1020 Regent St
Madison, WI 53715
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Sunday, August 27, 2023
12th Sunday after Pentecost
Ven. Pimen the Great
Venerable Pimen the Great
(OCA) Saint Pimen the Great was born about the year 340 in Egypt. He went to one of the Egyptian monasteries with his two brothers, Anoub and Paisius, and all three received monastic tonsure. The brothers were such strict ascetics that when their mother came to the monastery to see her children, they did not come out to her from their cells. The mother stood there for a long time and wept. Then Saint Pimen said to her through the closed door of the cell, “Do you wish to see us now, or in the future life?” Saint Pimen promised that if she would endure the sorrow of not seeing her children in this life, then surely she would see them in the next. The mother was humbled and returned home.
Fame of Saint Pimen’s deeds and virtues spread throughout the land. Once, the governor of the district wanted to see him. Saint Pimen, shunning fame, thought to himself, “If dignitaries start coming to me and show me respect, then many other people will also start coming to me and disturb my quiet, and I shall be deprived of the grace of humility, which I have acquired only with the help of God.” So he refused to see the governor, asking him not to come.
For many of the monks, Saint Pimen was a spiritual guide and instructor. They wrote down his answers to serve for the edification of others besides themselves. A certain monk asked, “If I see my brother sinning, should I conceal his fault?” The Elder answered, “If we reproach the sins of brothers, then God will reproach our sins. If you see a brother sinning, do not believe your eyes. Know that your own sin is like a beam of wood, but the sin of your brother is like a splinter (Mt. 7:3-5), and then you will not enter into distress or temptation.”
Another monk said to the saint, “I have sinned grievously and I want to spend three years at repentance. Is that enough time?” The Elder replied, “That is a long time.” The monk continued to ask how long the saint wished him to repent. Perhaps only a year? Saint Pimen said, “That is a long time.” The other brethren asked, “Should he repent for forty days?” The Elder answered, “I think that if a man repents from the depths of his heart and has a firm intention not to return to the sin, then God will accept three days of repentance.”
When asked how to get rid of persistent evil thoughts, the saint replied, “This is like a man who has fire on his left side, and a vessel full of water on his right side. If he starts burning from the fire, he takes water from the vessel and extinguishes the fire. The fire represents the evil thoughts placed in the heart of man by the Enemy of our salvation, which can enkindle sinful desires within man like a spark in a hut. The water is the force of prayer which impels a man toward God.”
Saint Pimen was strict in his fasting and sometimes would not partake of food for a week or more. He advised others to eat every day, but without eating their fill. Abba Pimen heard of a certain monk who went for a week without eating, but had lost his temper. The saint lamented that the monk was able to fast for an entire week, but was unable to abstain from anger for even a single day.
To the question of whether it is better to speak or be silent, the Elder said, “Whoever speaks on account of God, does well, and whoever is silent on account of God, that one also does well.”
He also said, “If man seems to be silent, but his heart condemns others, then he is always speaking. There may be a man who talks all day long, but he is actually silent, because he says nothing unprofitable.”
The saint said, “It is useful to observe three things: to fear God, to pray often, and to do good for one’s neighbor.”
“Wickedness never eradicates wickedness. If someone does evil to you, do good to them, and your goodness will conquer their wickedness.”
Once, after Saint Pimen and his disciples arrived at the monastery of Scetis, he learned that the Elder living there was annoyed at his arrival and was also jealous of him, because monks were leaving the Elder to see Abba Pimen.
In order to console the hermit, the saint went to him with his brethren, taking food with them as a present. The Elder refused to receive them, however. Then Saint Pimen said, “We shall not depart from here until we are permitted to see the holy Elder.” He remained standing at the door of the cell in the heat. Seeing Saint Pimen’s humility and patience, the Elder received him graciously and said, “Not only is what I have heard about you true, but I see that your works are a hundred times greater.”
He possessed such great humility that he often sighed and said, “I shall be cast down to that place where Satan was cast down!”
Once, a monk from another country came to the saint to receive his guidance. He began to speak about sublime matters difficult to grasp. The saint turned away from him and was silent. They explained to the bewildered monk that the saint did not like to speak of lofty matters. Then the monk began to ask him about the struggle with passions of soul. The saint turned to him with a joyful face, “Now you have spoken well, and I will answer.” For a long while he provided instruction on how one ought to struggle with the passions and conquer them.
Saint Pimen died at age 110, about the year 450. Soon after his death, he was acknowledged as a saint pleasing to God. He was called “the Great” as a sign of his great humility, uprightness, ascetic struggles, and self-denying service to God.
Glory to Jesus Christ!
Next Tuesday, August 29 is the Feast of the Beheading of St John the Baptist. We'll celebrate Vespers, at 5:30 PM on Monday, August 28, and Liturgy the next morning at 7:00.
Our friends at Assumption Greek Orthodox Church need help with Greek Fest (Saturday, 9/9 12 PM - 7 PM; Sunday, 9/10 12 PM- 6 PM). If you are interested in volunteering you can sign up here.
Catechumen/Inquirer class, 3:30 PM this Saturday. Please consider encouraging your friends who might be curious about the Orthodox Church to attend either in person or online. We meet, Saturday afternoons at 3:30 PM and are reading Essential Orthodox Christian Beliefs: A Manual for Adult Instruction. You can download our text here and live stream the class here.
August Ukrainian Orthodox Word
This Week at Ss Cyril & Methodius
Wednesday, August 23
- 12:00-4:00 PM: Office Hours/Confessions
Thursday, August 24
- 11:00 AM- 3:00 PM: Office Hours/Confessions
Saturday, August 26
- 3:30 PM: Catechumen Class
- 4:30 PM: Confessions
- 5:00 PM: Great Vespers
- 6:00 PM: Confessions
Sunday, August 27
- 9:00 AM: Hours/Pre-Communion Prayers
- 9:30 AM: Divine Liturgy
Monday, August 28
- 5:30 PM: Great Vespers (Beheading of St John the Baptist)
Tuesday, August 29 (Strict Fast)
- 7:00 AM: Divine Liturgy (Beheading of St John the Baptist)
Wednesday, August 30
- 12:30-4:30 PM: Office Hours/Confessions
Saturday, September 2
- 3:30 PM: Catechumen Class [canceled]
- 4:30 PM: Confessions [canceled]
- 5:00 PM: Great Vespers [canceled]
- 6:00 PM: Confessions [canceled]
Sunday, September 3
- 9:00 AM: Hours/Pre-Communion Prayers
- 9:30 AM: Divine Liturgy
Hymns After the Small Entrance
Tone 3 Troparion (Resurrection)
Let the heavens rejoice! Let the earth be glad! For the Lord has shown strength with His arm. He has trampled down death by death. He has become the first born of the dead. He has delivered us from the depths of hell, and has granted to the world//great mercy.
Tone 4 Troparion (Ss Cyril and Methodius)
Divinely-wise Cyril and Methodius, / equals-to-the-apostles and teachers of the Slavs, / entreat the Master of all / to strengthen all nations in Orthodoxy and unity of mind, / to grant peace to the world and to save our souls.
Tone 8 Troparion (St. Pimen)
By a flood of tears thou didst make the desert fertile, and thy longing for God brought forth fruits in abundance. By the radiance of miracles thou didst illumine the whole universe.//Our holy Father Pimen, pray to Christ our God to save our souls!
Tone 3 Kontakion (Resurrection)
On this day Thou didst rise from the tomb, O Merciful One, leading us from the gates of death. On this day Adam exults as Eve rejoices; with the Prophets and Patriarchs//they unceasingly praise the divine majesty of Thy power.
Tone 3 Kontakion (Ss Cyril and Methodius)
Let us honor the sacred pair, who translated divine scripture / pouring forth a fountain of divine knowledge from which we still draw today. / Now as you stand before the throne of the Most-high / we call you blessed, Cyril and Methodius, / as you fervently pray for our souls.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,
Tone 4 Kontakion (St. Pimen)
The remembrance of thine illustrious struggles delights the souls of the devout today,//O Pimen, our venerable father, wise in God.
Now and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen.
Tone 6 Theotokion
O protection of Christians that cannot be put to shame, mediation unto the Creator most constant, O despise not the suppliant voices of those who have sinned; but be thou quick, O good one, to come unto our aid, who in faith cry unto thee: Hasten to intercession, and speed thou to make supplication, thou who dost ever protect, O Theotokos, them that honor thee.
Epistle: 1 Corinthians 15:1-11
Brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.
For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve. After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep. After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles. Then last of all He was seen by me also, as by one born out of due time.
For I am the least of the apostles, who am not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me. Therefore, whether it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed.
Gospel: Matthew 19:16-26
Now behold, one came and said to Him, “Good Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?”
So He said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.”
He said to Him, “Which ones?”
Jesus said, “‘You shall not murder,’ ‘You shall not commit adultery,’ ‘You shall not steal,’ ‘You shall not bear false witness,’ ‘Honor your father and your mother,’ and, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ ”
The young man said to Him, “All these things I have kept from my youth. What do I still lack?”
Jesus said to him, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”
But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.
Then Jesus said to His disciples, “Assuredly, I say to you that it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. And again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”
When His disciples heard it, they were greatly astonished, saying, “Who then can be saved?”
But Jesus looked at them and said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
By the age of 25, about 60% of those baptized as infants will no longer consider themselves members of the Orthodox Church. A parish on a university campus is an important witness not only to the surrounding community but also to high school age and younger parishioner. Establishing a parish on the campus of the University of Wisconsin-Madison helps remind young people that graduating high school doesn't mean "graduating" from the Church. Please consider joining those who have committed their time, treasure and talent in establishing an Orthodox community on the Isthmus. Help us reach your children and grandchildren with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.