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By TwitterButtons.com

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Daily Devotion Suggestions

The habit of a Daily prayer rule is essential for the Orthodox Christian. Part of the rule that is essential to spiritual growth is some form of spiritual reading. This can be tougher than the prayer rule, because you may wonder what you need to read. I know that I have made it a goal to read through the Bible and have done so, but there were times that I would start in Genesis and then get bogged down in Leviticus. There are several read-through-the-Bible plans that can help get you through by mixing up the order of books.

Another suggestion is to follow the daily readings given in the Church lectionary. If you have a church calendar it will give the daily readings. If all the readings are overwhelming, just pick one and read it daily. There are several resources on the web that are extremely helpful for daily devotions. Let me profile two excellent ones below.

1. Prologue from Ohrid by Bishop Nikolai Velimirovich. The Prologue is the result of the Serbian bishop now known as St. Nicholai of Zica. He wrote daily readings that include the lives of several of the saints of the day, a commentary on various scriptures, a meditation on various themes, and questions for contemplation. This sounds like a lot, but the actual text is fairly short, but full in terms of meaning.

The following is a short summary of his like taken from OrthodoxWiki. Nikolaj Velimirović was born in the small village of Lelich in Western Serbia. He attended the Seminary of St. Sava in Belgrade and graduated in 1905. He obtained doctorates from the University of Berne (1908), while the thesis was published in German in 1910, whereas the doctor's degree in philosophy was prepared at Oxford and defended in Geneva (Filozofija Berklija - Berkeley's Philosophy, in French) in 1909. At the end of 1909 he entered a monastic order. In 1919, then Archimandrite Nikolai was consecrated Bishop of Žiča in the Church of Serbia.

In April 1915 (during WWI) he was delegated to England and America by the Serbian Church, where he held numerous lectures, fighting for the unison of the Serbs and South Slavic peoples. At the beginning of 1919 he returned to Serbia, and in 1920 was posted to the Ohrid archbishopric in Macedonia, where in 1935, in Bitola he reconstructed the cemetery of the killed German soldiers.

During the Second World War in 1941 Bp. Nikolai was arrested by the Nazis in the Monastery of Žiča (which was soon afterwards robbed and ruined), after which he was confined in the Monastery of Ljubostinja (where, on the occasion of mass deaths by firing squad, he reacted saying: "Is this the German culture, to shoot hundred innocent Serbs, for one dead German soldier! The Turks have always proved to be more just..."). Later, this "new Chrysostom" was transferred to the Monastery of Vojlovica (near Pančevo) in which he was confined together with the Serbian patriarch, Gavrilo (Dožić) until the end of 1944.

On December 14, 1944 he was sent to Dachau, together with Serbian Patriarch Gavrilo, where some sources, especially the standard Church references, record that he suffered both imprisonment and torture.[1]

After the War he left Communist Yugoslavia and immigrated as a refugee to the United States in 1946 where he taught at several Orthodox Christian seminaries such as St. Sava's Serbian Orthodox Seminary in Libertyville, Illinois and St. Tikhon's Orthodox Theological Seminary and Monastery in South Canaan, Pennsylvania (where he was rector and also where he died) and St. Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary now in Crestwood, New York. He died on March 18, 1956. He was glorified as a saint in May 2003.

The whole of the Prologue can be found online at the link below. You can also buy the hard copy as well.

to read click here

to buy click here
2. Dynamis devotional

This is an excellent devotional that is published by St. George Orthodox Cathedral in Wichita, KS. The beauty of this devotional is that it follows the daily readings of the Church's lectionary. Occassionaly it will diverge into the OT, but in doing so they are taking from festal readings that are nearby on the Church calendar. The other wonderful feature of these devotionals is that they can be emailed to you on a daily basis. The emails will always come the day before the reading occurs. These are excellent because they are practical and full of quotes from the Church Fathers.

to read click here

Enjoy and God Bless.

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