Heavenly Snowdrops

…but the righteous will thrive like a green leaf. ~ Proverbs 11:28

Yesterday’s walk was exhilarating!

Cheerful Snowdrops are springing up everywhere!

Old English names for Snowdrop flowers are Christ’s Flowers, Purification Flowers, Candlemas Bells, and Fair Maids of February. They are named as such, in honour of the ancient (upcoming) feast day of The Meeting of the Lord in the Temple! (February 15/2)

God’s Gift of Nature physically and spiritually nourishes us.

We rejoice in the sun’s warmth on our face and refreshing gentle breezes that sweep away cluttered, wintry thoughts.

Through a single flower, we remember all is God’s Handiwork, and that Nature is a Secret Gospel.

Spiritual Fragrance abounds! And… regardless of debris from recent storms, we notice it’s the new and verdant growth that bears the precious blooms in God’s Garden!

Sometimes – a glimpse of Paradise is right outside our back door!

Happy Saint’s Day Maximos, God grant you many years!

Sweet Essence of Eden

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…

All of these and more, help awaken the numinous senses with Awe in Nature’s Mysterious Beauty of the Great.

When we perceive God’s Gift of Nature, how can we not admire it?

How can we not be grateful for consoling glimpses and reminders that Paradisiacal Eden – once our Original Home – is never very far away from us?

May we take time today to observe, touch and smell one flower!

May we listen to the still, small, voice of flowers that continue to magnify our Creator!

May we actively allow our day to be filled with the Sweet Essence of Eden and the Divine Fragrance of Christ!

Holy Wisdom’s Water of Love

Exotic Heliconia Rostrata, the Hanging Lobster Claw Flower ~ Kauai 2023

Greetings on the Holy Mandylion Feast Day!

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

Let us unfurl our thirsty roots and drink deeply from Holy Wisdom’s salvific Springs of Living Water.

May our hearts Blossom Forth choosing happy, beautiful, Songs of Joy and gladness today!

Apple Blossoms

Apple Blossom Scripture Art created by Juliana

Christ is Risen!

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.

May we blossom forth and wax fruitfully in Christ!

Truly He is Risen!

From the Soil of Our Heart

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Greetings on the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross!

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

May your day be imbued with a multitude of sweet-scented blessings!

Greetings on the Dormition

Photo and quote by Juliana

Greetings on the Feast of the Dormition of the Mother of God!

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

The Venerable Bede (7th century) likened the Virgin Mary to a white lily… symbolizing her purity, innocence and virginity. The floral centre of yellow anthers, are as the golden radiance of her soul.

 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 from The 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

Beautiful Walking Tour inside the Church built over the Virgin Mary’s empty tomb (Thank you for sharing Irena!)

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 is tireless 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


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

Truly He is Risen

Image by jplenio from Pixabay 

Truly He is risen!

and were He not, 

we should not have met

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. 

Christ is Risen!

Cherry Blossoms fell like tears, and clung to the under-cloth of Holy Friday’s Winding Sheet.

Christ is risen from the dead, by death, trampling down upon death, and upon those in the tombs, bestowing life! ~ Paschal Tropar

Happy BRIGHT Monday!

the wood of the Cross hath now put forth flower ~ Ode 3 Katavasia of the Cross

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

TRULY HE IS RISEN!

Nothing Higher on Earth

Greetings on Forgiveness Sunday!

Great Lent begins Tomorrow.

There is nothing on earth higher, greater or more holy than the Divine Liturgy; nothing more solemn, nothing more life-giving. ~ St. John of Kronstadt

The Church is your hope, the Church is your salvation, the Church is your refuge. ~ St. John Chrysostom

May your Lenten Journey be a peaceful, fruitful preparation for the Great and Holy Feast of Pascha (Easter) – Sunday, April 24th, 2022.

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