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Hello Again

1It has been some time since I have posted on my blog.  I have been trying to respond faithfully to the changes life has brought upon me.  In doing to I have had to prioritize and make decisions about what is really important.  So I have taken an absence to my blog.  I am currently working on some content, and should be posting on a more regularly basis.  Until then please enjoy this reflection from St. Clement of Alexandria

The perfect person does not only try to avoid evil.


Nor does he do good for fear of punishment, still less in order to qualify for the hope of a promised reward.

The perfect person does good through love.

His actions are not motivated by desire for personal benefit, so he does not have personal advantage as his aim. 

But as soon as he has realized the beauty of doing good, he does it with all his energies and in all that he does.

He is not interested in fame, or a good reputation, or a human or divine reward.

The rule of life for a perfect person is to be in the image and likeness of God.

St. Clement of Alexandria

Time for Nativity

8orthodox0108Nativity is just around the corner.  I cannot believe it is almost here.   It seems like it has been forever in coming.  At the same time the last month has just flown by.  In the busyness of everything I have been trying to take time to reflect on just what is happening.

For some time now I have really been meditating on the incarnation.  A deep reality has set in that honestly words fail.  Words can only describe this great mystery.  The iconography of the Theotokos has been a big part of this unfolding.  The reality of God in flesh is so beautiful .  Not only did God embrace humanity it was elevated.  We are of one flesh.  one spirit, and through faith and the sacraments one nature.

The Nativity of our Lord takes up real time.  It is a real event that really happened.  The birth of Jesus to his and our blessed mother Mary.  This was a timeless event.  Not just a map pin on the timeline of history.  What happened in the natural is equally timely and yet timeless.  The reality of God coming to humanity has always been.  His mercy and grace fill all time.  We can see this in sacred scripture.

The Nativity of our Lord takes up future time.  I am reminded of the words from the Eucharistic cannon “Christ has died Christ has risen Christ will come again”.  Yes Christ will come again.  Like the 10 virgins waiting for the bridegroom.  Nativity is a reminder that Christ will come again.  It is in the Nativity we wait, hope, and prepare.  So I will say it again Christ will come again!

The Nativity of our Lord takes up present time.  We know not time when Jesus returns.  We heard these words from his mouth.  St. Paul also believed Christ would return during his lifetime.  Most of the Early saints did.  Throughout history people have thought the return of Christ was imminent.  Rightfully we all need to live as if Christ could return at any time.  The reality is that we will most likely be reunited with Christ through our natural death.

We are called to pray, fast, and give alms.  We are to live like every moment counts.  We are to live like there is no tomorrow.  The truth is we do not know what tomorrow will bring.  We are to rest and take comfort in the promises left to us by our Lord.  Have faith dear ones.  Keep up the good fight of faith.  Enjoy the Nativity liturgies.  Mostly try to be present in the moment.  Be it at church or at home.

 

Have a blessed Nativity!

Cold days

0413-450x600It has been cold here.  The whole city is covered under a thick blanket of ice.  For many the ice and cold is a nightmare.  For me I see it as therapy.  Much needed at that.   I love this weather.  I find the cold calming.  I long for the brutal cold wind of the North.  I long to hear it whip around my house.  The rattle of the windows.  The sting on my face as I work outside.   The cold and ice is gone now.  Still in my heart it remains

The Nativity of our Lord is just around the corner.  I am looking forward to it, and dreading it at the same time.  Physically I am not ready.  My house is not prepared.  Emotionally I am all over the place.  Spiritually I am anxious.  I guess this is a good way to be.

I once was the one with answers.  I was the one people went to for direction.  A pillar in the church.  Now I am none of these things.  Just a shadow.  A phantom of my past.  I hope Nativity will a new beginning.  The start of something beautiful.  At the same time I am ok if this is as good as it gets.

I am no longer the hopeless optimist.  I am not a pessimist either. Whatever is will be.  I am not looking for some sort of false reality.  Or living on hope of something better.  I am trying to live in the present.  To accept it and grow in it.

Lord have mercy on me.  I came into this new place in life very arrogant.   I didn’t see it at the time.  Who am I?  What exactly did I expect? I don’t know if I have any answer.  What I do know is that I am so done.  I am over worrying about what family might think of me.  I am over preconceived ideas of who I am suppose to be.  I just want to live.  Truly live.

Prologue From Orchid Reflection

72750_1603573401531_4403968_nDoes the Lord’s command about ceaseless prayer that men ought always to pray (Luke 18:1), apply only to monks or to all Christians in general?

If it applied only to monks, the Apostle Paul would not have written to the Christians in Thessalonica “to pray without ceasing” (I Thessalonians 5:17).

The Apostle repeats the Lord’s command, word for word, and issues it to all Christians without distinction, whether monks or laymen.

St. Gregory Palamas lived a life of asceticism for some time as a young hieromonk in a monastery in Beroea. The elder Job, a well-known ascetic whom everyone respected, lived in that monastery. It happened that, in elder Job’s presence, St. Gregory quoted the Apostle’s words, asserting that ceaseless prayer is the obligation of every Christian and not just for monks.

However, elder Job replied that ceaseless prayer is the obligation of the monk only, and not for every Christian. Gregory, as the younger of the two, yielded and withdrew in silence. When Job returned to his cell and stood at prayer, an angel in great heavenly glory appeared to him and said: “O Elder, do not doubt the truthfulness of Gregory’s words; he spoke correctly and you should think likewise and pass it on to others.”

Thus, both the Apostle and the angel confirmed the commandment that all Christians must pray to God without ceasing.

Not only without ceasing in church, but also without ceasing in every place and at all times, and especially in your heart.

For if God does not for a moment tire of giving us good things, how can we tire of thanking Him for these good things?

When He thinks of us without ceasing, why do we not think of Him without
ceasing?

Baby it’s cold outside

1219860-bigthumbnailSo it’s cold out.  Winter weather in the forecast.  I cannot say I am sad about it.  In fact I am very excited.  I hope that it turns out to be snow and not ice.  I look forward to watching the wet weather come in tomorrow afternoon.

Today my inlaws arrived for the Thanksgiving holiday.  Smack in the middle of Nativity fast.  We are flexible with fasting.  Planing of being strict about fasting on Fridays until they leave.  Looking forward to the all the fun times going to be had the next few weeks.

So for sometime I have been trying to make knotted chotkis.  I have had no luck with making these knots.  No such luck yet.  If I have any downtime the next few days I will spend some time trying to make a 33 knot chotki.  So wish me luck!

So everyone have a great Thanksgiving!

Yes I am alive!

candleSo finally I have found what I just want to do with this blog.  I am going back to my original idea.  This blog will mainly be thoughts, reflections, and possibly some humor.

So much has happened in my life over the past few years.  I have ran the the gambit of churches.  I have had dreams of being a missionary, pastor, and a slew of professional carriers.  The only thing that has been consistent since I was 18 is my wife.   Through the bad times, and the good she has stood beside me.  We have survived maturing and growing into adulthood.  She still loves me, and I look forward to growing old with her.

Work has been interesting.  I have worked for the same company for 13 years.  Mainly in the same department the whole time.  Last year I was transferred to a new job.  To keep it short.  It is a good move, and I enjoy it very much.  It has been challenging, but I think that is a good thing.

This year at Christmas my family and I will be received into the Orthodox church.  Finally we are home.  I am finally in the place I always wanted to be.  No more playing around.  I have looked hard at myself, and asked what am I truly looking for.  I always thought it was the Roman Catholic Church.  After much prayer, and visiting many parishes.  I found that in fact this is not the place for me.  I decided to take a long hard look at Eastern Orthodoxy.  In this church I found what it is I was looking for within the Catholic Church, but I also found the monastic / prayer aspect that I was longing for in regular catholic circles.

I am sure I will talk more on all of these things in greater detail in the future.

Ascending The Ladder

Just a quick update for all who follow this blog.  It is not dead, but I am taking a temporary absence.  Since I have been exploring faith anew.  I have been blogging on a new blog called Ascending The Ladder You can check it out at http://towardseast.wordpress.com/ Soon I will return to this blog, and continue with my thoughts and writings on the life of the saints and the church.

I want to thank everyone for their support.  Hope to see you at the new blog.

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