It is always a good thing, surely, to examine the meanings of the words we speak, but when we speak about God critical reflection is downright imperative.
Take, for instance, the adjectives “eternal” and “infinite,” which for many centuries have been used as descriptive of God. If we spend a minute or so examining these modifiers, it should be obvious that they are not, in our usual sense, descriptive. To declare that God is infinite is not something on the order of saying the soup is hot. Nor is ascribing eternity to God like attributing roundness to a pipe.
24TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST: THE HOLY MARTYRS ACINDYNUS, PEGASIUS, AND COMPANIONS
RESURRECTIONAL TROPARION - TONE SEVEN: By Thy Cross, Thou didst destroy death! To the thief, Thou didst open Paradise! For the myrrh-bearers, Thou didst change weeping into joy! And Thou didst command Thy disciples, O Christ God, to proclaim that Thou art risen, granting the world great mercy!
One may well wonder why we are commemorating this particular earthquake. After all, there have been many earthquakes, as well as other natural disasters in human history – so why commemorate this one?
This earthquake in Constantinople took place in 740 AD. This was at the time Emperor Leo was destroying icons and the people of Constantinople felt that it was God’s anger that led to this disaster. The believers prayed to St. Demetrius of Thessalonica and the earthquakes ceased.
St. Demetrius of Thessalonica is a third to 4th century martyr. He was born in 270 AD in Thessalonica. He came from a noble Roman background and according to some traditions he was a soldier, and is depicted as a solder on his icons. He was martyred in approximately 306 AD during the persecution of the Roman Emperors Diocletian and Galerias. During the reign of the Emperor St. Constantine (306-337) his relics were exhumed and it was found that the relics streamed myrrh, a miraculous sign which pointed to St. Demetrius being a saint, and a church was built for these remains in Thessalonica and they remain there today. Emperors sometimes tried to bring the relics to Constantinople, but the saint always revealed that his relics should stay where they were. For centuries, the people of Thessalonica prayed to St. Demetrius to save them from natural disasters and enemy attack.
23rd Sunday after Pentecost: Holy & Glorious Great-martyr Demetrius the Myrrh-gusher of Thessalonica; Commemoration of the Great Earthquake
in Constantinople in 740
RESURRECTIONAL TROPARION - TONE SIX:
The angelic powers were at Thy tomb; and the guards became as dead men; and Mary stood by Thy grave, seeking Thy most pure Body. Thou didst capture hell, not being tempted by it. Thou didst come to the Virgin, granting life. O Lord who didst rise from the dead: Glory to You!
22nd Sunday after Pentecost: Holy Prophet Joel;
Venerable Prochorus of Pchinja; Venerable John of Rila
RESURRECTIONAL TROPARION - TONE FIVE: Let us, the faithful, praise and worship the Word, coeternal with the Father and the Spirit, born for our salvation from the Virgin; for He willed to be lifted upon the Cross in the Flesh, to endure death, and to raise the dead by His glorious Resurrection.
Commemorated October 14/27
This glorious saint was of Serbian descent, and was born in the town of Epivat between Selymbria and Constantinople. St. Parasceva's parents were wealthy, devout Christians. They also had a son, Euthymius, who was tonsured a monk during his parents' lifetime, and later became the famous Bishop of Madytos. The virgin Parasceva always yearned for the ascetic life for the sake of Christ. After her parents' repose, she left her home and went first to Constantinople, then to the wilderness of Jordan, where she lived the ascetic life until old age. Who can express all the labors, sufferings and demonic temptations that St. Parasceva endured in the course of her many years? In her old age, an angel of God once appeared to her and said: ``Leave the wilderness and return to your homeland; it is necessary that you render your body to the earth there, and your soul to the habitation of the Lord.'' St. Parasceva obeyed, and returned to Epivat. There she lived for two years in ceaseless fasting and prayer, then gave up her soul to God and took up her abode in Paradise. St. Parasceva entered into rest in the eleventh century. Over the course of time her relics were translated to Constantinople, to Trnovo, again to Constantinople, and then to Belgrade. Her relics now repose in Romania, in the town of Iasi. In Belgrade, the well of St. Petka miraculously heals the sick who draw near with faith in God and love for this saint.