SAINT BASIL THE GREAT

January 1

From the Prologue

Basil was born during the reign of Emperor Constantine. While still unbaptized, Basil spent fifteen years in Athens where he studied philosophy, rhetoric, astronomy and all other secular sciences of that time. His colleagues at that time were Gregory the Theologian and Julian, later the apostate emperor. In his mature years he was baptized in the river Jordan along with Euvlios his former teacher. He was Bishop of Caesarea in Cappadocia for almost ten years and completed his earthly life fifty years after his birth. He was a great defender of Orthodoxy, a great light of moral purity, a religious zealot, a great theological mind, a great builder and pillar of the Church of God. Basil fully deserved the title "Great." In liturgical services, he is referred to as the "bee of the Church of Christ which brings honey to the faithful and with its stinger pricks the heretics." Numerous works of this Father of the Church are preserved; they include theological, apologetical, ascetical and canonical writings as well as the Holy and Divine Liturgy named after him. This Divine Liturgy is celebrated ten times throughout the year: the First of January, his feast day; on the eve of the Nativity of our Lord; on the eve of the Epiphany of our Lord; all Sundays of the Honorable Fast [Lenten Season], except Palm Sunday; on Great and Holy Thursday and on Great and Holy Saturday. St. Basil died peacefully on January 1, 379 A.D., and was translated into the Kingdom of Christ.

HYMN OF PRAISE

THE CIRCUMCISION OF OUR LORD AND GOD AND SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST

SAINT BASIL THE GREAT

You, Who, gave the Law to the world and to man,

You, the Law-giver, placed Yourself under the Law,

Others, you enjoined by impostition - Yourself, voluntarily.

That is why on the eighth day, in the flesh, You were circumcised.

In fulfilling the Law, with a new one You replaced it:

Circumcision of the flesh, was replaced with a spiritual one.

That impure passions we cut off from ourselves

And with a spirit pure, to gaze upon You.

That, with the spirit, the will of the body to cut and to constrict,

Your will, O Savior, by the spirit we fulfill it -

To this circumcision, the saints learned,

Their fiery example, to us, they left.

Wonderful Basil, to a glowing ray, similar,

To such circumcision, generations, he teaches.

To Basil, be glory, Your servant, great

Great, because of You, humble and constrained He became.

That is why he became great, and Great,

He remained.

RELFECTION

Why is it necessary to listen to the Church and not listen to one man who thinks against the Church, even though he might be called the greatest thinker? Because the Church was founded by the Lord Jesus Christ, and because the Church is guided under the inspiration of the Spirit of God. Because the Church represents the realm of the Holy, a grove of cultivated fruit trees. If one rises up against the realm of the Holy, it means that he is unholy and why then listen to him? "The Church is an enclosure," says the all-wise John Chrysostom. "If you are within, the wolf does not enter; but if you leave, the beasts will seize you. Do not distance yourself from the Church; there is nothing mightier that the Church. The Church is your hope. The Church is your salvation. The Church is higher than the heavens. The Church is harder than stone. The Church is wider than the world. The Church never grows old but always renews itself."





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