Weekly Diocesan Bulletin - Sunday, May 29, 2016

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WEEKLY DIOCESAN BULLETIN

Sunday, May 29, 2016
Christ is Risen!

Fifth Sunday of Pascha: The Samaritan Woman at the Well; Saint Theodore the Sanctified; Hieromartyr Theodore of Vrshac; New-martyr Vukashin 

RESURRECTIONAL TROPARION - TONE FOUR:
When the women disciples of the Lord learned from the angel the joyous message of Your Resurrection, they cast away the ancestral curse and elatedly told the apostles:  Death is overthrown!  Christ God is risen, granting the world great mercy! 

MID-PENTECOST TROPARION - TONE EIGHT:
In the middle of the Feast, O Savior, fill my thirsting soul with the waters of piety, as You cried to all: ‘If anyone thirst, let him come to Me and drink!’  O Christ God, Fountain of our life, glory to You! 

KONTAKION TO THE SAMARITAN WOMAN - TONE EIGHT:
The Samaritan woman came to the well in faith; she saw You, the Water of Wisdom, and drank abundantly!  She inherited the Kingdom on high, and is ever glorified. 

MID-PENTECOST KONTAKION - TONE FOUR:
Christ God, the Creator and Master of all, cried to all in the midst of the feast of the law: ‘Come and draw the water of immortality!’  We fall before You and faithfully cry: ‘Grant us Your mercies, for You are the Fountain of our life!’ 

INSTEAD OF “IT IS TRULY MEET…”:
The angel cried to the Lady Full of Grace: Rejoice, O Pure Virgin!  Again I say: Rejoice!  Your Son is risen from His three days in the tomb!  With Himself He has raised all the dead!  Rejoice, all ye people!  Shine!  Shine!  O New Jerusalem!  The glory of the Lord has shone on you!  Exult now and be glad, O Zion!  Be radiant, O Pure Theotokos, in the Resurrection of your Son! 

INSTEAD OF “WE HAVE SEEN THE TRUE LIGHT…”:
Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and upon those in the tombs bestowing life! (once) 

EPISTLE READING 

The Prokimenon in the 3rd Tone:
Sing praises to our God, sing praises!  Sing praises to our King, sing praises! 

Fifth Sunday of Pascha: Acts 11: 19-26; 29-30
In those days, those who were scattered after the persecution that arose over Stephen traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus and Antioch, preaching the word to no one but the Jews only.  But some of them were men from Cyprus and Cyrene, who, when they had come to Antioch, spoke to the Hellenists, preaching the Lord Jesus.  And the hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number believed and turned to the Lord. Then news of these things came to the ears of the church in Jerusalem, and they sent out Barnabas to go as far as Antioch.  When he came and had seen the grace of God, he was glad, and encouraged them all that with purpose of heart they should continue with the Lord.  For he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith.  And a great many people were added to the Lord.  Then Barnabas departed for Tarsus to seek Saul.  And when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch.  So it was that for a whole year they assembled with the church and taught a great many people.  And the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch.  Then the disciples, each according to his ability, determined to send relief to the brethren dwelling in Judea.  This they also did, and sent it to the elders by the hands of Barnabas and Saul. 

The Alleluia Verses:

Go forth and prosper and reign, because of truth and meekness and righteousness.  You love righteousness and hate iniquity. 

GOSPEL READING 

Fifth Sunday of Pascha: John 4: 5-42
At that time, Jesus came to a city of Samaria which is called Sychar, near the plot of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph.  Now Jacob’s well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied from His journey, sat thus by the well.  It was about the sixth hour.  A woman of Samaria came to draw water.  Jesus said to her, “Give Me a drink.”  For His disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.  Then the woman of Samaria said to Him, “How is it that You, being a Jew, ask a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?”  For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.  Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink’, you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.”  The woman said to Him, “Sir, You have nothing to draw with, and the well is deep.  Where then do You get that living water?  Are You greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself as well as his sons and his livestock?”  Jesus answered and said to her, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst.  But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.”  The woman said to Him, “Sir, give me this water, that I may not thirst, nor come here to draw.”  Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come here.”  The woman answered and said, “I have no husband.”  Jesus said to her, “You have well said, ‘I have no husband’, for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband; in that you spoke truly.”  The woman said to Him, “Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet.  Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, and you Jews say that in Jerusalem is the place where one ought to worship.”  Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father.  You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews.  But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him.  God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”  The woman said to Him, “I know the Messiah is coming” (who is called Christ).  “When He comes, He will tell us all things.”  Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am He.”  And at this point His disciples came and they marveled that He talked with a woman; yet no one said, “What do You seek?” or, “Why are You talking with her?”  The woman then left her waterpot, went her way into the city, and said to the men, “Come, see a Man who told me all things that I ever did.  Could this be the Christ?”  Then they went out of the city and came to Him.  In the meantime His disciples urged Him, saying, “Rabbi, eat.”  But He said to them, “I have food to eat of which you do not know.”  Therefore the disciples said to one another, “Has anyone brought Him anything to eat?”  Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work.  Do you not say, ‘There are still four months and then comes the harvest?’  Behold I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest!  And he who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit for eternal life, that both he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together.  For in this the saying is true: ‘One sows and another reaps.’  I sent you to reap that for which you have not labored; others have labored, and you have entered into their labors.”  And many of the Samaritans of that city believed in Him because of the word of the woman who testified, “He told me all what I ever did.”  So when the Samaritans had come to Him they urged Him to stay with them; and He stayed there two days.  And many more believed because of His own word.  Then they said to the woman, “Now we believe, not because of what you said, for we ourselves have heard Him and we know that this is indeed the Christ, the Savior of the world.” 

From The Prologue
For May 16/29 by St. Nikolai Velimirovic:

The Venerable Theodore the Sanctified

Theodore was a disciple of St. Pachomius. He was born and raised a pagan, but as a young man he came to the knowledge of the true Faith and was baptized. Learning of St. Pachomius, Theodore secretly fled from his parents’ home to Pachomius’s monastery. St. Pachomius tonsured him a monk and loved him for his extraordinary zeal and obedience. When his mother arrived to summon him back home, Theodore did not want even to appear before her. Instead, he prayed that God would enlighten her with the truth. Indeed, not only did her son not return home but she herself did not return home. Seeing a nearby convent that was under the spiritual direction of Pachomius’s sister, she entered it and was tonsured a nun. After some time Paphnutius, Theodore’s brother, also came to the monastery and was tonsured a monk. In time the bishop of Panopolis called St. Pachomius to establish a monastery for those who desired the monastic life. Pachomius took Theodore with him and entrusted him with the duty of establishing this new monastery. After the death of Pachomius, Theodore became the abbot of all of Pachomius’s monasteries and lived to a ripe old age. Theodore lived a life pleasing to God, directing many monks on the road to salvation. He reposed peacefully and took up his habitation in the Kingdom of Eternal Light in the year 368. 

The Blessed Virgin Musa

St. Gregory the Dialogist recounts of her that she was only nine years old when, on two occasions, the Most-holy Theotokos, surrounded by radiant virgins, appeared to her. When Musa expressed her desire to also be a member of that radiant company of the Queen of Heaven, the Theotokos said to her that she would return and take her in one month. She also instructed Musa how to live for those next thirty days. On the twenty-fifth day, Musa took to her bed. On the thirtieth day the Most-pure One appeared again, calling to her in a soft voice, to which Musa answered, “Behold, I am coming. O Lady, behold, I am coming!” and she gave up her spirit. Musa was translated from this life into life eternal in the fifth century. 

Saint Nicholas Mysticus, Patriarch of Constantinople

Nicholas was famous because of the unusual severity of his life. When Emperor Leo the Wise married for the fourth time, the patriarch refused him entrance into the church and defrocked the priest who performed the marriage. As a result of this, the emperor deposed the patriarch and banished him to a monastery. The delegates of the Roman Pope Sergius II approved the emperor’s fourth marriage. When the emperor died, Nicholas was again restored to the patriarchal throne and called an assembly in the year 925, at which a fourth marriage for a Christian was in general forbidden. The name “Mysticus” signifies the senior member of the emperor’s council. At first, this saint had been a high-ranking courtier, but then he left the vanity of the world and was tonsured a monk. He reposed peacefully in the year 930. 

The Holy New Martyr Nicholas

Nicholas was born in Epira. He was tortured by the Turks for the Christian Faith and beheaded in Trikkala in 1617. A reliquary containing the head of this martyr is preserved today in one of the Meteora monasteries in Thessaly. He performs many miracles and heals the gravest diseases. He is especially known to drive grasshoppers from fields. 

The Venerable Martyrs of the Monastery
of St. Sava the Sanctified

During the reign of Emperor Heraclius, about the year 610, forty-four monks from the Monastery of St. Sava the Sanctified near Jerusalem suffered for the Christian Faith. Their heroism and sufferings were recorded by St. Antiochus, an eyewitness (December 24). 

HYMN OF PRAISE: Saint Nicholas the New Martyr

Nicholas the martyr suffered for Christ,
And by painful endurance overcame the devil.

The hero did not want to deny his Savior,
But glorified God as long as he had a voice;
And he glorified Him in his heart when his voice gave out.

He begged his enemies for greater sufferings.
Cruel as wolves, the Turks beat him;
They put him through every inhuman suffering,
And finally cut off his holy head.

Into the green grass the saint’s head rolled;
And it was shining with light.

A Christian wrapped the head in silk,
And brought it into church to be a remedy for many,
To heal the disfigured, the blind and the insane.

On all sides, God punished the unbelievers,
And the faithful Nicholas He eternally glorified. 

REFLECTION

When Theodore the Sanctified was in Panopolis with his spiritual father St. Pachomius, a philosopher approached him and offered to debate with him about the Faith. The philosopher posed these three questions to Theodore: “Who was not born, but died? Who was born and did not die? Who died and did not decay?” To these questions, St. Theodore replied: “Adam was not born but died. Enoch was born and did not die. Lot’s wife died and did not decay.” And the saint added this advice to the philosopher: “Heed our sound advice; depart from these useless questions and scholastic syllogisms; draw near to Christ, Whom we are serving, and you will receive forgiveness of sins.” The philosopher was silenced by such a pointed answer and, ashamed, he departed. From this, the enormous difference is clearly seen between a pagan philosopher and a Christian saint. The one loses himself in abstractions, in cleverly twisted words, in contests of logic and in mental gymnastics, while the other focuses his whole mind on the Living God and on the salvation of his soul. The one is abstract and dead, while the other is practical and alive. 

CONTEMPLATION

Contemplate the action of the Holy Spirit upon the apostles:

1. How the Holy Spirit miraculously guided the feet of the apostles to distant lands;

2. How the Holy Spirit assembled them in Jerusalem from distant lands for the burial of the Most-holy Theotokos. 

HOMILY on the appearance of the prophet Jeremiah from the other world

This done, in like manner there appeared a man with gray hairs and exceeding glorious, who was of a wonderful and excellent majesty. Then Onias answered, saying, “This is a lover of the brethren, who prays much for the people and for the holy city, to wit, Jeremiah the prophet of God” (II Maccabees 15:13–14).

This was the vision seen by the courageous Judas Maccabeas. The first to appear to him from the other world was Onias the high priest, and after that the holy Prophet Jeremiah. Just as the apostles saw Moses and Elias in glory on Mount Tabor, so at one time Judas Maccabeas saw the Prophet Jeremiah in glory. Even before the risen Christ, then, the merciful God did not leave men without proof of life after death. In Christian times, however, those proofs are without number and without end. Whoever, even after all of this, doubts life after death, remains under the curse of his sin as under a tombstone. As dead things cannot see the light of day, neither can he see the life that is, and of which there is no end.

But behold how the Prophet Jeremiah is crowned with glory in the other life! Gray hairs and exceeding glorious! Around him was a certain indescribable dignity, a certain bright aureole, a certain inexpressible pleasure and beauty. He was dragged and beaten by the men to whom he had imparted the will of God, was a captive in prison and a martyr in a fetid hole, was derided as a liar, was tried as a traitor, and finally was stoned to death as a transgressor. However, the judgment of sinners os one thing, and the judgment of God is another. The most humiliated among men became crowned with angelic glory before God.

And yet, behold how heaven names one whom the earth called false, a traitor and a transgressor! Lover of the brethren: this is what heaven called him. Lover of the brethren, who prays much for the people. Finally, see how the saints in heaven pray to God for us! Not sleeping, they pray for us while we are asleep; not eating, they pray for us while we are eating—and over-eating; not sinning, they pray for us while we are sinning. O brethren, let us be ashamed before so many of our sincere friends. Let us be ashamed, let us be ashamed of so many prayers for us by the saints, and let us join with their prayers. O Lord All-wonderful, forgive us our sinful slothfulness and dullness. 

To Thee be glory and praise forever. Amen.


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Weekly Diocesan Bulletin - Sunday, May 22, 2016


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WEEKLY DIOCESAN BULLETIN

Sunday, May 22, 2016
Christ is Risen!

FOURTH SUNDAY OF PASCHA: THE HEALING OF THE PARALYTIC; THE HOLY PROPHET ISAIAH; TRANSFER OF THE RELICS OF SAINT NICHOLAS THE WONDERWORKER OF MYRA IN LYCIA

RESURRECTIONAL TROPARION - TONE THREE:
Let the heavens rejoice! Let the earth be glad! For the Lord has shown strength with His arm! He has trampled down death by death! He has become the first-born of the dead! He has delivered us from the depths of hell, and has granted the world great mercy!

TROPARION TO THE HOLY PROPHET ISAIAH – TONE FOUR:
With a great voice like that of a trumpet, you proclaimed the coming of Christ to the world. You were revealed as a swiftly-writing scribe of the things to come; therefore, we acclaim you with hymns, most illustrious prophet Isaiah.

KONTAKION TO THE PARALYTIC - TONE THREE:
By Your divine intercession, O Lord, as You raised up the paralytic of old so raise up my soul, paralyzed by sins and thoughtless acts; so that being saved I may sing to You: ‘Glory to Your power, O compassionate Christ!

PASCHAL KONTAKION - TONE EIGHT:
Thou didst descend into the tomb, O Immortal; Thou didst destroy the power of death. In victory didst Thou arise, O Christ God, proclaiming ‘Rejoice’ to the myrrh-bearing women, granting peace to Thy apostles, and bestowing resurrection on the fallen.

INSTEAD OF “IT IS TRULY MEET…”:
The angel cried to the Lady Full of Grace: Rejoice, O Pure Virgin! Again I say: Rejoice! Your Son is risen from His three days in the tomb! With Himself He has raised all the dead! Rejoice, all ye people! Shine! Shine! O New Jerusalem! The glory of the Lord has shone on you! Exult now and be glad, O Zion! Be radiant, O Pure Theotokos, in the Resurrection of your Son!

INSTEAD OF “WE HAVE SEEN THE TRUE LIGHT…”:
Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and upon those in the tombs bestowing life! (once)

EPISTLE READING

THE PROKIMENON IN THE 1ST TONE:
Let Your mercy, O Lord, be upon us as we have set our hope on You.

FOURTH SUNDAY OF PASCHA: ACTS 9: 32-42
In those days it came to pass, as Peter went through all parts of the country, that he also came down to the saints who dwelt in Lydda. There he found a certain man named Aeneas, who had been bed-ridden eight years and was paralyzed. And Peter said to him, “Aeneas, Jesus the Christ heals you. Arise and make your bed.” Then he arose immediately. So all who dwelt at Lydda and Sharon saw him and turned to the Lord. At Joppa there was a certain disciple named Tabitha, which is translated Dorcas. This woman was full of good works and charitable deeds which she did. But it happened in those days that she became sick and died. When they had washed her, they laid her in an upper room. And since Lydda was near Joppa, and the disciples had heard that Peter was there, they sent two men to him, imploring him not to delay in coming to them. Then Peter arose and went with them. When he had come, they brought him to the upper room. And all the widows stood by him weeping, showing the tunics and garments which Dorcas had made while she was with them. But Peter put them all out, and knelt down and prayed. And turning to the body he said, “Tabitha, arise.” And she opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter she sat up. Then he gave her his hand and lifted her up; and when he had called the saints and widows, he presented her alive. And it became known throughout all Joppa, and many believed on the Lord.

THE ALLELUIA VERSES:
I will sing of Your mercies, O Lord, forever; with my mouth I will proclaim Your truth from generation to generation. You has said: Mercy will be established forever, and My truth will be prepared in the heavens.

GOSPEL READING

FOURTH SUNDAY OF PASCHA: JOHN 5: 1-15
At that time there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, which is called in Hebrew, Bethesda, having five porches. In these lay a great multitude of sick people, blind, lame, paralyzed, waiting for the moving of the water. For an angel went down at a certain time into the pool and stirred up the water; then whoever stepped in first, after the stirring of the water, was made well of whatever disease he had. Now a certain man was there who had an infirmity thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he already had been in that condition a long time, He said to him, “Do you want to be made well?” The sick man answered Him, “Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; but while I am coming, another steps down before me.” Jesus said to him, “Rise, take up your bed and walk.” And immediately the man was made well, took up his bed, and walked. And that day was the Sabbath. The Jews therefore said to him who was cured, “It is the Sabbath; it is not lawful for you to carry your bed.” He answered them, “He who made me well said to me, ‘Take up your bed and walk.’” Then they asked him, “Who is the Man who said to you, ‘Take up your bed and walk’?” But the one who was healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had withdrawn, a multitude being in that place. Afterward Jesus found him in the temple, and said to him, “See, you have been made well. Sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon you.” The man departed and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him well.

FROM THE PROLOGUE
FOR MAY 9/22 BY ST. NIKOLAI VELIMIROVIC:

The Holy Prophet Isaiah
This great prophet was of royal lineage. Isaiah was born in Jerusalem of his father Amoz, who was the brother of Amaziah the King of Judah. By the great grace of God that was in him, Isaiah was made worthy to see the Lord of Sabaoth on the throne in heaven surrounded by six-winged seraphim who continuously sing: Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord of Sabaoth (Isaiah 6:3). Isaiah prophesied many things to individual men as well as to the people. On one occasion, he walked naked through the streets of Jerusalem for three days, prophesying the imminent fall of Jerusalem to the Assyrian King Sennacherib, and reminding the king and the leaders of the people not to hope in assistance from the Egyptians or Ethiopians, because they too would be subjugated to the same Sennacherib, but rather to trust in help from God the Most High. This prophecy, as well as other prophecies, was literally fulfilled. Isaiah’s most important prophecies are the ones concerning the Incarnation of God, His conception by the All-holy Virgin, John the Forerunner, and many events in the life of Christ. This prophet, because of the purity of his heart and his zealousness toward God, also received the gift of working miracles. Thus, when the besieged Jerusalem suffered from drought, Isaiah prayed to God and water flowed from beneath Mount Zion. This water was called Siloam, which means “sent.” Later, the Lord directed the man who was blind from birth to bathe in this water to gain his sight. During the reign of King Manasses, when Isaiah thundered against the pagan customs of the king and the leaders, comparing that generation with Sodom and Gomorrah, the anger of the leaders and the people was aroused against this great prophet. He was captured and led out of Jerusalem, and was sawn in half. Isaiah lived and prophesied about seven hundred years before Christ.

The Translation of the Relics of Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker of Myra in Lycia
In 1087, during the reign of Emperor Alexius Comnenus and Patriarch Nicholas Grammaticus, the body of this saint was translated from Myra in Lycia to the town of Bari in Italy. This occurred because of the Moslem assault on Lycia. The saint appeared in a dream to an honorable priest in Bari and ordered that his relics be translated to this town. At that time, Bari was Orthodox and under an Orthodox patriarch. During the translation of this saint’s relics, many miracles occurred either through touching the relics or from the myrrh that abundantly flowed from them. Also on this day is commemorated the miracle St. Nicholas wrought on the Serbian King, Stefan of Deèani. This was when St. Nicholas restored sight to the blinded King Stefan.

The Holy Martyr Christopher
Christopher was a great miracle-worker. He is especially venerated in Spain. The people pray to him primarily for protection from contagious diseases and great pestilence. He suffered for Christ and was glorified by Christ in the year 249.

HYMN OF PRAISE: Saint Stefan of Deèani
On the Field of Sheep, the blind Stefan slept,
And in a dream he endured misfortune without peace.
His eyes bloody, his body shivering:
Death is surely better than such a life.
At that moment, in a dream a man appeared to him,
In heavenly radiance, in heavenly glory.
“I am Nicholas of Myra in Lycia,” said he,
“And you are one of those whom God has chosen.
Look into my right hand, O Stefan:
Behold, your eyes are preserved in it!
You are without eyes; your eyes are with me.
I will give them to you when the Lord wills.”
Five years passed and Stefan was in darkness.
He had a strong hope, a strong faith:
“Nicholas will come once more to me;
With God’s help he will help me.”
Thus did Stefan ponder in the church,
And with tears he prayed to the beloved saint.
And, while he sat in the chair, he had a dream:
Behold, St. Nicholas came to him again!
The saint held the two eyes of the king in his right palm.
“Behold,” said he, “for you, O King, the day has dawned!
In the name of the Lord, Who gives sight to the blind,
Look and cry out: To God be glory!”
The saint touched the blind eyes,
And darkness was drawn from his eyes like a curtain.

REFLECTION
Every Christian can accept martyrdom for the Faith for himself, in times of persecution as well as in times of peace. Abba Athanasius says: “Be tortured by your conscience, die to sin, mortify your earthly members, and you will be a martyr in accordance with your wishes. The martyrs fought with emperors and princes; you have the king of sins—the devil and the demonic princes. Before, there were idols, pagan temples, and those who offer sacrifice to the idols. And now, they exist as thoughts in the soul. He who is a slave to debauchery worships the idol of Aphrodite. He who becomes angry and enraged worships the idol of Ares. He who is avaricious and ignores the pain and misery of his neighbor worships the idol Hermes. If you refrain from all of this and preserve yourself from passions, you have overcome idols, you have rejected an evil belief and have become a martyr for the true Faith.” Therefore, a man need not especially yearn for persecution and martyrdom. Everyone in every age can endure martyrdom for the sake of Christ and His Gospel.

CONTEMPLATION
Contemplate the descent of God the Holy Spirit upon the apostles:
1. How all the men wondered and marveled, hearing to the apostles speak in different tongues;
2. How some mocked them, saying: They have had too much new wine (Acts 2:13).

HOMILY
on the curse of man who trusts in man
Thus says the Lord: cursed is the man who trusts in man, who seeks his strength in flesh, whose heart turns away from the Lord (Jeremiah 17:5).
When man alienates himself from God in his heart he usually trusts in men and in himself, for in whom else can he trust when he has untied his little boat from God’s ship? Since he has already loosed his boat from God’s ship, nothing else remains for him except to trust in his boat or in the boat of his neighbors. A weak trust, but there is none other for him! A lamentable trust over the abyss of destruction, but there is no other!
But, O heaven and earth, why did man loose his boat from God’s ship? What happened to man that he flees from his security? What calculation did he make when he decided it would be better for him alone on the tempestuous waves than in God’s house near the hem of His robe! With whom did he make an alliance when he breached his alliance with God? Is it with someone stronger than God? Foolishness, foolishness, foolishness!
Cursed is the man who trusts in man. God said this once, and men have repeated this thousands of times. Being disappointed in their trust in men, they have thousands of times cursed those who have trusted in man. God has said only that which men have both experienced too well and confirmed by their experience: Truly, how cursed is the man who trusts in man!
Brethren, that is why we should have trust in God, Who is the stable ship in the tempest and Who will not fail us. Let us have trust only in Him, for all other trust is a devilish delusion. In Thee do we trust, O Lord, our fortress and refuge. Tie us alongside Thee and do not allow us to loose ourselves if we, by our foolishness and accursedness, attempt to do so.
To Thee be glory and praise forever. Amen.

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