Follow the Sun

Overshadowed by a massive tree, glimpses of Light dapple marigolds growing below. Throughout the course of the day, they determinedly turn their heads to follow the sun, nonetheless.

…I am with you and no one can be against you! ~ Ascension Kontakion

Turn your face toward light, O child of light. The Father of Light calls you with a fiery Love. ~ St. Nikolai Velimirovic

O Lord Jesus Christ! You are my medicine when I am sick; You are my strength when I need help; You are Life itself when I fear death; You are Light when all is dark. ~ St. Ambrose of Milan

None of us are immune to the squalls and storms of life. Each of us have our own personal, physical, mental, and spiritual health battles to contend with.

Many people experience (including myself), that the healing strength of tears, along with the application of Faith and therapeutic practicalities of proper medicine, can heal, can shrink the root(s) of our problems, thus adjusting the sizes of (all the) crosses we’re struggling to bear.

That’s all part of it, but it’s done together with faith; it’s done together with prayer to God. They’re not opposed to each other; they go together... But all the time, nevertheless, we believe that our life is in the hands of God. It can be in the hands of physicians that God had created, God had formed, and God has sent to us for the sake of our healing... ~ Fr. Thomas Hopko

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. ~ St. Matthew 11:28-30

The Gladsome Light of Christ surrounds us – regardless of the swirling changes in spiritual weather! Keep looking UP with our heart’s eyes, and remember to breathe in the heavenly air…

Follow the Son above those clouds – for Christ has Ascended to the right Hand of the Father.

May we consciously let go of our banes to embrace all blessings and help, by glorifying Him… in Light and Love!

Wishing you a Blessed Afterfeast of the Ascension!

Below is a lovely, simple, uplifting secular song, one of my favourites. Hope you enjoy it too. One could interchange thoughts on some of the words Sun for Son, as in Sonshine…

Hope’s Patient Persistence

Behind the Altar, facing Royal Doors’ Curtain

We have within us deeply rooted weaknesses, passions, and defects. This can not all be cut out with one sharp motion, but patience, persistence, care and attention. The path leading to perfection is long. Pray to God so that he will strengthen you. Patiently accept your falls and, having stood up, immediately run to God, not remaining in that place where you have fallen. Don’t let anything deprive you of hope. ~ St Nektarios of Aegina

You do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures. ~ James 4:2-3

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

We know God is with us, but sometimes there may be struggles to feel His Presence and Love, or even to pray. During times of spiritual dryness, it is the faithful perseverance in prayer which is the sweetest of all our prayers to God.

We slip.

We fall.

We rise.

We persevere.

We never give up.

We focus forward.

We don’t look back.

Our life is blessed… God’s gift…. We have a treasure in us – our souls…. ~ Elder Nikolay Guryanov

Sweet Essence of Eden

Fragrant, plumeria blossom falls to rest on neighbouring Heliconia Rostrata leaf (Hanging Lobster Claw Flower) ~ Kauai 2023

Every flower is fragrant through the power of the Holy Spirit, in a delicate flow of aroma and tenderness of colour; the beauty of the Great contained in what is small. ~Akathist Glory to God for All Things, Kontakion 3

Without winter there would be no spring, and without spring there would be no summer. So it is also in the spiritual life: a little consolation, and then a little grief-and thus little by little we work out our salvation. Let us accept everything from the hand of God. ~St. Joseph the Hesychast

Everything that God has created is beautiful!

Even the flowers are full of grace!

Like so many places all over the world that are special to each one of us – to me, Hawaii is the Living Epitome of Heavenly Fragrance. It still contains the Sweet Essence of Eden with: Aromatic maile (MY-lee) leaves from the rainforest… Divinely fragrant, mangoes that hang as luscious, topaz jewels… Delightfully perfumed blooms of pikake, jasmine, lilies, and plumeria…

All of these and more, help awaken the numinous senses with Awe in Nature’s Mysterious Beauty of the Great.

When we perceive God’s Gift of Nature, how can we not admire it?

How can we not be grateful for consoling glimpses and reminders that Paradisiacal Eden – once our Original Home – is never very far away from us?

May we take time today to observe, touch and smell one flower!

May we listen to the still, small, voice of flowers that continue to magnify our Creator!

May we actively allow our day to be filled with the Sweet Essence of Eden and the Divine Fragrance of Christ!

May the Memory of Trees…

Rainbow Eucalyptus Trees in Lihu’e-Koloa’a Forest Reserve ~ Kauai 2023

Happy Saint’s Day matushka Nataliya! Congratulations, and may God grant you many years!

Casually, one day, she told us that every morning she was having a “little chat with her young tree”. Another time she said that if we got tired walking, we could stop near a tree and touch its trunk: “It will gladly give you some of the strength God gives it”… ~ Gerontissa Gavrilia

After many years I returned to Kauai, and stood once again in a wondrous, tropical Blisswood grove!

Stunning eucalyptus trees thrive in the Lihu’e Koloa’a Forest Reserve… and here, one may curiously discover how refreshing it is to touch those resplendent rainbow trunks.

As my gaze travelled skyward to the tree’s crowning branches, they seemed as graceful arms raised aloft in praise to Creation’s Planter.

Antiphonal Birdsong echoed throughout the forest arboretum. Delicate leaves attached to the trees’ twiggy fingers whispered to each other in the warm trade winds.

Some leaves were loosened, and as if seeming to accept that this was their time, fluttered down trustingly to the ground. A breeze quickly stirred them up again, and with apparent joyful abandon they tumbled away, end-over-end, deeper into the forest… a dance of affirmation and benediction.

I hope to carry this beautiful memory of God’s Creation in my soul, for a long, long, time.

These trees gladdened my heart. They gifted me anew with a peaceful, vibrant jewel of strength, to which I must carefully string yet one more gem of gratitude to the growing strand of a personal, noetic necklace which I sometimes forget to wear… or appreciate.

May we live in more awareness of the Divine Moment and Nature’s Numinous Wisdom – proving His Glorious Presence.

Let all the trees of the forest dance and sing, let all the trees clap their hands. ~ Sunday of the Cross

With Love in Christ.

God Is With Us!

Accept the troubles that come to you as good, knowing that nothing happens without God. ~ The Didache (Teachings of the Twelve Apostles)

The Cross is our Hope and Strength. We are in God’s Merciful Hands.

May your day bring Peace and Joy.

Begin With Thanksgiving

Image by ElenaOlesik from Pixabay

We must begin with thanksgiving for everything.
The beginning of joy is to be content with your situation.
~ St. Ambrose of Optina

Thy Will Be Done

I had a heart-warming conversation with a friend regarding God’s Will. 

Asking her the result of a job interview, she grinned saying, “I haven’t heard anything back yet… but that’s okay, because it’s in God’s Hands. If I’m meant to get it, I will.”

Empowered Faith joyfully anticipates Providence’s decision come what may… knowing things will work out for the best regardless, because it’s God’s Will.

From feeble past experience when my personal agenda didn’t align with God’s will, I sometimes struggled (putting it mildly). By second and third-guessing myself, it never felt peaceful (big clue something wasn’t right). Sometimes, I would sort of acknowledge His Will… up to a point, not fully accepting it… and still doing what I thought best in spite of – (Much to my Guardian Angel’s chagrin).

This has made for more than one heck of a bumpy ride on occasion, me speeding nowhere… at a mindless Mach 10. When relinquishing the Driver’s Seat back to God, we’re freed from useless detours and snarled traffic jams along this mortal coil’s stretch of highway.

God’s Will is for us to keep His commandments and to give thanks for all things.

In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. ~ 1 Thessalonians 5:18

With thankfulness and gratitude for my faithful friend, who’s a breath of fresh air…

May God grant us all strength and help to overcome the limitations of our own will… even if the path ahead seems unclear. May we allow Him to help us accept what appears difficult, or unbearable, or impossible according to our own will, by remembering that God loves us. That He knows and wants what’s best for us, and that He answers our petitions according to what’s best for our salvation.

Lord! Thou knowest all things. Do with me as Thou willest! ~St. Theophan the Recluse

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