Bread of Life

Greetings on the Apodosis (the leave taking of the afterfeast) of the Ascension!

Prosphora is a leavened bread baked solely for use in the Divine Liturgy and further prepared with prayers during proskomedia, for the Holy Eucharist.

The Bread of Life gives Himself in His Love to all who ask… ~ St. Maximus the Confessor

…Give us this day our daily bread… ~ Lord’s Prayer

Jesus answered, It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ ~ Matthew 4:4

And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. ~ John 6:35

Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life. I am the bread of life.  Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh. ~ John 6:47-51

Therefore let us keep the Festival, not with the old bread leavened with malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. ~ 1 Corinthians 5:8

And you shall set the bread of Presence on the table before me regularly. ~ Exodus 25:30

He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle, and herb for the service of man: that he may bring forth food out of the earth; And wine that maketh glad the heart of man, and oil to make his face to shine, and bread which strengtheneth man’s heart. ~ Psalm 104:14-15

Surfing the Chunder

Dawn Patrol on Kauai Beach – 2023
Chunder is a surfing term which means totally unsurfable waves.
Mullering means wiping out.

You don’t need to be polite with God, simply pour out your heart before Him. ~ Elder Sophrony of Essex

Never expect anyone to understand you, only God.
~ St. Gavrilia

I pray like this: “Father in heaven forgive me, Lord Jesus Christ have mercy on me, Holy Spirit enlighten me.”
~ Gerontissa (Eldress) Galaktia

Let us remember
that pray’r is the first resort –
not the last resort!

🏄🏽‍♀️

Serenity

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. ~ St. Matthew 7:7-8

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.  Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honourable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. ~ Philippians 4:4-8

We know God is with us. Yet, during our daily routines we sometimes forget, perhaps by being caught up in the moment and putting prayer on the back-burner.

Be that as it may, when least expected or deserved, we may catch whiffs of God’s Perfumed Peace – which clearly passes all understanding. This spiritual surprise can come as a warm, fragrant cocoon of inexplicable joy, or as a robe of consolation and quiet calmness.

We may remain tranquilly enveloped for a time, until distracted maybe by wandering thoughts, intrusive imagination, or other mundane, worldly cares – such as the klaxon of an oven-timer beeping that our cake is finally baked.

Regardless, this Magnificent Peace is never, ever, far away. And, when asking God’s help (even with the bread of tears), we can be sincerely thankful during our entreaties, for God knows our heart. He feels our sorrow. He hears our every sigh.

God’s silent, golden, blessings are always close at hand, especially when in simplicity of stillness we open the spiritual eyes of our hearts. And, as with the pure faith of a child – we open the door when our Heavenly Father knocks to let Him in.

Although our efforts may be small and sporadic, sometimes during the quiet of the day or night, our dear Lord gently bestows tantalizing glimpses, by reminding us of how we could always be.

So, as we sprint along the daily, peaceful paths of prayer, may God grant us according to our salvation! Let us yearn each day to become Shiny and New again!

May the rich Abundance of God’s great Mercy continue to direct our ways in the Hopeful Peace from Above – which truly passes all understanding.

The Present

Let us bless the Lord day and night for His Gifts to us. ~ St. Gavrilia

When we open our Daily Gifts from the Lord, we might sometimes find a mysterious surprise!

And, while we may not quite know why we’ve received a particular present, we still keep it close… a mear heart’s breath away… knowing it will be useful.

What can we give Him for all the daily Blessings He’s lovingly bestowed on us?

At the dawn of each fresh and brand new day… what are the two greatest gifts we can give back to God?

Our gratitude.

Our self.

Reverently & Peacefully

Golden Bamboo Grove, Kauai 2023

Photo Art Quote excerpt from the Morning Optina Elders’ Prayer. Full Prayer here.

Pray sincerely to the Heavenly Father; especially say the Lord’s Prayer, reverently, peacefully, not hurriedly: in general, read all the prayers quietly, evenly, with reverence, knowing before Whom you are saying them. ~ St. John of Kronstadt (My Life in Christ)

My Life in Christ is a wonderful book… bursting with practical and spiritual tidbits. One can pick it up at any time and read small portions. It’s like a great golden dollop of butter accompanying our Daily Bread. I highly recommend owning a copy of these spiritual yum yums!

May we all have good and mindful dealings with those who surround us today, whether in person – or thought! With love in Christ.

Light in Darkness

Image by Ciroja from Pixabay

You find yourself in a darkened room and you move your hands so as to try to brush away the darkness which, of course, doesn’t move. If you open a window and light enters, the darkness disappears. The same happens with study. The Holy Scripture, the Lives of the Saints, and the Writings of the Fathers are the light that chases away the darkness of the Soul.
~ St. Porphyrios of Kavsokalyvia

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

Kneading One Another

Wedding Bread Gift represents Marriage Crowns for Michael and Laura. May God grant them Many Years!

Garden Flowers Bouquet: Golden Celebration Rose, Spirea Bridal Wreath, and Lady’s Mantle which is affiliated with the Virgin Mary.

Wedding Prokeimenon sung in Eighth Tone:
Thou hast set upon their heads crowns of precious stones. They asked life of thee, and thou gavest it them. ~Psalm 21: 3-4

Greetings on the Beginning of the Apostles’ Fast!

The people of Israel called the bread manna. It was white like coriander seed and tasted like wafers made with honey. ~ Exodus 16:31
(God Can Fill Us)

And you shall set the bread of the Presence on the table before me regularly. ~ Exodus 25:30.

He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle, and herb for the service of man: that he may bring forth food out of the earth; And wine that maketh glad the heart of man, and oil to make his face to shine, and bread which strengtheneth man’s heart. ~ Psalm 104:14-15

Jesus answered, It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ ~ Matthew 4:4

Give us this day our daily bread. ~ Matthew 6:11

And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. ~ John 6:35

Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life. I am the bread of life.  Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh. ~ John 6:47-51

Therefore let us keep the Festival, not with the old bread leavened with malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. ~ 1 Cor. 5:8

May your Journey through the Apostle’s Fast be Peaceful and Fruitful!

Daily Lenten Prayer of St. Ephraim

Image by Mammiya – Pixabay

The crocus is also known as the penitent flower.

Happy Clean Monday!

During the week days of Great Lent… we say this beautiful and ancient prayer by St. Ephraim the Syrian (4th century).

A Little Leaven

Detail of Greeting Bread and Salt for the Archbishop – May 2019

Just as a little leaven, according to the Apostle’s words, is mixed with all the dough, so the body that was raised by God to immortality, once it is introduced into our body, wholly changes it and transforms it into his own substance. ~ St. Gregory of Nyssa

In His Garden

Candlelight Streams onto Flowers by the Most Holy Theotokos Icon

We have so many things to be thankful for! Our daily bread, health, family, friends, prayers and kindness from others, and all the so-called ordinary things mistakenly taken for granted – that aren’t ordinary at all.

Children seem more observant of blessings. A mother just shared something precious. Their family baked a Saint Basil’s Day Cake for the Feast yesterday, and her youngest received the special $2 coin hidden in the cake. The thoughtful child insisted the mother take the coin and find a way to give it to the homeless. The child said, “I have everyfing, and some don’t have nuffin’!”

Everything is God’s and we are His guests… although sometimes we feel that everything belongs to us. We become used to His many blessings and blindly expect that all good things are a given.

Nothing stays the same. Everything changes… Except God.

Let’s make efforts to be considerate houseguests appreciating our Divine Host’s Bountiful Blessings.

For, when we’re out in nature, or in church, or going about our daily lives, we are in His Garden, surrounded by the Beauteous Art of Creation.

With opened eyes, we glimpse it… everywhere.

For as long as you are on earth, consider yourself a guest in the Household of Christ. If you are at the table, it is He who treats you. If you breathe air, it is His air you breathe. If you bathe, it is in His water you are bathing. If you are traveling, it is over His land that you are traveling. If you are amassing goods, it is His goods you are amassing. If you are squandering, it is His goods that you are squandering. If you are powerful, it is by His permission that you are strong. If you are in the company of men, you and the others are His guests. If you are out in nature, you are in His garden. If you are alone, He is present. If you set out or turn anywhere, He sees you. If you do anything, He remembers. He is the most considerate Householder by Whom you were ever hosted. Be careful then toward Him. In a good household, the guest is required to behave. These are all simple words but they convey to you a great truth. All the saints knew this truth and they governed their lives by it. That is why the Eternal Householder rewarded them with eternal life in heaven and glory on earth. ~St. Nikolai Velimirovich

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