Making Headway in the Headwinds

Scene from recent walk on a chilly, blustery day.

If we let ourselves, we shall always be waiting for some distraction or other to end before we can really get down to our work. The only people who achieve much are those who want knowledge so badly that they seek it while the conditions are still unfavourable. Favourable conditions never come. ~ C.S. Lewis

Time is definitely shorter than we think, and we simply can’t afford to put off attaining our goals by waiting for Life’s Welcome Mat of Perfect Circumstances to be dusted off and tossed casually at our feet.

Tomorrow never comes.

There is only now... and Patient Endurance is our Cross, best shouldered with Hope’s Persistence.

There is only today for actions and efforts.

Stunning Self-Reminder: Take one step. Then another. And another. Just keep doing! We can only meet God in the Eternal Present.

May we diligently persevere in Life’s Headwinds… rejoicing that there’s always Sonshine above those stormy clouds and Providential Tailwinds in unexpected places!

Who Saves Me From the Tempest

Winter Tempest – Rain and 80+ km Winds at Point No Point, Storm Season – Canada

Who will give me wings like a dove? And I will fly and be at rest. Lo, I have fled afar off and have dwelt in the wilderness. I waited for God that saveth me from faintheartedness and from tempest.
~ Psalm 55:6-8

He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler.
~ Psalm 91:4

You cry out to Him: Where art Thou, My God? And He answers: I am present, my child, I am always beside you.
~ St. Joseph the Hesychast

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

Sanctifying Spirit

Image by David Mark from Pixabay

The sun penetrates crystal and makes it more dazzling. In the same way, the sanctifying Spirit indwells in souls and makes them more radiant. They become like so many powerhouses beaming grace and love around them. ~ St. Basil the Great

I could never, ever, live far away from the sea. It’s my favourite place to be even when days are dull, stormy and gray!

Standing at the waters’ edge promotes perspective, whatever the weather. It refreshes and reminds me of my small but proper place in the greater scope of things. And… upon any cloudy day, you just know that at any given moment – sun beams can triumphantly pierce through the silver canopy of clouds, and take one’s breathe away.

God’s Creation reflects Hope and inspires prayer! We can’t help but be grateful for the sea’s lulling, reflective sighs, or the reviving, salty winds that blow out those dusty cobwebs from our minds!

Thank you dear Lord, for the beautiful blessings of the ocean, and for imbuing us with Your Joy, Love, and Peace from Above!

Wings Like a Dove

Image by Kiều Trường from Pixabay

Christ is Born! Glorify Him!

Happy Saint’s Day Melania! Congratulations!

…for you have been my help, and in the shadow of your wings I will sing for joy. ~ Psalm 63:7

And I say, Oh, that I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and be at rest… ~ Psalm 55:6

Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings… ~ Psalm 17:8

How precious is your steadfast love, O God! The children of mankind take refuge in the shadow of your wings. ~ Psalm 36:7

He lays the beams of his chambers on the waters; he makes the clouds his chariot; he rides on the wings of the wind… ~ Psalm 104:3

For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler. ~ Psalm 91:3-4

Rock-Steady

Local Neighbourhood Stone Garage with Grass and Floral Roof

As powerful ocean waves smooth and polish sharp edges of rock and stone, so does the Holy Spirit with our souls. It surrounds us. It strengthens us. It refines and completes us. And… bit by bit, with less and less, we become more.

Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it. ~ Matthew 7:24-27

The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. ~ Psalm 18:2

May your Lenten Journey be steady, peaceful, and fruitful.

Crystalline Cantatas

Beautiful Star Mosaic by Melania

If we could hear stars sing their crystalline cantatas of praise to the Creator, our hearts would be so effused with such Divine sweetness and yearning; it would be unbearably impossible to not join in chorus of jubilation with them.

What sort of praise can I give Thee? I have never heard the song of the Cherubim, a joy reserved for the spirits above. But I know the praises that nature sings to Thee. In winter, I have beheld how silently in the moonlight the whole earth offers Thee prayer, clad in its white mantle of snow, sparkling like diamonds. I have seen how the rising sun rejoices in Thee, how the song of the birds is a chorus of praise to Thee. I have heard the mysterious mutterings of the forests about Thee, and the winds singing Thy praise as they stir the waters. I have understood how the choirs of stars proclaim Thy glory as they move forever in the depths of infinite space. What is my poor worship! All nature obeys Thee, I do not. Yet while I live, I see Thy love, I long to thank Thee, and call upon Thy name. ~ Ikos 12, (The Akathist Hymn: Glory to God for All Things)

The firmament has the stars for its beauty, and dispassion has the virtues for its adornments. ~ St. John of the Ladder

Pentecost Greetings

Icon of the Holy Trinity St. Sophia Orthodox Church, Canada

Greetings on Great and Holy Pentecost!

Fifty days after Great and Holy Pascha, we celebrate the wonderful, joyful Great Feast of Pentecost. This important day commemorates the fulfillment of Christ’s promise to his disciples and the descent of the Holy Spirit upon them, and later…. on us. This day is often called the birthday of the Church. The disciples were gathered in prayer at Jerusalem, waiting as Christ had commanded… when a mighty wind was heard, and tongues of fire appeared over their heads. A multilingual crowd heard the disciples preaching about Christ… miraculously speaking to the multitudes in their various native languages.

Preparing for Pentecost, people clean and decorate their homes and icon corners with herbs and green tree branches, that symbolize rebirth of all life through the Holy Spirit.

Today Churches are decorated with flowers, and greenery. Fresh grasses and herbs are strewn on the floors. Everything is vibrant. Small floral bouquets are often held by the faithful at the Liturgy. Sometimes people take the flowers they held at church and afterwards place them in their home’s icon corner, or to the grave of a loved one, or give them to someone who is sick, or elderly.

The Holy Spirit is is the Giver of Life, and clergy wear green vestments in honour of the Holy Spirit. Parishioners also wear green or white in celebration.

It is also said to be traditionally (with a small “t”) windy at Pentecost, to remind us of Holy Spirit.

Today is the first of the Three Days of the Holy Spirit.

May you find and enjoy a delightful, refreshing breeze today!

The Holy Spirit is life and life, the noetic Source of life – the Spirit of wisdom, the Spirit of understanding, good upright, noetic, possessing dominion, cleansing transgressions: God and deifying, Fire and transcending fire, speaking, acting, distributing gifts, by Whom all the prophets and divine apostles and martyrs have been crowned. Strange is the report, strange is the sight – fire distributed in the bestowal of gifts. The Holy Spirit has always been, is now and ever shall be, having neither beginning nor end, but one with the Father and the Son: life and life giving; goodness itself and source of goodness, through Whom the Father is made known and the Son is glorified, and is known by all: one power, one unity, one worship, of the Holy Trinity. ~ Matins at Pentecost Vigil

…The closer we approach God, the closer we approach each other, just as the closer rays of light are to each other, the closer they are to the Sun. In the coming Kingdom of God there will be unity, mutual love and concord. The Holy Trinity remains eternally unchanging, all-perfect, united in essence and indivisible... The One, Indivisible Trinity ever remains the Trinity. The Father always remains the Father, the Son remains the Son, the Holy Spirit remains the Holy Spirit. Besides Their personal Properties, They all share all in common and in Unity. That is why the Holy Trinity is One God. ~ St. John Maximovitch of Shanghai and San Francisco

His Wonders in the Deep

Christ is Risen!

Those that go down to the sea in ships that do work in many waters, these have seen the works of the LORD and his wonders in the deep. For he commands and raises the stormy wind, which lifts up its waves. They mount up to the heavens; they go down again to the depths; their soul is melted because of trouble. They reel to and fro and stagger like a drunken man, and all of their knowledge is of no avail. Then they cry unto the LORD in their trouble, and he delivers them out of their afflictions. He makes the storm a calm, so that its waves are still. Then they are glad because they are at rest; so he brings them into the haven of his will. Oh that men would praise the LORD for his mercy and for his wonderful works unto the sons of Adam! ~ Psalm 107:23-31

Truly He is Risen!

Ineffable Greatness

The Lord on high is mightier, Than the noise of many waters, Than the mighty waves of the sea. ~ Psalm 93:4

He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed. ~ Psalm 107:29

And when he was entered into a ship, his disciples followed him. And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he was asleep. And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish. And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm. But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him! ~ St. Matthew 8:23-27

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