Autumnal Prayer

Image by Joe from Pixabay

Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days. ~ Psalm 90:14

November 27/14

Happy Eve of the Nativity Fast!

Tomorrow we begin our spiritual pilgrimage into the Advent season… to contemplate the upcoming Great Feast of Christ’s Incarnation.

Just like Great Lent is before Easter/Pascha, the ancient Nativity Fast is a reflective, joyful time for spiritual preparation – nourished with prayer, love of one’s neighbour, and generous almsgiving.

Each fast is fresh, new, and a collective reminder to shift focus away from oneself, and onto the needs of others, instead.

Together we’ll begin the late autumnal journey with sweeping the dried leaves and debris away from body and soul.

We fast before we feast, and the feasting aspect is saved to start on the actual Nativity Feast Day itself, including the following bright “12 days of Christmastide”.  

May your Nativity Fast be peaceful and fruitful!

With love in Christ.

Clean Monday, Great Lent, Holy Week – Past Posts

Photo with Scripture Quote by Juliana

Let us Spring Clean our souls, Grow in God’s Grace… and Bloom in His Sonshine! May our Great Lenten Journeys be Peaceful, and Fruitful – helping us see Christ in others.

Wishing you all the Bright Joys of the Fast!

Lightfare

Branches of Inner Stillness

O Precious Paradise

Forgive Me

Threshold

Flowers of Penitence

Two Thoughts

Flower of Repentance

Be Still

Daily Lenten Prayer of St. Ephraim

Great Canon of St. Andrew of Crete

Bending the Knees of the Heart

Savouring Great Lent

Let My Prayer Arise

Just For Now

A Lenten Prayer

Beauty of Holiness

Nothing Higher on Earth

God’s Beautiful Promise in the Sky

A Valentine

St. Brigid of Ireland

Gabhaim Molta Brighde

St. Caedmon’s Day Greetings

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

St. Patrick Enlightener of Ireland

Three in One

A Shamrock Day

Feast Day of the Annunciation

Clinging to the Lord

Rock-Steady

Skylark Buns Tradition (Baked to celebrate the Feast of the Holy 40 Martyrs of Sebaste)

As the Warmth of the Sun

Adoration of the Cross

Lazarakia Bun Recipe (Traditionally baked for celebrating Lazarus Saturday and/or Palm Sunday)

Lazarus Comes Forth

Palm Sunday Greetings

Bon Voyage ’til Bright Week

Onion Skin Pascha Egg Dye Recipe

Banquet of Faith

Great and Holy Monday

Great and Holy Tuesday

Hymn of Kassiani

Great and Holy Wednesday

Great and Holy Thursday

Great and Holy Friday

Do Not Lament Me O Mother

Great and Holy Saturday

Great and Holy Pascha

Christ is Risen!

Branches of Inner Stillness

Photo shared by Irena

Silence fosters stillness; it is indispensable for stillness. Inner stillness, however, goes beyond silence insofar as its aim is to purify the heart and issue in pure prayer. That purification involves the body in its entirety, because body and soul, like mind and heart, are ultimately inseparable. In the words of St. Mark the Ascetic, “The intellect cannot be still unless the body is still also; and the wall between them cannot be demolished without stillness and prayer.” Silence is the prerequisite for inner stillness, and only inner stillness enables us truly to listen to God, to hear His voice, and to commune with Him in the depths of our being. Yet silence and stillness are, like prayer itself, gifts that God can and wants to bestow upon us. The greatest truth about us is that God has created us with a profound longing, a burning thirst for communion with Himself. We can easily pervert that longing into an idolatrous quest for something other than God. Yet God remains faithful even in our times of apostasy. Like the father of the Prodigal Son, He always awaits our return. Once we begin that journey homeward, through repentance and an ongoing struggle against our most destructive passions, God reaches out to embrace, to forgive and to heal all that is broken, wounded and wasted. He reaches into the very fabric of our life, to restore within us the sublime image in which we were made… ~ Fr. John Breck

It’s coming to that amazing time again of recharging our spiritual batteries together. With purpose, we prepare our own humble journeys home to the Greatest Christian Feast of Feasts, Holy Pascha (Easter), the Resurrection of our Lord God and Saviour Jesus Christ. Travelling the quiet routes of the Great Lenten roads ahead, we choose to make bright efforts in good faith, and to the best of our abilities. Our dear Lord desires us to come to Him and fill us with good things… now and forever!

Tomorrow is an invitation of God’s Grace.

Tomorrow is Forgiveness Sunday.

However, today, I bow to you in spirit, bending the knees of my heart, and ask you to please forgive me.

God forgives!

Isn’t that beyond wonderful? God FORGIVES!

May your upcoming Lenten Journey be Peaceful… and may your Branches of Inner Stillness bear Good Fruit.

With Love in Christ.

Bon Voyage ’til Bright Week!

Image by Denis Doukhan Pixabay

Good morning! What a wonderful day the Lord has provided!

Scooting along the remainder of this Lenten Journey, I’m reminded that every Lent is uniquely different, with its own flavour of adventures and distractions.

So, I’m attempting to take a wee posting break until (God-Willing), Bright Week… and greet you now, in advance, on tomorrow’s most beautiful, shining Feast of the Annunciation!

Below, is a Ladybird’s-eye view of past Postings to take you to Pascha!

Lazarakia Buns Recipe for Lazarus Saturday

Lazarus Comes Forth

Natural Onion Skin Brick- Red Dye for Pascha Eggs

May your Lenten Journey continue in peace, and may you be filled to the brim with the blessings of Palm Sunday and Holy Week.

St. Matthew’s Passion Music composed by Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev, takes us through the services in Holy Week, as recorded through the Gospel of St. Matthew. Music and Scripture are poignantly entwined.

Great and Holy Monday

Great and Holy Tuesday
Hymn of St. Kassiani The Woman Who Had Fallen Into Many Sins

Great and Holy Wednesday

Great and Holy Thursday

Great and Holy Friday
Do Not Lament Me O Mother One of my favourite hymns by St. Kassiani

Great and Holy Saturday

I’m truly looking forward to greeting you again and “on the other side” of Great and Holy Pascha!

Let us open our arms and throw ourselves in Christ’s embrace. When Christ comes, we will have gained everything. Christ will alter everything within us. He will bring peace, joy, humility, love, prayer and the uplifting of our soul. The grace of Christ will renew us. ~ Elder Porphyrios, Wounded By Love

Here’s a short and edifying Youtube Orthodox Movie with a Trio of Good Proverbs (English Subtitles). My favourites are #2 and #3.

Thank you for visiting Blisswood!

Clinging to the Lord

Golden, Lenten Lillies (Daffodils), peep out through the shelter of a neighbour’s fence.

Only the poor in spirit who cling to the Lord by prayer on account of the constant sense of their poverty and need are capable of discovering within themselves the greatness of the name of Jesus. ~ St. Ignatius (Brianchaninov), Bishop of the Caucasus and the Black Sea

May your Lenten Journey be peaceful and fruitful.

All the Blessings

Thank you God, for the joyful blessings of spring flowers!

Try, then, to remember unceasingly all the blessings that have been given to you by God. ~ St. Mark the Ascetic

It’s been said, somewhere… what if we woke up today, with only the things that we thanked God for yesterday?

May your Lenten Journey be peaceful and fruitful.

Memory Eternal Ekaterina… 25 years now seem but as yesterday.

Little Suns on Stems

Be like a dandelion, whenever they fall apart, they start again. Have hope. ~ Anonymous

Love all creation, the whole of it and every grain of sand within it. Love every leaf, every ray of God’s light. Love the animals, love the plants, love everything. If you love everything, you will perceive the divine mystery in things.~ Starets Zosima, in Fyodor Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov

Dandelions make me smile. They were the first backyard flowers I ever picked, and seemed like beautiful, brilliant, little suns on stems. My mom lovingly placed many bedraggled bouquets into vases all around our home.

I picked daisies too, and was delighted that when turned upside down, they became tiny white tutus tinged with rosy pink edges. It was the first thing in my young life that I ever coveted… a daisypetal ballerina skirt. Yes, the “clothing thing” starts pretty young for some of us gals.

Fast-forward 50 years to church (this has absolutely nothing to do with dandelions)… where I helped my very young granddaughter venerate an icon. There happened to be an angel in it… an angel with… red shoes. My granddaughter, stood in deep contemplation (which I assumed to be a pious moment), until she whispered fiercely, “Baba, I want those shoes!” But, I digress, and since there wasn’t (to my knowledge), a local Byzantine Payless Shoes Store on this side of the Bosphorus, we can at least agree the gal “clothing/shoe thing” indeed seems inherent. Let us return again to the topic of dandelions.

I remember being around 4, and handing a fistful of crumpled suns to a visiting, elderly relative. Expecting to hear a grateful thank you, she instead recoiled in horror and hissed, “Weeds!”

What on earth were weeds? They sound terrible… horrible! Determined to defend, I stubbornly objected. “But, God made flowers! How can they be bad?” Of course that didn’t fly well with the visiting relative, and although the incident ended in a stalemate between her and I – God won that round.

Later, as a teen mowing our lawn (under duress), I observed how prolific and tenacious those blessed dandelions could be. They even pop up through cement cracks! Wow. Now that’s perseverance! Oh, that I could be just a little like that!

Whether by chance or design, and through a “herby” friend (who’d scoop up chickweed for a chew), I stumbled upon how healthy and nutritious dandelions are (unsprayed of course)! They’re literally everywhere! God created them, and they’re filled with His goodness. Who knows what other exciting benefits they hold? Time will tell.

Meanwhile, a young grandchild recently wove two dandelion-chain crowns, and solemnly placed one of the diadems on my head. We took a regal selfie together… oblivious to the sticky, white, sap dripping onto our bangs.

I thank God, Who, in His Wisdom and compassion, created the noble, persistent, dandelion – and grandchildren.

Here is a super video on “how to” choose and eat dandelion greens! If you pick them yourself, do make sure they’re unsprayed, and not too big. Otherwise they may be bitter, tough and furry! But when you time it just right, they’re amazing!

May your Lenten Journey be peaceful, fruitful, and green.

Rock-Steady

Local Neighbourhood Stone Garage with Grass and Floral Roof

As powerful ocean waves smooth and polish sharp edges of rock and stone, so does the Holy Spirit with our souls. It surrounds us. It strengthens us. It refines and completes us. And… bit by bit, with less and less, we become more.

Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it. ~ Matthew 7:24-27

The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. ~ Psalm 18:2

May your Lenten Journey be steady, peaceful, and fruitful.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

March 30/17

I just received this joyful golden Lenten Lily (Daffodil) photo from a dear (anonymous) friend this morning, along with beautiful heart-warming greetings, which I’m allowed to share.

May you be Protected and Inspired by Real Gold – God’s Promises, and the Mystical Enlightenment of St. Patrick – today and always.

Another friend has sent me this about St. Patrick, written by the 7th century monk Muirchú from the Royal Irish Academy.

Today, St. Patrick’s Day March 30/17 (Julian), is also the second anniversary of the beginning of my Blisswood “Posts” section.

Thank you so much for visiting!

Through the holy prayers of St. Patrick may this day of your Lenten Journey, be particularly peaceful and fruitful.

With love in Christ.

Adoration of the Cross

I praise the Godhead, Unity in three Persons: for the Father is Light, the Son is Light, and the Spirit is Light, but the Light remains undivided, shining forth in oneness of Nature, yet in the three rays of the Persons… Let all the trees of the forest dance and sing, as they beheld their fellow-tree, the Cross, today receive veneration: for Christ, as Holy David prophesied, has exalted it on high… Glory to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. I worship Thee, O holy God, as Trinity of Persons in Unity of Essence, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, one Power and Kingdom, sovereign over all. Both now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen. ~ From the Sunday of the Cross, Matins Service

Today is the Third Sunday of Great Lent, and we’ve reached the half-way point! May your Journey continue to be peaceful and fruitful.

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