Monday, October 8, 2007

One Day Off

I am no good with math, especially in the morning. This is why I have a little spreadsheet I made into a laminated bookmark to tell me the Old Calendar day of the week. This way I can keep up with the readings from the Prologue of Ohrid each day. Since the New Calendar is 13 days ahead of the Old Calendar, the first 13 days of each NC month are the only ones that are different from one month to the next. For instance, if the previous month has 31 days, today's date is the 8th, and the OC date is the 26th. If the previous month has 30 days, it's the 25th, 29 days it's the 24th, 28 days, it's the 23rd.

If I miss a few days' readings, I have to use my spreadsheet to find my place again. That happened yesterday. I also messed up in the other crucial element in this computation: the little rhyme "Thirty days have September, April, June, and November..." I'm not sure what happened yesterday, but I accidentally read today's reading yesterday. I realized it in church when hymns were being sung to St Thecla, and not Sts Euphrosyne & Sergius of Radonezh. Since I love St Thecla, this morning I decided to go back and read yesterday's reading.

I'm glad I did, because in the Reflection of the day, St Nikolai, tells a wonderful story, which I don't remember ever having read before:

Once, on the Feast of the Annunciation, [St. Cosmas of Zographou] went with several other monks of the Monastery of Vatopedi for this, their main feast. During the church service, and during the meal in the refectory, Cosmas saw a woman of royal beauty and majesty, who authoritatively organized, directed, and even served. This was not a momentary vision, but continued for a long time, both in the church and in the refectory. Cosmas was perplexed and startled by this vision. It was not at all proper for a woman to be in a monastery of the Holy Mountain. When he related this vision to his brother monks at Zographou, all the while protesting the presence of women on the Holy Mountain, the astonished monks explained to him that she was the Queen of the Holy Mountain, the Most-holy Theotokos. then the perplexed heart of Cosmas was filled with great joy.

The theme of St Nikolai's reflection is that "Every saint is close to the place where he is invoked for help, or where his sanctity is commemorated and glorified."
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