Comfort and Joy

Cabin Wood Stove Radiates Cozy Comfort from Cold

He who has the Kingdom of God within himself will imperceptibly pass it on to others. People will be attracted by the peace and warmth in us; they will want to be near us, and the atmosphere of Heaven will gradually pass on to them. It is not even necessary to speak to people about this. The atmosphere of Heaven will radiate from us even when we keep silence or talk about ordinary things. ~ Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica

One blustery afternoon, we returned to the chilly cabin from a seaside hike, and quickly lit the fire. It was soothing to hear the kindling crackle and smell the woodsmoke. Pretty soon the stove was ablaze and we sat in companionable silence soaking in its warmth… completely mesmerized by the light-show of its dancing, vermillion embers. As we drank in the peaceful atmosphere, it was amazing to think of how simply being in the presence of a cozy fire could bring such a gift of quiet joy. With gratitude, it’s reminded me that in my life, I’ve been blessed with knowing people who emit this exact refreshing radiance and spiritual peace to others – simply by being in their presence! For, they are imbued with the Gladsome Light of Jesus Christ… our Salvific, and Divine – Comfort and Joy.

Greetings on tomorrow’s ancient, joyful Feast Day of the Entrance of the Theotokos into the Temple!

Wishing you a most blessed day today, and Feast Day on the morrow!

With Love in Christ.

Pacific

Dayspring on the Peaceful Pacific

…Peace be unto you. ~ St. Luke 24:36

Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. ~ Philippians 1:2

Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. ~ St. John 14:27

No Greater Sin

Image by Daniel from Pixabay

I was somehow taken by the feeling of the universe’s sufferings. My experience from the First World War and the Russian Revolution that followed contributed to this. I lived for years in a suffocating atmosphere of Fratricidal hatred, first because of the World War and then because of the civil war. Since then it is better for me to hear about perhaps the thousands of victims of earthquakes, floods, epidemics and other disasters and catastrophes, which usually provoke the sympathy of all, than for wars – which almost without exception entice everyone to moral involvement in the killings. There is no greater sin than war. ~ St. Sophrony the Hagiorite

Pray for Peace!

Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. ~ St. Matthew 5:9

Lord have Mercy!

Who Art Everywhere Present

Out for a breath of fresh air on yestereve’s walk… and reminded of God’s Glory!

O Heavenly King, Comforter, Spirit of Truth, Who art everywhere present and fillest all things, Treasury of good things, and Giver of life: come and take up Thine abode in us, and cleanse us from every stain, and save our souls, O Good One! ~ Trisagion Prayers

God’s Providence controls the universe. It is present everywhere. Providence is the sovereign Logos of God, imprinting form on the unformed materiality of the world, making and fashioning all things. Matter could not have acquired an articulated structure were it not for the directing power of the Logos Who is the Image, Intellect, Wisdom, and Providence of God. ~ St. Anthony the Great (Philokalia, Vol. 1:156)

As Earthen Vessels

Image by Dimitris Vetsikas from Pixabay

But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. ~ 2 Corinthians 4:7

We are all containers; sometimes of the Light, sometimes of the Dark. ~ Gerontissa Gabrielia

Blissful Dawn

Sunrise on Recent Vacation

Our life depends on the kind of thoughts we nurture. If our thoughts are peaceful, calm, meek, and kind, then that is what our life is like. If our attention is turned to the circumstances in which we live, we are drawn into a whirlpool of thoughts and can have neither peace nor tranquility… Even the slightest thought that is not founded on love destroys peace… The thoughts that we give ourselves up to define our life… It is not good to dwell on every thought that comes to us; otherwise we lose our peace. ~ Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica

Blisswood 500

Image by Felix Mittermeier from Pixabay

What a wonderful day the Lord has provided!

Each dawn is a blessing… new and fresh, with golden opportunities!

A few years ago, in anticipation of sowing the online seeds for this Blisswood site, I also read (from several sources) that a serious blogger needs the strong roots of at least 500 posts to even be considered a beginner blogger.

Quickly accepting the obvious… that I couldn’t (and can’t) do this on my own was a huge relief. I had to let go, and let God help! And, thanks be to God, I’m officially a beginner blogger… 🙂

Thank you for visiting Blisswood!

You’ve helped funnel my writing voice as a creative outlet, moving me to reflect upon my faith and what helps keeps me buoyant on the stormy seas of life. I try to share what’s joyful, optimistic and uplifting… especially during these trying world times.

Thank you for subscribing, and keeping me on my toes!

Thank you for the inspiring suggestions, encouraging emails, and sharing these posts!

Thank you for your prayers!

With continuing gratitude…

Love in Christ,

m. Barbara

Let Us Make a Joyful Noise!

Image by mokca from Pixabay

Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands. Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing. Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations. ~Psalm 100:1-5

…but be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ… ~ Ephesians 5:18-20

Nothing elevates the soul, nothing gives it wings as a liturgical hymn does… We should offer up doxologies to God with fear and a contrite heart, in order that they may be accepted like fragrant incense… Nothing so arouses the soul, gives it wing, sets it free from the earth, releases it from the prison of the body, teaches it to love wisdom… as concordant melody and sacred song composed in rhythm. ~ St. John Chrysostom

Pray gently and calmly, sing with understanding and rhythm; then you will soar like a young eagle high in the heavens. Psalmody calms the passions and curbs the uncontrolled impulses in the body. ~ Evagrios the Solitary

To sing is to pray twice. ~ St. Augustine

Wherever there are spiritual melodies, there does the grace of the Spirit come, sanctifying the mouth and the soul. ~ St. Nicodemus of the Holy Mountain

Sing to God in love and humility of spirit, for the Lord rejoiceth therein. ~ St. Silouan the Athonite 

Only ecclesiastical music can express the secret movements of the heart, which are completely different than what worldly music expresses. For this reason the two kinds of music are totally different, just as shown by the words: “sing” and “chant.” ~Photios Kontoglou

In case you haven’t yet discovered this wonderful site of hymnody (in multiple languages), please enjoy: The Rudder Internet Radio Station Streaming Orthodox Music 24/7

May your day be harmoniously tuned with the Spirit… in holy, heartfelt psalmody!

Moving Forward With Hope

Cave Church Image by Dimitris Vetsikas from Pixabay

All of us sin constantly. We slip and fall… The Holy Fathers and the Saints always tell us, “It is important to get up immediately after a fall and to keep on walking toward God. Even if we fall a hundred times a day, it does not matter; we must get up and go on walking toward God without looking back.” What has happened has happened – it is in the past. Just keep going all the while asking for help from God. ~ Elder Thaddeus Vitovnica

Do not be surprised that you fall every day; do not give up, but stand your ground courageously. And assuredly the angel who guards you will honour your patience. While a wound is still fresh and warm it is easy to heal, but old, neglected and festering ones are hard to cure, and require for their care much treatment, cutting, plastering and cauterization. Many from long neglect become incurable. But with God all things are possible ~ St. John of Kronstadt

The Eternal Present of God

Fistful of Fall Pansies in Afternoon Sunlight

In the radiance of His light the world is not commonplace. The very floor we stand on is a miracle of atoms whizzing in space… In a world where everything that seems to be present is immediately past, everything in Christ is able to participate in the eternal present of God. ~ Fr. Alexander Schmemann

The sky is beautiful, but it is so in order that you may bow down before Him who made it; the sun is bright, but it is so in order that you may worship its Author; if you stop at the wonder of creation and get stuck at the beauty of these works, the light will become dark for you, or rather you will have used the light to change it to darkness. ~ St. John Chrysostom

Beauty is never ‘necessary,’ ‘functional’ or ‘useful.’ And when, expecting someone we love, we put a beautiful tablecloth on the table and decorate it with candles and flowers, we do all this not our of necessity, but out of love. And the Church is love, expectation and joy. ~ Fr. Alexander Schmemann

…God, Who fashioned us and brought us out of non-existence into being, has placed us in this life as in a schoolroom to learn the Gospel of His Kingdom. ~ St. Theodore the Studite

With God placing us in this life as in a schoolroom, may we all graduate in heaven!

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