My beloved brothers and sisters in Christ God,
Christ is in our midst! He was, is, and ever shall be.
LET US HONOR AND MAGNIFY THE
THEOTOKOS AND THE MOTHER OF
Do you shelter, O Good One,
Those who in their faith flee unto you,
With your strong hand, you protect;
We who sin have no one else,
Who intercedes for us
Before God, PRAYING ENDLESSLY,
In ills and all dangers,
For us who are laden with
Our many sins and mistakes;
Mother, of our God in the Highest
Therefore, we fall down to you, humbly;
From all the misfortunes, keep your servants safe."
In great sorrow you are joy,
And for the oppressed, a protection,
And fro the hungry, their food,
Comfort unto those estranged;
You are a staff to the blind,
Visitation of all those sick,
And to those held by pain
Shelter and a comforting,
And to the orphaned, an aid;
Mother, of Our God in the Highest,
You who are the Spotless One, hasten,
Save your servants from their sin, we ask of you."
"Lady, O do receive
From your servants, their many prayers;
Fro all sinfulness and necessity."
"My every hope is placed
Before you, Most Holy One;
Mother of Our God,
Guard me with care, within your sheltered arms."
(The Service of the Small Paraklesis to the
Most Holy Theotokos. [The Service of the
Small Supplication to the Most Holy
According to Our Holy Orthodox Christian Church at the summit of the celestial hierarchy is the THEOTOKOS, the Blessed Ever-Virgin Mary, and Mother of God incarnate, Whom the Orthodox Holy Church, chiefly since the Council of Ephesus in 431 A.D., has surrounded with adoration and reverence exceeding that of the other Saints. A special Lent held on the first fifteen days of August and numerous feasts and hymns are dedicated to the Mother of God.
Our Panagia and Heavenly Mother of God is our greatest Advocate and friend. She intercedes to her Son and God, Jesus Christ, to show mercy to the race of all mankind and save us. As our Heavenly Mother and our Mediator before God, sheds tears of love to save us "from the eternal torments." At the Small Paraklesis we chant: "To the Theotokos, let us run now most fervently, as sinners and lowly one, let us fall down in repentance, crying from the depths of our soul: Lady, come and help us, have compassion upon us; hasten now for we are lost in the host of our errors; do not turn your servants away, for you alone are a hope to us."
I believe sincerely that if there was any time that we desperately need her help is now. I feel it deep down in my heart that we are truly in great danger and are truly threatened by the dark powers of the world. They are manifested in various ways and their threats are real and obvious. I do not claim to have any special powers or gifts. As a papa of fifty-one years, I have developed a certain sensitivity and a kind of sense or feeling. I also witness, as all of you, what is happening within our American society and throughout the world. One has to be oblivious and totally blind not to see what is taking place all around us. Everything and every one good and godly are attacked savagely. People are afraid to express anything which is decent, constructive, beneficial, religious or spiritual, moral, ethical, normal, opposing to anything evil, truthful, and positive.
Traditional families with strong Christian values are attacked and every effort is made to destroy them, to destroy traditional marriages, to divide family members and turns them against each other, to destroy the respect of parents by the children, to undermine education, and encourage lawlessness and rebelliousness against moral lifestyles. We witness persecution against Christianity and Christians, someplace very suttle and elsewhere open warfare. We see the intrusion of wicked efforts to corrupt and undermine our Christian beliefs, precepts, values, morality, unity, respect, faith, trust, doctrine, canons, and sacred traditions of our Christian Faith. We have said that the evil one desires to create "DEFECTIVE REASONING AND CONFUSION OF THOUGHT." It is evident and blatant that Satan seeks to conquer humanity and rule the world. But as always he is making a grave mistake for the Almighty God Who created the world, including mankind, will never allow it to happen. We, as His beloved children, must never fear of him or of that ever happening.
Christians do not fear persecution. Persecution against Christ and Christians has never ceased. Persecution against Orthodox Christians took place for the first 300 years of Christianity by the pagans and others, for 400 years under the enslavement of Islam mostly against Orthodox Christians, 74 years under the Soviet Union and Communism, and more recently under Communist China. Persecution of Christians has increased in the Middle East, Africa, Western Europe, and even in North and South America. It was not very long ago that Christians were beheaded on camera in the Middle East. It is predicted by the more current Saints of our Church that severe persecution against Christians will take place in the near future.
Be strong in your faith and pray unceasingly to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, our Great Protector. Let us also turn to our Theotokos and Mother of God and say:
"A protection of Christian unshamable
Intercessor t our Most Holy Maker, unwavering
The prayerful cries of those who are in sn.
Instead, come to us, for you are good,
Your loving help bring unto us,
Who are crying in faith to you;
Hasten to intercede
And speed now to supplicate,
As A PROTECTION FRO ALL TIME,
Theotokos, who honor you."
KYRIE ELEISON! LORD HAVE MERCY! KYRIE ELEISON!
"Glory Be To GOD