Christ is Our Peace

Christ is Born!

Christ is our peace… ~ Ephesians 2:14

Peace has a Heavenly Perfume

All anxiety disappears. This is the aim of the Orthodox way of life… To put God first and seek the Holy Spirit. The anxieties of modern life are only symptoms of our separation from God. ~St. Paisios the Athonite

Whatever gentleness you use in speaking with others, that very same gentleness will Christ use with you. ~ St. Joseph the Hesychast

This life is nothing but to prepare for the Eternal life. If eternal life is a whole ocean, this life is a drop of the ocean, but on this drop, depends our eternal life. ~ Elder Dositheos

Svetitskhoveli Cathedral in Georgia – shared by Garret

Greetings on the upcoming Feast of St. Basil’s Day tomorrow!

As we celebrate St. Basil the Great’s Day and attend that liturgy, we also remember his many miracles, and perhaps bake the very special and traditional – “Vasilopita” Cake, which commemorates one of his miracles in particular.

Words are truly the image of the soul. The time for prayer is one’s whole life. ~ St. Basil the Great

Congratulations on your Saint’s Day today Melania! (Dec. 31/Jan. 13) God grant you many years!

St. Melania (service); Monastery on Mull, Scotland

May your day be filled with God’s plentiful Blessings, and with His Peace from Above – which surpasses all understanding!

Glorify Him!

Then Will Come the 2nd Feast!

Detail of Parish Mosaic Icon – St. Bail the Great

…that will be St. Basil’s Feast; rejoice!

One of my favourite quotes from St. Basil the Great ~ A tree is known by its fruit; a man by his deeds. A good deed is never lost; he who sows courtesy reaps friendship, and he who plants kindness gathers love.

May we all plant a Perennial Crop of Kindness and Share the Harvest from the Garden of God’s Love!

Happy St. Basil’s Day – January 14/1

Greetings on the Feast – with St. Basil the Great Quotes

St. Basil’s Day Cake Recipe

Sharing our parish choir’s (a cappella) 2014 recording of the Christmastide Carol – We Wish You Good Evening. We sing of the coming 3 feasts! Holy Nativity, St. Basil the Great’s Day, and Holy Theophany.

O rejoice all the world, the Son of God is born!

Past Nativity Posts’ Resource

Church Bells in Ayia Napa, Cypress – Image by Dimitris Vetsikas from Pixabay

May the Light of Bethlehem’s Star illuminate and warm our hearts on this coming Bright Feast of Christ’s Holy Nativity!

National Public Radio NPR Broadcast with Blisswood on Orthodox Christmas Published January 6, 2023

Our Little Nativity Creche Published by issuu magazine 2022

Re-Gift Boomerang Published by issuu magazine 2022

Christ is Born! Posted January 6, 2022

Christ is Born! Glorify Him! Posted January 7, 2021

Happy 2nd Day of Christmas Posted January 8, 2022

Happy 3rd Day of Christmas Posted January 9, 2022

4th Day of Nativity Posted January 10, 2022

5th Day of Nativity – the Holy Innocents Posted January 11, 2022

6th Day of Nativity Posted January 12, 2022

Apodosis of Nativity Posted January 13, 2022

St. Basil’s Feast Day Posted January 14, 2022

St. Basil’s Day Cake Recipe Posted January 14, 2021

Greetings on St. Basil’s Day Posted January 14, 2021

Holy Theophany Posted January 19, 2022

St. Sophia Voices of Faith Hope and Love – Youth Choir Virtual Nativity Concert 2020

St. Sophia Voices of Faith Hope and Love – Youth Choir Virtual Nativity Tropar 2020

St. Sophia Adult Choir Sing the 16th Century Coventry Carol – 2014 Concert (In Honour of the Holy Innocents)

It’s Nativity Poem/Song

Little Pine Tree Poem/Song

The Holly Poem

The Candy Cane Poem/Song

St. Sophia Adult Choir Sing Little Pine Tree – 2014 Concert

Prayerfully wishing you God’s Blessings of good health, strength of spirit, and peaceful joy!

With Love in Christ.

From the Depths of the Heart

St. Basil the Great’s Monastery Church, carved into soft, volcanic, Cappadocian rock. Goreme, Turkey – 2004

Love of God is not something that can be taught. We did not learn from someone else how to rejoice in light or want to live, or to love our parents or guardians. It is the same – perhaps even more so – with our love for God: it does not come by another’s teaching. ~ St. Basil the Great

Preserve gratitude like a precious deposit within your soul, and from it you will receive a double portion of delight. Remember the apostolic word, “Give thanks in all circumstances.” ~ St. Basil the Great

The radiance of divine beauty is altogether beyond the power of words to describe. ~ St. Basil the Great

A dear friend shared this beautiful, numinous, prayer: “Speaking with God from the Depths of the Heart” by St. Gregory of Narek (951-1003 AD); it’s beyond the power of words to describe.

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

St. Basil’s Feast Day

St. Basil the Great’s Monastery, carved in soft, volcanic, Cappadocian, rock. Goreme – 2004

Happy St. Basil’s Day!

Born in 329 AD, his Heavenly Birthday is January 14/1 in the year 379 AD.

…the time for prayer is one’s whole life. ~ St. Basil the Great

St. Basil the Great’s 4th century monastic vision inspired the building of numerous church communities throughout the ancient region over the next five and a half centuries. The rock churches provided the bonus of cool respite amid the surrounding hot, dry, landscape.

Below is a festive Vasilopita – a St. Basil’s Day Cake, which commemorates a certain miracle of St. Basil the Great. My husband baked the celebratory cake using this traditional recipe.

The caramelized sugar and chopped almonds topping the festive cake are reminiscent of the sandy, rocky, Cappadocian countryside landscape.

Cutting the Cake: At home, after the Divine Liturgy, the cake is loosely covered with a napkin, and the sign of the cross is made. The undercover cutting commences, so nobody can see where the secret coin might be. The slices are distributed in this order: First piece cut is in honour of Christ, the second is cut in honour of the Virgin Mary, and the third is cut for St. Basil. These three pieces are saved and given the same day to the elderly, or the poor. The next pieces are cut for the most senior member of the household down to the youngest member. Whoever finds the coin in their piece of cake puts it toward something special!

Preserve gratitude like a precious deposit within your soul, and from it you will receive a double portion of delight. Remember the apostolic word, “Give thanks in all circumstances.” ~ St. Basil the Great

Lovely St. Basil’s Day & New Year Greek Carol – Duet

Old sheet music of St. Basil’s Day & New Year Carol with the verses being sung above (but arranged in a different order on pdf).

With love in Christ.

Apodosis of Nativity

Festive Nativity Morning Breakfast – by Melania

January 13 / December 31

Christ is Born! Glorify Him!

The last day of an Afterfeast is called the Apodosis (Ancient Greek for leave-taking, literally giving-back) of the Feast. Although today is the Apodosis of Nativity, this period of Sviatki (light and holiness) continues its 12 days of Christmastide – preparing our hearts to celebrate Holy Theophany; the Baptism of the Lord – on January 19 /6.

Today is also the feast of St. Melania. Congratulations to a dear friend, blessed to have this patron saint. Happy Saint’s Day Melania! God grant you many years!

Tomorrow is St. Basil’s Feast Day (January 14/1). Celebrations for this special saint include many traditions… And there’s still time to bake a traditional, festive St. Basil’s Day Cake!

With love in Christ.

Greetings on St. Basil’s Day

St. Basil the Great wall mosaic – St. Sophia Orthodox Church

Greetings on this second feast day which falls during Christmastide, celebrating the wonderful saint… St. Basil the Great!

Many bake the traditional cake in his honour!

Preserve gratitude like a precious deposit within your soul, and from it you will receive a double portion of delight. Remember the apostolic word, “Give thanks in all circumstances.” ~ St. Basil the Great

For if we all took only what was necessary to satisfy our own needs, giving the rest to those who lack, no one would be rich, no one would be poor, and no one would be in need. ~ St. Basil the Great

A tree is known by its fruit; a man by his deeds. A good deed is never lost; he who sows courtesy reaps friendship, and he who plants kindness gathers love. ~ St. Basil the Great

A good deed is never lost; he who sows courtesy reaps friendship, and he who plants kindness gathers love. ~ St. Basil the Great

When you sit down to eat, pray. When you eat bread, do so thanking Him for being so generous to you. If you drink wine, be mindful of Him who has given it to you for your pleasure and as a relief in sickness. When you dress, thank Him for His kindness in providing you with clothes. When you look at the sky and the beauty of the stars, throw yourself at God’s feet and adore Him who in His wisdom has arranged things in this way. Similarly, when the sun goes down and when it rises, when you are asleep or awake, give thanks to God, who created and arranged all things for your benefit, to have you know, love and praise their Creator. ~ St. Basil the Great

Human life is but of brief duration. ‘All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field. The grass withers, the flower fades; but the word of our God shall stand forever’ (Isa. 40:6). Let us hold fast to the commandment that abides, and despise the unreality that passes away. ~ St. Basil the Great

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