FRIDAY THE SEVENTH OF APRIL, 2017
We most earnestly beseech you, O you who love mankind, to bless all your people, the flocks of your fold. Send down into our hearts the peace of heaven, and grant us also the peace of this life. Give life to the souls of all of us, and let no deadly sin prevail against us, or any of your people. Deliver all who are in trouble, for you are our God, who sets the captives free; who gives hope to the hopeless, and help to the helpless; who lifts up the fallen; and who is the haven of the shipwrecked. Give your pity, pardon, and refreshment to every Christian soul, whether in affliction or error. Preserve us, in our pilgrimage through this life from hurt, and danger, and grant that we may end our lives as Christians, well-pleasing to you and free from sin, and that we may have our portion and lot with all your saints. Amen.
( The Liturgy of Saint Mark )
Come to me quickly, O God.
O God, make speed to save me;
O Lord, make haste to help me.
Let those who seek my life
be put to shame and confusion;
let them be turned back and disgraced
who wish me evil.
Let those who mock and deride me
turn back because of their shame.
But let all who seek you rejoice
and be glad in you;
let those who love your salvation
say always, ‘Great is the Lord.’
As for me, I am poor and needy;
come to me quickly, O God.
You are my help and my deliverer;
O Lord, do not delay.
Glory to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning is now
and shall be for ever. Amen.
Come to me quickly, O God.
O God, our helper and defender,
deliver us in our weakness,
answer our longings
and vindicate our faith,
that we may see your glory
in Jesus Christ our lord. Amen.
MEDITATION by Tim Madsen
Tikhon of Russia: threading the needle of church and state
When the Bolshevik October Revolution occurred in 1917, Tikhon had just been made Metropolitan Archbishop of Moscow. By November 1917 he would be made Patriarch of All Russia. The October Revolution plunged Russia into civil war which culminated in the formation of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics in 1922.
During the Russian Civil War Patriarch Tikhon was widely seen as anti-Bolshevik and many members of Orthodox clergy were jailed or executed by the new regime. Tikhon openly condemned the killings of the Tsar’s family in 1918, and protested against violent attacks by the Bolsheviks on the Church. In April 1922, he was imprisoned as a saboteur against the communist state. He vigorously protested against the nationalisation of Church property.
Under intense pressure the Soviets got him to send a letter to the Orthodox faithful declaring that he was “no longer an enemy to the Soviet Power.” The Soviets were facing a lot of pressure for imprisoning Tikhon, at the same time Tikhon had to discern how best to lead the Church through these difficult and dangerous days. His letter allowed the situation to resolve peacefully. He was released from his imprisonment in June of 1923, and yet continued to have integrity and the support of his church.
Tikhon was not prepared for the role he ultimately had to play. He began as a layman to teach moral and dogmatic theology. After ordination, he served in Poland, and then as bishop was sent to Alaska where he served for nearly ten years. Before becoming bishop of Moscow, he served as bishop in Lithuania.
In 1924 the Patriarch fell ill and was hospitalised. On the fifth of April, 1925, he served his last divine liturgy, and died two days later. He was considered a martyr for the faith. In 1989, Tikhon was formally “glorified” as a saint in the Church.
Scripture. In “The Second Letter of Peter,” chapter one, verses three and four we read:
His divine power has given us everything needed for life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Thus he has given us, through these things, his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may escape from the corruption that is in the world.
… for peace in the world.
… for the members of the Russian Orthodox Church.
… for those who died in the Rwandan genocide and for those who still live with the pain and anguish; for continued peace in Rwanda. DETAILS
… for the World Health Organisation. DETAILS
… for those killed or injured in the American cruise missile attack on a Syrian airbase and for this recent increase in aggression and tension in the Middle East not to get out of hand.
… for Andreea Cristea, the latest victim to die, and all killed, injured or traumatised during the Westminster terror attack. DETAILS
… for peace in Spain following Eta, the Basque separatists’ announcement that they are to unilaterally disarm; for an informed and compassionate consideration of their demands. DETAILS
… for those who have died and for those who mourn their passing.
… for those who are unwell and for those caring for them.
… for those, both close to us and far off, who we hold in our personal prayers.
… for ourselves.
THE LORD’S PRAYER
Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever. Amen.
From “Journey to Heaven” by Tikhon of Zadonsk:
Now Christians love to live in rich homes, sit at a rich table, dress in rich clothing, ride in rich carriages and horses, though they see the want and poverty of their neighbours. Hence it is evident that they only love themselves, and not God or their neighbours. From this comes every unhappiness, misfortune, and misery among people. Self-love is the cause of all this.
For this reason, God, who loves man, provided for our happiness and gave us the commandment, “Thou shalt love they neighbour as thyself.”
That was at a time when Christians “were of one heart and one soul” (Acts 4:32).
Now we see the opposite. Now among Christians it is heart against heart and soul against soul, now all have their lips full of love, or rather flattery, but very rarely is love in anyone’s heart.
For already “because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold” (Mt 24:12).
Holy and Mighty God, open our eyes, as you opened the eyes of your servant Tikhon, that we may see the faithfulness of others as we strive to be steadfast in the faith delivered to us, that the world may see you and know you; through Jesus Christ, our saviour and lord. Amen.
May the Lord bless us, protect us from all evil and bring us to everlasting life. Amen.
NOW LIGHT A CANDLE
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