However Difficult It May Seem

At Holy Virgin Cathedral San Francisco, January 7th 2024 – Shared by Anastasia

Christ is Born! Glorify Him!

Greetings on the 6th Day of Christmas!

There’s nothing more beautiful or sweeter than to love the Lord Jesus. ~ St. Joseph the Hesychast

We don’t pursue hardships but if they come, we face them through steadfastness and prayer. ~ St. Paisios

Lord, I beg you… Do Your own will in me. However difficult it may seem to me, it will be easy because it will be Yours! ~ St. Gavrilia

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

His Steadfast Love

Image by Michaela from Pixabay

My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast! For your steadfast love is great to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds. Be exalted, O God, above the heavens! Let your glory be over all the earth! ~ Psalm 7: 7, 10-11

Look at the heavens, and see; and behold the clouds, which are higher than you. ~ Job 35:5

In love did God bring the world into existence; in love does He guide it during its temporal existence; in love is He going to bring it to that wondrous transformed state, and in love will the world be swallowed up in the Great Mystery of Him who has performed all these things. ~ St. Isaac the Syrian

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!

High Hopes

Image by congerdesign from Pixabay 

December 30/17

Today we celebrate the Old Testament Prophet Daniel and the Three Holy Youths, who put their faith, hope, and love in God. The youths, refusing to worship a golden idol, were thrown as punishment into the midst of a fiery furnace. (Daniel 3: 1-30) Miraculously remaining unscathed, they sang hymns of praise from within the flames.

…for we do not present our supplications before thee for our righteousnesses, but for thy great mercies. ~ Daniel 9:18

Don’t let anything deprive you of hope. ~ St. Nektarios of Aegina

Prayer should be our first response, not the last hope. ~Archpriest Andrei Tkachev

Here are two versions of an ancient hymn, rejoicing in hope and glory – For God is with us!

God is With Us (One of the Traditional Melodies)
God is With Us (Appalachian-Style Melody)

We who are given the fullness of true Christianity are obliged to be working on ourselves, to be watching the signs of the times, and to be extremely joyful, as St. Paul is constantly saying: ‘Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say: Rejoice!’ (Phil. 4:4). We rejoice because we have something which all the death and corruption of this world cannot take away, that is, the eternal Kingdom of Jesus Christ. ~ Fr.  Seraphim Rose

Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. ~ Romans 5:1-5

Finding the Beauty

Parish Mosaic Before Completion

We are but the small shards of Creation’s Grand and Beautiful Mosaic!

Christ manifested Himself to the world; He filled it with light and joy; He sanctified the waters and diffused His light in the souls of men. ~ St. Proclus

Unless we look at a person and see the beauty there is in this person, we can contribute nothing to him. One does not help a person by discerning what is wrong, what is ugly, what is distorted. Christ looked at everyone he met, at the prostitute, at the thief, and saw the beauty hidden there. Perhaps it was distorted, perhaps damaged, but it was beauty nonetheless, and what he did was to call out this beauty. ~ Metropolitan Anthony of Sourozh

Every one of us is in the image of God, and every one of us is like a damaged icon. But if we were given an icon damaged by time, damaged by circumstances, or desecrated by human hatred, we would treat it with reverence, with tenderness, with broken-heartedness. We would not pay attention primarily to the fact that it is damaged, but to the tragedy of its being damaged. We would concentrate on what is left of its beauty, and not on what is lost of its beauty. And this is what we must learn to do with regard to each person as an individual, but also – and this is not always as easy – with regard to groups of people, whether it be a parish or a denomination, or a nation. We must learn to look, and look until we have seen the underlying beauty of this group of people. Only then can we even begin to do something to call out all the beauty that is there. Listen to other people, and whenever you discern something which sounds true, which is a revelation of harmony and beauty, emphasize it and help it to flower. Strengthen it and encourage it to live. ~ Metropolitan Anthony of Sourozh

Into the Depths of the Sea

Thessaloniki, Greece – 2006

Christ is Risen!

Who is a God like you, pardoning iniquity and passing over transgression for the remnant of his inheritance? He does not retain his anger forever, because he delights in steadfast love. He will again have compassion on us; he will tread our iniquities underfoot. You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea. ~ Micah 7:18,19

Truly He is Risen!

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