“The sacred treasury of God’s holy glory, * the greatly precious bridal chamber and Virgin, * the Savior’s most pure temple, free of stain and undefiled, * into the House of the Lord * on this day is brought forward * and bringeth with herself the grace * of the Most Divine Spirit; * her do God’s Angels hymn with songs of praise, * for she is truly the heavenly tabernacle.”
Dear members of the holy Temple of St. George,
May the Holy Spirit Who dwells in St. George temple be Glorified.
Next Friday November 20th at 6:30 PM we will celebrate the Entry of the Mother of God to the Temple. The Troparia above says that she is “the Savior’s most pure temple”. May she who is “truly the heavenly tabernacle” prays for all of us.
Please, support our local monastery of St. Kosmas located at 14155 Caledon King Townline S, Bolton, ON L7E 5R7. Father would like to encourage everyone to visit the monastery and support their Christmas store.
Today we start the Nativity Fast. Fish is permitted during this fast except on Wednesdays and Fridays until December 20th. Fr. Tom Hopko writes: “The purpose of fasting is to gain mastery over oneself and to conquer the passions of the flesh. It is to liberate oneself from dependence on the things of this world in order to concentrate on the things of the Kingdom of God. It is to give power to the soul so that it would not yield to temptation and sin. According to St. Seraphim, fasting is an “indispensable means” of gaining the fruit of the Holy Spirit in one’s life (cf. Conversation with Motovilov), and Jesus Himself taught that some forms of evil cannot be conquered without it (Matthew 17:21, Mark 9:29)
Man does not fast because it pleases God if His servants do not eat, for, as the lenten hymns of the Church remind us, “the devil also never eats.” (Lenten Triodion) Neither do men fast in order to afflict themselves with suffering and pain, for God has no pleasure in the discomfort of His people. Neither do men fast with the idea that their hunger and thirst can somehow serve as a “reparation” for their sins. Such an understanding is never given in the scriptures or the writings of the saints which claim that there is no “reparation” for man’s sin but the crucifixion of Christ. Salvation is a “free gift of God” which no “works” of man can accomplish of merit. (cf. Romans 5:15-17, Ephesians 2:8-9)
Men fast, therefore, and must fast, only to be delivered from carnal passions so that the free gift of salvation in Christ might produce great fruit in their lives. Men fast so that they might more effectively serve God who loves them and has saved them in Christ and the Spirit. Fasting without effort in virtue is wholly in vain.
If you want to sign up for the Christmas card mailed to St. George parishioners, please see one of the ushers.
Have a blessed Fast as we prepare to receive our Savior at Christmas.
In Christ our savior,
Rev. Fr. Dr. George Dahdouh, Priest
St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church
9116 Bayview Ave.,
Richmond Hill, ON L4B 3M9
Office: 905/731-7210, Cell in case of Emergency: 416/937-6301