Neither Eye Nor Ear

Image by 12019 from Pixabay

But as it is written: ‘Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love him’. But God has, through the Spirit, let us share his secret. For nothing is hidden from the Spirit, not even the deep wisdom of God. For who could really understand a man’s inmost thoughts except the spirit of the man himself? How much less could anyone understand the thoughts of God except the very Spirit of God? And the marvellous thing is this, that we now receive not the spirit of the world but the Spirit of God himself, so that we can actually understand something of God’s generosity towards us. ~ 1 Corinthians 2:9-12

May the Memory of Trees…

Rainbow Eucalyptus Trees in Lihu’e-Koloa’a Forest Reserve ~ Kauai 2023

Happy Saint’s Day matushka Nataliya! Congratulations, and may God grant you many years!

Casually, one day, she told us that every morning she was having a “little chat with her young tree”. Another time she said that if we got tired walking, we could stop near a tree and touch its trunk: “It will gladly give you some of the strength God gives it”… ~ Gerontissa Gavrilia

After many years I returned to Kauai, and stood once again in a wondrous, tropical Blisswood grove!

Stunning eucalyptus trees thrive in the Lihu’e Koloa’a Forest Reserve… and here, one may curiously discover how refreshing it is to touch those resplendent rainbow trunks.

As my gaze travelled skyward to the tree’s crowning branches, they seemed as graceful arms raised aloft in praise to Creation’s Planter.

Antiphonal Birdsong echoed throughout the forest arboretum. Delicate leaves attached to the trees’ twiggy fingers whispered to each other in the warm trade winds.

Some leaves were loosened, and as if seeming to accept that this was their time, fluttered down trustingly to the ground. A breeze quickly stirred them up again, and with apparent joyful abandon they tumbled away, end-over-end, deeper into the forest… a dance of affirmation and benediction.

I hope to carry this beautiful memory of God’s Creation in my soul, for a long, long, time.

These trees gladdened my heart. They gifted me anew with a peaceful, vibrant jewel of strength, to which I must carefully string yet one more gem of gratitude to the growing strand of a personal, noetic necklace which I sometimes forget to wear… or appreciate.

May we live in more awareness of the Divine Moment and Nature’s Numinous Wisdom – proving His Glorious Presence.

Let all the trees of the forest dance and sing, let all the trees clap their hands. ~ Sunday of the Cross

With Love in Christ.

Simplicity of Heart

Strolling through California Wildflowers ~ shared by Anastasia

Christ is Risen!

Today is also St. Basil of Ostrog’s Feast Day!

… You want to taste a moment of joy from God. What’s the secret here? Suppose you believe that, if you ask, you’ll receive the joy. ‘He can’t help but give it to me’. But He doesn’t. And you yourselves are the reason why. It’s not that God doesn’t want to give, but the secret is your own simplicity and gentleness. If you’re lacking in simplicity and you say: ‘I’ll do this and God will give me what I’m asking’, it won’t happen. Do everything simply, gently. Don’t do things with an eye on the outcome. Don’t say: ‘I’ll do this in order to get that result’. Just do it gently, without knowing you’re doing it. In other words, pray simply and don’t think about what God will give you in your soul. Don’t keep tabs. Don’t discuss it with yourself. When you say the Jesus Prayer, do so gently and simply and don’t think about anything else except the prayer. Let your heart be simple… let it be good… Everybody seeks a good and simple soul; they find solace in it; they approach it without fear, without suspicion. And that soul itself lives with inner peace, has good relations with other people and the rest of creation. ~ Saint Porphyrios of Kafsokalyvia

Love Christ and put nothing before His Love. He is Joy, He is Life, He is Light. Christ is Everything. He is the ultimate desire, He is everything. Everything Beautiful is in Christ. ~ St. Porphyrios

If you have the opportunity to read Wounded by Love: The Life and the Wisdom of Saint Porphyriosplease do, it’s amazing! The book is an anthology of his letters and writings.

Sharing this sweet old folk hymn on the beautiful Joys and Gifts of Simplicity

‘Tis the gift to be simple,
‘Tis the gift to be free,
‘Tis the gift to come down where we ought to be,
And when we find ourselves in the place just right,
‘Twill be in the valley of love and delight.
When true simplicity is gained,
To bow and to bend we will not be ashamed,
To turn, turn, will be our delight,
Till by turning, turning, we come ’round right.

Striving to seek the Lord in simplicity of heart…
With love in Christ.

Truly He is Risen!

Nothing is Hidden

Pink Rosé Dogwood Tree Blossoms

For nothing is hidden that will not be made manifest, nor is anything secret that will not be known and come to light. ~ Luke 8:17

The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit. ~ John 3:8

A few days ago, on the windy Post Feast, we took three (still amazingly fresh) floral Pentecost bouquets out to the cemetery.

The grassy gravesites were dotted with mantles of snow-white daisies and great golden dollops of buttercups. Purply-blue fields of floral confetti tangled with clover… and as quail, ravens and sparrows – scooted, soared and flitted nearby, the last line of the Creed came to mind: I look for the Resurrection of the dead, and the Life of the age to come. 

We stood where past, present and future are tightly entwined, for… He shall come again with glory, to judge the living and the dead; Whose Kingdom shall have no end…

Off to the side, and distracting my reverie, a pink dogwood tree’s blossomed boughs thrashed wildly to and fro in the gusty winds. Narrowing my eyes thoughtfully at it, I noted it was not at all like its more staid and demure counterpart… the white-flowered Pacific dogwood growing beside our church.

Once, during an Archbishop’s past parish visit and upon noticing the young dogwood sapling (official flower of BC, Canada) newly planted beside our church, he recounted how the dogwood tree had a long, Christian-themed history.

While some Biblical scholars assert Christ was crucified on a dogwood tree’s Cross, Orthodox Church tradition conveys that the Cross was made from three different types of wood: cedar, pine and cypress. Regardless, and depending on the country, dogwoods are often found planted on church grounds.

I’d like to share this unknown poet’s sweet poem called:

Legend of the Dogwood Tree

When Christ was on earth, the dogwood grew
To a towering size with a lovely hue.
Its branches were strong and interwoven
And for Christ’s cross its timbers were chosen
Being distressed at the use of the wood
Christ made a promise which still holds good:

“Not ever again shall the dogwood grow
To be large enough for a tree, and so
Slender and twisted it shall always be
With cross-shaped blossoms for all to see.
The petals shall have bloodstains marked brown
And in the blossom’s center a thorny crown.
All who see it will think of Me,
Nailed to a cross from a dogwood tree.
Protected and cherished this tree shall be
A reflection to all of My agony.”

Surprisingly, there are at least 60 species of Dogwood (Cornus) Trees, and they grow quite quickly. In Europe, Dogwood Trees were known as Whipple Trees. The origin of of the name Dogwood comes from the Scandinavian word dag meaning skewer, because the hardwood from this plant was traditionally used to make dags (daggers). Besides being used medicinally, it was used to fashion archery bows, and continues being used in woodworking today.

Dogwood flowers represent durability and ability to withstand various challenges in life. The white dogwood in particular, is symbolic of rebirth, purity and faith… Reminding us of Christ’s Holy Resurrection and the beginning of a new Life in Him.

I look for the Resurrection of the dead, and the Life of the age to come. 

The end part of the Creed reminds us death is not the end.

It’s a road we’ll all travel someday, and as Christians we look forward to beyond death, the resurrection of the dead, and life with God; Whose Kingdom shall have no end.

Which of course, is part of an even greater Mystery!

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