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…

Blessings On A Snow Day

Feature Image by Irena

Praise the Lord from the earth… fire and hail, snow and mist, stormy wind fulfilling his word! ~ Psalm 148:7-8

Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. ~ Psalm 51:7

For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it. ~ Isaiah 59:9-11

Falling snowflakes are beautiful. They swathe our backyard’s bare tree branches with mystique, and envelope everything else in a pure milk-white blanket.

But, to me, a tropical wildflower at heart, I love snow – for maybe all of 10 minutes before vehemently wishing it away.

It’s not my thing. I loathe the cold. Always have. However, it’s part of living in a climate where to every thing, there is a season.

On a recent snow day, I tried to consider the snow as a blessing in disguise. I cranked up my Hawaiian Instrumental “Summer” Music, and fiercely tackled the annual cleaning of a certain Kitchen Drawer of No Return.

Although snow is a love/hate thing for me, I must begrudgingly admit that I do love to go outside, and “listen” to the whispers of falling snowflakes. There’s a peaceful, gentle, and calm stillness… Like the earth is holding her breath, waiting with patient endurance and expectant hope – for there’s always Sonshine above, ready to pierce through those snow clouds… and sweet spring is right around the corner!

…For favourable weather, for an abundance of the fruits of the earth, and for peaceful times, let us pray to the Lord… ~ Litany of Peace

Riding the Morning Winds

The Breaking Dawn ~ Kauai 2014

If I ride the morning winds to the farthest oceans, even there your hand will guide me, your strength will support me. ~ Psalm 139:9-10

Praise the Lord, O heavens! Praise him from the skies! Praise him, all his angels, all the armies of heaven. Praise him, sun and moon and all you twinkling stars. Praise him, skies above. Praise him, vapours high above the clouds. ~ Psalm 148: 1-4

Praise him from sunrise to sunset! ~ Psalm 113:3

Praise him, all heaven and earth! Praise him, all the seas and everything in them! ~ Psalm 69:34

To Fly Like Clouds

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Christ is Risen!

For virtue is a light and buoyant thing, and all who live in her way, “fly like clouds” as Isaiah says, “and as doves with their young ones” – but sin is a heavy affair, as another of the prophets says, “sitting upon a talent of lead.” ~ St. Gregory of Nyssa

Thoughts which originate from God bring internal peace and joy to the person. On the contrary, the thoughts which originate from the devil are filled with agitation, disturbance and grief. ~ Abba Barsanouphios

Thoughts are like airplanes flying in the air. If you ignore them, there is no problem. If you pay attention to them, you create an airport inside your head and permit them to land! ~ St. Paisios of Mt. Athos

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

The Gladsome Light of Christ surrounds us – no matter what the weather! Let’s keep looking up! There’s Sonshine above those clouds!

Truly He is Risen!

Sanctifying Spirit

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The sun penetrates crystal and makes it more dazzling. In the same way, the sanctifying Spirit indwells in souls and makes them more radiant. They become like so many powerhouses beaming grace and love around them. ~ St. Basil the Great

I could never, ever, live far away from the sea. It’s my favourite place to be even when days are dull, stormy and gray!

Standing at the waters’ edge promotes perspective, whatever the weather. It refreshes and reminds me of my small but proper place in the greater scope of things. And… upon any cloudy day, you just know that at any given moment – sun beams can triumphantly pierce through the silver canopy of clouds, and take one’s breathe away.

God’s Creation reflects Hope and inspires prayer! We can’t help but be grateful for the sea’s lulling, reflective sighs, or the reviving, salty winds that blow out those dusty cobwebs from our minds!

Thank you dear Lord, for the beautiful blessings of the ocean, and for imbuing us with Your Joy, Love, and Peace from Above!

His Steadfast Love

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My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast! For your steadfast love is great to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds. Be exalted, O God, above the heavens! Let your glory be over all the earth! ~ Psalm 7: 7, 10-11

Look at the heavens, and see; and behold the clouds, which are higher than you. ~ Job 35:5

In love did God bring the world into existence; in love does He guide it during its temporal existence; in love is He going to bring it to that wondrous transformed state, and in love will the world be swallowed up in the Great Mystery of Him who has performed all these things. ~ St. Isaac the Syrian

Wings Like a Dove

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Christ is Born! Glorify Him!

Happy Saint’s Day Melania! Congratulations!

…for you have been my help, and in the shadow of your wings I will sing for joy. ~ Psalm 63:7

And I say, Oh, that I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and be at rest… ~ Psalm 55:6

Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings… ~ Psalm 17:8

How precious is your steadfast love, O God! The children of mankind take refuge in the shadow of your wings. ~ Psalm 36:7

He lays the beams of his chambers on the waters; he makes the clouds his chariot; he rides on the wings of the wind… ~ Psalm 104:3

For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler. ~ Psalm 91:3-4

From the Sea to the Clouds

A peaceful sunset walk by the sea is reviving for soul, mind and body. Isn’t it amazing to ponder that all water on Earth is and always has been continually recycled through the hydrosphere of our oceans, rivers, lakes and clouds? Everything is connected. Everything. And how blessed we are to be part of this Everything!

Sing unto the Lord a new song, and his praise from the end of the earth, ye that go down to the sea, and all that is therein; the isles, and the inhabitants thereof. ~ Isaiah 42:10

All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full; unto the place from whence the rivers come, thither they return again. ~ Ecclesiastes 1:7

It is easier to measure the entire sea with a tiny cup than to grasp the ineffable greatness of God with the human mind. ~St. Basil the Great

When you see the light, do not forget Him who gave it to you; when you see the sky, the earth, the sea and all that is in them, marvel at these things and glorify their Creator... In short, if everything you do becomes for you an occasion for glorifying God, you will be praying unceasingly. And in this way your soul will always rejoice… ~ St. Peter of Damascus, Philokalia

…But accept the fountain of my tears, Thou who dost gather the waters of the sea to clouds. Bow down Thine ear to the sighing of my heart, Thou who didst bow the heavens in Thine ineffable condescension… ~ Hymn of Kassiani

Aflame With Zeal

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When you look at the candles and lamps burning in church, rise in thought from the material fire to the immaterial fire of the Holy Spirit, ‘for our God is a consuming fire.’ When you see and smell the fragrant incense, rise in thought to the spiritual fragrance of the Holy Spirit, ‘for we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ.’ ~ St. John of Kronstadt

In order to teach us that just as the vigil lamp cannot be lit without our hand, so too, our heart, our inward vigil lamp, cannot be lit without the holy fire of God’s grace, even if it were to be filled with all the virtues. All these virtues of ours are, after all, like combustable material, but the fire which ignites them proceeds from God. ~ St. Nikolai Velimirovich

In order to remind us that before anything else the Creator of the world created light, and after that everything else in order; And God said, let there be light: and there was light. And it must be so also at the beginning of our spiritual life, so that before anything else the light of Christ’s truth would shine within us. From this light of Christ’s truth subsequently every good is created, springs up and grows within us. ~ St. Nikolai Velimirovich

May the Light of Christ Illumine us all! Keep looking up… there’s always bright Sonshine above those heavy snow clouds!

Look Up!

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Unto thee lift I up mine eyes, O thou that dwellest in the heavens. ~ Psalm 123:1

To repent is not to look downwards at my own shortcomings, but upwards at God’s love, it is not to look backwards with self-reproach but forward with trustfulness, it is to see not what I have failed to be, but what by the grace of Christ I might yet become. ~ St. John Climacus

It’s been said that sorrow looks back… worry looks around… but Faith looks up!

Let’s keep looking up… there’s Sonshine above those clouds!

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