Bleeding Hearts are surrounded by the comforting starry cosmos of Sweet Woodruff’s white flowers.
The (movable) Feast of Mid–Pentecost!
The annual feast of the Wonderworking Icon of the Inexhaustible Cup (Chalice)!
The Icon’s Akathist to the Theotokos for help with the struggle of various addictions is here.
Congratulations to my dear friend Irena on her Saint’s Day!
In Christianity, the Bleeding Heart flower represents the suffering that Christ endured for our sins, and the Theotokos’ grief seeing her Son on the Cross.
Tiny white stars of Sweet Woodruff flowers are symbolic of hope and humility. This perennial ground cover spreads its cheer where other herbaceous plants may find it difficult to thrive. It bursts into burgeoning blooms come early spring, then quietly seems to diminish in the summer. Its fragrant fresh flowers (mildly reminiscent of vanilla) and leaves were used for everything from air fresheners to bed-straw stuffing. Its flowers flavoured wine and jellies, and were used for other medicinal purposes. (Of course, one should always check with a doctor before using any medical herb they’re not familiar with.) Last, but not least – marauding deer abhor sweet woodruff in gardens… and that alone makes it extra sweet to me!
That being said, and setting rascally deer aside…. the many blessings in our lives are unavoidably peppered with banes, but it’s the banes that make each new blessing a heartfelt consolation!
I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. ~ Romans 7:15. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do — this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. ~ Romans 7:19-20
Like St. Paul in his epistle to the Romans, we find ourselves in spiritual battles. We want to do what’s right, yet sometimes we do the very things we hate… even when knowing we’re wrong.
Granted, we can look back on the past – but don’t stare. Staring backwards can make one disheartened, overwhelmed and anxious. Everyone has a heartache, and we’re all dealing with struggles of some sort. Focus Forward!
Anxiety about ourselves means lack of faith; anxiety about our neighbour means pain. Feeling the intensity of other’s pain from within is accompanied by prayer and then comes the divine consolation. Therefore, you should pray as much as you can and then leave everything in the hands of God and calm yourself. Does God hurt His creatures less than you? Why worry? God gives a lot of comfort to anyone who is in spiritual pain and suffering for others because otherwise, one could not bear this burden… But from this pain comes true joy. ~ St. Paisios
Let the heavens rejoice; let earthly things be glad; for the Lord hath wrought might with His arm. He hath trampled down death by death; the first-born of the dead hath He become. From the belly of Hades hath He delivered us, and hath granted to the world great mercy. ~ Troparion of the Resurrection (Tone 3)