Today marks the second Sunday of Lent and commemorates St. Gregory Palamas, Archbishop of Thessalonica, the Wonderworker.  St. Gregory bore living witness that men can become divine through the grace of God and that even in our earthly lives, people can become participants of the uncreated light of God's glory through fasting and prayer, particularly the Jesus Prayer, "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner."

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On this Sunday, we read the story of the paralytic in Mark 2: 1-12. Four men are determined to bring their friend to Jesus for healing.  As there are so many people gathered around the house and in the house Jesus is in, they open a space in the roof and let the man down through this space to the place Jesus was.  'When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic "Son your sins are forgiven you." The scribes believed Jesus spoke blasphemies as only God can forgive sins. Jesus said to them, "Why do you reason about these things in your hearts?  Which is easier, to say to a paralytic, 'Arise, take up your bed and walk? But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins" (and then he spoke to the paralytic) "I say to you, arise, take up your bed and go to your house."

What great faith for this paralytic and his friends to fight such a crowd and devise such a plan to make such effort to assure that the man would receive healing from Jesus!  They went to great lengths to assure that they would come in contact with our Lord that day.  What great lengths have YOU went through to keep Christ close to you?  What would you do to find him?

 

O Light of Orthodoxy, teacher of the church, its confirmation. O ideal  of monks and invincible champion of theologians, O wonder-working Gregory, glory of Thessalonica and preacher of grace.  Always intercede before the Lord that our souls may be saved.

 

 

Further Resources For You :

The Church Year:  Sundays of Lent

The Second Sunday of Lent:  Our Holy Father Gregory Palamas

The Second Sunday of Lent: The Sunday of Saint Gregory Palamas

 

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Last week I wrote about how reading some uplifting words of our saints or spiritual fathers can bring peace and reflection for those days I don't have time to sit down and read a whole chapter. I enjoyed the comments from last Monday's Peaceful Reflections and decided to add a few more for this Monday.  Perhaps it will turn into a routine... we'll see!

"Though God knows all our needs, prayer is necessary for the cleansing and enlightenment of our soul.  It is well to stand in the sunshine; it is warm and light; likewise, when standing in prayer before God, our spiritual Sun, we are warmed and enlightened.  It is necessary to wash ourselves from dirt, and prayer is washing ourselves from spiritual filth, that is from sins."   ~St. John of Kronstadt

"Let not one think, my fellow Christian, that only priests and monks need to pray without ceasing and not laymen No, no; every Christian without exception ought to dwell always in prayer."  ~ St. Gregory of Palamas

"He who busies himself with the sins of others, or judges his brother on suspicion, has not yet even begun to repent or to examine himself so as to discover his own sins..." ~ St. Maximos the Confessor

"Do not be irritated either with those who sin or those who offend; do not have a passion for noticing every sin in your neighbour, and for judging him, as we are in the habit of doing. Everyone shall give an answer to God for himself. Everyone has a conscience; everyone hears God's Word, and knows God's Will either from books or from conversation with other people. Especially do not look with evil intention upon the sins of your elders, which do not regard you; "to his own master he standeth or falleth." Correct your own sins, amend your own life."~St. John of Kronstadt

"You heard me when I called, O God of my righteousness.  You strengthened my heart when I was in distress;  Have mercy on me, and hear my prayer."  Psalm 4:1-2

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