Perceiving Divine Simplicity

Boulevard Snowdrop Flowers Signal the Nascence of Spring

Love all creation, the whole of it and every grain of sand within it. Love every leaf, every ray of God’s light. Love the animals, love the plants, love everything. If you love everything, you will perceive the divine mystery in things. ~ Staretz Zosima; The Brothers Karamazov – by Fyodor Dostoevsky

…See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labour or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. ~ St. Matthew 6:28-29

All created things are marked with the seal of the Trinity... The contemplation of nature has two correlative aspects. First, it means appreciating the “thusness” or “thisness” of particular things, persons and moments. We are to see each stone, each leaf, each blade of grass, each frog, each human face, for what it truly is, in all the distinctness and intensity of its specific being. As the prophet Zechariah warns us, we are not to “despise the day of small things” (4:10). “True mysticism”, says Olivier Clément, “is to discover the extraordinary in the ordinary.” ~ Metropolitan  Kallistos Ware; The Orthodox Way

Even during a simple walk, it’s a mystery how easily the Great can be seen in the Small. Whether it be stoic flowers bursting through cement cracks, or a cheery family of four snowdrops, popping up like unexpected company – on a grassy boulevard.

God’s beautiful gift of nature is all around us.

All we have to do is to see what we’re looking at.

Happy Saint’s Day Zoe! God grant you many years!

Happy St. Bríghde Day!

Image by Jonas from Pixabay


Greetings! Happy St. Bríghde of Ireland’s Feast Day!

St. Bríghde is pronounced Breejya, in Gaelic. She is also known as St. Brigid or St. Bridget.

I saw a stranger yestereen;
I put food in the eating place,
drink in the drinking place,
music in the listening place,
and in the name of the Triune
he blessed myself and my house,
my cattle and my dear ones,
and the lark said in her song:
Often, often, often,
goes the Christ in the stranger’s guise…
often, often, often,
goes Christ in the stranger’s guise.

~ Irish Rune of St. Brigid’s Hospitality

Besides, founding a famous monastery that blessed and bettered her country, 5th century St. Brigid was instrumental in implementing educational, and artistic centres, enhancing her community through charity, hospitality and medical support.

With her great faith and pure heart, she humbly performed miracles, perceiving Christ in all.

St. Brigid continues to intercede for us, whenever we reach out to her as a heavenly friend. She is the patroness of dairy workers, infants, midwives, blacksmiths, poets, nuns, and students.

Let us praise St. Brigid, and emulate her in seeing Christ in others!

How to make St. Brigid Day green rush crosses… Instructions found on St. Sophia website via The Ark #8 (Youth Quarterly) on pages 25-27. 

Today is also St. Valentine the Presbyter’s Feast Day! (also celebrated on July 6th in the Eastern Church) ❤️

Tomorrow is one of the Great Twelve Feasts of our Lord – The Meeting of the Lord in the Temple.

Snowdrop Flowers also known as Candlemas Bells, are associated with this ancient Feast Day!

I composed my own (very rustic) simple folk-hymn of praise, honouring St. Brigid of Ireland, and set it to the tune of an ancient Irish melody of unknown origin, as heard below – accompanied by ukulele.

☘️


Holy St. Brigid, pray to God for us!

Blessings of Beauty

Collage of leaves and petals from last night’s storm, congregate in a corner outside my front door.

Blessed is God who uses corporeal objects continually to draw us close in a symbolic way to a knowledge of God’s invisible nature. O name of Jesus, key to all gifts, open up for me the great door to your treasure-house, that I may enter and praise you with the praise that comes from the heart. ~ St. Isaac of Syria

The blessings of beauty… It’s here. It’s there. It’s everywhere, and simply seen when we open the physical or spiritual eyes of our hearts.

This morning, I literally opened my front door to a windswept blessing of beauty by He Who walketh upon the wings of the wind.

Thank you, sweetest Jesus – for giving me this splendid morning!

Congratulations dear Anastasia, on your Saint’s Day! May God grant you many years!

May we all see the brightest blessings of Beauty today! It’s everywhere present – and sometimes found in the least likely of places!

A Prayer For Peace on this Remembrance Day

Lord, have mercy!

Cleansing the Door of Our Perceptions

Image by Dimitris Vetsikas from Pixabay

Christ is Risen!

“Let us go forth in peace” is the last commandment of the Liturgy. What does it mean? It means, surely, that the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy is not an end but a beginning. Those words, “Let us go forth in peace,” are not merely a comforting epilogue. They are a call to serve and bear witness. In effect, those words, “Let us go forth in peace,” mean the Liturgy is over, the liturgy after the Liturgy is about to begin. This, then, is the aim of the Liturgy: that we should return to the world with the doors of our perceptions cleansed. We should return to the world after the Liturgy, seeing Christ in every human person, especially in those who suffer. In the words of Father Alexander Schmemann, the Christian is the one who wherever he or she looks, everywhere sees Christ and rejoices in him. We are to go out, then, from the Liturgy and see Christ everywhere. ~ Metropolitan Kallistos Ware of Diokleia

What does God want me to do? …The answer: God is not interested in where you are or what you do… He is interested only in the quality and quantity of the love you give. Nothing else. Nothing else. ~ Mother Gabrielia

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, 78th Letter

The Whys and Hows

Icon of our Lord God and Saviour Jesus Christ

Christ is Risen! Greetings on Thomas Sunday!

Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed. ~St. John 20:29

I do love hearing that passage and the Lord Himself saying with timeless inclusiveness… blessed are those who have believed without seeing! He’s also referring to us! Right now!

Today, weather permitting, our parish will visit two cemeteries after Liturgy, and the priest will bless the graves of parishioners who’ve fallen asleep in the Lord. These Radonitsa Prayers are short, beautiful, and concluded with the Bright and Joyous singing of Paschal hymns at each grave site.

Another sweet consolation…

After our death, when we come face to face with Christ, we will understand the why and how of our lives and we will be told everything we went through in this world. Then, with all the power of our existence, we will say to Him, “Thank you my God, for allowing these for me!” ~ St. Paisios the Athonite

Truly He is Risen!

The Lifting Fog

Morning fog, on local beach – photo shared by Katherine

Keep looking up! Blue skies and Sunshine are above all those clouds!

For thou wilt light my candle: the Lord my God will enlighten my darkness. ~ Psalm 18:28

For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: ~ Ephesians 5:8

I have passed my life ever in night, for the night of sin has been to me thick fog and darkness; but make me, O Saviour, a son of the day. ~ The Great Canon of St. Andrew of Crete

Pray in peace and serenity, sing intelligently and in a good state – and you will be like a young eagle soaring high in the sky. ~ St. Nilus of Mt Sinai (The Philokalia)

Afflictions for God’s sake are dearer to Him than any prayer or sacrifice. ~ St. Issac the Syrian (Homily 58)

…Look at the sky as often as possible and your thoughts will become light and clear. Be quiet a lot, speak little – and silence will come in your heart, and your spirit will be calm and full of peace. ~ St. Seraphim of Sarov

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. ~ St. John 1:5

For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face… ~ 1 Corinthians 13:12

Walking By Faith

An Ancient Pebble-Mosaic Church Walkway, Greece ~ 2004

Today is the Synaxis of the Archangel Michael and the other Bodiless Powers: the Archangels Gabriel, Raphael, Uriel, Salaphiel, Jegudiel, Barachiel, and Jeremiel.

For thy lovingkindness is before mine eyes: and I have walked in thy truth. ~ Psalm 26:3

We took sweet counsel together, and walked unto the house of God in company. ~ Psalm 55:14

For the Lord God is a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly. ~ Psalm 84:11

Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound: they shall walk, O Lord, in the light of thy countenance. ~ Psalm 89:15

Cause me to hear thy lovingkindness in the morning; for in thee do I trust: cause me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto thee. ~ Psalm 143:8

Let your heart therefore be perfect with the Lord our God, to walk in his statutes, and to keep his commandments, as at this day. ~ 1 Kings 8:61

Can two walk together, except they be agreed? ~ Amos 3:3

Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk. ~ St. John 5:8

For we walk by faith, not by sight: ~ 2 Corinthians 5:7

If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. ~ Galatians 5:25

As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: ~ Colossians 2:6

Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time.~ Colossians 4:5

That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory. ~ 1 Thessalonians 2:12

Let Him Write

Interior archway with ancient frescoes St. Demetrios Church Thessaloniki, Greece – 2006

Let God intervene between you and your purpose, instead of letting your purpose intervene between God and you… Every morning, open a new page, and put your signature on the blank. Whatever God wills, let Him write. ~ Gerontissa Gavrielia

Believing IS Seeing

For with thee is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light. ~ Psalm 36:9

In a world where seeing is believing, it is through Faith we understand that believing is seeing.

Faith opens our spiritual eyes and ears. With awe and reverence, Faith is the beginning of wisdom, and it often comes before a miracle.

After the Resurrection of Christ, the (doubting) Apostle Thomas, absent at Christ’s previous visit to the other Apostles said, “Except I see in his hands the prints of the nails… I will not believe.” When Jesus came again, He invites Thomas to “reach hither and touch” and reproaches Thomas, “be not faithless, but believing.” (John 20:27)

My favourite part comes next. It’s powerful. It surpasses time. It’s a direct consolation from Christ to us, right here and right now… in today’s world, where seeing is believing.

Jesus blesses those who believe before they see: “blessed art they that have not seen, and yet have believed.” (John 20:29)

“I believe in Christianity as I believe that the Sun has risen, not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.” ~ C. S. Lewis

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