St. James, Bishop and Confessor, was inclined toward the ascetic life from his early years. St. James left the world and entered the Studite monastery, where he was tonsured. He led a strict life, full of works, fasting, and prayer. Pious and well versed in Holy Scripture, St. James was elevated to the bishop’s throne of Catania(Sicily). During the reign of the iconoclast emperor Constantine V Copronymus (741-775), St. James was repeatedly urged not to venerate the holy icons. They exhausted him in prison, starved him, and beat him, but he bravely endured all these torments. St. James died in exile.
O guide of the true faith, mirror of piety and commendable behavior, bright star of the universe, and adornment of pontiffs, you enlightened us all by your teachings. O wise James, inspired by God and lyre of the Holy Spirit, intercede with Christ our God that He may save our souls.
By mortifying your body, O blessed James, you abandoned the world and followed Christ. You were given the anointing of the priesthood and have been admitted to angelic choirs. Now pray for all of us who bless you.
Genesis 8:21 – 9:7
When the Lord smelled the sweet odor, the Lord said to himself: Never again will I curse the ground because of human beings, since the desires of the human heart are evil from youth; nor will I ever again strike down every living being, as I have done.
All the days of the earth,
Seedtime and harvest,
Cold and heat,
Summer and winter,
And day and night
Shall not cease.
God blessed Noah and his sons and said to them: Be fertile and multiply and fill the earth. Fear and dread shall come upon all the animals of the earth and all the birds of the air, upon all the creatures that move about on the ground and all the fishes of the sea; into your power they are delivered. Any living creature that moves about shall be yours to eat; I give them all to you as I did the green plants. Only meat with its lifeblood still in it you shall not eat. Indeed for your own lifeblood I will demand an accounting: from every animal I will demand it, and from a human being, each one for the blood of another, I will demand an accounting for human life.
Anyone who sheds the blood of a human being,
By a human being shall that one’s blood be shed;
For in the image of God
Have human beings been made.
Be fertile, then, and multiply; abound on earth and subdue it.
Proverbs 11:19 – 12:6
Justice leads toward life, but pursuit of evil, toward death.
The crooked in heart are an abomination to the Lord, but those who walk blamelessly are his delight.
Be assured, the wicked shall not go unpunished, but the offspring of the just shall escape.
Like a golden ring in a swine’s snout is a beautiful woman without judgment.
The desire of the just ends only in good; the expectation of the wicked is wrath.
One person is lavish yet grows still richer; another is too sparing, yet is the poorer.
Whoever confers benefits will be amply enriched, and whoever refreshes the other will be refreshed.
Whoever hoards grain, the people curse, but blessings are on the head of the one who distributes it!
Those who seek the good seek favor, but those who pursue evil will have evil come upon them.
Those who trust in their riches will fall, but like green leaves the just will flourish.
Those who trouble their household inherit the wind, and fools become slaves to the wise of heart.
The fruit of justice is a tree of life, and one who takes lives is a sage.
If the just are recompensed on the earth, how much more the wicked and the sinner!
Whoever loved discipline loves knowledge, but whoever hates reproof is stupid.
A good person wins favor from the Lord, but the schemer he condemns.
No one is made secure by wickedness, but the root of the just will never be disturbed.
A woman of worth is the crown of her husband, but a disgraceful one is like rot in his bones.
The plans of the just are right; the designs of the wicked are deceit.
The words of the wicked are a deadly ambush, but the speech of the upright saves them.
Icon courtesy of Jack Figel, Eastern Christian Publications – ecpubs.com
Monday, March 21 –