Prologue entry for 02/03/23 (read on 02/16/23 on the Old Calendar)
1. Saint Simeon The God-Receiver
During the reign of the Egyptian Emperor Ptolemy Philadelphus, Simeon was chosen as one of the famous Seventy, to whom was entrusted the task of translating the Bible from Hebrew into Greek [The Septuagint]. Simeon was performing his task conscientiously, but in the process of translating the book of the Prophet Isaiah he came upon the prophecy: Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son (Isaiah 7:14). He became confused and took a knife to remove the word “virgin” and replace it with the words “young woman,” and thus to translate it into Greek. At that moment, however, an angel of God appeared to Simeon and restrained him from his intention, explaining to him that the prophecy is true, that it was correctly written. The messenger of God also said that Simeon would become convinced of it personally, for, according to the will of God, he would not die until he saw the Messiah born of the Virgin. The righteous Simeon rejoiced to hear such a voice from heaven, left the prophecy unchanged and thanked God, Who made him worthy to live and see the Promised One. When the young Child Jesus was presented in the Temple in Jerusalem by the Virgin Mary, the Spirit of God revealed this to Simeon, who was very old and “as white as a swan.” Simeon quickly entered the Temple and there recognized both the Virgin and the young Child by the light that shone around their heads like a halo. The joyful Simeon took Christ into his hands and prayed to God to release him from this life: Lord, now lettest Thou Thy servant depart in peace, according to Thy word: For mine eyes have seen Thy salvation(Luke 2:29-30). Anna the Prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, was also there; she too recognized the Messiah, and she proclaimed Him to the people. At that time Anna was eighty-four years old. St. Simeon died shortly thereafter. This righteous Elder Simeon is considered to be a protector of young children.
2. The Holy Martyrs Adrian And Eubulus
These two holy souls came from their home in Baneas in Caesarea of Cappadocia to visit, console and encourage the Christians imprisoned in the dungeon. However, they too were arrested and sentenced to death. Adrian was beheaded, and Eubulus was thrown to wild beasts, in the year 309 A.D. Thus, not grieving over this life, they honorably and joyfully entered into life eternal.
Hymn Of Praise
A Prayer For A Small Child
O Powerful Lord, have mercy and save—
Do not extinguish this small flame with death!
This child is like the small flame of a candle,
And the winds of the world are terrible, even to the stars.
A weak fire is extinguished beneath the ashes,
As can be a human soul beneath Thy hand.
When the water rises and reaches the throat,
And the flame wanes and the fire becomes dampened,
O Lord, save, have mercy, and console us!
Thus, David the Prophet prayed to Thee.
Even though he was a great torch,
At the foot of heaven he was a weak child,
And from malicious desires he wavered in pain,
And from malicious thoughts his head began to ache;
Every wind of malice weakened him.
He would have been extinguished quickly from the turbulent winds,
If Thou hadst not saved him. O speedy Helper.
O Lord, have mercy and save us even now,
And do not extinguish this small flame with death!
Through the prayers, O God, of Thy beloved elder,
Holy St. Simeon, the wondrous God-receiver.
How great a glory in heaven was attained by St. Simeon the God-receiver, who held the Savior of the world in his hands! The following incident, as related in the life of St. Peter the Athonite (June 12), clearly shows this. As a commander during a battle, Peter was enslaved, chained and cast into prison in the town of Samara on the shores of the Euphrates River. Languishing in prison for a long time, Peter begged St. Nicholas with tears to pray to God for him, that he might be freed from prison, vowing that he would completely dedicate himself to God. St. Nicholas appeared to him in a dream, saying that although he [St. Nicholas] had prayed to God for him, God was delaying his deliverance because he [Peter] had earlier made a similar vow to God and had not keep it. And St. Nicholas further counseled Peter that he ought to pray to St. Simeon the God-receiver, “who is very mighty before God and stands close to the throne of God, together with the All-holy Virgin and St. John the Forerunner.” Peter heeded the counsel of St. Nicholas and proceeded to pray to St. Simeon. Again St. Nicholas appeared to him with St. Simeon, not in a dream but in reality. Peter saw Simeon, glorious in appearance with light shining from his countenance. He was attired in the vestments of an Old Testament priest and bore a golden staff in his hand. St. Simeon said to Peter: “Do you want to fulfill the vow and become a monk?” To this Peter replied: “Yes, master, with God’s help.” Simeon then touched Peter’s chains with his staff, and the chains melted like wax. Opening the doors of the dungeon, the saint led Peter from prison.
Contemplate the Lord Jesus as the Cornerstone:
- As the Cornerstone in building personal character;
- As the Cornerstone in building the family and the nation;
- As the Cornerstone of every good-intentioned social transformation and inspiration of mankind.
on the Spirit of God, Who speaks through the Spirit-bearers
“Take no thought how or what ye shall speak … For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you” (Matthew 10:19-20). These are the words of Him Who knows all and Who declared to the world knowledge which was unknown before He visited mankind. If someone is filled with the Spirit of God, he does not speak from the spirit of man. Instead, the Spirit of God speaks from him and through him. He is only an instrument or a lyre of God’s Spirit, through which God the Spirit speaks. When that kind of man speaks, he speaks infallibly and no one can find falsehood in his speech except those who, because of the perversion of their minds, consider truth as falsehood. How men speak when filled with the Spirit of God was clearly shown by the example of the prophets, and more clearly by the example of the apostles. So miraculous and unbelievable did the words of the apostles seem to strangers–that is, to those who bereft of the Spirit of God in themselves and who were only able to speak of the earth–that they considered the apostles to be intoxicated. In reality, all those people who were the first to speak about the hidden miracles of this physical world–the power of steam, magnetism, electricity, wireless telegraphy, and conversation at a distance–appeared intoxicated and foolish to the ignorant. How can spiritual men, when led by the Spirit of God and speaking about countless hidden mysteries of the spiritual kingdom, not seem intoxicated and foolish? Whoever humbles himself before God, him God makes powerful. The Spirit of God settles in a contrite heart and from there speaks through the mouth of man. This is confirmed not only by the prophets and apostles, but also by God’s innumerable sons and daughters. O Good Lord, do not refuse us Thy Holy Spirit. To Thee be glory and praise forever. Amen.