St. Nicholas Day Greetings!

Happy, happy, St. Nicholas Day!

Our dear, Holy Father, St. Nicholas the Wonderworker and Archbishop of Myra and Lycia, was born circa 270 AD, and reposed around 343 AD.

He is the patron saint of travellers, children, orphans, widows, sailors, bankers, pawnbrokers, and victims of judicial mistakes.

Troparia to St. Nicholas (Tone 4): The truth of things revealed thee to thy flock, as a rule of faith, a model of meekness, and a teacher of abstinence, wherefore thou hast attained the heights through humility, and riches through poverty. O hierarch Nicholas our father, entreat Christ God that our souls be saved.

Kontakion to St. Nicholas (Tone 3): In Myra thou wast shown to be a performer of the sacred mysteries, O holy one, for, fulfilling the Gospel of Christ, thou didst lay down thy life for thy people, O venerable one, and didst save the innocent from death. Wherefore, thou hast been sanctified as a great initiate of the grace of God.

There is a lovely children’s tradition associated with the evening before St. Nicholas Day. Children leave their shoes outside their front door, and during the night, they’re filled with small gifts. (Canadian $1 “Loonies” make excellent “gold” coinage!)

Above’s a short St. Nicholas Children’s Carol, sung (a few years ago) after Liturgy by my GG’s (grand-girls) in front of the St. Nicholas icon, before heading home to tuck into a delicious slice of our family’s traditional St. Nicholas Day Pie!

Today’s not only St. Nicholas day, but we’re now also halfway through our Advent journey to Nativity! We’re on the home-stretch!

To this very day, St. Nicholas continues to help and protect us from misfortunes. He’s very close and attentive to the poor and destitute. St. Nicholas is only a prayer away.

Some more Modern Miracles of St. Nicholas.

St. Nicholas helps those who believe, to affirm their faith, and those who do not yet know God, to kindle in them the flame of faith... As the Lord makes the sun to shine upon all, whether good or evil, and the rain to fall upon all, and calls everyone to salvation and knowledge of the truth, so St. Nicholas does good deeds for those who do not know the true God in the hope that they will understand and turn to the Creator. ~ Metropolitan Onuphry of Ukraine

Wishing you a most blessed, bright, and happy feast day!

Perhaps, when next encountering someone needy, we may remember this wonderful Saint, and give alms.

If one doesn’t have money on themselves, then share a warm smile, or a kind greeting… as these are precious Gifts of Hope and Love.

As Earthen Vessels

Image by Dimitris Vetsikas from Pixabay

But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. ~ 2 Corinthians 4:7

We are all containers; sometimes of the Light, sometimes of the Dark. ~ Gerontissa Gabrielia

Sprigs of Prayer

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

Cascades of Blessings

Image by falco from Pixabay

The Lord loves us so dearly that it passes all description. Through the Holy Spirit alone can the soul know His love, of which she is inexpressibly aware. The Lord is all goodness and mercy. He is meek and gentle, and we have no words to tell of His goodness; but the soul without words feels this love and would remain wrapped in its quiet tranquility forever. ~ St. Silouan the Athonite

Do not say, ‘This happened by chance, while this came to be of itself.’ In all that exists there is nothing disorderly, nothing indefinite, nothing without purpose, nothing by chance… How many hairs are on your head? God will not forget one of them. Do you see how nothing, even the smallest thing, escapes the gaze of God? ~ St. Basil the Great

That green leaf on the tree which you needlessly plucked – it was not wrong, only rather a pity for the little leaf. The heart that has learned to love feels sorry for every created thing. ~ St. Silouan the Athonite

Wishing you Peace and Joy!

Peace Starts With Each of Us

A bouquet of garden flowers await in a basket on the Eve of Pascha.

Christ is Risen!

You must strive to have peace in your homes. Peace starts with each one of us. When we have peace in us, we spread it around to others. You can see for yourself that there are very few humble and meek souls on the earth – but also that they are truly blessed. ~ Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica (Our Thoughts Determine Our Lives)

Truly He is Risen!

As Innocent Children

On Holy Saturday morning, two lone Cherry Blossoms fell from the tall Church vase and clung tenaciously to the Gospel sitting on the Winding Sheet. Reflections from the overhead flowers are seen on the side of the Gospel. May we be as those two unwavering blossoms, and cling to the Good News of God’s Word!

Christ is Risen!

When He came to dwell among us, he showed us the way to live: simply, humbly, and meekly. We should approach Him just as He created us – as innocent children. ~ Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica (Our Thoughts Determine Our Lives)

Truly He is Risen!

These Treasures

Purple Heath (Heather) and Snowdrops (Candlemas Bells, Fair Maids of February) Dot the Neighbourhood

The only requirements of our soul are righteousness, holiness, truth, love, mercy, meekness, peace, spiritual freedom, or the grace of God in the heart. These treasures give life to our whole being, and are eternal. ~ St. John of Kronstadt (My Life in Christ)

Silence is a Mystery

The highest form of prayer is to stand silently, in awe before God. ~ St. Isaac the Syrian

Words are instruments of this world, but silence is a mystery of the age to come. ~ St. Isaac the Syrian

Very desirable is the prayer of the heart. Very desirable is the silence of the heart. ~ St. Ignatius Brianchaninov 

Spiritual Friendship

Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! ~ Psalm 133:1

The righteous choose their friends carefully… ~ Proverbs 12:26

Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm. ~ Proverbs 13:20

Ointment and perfume rejoice the heart: so doth the sweetness of a man’s friend by hearty counsel. ~Proverbs 27:9

This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you. ~ St. John 15:12-15

Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another… ~ Romans 12:10

And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins. Use hospitality one to another without grudging. As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. ~ 1 Peter 4:8-10

Though you should name infinite treasures, none of them is comparable to a genuine friend. And first let us speak of the great delight of friendship itself. A friend rejoices at seeing his friend, and his heart expands with joy. He is tied to him with an union of soul that affords unspeakable pleasure. I speak of genuine friends, men of one soul, who would even die for each other, who love each other fervently. ~ St. John Chrysostom

Eating and drinking don’t make friendships – such friendship even robbers and murderers have. But if we are friends, if we truly care for one another, let us help one another spiritually. . . Let us hinder those things that lead our friends away to hell. ~ St. John Chrysostom

It would be better for the sun to be extinguished than that we should be deprived of friends. Better to live in darkness than to be without friends. ~ St. John Chrysostom

A true friend is one who in times of trial, calmly imperturbably suffers with his neighbour the ensuing afflictions, privations and disasters as if they were his own. ~ St. Maximus the Confessor

A faithful friend is a strong defense; for when things are going well with you, he is a good counselor and a sympathetic collaborator, while when things are going badly, he is the truest of helpers and a most compassionate supporter. ~ St. Maximus the Confessor

Strive by every means constantly to rejoice the Heavenly Father by your life; that is, by your meekness, humility, gentleness, obedience, abstinence, right judgment, love of peace, patience, mercy, sincere friendship with worthy people, kindness to everybody, cordial hospitality, universal benevolence, accuracy in business, simplicity of heart and character, and by the purity of all your thoughts. ~ St. John of Kronstadt

Put on Love

Christ is Risen!

The Greek word for charity (love) is agape, and caritas in Latin. Charity is not just giving alms (impersonally) to the needy. Charitable love is possible only by uniting our own love of God with others, as Christ commanded. 

A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. ~St. John 13:34

If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love. These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. ~ St. John 15:10-12

And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity. ~ 1 Corinthians 13:13

With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. ~ Ephesians 4:2-3

And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. ~ Colossians 3:14

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. ~1 John 4:7-8

As the memory of fire does not warm the body, so faith without love does not bring about the illumination of knowledge in the soul.  ~ St. Maximus the Confessor

Love of God loves always to give wings to the mind to speak of God and Divine things; and love of neighbour disposes it always to think well of him.  ~ St. Maximus the Confessor

Love is a bomb the destroys all evil. ~ Gerontissa Gavrielia

If the face of a loved one clearly and completely changes us, and makes us cheerful, gay and carefree, what will the Face of the Lord do when He makes His Presence felt invisibly in a pure soul?  ~ St. John Climacus

God is love. So he who wishes to define this tries with bleary eyes to measure the sand in the ocean.  ~ St. John Climacus

Patience, forgiveness and joy are the three greatest characteristics of divine love. They are characteristics of all real love – if there is such a thing as real love outside divine love. Without these three characteristics, love is not love. If you give the name ‘love’ to anything else, it is as though you were giving the name ‘sheep’ to a goat or a pig.  ~ St. Nikolai Velimirovic

Truly, He is Risen!

error: Content is protected !!