Riding the Morning Winds

The Breaking Dawn ~ Kauai 2014

If I ride the morning winds to the farthest oceans, even there your hand will guide me, your strength will support me. ~ Psalm 139:9-10

Praise the Lord, O heavens! Praise him from the skies! Praise him, all his angels, all the armies of heaven. Praise him, sun and moon and all you twinkling stars. Praise him, skies above. Praise him, vapours high above the clouds. ~ Psalm 148: 1-4

Praise him from sunrise to sunset! ~ Psalm 113:3

Praise him, all heaven and earth! Praise him, all the seas and everything in them! ~ Psalm 69:34

Rejoicing in His Creatures

Image by Dimitris Vetsikas from Pixabay

When God, who is absolute fullness, brought creatures into existence, it was not done to fulfill any need but so that His creatures should be happy to share His likeness, and so that He himself might rejoice in the joy of His creatures as they draw inexhaustibly upon the Inexhaustible. ~ St. Maximus the Confessor

Love all God’s creation, the whole of it and every grain of sand. 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. ~ Fyodor Dostoevsky

I will never laugh at anyone for grieving over a loved beast. I think God wants us to love Him more, not to love creatures (even animals) less. We love everything in one way too much (i.e., at the expense of our love for Him), but in another way we love everything too little. No person, animal, flower, or even pebble has ever been loved too much – i.e., more than every one of God’s works deserves. ~ C. S. Lewis

Take delight in all things that surround us. All things teach us and lead us to God. All things around us are droplets of the love of God – both things animate and inanimate, the plants and the animals, the birds and the mountains, the sea and the sunset and the starry sky. They are little loves through which we attain to the great Love that is Christ. Flowers, for example, have their own grace; they teach us with their fragrance and with their magnificence. They speak to us of the love of God. They scatter their fragrance and their beauty on sinners and on the righteous. ~ Elder Porphyrios

…Animals can instinctively sense if you love them. The animals in Paradise felt the fragrance of Grace and served Adam. Since the transgression, nature groans together with man… My mind tells me that even the animals are better than me; so, I humble myself and obey them. Very early this morning, being tired from praying all night and exhausted because of my illness, I lay down to rest. After a while, I heard a kitten meowing outside my cell as if she needed something. I really wanted to rest, but I humbled myself and went against my own will. I obeyed the kitten and replied to her calling. I went to open the door. It had started to rain and I let her in so she wouldn’t get wet. What do you think then? Should I obey the animals or not? My thoughts tell me I should. ~ St. Paisios

With love and gratitude to my past creatures (dogs, rabbit, goldfish, birds and cats), who’ve made my life richer… Such a blessing to have been their human for a time!

Oh… and last but not least, cheers to the current grand-cat-by-default… who deigns to allow me to feed her treats.

What Shines Through

Christ is Risen!
Today is Radonitsa, or Day of Rejoicing!

Peaceful sunset in the ancient city of Mtskheta, Georgia. ~ Shared by friends of the parish: Garret and Anastasia.

The Orthodox Church of Georgia traces its ancient origins in tradition to the missionary efforts of the Holy Apostle Andrew in the first century.

A Shining Hymn of Pascha-tide!
Shine O New Jerusalem
The Angel cried unto the Lady full of grace:
Rejoice, O Pure Virgin!
Again I say: Rejoice!
Thy Son is risen from His three days in the tomb.
With Himself He hath raised all the dead.
Rejoice, all ye people!
Shine, shine, O New Jerusalem,
The glory of the Lord has shone on you.
Exult now and be glad, O Zion,
Be radiant, O Pure Theotokos,
In the Resurrection of thy Son!

~ Ninth Ode, Paschal Canon

What shines through us
Comes from inside out…
Our light we must find
To better know ourselves… ~ Garret L.

Hell is a fall, not a place.
Heaven is flight, not a cloud! 
May our souls soar up to Heaven
with the grace of love
and rest comfortably there. ~ Garret L.

Truly He is Risen!

Songs of Joy

Recent Sunset Stroll Scene

Christ is the True Light
Who Illumines the whole world,
He is Glorious!

The whole earth is filled with awe at your wonders; where morning dawns, where evening fades, you call forth songs of joy. ~ Psalm 65:8

The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him. ~ Psalm 28:7

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. ~ Psalm 19:1

Oh, worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness! ~ Psalm 96:9

From the rising of the sun to its going down, the name of the Lord is to be praised. ~ Psalm 113:3

…Don’t be dejected and sad, for the joy of the Lord is your strength! ~ Nehemiah 8:10

…let not the sun go down upon your wrath…~ Ephesians 4:26

What a wonderful day the Lord has provided! Let our eyes and hearts rejoice in His Gifts of Nature and for His Beauteous, Gladsome Light that shines upon us all!

Who Art Everywhere Present

Out for a breath of fresh air on yestereve’s walk… and reminded of God’s Glory!

O Heavenly King, Comforter, Spirit of Truth, Who art everywhere present and fillest all things, Treasury of good things, and Giver of life: come and take up Thine abode in us, and cleanse us from every stain, and save our souls, O Good One! ~ Trisagion Prayers

God’s Providence controls the universe. It is present everywhere. Providence is the sovereign Logos of God, imprinting form on the unformed materiality of the world, making and fashioning all things. Matter could not have acquired an articulated structure were it not for the directing power of the Logos Who is the Image, Intellect, Wisdom, and Providence of God. ~ St. Anthony the Great (Philokalia, Vol. 1:156)

Droplets of Love

St. John the Baptist and Forerunner Icon behind sunflower bouquet on Transfiguration Feast Day

Take delight in all things that surround us. All things teach us and lead us to God. All things around us are droplets of the love of God – both things animate and inanimate, the plants and the animals, the birds and the mountains, the sea and the sunset and the starry sky. They are little loves through which we attain to the great Love that is Christ. Flowers, for example, have their own grace; they teach us with their fragrance and with their magnificence. They speak to us of the love of God. They scatter their fragrance and their beauty on sinners and on the righteous. ~ Elder Porphyrios

Kindling the Flame

Sunset on the Strait of Juan de Fuca

If but ten among us lead a holy life, we shall kindle a fire which shall light up the entire city. ~ St. John Chrysostom 

We must become enlightened bearers of the light within us, the Light of God, the very spark… of God’s divinity. ~ St. Gregory of Nyssa

O Gladsome Light

Sunbeams stream through church window before Evening Vespers.

O Gladsome Light of the Holy Glory, of the Immortal Father. Heavenly Holy, Blessed Jesus Christ. Now that we have come to the setting of the sun, and behold the light of evening, we praise God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. For meet it is, at all times, to worship Thee with voices of praise. O Son of God, and Giver of Life, wherefore all the world doth glorify Thee! ~ Earliest known, recorded Christian hymn, still used in Orthodox Church Vespers

For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. ~ 2 Cor. 4:6 

When a sunbeam falls on a transparent substance, the substance itself becomes brilliant, and radiates light from itself. So too Spirit bearing souls, illumined by Him, finally become spiritual themselves, and their grace is sent forth to others… ~ St. Basil the Great

May your day be full of Light!

Happy Mothers’ Day!

Closer Than Our Own Heart

Local sunset, on paddle board – photo shared by Katherine

Such, then, is our God: unknowable in his essence, yet known in his energies; beyond and above all that we can think or express, yet closer to us than our own heart. ~ Kallistos Ware

If I do not feel a sense of joy in God’s creation, if I forget to offer the world back to God with thankfulness, I have advanced very little upon the Way. I have not yet learnt to be truly human. For it is only through thanksgiving that I can become myself. ~ Kallistos Ware

We know that prayer in itself cannot and of itself cannot save us, but carrying it before God can. For when the Lord’s eyes are upon un, He sanctifies us, as the sun warms everything upon which it shines. ~ St. Gregory Palamas

Prayer is spiritual breathing; when we pray we breathe in the Holy Spirit; “praying in the Holy Spirit“. Thus, all church prayers are the breathing of the Holy Spirit; as it were spiritual air and also light, spiritual fire, spiritual food and spiritual raiment. ~ St. John of Kronstadt

The Voice of Flowers

Fragrant Wild Sweet Pea and Lavender

Take delight in all things that surround us. All things teach us and lead us to God. All things around us are droplets of the love of God – both things animate and inanimate, the plants and the animals, the birds and the mountains, the sea and the sunset and the starry sky. They are little loves through which we attain to the great Love that is Christ. Flowers, for example, have their own grace; they teach us with their fragrance and with their magnificence. They speak to us of the love of God. They scatter their fragrance and their beauty on sinners and on the righteous. ~ St. Porphyrios

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