In this email
Message from Fr Alexander — Stand in the presence of God
Stay connected to the Church — Calendars
3 Ways Christians Can Deal with Temptation — Be the Bee video
Live stream information
News of Future Services
Saints and Feasts — 12th–19th November
Offer of help
It is easy to stand before our icons, to make the sign of the Cross and then be lost about what to do. God has given that we spend time opening our hearts to him that he may enter and reside within us, but we ask the question: how?
The Church points us to the Book of Psalms, sometimes printed as a separate book called the Psalter. In it King David invites us to enter within and bring ourselves before the Lord: they are a roadmap to the human condition and how we can get from where we are to God.
Be silent, Orpheus: thy lyre throw aside, O Hermes.
The tripod at Delphi hath sunk into oblivion for evermore.
For us David doth now play the Spirit’s lyre,
The hidden things of God’s mysteries he revealeth;
A multitude of ancient wonders he narrateth;
Of the Creator of creation, doth he move one to sing.
Saving all those men he initiateth, as he writeth his verses,
Sinners doth he bring to desire repentance.
Among other teachings, to the throng doth he declare the Judge’s judgment.
The purging, he doth teach, of soulful sinnings.
— Verses to the Divine David
Read the Psalms. Even better, pray the Psalms. Let them instruct you in how to stand in the presence of God and be at one with him. They express our hurt and our joy, our sorrow and ecstasy, our mourning and rejoicing.
Perhaps a good place to start, especially in these troubled times, is Psalm 90.
He that dwelleth in the help of the Most High shall abide in the shelter of the God of heaven.
He shall say unto the Lord: Thou art my helper and my refuge. He is my God, and I will hope in Him.
For He shall deliver thee from the snare of the hunters and from every troubling word.
With His shoulders will He overshadow thee, and under His wings shalt thou have hope.
With a shield will His truth encompass thee; thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night, nor for the arrow that flieth by day,
Nor for the thing that walketh in darkness, nor for the mishap and demon of noonday.
A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand, but unto thee shall it not come nigh.
Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold, and thou shalt see the reward of sinners.
For Thou, O Lord, art my hope. Thou madest the Most High thy refuge;
No evils shall come nigh thee, and no scourge shall draw nigh unto thy dwelling.
For He shall give His angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.
On their hands shall they bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.
Upon the asp and basilisk shalt thou tread, and thou shalt trample upon the lion and dragon.
For he hath set his hope on Me, and I will deliver him; I will shelter him because he hath known My name.
He shall cry unto Me, and I will hearken unto him. I am with him in affliction, and I will rescue him and glorify him.
With length of days will I satisfy him, and I will show him My salvation.
Stay connected to the Church
Our Archdiocese publishes an annual calendar for you to put up on your wall. It can be part of keeping you in contact with the Church every day of the week. I now have copies in stock for 2021 and they would make an excellent addition to your home and a beautiful gift for a friend.
This year’s features pictures from our monastery in Shropshire. There are the saints and the Bible readings for each day of the year as well as a guide to fasting.
Contact me for details, firstname.lastname@example.org: £6 per copy.
3 Ways Christians Can Deal with Temptation
Your thoughts are not your own. What can we do when we have a bad thought?
Worries are increasing on the possible increase in the spread of the disease. Yet there is a division: one side is accused of scare-mongering while the other of irresponsibility. The situation is becoming fractious and each side’s position is becoming more entrenched.
Our duty as Christians is to stand for truth and to bring about unity. But to stand for truth does not mean to ridicule nor deride those who are wrong, it is to act patiently, humbly, lovingly: in other words to be Christ-like. We do not shy away from the truth nor do we separate ourselves from others.
The Church has a clear position as given by our bishops: we are to obey the civil authorities on these matters. We follow the law while maintaining our Faith and thus provide a witness—a martyrdom—of the Gospel. And then, by trusting in the power of God and not our own, we may become an icon of unity and concord.
Would you like help? Advice? Support? Then let me know.
The Monastery of Saints Antony and Cuthbert, Shropshire, is live-streaming its services for all who are unable to go to their own churches. These are over YouTube and can be accessed here:
Usually Vespers on Saturday evenings at 5 pm and Matins and Liturgy on Sunday mornings from 7.30 am.
News of Future Services
We want to start to hold services together: things are difficult now but they remind us that we can do nothing by our own power. Only when we place our hope in the Lord—and not in our own skills, talents, ideas, imaginations—will we be able to build a house for the Lord.
Our Facebook Page, facebook.com/orthodoxeastleigh, too, has daily additions during the week as well as on feast days. Please do like and share our page and content so we may reach a wider group of people.
Do you receive the weekly (on Fridays) text message? If not, then let me know.
Saints and Feasts
Thursday 12th November — St John the Merciful, Patriarch of Alexandria (619). St Neilos the Faster, of Sinai (5th). St Machar, Bishop of Aberdeen (6th). St Cadwaladr, King of the Welsh (664).
Friday 13th — St John Chrysostom, Archbishop of Constantinople (407).
Saturday 14th — Holy Apostle Philip. St Dyfrig (Dubricius), Bishop in Hereford and Gwent, Hermit of Bardsey Island (c 550). St Gregory Palamas, Archbishop of Thessalonica (1359).
Sunday 15th — 23rd after Pentecost. (Luke 8). Martyrs and Confessors Gourias, Samonas and Abibos of Edessa (299–306). Beginning of the Nativity Fast.
Monday 16th — Holy Apostle and Evangelist Matthew (60).
Tuesday 17th — St Gregory the Wonderworker of Neo-Caesarea (c 266–70). St Hilda, Abbess of Whitby (680).
Wednesday 18th — Martyr Plato of Ancyra (c 306). St Mawes, Bishop in Cornwall and Brittany (5th).
Thursday 19th — Prophet Obadiah (Abdias, 9th BC). St Egbert, Archbishop of York (766). New Martyr Elias Fondaminsky (France, 1942).
Can I help you?
I am here for you, you need only ask. Is there a way I can support your life of faith? Get in touch.
Can you help the mission?
Yes, absolutely. Offer yourselves to the Lord: pray! Make available to him all your talents and ask him how he would like you to use them — listen for his reply.
I ask your prayers for me.
With love in Christ