PTL

Aquarium Photo of Jellyfish ~ Shared by Ellie

Scripture Art – Psalm 148

Happy Family Day to my kith and kin… by blood, heart and Holy Spirit.

PTL = 🎵 Praise the Lord! 🎵

Amen!

Warming Our Frosty Hearts

Shards of ice crystals cover my windshield, hindering clear vision. With a bit of effort, they can be scraped off and kept off… by keeping the car engine warm.

God is a fire that warms and kindles the heart and inward parts. Hence, if we feel in our hearts the cold which comes from the devil – for the devil is cold – let us call on the Lord. He will come to warm our hearts with perfect love, not only for Him but also for our neighbour, and the cold of him who hates the good, will flee before the heat of His countenance. ~ St. Seraphim of Sarov

It is of great significance if there is a person who truly prays in a family. Prayer attracts God’s Grace and all the members of the family feel it, even those whose hearts have grown cold. Pray always. ~ Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica (Our Thoughts Determine Our Lives)

If you find that there is no love in you, but you want to have it, then do deeds of love, even though you do them without love in the beginning. The Lord will see your desire and striving, and will put love in your heart. ~ St. Ambrose of Optina

Bright Greenery

Our Potted Patio Garden Flowers, Herbs, and Veggies Blossom Forth!

As the earth, long awaiting moistening and at last receiving it in abundance, suddenly is covered by tender and bright greenery, so also the heart, exhausted by dryness, and afterwards revived by tears, emits from itself a multitude of spiritual thoughts and feelings, adorned by the common flower of humility.~ St. Ignatius Brianchaninov

If our thoughts are kind, peaceful, and quiet, turned only to the good, then we also influence ourselves and radiate peace all around us – in our family, the whole country, everywhere. This is true not only here on earth, but in the cosmos as well. When we labour in the fields of the Lord, we create harmony. Divine harmony, peace, and quiet spread everywhere.~ Elder Thaddeus of Vitnovica

God Giveth the Increase

Scripture Art by Juliana

Happy Sunday of All Saints!

Greetings on All Saints’ Day!

Warm wishes and a very Happy Father’s Day to those who are so blessed!

So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. He who plants and he who waters are one, and each will receive his wages according to his labour. For we are God’s fellow workers. You are God’s field, God’s building.~ 1 Cor. 3:7-9

The Lord grant thee according to thy heart, and all thy purposes fulfill. ~ 2nd Antiphon, Stichos 3, Sunday of Pentecost

Faithfulness in little things is a big thing. ~ St. John Chrysostom

Path of God

Ancient pathway Mystras, Greece – 2017

The path of God is a daily cross. ~ St. Isaac the Syrian

Make your one aim in life the doing of the will of Jesus in every circumstance, however important or trifling it may seem. ~ St. Ignatius Brianchaninov

Continue your path with courage, with much courage. Let your heart rejoice in the Lord, and He will grant it all nourishment and all energy that is needed so that it does not seem to collapse. Nothing should seem difficult to you. ~St. Luke of Simferopol

We travel many paths in life. With God’s help we make our way along the right one. Sometimes distracting side trails appear, but if we aim to do God’s Will, we discern that most navigational “shortcuts” may trip us up. Meanwhile, God protects us, and our guardian angel is always present.

Speaking of paths, don’t forget to have a trip blessing before starting a new adventure… It’s the best travel insurance! I particularly remember a certain vacation of hiking with my family in the wilds (of B.C.). As I plodded along, my husband and children cavorted far ahead, chatting and laughing. Pretty soon they rounded a bend in the trail, and vanished from sight and sound.

I thirstily drank in the beauty and wonder of God’s nature amid tall fragrant forest firs and birdsong. Beside the path, leaf mould and damp mosses covered ancient nursing stumps sprouting new life… And I realized it was high time to catch up with my family, so I broke into a jog.

About 100 feet into my run, I “was stopped”.

I simply couldn’t move, and literally stood still. Frozen.

Within two seconds of wondering what was going on(?!?), a sudden great crack resounded, and a giant limb of a tree, fell directly across the path, about 10 feet in front of me! It was massive, and fell exactly where I would have been jogging, had my Guardian Angel not stopped me.

Able to move freely again, I was shaken with amazement and gratitude for a few minutes. Crossing myself, I thanked God and my Guardian Angel profusely. (I also remember waving an additional thumbs-up, air greeting of hello – to my Guardian Angel.)

Raucous ravens shook my reverie and I sighed, “Okay, okay, I get it, I’m going!” Adrenaline fuelled an easy straddle of the downed limb as I tore off to catch up to my family.

Grace and Protection abounded on that path… with God’s help ever before me, and my Guardian Angel always beside me. Amen!

But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. ~ St. Matthew 10:30

Do not say, “this happened by chance, while this came to be of itself.” In all that exists there is nothing disorderly, nothing indefinite, nothing without purpose, nothing by chance … How many hairs are on your head? God will not forget one of them. Do you see how nothing, even the smallest thing, escapes the gaze of God? ~ St. Basil the Great

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

Perfume of Peace

We are the sons of light and love, the sons of God, His children. As such we must have His qualities and His attributes of love, peace, and kindness towards all. ~ Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica

Thus, my brother, if you love peace of heart, strive to enter it by the door of humility, for no other door but humility leads therein. ~ Unseen Warfare

Fasting and self-control are a double wall of defense and whoever lives within them enjoys great peace.~ St. Gregory Palamas

Peace is truly the complete and undisturbed possession of what is desired. ~ St. Maximus the Confessor

Whoever enters a shop that sells perfume said an elder, even if he does not buy any perfume, he comes out fully fragrant. The same happens to those who socialize with holy people. They take upon themselves the spiritual fragrance of their virtue. ~ Anonymous Elder

You cannot be too gentle, too kind. Shun even to appear harsh in your treatment of each other. Joy, radiant joy, streams from the face of one who gives and kindles joy in the heart of one who receives. ~ St. Seraphim of Sarov

Happy Fathers’ Day

With greetings and gratitude to all fathers, grandfathers, and godfathers. And to our spiritual fathers, who through the Gospel, call us to life anew in Christ Jesus… May God grant all your petitions according to your salvation, and may you behold the good things of Jerusalem all the days of your life!

Memory Eternal Archpriest Vladimir

God loves us more than father, mother, friend, or any else could love, and even more than we are able to love ourselves. ~ St. John Chrysostom

Where love binds the family together and to God, there happiness is always to be found. For good relationships are heaven anywhere. ~ St. Seraphim of Sarov

Morning Prayer of the Optina Elders

Christ is Risen!

O Lord, grant that I may meet all that this coming day brings to me with spiritual tranquility. Grant that I may fully surrender myself to Thy holy Will. At every hour of this day, direct and support me in all things. Whatsoever news may reach me in the course of the day, teach me to accept it with a calm soul and the firm conviction that all is subject to Thy Holy Will. Direct my thoughts and feelings in all my words and actions. In all unexpected occurrences, do not let me forget that all is sent down from Thee. Grant that I may deal straightforwardly and wisely with every member of my family, neither embarrassing nor saddening anyone. O Lord, grant me the strength to endure the fatigue of the coming day and all the events that take place during it. Direct my will and teach me to pray, to believe, to hope, to be patient, to forgive, and to love. Amen.

The Optina Elders are the Righteous Fathers of the Optina Monastery in Russia, who struggled valiantly in the monastic life of prayer, humility, obedience, and love. God granted them the gifts of discernment, prophecy, clairvoyance, and the grace to guide souls along the path of salvation.

They are Leo (who reposed in 1841), Macarius (1860), Moses (1862), Anthony (1865), Hilarion (1873), Ambrose (1891), Anatolius (1894), Isaacius (1894), Joseph (1911), Barsanuphius (1913), Anatolius (1922), Nectarius (1928), Nicon (1931), and Isaacius (1936).

Their beautiful prayer encompasses everyone’s potential daily encounters and experiences.

Truly He is Risen!

Radonitsa

Christ is Risen!

The Tuesday of St. Thomas week is called Radonitsa, and known as the Day of Rejoicing.

On this day, and with Paschal Joy, we remember all who have reposed in the faith. Orthodox graves are blessed by priests and visited by the faithful.

It is hard for most parishes to gather at the graves on weekdays. So, the graves are blessed instead on St. Thomas Sunday, after the Divine Liturgy. When possible, this is followed by a traditional, joyous, communal picnic at the cemetery.

In any case, is important, to visit the graves of loved ones at any time during the 40 days of Pascha-tide; and to greet them saying or singing Christ is Risen

For he is not a God of the dead, but of the living: for all live unto him.

Truly He is Risen!

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