It is a time of much challenge to those that are Christians throughout this whole world. It is a time for us to remember that we must nourish our minds and souls with the words of our Lord and our Church Fathers. For in this nourishment we will find strength and courage and wisdom. Let me share with you then, some words that I find nourishing to my mind from the sources that I thrive upon - The Holy Bible, books and sources on the saints and church fathers, and various other books and sources related to my Orthodox Faith. I hope you will gain from them as I do.
Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal have mercy on us.
“The grace of the Holy Spirit which is given mystically to every Christian when he is baptized acts and is manifested in proportion to our obedience to the commandments of the Lord. That is, if a Christian obeys the commandments of the Lord more, grace acts with him more, while if he obeys them less, grace acts within him less. Just as a spark, when covered in the ashes of fire becomes increasingly manifest as one removes the ashes, and the more fire wood you put the more the fire burns, so the grace that has been given to every Christian through Holy Baptism is hidden in the heart and covered up by the passions and sins, and the more a man acts in accordance with the commandments of Christ, the more he is cleansed of the passions and the more the fire of Divine grace lights in his heart, illumines and deifies him.”
~ St. Nikodemos of the Holy Mountain, Christian Morality
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. James 1: 17
Some people tell me that they are scandalized because they see many things wrong in the Church. I tell them that if you ask a fly, “Are there any flowers in this area?” it will say, “I don’t know about flowers, but over there in that heap of rubbish you can find all the filth you want.” And it will go on to list all the unclean things it has been to.
Now, if you ask a honeybee, “Have you seen any unclean things in this area?” it will reply, “Unclean things? No, I have not seen any; the place here is full of the most fragrant flowers.” And it will go on to name all the flowers of the garden or the meadow.
You see, the fly only knows where the unclean things are, while the honeybee knows where the beautiful iris or hyacinth is.
As I have come to understand, some people resemble the honeybee and some resemble the fly. Those who resemble the fly seek to find evil in every circumstance and are preoccupied with it; they see no good anywhere. But those who resemble the honeybee only see the good in everything they see. The stupid person thinks stupidly and takes everything in the wrong way, whereas the person who has good thoughts, no matter what he sees, no matter what you tell him, maintains a positive and good thought.
~St. Paisios of Mt. Athos
Psalm 55Be merciful unto me, O God, for man hath trod me down; he fighting all the day long hath oppressed me. My enemies have trod me down all the day long, for they be many that fight against me from on high. By day I will not be afraid, but I will hope in Thee. In God I will praise my words, in God I have put my hope; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me. All the day long they abhorred my words; all their thoughts were against me for evil. They will dwell near, and hide themselves; they will mark where I set my heel, as they have waited for my soul. By no means shalt Thou save them; in wrath shalt Thou cast down the peoples, O God. I have declared my life unto Thee; Thou hast set my tears in Thy sight. As also in Thy promise, shall mine enemies be turned back. In whatsoever day I call upon Thee, behold, I know that Thou art my God. In God will I praise His word; in the Lord will I praise His speech. In God have I put my hope; I will not be afraid what man can do unto me. Thy vows are upon me, O God, which I will render in praise of Thee. For Thou hast delivered my soul from death, mine eyes from tears, and my feet from sliding; that I may be pleasing before the Lord in the light of the living
Lord, Jesus Christ, Son of God, Have Mercy on Me.