Another infrequent post (Last Hopefully)

Cliff-meditation-e1344500132345Hey 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

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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 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.

Turning a new chapter

photo_verybig_127402I am still alive!

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.

Until then peace of the Lord be always with you!

 

All For The Love Of Christ

Venerating the Kursk-Root Icon 2Treat everyone in life that you meet
As if their heart is breaking ;
Because it probably is . . .

Treat each person that you see
As if a frightened little child lives within them;
Because it probably does . . .

Treat everyone that you greet
As if they are dying inside from lack of love;
Because they probably are . . .

Treat all people that you encounter
As if their life depends on your kindness;
Because it probably does . . .

Kissing their hands . . .
Washing their feet . . .
Anointing their head . . .
Bowing to their grace . . .
Honoring God’s breath within them . . .
All for the love of Christ .

From FrNektarios Serfes
Written in October 1992

4th Sunday of Great Lent

SONY DSCSo yesterday was the 4th Sunday of Great Lent.  I was very pleased to be there. Part of that was I am always pleased to be in the Lords house.  Also I have been down with pneumonia for about a week.  I feel that I am of the fast track to health now.

Sunday was marked for St. John Climacus. Or often called St. John of the Ladder.  Father shared with us about the saints life and witness.  As usual the readings tied into this ongoing theme in our common liturgical life.  What Father shared was a homily that for me was very personal.

I have briefly shared on this blog my struggles with feeling worthy of salvation.  I tend to focus on my sins and shortcomings.  Thoughts of heaven and hell come to me daily.  Sunday was no different.  Reflecting on the Gospel readings and homily has given me some new perspective.

I am not a sum of my sins.  My sins will not and cannot define me.  I am a created in the image of God. Lord, I believe; help my unbelief! Some things in life cannot be changed by will.  They change by prayer and fasting.

It is time for me to take my Lenten journey more serious.  This year I have been a bit tepid with my practice.  Now is the time for me to allow Jesus to come in and do the work only he can do.  I see this more clearly now.  I see the path, and in this moment understand what I need to do.

Glory to Jesus Christ!