January 1 - St. Theophan the Recluse - New Year’s Resolutions in Spirit

Originally appeared at: Global Orthodox

Editor's Note: Saint Theophan the Recluse (1815-1894) was one of the most prolific and beloved spiritual writers of 19th-century Russia. His works comprise over twenty volumes. Although he lived the last twenty-eight years of his life as a hermit, his impact on his homeland was immense. His articles appeared in the popular spiritual journals of his time, his books were in great demand, and he personally replied to an average of thirty letters daily. We will be publishing excerpts from Thoughts for Each Day of the Year (Amazon). In it, St. Theophan takes us through the yearly cycle of Gospel and Epistle readings, humbly and reverently offering us brief but powerful daily meditations on the word of God. He also addresses the problems of his day: lack of faith, coldness of heart, trust in the rational mind rather than in the revealed Truth of God - which are problems of our day as well.

Saturday, 28th week after Pentecost
Epistle reading: Galatians 3:8-12
Gospel reading: Luke 13:18-29

New Year’s Resolutions in Spirit

Since the New Year's Day is the first day of the coming year, it is the right time for setting such resolutions, thoughts, and feelings in our souls which would govern our whole life throughout the year and keep it on a Christian course. This can be readily done by perceiving a New Year’s Day in spirit — that is, a moment when someone who thus far has been living in carelessness, changes his mind and becomes keenly concerned with his salvation and godliness.

When such a decision is taken, then everything is made over, both inside and outside. Everything is setup on new principles. It is a completely new beginning. If this is familiar to you, then seek to renew that experience. Otherwise, strive to gain it — and you will have a genuine New Year’s Day.

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