His Infinite, Unconditional, Love

Hanalei Church windows absorb and reflect the early evening’s Divine, Gladsome Light.

God is everywhere. There is no place God is not…You cry out to Him, ‘Where art Thou, my God?’ And He answers, “I am present, my child! I am always beside you.’ Both inside and outside, above and below, wherever you turn, everything shouts, ‘God!’ In Him we live and move. We breathe God, we eat God, we clothe ourselves with God. Everything praises and blesses God. All of creation shouts His praise. Everything animate and inanimate speaks wondrously and glorifies the Creator. Let every breath praise the Lord! ~ St. Joseph the Hesychast

We can only meet God in the present moment. This is an area where God chooses to place limits on His own power. We choose whether or not to live in the present moment. Because we can encounter God only in that present moment, whenever we live in the past or in the future, we place ourselves beyond His reach. ~ Archimandrite Meletios (Webber) 

I cannot reflect on what is past, because I live in the present moment… Yesterday does not exist. Tomorrow belongs to God, as yesterday did… So I keep quiet in God’s Eternal Present!... ….By living in yesterday we delay tomorrow’s march. We cannot live in the past which does not exist, and so give it existence it does not have… ~ St. Gavrilia (Gerontissa Gavrilia)

What has happened has happened, it is in the past. Just keep on going, all the while asking for help from God. ~ Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica

We slip.
We fall.
We pull ourselves up again.
We persevere.
We keep walking toward God.
We focus forward.
We don’t look back.

God is right here! Right now!

We are so blessed!

God loves us! Infinitely! Unconditionally!

He loves us SO much that He’s given us free will in every aspect of our life, and won’t interfere at all, unless we choose to ask Him in, and wrap ourselves in the Eternal Present of God.

May your path today be Divinely Inclusive, and imbued with His Illuminating Light!

With love in Christ.

Called to Be Saints

Image by Albrecht Fietz from Pixabay

Greetings on All Saints’ Day!

In the New Testament we are called to be saints, and the Orthodox Church gives the title of saint to those who throughout history, have lived and died in Christ.

While Canonized (Glorified) Saints have their own feast days, there are countless multitudes of saints who don’t have a feast day… and some of these are even nameless Saints – known only to God!

Since the 4th century in Eastern Christendom, on the first Sunday after Pentecost, the Church continues to commemorate All the Saints (both past/present, known/unknown)! As all are alive in Christ, the saints are our friends and alive in Heaven. They are venerated, but not worshipped.

Today is a joint celebration honouring the Holy Apostles who spread the Gospel to the four corners of the earth, as well as All the Saints who’ve shone forth great love of Christ… whether by living a God-pleasing, righteous life, or by receiving a martyric crown. 

[During the 8th century in Western Christendom, the Sunday of All Saints was transferred to the first Sunday in November – and even more recently was moved again to November 1st.]

Previous *All Saints’ Day* Blisswood Posts
God’s Garden ~ Posted June 14, 2020
Sunday of All Saints ~ Posted June 27, 2021
God Giveth the Increase ~ Posted June 19, 2022

Every one of us is the painter of his own life. Our soul is like the canvas, and the virtues are the paint. Jesus Christ is the image we should copy. ~ St. Gregory of Nyssa

To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ. ~ Romans 1:7

Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both their’s and our’s: ~ 1 Corinthians 1:2

We live together with them (the Saints in heaven), in the house of the Heavenly Father, only in different parts of it. We live in the earthly, they in the heavenly half; but we can converse with them, and they with us. ~ St. John of Kronstadt

In God and in His Church there is no division between the living and the departed, but all are one in the love of the Father. Whether we are alive or whether we are dead, as members of the Church we still belong to the same family, and still have a duty to bear one another’s burdens. Therefore just as Orthodox Christians here on earth pray for one another and ask for one another’s prayers, so they pray for the faithful departed and ask the faithful departed to pray for them. Death cannot sever the bond of mutual love which links the members of the Church together. ~ Metropolitan Kallistos Ware

May you have a blessed All Saints’ Feast Day!

Now is the Most Precious Time

Image by Sue Rickhuss from Pixabay

Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. ~ St. John 12:24

From this day, from this hour, from this minute, let us strive to love God above all, and fulfill His holy will. ~ St. Herman of Alaska

There’s a ponderous inscription over the entry gates of St. Paul’s monastery on Mt. Athos saying, If you die before you die, then you won’t die when you die.

We habitually assume there’ll be plenty of time later to tackle our lengthy spiritual to-do lists. But, in turn, each of us will be brought to stand before God and give account of our life. So now is the most precious time for efforts. Now never comes again. Lord, help us to live in Christ – now!

…behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.
~ 2 Corinthians 6:2

All Things Are Near to God

Image by Dimitris Vetsikas from Pixabay

Who teaches us more than the beasts of the earth and makes us wiser than the birds of the heavens? ~ Job 35:11

..surely we ought to show kindness and gentleness to animals for many reasons, and chiefly because they are of the same origin as ourselves.~  St. John Chrysostom

Man is not a being isolated from the rest of creation; by his very nature he is bound up with the whole of the universe… In his way to union with God, man in no way leaves creatures aside, but gathers together in his love the whole cosmos disordered by sin, that it may be transfigured by grace. ~ St. Maximus the Confessor

All things are near to God, says the Russian proverb. Truly everything is near: all spiritual, and sentient creatures, the Angels, the souls of the departed, all living men, all animals, all material worlds. The Spirit of God passes through all things, a reasoning pure, most refined Spirit, dwelling in every believing, pious soul. “The wild beasts of the field are in my sight (Psalm 1:11),” says He. “I am with you always, even unto the end of the world (St. Matthew 28:20).” As an infinite Spirit, to God nothing is far away, but all things are in Him. All things live and exist in Him.~  St. John of Kronstadt

In Every Test

Cave Monastery in Bulgaria – Image by falco from Pixabay

If we always see God in our minds, and always remember Him, everything will appear tolerable to us. ~ St. John Chrysostom

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. ~ Philippians 4:6

In preparing for an upcoming parish fundraiser, some plans had changed. Feeling a bit apprehensive, I sent off revisions with (what I hoped to be) an encouraging response to the flurry of emails, and with a heavy sigh, signed off, “Love in Christ, m Barbara.”

Or – so I thought.

Actually, I’d signed off saying, Live in Christ, m Barbara”.

A note to self. Yes! Live in Christ! Quit sighing!

Guardian Angel had gently reminded- Everything’s in God’s Hands – not mine.

And those pesky, anxious, tummy butterflies?

Vamoosed!

In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps. ~ Proverbs 16:9

Live in Christ!

m Barbara

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