Image by Thanasis Papazacharias from Pixabay
Greetings on the Feast of The Ascension!
Christ Has Ascended!
In Glory… From Earth to Heaven!
You were born, our God, in a manner of Your own choosing. You appeared and suffered in the flesh as You willed. Through Your resurrection You conquered death and ascended into glory, fulfilling all things; You sent down the divine Spirit upon us, therefore in songs we praise Your divinity. ~ St. Romanos the Melodist
And now we, who before were considered unfit to dwell even upon the earth are being raised up to heaven, ascending with Christ to the heavenly kingdom. ~ St. John Chrysostom
Let us climb the Mount of Olives today in our hearts, and joyfully raise our minds on high beholding the Lord ascending into the heavens… Glory to Thine Ascension, O most greatly merciful One!
Greetings on Great and Holy Saturday!
Jesus Christ has taken the world of our sins upon Himself.
For this cause He came into the world…
For this New Beginning!
Do not lament Me, O Mother,
Seeing Me in the tomb,
The Son conceived in the womb without seed,
For I shall arise,
And be glorified with eternal glory as God.
I shall exalt all who magnify thee in faith and in love.
~ Ode 9, Holy Saturday Canon
Why Did Jesus Die on the Cross? Because of God’s great Love, He did something so special for each one of us. It‘s almost too amazing to even try and think about it! When we love someone very much, we help them as much as we can – without thinking how hard it might be for ourselves to do this. Through Adam and Eve, the first created man and woman, sin entered the world, and now we all sin. There are big sins and little sins, but everyone sins, and any sin separates us from God. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, willingly took all the sins of everyone ever born, which means, you, me, the whole world, and took all these sins upon Himself; because sin separates us from God. When Jesus died and was buried, all our sins died and were buried too. We also remember this at our Baptism. We are now forgiven because of what Jesus did for us on the cross! Jesus loves us so much! And, even if you were the ONLY person living in the whole world, Jesus still would have done this – just for you! Just for one person, because He knows each one of us and loves us all so much! And, because He is the Son of God- He arose victorious, from the dead! “Trampling down death, by death!” This is why we no longer fear death, for death is a new beginning, a new and Eternal Life with God. ~ The Ark Youth Quarterly – St. Sophia Orthodox Church
Detail of parish Creation Mosaic with scenes from Genesis, and the Expulsion From Paradise ~ Genesis 3:23-24
…O ranks of angels, O beauty of Paradise and all the glory of the garden: weep for me, for in my misery I was led astray and rebelled against God. O blessed meadow, trees and flowers planted by God, O sweetness of Paradise: let your leaves, like eyes, shed tears on my behalf, for I am naked and a stranger to God’s glory. No longer do I see thee nor delight in thy joy and splendour, O precious Paradise…. ~ Canticle 4, Sunday of Forgiveness
…O Paradise, share in the sorrow of thy master who is brought to poverty, and with the sound of thy leaves pray to the Creator that He may not keep thy gate closed for ever. I am fallen, in Thy compassion have mercy on me… ~ Ikos, Canticle 6 – Sunday of Forgiveness
God Forgives and Blessings Abound!
Today is the day before Great Lent begins, and we celebrate with making Blini Crepes or Pancakes to use up the last of any dairy. If you’re already a plant-based person, these Vegan Blini are simply delicious, and easy to make!
Congratulations on your Saint’s Day Zoe! (Feb. 26/13) God grant you many years!
Recent Sunset Stroll Scene
Christ is the True Light
Who Illumines the whole world,
He is Glorious!
The whole earth is filled with awe at your wonders; where morning dawns, where evening fades, you call forth songs of joy. ~ Psalm 65:8
The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him. ~ Psalm 28:7
The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. ~ Psalm 19:1
Oh, worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness! ~ Psalm 96:9
From the rising of the sun to its going down, the name of the Lord is to be praised. ~ Psalm 113:3
…Don’t be dejected and sad, for the joy of the Lord is your strength! ~ Nehemiah 8:10
…let not the sun go down upon your wrath…~ Ephesians 4:26
What a wonderful day the Lord has provided! Let our eyes and hearts rejoice in His Gifts of Nature and for His Beauteous, Gladsome Light that shines upon us all!
Dayspring on the Peaceful Pacific
…Peace be unto you. ~ St. Luke 24:36
Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. ~ Philippians 1:2
Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. ~ St. John 14:27
Image by RyanFSpack from Pixabay
The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handiwork. The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. ~ Psalm 19: 1,7, 8, 10
May your day be golden and filled with Sonshine!
Image by cocoparisienne at Pixabay
Faith is the doorway to the mysteries. What the eyes of the body are for physical objects, faith is for the hidden eyes of the soul. Just as we have two bodily eyes, so we have two spiritual eyes, and each has its own way of seeing. With one we see the glory of God hidden in creatures: with the other we contemplate the glory of God’s holy nature when he deigns to give us access to the mysteries. ~ St. Isaac of Syria
Thriving in Son Shine!
A drop of prayer is worth more than a sea of worrying. ~ St. Nikolai Velimirovic
There is no need at all to make long discourses, it is enough to stretch out one’s hands and say, “Lord, as You will, and as You know, have mercy.” And if the conflict grows fiercer say, “Lord, help!” He knows very well what we need and He shows us His mercy. ~ Abba Macarius
Since God is continuously present, why do you worry? For in Him we live and move. We are carried in His arms. We breathe God; we are vested with God; we touch God; we consume God in the Mystery. Wherever you turn, wherever you look, God is everywhere: in the heavens, on the earth, in the abysses, in the trees, within the rocks, in your nous [eye of the soul], in your heart. ~ St. Joseph the Hesychast
Lord, I do not know what to ask of You. You know better than me what my needs are. You love more than I know how to love. Help me to see clearly my real needs which I do not see. I open my heart to You. Examine and reveal to me my faults and sins. I put all trust in You. I have no other desire than to fulfill Your will. Teach me how to pray. Pray in me. Amen. ~ Prayers For All Occasions
The Cranesbill Geranium (we put ours in large patio pots) is a bushy summer perennial with small flowers that attract bees and butterflies. Even curious hummingbirds zoom in for visits! To inspire repeat blooming well into early fall, we prune them back when the initial blossoming period is over… and they provide a long lasting array of peaceful purple.
This is the Lord’s doing; it is marvellous in our eyes. ~ Psalm 118:23
From the creation, learn to admire the Lord! Indeed the magnitude and beauty of creation display a God who is artificer of the universe. He has made the mode of creation to be our best teacher. ~ St. John Chrysostom
It’s amazing. You’re out on a walk or tending the garden, and suddenly a simple flower rivets your gaze! The Echoes of Eden make everything new again. We see that nature is perfect, because God’s Love is perfect. God’s Gift of Nature nourishes us physically and spiritually. We feel the light and warmth of the sun on our face and skin. Summer breezes revive muddled thoughts. Spiritual Fragrance abounds. Through a single flower we remember all is God’s Handiwork, and that Creation’s Planter also lovingly made us. Nature is a Secret Gospel. It refreshes and renews our spirit. How fitting that our first job was to tend and dress the Garden of Eden! Glory to Thee O Lord!
The blazing light of dawn reflects a living, luminescent beauty in nature… radiating the Gladsome Light of God’s Holy Glory!
Through the Holy Spirit comes our restoration to paradise, our ascension into the kingdom of heaven, our return to the adoption of sons, our liberty to call God our Father, our being made partakers of the grace of Christ, our being called children of light, our sharing in eternal glory, and, in a word, our being brought into a state of all “fullness of blessing,” both in this world and in the world to come, of all the good gifts that are in store for us, by promise hereof, through faith, beholding the reflection of their grace as though they were already present, we await the full enjoyment. ~ St. Basil the Great
Memory Eternal Nikita!