Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Martyrs Sophia and her Three Daughters, Faith, Hope and Love (Charity)

"And we who of old were slain by the crime of eating of the tree, have been restored to life by the tree of the Cross."

The land owner's neighbor was driving down the road, and turned into the common road. A car was parked in the road and a woman was taking a ripe apple from one of the trees. "Private Property", the neighbor said loudly. "Yes, I know", the woman responded, "I just couldn't stand it, I had to have one."
"Yes, I know." The landowner said, and chuckled.
"Just like Eve", she added to herself.

Which was the guilty party? The one that took the apple, or the one that laughed at her crime?

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Elevation of the Cross/ St. Euphemia Great-Martyr

The Menaion, From Ode 1 for September 16

Tracing and upright line with his staff, Moses divided the Red Sea for Israel, which was traveling on foot; and striking it a transverse blow, he brought the waters together over the chariots of Pharaoh, thereby inscribing the invincible weapon of the Cross. Wherefore, let us hymn Christ our God, for He hath been glorified.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

The Elevation of the Cross

The Jesus Prayer, "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me the Sinner",

is the river.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

This morning- Forefeast of the Elevation of the Cross

I realize when I think of the way my early life was, how aware I was of God in the world around me.
The river was the symbol of that. The changes the river presented, the hidden life in it, just under the surface and not bound by rules. It set the rules. If you didn't behave within the boundaries of the nature of the river itself, you would pay the consequences. The consequences were cause and effect. That was the way it was, there was no question as to behavior there.
If you were loud the fish that were a delight, would vanish. You had to come up for air. But the air above the river was as alive as the river below the air.
Sometimes the river flooded. It ripped away the grass and uprooted trees as it grew in fullness, and speed. It left an ugly scar, but in time the growth would be restored and in fact more vibrant. I recognized God in all of its forms.
This morning as I woke up, I saw that part of my life. It was my first understanding of God. I continue to look for God in that way. Being outside takes me there. I can feel God in the trees, the grasses, the animals moving in the grass or skittering across the road, the raven croaking in the top of the cottonwood or again black wings pushing the air with in a loud whoosh.
I see God's movement in people. Often below the surface of the eyes, like looking into the depth of the river, is a deeper movement. I feel that in myself as well, God living within me. Christ's suffering on the cross has brought that to me, to us.
"Rejoice wood fragrant with life, and treasury of wonders!" Akathist to the Precious Cross
If I set rules, things that have to be done... I stifle. If I attach great store to physical things that is as much a killer of God's Presence. That Presence is what life is about. That Presence is what fires life in the true meaning of the word.
If I can be AWARE and looking for the motion of God, if that is the thing that truly fires my life, then my life is with God, no matter the strange looks that I might receive. 'Lord have mercy', I can whisper to those that wish to direct me away from the moment and then conversely is the discipline that a moment may require, obedience.
I feel now within myself His motion towards the doing of something that needs to be worked on. I wonder, do I really need my lists?
Back to the old and sometimes worn out, and always fresh, 'living in the moment'.

From St. John of Kronstadt, "I beheld the Lord ever before me that I might not be shaken." Ps 15:18 Abbess Thaisia, An Autobiography p. 252