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…
If you do not shatter and empty your Ego, how will you make room for God?… God’s gifts to us blossom only if watered with the water of Love… Those who love can do only beautiful things. ~ Gerontissa Gavrilia
Happy Saint’s Day Irena! May God grant you many years!
Today is also 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.
Keep me as the apple of the eye, hide me under the shadow of thy wings.~ Psalm 17:8
He found him in a desert land, and in the waste howling wilderness; he led him about, he instructed him, he kept him as the apple of his eye. ~ Deuteronomy 32:10
Keep my commandments, and live; and my law as the apple of thine eye.~ Proverbs 7:2
The expression of being the apple of one’s eye comes from the Old Testament, and is translated from Hebrew as little man of his eye… the reflection one sees in the eye of another. In early English translations of the Bible, the phrase appears as apple of his eye. This is derived from the Old English word aeppel, meaning either apple and/or an eye’s pupil. The phrase developed into apple of one’s eye, retaining the original meaning of something being both highly cherished and greatly treasured.
God does not create a cross for man. No matter how heavy a cross a man may carry in his life, it is still just wood, from which man himself made, and it always grows from the soil of his heart. ~ St. Ambrose of Optina
The Most Holy Mother of God prays for us ceaselessly. She is always visiting us. Whenever we turn to her in our heart, she is there. After the Lord, she is the greatest protection for mankind… She is constantly, by our side, and all too often we forget her. ~ Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica
As long as they (Christ’s Disciples) were in Palestine, holy Mary spent time with them, helping them confirm themselves in the Saviour’s commandments, encouraging them to all goodness and cheering them. But when the disciples departed from Palestine to distant lands alien and unknown, She remained in John’s house. She did not waste Her time with trifles, but used every minute for the benefit of mankind, the very human race that crucified Her innocent Son! She dedicated her labours and care to visiting the sick and the imprisoned; she comforted, taught, and instructed anyone who needed support or counsel. She lived strictly according to Her Son’s commandments and therefore she could assuage people’s sorrows. She was a source of healing, and shade, and all who drew from that source felt freshness and relief and were fortified by heavenly love. The good works to which she entrusted Herself filled her soul with great blessedness and consolation, which were the reward for the woes and calamities she previously bore. For only after Her Son was resurrected did her eyes open to what had happened, and hope arrived. ~ St. Nikolai Velimirovic (Excerpt fromThe Theotokos on Her Deathbed)
An old English name for the Hosta garden plant, is the Assumption Lily, as it blooms close to the Dormition.
The liturgical colour for feasts honouring the Theotokos is blue. The clergy wear blue vestments, and the faithful sometimes wear a bit of blue too, in her honour. In icons, while her veil is red…the colour of divinity, as she is the Theo(God) tokos(Bearer), her clothes under the veil are green or blue, the colours of humanity. Also, upon her veil, are three stars, which represent her eternal virginity: before, during, and forever after the birth of Our Lord God and Saviour Jesus Christ, she remained a pure virgin. At weddings it is still traditional to wear “a little something blue” in honour of the Theotokos.
St. Ambrose Bishop of Milan (330-397), wrote: “Mary’s life, is a rule of life for all.” …It is important that as Orthodox Christians we know and examine the life of the Theotokos who, after Christ Jesus, so influenced every creature, both the bodiless ones and the earthborn, before, during, and after her earthly sojourn. ~ From The Life of The Virgin Mary, The Theotokos, written and compiled by Holy Apostles Convent
Troparion Tone 1: In giving birth thou didst preserve thy virginity, and in thy falling asleep thou hast not forsaken the world, O Theotokos. Thou hast been translated unto life, for thou art the Mother of Life, and by thy supplications, thou dost deliver our souls from death.
Kontakion Tone 2: The tomb, nor mortality could not hold the Theotokos, who istireless her prayers and supplications. For, as the Mother of Life, she was translated unto life, by Him Who dwelt within her Ever-Virgin womb.
Hold on tightly as possible to the Robe of our Great Lady the Theotokos, that she might help you. May the Theotokos, the tender and caring Mother of the entire world, protect you and the entire world. ~ St. Paisios
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
like cells of an enormous, incomprehensible fabric
our eyes are slowly opened
to the miracle which binds us together
May the Lord continue to bless us
~ by an Anonymous Friend
I initially posted this with my friend’s permission and name, but he has since requested that “anon would do nicely” and gave me this humble reason…
The words that I write Are rarely my own But are more seeds of light That some Angel has sown They take root and flower And raising their heads By some mystical power They rise in their beds And sing the praise of their Sower.
Now all things have been filled with light, both heaven and earth and those beneath the earth; so let all creation sing Christ’s rising, by which it is established. ~ St. John of Damascus, Paschal Canon
Having beheld the Resurrection of Christ, let us worship the Holy Lord Jesus, the only sinless One. We worship Thy Cross, O Christ, and hymn and glorify Thy holy Resurrection, for Thou art our God, and we know none other beside Thee, we call upon Thy name. O come all ye faithful, let us worship Christ’s holy Resurrection; for behold through the Cross, joy hath come to all the world. Ever blessing the Lord, we hymn His Resurrection. For having endured crucifixion, He hath destroyed death by death. ~ 5th Century Matins Hymn
The week preceding Great Lent is called Cheesefare(Maslenitsa), and in 2022, Cheesefare begins Monday, February 28th. Meat is now excluded until Pascha (Easter). Dairy and seafood are (thoroughly) enjoyed this week, and it’s traditional to include blini crepes or pancakes to use up remaining dairy – before the more strict plant-basedfare of Great Lent.