Iconography and Hand painted icons

Overcome evil with good. St. John of Kronstadt

Saint Mary of Egypt

Commemorated on April 1 and the fifth Sunday in Great Lent.

Hymn of Praise
Saint Mary the Egyptian

Penitent wonderful, self-tormentor,
Mary hid herself from the face of men.
Oh yes, sinful me,
By passion, darkened.
Passions are beasts which eat at our heart,
In us as serpents, secretly they weave a nest.
Oh yes, sinful me,
By passion consumed!
In order to save sinners, You suffered O Christ,
Now, do not loathe impure me!
Hearken to the cry of Mary,
Of all, the most-sinful!
The Lord showed compassion, Mary He healed,
Her darkened soul, He whitened as snow.
Thanks be to You, O All-Good One,
Oh Lord, most dear!
An impure vessel You cleansed and,
With gold you gilded it,
Filled it to overflowing with Your grace –
That is true mercy,
To you O God, be glory!
And Mary became radiant with the Spirit
As an angel of God, by strength girded,
By Your power, O Christ
Mercy, Most pure!
What smells so in the awesome wilderness,
As beautiful incense in a chest of the temple?
That, Mary breathes –
With holiness, she exudes!

The Prologue from Ohrid: Lives of Saints by Saint Nikolai Velimirovič for Old Calendar date April 1, and New Calendar date April 14.

St. John of Kronstadt

Ώσπερ Πελεκάν τετρωμένος την πλευράν Σου, Λόγε, Σους θανόντας παίδας εζώωσας,-469593-pelekan (1)Remember the words of the Scripture: “Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.“[251] People offend you, irritate you, breathe contempt and malice against you; do not repay them in the same way, but be gentle, meek, and kind, respectful and loving towards those very persons who behave unworthily to you. If you are agitated yourself, and speak excitedly, rudely, contemptuously — that is, unlovingly — then you will be vanquished yourself, and those who offend you will have the right to say, “Physician, heal thyself,” [252] or “Why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?… First cast out the beam out of thine own eye.”[253] Do not wonder, then, if the affronts of those who offend you are often repeated, for they will notice your weakness and will irritate you intentionally. “Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.”[254] Show the one who offends you that he has not offended you, but himself; pity him heartily for being so easily overcome by his passions — for being spiritually sick; and the more rude and irritated he is, the more hatred he nourishes towards you, the more meekness and love you must show him. Then you will surely conquer him. Good is always stronger than evil, and therefore always conquers. Remember also that we are all weak, are very easily overcome by passions, and therefore be meek and indulgent to those who sin against you, knowing that you yourself often suffer from the same infirmity as your brother. Forgive those who trespass against you, so that God may forgive your trespasses, incomparably greater than the trespasses of others against you. Be always calm, lofty in spirit, unsuspicious, firm, simple, and kind-hearted, and you will always triumph over your enemies. “He that reproveth a scorner getteth to himself shame. Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee: rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee.”[255]

Love calms and agreeably expands the heart and it, whilst hatred painfully contracts and disturbs it. Those who hate others torture and tyrannise over themselves; therefore they are the most foolish of the foolish ones.

[251] Romans xii. 21.
[252] St. Luke iv. 23.
[253] St. Matthew vii. 3, 5.
[254] Romans xii. 21.
[255] Proverbs ix. 7, 8.
Excerpts compiled from: My Life in Christ or Moments of Spiritual Serenity and Contemplation, of Reverent Feeling, of Earnest Self-Amendment, and of Peace in God, St. John of Kronstadt.



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