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20525 Center Ridge Rd. #301
Rocky River, OH 44116
United States

(440) 941-4850

A Pan-Orthodox ministry that displays Christian love, mercy and compassion to the individuals, families and facilities it serves.

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A Pan-Orthodox ministry that displays Christian love, mercy and compassion to the individuals, families and facilities it serves.

Readings for the Week of September 2, 2018

Gerald Largent

9/2: 2 Corinthians 1:21-2:4; Matthew 22:1-14
9/3: Galatians 2:11-16; Mark 5:24-34
9/4: Galatians 2:21-3:7; Mark 6:1-7
9/5: Galatians 3:15-22; Mark 6:7-13
9/6: Galatians 3:23-4:5; Mark 6:30-45
9/7: Galatians 4:8-21; Mark 6:45-53
9/8: Philippians 2:5-11; Luke 10:38-42; 11:27-28

Prayer List for the Week of September 2, 2018

Gerald Largent

For healing: Metropolitan Antony, Fr. Goras, Fr. James, Fr. John, Fr. Vasiliy, Fr. Yves, Fr. Deacon Dmitri, Matushka Laryssa, Brother Demetrios, Ross, Justin, Steven, Marian, Paul, Dale, Roger, Nancy, Barbara, Claire, Maria, Victoria, Patricia, Mark, Nikolai, Anastasia, Nancy, Antoinette, Sarah, Michael, Metodije, Annabelle, Alice, Kathleen, Walter, Jay, Denise, Denise, Leslie,  Andrew, Anthony, Heather, Alexis, Robert, Gerald, Sylvia, Catherine, George, Alexander, Cassie, John, Patricia, Doug, Karen, Carol, Christine, Pamela, Heather, Katherine, Sabra, Sid, Robert, Marianne, Ryan, Joanne, Rose Mary, Tina, Diane, Irene, Alexis, Susan, Andrea, Martha, Marianne, Patricia, Michael, Dennis, Marie, Timothy, Issa, Lena, Fransisa, Luke, Denise, Joan , Donna , Erma , Lois ,George , Joe, Katheryne, James, Linda, Jon, Tia

For God’s protection: Archbishops Paul Yazigi and John Ibrahim; all captives; all persecuted Christians throughout the world

For God’s protection: all those in the military

For God’s mercy and peace: those who are in hospice care

For God’s mercy, direction and protection: those who are unemployed, poor, hungry and/or homeless

*** We pray for: those who love us; those who hate us; those who have no one to pray for them; those who have asked us to pray for them, even though we are unworthy. ***

Departed: Matushka Alice, Caroline, Dorothy, Georgette, Carol, James, Helen, Mary, Vic, Chris , Jane , Dorothy , Amelda , Lucille , Johnny , Wanda , Martin , Marie , Helen , Teddy , Mack , Harriet, Ronald, Joseph

Words from the Saints -- August 21, 2018

Gerald Largent

"Of course, every good deed done for Christ's sake gives us the grace of the Holy Spirit, but prayer gives us this grace most of all, for it is always at hand, as an instrument for acquiring the grace of the Spirit. For instance, you would like to go to church, but there is no church or the service is over; you would like to give alms to a beggar, but there isn't one, or you have nothing to give; you would like to preserve your virginity, but you have not the strength to do so because of your temperament, or because of the violence of the wiles of the enemy which because of your human weakness you cannot withstand; you would like to do some other good deed for Christ's sake, but either you have not the strength or the opportunity is lacking. This certainly does not apply to prayer. Prayer is always possible for everyone, rich and poor, noble and humble, strong and weak, healthy and sick, righteous and sinful." --St. Seraphim Of Sarov

"Consider that your soul is an image. Before daubing on the true color of the Spirit, erase the bad habits which have become implanted in you, whether it be swearing, lying, uttering insults, foul language, buffoonery, or any other of the disreputable things you are in the habit of doing. Erase the habit, that you may not come back to it after baptism. The bath takes away the sins, but you must correct the habit, so that after the pigments have been daubed on and the royal image shines forth, you may never thereafter blot it out or cause wounds or scars on the beauty which God has given you." --St. John Chrysostom

"It is patience that reveals every grace to you, and it is through patience that the saints received all that was promised to them." --St. Pachomius

"Spiritual knowledge comes through prayer, deep stillness, and complete detachment, while wisdom comes through humble meditation on Holy Scripture and above all, through grace given by God." --St. Diadochos of Photiki

"We receive salvation by grace and as a divine gift of the Spirit. But to attain the full measure of virtue we need also to possess faith and love, and to struggle to exercise our free will with integrity." --St. Makarios of Egypt

"I reckon silence more profitable than speech, for in the words of the Preacher, 'The words of wise men are heard in quiet' (Eccles. 9:17)." --St. Basil the Great

Words from the Saints -- August 14, 2018

Gerald Largent

"The secret sinner is worse than those who do evil openly; and so he receives a worse punishment." 
--St. Mark the Ascetic

"Beloved, even if we should attain the very pinnacle of virtue, let us consider ourselves least of all, as we have learned that pride is able to cast down even from the heavens the person who does not take heed, and humility of mind is able to bring up on High from the very abyss of sin the person who knows how to be sober. For this is what placed the Publican before the Pharisee. By pride I mean an overwhelming boastful spirit, surpassing even incorporeal powers, that of the devil himself while humility of mind and acknowledgment of sins by the robber is what brought him into Paradise before the Apostles." --St. John Chrysostom

"The truly intelligent man pursues one sole objective: to obey and to conform to the God of all. With this single aim in view, he disciplines his soul, and whatever he may encounter in the course of his life, he gives thanks to God for the compass and depth of His providential ordering of all things. For it is absurd to be grateful to doctors who give us bitter and unpleasant medicines to cure our bodies, and yet to be ungrateful to God for what appears to us to be harsh, not grasping that all we encounter is for our benefit and in accordance with His providence. For knowledge of God and faith in Him is the salvation and perfection of the soul." --St. Anthony the Great

"We must keep in mind that whatever we do, openly or in secret, we do in the presence of our guardian angel." --St. Nikolai of Zicha

"It is not darkness and desolateness of place that give demons power against us, but barrenness of soul." --St. John Climacus

"I have found the words and the commandments of Christ pure, holy, true, splendid, brighter than the sun; and whoever believes in Christ and calls Him God and lives in accordance with His teaching, contained in the Holy Gospels, is fortunate and thrice-blessed." --St. Kosmas Aitolos

Words from the Saints -- August 7, 2018

Gerald Largent

"Virtue is nothing without the trial of temptation, for there is no conflict without an enemy, no victory without strife." --St. Leo the Great, Pope of Rome

"It is a great virtue to accept patiently whatever comes and, as the Lord enjoins, to love a neighbor who hates you." --St. Mark the Ascetic

"The Kingdom of Heaven, O man, requires no other price than yourself. The value of it is yourself. Give yourself for it and you shall have it." --St. Augustine of Hippo

"So, morning or evening, immediately before you begin to repeat your prayers, stand awhile, sit for awhile, or walk a little and try to steady your mind and turn it away from all worldly activities and objects. After this, think who He is to whom you turn in prayer, then recollect who you are; who it is who is about to start this invocation to Him in prayer. Do this in such a way as to awake in your heart a feeling of humility and reverent awe that your are standing in the presence of God. It is the beginning of prayer, and a good beginning is half the complete task." --St. Theophan the Recluse

"Before the war begins, seek after your ally; before you fall ill, seek out your physician; and before grievous things come upon you, pray, and in the time of your tribulations you will find Him, and He will listen to you." --St. Isaac the Syrian

Words from the Saints -- July 31, 2018

Gerald Largent

"The righteous have no sorrows that are not turned into joy, as sinners have no joy that is not turned into sorrow." --St. Dmitri of Rostov

"A wise man is one who accepts advice, especially that of a spiritual father counseling him in accordance with the will of God." --St. Thalassios the Libyan

"The principal thing is to walk before God, or under God’s eye, aware that God is looking at you, searching your soul and your heart, seeing all that is there. This awareness is the most powerful lever in the mechanism of the inner spiritual life." --St. Theophan the Recluse

"Behold how harmful and soul-destroying is envy, ever wishing harm to others. The envious is ready to harm himself, if only his neighbor might be harmed twice as much. We have presented an advanced degree of envy. But it, too, like other passions, has varying degrees and sizes; and therefore we should strive to squash and expel it at the first sensation, praying to God, the all- powerful Seer of Hearts, with the Psalmists words: “from my secret sins cleanse me, and from those of others spare Thy servant” (Ps. 18:12). Also, with humility we must confess this infirmity to our spiritual father. The third means [to overcome envy] is to try in every way never to say anything bad about any person that we envy. Using these means we can, with God’s help, be healed of the infirmity of envy, though it may not be right away." --Elder Ambrose of Optina

"Mary properly bore the name of Virgin, and possessed to the full all the attributes of purity. She was a virgin in both body and soul, and kept all the powers of her soul and her bodily senses far above any defilement. This she did authoritatively, steadfastly, decisively and altogether inviolably at all times, as a closed gate preserves the treasure within, and a sealed book keeps hidden from sight what is written inside. The Scriptures say of her, 'This is the sealed book' (cf. Revelation 5:1-6:1; Daniel 12:4) and 'this gate shall be shut, and no man shall enter by it' (Ezekiel 44:2)." --St. Gregory Palamas

Words from the Saints -- July 10, 2018

Gerald Largent

"A man wanted to do evil, but first prayed as usual; and finding himself prevented by God, he was then extremely thankful." --St. Mark the Ascetic

"The Lord seeks a heart filled to overflowing with love for God and our neighbor; this is the throne on which He loves to sit and on which He appears in the fullness of His heavenly glory." 
--St. Seraphim of Sarov

"Patiently endure the distressing and painful things that befall you, for through them God in His providence is purifying you." --St. Thalassios the Libyan 

"When a man severs himself from evil, he gains an exact understanding of all the sins he has committed against God..." --St. Isaiah the Solitary

"If you want spiritual health, listen to your conscience, do all it tells you, and you will benefit." 
--St. Mark the Ascetic

"When you hear that Christ descended into hell in order to deliver the souls dwelling there, do not think that what happens now is very different. The heart is a tomb and there our thoughts and our intellect are buried, imprisoned in heavy darkness. And so Christ comes to the souls in hell that call upon Him, descending, that is to say, into the depths of the heart; and there He commands death to release the imprisoned souls that call upon Him, for He has power to deliver us. Then, lifting up the heavy stone that oppresses the soul, and opening the tomb, He resurrects us--for we were truly dead--and releases our imprisoned soul from its light-less prison." --St. Makarios of Egypt

"A true man is one who understands that the body is corruptible and short-lived, whereas the soul is divine and immortal and, while being God's breath, is joined to the body to be tested and deified. Now he who has understood what the soul is regulates his life in a way that is just and conforms to God." --St. Anthony the Great

Words from the Saints -- July 3, 2018

Gerald Largent

"Hell can't be made attractive, so the devil makes attractive the road that leads there." 
--St. Basil the Great

"Love every man in spite of his falling into sin. Never mind the sins, but remember that the foundation of the man is the same - the image of God." --St. John of Kronstadt

"We must not mind insulting men, if by respecting them we offend God." --St. John Chrysostom

"There are many differing methods of prayer. No method is harmful; if it were, it would be not prayer but the activity of Satan." --St. Mark the Ascetic

"Destroy within you the devil’s rule over you; destroy all his influence over you; acquire spiritual freedom." --St. Ignatius Brianchaninov

"Ever let mercy outweigh all else in you. Let our compassion be a mirror where we may see in ourselves that likeness and that true image which belong to God. A heart hard and unmerciful will never be pure." --St. Isaac of Syria

Words from the Saints -- June 26, 2018

Gerald Largent

"We are not asked merely to call ourselves Christians; we are asked to be Christians through our deeds." --St. Ignatius of Antioch

"We must begin with thanksgiving for everything. The beginning of joy is to be content with your situation." --St. Ambrose of Optina

"The Lord listens equally to the monk and to the man of the world provided both are true believer. He looks for a heart full of true faith into which to send his Spirit. For the heart of a man is capable of containing the Kingdom of God. The Holy Spirit and the Kingdom of God are one." 
--St. Seraphim of Sarov

"Always let mercy outweigh everything else in you. A hard and unmerciful heart will never be pure." 
--St. Isaac of Syria

"Stand patiently and pray steadfastly, brushing off the impacts of worldly cares and all thoughts; for they distract and worry you in order to disturb the motivation of your prayer."  --St. Nilus of Mount Sinai

"To yield and give way to our passions is the lowest slavery, even as to rule over them is the only liberty." --St. Justin Martyr

"We must keep in mind that whatever we do, openly or in secret, we do in the presence of our guardian angel." --St. Nikolai of Zicha

Words from the Saints -- June 19, 2018

Gerald Largent

"What is more precious than anything in the world? Time! And what do we waste uselessly and without being sorry? Time! What do we not value and what do we disregard more than anything? Time! When we waste time, we lose ourselves. Time is given by God to use correctly for the salvation of the soul and the acquisition of the life to come. The Lord will call us to account for having stolen time for our own whims, and for not using it for God and our souls." --St. Sebastian of Optina

"Our own evil inclinations are far more dangerous than any external enemies." --St. Ambrose of Milan

"The remembrance of Jesus’ sufferings cures the remembrance of wrongs, which is mightily shamed by His forbearance." --St John Climacus

"A saint-like soul helps its neighbor and when ill-treated by him is patient, enduring what it suffers at his hands." --St. Thalassios the Libyan

"When elated by praise, be sure disgrace will follow; for it is said: 'Whoever exalts himself will be humbled' (Luke 14: 11)." --St. Mark the Ascetic

"Every day you provide your bodies with food to keep them from failing. In the same way your good works should be the daily nourishment of your hearts. Your bodies are fed with food and your spirits with good works. You aren't to deny your soul, which is going to live forever, what you grant to your body, which is going to die." --St. Gregory the Great

"Learn something from the Scriptures by heart, and keep your mind focused on it. These things impede the demons from making assaults against us." --St. Nil of Sora

Words from the Saints -- June 12, 2018

Gerald Largent

“Look to the end of every involuntary suffering and you will find in it removal of sins.” --St. Mark the Ascetic

"A person is humble when he knows that his very being is on loan to him." --St. Maximos the Confessor

"He who restrains his mouth from speech guards his heart from passions." --St. Isaac the Syrian

"How absurd and unnatural are anger and rage. Look at the face of a gentle person — how beautiful it is… but look at the face of an angry one: it is restless, gloomy and ugly." --St. John of Kronstadt

"There is still time for endurance, time for patience, time for healing, time for change. Have you slipped? Rise up. Have you sinned? Cease. Do not stand among sinners, but leap aside." --St. Basil the Great

"Prayer is called a virtue, but in reality it is the mother of the virtues: for it gives birth to them through union with Christ." --St. Mark the Ascetic

"Love and humility form a holy pair; what the first builds, the second binds, thus preventing the building from falling asunder." --St. John Climacus

"Shun the satisfactions of this age, so as to be happy in the age to come. Do not be sad when you are cursed by men; be sad when you sin--this is the true curse." --St. Pachomius the Great

Words from the Saints -- June 5, 2018

Gerald Largent

"The soul must be constantly ready and alert and always in contact with the spiritual headquarters, that is, God. Only then, it will feel secure, full of hope and joy." --St. Paisios

"Prayer is a great weapon, a rich treasure, a wealth that is never exhausted, and undisturbed refuge, a couse of tranquility, the root of a multitude of blessings and their source." --St. John Chrysostom

"If you do not want to suffer evil, do not inflict it, since the suffering of it inevitably follows its infliction. 'For whatever a man sows he will also reap' (Galatians 6:7)." --St. Mark the Ascetic

"Afflictions, illness, ill health and the pains that our bodies experience are counted for the remission of our trespasses. They are the furnace in which we are purified." --St. John Chrysostom

"We have such a law: If you forgive your brother it means that God has forgiven you, but if you do not forgive your brother it means that your sin remains with you." --St. Silouan of Mt. Athos

"Do not foster hatred for the sinner, for we are all guilty. Hate his sins, and pray for him, so that you may be made like unto Christ, who had no dislike for sinners, but prayed for them." 
--St. Isaac the Syrian

Words from the Saints -- May 1, 2018

Gerald Largent

"Jesus became what we are that He might make us what He is." --St. Athanasius the Great

"God's desire to save you is greater than your enemy’s desire to destroy you." --St. Nicodemos

"God has granted us existence - the greatest gift of His goodness, and after we had fallen away from Him, from life into death, He gave us for our regeneration, to bring us back to life, His Son. How small in proportion are all the other gifts which we ask of Him in prayer, and how easy it is for Him to give them to us at the first word of true faith, if they are really necessary for us! Therefore it is perfectly unpardonable in us if we still doubt that we shall obtain what we ask of God in prayer. The Lord said plainly: 'Ask, and it shall be given you.' (Matthew 7:7)." --St. John of Kronstadt

"It is good that we make God's mercy known to all and speak to those close to us of the compassion and inexpressible bounty He has shown us." --St. Symeon the New Theologian

"He who does not make his will agree with God is tripped up by his own schemes and falls into the hands of his enemies." --St. Mark the Ascetic

"As long as there are holy people on earth, the earth will stand. If the earth stops producing saints then will come to an end." --St. Silouan of Mt. Athos

A meditation on the Resurrection (By Archimandrite Justin Popovic)

Gerald Largent

    People condemned God to death; with His Resurrection He condemned them to immortality. For striking Him, God returned embraces; for insults, blessings; for death, immortality. Never did men show more hate towards God than when they crucified Him; and God never showed His love towards people more than when He was resurrected. Mankind wanted to make God dead, but God, with His Resurrection, made people alive, the crucified God resurrected on the third day and thereby killed death ! There is no more death. Immortality is surrounding man and his entire world.
    With the Resurrection of the God-Man, the nature of man is irreversibly led toward the road of immortality and man's nature becomes destructive to death itself. For until the Resurrection of Christ, death was destructive for man; from the Resurrection of Christ, man's nature becomes destructive in death. If man lives in the faith of the Resurrected God Man, he lives above death, he is unreachable for her; death is under man's feet. Death where is thy sting? Hell, where is thy victory? And when a man who believes in Christ dies, he only leaves his body as his clothes, in which he will be dressed again on the Day of Last Judgement.
    Before the Resurrection of the God-Man, death was the second nature of man; life was first and death was second. Man became accustomed to death as something natural. But after His Resurrection the Lord changed everything: and it was only natural until Christ's Resurrection, that the people became mortal, so after Christ's Resurrection it was natural that the people became immortal.
    Through sin, man becomes mortal and temporal; with the Resurrection of the God-Man, he becomes immortal and eternal. In this lies the strength, in this lies the power, in this lies the might of Christ's Resurrection. Without the Resurrection there is no Christianity. Among the miracles, this is the greatest one; all other miracles begin and end with it. From it sprouted the faith and the love and the hope and the prayer and the love toward God.

Holy Saturday (April 7)

Gerald Largent

Holy Saturday (April 7)
Today hell cries out groaning: "My power has been swallowed up. The Shepherd is crucified and Adam is raised. I have been deprived of the ones whom I ruled. Those whom I devoured in my strength I have given up. He Who was crucified has emptied the tombs." The power of Death has been vanquished. Lord, glory to Your Cross and Resurrection.

Let all mortal flesh keep silent, and in fear and trembling stand, pondering nothing earthly-minded.  For the King of kings, and Lord of Lords comes to be slain, to give Himself as food to the faithful. Before Him go the ranks of angels, all the Principalities and Powers, the many-eyed Cherubim, and the six-winged Seraphim, covering their faces, chanting the hymn:  Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!
 

Holy Friday (April 6) 

Gerald Largent

Today He who hung the earth upon the waters is hung on the tree. The King of the Angels is decked with a crown of thorns. He who wraps the heavens in clouds is wrapped in the purple of mockery. He who freed Adam in the Jordan is slapped on the face. The Bridegroom of the Church is affixed to the cross with nails. The Son of the virgin is pierced by a spear.
We worship Your passion, O Christ! 
We worship Your passion, O Christ! 
We worship Your passion, O Christ! 
Show us also Your glorious resurrection.

Let us not keep the feast like the Jews, for our Passover, Christ God, has been slain for us. But let us cleanse ourselves of every defilement and with sincerity let us entreat Him: Rise, O Lord, and save us, for You are the Lover of Mankind!

Your cross, O Lord, is life and resurrection for Your people. Trusting in it, we praise You, our crucified God. Have mercy on us!

Holy Thursday (April 5)

Gerald Largent

When the glorious disciples were enlightened at the washing of their feet before the supper, then the impious Judas was darkened, ailing with avarice, and to the lawless judges he betrays You, the Righteous Judge. Behold, O lover of money, this man who because of money hanged himself. Flee from the greedy soul which dared such things against the Master. O Lord You are good towards all, glory to You!

Holy Wednesday (April 4): Hymn of St. Cassiani

Gerald Largent

The woman had fallen into many sins, 0 Lord, yet when she perceived Your divinity, she joined the ranks of the myrrh-bearing women. In tears she brought You myrrh before Your burial. She cried, "Woe is me! For I live in the night of licentiousness, shrouded in the dark and moonless love of sin. But accept the fountain of my tears, O You that gathered the waters of the sea into clouds. Bow down Your ear to the sighing of my heart, O You that bowed the heavens in Your ineffable condescension. Once Eve heard Your footstep in paradise in the cool of the day, and in fear she ran and hid herself. But now I will tenderly embrace those pure feet and wipe them with the hair of my head. Who can measure the multitude of my sins, or the depth of Your judgments, O Savior of my soul? Do not despise Your servant in Your immeasurable mercy."

Holy Monday and Holy Tuesday (April 2-3): Hymn of the Bridegroom

Gerald Largent

Behold, the Bridegroom comes at midnight, and blessed is the servant whom He shall find watching; and again, unworthy is the servant whom He shall find heedless. Beware, therefore, O my soul, do not be weighed down with sleep, lest you be given up to death and lest you be shut out of the Kingdom. But rouse yourself crying: Holy, Holy, Holy, are You, O our God! Through the Birthgiver-of-God have mercy on us!