in the Church, to be His own, both because it is that of His Son, and because He who thus describes it gave Him for the salvation of men. Since, therefore, the name of the Son belongs to the Father, and since in the omnipotent God the Church makes offerings through Jesus Christ, He says well on both these grounds, "And in every place incense is offered to My name, and a pure sacrifice." Now John, in the Apocalypse, declares that the "incense" is "the prayers of the saints."236
Chapter XVIII.-Concerning Sacrifices and Oblations, and Those Who Truly Offer Them.
1. The oblation of the Church, therefore, which the Lord gave instructions to be offered throughout all the world, is accounted with God a pure sacrifice, and is acceptable to Him; not that He stands in need of a sacrifice from us, but that he who offers is himself glorified in what he does offer, if his gift be accepted. For by the gift both honour and affection are shown forth towards the King; and the Lord, wishing us to offer it in all simplicity and innocence, did express Himself thus: "Therefore, when thou offerest thy gift upon the altar, and shalt remember that thy brother hath ought against thee, leave thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then return and offer thy gift."237 We are bound, therefore, to offer to God the first-fruits of His creation, as Moses also says, "Thou shalt not appear in the presence of the Lord thy God empty; "238 so that man, being accounted as grateful, by those things in which he has shown his gratitude, may receive that honour which flows from Him.239
2. And the class of oblations in general has not been set aside; for there were both oblations there [among the Jews], and there are oblations here [among the Christians]. Sacrifices there were among the people; sacrifices there are, too, in the Church: but the species alone has been changed, inasmuch as the offering is now made, not by slaves, but by freemen. For the Lord is [ever] one and the same; but the character of a servile oblation is peculiar [to itself], as is also that of freemen, in order that, by the very oblations, the indication of liberty may be set forth. For with Him there is nothing purposeless, nor without signification, nor without design. And for this reason they (the Jews) had indeed the tithes of their goods consecrated to Him, but those who have received liberty set aside all their possessions for the Lord's purposes, bestowing joyfully and freely not the less valuable portions of their property, since they have the hope of better things [hereafter]; as that poor widow acted who cast all her living into the treasury of God.240
3. For at the beginning God had respect to the gifts of Abel, because he offered with single-mindedness and righteousness; but He had no respect unto the offering of Cain, because his heart was divided with envy and malice, which he cherished against his brother, as God says when reproving his hidden [thoughts], "Though thou offerest rightly, yet, if thou dost not divide rightly, hast thou not sinned? Be at rest; "241 since God is not appeased by sacrifice. For if any one shall endeavour to offer a sacrifice merely to outward appearance, unexceptionably, in due order, and according to appointment, while in his soul he does not assign to his neighbour that fellowship with him which is right and proper, nor is under the fear of God;-he who thus cherishes secret sin does not deceive God by that sacrifice which is offered correctly as to outward appearance; nor will such an oblation profit him anything, but [only] the giving up of that evil which has been conceived within him, so that sin may not the more, by means of the hypocritical action, render him the destroyer of himself.242 Wherefore did the Lord also declare: "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, for ye are like whited sepulchres. For the sepulchre appears beautiful outside, but within it is full of dead men's bones, and all uncleanness; even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of wickedness and hypocrisy."243 For while they were thought to offer correctly so far as outward appearance went, they had in themselves jealousy like to Cain; therefore they slew the Just One, slighting the counsel of the Word, as did also Cain. For [God] said to him, "Be at rest; "but he did not assent. Now what else is it to "be at rest" than to forego purposed violence? And saying similar things to these men, He declares: "Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse that which is within the cup, that the outside may be clean also."244 And they did not listen to Him. For Jeremiah says, "Behold, neither thine eyes nor thy heart are good; but [they are turned] to thy covetousness, and to shed innocent blood, and for injustice, and for man-slaying, that thou mayest do it."245 And again Isaiah saith, "Ye have taken counsel, but not of Me; and made covenants, [but] not by My Spirit."246 In order, therefore, that their inner wish and thought, being brought to light, may show that God is without blame, and worketh no evil-that God who reveals what is hidden [in the heart], but who worketh not evil-when Cain was by no means at rest, He saith to him: "To thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him."247 Thus did He in like manner speak to Pilate: "Thou shouldest have no power at all against Me, unless it were given thee from above; "248 God always giving up the righteous one [in this life to suffering], that he, having been tested by what he suffered and endured, may [at last] be accepted; but that the evildoer, being judged by the actions he has performed, may be rejected. Sacrifices, therefore, do not sanctify a man, for God stands in no need of sacrifice; but it is the conscience of the offerer that sanctifies the sacrifice when it is pure, and thus moves God to accept [the offering] as from a friend. "But the sinner," says He, "who kills a calf [in sacrifice] to Me, is as if he slew a dog."249
4. Inasmuch, then, as the Church offers with single-mindedness, her gift is justly reckoned a pure sacrifice with God. As Paul also says to the Philippians, "I am full, having received from Epaphroditus the things that were sent from you, the odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, pleasing to God."250 For it behoves us to make an oblation to God, and in all things to be found grateful to God our Maker, in a pure mind, and in faith without hypocrisy, in well-grounded hope, in fervent love, offering the first-fruits of His own created things. And the Church alone offers this pure oblation to the Creator, offering to Him, with giving of thanks, [the things taken] from His creation. But the Jews do not offer thus: for their hands are full of blood; for they have not received the Word, through whom it is offered to God.251 Nor, again, do any of the conventicles (synagogae) of the heretics [offer this]. For some, by maintaining that the Father is different from the Creator, do, when they offer to Him what belongs to this creation of ours, set Him forth as being covetous of another's property, and desirous of what is not His own. Those, again, who maintain that the things around us originated from apostasy, ignorance, and passion, do, while offering unto Him the fruits of ignorance, passion, and apostasy, sin against their Father, rather subjecting Him to insult than giving Him thanks. But how can they be consistent with themselves, [when they say] that the bread over which thanks have been given is the body of their Lord,252 and the cup His blood, if they do not call Himself the Son of the Creator of the world, that is, His Word, through whom the wood fructifies, and the fountains gush forth, and the earth gives "first the blade, then the ear, then the full corn in the ear."253
5. Then, again, how can they say that the flesh, which is nourished with the body of the Lord and with His blood, goes to corruption, and does not partake of life? Let them, therefore, either alter their opinion, or cease from offering the things just mentioned.254 But our opinion is in accordance with the Eucharist, and the Eucharist in turn establishes our opinion. For we offer to Him His own, announcing consistently the fellowship and union of the flesh and Spirit.255 For as the bread, which is produced from the earth, when it receives the invocation of God, is no longer common bread,256 but the Eucharist, consisting of two realities, earthly and heavenly; so also our bodies, when they receive the Eucharist, are no longer corruptible, having the hope of the resurrection to eternity.
6. Now we make offering to Him, not as though He stood in need of it, but rendering thanks for His gift,257 and thus sanctifying what has been created. For even as God does not need our possessions, so do we need to offer something to God; as Solomon says: "He that hath pity upon the poor, lendeth unto the Lord."258 For God, who stands in need of nothing, takes our good works to Himself for this purpose, that He may grant us a recompense of His own good things, as our Lord says: "Come, ye blessed of My Father, receive the kingdom prepared for you. For I was an hungered, 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; sick, and ye visited Me; in prison, and ye came to Me."259 As, therefore, He does not stand in need of these [services], yet does desire that we should render them for our own benefit, lest we be unfruitful; so did the Word give to the people that very precept as to the making of oblations, although He stood in no need of them, that they might learn to serve God: thus is it, therefore, also His will that we, too, should offer a gift at the altar, frequently and without intermission. The altar, then, is in heaven260 (for towards that place are our prayers and oblations directed); the temple likewise [is there], as John says in the Apocalypse, "And the
Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala Almighty God above all Ahiyah Asher Ahiyah I Am Who I Am Yahweh El Olam eth Abba Our Father and Son Jesus Christ our Only Lord and Saviour and Ruach Yahweh Holy Spirit our Paraclete, Pantocrator Omniscient Ubiquituos, Yahweh Elohim eth Creator and ruler of all the Lord thy God Incarnate, subsuming flesh of all men, Jesus Christ our Only Lord and Saviour, 70 generations from Adam and the beginning of all creation through Whom, the Word of God, all that has been created was created and without Whom was nothing that has been created, Who hast commanded all men:
1. “Thou shalt not have strange gods before Me;
2. Thou shalt not take the Name of the Lord thy God in vain;
3. Remember thou keep holy the Sabbath Day;
4. Honor thy Father and thy Mother;
5. Thou shalt not kill;
6. Thou shalt not commit adultery;
7. Thou shalt not steal;
8. Thou shalt not bear false witness;
9. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife;
10. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s goods;
3. “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4. Blessed are the meek, for they shall possess the earth.
5. Blessed are they who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
6. Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for justice, for they shall be satisfied.
7. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.
8. Blessed are the clean of heart, for they shall see God
9. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God.
10. Blessed are they who suffer persecution for justice’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11. Blessed are you when men reproach you, and persecute you, and, speaking falsely, say all manner of evil against you, for my sake.
12. Rejoice and exult, because your reward is great in heaven; for so did they persecute the prophets who were before you.
"Blessed are you poor, for yours is the
21. Blessed are you who hunger now, for you shall be satisfied. Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh.
22. Blessed shall you be when men hate you; and when they shut you out and reproach you, and reject your name as evil, because of the Son of
23. Rejoice on that day and exult, for behold your reward is great in heaven. For in the selfsame manner their fathers used to treat the prophets.
24. But woe to you rich! for you are now having your comfort.
25. Woe to you who are filled for you shall hunger.
Woe to you, who laugh now! For you shall mourn and weep.
26. Woe to you when all men speak well of you! In the selfsame manner their fathers used to treat the false prophets!”
The Disciples Compared to Salt and Light
13. "You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its strength, what shall be salted with it? It is no longer of any use but to be thrown out and trodden underfoot by men.
14. "You are the light of the world. A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden.
15. Neither do men light a lamp and put it under the measure, but upon the lamp-stand, so as to give light to all in the house.
16. Even so let your light shine before men, in order that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.
The Old Law and the New
17. "Do not think that I have come to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I have not come to destroy, but to fulfill.
18. For amen I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, not one jot or one tittle shall be lost from the Law till all things have been accomplished.
19. Therefore whoever does away with one of these least commandments, and so teaches men, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever carries them out and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
20. For I say to you that unless your justice exceeds that of the Scribes and Pharisees, you shall not enter the kingdom of heaven.
"Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart and with thy whole soul with thy whole depth of being and with thy whole strength. 38. This is the greatest and the first commandment.
39. And the second is like it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.
40. On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.
I say it now.
34. A new commandment I give you, that you love one another: that as I have loved you, you also love one another. 35. By this will all men know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.
Forgive us our sins as we also do forgive those who trespass against us"
Blessed art Thou, O Lord, teach us Thy statutes and therefore remember us when Thou comest in Thy Kingdom
Blessed art Thou, O Lord, grant us understanding of Thy statutes and therefore remember us when Thou comest in Thy Kingdom
Blessed art Thou, O Lord, enlighten us by Thy statutes and by our obedience of them therefore remember us when Thou comest in Thy Kingdom
Warning from Jesus Christ and the apostle Paul
The Signs of the Last Day
21. “And then, if anyone say to you,
‘Behold, here is the Christ; behold, there he is,’ do not believe it. 22. For false christs and false prophets will arise, and will show signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. 23. Be on your guard therefore; behold, I have told you all things beforehand.
24. “But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun will be darkened,
and the moon will not give her light, 25. and the stars of heaven will be falling, and the powers that are in heaven will be shaken. 26. And then they will see the Son of Man coming upon clouds with great power and majesty. 27. And then he will send forth his angels, and will gather his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost parts of the earth to the uttermost parts of heaven.
6. Indeed it is just on the part of God to repay with affliction, those who afflict you, 7. and to give you who are afflicted rest with us at the revelation of the Lord Jesus who will come from heaven with the angels of his power, 8. in flaming fire to inflict punishment on those who do not know God, and who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9. These will be punished with eternal ruin, away from the face of the Lord and the glory of his power,
THE GOSPEL: THE POWER OF GOD FOR THE SALVATION OF
ALL WHO BELIEVE
I. Humanity Without Christ
The Pagans Adore Idols
18. For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and wickedness of those men who in wickedness hold back the truth of God, 19. seeing that what may be known about God is manifest to them. For God has manifested it to them. 20. For since the creation of the world his invisible attributes are clearly seen - his everlasting power also and divinity-being understood through the things that are made. And so they are without excuse, 21. seeing that, although they knew God, they did not glorify him as God or give thanks, but became vain in their reasonings, and their senseless minds have been darkened. 22. For while professing to be wise, they have become fools, 23. and they have changed the glory of the incorruptible for an image made like to corruptible man and to birds and four footed beasts and creeping things.
Punishment of Idolaters
24. Therefore God has given them up in the lustful desires of their heart to uncleanness, so that they dishonor their own bodies among themselves- 25. they who exchange the truth of God for a lie, and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator who is blessed forever, amen.
26. For this cause God has given them up to shameful lusts; for their women have exchanged the natural use for that which is against nature 27. and in like manner the men also having abandoned the natural use of the woman, have burned in their lusts one towards another, men with men doing shameless things and receiving in themselves the fitting recompense of their perversity. 28. And as they have resolved against possessing the knowledge of God, God has given them up to a reprobate sense, so that they do what is not fitting, 29. being filled with all iniquity, malice, immorality, avarice, wickedness; being full of envy, murder, contention, deceit, malignity being whisperers, 30. detractors, hateful to God, irreverent, proud, haughty, plotters of evil disobedient to parents, 31. foolish, dissolute, without affection, without fidelity, without mercy. 32. Although they have known the ordinance of God, they have not understood that those who practise such things are deserving of death. And not only do they do these things, but they applaud others doing them.
St. Mark 13
2 Thess. 1
Gospel of St. Matthew chapter 12
11. "And whatever town or village, you enter, inquire who in it is worthy; and stay there until you leave. 12. As you enter the house, salute it. 13. If then that house be worthy, your peace will come upon it; but if it be not worthy, let your peace return to you. 14. And whoever does not receive you, or listen to your words go forth outside that house or town, and shake off the dust from your feet. 15. Amen I say to you, it will be more tolerable for the
Jesus and His Brethren
46. While he was still speaking to the crowds, his mother and his brethren were standing outside, seeking to speak to him. 47. And someone said to him, "Behold, thy mother and thy brethren are standing outside, seeking thee." 48. But he answered and said to him who told him, "Who is my mother and who are my brethren?" 49. And stretching forth his hand towards his disciples, he said, "Behold my mother and my brethren! 50. For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven, he is my brother and sister and mother."
Warning from the early Church
APOSTATES -- ACCORDING TO St. Irenaeus of
Those nations however, who did not of themselves raise up their eyes unto heaven, nor returned thanks to their Maker, nor wished to behold the light of truth, but who were like blind mice concealed in the depths of ignorance, the word justly reckons “as waste water from a sink, and as the turning-weight of a balance—in fact, as nothing;”
That before the Lord’s appearance Satan never dared to blaspheme God, inasmuch as he did not yet know his own sentence, because it was contained in parables and allegories; but that after the Lord’s appearance, when he had clearly ascertained from the words of Christ and His apostles that eternal fire has been prepared for him as he apostatized from God of his own free-will, and likewise for all who unrepentant continue in the apostasy, he now blasphemes, by means of such men, the Lord who brings judgment [upon him] as being already condemned, and imputes the guilt of his apostasy to his Maker, not to his own voluntary disposition. Just as it is with those who break the laws, when punishment overtakes them: they throw the blame upon those who frame the laws, but not upon themselves. In like manner do those men, filled with a satanic spirit, bring innumerable accusations against our Creator, who has both given to us the spirit of life, and established a law adapted for all; and they will not admit that the judgment of God is just. Wherefore also they set about imagining some other Father who neither cares about nor exercises a providence; and there is therefore in this beast (the Antichrist), when he comes, a recapitulation made of all sorts of iniquity and of every deceit, in order that all apostate power, flowing into and being shut up in him, may be sent into the furnace of fire. Fittingly, therefore, shall his name possess the number six hundred and sixty-six, since he sums up in his own person all the commixture of wickedness which took place previous to the deluge, due to the apostasy of the angels. For Noah was six hundred years old when the deluge came upon the earth, sweeping away the rebellious world, for the sake of that most infamous generation which lived in the times of Noah. And [Antichrist] also sums up every error of devised idols since the flood, together with the slaying of the prophets and the cutting off of the just. For that image which was set up by Nebuchadnezzar had indeed a height of sixty cubits, while the breadth was six cubits; on account of which Ananias, Azarias, and Misaël, when they did not worship it, were cast into a furnace of fire, pointing out prophetically, by what happened to them, the wrath against the righteous which shall arise towards the [time of the] end. For that image, taken as a whole, was a prefiguring of this man’s coming, decreeing that he should undoubtedly himself alone be worshipped by all men. Thus, then, the six hundred years of Noah, in whose time the deluge occurred because of the apostasy, and the number of the cubits of the image for which these just men were sent into the fiery furnace, do indicate the number of the name of that man in whom is concentrated the whole apostasy of six thousand years, and unrighteousness, and wickedness, and false prophecy, and deception; for which things’ sake a cataclysm of fire shall also come [upon the earth].
Note: six thousand years is not literal but means the six ages of the world prior to the Second coming of Christ. The Parousia, the Second Coming of Christ, is the seventh age, quite short but very Important, and the eighth age is the eternal age in the recreated universe with Christ reigning visibly with all His elect angels and saints, forever.