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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 August 18, 2019

Gerald Largent

8/18: 1 Corinthians 3:9-17; Matthew 14:22-34

8/19: 1 Corinthians 15:12-19; Matthew 21:18-22

8/20: 1 Corinthians 15:29-38; Matthew 21:23-27

8/21: 1 Corinthians 16:4-12; Matthew 21:28-32

8/22: 2 Corinthians 1:1-7; Matthew 21:43-46

8/23: 2 Corinthians 1:12-20; Matthew 22:23-33

8/24: Romans 15:30-33; Matthew 17:24-18:4

Prayer List for the Week of August 11, 2019

Gerald Largent

For healing: Fr. Gregory, Fr. James, Fr. John, Fr. Vasiliy, Fr. Yves, Fr. Deacon Dmitri, Matushka Laryssa, Matushka Katherine, Brother Demetrios, Ross, Justin, Steven, Marian, Paul, Dale, Roger, Nancy, Claire, Patricia, Mark, Nikolai, Anastasia, Donna, William, Metodije, Annabelle, Alice, Kathleen, Walter, Jay, Denise, Denise, Heather, Alexis, Robert, Gerald, Sylvia, Alexander, Cassie, John, Karen, Pamela, Sabra, Sid, Robert, Marianne, Ryan, Joanne, Rose Mary, Diane, Robert, Eric, Michael, Irene, Marianne, Marie, Timothy, Jon, Charles, Carlos, David, Hank, Nicholas, Katrina, Christopher

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: Nancy, Anne, Charles, Julia, John, Helen, George, Stephen, Gloria, Mark

Readings for the Week of August 11, 2019

Gerald Largent

8/11: 1 Corinthians 1:10-18; Matthew 14:14-22

8/12: 1 Corinthians 11:31-12:6; Matthew 18:1-11

8/13: 1 Corinthians 12:12-26; Matthew 18:18-22; 19:1-2, 13-15

8/14: 1 Corinthians 13:4-14:5; Matthew 20:1-16

8/15: Philippians 2:5-11; Luke 10:38-42; 11:27-28

8/16: 1 Corinthians 14:26-40; Matthew 21:12-14, 17-20

8/17: Romans 14:6-9; Matthew 15:32-39

Words from the Saints -- August 6, 2019

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

Words from the Saints -- July 23, 2019

Gerald Largent

"The love of God inspires the love of our neighbor, and the love of our neighbor serves to keep alive the love of God." --St. Gregory the Great, Pope of Rome

"The person who fears the Lord has humility as his constant companion and, through the thoughts which humility inspires, reaches a state of divine love and thankfulness. For he recalls his former worldly way of life, the various sins he has committed and the temptations which have befallen him since his youth; and he recalls, too, how the Lord delivered him from all this, and how He led him away from a passion-dominated life to a life ruled by God. Then, together with fear, he also receives love, and in deep humility continually gives thanks to the Benefactor and Helmsman of our lives." --St. Maximos the Confessor

"You are indignant that God is indignant, as if you deserved anything good by living evilly, as if all those things that happen were still not less and lighter than your own sins." --St. Cyprian of Carthage

"When you pray, try to let the prayer reach your heart; in other words, it is necessary that your heart should feel what you are talking about in your prayer, that it should wish for the blessing for which you are asking…. Observe, during prayer, whether your heart is in accord with that which you are saying." --St. John of Kronstadt

"The principal vices - stupidity, cowardice, licentiousness, injustice - are the "image" of the "earthy" man. The principal virtues - intelligence, courage, self-restraint, justice - are the "image" of the "heavenly" man. As we have borne the image of the earthy, let us also bear the image of the heavenly (1 Corinthians 15:49)." --St. Maximos the Confessor

Words from the Saints -- June 18, 2019

Gerald Largent

"The highest form of prayer is to stand silently in awe before God." --St. Isaac the Syrian

"A man went into the forest to choose a tree from which to make roof beams. And he saw two trees, one beside the other. One was smooth and tall, but had rotted away inside, and the other was rough on the outside and ugly, but its core was healthy. The man sighed, and said to himself: “What use is this smooth, tall tree to me if it is rotten inside and useless for beams? The other one, even if it is rough and ugly, is at least healthy on the inside and so, if I put a bit more effort into it, I can use it for roof beams for my house.” And without thinking any more about it, he chose that tree. So will God choose between two men for His house, and will choose not the one who appears outwardly righteous, but the one whose heart is filled with God’s healthy righteousness." --St. Nikolai of Zhicha

"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

"Perfume is not to be found in mud, nor the fragrance of love in the soul of a rancorous man." --St. Thalassios the Libyan

"A mole burrowing in the earth is blind and cannot see the stars; and he who does not trust God in temporal things will not trust Him in eternal things." --St. Mark the Ascetic

"He alone loves the Creator perfectly who manifests a pure love for his neighbor." --St. Bede the Venerable

Penitential Hymns (Tone 3)

Gerald Largent

I have spent the days of my life in laziness, drawing near to the end in condemnation. I have given no thought to the judgment that awaits me, nor to my separation from God. But Savior, turn me back and take me from all of this.

Save me, O Lord my God: You are the salvation of all! The storm of my passions troubles me; the yoke of my sins weighs me down! Stretch out Your hand to help me; lead me to the light of repentance, for You alone are the compassionate Lover of mankind!

O Lord, gather my scattered mind and cleanse my barren heart. Grant me repentance as You gave to Peter, groans as You gave the Publican and tears as the harlot, so that I may cry to You with a loud voice: save me, O God, as You alone are tender-hearted and the Lover of mankind!

Often when I stand to sing the hymns, I am found to be committing sins! With my tongue I am singing praises, but with my soul, I am considering inappropriate things! But correct both through repentance, Christ God, and save me!

Penitential Hymns (Tone 2)

Gerald Largent

I have sinned against You, Christ our Savior, like the prodigal son. Father, accept me in repentance. Have mercy on me, O God.

I cry to You, Christ our Savior, with the voice of the publican. Be merciful to me, as to him. Have mercy on me, O God.

When I think of my detestable and horrible deeds, I fly for refuge to Your compassion, imitating the publican, the weeping harlot and the prodigal son. So I fall before You, Merciful One: Before You condemn me, my God rather spare me and have mercy on me!

Overlook my transgressions, Lord born of the Virgin. Cleanse my heart, making it a temple of the Holy Spirit! Do not make me as nothing before Your face, since You have boundless mercy!

Penitential Hymns (Tone 1)

Gerald Largent

Savior, I have fallen into a great abyss because of my sins, and my transgressions weigh me down. Stretch out Your hand to me as You did to Peter, Lord. Save me, O God, and have mercy on me.

My thoughts and deeds condemn me, Savior. Give me the thought of turning back, that i may cry out to You: Save me, O God, and have mercy on me!

Another world awaits you, my soul: A Judge will soon reveal your secret and terrible thoughts and deeds! Do not linger, then, among the things that are here. Anticipate the judgment and cry out to the Judge: Be merciful to me, O God, and save me!

Do not reject me at the testing, My Savior, though I am held fast by the laziness of sin. Arouse my thoughts to repentance; make me a proven worker of Your vineyard: Grant me the wages of the eleventh hour and great mercy!

Penitential Hymns (Tone 8)

Gerald Largent

The angels never cease singing praises to You, and I fall before You, King and Master! I cry out like the Publican: Be merciful to me, O God, and save me!

Since you are immortal, my soul, do not be overwhelmed by the waves of life. Come to your senses and cry out to the Benefactor: Be merciful to me, O God, and save me!

When I grasp with my mind the great number of terrible things I have done, and go in my thoughts to that terrible reckoning, I tremble with fearfulness! I flee for refuge to You, O God and Lover of Mankind! I humbly pray: do not turn from me, Sinless Lord, but grant my lowly soul repentance before the end and save me!

Give me tears, O God, as You once did to the woman who had sinned, and thus count me worthy to drench Your feet -- those feet which freed me from the path of error. As fragrant ointment let me offer You a life of purity acquired by me through repentance that I too may hear that voice for which i pray, saying: Your faith has saved you; go in peace!

Words from the Saints -- February 26, 2019

Gerald Largent

"Forgiveness is better than revenge." --St. Tikhon of Zadonsk

"Another man's sin does not increase our own, unless we ourselves embrace it by means of evil thoughts." --St. Mark the Ascetic

"My son, always strive to be simple and kind. Do not have one thing in your heart and another thing on your tongue, for this is a ruse and a lie." --St. Nilus of Mount Sinai

"Gentleness attains its highest expression when we keep our heart calm in the face of someone who is provoking us, and actually show him our love." --St. John Climacus

"Do not become harsh and unmerciful. Think that behind him who seeks charity from you, is the Lord Himself… Give charity for your own benefit and for the benefit of those who are really poor. The Lord will reward you." --St. John Chrysostom

"Ascetic struggle--fasting, vigils, patience, forbearance - produces a clear conscience." --St. Thalassios the Libyan

Words from the Saints -- February 19, 2019

Gerald Largent

"As a fish cannot swim without water, and as a bird cannot fly without air, so a Christian cannot advance a single step without Christ." --St. Gregory the Theologian

"We are not without hope of salvation, nor is it at all the right time for us to despair. All our life is a season of repentance, for God 'desires not the death of the sinner', as it is written, 'but that the wicked turn from his way and live' (Ezekiel 33:11). For, if there were no hope of turning back, why would death not have followed immediately on disobedience, and why would we not be deprived of life as soon as we sin? For where there is hope of turning back, there is no room for despair." --St. Gregory Palamas

"Give no ear to the slanderer's talk nor let your talk run on in the fault-finder's hearing, by readily speaking and listening to things against your neighbor; otherwise you will fall from divine charity [love] and be found a foreigner to eternal life." --St. Maximos the Confessor

"Humility consists, not in condemning our conscience, but in recognizing God's grace and compassion." --St. Mark the Ascetic

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

Words from the Saints -- February 12, 2019

Gerald Largent

"A self-indulgent heart becomes a prison and chain for the soul when it leaves this life; whereas a diligent heart is an open door." --St. Mark the Ascetic

"Destroy two thoughts within yourself: do not consider yourself worthy of anything great, and do not think that any other man is much lower than you in worthiness. Learn humility beforehand, which the Lord commanded in word and showed forth in deed. Hence, do not expect obedience from others, but be ready for obedience yourself." --St. Basil the Great

"The memory of insults is the residue of anger. It keeps sins alive, hates justice, ruins virtue, poisons the heart, rots the mind, defeats concentration, paralyzes prayer, puts love at a distance, and is a nail driven into the soul. If anyone has appeased his anger, he has already suppressed the memory of insults…. In order to appease the anger, love is necessary." --St. John Climacus

"Has someone offended you? Guard your breast with the sign of the Cross; remember what took place on the Cross, and all will be extinguished. Think not of offenses only, but recall also whatever good you have received from the one who has offended you, and at once you shall grow meek. Bring to mind the fear of God, and quickly you shall grow more temperate and calm. Train yourself not to offend another during offenses themselves, and then, when offended, you will not feel grief. Think to yourself that he who is offending you is in a frenzy and not in his right mind, and then you will not be annoyed at the offense." --St. John Chrysostom

Words from the Saints -- February 5, 2019

Gerald Largent

"You should seek to have, as your friends, persons who will be of help to you in the way of life you want. Let your friends be lovers of peace, those who are spiritual soul mates, and those who are saintly." --St. Theodoros the Ascetic

"Love sinners, but hate their works, and do not despise them for their faults, lest you be tempted by the same. Remember that you share the earthly nature of Adam and that you are clothed with his infirmity." --St. Isaac the Syrian

"Do not be irritated either with those who sin or those who offend; do not have a passion for noticing every sin in your neighbor, 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 stands or falls.' Correct your own sins, amend your own life." --St. John of Kronstadt

"Children, I beseech you to correct your hearts and thoughts, so that you may be pleasing to God. Consider that although we may reckon ourselves to be righteous and frequently succeed in deceiving men, we can conceal nothing from God. Let us therefore strive to preserve the holiness of our souls and to guard the purity of our bodies with all fervor. Ye are the temple of God, says the divine Apostle Paul; If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy." --St. Nicholas of Myra

"Troubles are usually the brooms and shovels that smooth the road to a good man’s fortune; and many a man curses the rain that falls upon his head, and knows not that it brings abundance to drive away hunger." --St. Basil the Great

Words from the Saints -- January 29, 2019

Gerald Largent

"If we have a strong relationship with God, this will distinguish our relationship with others. We will be able to be a source of peace, tranquility, and comfort to them." --St. Anthony the Great

"Sometimes men are tested by pleasure, sometimes by distress or by physical suffering. By means of His prescriptions the Physician of souls administers the remedy according to the cause of the passions lying hidden in the soul." --St. Maximos the Confessor

"How can we have victory over the enemy? By running to God for shelter." --St. John Chrysostom

"A little fire softens a large piece of wax. So, too, a small indignity often softens, sweetens and wipes away suddenly all the fierceness, insensibility and hardness of our heart." --St. John Climacus

"The demons very much fear six virtues: 1) hunger, 2) thirst, 3) the Prayer of Jesus, 4) the sign of the Cross, that is, he who makes the sign of the Cross correctly upon himself, 5) frequent Communion of the Most Pure Mysteries of Christ (Holy Communion), if one worthily communes, and 6) undoubting hope in God. There is nothing more frightful than this weapon against the demons." --St. Paisius

Words from the Saints -- January 15, 2019

Gerald Largent

"All material wealth is the same, but is acquired in many different ways; similarly, virtue is one, but is many-sided in its operations." --St. Mark the Ascetic

"What is it to be a fool for Christ? It is to control one's thoughts when they stray out of line. It is to make the mind empty and free..." --St. John Chrysostom

"From humility it is known that a man is a true disciple of Jesus, meek and humble of heart. If we wish to show evidence that we are true Christians, let us learn from Christ to be humble as He Himself enjoins us, 'Learn of Me; for I am meek, and lowly in heart'" (Matthew 11:29). --St. Tikhon of Zadonsk

"Death is, properly speaking, separation from God, and 'the sting of death is sin.' In taking it on, Adam was banished at once from the Tree of Life, from Paradise, and from God, whereupon there followed, of necessity, the death of the body. On the other hand, life is, properly speaking, the One who says 'I am the life.' By His death He brought back to life again the one who had died." --St. Maximos the Confessor

"If you see your neighbor in sin, don’t look only at this, but also think about what he has done or does that is good, and in frequently trying this in general, while not partially judging, you will find that he is better than you." --St. Basil the Great

Words from the Saints -- January 8, 2019

Gerald Largent

"Nothing equals the mercy of God or surpasses it. To despair is therefore to inflict death on oneself." --St. John Climacus

"The aim of prayer is that we should acquire from it love of God, for in prayer are to be found all sorts of reasons for loving God." --St. Isaac the Syrian

"Faith requires obedience, and not curiosity; and when God commands, one ought to be obedient, not curious." --St. John Chrysostom

"If you share secretly in the joy of someone you envy, you will be freed from your jealousy; and you will also be freed from your jealousy if you keep silent about the person you envy." --St. Thalassios the Libyan

"My God, I do not know what you will do, but I surrender myself to you completely so that you will make me into a human being." --St. Paisios

"God is not known by science, but by the Holy Spirit. Many philosophers and learned men came to the belief that God exists, but they did not know God. It is one thing to believe that God exists and another to know Him. If someone has come to know God by the Holy Spirit, his soul will burn with love for God day and night, and his soul cannot be bound to any earthly thing." --St. Silouan of Mt. Athos

Words from the Saints -- January 1, 2019

Gerald Largent

"Christ is the Savior of the whole world, and has conferred on men the gift of repentance so that they may be saved." --St. Thalassios the Libyan

"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

"A man who is truly without possessions is one who has renounced all his worldly goods and has absolutely nothing on earth except his body; and who, breaking his attachment to the body, has entrusted himself to the care of God and of the devout." --St. Maximos the Confessor

"We have learned to recognize as freedom that which the Lord alone confers on us when he liberates us from lusts and desires and the other passions. 'He who says, I know the Lord, and does not keep his commandments, is a liar and the truth is not in him,' says the Holy Apostle John." --St. Clement of Alexandria

The Nativity Sermon of St John Chrysostom

Gerald Largent

"I behold a new and wondrous mystery!

My ears resound to the shepherd's song, piping no soft melody, but loudly chanting a heavenly hymn!

The angels sing!

The archangels blend their voices in harmony!

The cherubim resound their joyful praise!

The Seraphim exalt His glory!

All join to praise this holy feast, beholding the Godhead herein... on earth and man in heaven. He who is above now, for our salvation, dwells here below; and we, who were lowly, are exalted by divine mercy!

Today Bethlehem resembles heaven, hearing from the stars the singing of angelic voices and, in place of the sun, witnessing the rising of the Sun of Justice!

Ask not how this is accomplished, for where God wills, the order of nature is overturned. For He willed He had the powers He descended. He saved. All things move in obedience to God.

Today He Who Is, is born ! And He Who Is becomes what He was not! For when He was God, He became man-while not relinquishing the Godhead that is His...

And so the kings have come, and they have seen the heavenly King that has come upon the earth, not bringing with Him angels, nor archangels, nor thrones, nor dominions, nor powers, nor principalities, but, treading a new and solitary path, He has come forth from a spotless womb.

Yet He has not forsaken His angels, nor left them deprived of His care, nor because of His incarnation has He ceased being God. And behold kings have come, that they might serve the Leader of the Hosts of Heaven; Women, that they might adore Him Who was born of a woman so that He might change the pains of childbirth into joy; Virgins, to the Son of the Virgin...

Infants, that they may adore Him who became a little child, so that out of the mouths of infants He might perfect praise; Children, to the Child who raised up martyrs through the rage of Herod; Men, to Him who became man that He might heal the miseries of His servants;

Shepherds, to the Good Shepherd who was laid down His life for His sheep;

Priests, to Him who has become a High Priest according to the order of Melchizedek;

Servants, to Him who took upon Himself the form of a servant, that He might bless our stewardship with the reward of freedom (Philippians 2:7);

Fishermen, to the Fisher of mankind;

Publicans, to Him who from among them named a chosen evangelist;

Sinful women, to Him who exposed His feet to the tears of the repentant woman;

And that I may embrace them all together, all sinners have come, that they may look upon the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world! Since, therefore, all rejoice, I too desire to rejoice! I too wish to share the choral dance, to celebrate the festival! But I take my part, not plucking the harp nor with the music of the pipes nor holding a torch, but holding in my arms the cradle of Christ!

For this is all my hope!

This is my life!

This is my salvation!

This is my pipe, my harp!

And bearing it I come, and having from its power received the gift of speech, I too, with the angels and shepherds, sing:

"Glory to God in the Highest! and on earth peace to men of good will!"

Words from the Saints -- December 18, 2018

Gerald Largent

"The first step toward freedom from anger is to keep the lips silent when the heart is stirred; the next, to keep the thoughts silent when the soul is stirred, the last, to be totally calm when unclean winds are blowing." --St. John Climacus

"Never belittle the significance of your thoughts, for not one escapes God's notice." --St. Mark the Ascetic

"The Apostle Paul has told us to pray uninterruptedly, without anger or passionate thoughts. And this is excellent advice, for every thought which takes the mind away from God is not merely from the devil but is the devil himself." --St. John Chrysostom

"When a person accepts anything Godly, then he rejoices in his heart, but when he has accepted anything devilish, then he becomes tormented." --St. Seraphim of Sarov