Let us bind ourselves to Christ

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Oct 15, 2021, 3:05:46 AMOct 15
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 Let us bind ourselves to Christ

It is right that we follow the example of John the Baptist and listen to the outstanding works Christ has done, even when we are bound by the chains of our sins. So powerful is the word of God that we shall be set free by its efficacy and sing triumphantly with the prophet: Lord, you have broken my bonds; I will offer you the sacrifice of praise. Let us bind ourselves to Christ as his disciples and with ardent desire and constant prayer humbly beg him to be our teacher, so that, taught by him, we may believe in him as true Messiah and, as believers, may love him with pure hearts as we ought. Finally, let us in every place keep our hearts focused on our king as a powerful example. By word and deed he makes it clear that he is Messiah and true Christ; let us likewise show ourselves complete Christians in his image by our faith that works through love, for the Lord says: Behold, I am coming quickly, to render each according to his works. If these works are holy, they will not leave their doers until they have led them into heaven and everlasting glory, by the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, who reigns with the Father and the Holy Spirit through all ages. Amen.
--Alonso de Orozco, O.S.A.

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October 15th - St. Euthymius the Younger, Abbot

d. 898
THIS holy monk was a Galatian, born at Opso, near Ancyra. He is called
“the Thessalonian” because he was eventually buried at Salonika, or
“the New” or “Younger”, apparently to distinguish him from St
Euthymius the Great who lived four hundred years earlier. Euthymius at
his baptism received the name of Nicetas. At an early age he married,
and had a daughter Anastasia, but when he was still only 18, in
the year 842, he left his wife and child (in circumstances that, as
reported, look curiously like desertion) and entered a laura on Mount
Olympus in Bithynia. For a time he put himself under the direction of
St Joan­nicius, who was then a monk there, and afterwards of one John,
who gave him the name of Euthymius. When he had trained him for a
time, John sent him to lead the common life in the monastery of the
Pissidion, where Euthymius advanced rapidly in the ways of holiness.

When the patriarch of Constantinople, St Ignatius, was removed from
his see and Photius succeeded in 858, the abbot Nicholas was loyal to
Ignatius and was deposed from his office; Euthymius took the
opportunity to seek a less troubled life in the solitudes of Mount
Athos. Before leaving Olympus he asked for and received the “great
habit”, the outward sign of the highest degree to which the Eastern
monk can aspire, from an ascetic named Theodore. Euthymius was
accompanied by one companion, but he was frightened away by the rigors
of Athos, and Euthymius sought the company of a hermit already
established there, one Joseph. He was a good and straightforward soul,
in spite of the fact that he was an Armenian (says the biographer of
St Euthymius), and soon the two hermits were engaged in a sort of
competitive trial of asceticism. First they fasted for forty days on
nothing but vegetables. Then Euthymius suggested that they should stop
in their cells for three years, going outside only to gather their
nuts and herbs, never speaking to the other hermits and only rarely to
one another. At the end of the first year Joseph gave it up, but
Euthymius persevered to the end of the period, and when he came out of
his seclusion was warmly congratulated by the other brethren. In 863
he was at Salonika, visiting the tomb of Theodore, who before his
death had made a vain attempt to join his disciple on Athos. While in
Salonika St Euthymius lived for a time on a hollow tower, from whence
he could preach to the crowds who came to him and use his power of
exorcism over those who were possessed, while keeping something of the
solitude which he loved. Before leaving the city he was ordained
deacon. So many visitors came to him on Mount Athos that he fled with
two other monks to the small island of Saint Eustratius; when they
were driven out of there by sea-rovers Euthymius rejoined his old
friend Joseph and remained with him.

Some time after the death of Joseph St Euthymius was told in a vision
that he had contended as a solitary long enough; he was to move once
more, this time to a mountain called Peristera on the east of
Salonika. There he would find the ruins of a monastery dedicated in
honour of St Andrew, now used for folding sheep: he was to restore and
re-people it. Taking with him two monks, Ignatius and Ephrem, he went
straight to the place and found as it had been said. At once he set
about rebuilding the church and dwellings were also made for the
monks, who rapidly increased in number and fervour, and St Euthymius
was their abbot for fourteen years. Then he paid a visit to his home
at Opso and gained there a number of recruits, male and female,
including some of his own family. Another monastery was built for the
women; and when both houses were thoroughly established St Euthymius
handed them over to the metropolitan of Salonika and went to pass the
rest of his days in the solitude of Athos once more. When he knew that
death was approaching he summoned his fellow-hermits to celebrate with
him the feast of the translation of his patron St Euthymius the Great;
then, having said farewell to them, he departed with the monk George
to Holy Island, where five months later he died peacefully on October
15 in the year 898.

The life of St Euthymius was written by one of his monks at Peristera,
Basil by name, who became metropolitan of Salonika. He narrates
several miracles of his master, of some of which he was himself a
witness and even a beneficiary, and as an example of the saint’s gift
of prophecy he tells how, while he was in retreat after having been
shorn a monk, Euthymius came to him and said, “Though I am utterly
unworthy to receive enlightenment from on high, nevertheless, as I am
responsible for your direction, God has shown me that love of learning
will draw you from the monastery and you will be made an
archbishop.”-- “And later” , says Basil, “the call of ambition made me
choose the noisy and troubled life of a town before the peace of
solitude.”

The name of this St Euthymius does not seem to occur in the synaxaries
and, except for a reference under October 15 in Martynov’s Annus
ecciesiasticus graeco-slavicur, his existence was hardly known in the
West until Louis Petit published the Greek text of the life in the
Revue de l’Orient chrétien, vol. vi (1903), pp. 155-205 and 503-536.
The life, with the Greek office for the feast, was also published
separately in 1904. The reference to the “hollow tower” which he
occupied at Salonika shows, as Delehaye points out (Les Saints
Stylites, pp. cxxix-cxxx), that Euthymius was at one time a “stylite”.
See also E. von Dobschutz in the Byzantinische Zeitschrift,  vol.
xviii (1909), pp. 715-716


Saint Quotes:
Oh, my Lord! How true it is that whoever works for you is paid in
troubles! And what a precious price to those who love you if we
understand its value.
--Saint Teresa of Avila

"God treats his friends terribly, though he does them no wrong in
this, since he treated his Son in the same way." "Though we do not
have our Lord with us in bodily presence, we have our neighbor, who,
for the ends of love and loving service, is as good as our Lord
himself."
--St. Teresa of Ávila

Bible Quote:
O God, when thou didst go forth in the sight of thy people, when thou
didst pass through the desert:
9 The earth was moved, and the heavens dropped at the presence of the
God of Sina, at the presence of the God of Israel.  (Psalm 67:8-9)


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It Were My Soul’s Desire
Anonymous 11th Century
Breviary Prayer/Hymn

It were my soul’s desire
To see the face of God.
It were my soul’s desire
To rest in His abode.
Grant, Lord, my soul’s desire,
Deep waves of cleansing sighs.
Grant, Lord, my soul’s desire
From earthly cares to rise.
It were my soul’s desire
To imitate my King,
It were my soul’s desire
His ceaseless praise to sing.
It were my soul’s desire
When heaven’s gate is won
To find my soul’s desire
Clear shining like the sun.
This still my soul’s desire
Whatever life afford,
To gain my soul’s desire
And see Thy face, O Lord.
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