|1||14||Church New Year.
St. Symeon Stylites (the Elder) and his mother St.
Martha . (The services to the Saint and for the New Year are combined.)
(Vespers only) Martyr Aeithalas of Persia. Holy 40 Women Martyrs and Martyr
Ammon the deacon and their teacher, at Heraclea in Thrace. Martyrs Callista
and her brothers Evodus and Hermogenes at Nicomedia. Righteous Joshua the
Son of Nun. St. Meletius the New of Greece. New-Martyr Angelis of Constantinople.
Commemoration of the Great Fire at Constantinople about 470 A.D.
of the Most Holy Theotokos in Miasena. (Greek Calendar: St. Evanthia.
St. Nicholas of Crete, monk.) "Chernigov-Gethsemane"
Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos.
Listen, O my son, to the precepts of thy master, and incline the ear of thy heart, and cheerfully receive and faithfully execute the admonitions of thy loving Father, that by the toil of obedience thou mayest return to Him from whom by the sloth of disobedience thou hast gone away.
To thee, therefore, my speech is now directed, who, giving up thine own will, takest up the strong and most excellent arms of obedience, to do battle for Christ the Lord, the true King.
the first place, beg of Him by most earnest prayer, that He perfect whatever
good thou dost begin, in order that He who hath been pleased to count us in the
number of His children, need never be grieved at our evil deeds. For we ought
at all times so to serve Him with the good things which He hath given us, that
He may not, like an angry father, disinherit his children, nor, like a dread
lord, enraged at our evil deeds, hand us over to everlasting punishment as most
wicked servants, who would not follow Him to glory.
|2||15||Martyr Mama of Caesarea in Cappadocia,
and his parents, Martyrs Theodotus and Rufina
[Rom 8:28-39; Jn 15:1-7]. St. John the Faster, Patriarch of Constantinople.
3,618 Martyrs who suffered at Nicomedia. Righteous Eleazar, son of Aaron,
and Righteous Phineas. (Greek Calendar: Martyrs Aeithalas and Ammon of Thrace.) "Kaluga" Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos.
Hieromartyr Anthimus, Bishop of Nicomedia, and those with him: Martyrs Theophilus deacon, Dorotheus, Mardonius, Migdonius, Peter, Indes, Gorgonius, Zeno, Virgin Domna, and Euthymius St. Theoctistus, fellow-faster with St. Euthymius the Great. (services combined) Martyr Aristion, Bishop of Alexandria. Martyr Basilissa of Nicomedia. St. Pheobe, deaconess at Cenchreae near Corinth. Blessed John "the Hairy", fool-for-Christ at Rostov. St. Ioannicius, Archbishop of Serbia. New-Martyr Polydorus of Cyprus. Martyr Edward of England . (Greek Calendar: Martyrs Chariton and Archontinus. Emperor Constantine the New.) Repose of Priest Peter, fool-for-Christ of Uglich (1866).
And the Lord seeking His workman in the multitude of the people, to whom He proclaimeth these words, saith again: "Who is the man that desireth life and loveth to see good days" (Ps 33:13)? If hearing this thou answerest, "I am he," God saith to thee: "If thou wilt have true and everlasting life, keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile; turn away from evil and do good; seek after peace and pursue it" (Ps 33:14-15). And when you shall have done these things, my eyes shall be upon you, and my ears unto your prayers. And before you shall call upon me I will say: "Behold, I am here" (Is 58:9).
dearest brethren, can be sweeter to us than this voice of the Lord inviting us?
See, in His loving kindness, the Lord showeth us the way of life. Therefore,
having our loins girt with faith and the performance of good works, let us walk
His ways under the guidance of the Gospel, that we may be found worthy of
seeing Him who hath called us to His kingdom (cf 1 Thes 2:12).
|4||17||Hieromartyr Babylas, Bishop of Antioch,
and with him Martyrs Urban, Prilidian, and Epolonius and their mother Christodula
[Heb 11:33-40; Lk 12:32-40]. Holy Prophet and God-seer Moses. Opening
of the Relics of St. Ioasaph, Bishop of Belgorod (also December 10).
Martyr Babylas of Nicomedia, and with him 84 children. Martyrs Theodore,
Mianus (Ammianus), Julian, Kion (Oceanus), and Centurionus of Nicomedia.
Martyr Hermione, daughter of St. Philip the Deacon. St. Petronius of Egypt,
disciple of St. Pachomius the Great. (Greek Calendar: Martyrs Theotimus
and Theodulus the executioners. Martyr Charitina of Amisus. Martyrs Thathuil
and Bebaia of Edessa.) Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos
"The Unburnt Bush".
If we desire to dwell in the tabernacle of His kingdom, we cannot reach it in any way, unless we run thither by good works. But let us ask the Lord with the Prophet, saying to Him: "Lord, who shall dwell in Thy tabernacle, or who shall rest in Thy holy hill" (Ps 14:1)?
this question, brethren, let us listen to the Lord answering and showing us the
way to this tabernacle, saying: "He that walketh without blemish and
worketh justice; he that speaketh truth in his heart; who hath not used deceit
in his tongue, nor hath done evil to his neighbor, nor hath taken up a reproach
against his neighbor" (Ps 14:2-3), who hath brought to naught the foul
demon tempting him, casting him out of his heart with his temptation, and hath
taken his evil thoughts whilst they were yet weak and hath dashed them against
Christ (cf Ps 14:4; Ps 136:9); who fearing the Lord are not puffed up
by their goodness of life, but holding that the actual good which is in them cannot
be done by themselves, but by the Lord, they praise the Lord working in them
(cf Ps 14:4), saying with the Prophet: "Not to us, O Lord, not to us;
by to Thy name give glory" (Ps 113[115:1]:9). Thus also the Apostle Paul
hath not taken to himself any credit for his preaching, saying: "By the
grace of God, I am what I am" (1 Cor 15:10). And again he saith: "He
that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord" (2 Cor 10:17).
|5||18||Holy Prophet Zacharias and Righteous
Elizabeth, parents of St. John the Forerunner
[Heb 6:13-20; Matt 23:29-39]. Martyrs Urban, Theodore, Medimnus, and 77
Companions at Nicomedia. Martyr Abdias (Abidas) of Persia. Martyr Sarbelus
of Edessa. Martyrs Ththuil (Thithail) and his sister Bebaia. Virgin Martyr
Rhais (Raisa) of Alexandria. Martyrs Juventius and Maximus at Antioch. Appearance
of the Holy Apostle Peter to Emperor Justinian at Athira near Constantinople.
Martyrdom of Holy Passion-bearer Gleb, in holy baptism David. Martyrdom
of St. Athanasius, abbot of Brest, by the Latins.
Hence, the Lord also saith in the Gospel: "He that heareth these my words and doeth them, shall be likened to a wise man who built his house upon a rock; the floods came, the winds blew, and they beat upon that house, and it fell not, for it was founded on a rock" (Mt 7:24-25). The Lord fulfilling these words waiteth for us from day to day, that we respond to His holy admonitions by our works. Therefore, our days are lengthened to a truce for the amendment of the misdeeds of our present life; as the Apostle saith: "Knowest thou not that the patience of God leadeth thee to penance" (Rom 2:4)? For the good Lord saith: "I will not the death of the sinner, but that he be converted and live" (Ezek 33:11).
|6||19||Commemoration of the Miracle of the
Archangel Michael at Colossae (Chonae) Martyr
Eudoxius and those with him: Martyrs Romulus, Zeno, Macarius and 11,000
others in Armenia. St. Archippus of Herapolis. Martyrs Cyriacus, Faustus,
Abibus, and 11 others at Alexandria. Hieromartyr Cyril, Bishop of Gortyna.
St. David of Hermpolis in Egypt. Martyrs Calodote, Macarius, Andrew, Cyriacus,
Dionysius, Andrew the soldier, Andropelagia, Thecla, Theoctistus, and Sarapabon
the senator, in Egypt. Repose of Paisius the New of Mt. Athos (1871).
Now, brethren, that we have asked the Lord who
it is that shall dwell in His tabernacle, we have heard the conditions for
dwelling there; and if we fulfil the duties of tenants, we shall be heirs of
the kingdom of heaven. Our hearts and our bodies must, therefore, be ready
to do battle under the biddings of holy obedience; and let us ask the Lord
that He supply by the help of His grace what is impossible to us by nature.
And if, flying from the pains of hell, we desire to reach life everlasting,
then, while there is yet time, and we are still in the flesh, and are able
during the present life to fulfil all these things, we must make haste to do
now what will profit us forever.
|7||20||Martyr Sozon of Cilicia St. John,
Archbishop and Wonderworker of Novgorod. Martyr
Eupsychius of Caesarea in Cappadocia. Apostles Evodus (Euodias) and Onesiphorus
of the Seventy. St. Luke, abbot near Constantinople. Martyrdom of St. Macarius,
archimandrite of Kanev. St. Cloud (Clodoald), abbot-founder
of Nogent-sur-Seine near Paris.
New-Martyr priest John Maslovsky.
Repose of Elder Macarius of Optina (1860).
We are, therefore, about to found a school of the Lord's service, in which we hope to introduce nothing harsh or burdensome. But even if, to correct vices or to preserve charity, sound reason dictateth anything that turneth out somewhat stringent, do not at once fly in dismay from the way of salvation, the beginning of which cannot but be narrow. But as we advance in the religious life and faith, we shall run the way of God's commandments with expanded hearts and unspeakable sweetness of love; so that never departing from His guidance and persevering in the monastery in His doctrine till death, we may by patience share in the sufferings of Christ, and be found worthy to be coheirs with Him of His kingdom.
|8||21||THE NATIVITY OF OUR MOST HOLY LADY
THE THEOTOKOS AND EVER-VIRGIN MARY. St. Serapion,
monk of Spaso-Eleazar Monastery (Pskov). St. Lucian, abbot of Alexandrov.
St. Arsenius, abbot of Konevits. New-Martyr Athanasius of Thessalonica.
)New-Martyr Alexander (Jacobson) (1930). (Greek Calendar: Martyrs Rufus and Rufianus. Martyrs Severus and Artemidorus. St. Sophronius of Iberia, Bishop)
Icons of the Most Holy Theotokos: "Kursk-Root"
Icon of the sign"; "Pochaev"; "Kholmsk"; and others.
Repose of Elder Daniel of Katounakia, Mt. Athos (1929).
HR/Chapter I. Of the Kinds or the Life of Monks
It is well known that there are four kinds of monks. The first kind is that of Cenobites, that is, the monastic, who live under a rule and an Abbot.
The second kind is that of Anchorites, or Hermits, that is, of those who, no longer in the first fervor of their conversion, but taught by long monastic practice and the help of many brethren, have already learned to fight against the devil; and going forth from the rank of their brethren well trained for single combat in the desert, they are able, with the help of God, to cope single-handed without the help of others, against the vices of the flesh and evil thoughts.
But a third and most vile class of monks is that of Sarabaites, who have been tried by no rule under the hand of a master, as gold is tried in the fire (cf Prov 27:21); but, soft as lead, and still keeping faith with the world by their works, they are known to belie God by their tonsure. Living in two's and three's, or even singly, without a shepherd, enclosed, not in the Lord's sheepfold, but in their own, the gratification of their desires is law unto them; because what they choose to do they call holy, but what they dislike they hold to be unlawful.
But the fourth class of monks is that called Landlopers, who keep going their whole life long from one province to another, staying three or four days at a time in different cells as guests. Always roving and never settled, they indulge their passions and the cravings of their appetite, and are in every way worse than the Sarabaites. It is better to pass all these over in silence than to speak of their most wretched life.
Therefore, passing these over, let us go on with the
help of God to lay down a rule for that most valiant kind of monks, the
|9||22||Afterfeast of the Nativity of the
Holy and Righteous
Ancestors of God Joachim and Anna . Martyr Severian of Sebaste. St.
Joseph, abbot of Volokolamsk (or Volotsk). Martyr Chariton. Martyr Straton.
St. Theophanes the confessor and faster of Mt. Diabenos. Blessed Nicetas
the Hidden of Constantinople. St. Joachim, abbot of Opochka Monastery (Pskov).
Opening of the Relics of St. Theodosius, Archbishop of Chernigov.
Commemoration of the Third Ecumenical Council. Repose of Elder Joachim
of St. Anne's Skete, Mt. Athos.
HR/Chapter 2 What Kind of Man the Abbot Ought to Be
The Abbot who is worthy to be over a monastery, ought
always to be mindful of what he is called, and make his works square with
his name of Superior. For he is believed to hold the place of Christ in the
monastery, when he is called by his name, according to the saying of the
Apostle: "You have received the spirit of adoption of sons, whereby we cry
Abba (Father)" (Rom 8:15). Therefore, the Abbot should never teach,
prescribe, or command (which God forbid) anything contrary to the laws of
the Lord; but his commands and teaching should be instilled like a leaven of
divine justice into the minds of his disciples.
|10||23||Afterfeast of the Nativity of the
Theotokos. Martyrs Menodora,
Metrodora, and Nymphodora at Nicomedia. Martyr Barypsabas in Dalmatia.
Saints Peter and Paul, Bishops of Nicaea. St. Pulcherius the Empress. Synaxis
of the Holy Apostles Apelles, Lucius and Clement of the Seventy. St. Ioasaph,
monk of Kubensk (Vologda). St. Paul the Obedient of the Kiev Caves. St.
Cassian, abbot of Spaso-Kamenny and Cyril of White Lake Monasteries.
Salvius, Bishop of Albi (Gaul).
HR/Chapter 2 (cont.)
Let the Abbot always bear in mind that he must give an
account in the dread judgment of God of both his own teaching and of the
obedience of his disciples. And let the Abbot know that whatever lack of
profit the master of the house shall find in the sheep, will be laid to the
blame of the shepherd. On the other hand he will be blameless, if he gave
all a shepherd's care to his restless and unruly flock, and took all pains
to correct their corrupt manners; so that their shepherd, acquitted at the
Lord's judgment seat, may say to the Lord with the Prophet: "I have not hid
Thy justice within my heart. I have declared Thy truth and Thy salvation"
(Ps 39:11). "But they contemning have despised me" (Is 1:2; Ezek 20:27).
Then at length eternal death will be the crushing doom of the rebellious
sheep under his charge.
|11||24||Afterfeast of the Nativity of the
of the Relics of Saints Sergius and Herman of Valaam
St. Euphrosynus the
Cook of Alexandria. Martyr Ia of Persia and 9,000 Martyrs with her.
Martyrs Diodorus, Didymus, and Diomedes of Laodicea. Martyrs Demetrius,
his wife Euanthis, and their son Demetrian at Skepsis on the Hellespont.
Martyrs Serapion, Cronides (Hieronides) and Leontius of Alexandria. Canonization
of St. Xenia of Petersburg (1978). Weeping Kazan
Icon of "Kaplunovka". Repose of young Elder Melchizedek
of Mzensk (1846) and Schemamonk Silouan of Mt. Athos (1938).
HR/Chapter 2 (cont,)
When, therefore, anyone taketh the name of Abbot he should govern his disciples by a twofold teaching; namely, he should show them all that is good and holy by his deeds more than by his words; explain the commandments of God to intelligent disciples by words, but show the divine precepts to the dull and simple by his works. And let him show by his actions, that whatever he teacheth his disciples as being contrary to the law of God must not be done, "lest perhaps when he hath preached to others, he himself should become a castaway" (1 Cor 9:27), and he himself committing sin, God one day say to him: "Why dost thou declare My justices, and take My covenant in thy mouth? But thou hast hated discipline, and hast cast My words behind thee" (Ps 49:16-17). And: "Thou who sawest the mote in thy brother's eye, hast not seen the beam in thine own" (Mt 7:3).
|12||25||Hieromartyr Autonomus, Bishop of
Italy. St. Coronatus, Bishop of Iconium. Martyr
Julian of Galatia and 40 Martyrs with him. Hieromartyr Theodore of Alexandria.
St. Athanasius, disciple of St. Sergius of Radonezh and abbot of the Vysotsk
Monastery in Serpukhov, and his disciple St. Athanasius. St. Bassian of
Tikhsnen (Vologda). Translation of the Relics of Righteous Simeon of
Verkhoturye. Martyr Macedonius in Phrygia, and with him Martyrs Tatian
and Theodulus. (Greek Calendar: St. Daniel of Thassius, monk.)
HR/Chapter 2 (cont.)
Let him make no distinction of persons in the
monastery. Let him not love one more than another, unless it be one whom he
findeth more exemplary in good works and obedience. Let not a free-born be
preferred to a freedman, unless there be some other reasonable cause. But if
from a just reason the Abbot deemeth it proper to make such a distinction,
he may do so in regard to the rank of anyone whomsoever; otherwise let
everyone keep his own place; for whether bond or free, we are all one in
Christ (cf Gal 3:28; Eph 6:8), and we all bear an equal burden of servitude
under one Lord, "for there is no respect of persons with God" (Rom 2:11). We
are distinguished with Him in this respect alone, if we are found to excel
others in good works and in humility. Therefore, let him have equal charity
for all, and impose a uniform discipline for all according to merit.
|13||26||Commemoration of the Founding of
the Church of the Resurrection (the Holy Sepulchre) in Jerusalem.
Hieromartyr Cornelius the Centurion. Hieromartyr Julian of Galatia (same
as September 12). St. Peter of Atroe. Martyrs Elias, Zoticus, Lucian, Valerian,
Macrobius and Gordian at Tomi in Rumania. Martyrs Cronides, Leontius and
Serapion of Alexandria. Martyr Seleucus in Scythia. Martyr Straton (same
as September 9). St. Hierotheus of Iberon Monastery (Mt. Athos). Great-Martyr
Ketevan, Queen of Georgia. St. Cornelius of Padan-Olonets, dsciple of St.
Alexander of Svir, and with him Saints Dionysius and Misail. (Greek Calendar:
St. Basil of Ibera, monk.) Repose of Dorotheus, last hermit of the Roslavl
HR/Chapter 2 (cont.)
For in his teaching the Abbot should always
observe that principle of the Apostle in which he saith: "Reprove, entreat,
rebuke" (2 Tm 4:2), that is, mingling gentleness with severity, as the
occasion may call for, let him show the severity of the master and the
loving affection of a father. He must sternly rebuke the undisciplined and
restless; but he must exhort the obedient, meek, and patient to advance in
virtue. But we charge him to rebuke and punish the negligent and haughty.
Let him not shut his eyes to the sins of evil-doers; but on their first
appearance let him do his utmost to cut them out from the root at once,
mindful of the fate of Heli, the priest of Silo (cf 1 Samuel 2:11-4:18). The
well-disposed and those of good understanding, let him correct at the first
and second admonition only with words; but let him chastise the wicked and
the hard of heart, and the proud and disobedient at the very first offense
with stripes and other bodily punishments, knowing that it is written: "The
fool is not corrected with words" (Prov 29:19). And again: "Strike thy son
with the rod, and thou shalt deliver his soul from death" (Prov 23:14).
|14||27||THE UNIVERSAL EXALTATION OF THE PRECIOUS
AND LIFE-GIVING CROSS.
of St. John Chrysostom. Martyr Papas of Lycaonia. St. Placilla the
Empress, wife of Theodosius the Great. New-Martyr Macarius of Thessalonica.
(Greek Calendar: Holy Fathers of the Seventh Ecumenical Council. Martyr
Theocles and Child-martyr Valerian.) "Lesna"
Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos.
HR/Chapter 2 (cont.)
The Abbot ought always to remember what he is and what he is called, and to know that to whom much hath been entrusted, from him much will be required; and let him understand what a difficult and arduous task he assumeth in governing souls and accommodating himself to a variety of characters. Let him so adjust and adapt himself to everyone—to one gentleness of speech, to another by reproofs, and to still another by entreaties, to each one according to his bent and understanding—that he not only suffer no loss in his flock, but may rejoice in the increase of a worthy fold.
|15||28||Afterfeast of the Exaltation of the
Cross. Great-Martyr Nicetas
the Goth [II Tim 2:1-10; Matt 10:16-22]. St. Philotheus the presbyter.
Martyr Porphyrius the actor. Opening of the Relics of St. Acacius, Bishop
of Melitene. Opening of the Relics of Holy Protomartyr and Archdeacon Stephen.
Martyrs Theodotus, Asclepiodotus, and Maximus of Adrianopolis. Saints Bessarion
I and Bessarion II, Archbishops. Larissa. St. Gerasimus, abbot of Mysia.
St. Joseph, abbot of Alaverd in Georgia. New-Martyr John of Crete.
HR/Chapter 2 (cont.)
Above all things, that the Abbot may not neglect or
undervalue the welfare of the souls entrusted to him, let him not have too
great a concern about fleeting, earthly, perishable things; but let him
always consider that he hath undertaken the government of souls, of which he
must give an account. And that he may not perhaps complain of the want of
earthly means, let him remember what is written: "Seek ye first the kingdom
of God and His justice, and all these things shall be added unto you" (Mt
6:33). And again: "There is no want to them that fear Him" (Ps 33:10).
And let him know that he who undertaketh the government of souls must
prepare himself to give an account for them; and whatever the number of
brethren he hath under his charge, let him be sure that on judgment day he
will, without doubt, have to give an account to the Lord for all these
souls, in addition to that of his own. And thus, whilst he is in constant
fear of the Shepherd's future examination about the sheep entrusted to him,
and is watchful of his account for others, he is made solicitous also on his
own account; and whilst by his admonitions he had administered correction to
others, he is freed from his own failings.
|16||29||Afterfeast of the Exaltation of the
[II Cor 6:1-10; Lk 7:36-50]. Martyrs Victor and Sosthenes
at Chalcedon. St. Sebastiana, disciple of St. Paul the Apostle, martyred
at Heraclea. Martyr Melitina of Marcianopolis. St. Dorotheus, hermit of
Egypt. Martyr Ludmilla, grandmother of St. Wenceslaus, prince of the Czechs.
Repose of St. Cyprian, Metropolitan of Kiev. St. Procopius, abbot
of Sazava in Bohemia. New-Martyrs Isaac and Joseph of Georgia. St. Cyprian
HR/Chapter 3 Of Calling the Brethren for Counsel
Whenever weighty matters are to be transacted in the
monastery, let the Abbot call together the whole community, and make known
the matter which is to be considered. Having heard the brethren's views, let
him weigh the matter with himself and do what he thinketh best. It is for
this reason, however, we said that all should be called for counsel, because
the Lord often revealeth to the younger what is best. Let the brethren,
however, give their advice with humble submission, and let them not presume
stubbornly to defend what seemeth right to them, for it must depend rather
on the Abbot's will, so that all obey him in what he considereth best. But
as it becometh disciples to obey their master, so also it becometh the
master to dispose all things with prudence and justice. Therefore, let all
follow the Rule as their guide in everything, and let no one rashly depart
|17||30||Martyr Sophia and her three daughters
Faith (Vera), Hope (Nadezhda), and Love (Lyubov) at Rome.
Afterfeast of the Exaltation of the Cross.
Martyr Agathocleia. Martyr Theodota at Nicaea. 156 Martyrs of Palestine,
including Bishops Peleus and Nilus, presbyter Zeno, and noblemen Patermuthius
and Elias. Martyrs Lucy and her son Geminian of Rome.
Hieromartyrs Heraclides and Myron, Bishops of Cyprus. (Greek Calendar: 100
Martyrs of Egypt. Martyrs Charalampus, Panteleon and others. St. Anastasius
of Cyprus, monk. St. Eusipius of Cyprus, monk.)
Repose of Blessed Agapius,
disciple of St. Tikhon of Zadonsk (1825), and Blessed lay-recluse Matthew
of Petersburg (1904).
HR/Chapter 3 (conclusion)
Let no one in the monastery follow the bent of his own
heart, and let no one dare to dispute insolently with his Abbot, either
inside or outside the monastery. If any one dare to do so, let him be placed
under the correction of the Rule. Let the Abbot himself, however, do
everything in the fear of the Lord and out of reverence for the Rule,
knowing that, beyond a doubt, he will have to give an account to God, the
most just Judge, for all his rulings. If, however, matters of less
importance, having to do with the welfare of the monastery, are to be
treated of, let him use the counsel of the Seniors only, as it is written:
"Do all things with counsel, and thou shalt not repent when thou hast done"
|18||1||Afterfeast of the Exaltation of the
Cross. St. Eumenes, Bishop of Gortyna. Martyr
Ariadne of Phrygia. Martyrs Sophia and Irene of Egypt. Martyr Castor of
Alexandria. St. Arcadius, Bishop of Novgorod. Great-Martyr Prince Bidzini
and Martyrs Prince Elizbar and Prince Shalva of Georgia. Repose of Blessed
Irene of the Green Hill Monastery (18th century) and Elder Hilarion of Optina
HR/Chapter 4 The Instruments of Good Works 
First of all, love the Lord God with your whole heart, your whole soul and all your strength, and love your neighbor as yourself (Matt. 22: 37-39; Mk. 12:30-31; Lk.10:27). Then the following: You are not to kill, not to commit adultery; you are not to steal nor to covet (Rom.13:9); you are not to bear false witness (Matt.19:18; Mk.10:19; Lk 18:20). You must honor everyone (1 Pet. 2:17), and never do to another what you do not want done to yourself (Tob 4:16; Matt. 7:12; Lk.6:31).
Renounce yourself in order to follow Christ (Matt. 16:24; Lk. 9:23); discipline your body (1 Cor. 9:27); do not pamper yourself, but love fasting. You must relieve the lot of the poor, clothe the naked, visit the sick (Matt. 25:36), and bury the dead. Go to help the troubled and console the sorrowing.
1Translation of Chapter 4 is taken from the RB 1980: The Rule of St Benedict in Latin and English with notes. © 1981 by The Order of St. Benedict, Inc., è The Liturgical Press: Collegeville, Minnesota.
|19||2||Afterfeast of the Exaltation of the
Cross. Martyrs Trophimus, Sabbatius and Dorymedon
of Synnada. St. Theodore, prince of Smolensk and Yaroslav,
and his children Saints David and Constantine. Martyr Zosimas, hermit
of Cilicia. Hieromartyr Januarius, Bishop of Benevento, and his companions:
Sosius and Proclus, deacons; Gantiol, Eutychius, Acutius, Festus and Desiderius,
at Puteoli (same as April 21). Repose of Schema-hieromonk Alexis of Zosima
HR/Chapter 4 (cont.)
Your way of acting should be different from the world’s way; the love of Christ must come before all else. You are not to act in anger or nurse a grudge. Rid your heart of all deceit. Never give a hollow greeting of peace or turn away when someone needs your love. Bind yourself to no oath lest it prove false, but speak the truth with heart and tongue.
Do not repay one bad turn with another (1 Thes. 5:15; 1 Pet.3:9). Do not injure anyone, but bear injuries patiently. Love your enemies (Matt. 5:44; Lk. 6:27). If people curse you, do not curse them back but bless them instead. Endure persecution for the sake of justice (Matt.5:10).
You must not be proud, nor be given to wine (Titus 1:7; 1 Tim. 3:3). Refrain from too much eating or sleeping, and from laziness (Rom. 12:11). Do not grumble or speak ill of others.
|20||3||Afterfeast of the Exaltation of the
Cross. Great-Martyr Eustathius
(Eustace) Placidas, his wife MAry Theopistes, and their children Martyrs
Agapius and Theopistus, of Rome Holy Martyr and Confessor Michael
and his councillor Theodore, Wonderworkers of Chernigov. St. Oleg, prince
of Briansk. Martyr John the Confessor of Egypt, beheaded in Palestine, and
with him 40 Martyrs. Saints Theodore and Euprepius and two named Anastasius,
confessors and disciples of St. Maximus the Confessor. New-Martyr Hilarion
of Crete (Mt. Athos). (Greek Calendar: Martyrs Artemidorus and Thallos.
St. Meletius of Cyprus, Bishop of St. Kyr John of Crete, monk.)
HR/Chapter 4 (cont.)
Place your hope in God alone. If you notice something good in yourself, give credit to God, not to yourself, but be certain that the evil you commit is always your own and yours to acknowledge.
Live in fear of judgment day and have a great horror of hell. Yearn for everlasting life with holy desire. Day by day remind yourself that you are going to die. Hour by hour keep careful watch over all you do, aware that God’s gaze is upon you, wherever you may be. As soon as wrongful thoughts come into your heart, dash them against Christ and disclose them to your spiritual father. Guard your lips from harmful or deceptive speech. Prefer moderation in speech and speak no foolish chatter, nothing just to provoke laughter; do not love immoderate or boisterous laughter.
|21||4||Apodosis of the Exaltation of the
Cross. Apostle Quadratus
of the Seventy (service transferred to 22 September). Opening
of the Relics of St. Demetrius, Metropolitan of Rostov. Hieromartyr
Hypatius, Bishop of Ephesus, and his presbyter Andrew. Martyr Eusebius of
Phoenicia. Martyr Priscus of Phrygia. Martyrs Eusebius, Nestabus and Zeno
of Gaza. Saints Isaacius and Meletius, Bishops of Cyprus. St. Joseph of
Zaonikiev Monastery (Vologda). St. Daniel, abbot of Shuzhgorsk (Novgorod).
(Greek Calendar: St. Jonah the Sabbaite.)
HR/Chapter 4 (conclusion)
Listen readily to holy reading, and devote yourself often to prayer. Every day with tears, and sighs confess your past sins to God in prayer and change from these evil ways in the future.
Do not gratify the promptings of the flesh (Gal. 5:16); hate the urgings of self-will. Obey the orders of the Abbot unreservedly, even if his own conduct –which God forbid—be at odds with what he says. Remember the teaching of the Lord: Do what they say, not what they do (Matt. 23:3).
Do not aspire to be called holy before you really are, but first be holy that you may more truly be called so. Live by God’s commandments every day; treasure chastity, harbor neither hatred nor jealousy of anyone, and do nothing out of envy. Do not love quarrelling; shun arrogance. Respect the elders and love the young. Pray for your enemies out of love for Christ. If you have a dispute with someone, make peace with him before the sun goes down.
And finally, never lose hope in God’s mercy.
These , then, are the tools of the spiritual craft. When we have used them without ceasing day and night and have returned them on judgment day, our wages will be the reward the Lord has promised: What the eye has not seen nor the ear heard, God has prepared for those who love him (1 Cor. 2:9).
The workshop where we are to toil faithfully at all these tasks is the enclosure of the monastery and stability on the community.
|SATURDAY AFTER THE LEAVETAKING OF
THE FEAST OF THE ELEVATION OF THE PRECIOUS CROSS:
Synaxis of the Righteous Fathers of the Near Kievan Caves
Phocas, Bishop of Sinope Prophet Jonah. Martyr Phocas the Gardener
of Sinope. St. Jonah the Presbyter, father of St. Theophanes the Hymnographer
and St. Theodore Graptus. St. Peter the Tax-collector. St. Jonah, abbot
of Yashezersk. The 26 Martyrs of Zographou Monastery on Mt. Athos, martyred
by the Latins (see October 10). St. Cosmas of Zographou. Martyrs Isaac and
Martin. St. Macarius, abbot of Zhabyn. St. Theophanes the Silent, recluse
of the Kiev Caves. Repose of Abbot Innocent of Valaam (1828) and Blessed
Parasceva "Pasha of Sarov", fool-for-Christ of Diveyevo Convent
HR/Chapter 5. Of Obedience
The first degree of humility is obedience without delay. This becometh those who, on account of the holy subjection which they have promised, or of the fear of hell, or the glory of life everlasting, hold nothing dearer than Christ. As soon as anything hath been commanded by the Superior they permit no delay in the execution, as if the matter had been commanded by God Himself. Of these the Lord saith: "At the hearing of the ear he hath obeyed Me" (Ps 17:45). And again He saith to the teachers: "He that heareth you heareth Me" (Lk 10:16).
Such as these,
therefore, instantly quitting their own work and giving up their own will,
with hands disengaged, and leaving unfinished what they were doing, follow
up, with the ready step of obedience, the work of command with deeds; and
thus, as if in the same moment, both matters—the master's command and the
disciple's finished work—are, in the swiftness of the fear of God, speedily
finished together, whereunto the desire of advancing to eternal life urgeth
them. They, therefore, seize upon the narrow way whereof the Lord saith:
"Narrow is the way which leadeth to life" (Mt 7:14), so that, not living
according to their own desires and pleasures but walking according to the
judgment and will of another, they live in monasteries, and desire an Abbot
to be over them. Such as these truly live up to the maxim of the Lord in
which He saith: "I came not to do My own will, but the will of Him that sent
Me" (Jn 6:38).
|23||6||The Conception of the Honorable,
Glorious Prophet, Forerunner and Baptist John
[Gal 4:22-31; Lk 1:5-25] . Martyrs Andrew, John, Peter
and Antoninus of Syracuse, martyred in Africa. Virgin Martyr Irais
(Rhais) of Alexandria. Saints Xanthippa and Polyxena,
disciples of the Apostles, who died in Spain. New-Martyr Nicholas
Pantopolos at Constantinople. New-Martyr John of Epirus. New-Martyr Archimandrite
Arsenius (1937). Repose of Abbess Eupraxia of Old Ladoga Convent (1823).
HR/Chapter 5 (conclusion)
This obedience, however, will be acceptable to God and
agreeable to men then only, if what is commanded is done without hesitation,
delay, lukewarmness, grumbling or complaint, because the obedience which is
rendered to Superiors is rendered to God. For He Himself hath said: "He that
heareth you heareth Me" (Lk 10:16). And it must be rendered by the disciples
with a good will, "for the Lord loveth a cheerful giver (2 Cor 9:7). " For
if the disciple obeyeth with an ill will, and murmureth, not only with lips
but also in his heart, even though he fulfil the command, yet it will not be
acceptable to God, who regardeth the heart of the murmurer. And for such an
action he acquireth no reward; rather he incurreth the penalty of murmurers,
unless he maketh satisfactory amendment.
|24||7||Holy Protomartyr and Equal-to-the-Apostles
Thecla [II Tim 3:10-15; Matt 25:1-13]. St.
Coprius of Palestine. St. Nicander, hermit of Pskov. St. Abramius, abbot
of Mirozh (Pskov). Martyrdom of St. Galacteon, monk of Vologda. Saints Stephen
(in monasticism Simon), David and Vladislav of Serbia. St. Dorothy of Kashin. Icons of the Most Holy Theotokos of "Mirozh"
and of the "Myrtle Tree". Repose of Schema-archimandrite
Gabriel of Pskov-Eleazar Monastery (1915).
HR/Chapter 6 Of Silence
Let us do what the Prophet saith: "I said, I will take heed of my ways, that I sin not with my tongue: I have set a guard to my mouth, I was dumb, and was humbled, and kept silence even from good things" (Ps 38:2-3). Here the prophet showeth that, if at times we ought to refrain from useful speech for the sake of silence, how much more ought we to abstain from evil words on account of the punishment due to sin.
Therefore, because of the importance of silence, let permission to speak be seldom given to perfect disciples even for good and holy and edifying discourse, for it is written: "In much talk thou shalt not escape sin" (Prov 10:19). And elsewhere: "Death and life are in the power of the tongue" (Prov 18:21). For it belongeth to the master to speak and to teach; it becometh the disciple to be silent and to listen. If, therefore, anything must be asked of the Superior, let it be asked with all humility and respectful submission. But coarse jests, and idle words or speech provoking laughter, we condemn everywhere to eternal exclusion; and for such speech we do not permit the disciple to open his lips.
St. Sergius, abbot, of Radonezh St. Euphrosyne, nun, of Alexandria.
Martyr Paphnutius and 546 companions in Egypt. St. Euphrosyne, nun of Suzdal.
Tr. re. St. Herman (Germanus), Archbishop of Kazan. Commemoration of
the Earthquake in Constantinople in 447, when a boy was lifted up to heaven
and heard the "Trisagion". (Greek Calendar: Martyrs Paul and
Tatta and their children Sabinian, Maximus, Rufus and Eugene of Damascus.)
Repose of Elder Dositheus (actually a woman), recluse of the Kiev Caves
who blessed St. Seraphim to go to Sarov (1776).
HR/Chapter 7 Of Humility
Brethren, the Holy Scripture crieth to us saying: "Every one that exalteth himself shall be humbled; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted" (Lk 14:11; 18:14). Since, therefore, it saith this, it showeth us that every exaltation is a kind of pride. The Prophet declareth that he guardeth himself against this, saying: "Lord, my heart is not puffed up; nor are my eyes haughty. Neither have I walked in great matters nor in wonderful things above me" (Ps 130:1). What then? "If I was not humbly minded, but exalted my soul; as a child that is weaned is towards his mother so shalt Thou reward my soul" (Ps 130:2).
Hence, brethren, if we wish to reach the greatest height of humility, and speedily to arrive at that heavenly exaltation to which ascent is made in the present life by humility, then, mounting by our actions, we must erect the ladder which appeared to Jacob in his dream, by means of which angels were shown to him ascending and descending (cf Gen 28:12). Without a doubt, we understand this ascending and descending to be nothing else but that we descend by pride and ascend by humility. The erected ladder, however, is our life in the present world, which, if the heart is humble, is by the Lord lifted up to heaven. For we say that our body and our soul are the two sides of this ladder; and into these sides the divine calling hath inserted various degrees of humility or discipline which we must mount.
|26||9||Repose of the Holy Apostle and
Evangelist John the Theologian [(1) I Jn
3:21-4:6; (2) I Jn 4:11-16; (3) I Jn 4:20-5:5. Matins: Jn 21:15-25. Liturgy:
I Jn 4:12-19; Jn 19:25-27; 21:24-25]. Righteous Gideon, Judge of Israel.
St. Ephraim, abbot of Perekop, Wonderworker of Novgorod. (Greek Calendar:
HR/Chapter 7 (cont.)
The first degree of humility, then, is that a man always have the fear of God before his eyes (cf Ps 35:2), shunning all forgetfulness and that he be ever mindful of all that God hath commanded, that he always considereth in his mind how those who despise God will burn in hell for their sins, and that life everlasting is prepared for those who fear God. And whilst he guardeth himself evermore against sin and vices of thought, word, deed, and self-will, let him also hasten to cut off the desires of the flesh.
|27||10||Martyr Callistratus and his company
(49 Martyrs). St. Sabbatius, Wonderworker of
Solovki. Apostles Mark, Aristarchus and Zenas of the Seventy.
of Rome. St. Ignatius, abbot in Asia Minor. New-Martyr Aquilina of Thessalonica.
(Greek Calendar: Martyr Fortunatus and Hieromartyr Philemon. Martyr Gaiana.
25 Martyrs drowned in the sea.) Repose of Schemamonk Archippus of Glinsk
HR/Chapter 7 (cont.)
Let a man consider that God always seeth him from Heaven, that the eye of God beholdeth his works everywhere, and that the angels report them to Him every hour. The Prophet telleth us this when he showeth God thus ever present in our thoughts, saying: "The searcher of hearts and reins is God" (Ps 7:10). And again: "The Lord knoweth the thoughts of men" (Ps 93:11) And he saith: "Thou hast understood my thoughts afar off" (Ps 138:3). And: "The thoughts of man shall give praise to Thee" (Ps 75:11). Therefore, in order that he may always be on his guard against evil thoughts, let the humble brother always say in his heart: "Then I shall be spotless before Him, if I shall keep myself from iniquity" (Ps 17:24)
|28||11||St. Chariton the Confessor, abbot
of Palestine [(1) Wis 3:1-9; (2) Wis 5:15-6:3;
(3) Wis 4:7-15. Matins: Matt 4:25-5:12. Liturgy: II Cor 4:6-15; Lk 6:17-23]
. Prophet Baruch. Martyrs Alexander, Alphius, Zosimas, Mark, Nicon, Neon,
Heliodorus and 24 others in Pisidia and Phrygia. Martyrdom of St. Wenceslaus,
prince of the Czechs. St. Herodion, abbot of Iloezersk. St. Chariton, monk
of Syanzhemsk (Vologda). (Greek Calendar: Martyr Eustace of Rome.)
HR/Chapter 7 (cont.)
We are thus forbidden to do our own will, since the Scripture saith to us: "And turn away from thy evil will" (Sir 18:30). And thus, too, we ask God in prayer that His will may be done in us (cf Mt 6:10). We are, therefore, rightly taught not to do our own will, when we guard against what Scripture saith: "There are ways that to men seem right, the end whereof plungeth into the depths of hell" (Prov 16:25). And also when we are filled with dread at what is said of the negligent: "They are corrupted and become abominable in their pleasure" (Ps 13:1). But as regards desires of the flesh, let us believe that God is thus ever present to us, since the Prophet saith to the Lord: "Before Thee is all my desire" (Ps 37:10).
|29||12||St. Kyriacos the Hermit of Palestine
St. Theophanes the Merciful of Gaza. Martyrs
Dada, Gabdelas and Casdoe (Casdoa) of Persia. Martyr Gudelia of Persia.
Eighty Holy Martyrs of Byzantium. St. Cyprian, abbot of Ustiug (Vologda).
New Hieromartyr John, Archbishop of Riga in Lativa (1934). (Greek Calendar:
Martyrs Tryphon, Trophimus, and Dorymedon and 150 Martyrs in Palestine.
Martyr Petronia. Translation of the Relics of St. Neophytus the Enclosed.
St. Auxentius the Wonderworker.) Repose of Blessed Anthony Alexseevich,
fool-for-Christ of Zadonsk (1851).
HR/Chapter 7 (cont.)
We must, therefore, guard thus against evil desires, because death hath his station near the entrance of pleasure. Whence the Scripture commandeth, saying: "Go no after thy lusts" (Sir 18:30). If, therefore, the eyes of the Lord observe the good and the bad (cf Prov 15:3) and the Lord always looketh down from heaven on the children of men, to see whether there be anyone that understandeth or seeketh God (cf Ps 13:2); and if our actions are reported to the Lord day and night by the angels who are appointed to watch over us daily, we must ever be on our guard, brethren, as the Prophet saith in the psalm, that God may at no time see us "gone aside to evil and become unprofitable" (Ps 13:3), and having spared us in the present time, because He is kind and waiteth for us to be changed for the better, say to us in the future: "These things thou hast done and I was silent" (Ps 49:21).
|30||13||Hieromartyr Gregory, Bishop of Greater
Armenia [I Cor 16:13-24; Matt 24:42-47]. Martyrs
Rhipsima and Gaiana and companions of Armenia. St. Michael, first Metropolitan
of Kiev. St. Gregory, abbot of Pelshme, Wonderworker of Vologda. St.
Michael, prince of Tver. New-Martyr Priest Nicholas Zagorovsky (Seraphim
in monasticism) (1943). (Greek Calendar: Martyr Stratonicus. Martyr Mardonius.)
Repose of Archimandrite Gerasim of Alaska (1969).
HR/Chapter 7 (cont.)
The second degree of humility is, when a man loveth not his own will, nor is pleased to fulfill his own desires but by his deeds carrieth our that word of the Lord which saith: "I came not to do My own will but the will of Him that sent Me" (Jn 6:38). It is likewise said: "Self-will hath its punishment, but necessity winneth the crown."
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