Follow the Sun

Overshadowed by a massive tree, glimpses of Light dapple marigolds growing below. Throughout the course of the day, they determinedly turn their heads to follow the sun, nonetheless.

…I am with you and no one can be against you! ~ Ascension Kontakion

Turn your face toward light, O child of light. The Father of Light calls you with a fiery Love. ~ St. Nikolai Velimirovic

O Lord Jesus Christ! You are my medicine when I am sick; You are my strength when I need help; You are Life itself when I fear death; You are Light when all is dark. ~ St. Ambrose of Milan

None of us are immune to the squalls and storms of life. Each of us have our own personal, physical, mental, and spiritual health battles to contend with.

Many people experience (including myself), that the healing strength of tears, along with the application of Faith and therapeutic practicalities of proper medicine, can heal, can shrink the root(s) of our problems, thus adjusting the sizes of (all the) crosses we’re struggling to bear.

That’s all part of it, but it’s done together with faith; it’s done together with prayer to God. They’re not opposed to each other; they go together... But all the time, nevertheless, we believe that our life is in the hands of God. It can be in the hands of physicians that God had created, God had formed, and God has sent to us for the sake of our healing... ~ Fr. Thomas Hopko

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. ~ St. Matthew 11:28-30

The Gladsome Light of Christ surrounds us – regardless of the swirling changes in spiritual weather! Keep looking UP with our heart’s eyes, and remember to breathe in the heavenly air…

Follow the Son above those clouds – for Christ has Ascended to the right Hand of the Father.

May we consciously let go of our banes to embrace all blessings and help, by glorifying Him… in Light and Love!

Wishing you a Blessed Afterfeast of the Ascension!

Below is a lovely, simple, uplifting secular song, one of my favourites. Hope you enjoy it too. One could interchange thoughts on some of the words Sun for Son, as in Sonshine…

Reflecting the Sun of Righteousness

Image by Jessica Joh from Pixabay

We are mirrors whose brightness is wholly derived from the sun that shines upon us. ~ C. S. Lewis

Thoughts. Actions. Affect.
Are we givers – or takers
of all Light’s spectrum?
Let us make haste to
be robed in Healing Sonshine
Everywhere present –
Impetus for growth –
Opening our heart’s eyes to
Reflect His Bright Gift!

Only by absorbing His Light can we reflect His Light. Everything we do matters. Every moment, every decision we make affects ourselves, our families, friends, our coworkers in countless… and often imperceptive ways. We are responsible for flavouring each situation. If we can find joy in the smallest of things, we can choose to be joyful, and be as light, reflecting the Light, even in the midst of turmoil.

May we all choose to be swathed today within our Lord’s warm, redeeming Sonshine! May we joyfully reflect His Refulgent Light! Amen!

Happy Saint’s Day Juliana! May God grant you many years! Saint’s Day Cake baked by Anysia.

Shiloach

Image by Jaesung An from Pixabay

Christ is Risen!

Greetings on the Sunday of the Blindman!

Today we remember the Blindman being sent by Christ, to wash in the Pool of Siloam, the ancient and only perennial spring in Jerusalem.

Siloam comes from the Hebrew word shiloach, literally sending forth.”

As you stand in Church during the Liturgy, do you realize that there are countless angels present? What would happen if you could see them? What would you do if you saw tongues of fire descend upon the Holy Gifts when the priest called down the Holy Spirit to change the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ? Or if, when you approached the altar for Holy Communion, you actually saw the Body and Blood of our Lord not as bread and wine, but as His visible Body and Blood? Do you think you could receive Communion and ten minutes later find your mind wandering to the clothes someone was wearing? ~ Fr. Deacon Vladimir Anderson (Living Awe-fully)

May our spiritual eyes be Illumined, healed, and cleansed anew… within the Siloam of our Hearts! (a poem)

TRULY HE 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.

More Precious Than…

… A five minute prayer with all your body aching is more precious than a prayer lasting the whole night in bodily comfort. ~ Elder Sophrony (Sakharov) [of Essex, England]


5 Minutes – With English Subtitles

Broken Glass

These empty ceramic vessels were used to obtain certain colours in the molten silica and glass mixtures at the Orsoni Mosaic Studio Venice, Italy. – 2009

We are like broken glass that reflects reality in small fragments until the power of God makes us whole again. ~ Elder Thaddeus

Holy Unmercenaries & Physicians

A late-blooming November Passion Flower rests on an Icon depicting (some of) the Holy Unmercenaries and Wonder-Workers.

It’s a blessing how everyone has access to the saints – which, of course include the Holy Unmercenaries! Over the ages, and through their heavenly intercessions, countless people have been healed by God.

We are also very blessed to have the earthly aid of medical professionals! What a special calling it is to do what they do! On both sides of my family there have been doctors and nurses, and as they tended to the needs of others, I’ve seen how much they loved their work.

During recent personal observation of other dedicated specialists and doctors, I’ve had a renewed, and deeper appreciation of how God guides the medical profession.

It’s a joy to see these amazing people who especially shine their brightest during exhausting, trying times of overwork and short staffing… to save and make such positive differences in people’s lives. May God reward all their efforts!

The Lord created medicines from the earth, and a sensible person will not hesitate to use them. Didn’t a tree once make bitter water fit to drink, so that the Lord’s power might be known? He gave medical knowledge to human beings, so that we would praise him for the miracles he performs. The druggist mixes these medicines, and the doctor will use them to cure diseases and ease pain. There is no end to the activities of the Lord, who gives health to the people of the world. ~ Wisdom of Sirach 38:4-8

Having placed all their hope in the heavens, the saints laid up for themselves a treasure which cannot be stolen away; they freely received, and freely give healing to the infirm. Following the Gospel, they acquired neither silver nor gold, but bestowed benefactions upon both men and beasts, that, obedient to Christ, they might pray with boldness in behalf of our souls… Boundless is the grace of the saints, which they have received from Christ. Wherefore, their relics continually work miracles by the power of God, and their names, when invoked with faith, heal incurable illnesses. Through them, O Lord, free us also from the passions of soul and body, in that Thou lovest mankind... – Ever having Christ working within you, O holy unmercenaries, ye work wonders in the world and heal the sick. For your healing is an inexhaustible wellspring: drawn from, it floweth in abundance; and poured out, it gusheth forth, flowing every day in great quantity, granting healing to all, yet remaineth undrained. And those who draw forth from it are filled with healing, yet it remaineth full… Curers of incurable sufferings who heal all and have received this gift from Christ the Saviour, Who granteth great mercy unto us. ~ From the Services to Holy Physicians

Prayer for Help and Healing (shared by a friend – from their priest):

O Lord, Thou lovest (name) more than I do,
And Thou canst help (name) better than I,
And Thou knowest better than I what is profitable for (him)(her).
So do for (name) what is best- only save (him)(her)
.

Another Prayer for the Sick.

The Sting of Thorns

Field of Thistles Overlooking Local Mountain Inlet

For each tree is known by its own fruit. For figs are not gathered from thornbushes, nor are grapes picked from a bramble bush. ~ St. Luke 6:44

From a distance, nettles may seem fresh and green, but up close we see they’re ugly and tangled. The thorns in our lives can either be difficult people or painful circumstances.

Christ said to St. Paul, My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. (2 Cor. 12:9)

When the stinging thorns of life claw or scratch at us, God always responds to our prayers – and according to our salvation… with the healing balm of grace.

Fragility is given strength to endure prickly situations, and we are guided to do what’s right.

May we not become as thorns ourselves… in the lives of others.

 

In His Time

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace. He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end. ~ Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8; 11

Pray for One Another

And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. ~Ephesians 6:18

Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. ~ James 5:16

As bread is food for the body and virtue is food for the soul, so spiritual prayer is food for the mind. ~ St. Nilus of Mt. Sinai

No one can heal my disease except He Who knows the depths of the heart. ~ St. Ephraim the Syrian

If you do not feel like praying, you have to force yourself. The Holy Fathers say that prayer with force is higher than prayer unforced. You do not want to, but force yourself. The Kingdom of Heaven is taken by force (Matt. 11:12). ~ St. Ambrose of Optina

Abba Macarius was asked, ‘How should one pray?’ The old man said, ‘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

For what is prayer? Prayer is the raising of the mind and heart to God- for praise and thanksgiving and beseeching Him for the good things necessary for soul and body. The essence of prayer, then is the mental ascent to God from the heart. The mind stands in the heart consciously before the face of God and, filled with proper and necessary reverence, it begins to pour out its heart before Him. This is prayer of the heart! ~ St. Theophan the Recluse

If you feel sweetness or compunction at some word of your prayer, dwell on it; for then our guardian angel is praying with us. ~ St. John Climacus

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