Correcting One Another III

Thoughts from St. John of Kronstadt, archpriest of the Russian Orthodox Church during the 19th century, canonized in the 1960’s:

“If you wish to correct the faults of anyone, do not think of trying to do so solely by your own means:  you would only do harm by your own vices, for instance pride and the irritability arising from it; but cast thy burden upon the Lord, and pray with all your heart that God himself will enlighten the heart and mind of that man. If He sees that your prayer breathes love, and that it really comes from the depths of your heart, He will undoubtedly fulfill it, and you will soon see, from the change that has taken place in him for whom you prayed, that it is the work of the most high God.”

From the book Spirtual Counsels: Select Passages from ‘My Like in Christ’

Fitted to the Bishop as to Strings of the Harp …

Ignatius of Antioch, martyred in Rome around the year 110  A.D. was among the Apostolic Fathers, served as the third Bishop of Antioch [St. Peter being recognized as the first], and was a student of John the Apostle. En route to his martyrdom in Rome, Ignatius wrote a series of letters which have been preserved as an example of very early Christian theology. Important topics addressed in these letters include ecclesiology, the sacraments, and the role of bishops.

These letters, dating only a few decades from the deaths of the apostles themselves and prior to the establishment of the New Testament canon, are among the wealth of writings available from the earliest presbyters of the Church. They help reveal the continuity of today’s Orthodox Church with that received from the faith and practice of the apostles.

From The Epistle of Ignatius to the Ephesians:

“Wherefore it is fitting that you should run together in accordance with the will of your bishop, which thing also you do. For your justly renowned presbytery, worthy of God, is fitted as exactly to the bishop as the strings are to the harp. Therefore in your concord and harmonious love, Jesus Christ is sung. And do you, man by man, become a choir, that being harmonious in love, and taking up the song of God in unison, you may with one voice sing to the Father through Jesus Christ, so that He may both hear you, and perceive by your works that you are indeed the members of His Son. It is profitable, therefore, that you should live in an unblameable unity, that thus you may always enjoy communion with God. Continue reading

A Calendar of Saints Revered Throughout Christendom

 

The hope included in these posts is that through our prayer and interior reflection, a true spirit of unity might manifest itself in our lives and therefore in the life of the Church. 

 The Saints of the Church pray along with us as the “great cloud of witnesses” that we read of in the book of Hebrews. An excellent calendar is available for a small charge through the Fellowship of St. James that identifies the blessed ones that are shared among all Christians. Many, if not most, are from the First Thousand Years of the undivided Church. You can find more information on the calendar at http://www.fsj.org/pages/fsjcalendar.php

 It is my hope that you will remember these mutually revered saints them in your daily prayers with a special request for the unity of the faith and the reconciliation of our churches. St. James Ecumenical Calendar of the Christian Year 

Other on-line sources to find the common saints of the day is to compare such databases as on the website http://www.ecatholichub.net/study/saints,whichis a database taken from the most recent Roman Martyrology of the Roman Catholic Church, the Vatican’s official list of saints and blesseds; and as a secondary source, http://www.catholic.org/saints On the Eastern Orthodox side, I have found “The Lives of the Saints” complied by the Orthodox Church of America at  http://www.oca.org/FSIndex.asp?SID=4  to be fairly comprehensive.

 This blog is not connected with the Fellowship of St. James and in no way benefits from calendar sales.

 

St. Sabinus & the Dangers of the Third Century A.D.

St. Sabinus

St. Sabinus

 

To call the third century A.D. merely dangerous is an incomplete statement. It was chaotic, violent, and contentious.  Imperial Rome was in chaos. The rule of law was spotty throughout the empire. Even where there was law, Christians regularly faced threats to life, limb, and reputation.

 

One such martyr was St. Sabinus, an official within the Egyptian city of Hermopolis. In 287, a persecution of Christians was launched there. (Although it happened early in the reign of the emperor Diocletian- 284-305- it is unlikely Diocletian initiated the campaign. His bile was fully released on Christians early in the fourth century.)  St Sabinus and his companions hid in a remote village. An ungrateful beggar, previously helped by the saint, revealed his hiding place for a few gold coins. Sabinus and six other Christians were captured, tortured, and then drowned in the Nile for their failure to renounce their faith.

St. Sabinus is remembered this day in the Roman Catholic Church and on Monday the 16th in the Orthodox and Melkite Greek-Catholic calendars.

Kontakion – Tone 2 

O God-bearing Sabinas, you are an unfading flower and bloom of divinity. Branch heavy-laden with fruit, fill with your gladness those who in faith honor your memory, and pray for us all unceasingly.