Reverently & Peacefully

Golden Bamboo Grove, Kauai 2023

Photo Art Quote excerpt from the Morning Optina Elders’ Prayer. Full Prayer here.

Pray sincerely to the Heavenly Father; especially say the Lord’s Prayer, reverently, peacefully, not hurriedly: in general, read all the prayers quietly, evenly, with reverence, knowing before Whom you are saying them. ~ St. John of Kronstadt (My Life in Christ)

My Life in Christ is a wonderful book… bursting with practical and spiritual tidbits. One can pick it up at any time and read small portions. It’s like a great golden dollop of butter accompanying our Daily Bread. I highly recommend owning a copy of these spiritual yum yums!

May we all have good and mindful dealings with those who surround us today, whether in person – or thought! With love in Christ.

Kneading One Another

Wedding Bread Gift represents Marriage Crowns for Michael and Laura. May God grant them Many Years!

Garden Flowers Bouquet: Golden Celebration Rose, Spirea Bridal Wreath, and Lady’s Mantle which is affiliated with the Virgin Mary.

Wedding Prokeimenon sung in Eighth Tone:
Thou hast set upon their heads crowns of precious stones. They asked life of thee, and thou gavest it them. ~Psalm 21: 3-4

Greetings on the Beginning of the Apostles’ Fast!

The people of Israel called the bread manna. It was white like coriander seed and tasted like wafers made with honey. ~ Exodus 16:31
(God Can Fill Us)

And you shall set the bread of the Presence on the table before me regularly. ~ Exodus 25:30.

He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle, and herb for the service of man: that he may bring forth food out of the earth; And wine that maketh glad the heart of man, and oil to make his face to shine, and bread which strengtheneth man’s heart. ~ Psalm 104:14-15

Jesus answered, It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ ~ Matthew 4:4

Give us this day our daily bread. ~ Matthew 6:11

And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. ~ John 6:35

Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life. I am the bread of life.  Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh. ~ John 6:47-51

Therefore let us keep the Festival, not with the old bread leavened with malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. ~ 1 Cor. 5:8

May your Journey through the Apostle’s Fast be Peaceful and Fruitful!

A Little Leaven

Detail of Greeting Bread and Salt for the Archbishop – May 2019

Just as a little leaven, according to the Apostle’s words, is mixed with all the dough, so the body that was raised by God to immortality, once it is introduced into our body, wholly changes it and transforms it into his own substance. ~ St. Gregory of Nyssa

In His Garden

Candlelight Streams onto Flowers by the Most Holy Theotokos Icon

We have so many things to be thankful for! Our daily bread, health, family, friends, prayers and kindness from others, and all the so-called ordinary things mistakenly taken for granted – that aren’t ordinary at all.

Children seem more observant of blessings. A mother just shared something precious. Their family baked a Saint Basil’s Day Cake for the Feast yesterday, and her youngest received the special $2 coin hidden in the cake. The thoughtful child insisted the mother take the coin and find a way to give it to the homeless. The child said, “I have everyfing, and some don’t have nuffin’!”

Everything is God’s and we are His guests… although sometimes we feel that everything belongs to us. We become used to His many blessings and blindly expect that all good things are a given.

Nothing stays the same. Everything changes… Except God.

Let’s make efforts to be considerate houseguests appreciating our Divine Host’s Bountiful Blessings.

For, when we’re out in nature, or in church, or going about our daily lives, we are in His Garden, surrounded by the Beauteous Art of Creation.

With opened eyes, we glimpse it… everywhere.

For as long as you are on earth, consider yourself a guest in the Household of Christ. If you are at the table, it is He who treats you. If you breathe air, it is His air you breathe. If you bathe, it is in His water you are bathing. If you are traveling, it is over His land that you are traveling. If you are amassing goods, it is His goods you are amassing. If you are squandering, it is His goods that you are squandering. If you are powerful, it is by His permission that you are strong. If you are in the company of men, you and the others are His guests. If you are out in nature, you are in His garden. If you are alone, He is present. If you set out or turn anywhere, He sees you. If you do anything, He remembers. He is the most considerate Householder by Whom you were ever hosted. Be careful then toward Him. In a good household, the guest is required to behave. These are all simple words but they convey to you a great truth. All the saints knew this truth and they governed their lives by it. That is why the Eternal Householder rewarded them with eternal life in heaven and glory on earth. ~St. Nikolai Velimirovich

Multiplier of Wheat

The Multiplier of Wheat Icon of the Mother of God

(Also translated as She Who Ripens the Grain)

We are grateful to have this special icon in our home. My husband is a baker, and we delight in harvesting herbs and vegetables from our kitchen garden.

The Most Holy Theotokos intercedes for harvests, seasonable weather, and lifting of droughts. She is the Benefactress of farmers, gardeners, and others who work the soil for their daily bread.

The Mother of God is a helper for people in their labours for the acquiring of their daily bread… Hail, Full of Grace, the Lord is with You! Grant unto us unworthy ones the dew of Your grace and the showing forth of Your mercy! ~ St. Ambrose of Optina

Salutations to you forever, Virgin Mother of God, our unceasing joy, for to you do I turn again… You are the beginning of our feast; you are its middle and end; the pearl of great price that belongs to the kingdom; … the living altar of the Bread of Life (Jesus)… ~ St. Methodius

The Teacher of children became Himself a Child among children, that He might instruct the unwise. The Bread of heaven came down to earth to feed the hungry. ~ St. Cyril of Jerusalem

Give us this day, our daily bread. ~ St. Matthew 6:11

For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread. ~ 1 Corinthians 10:17

Our Lord says: I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world. ~ John 6:51

Our Lord Jesus Christ said: 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

The Most Holy Mother of God prays for us ceaselessly. She is always visiting us. Whenever we turn to her in our heart, she is there. After the Lord, she is the greatest protection for mankind. ~ Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica

O Most Holy Theotokos, nourish and pray for us, that we may worthily become God’s wheat!

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