Hey guys it’s been a long time since I have posted on my blog. I think I have in the past mentioned that I was unsure as to what direction I would be taking this blog. In the past all writing I have done has been purely on faith and religion. I am no longer serving in active ministry. I have been joining the faithful in worship and prayer from a very different place then before. This has been a time of renewal. Filled with times of real pain, and sense of not belonging. In God’s will I pray I find my footing again.
For now I just do not have it in me to keep on like I used to. I am still drawn to faith. I am the same person I have always been. I just feel like I have lost my passion. Part of this process I am rediscovering who I am. I have other passions and interests. This has given me time to develop and grow in other areas. Which I think is a good thing.
In the future this blog, and possibly a youtube channel will be a sort of new / journal for Orthodox guys, and all that interest me. I really hope others will enjoy this as much as I am going to as I write it. So stay posted for future
It 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.
Nativity 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.
It 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 bring 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.
Ok so I have not really spent much time with this blog. It seems that I thought I knew what I wanted to do with this blog, but never really found a way to do what it was I was trying to do. I know that might not make much sense, but it does to me.
Basically I hoped to use this blog as a way of working out thoughts, and struggles. That really never happened. I did share some of my thought and experiences. I am sure that will continue. I guess part of me never really wanted to invest to much time in what I was trying to accomplish on this blog. Knowing that at sometime I would be received into the church, and then ultimately change the format. Or maybe I was nervous to express thoughts and opinions out to the vast faceless internet.
So I am back, and I have BIG plans for what I am going to do. I will be posting thought provoking meditations I hear. I will be posting interviews with various people in ministry I am acquainted with. Who knows yet what else. I am still working that out.
It is impossible to remain forever in a state of spiritual exaltation. God allows certain intermissions in our fervor because He does not wish either to deprive us of the courage by which we climb higher, or to feed the pride which leads us to fall. Let our heart advance on the path along which God leads us.True, these alternations are a painful trial; but it is good for us to know from our own experience that our moments of spiritual exaltation do not depend upon us, but are the gift of God which He takes away when He deems it necessary. If we always retained this gift of God, we should feel neither the weight of the cross, nor our own powerlessness. Our trials would not be real trials; our good actions would be valueless. Let us therefore patiently bear the periods of depression and of aridity of the heart. They teach us humility and the distrust of ourselves. They make us feel how unstable and weak is our spiritual life; they make us turn more often to divine help.In this state of unfeeling dryness of the heart, in the absence of fervent prayer we must be careful not to give up our spiritual exercises, our daily prayers. If we abandoned them we should do ourselves the greatest damage.
We are inclined to think that if we do not feel definite satisfaction in prayer, it is not worthwhile praying. In order to realize how wrong we are in thinking this, it is enough to remember that prayer and the love of God are one and the same. The essence of prayer does not just consist in those feelings of joy, which sometimes accompany it. Loving prayer may sometimes exist without such feelings; and this is a more purified and disinterested form of prayer, since, being deprived of spiritual joy, its goal is God alone.
We may feel deprived of blessed consolations and yet preserve a firm will, submitting to all the difficulties which God sends us, and humbly accepting everything, even the sense of spiritual depression which we experience. If we succeed in enduring our periods of dryness of the heart in such a way as this, we shall find that they are a salutary spiritual exercise.
(From the book: ”Diary of a Russian Priest.” We read from the cover: “Father Elchaninov (was) one of the most gifted priests in the Russian emigration (who) died from a tragic illness in 1934 at the age of fifty three…Deeply rooted in the spiritual and ascetic tradition of the Orthodox Church, Father Alexander was at the same time closely in touch with the intellectual movements of his own day…His writings offer an excellent introduction for Western Christians to Orthodox spirituality as a living tradition of practical value to them in their own spiritual life.”)