A Prayer Before Surfing the Net

September 25, 2010 § 6 Comments

God, grant me wisdom as I use this laptop that I might not sin against you in thought, word or deed.  Grant me the strength to say “no” to the temptations and sins that lurk within the Internet.  May I turn away from wrongdoing and, as the Psalmist says, “set no evil thing before my eyes.”

Instead of using technology to further mindless acts of boredom, fulfill sinful passions, and waste precious time, may I simply use technology in a way that would glorify your Son—in whom rests perfect redemption, holiness and peace.

Grant to me Lord that I might at all times praise your Holy Name, rest in the grace of your Son, and live in the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, Have Mercy On Me a Sinner

June 19, 2010 § 1 Comment

A Litany by Pastor William Weedon

Lord Jesus Christ, Eternal Word of the Father,
have mercy on me, a sinner.
Lord Jesus Christ, the Word through whom all things were made,
have mercy on me, a sinner.
Lord Jesus Christ, foretold by the prophets in signs and words,
have mercy on me, a sinner.
Lord Jesus Christ, in the fullness of time conceived by the Holy Spirit,
have mercy on me, a sinner.
Lord Jesus Christ, born of the Holy Virgin,
have mercy on me, a sinner.
Lord Jesus Christ, hymned by the angels,
have mercy on me, a sinner.
Lord Jesus Christ, adored by the shepherds,
have mercy on me, a sinner.
Lord Jesus Christ, worshiped by the Magi,
have mercy on me, a sinner.
Lord Jesus Christ, held by St. Simeon,
have mercy on me, a sinner.
Lord Jesus Christ, praised by St. Anna,
have mercy on me, a sinner.
Lord Jesus Christ, obedient to your parents,
have mercy on me, a sinner.
Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to a sinner’s baptism,
have mercy on me, a sinner.
Lord Jesus Christ, fasting in the wilderness,
have mercy on me, a sinner.
Lord Jesus Christ, driving out demons,
have mercy on me, a sinner.
Lord Jesus Christ, cleansing the lepers,
have mercy on me, a sinner.
Lord Jesus Christ, giving sight to the blind and hearing to the deaf,
have mercy on me, a sinner.
Lord Jesus Christ, teaching the precepts of the kingdom,
have mercy on me, a sinner.
Lord Jesus Christ, raising the dead,
have mercy on me, a sinner.
Lord Jesus Christ, walking on water and changing water into wine,
have mercy on me, a sinner.
Lord Jesus Christ, praised by the little children,
have mercy on me, a sinner.
Lord Jesus Christ, riding into Your city as the sacrifice appointed,
have mercy on me, a sinner.
Lord Jesus Christ, giving your body and blood to be eaten and drunk,
have mercy on me, a sinner.
Lord Jesus Christ, praying in the garden,
have mercy on me, a sinner.
Lord Jesus Christ, bound and mocked,
have mercy on me, a sinner.
Lord Jesus Christ, stripped and beaten,
have mercy on me, a sinner.
Lord Jesus Christ, innocently condemned to death,
have mercy on me, a sinner.
Lord Jesus Christ, opening Your hands upon the cross to embrace the world,
have mercy on me, a sinner.
Lord Jesus Christ, knowing the loneliness of our exile and our sin,
have mercy on me, a sinner.
Lord Jesus Christ, trampling down death by death,
have mercy on me, a sinner.
Lord Jesus Christ, pouring forth water and blood to save the world,
have mercy on me, a sinner.
Lord Jesus Christ, sanctifying our graves by lying in a tomb,
have mercy on me, a sinner.
Lord Jesus Christ, harrowing hell and releasing the prisoners,
have mercy on me, a sinner.
Lord Jesus Christ, rising in victory over death and corruption,
have mercy on me, a sinner.
Lord Jesus Christ, appearing to the disciples in the broken bread,
have mercy on me, a sinner.
Lord Jesus Christ, ascending in triumph,
have mercy on me, a sinner.
Lord Jesus Christ, seated at the right hand of the Father,
have mercy on me, a sinner.
Lord Jesus Christ, High Priest who ever lives to intercede for us,
have mercy on me, a sinner.
Lord Jesus Christ, coming on the clouds of glory to renew all things,
have mercy on me, a sinner.
Lord Jesus Christ, returning to judge the living and the dead,
have mercy on me, a sinner.
Lord Jesus Christ, delivering the Kingdom to God the Father,
have mercy on me, a sinner.

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

HT: Cyberbrethren

Keep These Three Precepts

June 11, 2010 § Leave a comment

“Someone asked Abba Anthony, ‘What must one do in order to please God?  The old man replied, pay attention to that I tell you: 1) whoever you may be, always have God before your eyes; 2) whatever you do, do it according to the testimony of the Holy Scripture; 3) in whatever place you live, do not easily leave it.  Keep these three precepts and you will be saved’ ” (Anthony the Great, The Sayings of the Desert Fathers, 2).

How do we please God?  The three precepts that Abba Anthony recommends provide the way: remember God, obey the commandments, and live in the present moment.

To remember God is to remember that we rely on His mercy for everything.  God is the Supreme Benefactor and we owe everything to Him.  To remember God is to remember that He has given us commandments that reflect His character and His glory.  Of course in our fallen state we don’t appreciate such commands and find them a burden and an obstacle to our freedom and happiness.  In the end though, the commandments lead us to Christ—the one who fulfilled the law perfectly and the one who picks up the broken pieces we have left behind.  To stay in the place we currently find ourselves is to remember that we can seek God only ‘today’ and not worry about the past (accept to repent and to learn) and entrust our future to Him who knows all things.

These three precepts are not an effort in ‘works’ to earn our salvation, but rather the path that exposes our need for a Redeemer.  Thanks be to God that “as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us” (Psalm 103:12) as we walk the path of salvation that God has laid out for us.

55 Maxims from Fr. Thomas Hopko

May 21, 2010 § Leave a comment

  1. Be always with Christ and trust God in everything
  2. Pray as you can, not as you think you must
  3. Have a keepable rule of prayer done by discipline
  4. Say the Lord’s Prayer several times each day
  5. Repeat a short prayer when your mind is not occupied
  6. Make some prostrations when you pray
  7. Eat good foods in moderation and fast on fasting days
  8. Practice silence, inner and outer
  9. Sit in silence 20 to 30 minutes each day
  10. Do acts of mercy in secret
  11. Go to liturgical services regularly
  12. Go to confession and holy communion regularly
  13. Do not engage intrusive thoughts and feelings
  14. Reveal all your thoughts and feelings to a trusted person regularly
  15. Read the scriptures regularly
  16. Read good books, a little at a time
  17. Cultivate communion with the saints
  18. Be an ordinary person, one of the human race
  19. Be polite with everyone, first of all family members
  20. Maintain cleanliness and order in your home
  21. Have a healthy, wholesome hobby
  22. Exercise regularly
  23. Live a day, even a part of a day, at a time
  24. Be totally honest, first of all with yourself
  25. Be faithful in little things
  26. Do your work, then forget it
  27. Do the most difficult and painful things first
  28. Face reality
  29. Be grateful
  30. Be cheerful
  31. Be simple, hidden, quiet and small
  32. Never bring attention to yourself
  33. Listen when people talk to you
  34. Be awake and attentive, fully present where you are
  35. Think and talk about things no more than necessary
  36. Speak simply, clearly, firmly, directly
  37. Flee imagination, fantasy, analysis, figuring things out
  38. Flee carnal, sexual things at their first appearance
  39. Don’t complain, grumble, murmur or whine
  40. Don’t seek or expect pity or praise
  41. Don’t compare yourself with anyone
  42. Don’t judge anyone for anything
  43. Don’t try to convince anyone of anything
  44. Don’t defend or justify yourself
  45. Be defined and bound by God, not people
  46. Accept criticism gracefully and test it carefully
  47. Give advice only when asked or when it is your duty
  48. Do nothing for people that they can and should do for themselves
  49. Have a daily schedule of activities, avoiding whim and caprice
  50. Be merciful with yourself and others
  51. Have no expectations except to be fiercely tempted to your last breath
  52. Focus exclusively on God and light, and never on darkness, temptation and sin
  53. Endure the trial of yourself and your faults serenely, under God’s mercy
  54. When you fall, get up immediately and start over
  55. Get help when you need it, without fear or shame

Father Tom explains this list of maxims in an excellent podcast for Ancient Faith Radio.

HT: Oh Taste and See

Just Saying No is Not Enough

April 15, 2010 § Leave a comment

” ‘Just say no’ is an insufficient principle.  The strongest man or woman in the world is not nearly strong enough to triumph over his or her sin simply by saying no to it.  What we need is the strength-giving grace occasioned by our saying yes to something else, by our saying yes, and yes, and yes—ceaselessly—to Someone else.  It is not our finally turning away from sin that frees us from sin’s recurrence; rather it is our turning toward Christ–and the mystery of our continuing to turn into Him–that puts sin behind us” (The End of Suffering: Finding Purpose in Pain, Scott Cairns, 67).

St. Patrick’s Breastplate

March 17, 2010 § Leave a comment

Caveat Lector Editorial: The icon below is from the hand of my wife. Glory to God for all things.

stpatrick-phyl

I bind unto myself today
The strong name of the Trinity
By invocation of the same,
The Three in One and One in Three.

I bind this day to me forever,
By power of faith, Christ’s incarnation,
His baptism in the Jordan River,
His cross of death for my salvation,
His bursting from the spiced tomb,
His riding up the heavenly way,
His coming at the day of doom,
I bind unto myself today.

I bind unto myself today
The virtues of the starlit heaven,
The glorious sun’s life giving ray,
The whiteness of the moon at even,
The flashing of the lightning free,
The whirling wind’s tempestuous shocks,
The stable earth, the deep salt sea,
Around the old eternal rocks.

I bind unto myself today
The power of God to hold and lead,
His eye to watch, His might to stay,
His ear to hearken to my need.
The wisdom of my God to teach,
His hand to guide, His shield to ward;
The word of God to give me speech,
His heavenly host to be my guard.

Against the demon snares of sin,
The vice that gives temptation force,
The natural lusts that war within,
The hostile men that mar my course;
Or few or many, far or nigh,
In every place and in all hours,
Against their fierce hostility
I bind to me these holy powers.

Against all Satan’s spells and wiles,
Against false words of heresy,
Against the knowledge that defiles,
Against the heart’s idolatry,
Against the wizard’s evil craft,
Against the death wound and the burning,
The choking wave, the poisoned shaft,
Protect me, Christ, till Thy returning.

Christ be with me, Christ within me,
Christ behind me, Christ before me,
Christ beside me, Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort and restore me.
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love me,
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.

I bind unto myself today
The power of God to hold and lead,
His eye to watch, his might to stay,
His ear to hearken to my need,
The wisdom of my god to teach,
His hand to guide, his shield to ward,
The Word of God to give me speech,
His heavenly host to be my guard.

I bind unto myself the name,
The strong name of the Trinity
By invocation of the same,
The Three in One and One in Three,
Of whom all nature has creation,
Eternal Father, Spirit, Word.
Praise to the Lord of my salvation;
Salvation is of Christ the Lord!

Friday, 2nd Week of Lent

February 27, 2010 § Leave a comment

Matins, Canticle Five
“Crucified, Thou dost release me from corruption; pierced by a lance, Thou makest me immortal.  I glorify Thine ineffable mercy, O Christ, for Thou hast come to save me” (Lenten Triodion Supplement, 110).

Matins, Canticle Nine
“Through Thy Crucifixion Thou doest open Paradise again and deliver me from the eternal death of disobedience.  With rejoicing I partake of life, and magnify Thee as my God, O Thou who lovest mankind.

O Lord, Thy lifecreating Cross has turned the instrument of the curse into a seal of blessing.  Beholding Thee upon it, we who before were dead are brought back to life, and singing Thy praises we magnify Thee as our Master” (Lenten Triodion Supplement, 113).