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.
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 lovehearing 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
Each dawn is a blessing… new and fresh, with golden opportunities!
A few years ago, in anticipation of sowing the online seeds for this Blisswood site, I also read (from several sources) that a serious blogger needs the strong roots of at least500 posts to even be considereda beginner blogger.
Quickly accepting the obvious… that I couldn’t (and can’t) do this on my own was a huge relief. I had to let go, and let God help! And, thanks be to God, I’m officially a beginner blogger… 🙂
You’ve helped funnel my writing voice as a creative outlet, moving me to reflect upon my faith and what helps keeps me buoyant on the stormy seas of life. I try to share what’s joyful, optimistic and uplifting… especially during these trying world times.
Thank you for subscribing, and keeping me on my toes!
Thank youfor the inspiring suggestions, encouraging emails, and sharing these posts!
The Icon depicts the Theotokos of the Sign with the Christ Child before her. Her arms are outstretched. Above her is theLord of Hostsand on either side and below are 9 prophets who wrote about the birth of Christ (clockwise, starting in the top right): King Solomon, Prophets Daniel, Jeremiah, Elijah, Habakkuk, Judge Gideon, Prophets Isaiah, Moses, and King David. The wooden Icon is covered with an intricately worked [protective] cover of blue and gold. ~ OrthodoxWiki
Even if you just lean your head on an Icon, you will find consolation. ~ St. Paisios the Athonite
Shared by a dear friend:“I came to venerate this Holy Icon with certain petitions already in mind for both physical and spiritual healing. But when I approached the Icon, overwhelming thoughts of the heartbreaking Russian war in Ukraine (and resulting divisions in the Orthodox world) engulfed me instead. All I could pray was one single word ‘Help.’ I laid my head on the Icon, much as a grieving child would upon their own mother’s bosom… and although it seemed I was there for quite some time (in reality – only several seconds), a Warm Wave of Consolation washed over me… a Spiritual Embrace. The next one-word prayer I offered was ‘Thank you’… And I know that She’s sad too.”
Epilogue: I was also told a few days later, that a long-standing family issue my friend was going to especially pray for in front of the Icon (she had also been praying separately for), has miraculously been resolved!
Help and Thank You are two very simple, powerful, prayer words.
Our Most Holy Theotokos knows what we need even when words won’t suffice. When we turn to her with hope and faith, she always hears the wordless groaning of hearts.
O Most Holy Theotokos, thank you for your blessings – both known and unknown!
Granted, the blessings in our lives are unavoidably peppered with a few “banes”… butit’sthe banes that make each blessing all the more sweet!
Thanksgiving is a daily Christian practice. It takes us outside of ourselves. It bestows unexpected blessings. It brings us closer to God.
With each heartfelt thank you, we string together organic beads of gratitude as strands of spiritual pearls. This iridescent, noetic necklace, swathes our soul with joy.
What if we woke up this morning to find only what we had thanked God for yesterday, what would we have? ~ Anonymous
We must begin with thanksgiving for everything. The beginning of joy is to be content with your situation. ~ St. Ambrose of Optina
…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. …Give thanks to God, who created and arranged all things for your benefit… ~ St. Basil the Great
Every genuine confession humbles the soul. When it takes the form of thanksgiving, it teaches the soul that it has been delivered by the grace of God. ~ St. Maximos the Confessor
How You bring sweetness to those who think of You, how life-giving is Your word. It is softer than oil, sweeter than honey to talk with You. Praying to You brings life into us and gives us wings. What trembling then fills the heart, what dignity and greatness and wisdom there are in nature and all of life. Where You are not – there is emptiness. Where You are – there is richness of soul a torrent of life: Alleluia. ~ From the Akathist of Thanksgiving
God does not need our praise. Thanksgiving…brings us closer to Him. ~ St. John Chrysostom
When in truth we appreciate the gifts which God gives us, we don’t have time to seek anything else. We run to say thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you… For everything … thank you. And such a joy comes into our life… ~ Gerontissa Gavrielia
Thank you for visiting Blisswood!
Each morning is fresh and new. A perfect way to start our day is to give thanks for His many blessings!
This sweet and simple folk-hymn (by Martin G. Schneider) is remembered from my youth. There are many verses, but this first verse is my favourite! “Thank You for giving me this morning, thank You for everyday that’s new, thank You that I can know my worries can be cast on You!”
O sing unto the Lord a new song: sing unto the Lord, all the earth. ~ Psalm 96:1
What a brilliant idea! Christmas Lights are being put up again outside people’s homes. Countless numbers of people are doing this.
The lights reflect a visible tribute of gratitude to our courageous community champions, who work the dangerous frontlines during this epic time. Valentine shaped heart cutouts appearing on homemade front yard billboards, windows, mailboxes and telephone poles, collectively honour them too.
At 7 pm each night in Canada and around the world, people in neighbourhoods everywhere stand on their front porches to give a two minute standing ovation for the essential services workers. Whether by clapping our hands, banging pots and pans, ringing bells, or cheering… we proclaim a united, appreciative THANK YOU for selfless dedication.
It gives goosebumps and an uncustomary lump in one’s throat hearing this resonate simultaneously throughout neighbourhoods and cities.
It’s not surprising two expressive symbols of Light and Love are being used to show our love and gratitude for others during this time. Christmas Lights reflect humankind’s hope and joy, celebrating Jesus Christ’s Birth. St. Valentine Hearts honour a special saint known for great faith and love for others.
During these trying times when we must practice physical distancing from each other, somehow we’ve grown much closer together in spirit.