Edge of Woods Photography
Edge of Woods Photography

Peaceful Reflections

Take some time on this day to just sit quietly, ponder on the words of God and His saints – reflect on the wonders of this life and all of creation.

For the past two days, my family gave me a wonderful gift.  I asked for it and they conceded.  We had two totally peaceful days of RELAXATION and FAMILY TIME in our home.  It was vacation at home- and was so wonderful.  We simply enjoyed each others company and relaxed....forgetting about our earthly worries and spending time relaxing and enjoying the people God put into our lives.  Thus, today's reflections center on family. Not all of these quotes are from Saints or the bible as I usually attempt for our Sunday reflections, but all are important for our reflection.  I hope you enjoy.

With so many and different levels of interpersonal relations, the family becomes the most dynamic and effective unit for the formation of the human personality. While in all other forms of human coexistence the driving force remains a social motivation, in the family and the Church, which is the family of God, the motivation is existential and sacramental. This is precisely why family and Church are of unique importance in the preparation of the individual as a citizen.  ~Orthodox Research Institute "Family:  An Orthodox Christian Perspective"

Family is not an important thing.  It's everything.  ~ Michael J. Fox (actor)

You don’t choose your family. They are God’s gift to you, as you are to them. ~Desmond Tutu

“It is of great significance if there is a person who truly prays in a family. Prayer attracts God’s Grace and all the members of the family feel it, even those whose hearts have grown cold. Pray always.”   ~ Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica

Our family life, like our garden, requires continual care. Within our family our first care must be care of ourselves. If we don’t care for ourselves we will have nothing left over for others.  ~Albert S. Rossi  Family As Garden Resource Handbook  OCA.Org

For further reflection, check out this great article!  Resource Handbook - Family as Garden

 

Lord,  Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner!

 

2

Take some time on this day to just sit quietly, ponder on the words of God and His saints - reflect on the wonders of this life and all of creation.

Photo by Edge of the Woods Photogrphy
Photo by Edge of the Woods Photography

 

Take a few moments to reflect upon the words of the saints.

What is grace?  It is the blessed power of God given to he man who believes and who was baptized in the name of the Holy Trinity.  It is the power that cleanses, sanctifies, enlightens, that helps in doing good and withdraws from evil, that comforts and gives courage in misfortunes, sorrows and sickness.  It is the pledge of receiving the everlasting blessings prepared by God in heaven for His Chosen ones.

~St. John of Kronstadt

The soul that loves God has its rest in God and in God alone. In all the paths that men walk in the world, they do not attain peace until they draw nigh to hope in God.

~St. Isaac the Syrian

God loves us more than a father, mother, friend, or any else could love, and even more than we are able to love ourselves

~St. John Chrysostom

Lord, Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Peaceful Reflections

1920589_721770577904059_8810539865143710755_n

 

Take some time on this day to just sit quietly, ponder on the words of God and His saints - reflect on the wonders of this life and all of creation.

 "God in His goodness has granted us to see the sun and its light and allows us to enjoy it.  He will grant us also to enjoy it.  He will grant us also to enjoy His own inaccessible light.  Let the light of the sun be a pledge to us of this, but especially the tranquil light of the holy glory of the Heavenly Father, His only Son given to us, and the spirit of love bestowed upon our hearts."  ~ St. John of Kronstadt

Have you ever looked at the sun and felt God?  Do you notice the glory of His creation and His love in the sunrise and sunset?  Do you feel His love as the rays fall upon your skin, nourishing your health and your soul?  Take a moment next time- look up at the colors of the next sunset and breathe in the air He created to fill your lungs- feel His presence.  Feel His never ending love.

This is the day which the Lord hath made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.  ~ Psalm 118:24
                                                                                    

  When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? ~ Psalm 8:3-4

 

Lord, Jesus Christ, Son of God, Have Mercy on Me a Sinner

 

Peaceful Reflections

image

Take some time on this day to just sit quietly, ponder on the words of God and His saints - reflect on the wonders of this life and all of creation.

"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.  Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is anything praiseworthy - meditate on these things."   Philippians 4:5-8

 

It seems that everything I read these days tell me to rid myself of my anxious heart.  And here are words from the holy book - from our Holy God, telling me (us) the same thing.  I must change my perspective. Stress is nothing new- it's been around since Adam and Eve were tempted and fell into that temptation! But our anxieties can interfere with our relationship with God. It is not good to dwell on the negatives or the things we can not change in this world.  It is best to meditate upon what is lovely and praiseworthy!

 

"Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs it down, but a good word makes it glad.”    ~Proverbs 12:25

“It is a great art to succeed in having your soul sanctified. A person can become a saint anywhere. He can become a saint in Omonia Square, if he wants. At your work, whatever it may be, you can become a saint through meekness, patience, and love. Make a new start every day, with new resolution, with enthusiasm and love, prayer and silence — not with anxiety so that you get a pain in the chest.”

– St. Porphyrios

O Lord, I do not know what to ask of You. You alone know what are my true needs. You love me more than I myself know how to love. Help me to see my real needs which are concealed from me. I do not dare to ask either for a cross or for consolation. I can only wait on You. My heart is open to You. Visit and help me, for the sake of Your great mercy. Strike me and heal me; cast me down and raise me up. I worship in silence Your holy will and Your unsearchable ways. I offer myself as a sacrifice to You. I have no other desire than to fulfill Your will. Teach me to pray. Pray You Yourself in me. Amen.
- Prayer of Metropolitan Philaret of Moscow

 

Jesus Christ, Son of God, Have Mercy on Me, a Sinner.

 

 

 

Peaceful Reflections

 Reflections in a pond, Mill Dam A peaceful spot at the north end of the Duns Castle Nature Reserve

for those times you just need some quiet time to sit, read just a short bit and reflect

 

Any Desire, no matter how good it appears, cannot rival the desire for Christ or for the Panagia.  When I give my heart to God, will not God give me His entire Self in return?  God seeks man's heart:  My son, give me your heart (Proverbs 23:26).  If man gives God his heart, God will grant him his heart's desires - as long as they will not be harmful to him.  Only  a heart given to Christ is not wasted, and only in Christ does one find - in abundance- the gift of divine love in this life, and heavenly exaltation in the next life.            

~  Elder Paisios the Athonite

 

 

The soul that has come to know God fully no longer desires anything else, nor does it attach itself to anything on the earth; and if you put before it a kingdom, it would not desire it, for the love of God gives such sweetness and joy to the soul that even the life of a king can no longer give it any sweetness.
~    St. Silouan the Athonite

 

Do not desire to hear about the misfortunes of those who oppose you. For those who listen to such speech later reap the fruits of their evil intention.                
~St. Mark the Ascetic

 

 

 

Jesus Christ, Son of God, Have Mercy on Me, a Sinner.

May this day bring you peace and thoughtful, God filled reflections to fill your heart throughout your days.

Peaceful Reflections

for those times you just need some quiet time to sit, read just a short bit and reflect

 

cross_lg

And what agreement has the temple of God with idols?  For you are a temple of the living God.  As God has said: "I will dwell in them and walk with them. I will be their God, and they shall be my people."  Therefore "Come out from among them And be separate , says the Lord.  Do not touch what is unclean, And I will receive you."  "I will be a Father to you, And you shall be My sons and daughters, Says the Lord Almighty."  

Therefore, having thee promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.    ~ 2 Corinthians 6:16-7:1

To cleanse ourselves, according to the Orthodox Study Bible, means that by the promises of GOD, we are to venture into a long struggle for holiness. This, of course, includes true repentance.

"Whoever wishes to be saved must turn to the Lord with a pure heart, andmust cleanse oneself with repentance and tears, and in such a manner wpid-img_20141003_194109_937.jpgunite with Christ, the True Vine. For without Christ there is no salvation. Christ is Life and Light. He who has departed from Life and Light must then be in death and darkness. Consider this, O Christian, and with tears and repentance wash away your sins, that you may once again be united with Christ - your very life."
~St. Tikhon of Zadonsk

 

“Children, I beseech you to correct your hearts and thoughts, so that you may be pleasing to God. Consider that although we may reckon ourselves to be righteous and frequently succeed in deceiving men, we can conceal nothing from God. Let us therefore strive to preserve the holiness of our souls and to guard the purity of our bodies with all fervor. Ye are the temple of God, says the divine Apostle Paul; If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy.”                                                 – St. Nicholas of Myra

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

 

 

 

Peaceful Reflections.....for those times you just need some quiet time to sit, read a short bit and reflect.

2010-07-18 09.24.10

 

Pay attention to yourselves, lest your hearts be burdened with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of life, and that day come on you suddenly like a snare;  for it will come upon all those sitting on the face of all the earth. But keep awake at all times, beseeching that you may have strength to flee away from all these things that are about to happen and to stand before the Son of Man.  ~ Luke 21: 34-36

Though I speak with tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.

St. Paul

~ I Corinthians 1-3

 

 

Remember, never to fear the power of evil more than your trust in the power and love of God.  ~Hermas, one of the Seventy

 

 Lord, Jesus Christ, Son of God  have mercy on me a sinner.

 

 

 

Peaceful Reflections.....for those times you just need some quiet time to sit, read a short bit and reflect.

2010-07-18 09.50.10

 

Let our love be only in Christ.  In order to benefit others you must live in the love of God, otherwise you are unable to do good to your fellow man.  You mustn't pressurize the other person.  His time will come as long as you pray for him.  With silence, tolerance and above all prayer, we benefit others in a mystical way.  The grace of God clears the horizon of his mind and assures him of His love.  Here is the fine point.  As soon as he accepts that God is love, then abundant light such as he has never seen will come upon him.  Thus, he will  find salvation.   ~ Elder Porphyrios the Kapsokalyvite

Let us be convinced that nothing can happen to us apart from the providence of God.   ~St. Dorotheos of Gaza

As soon as your mind has experienced what the scripture says: "How gracious is the Lord," it will be so touched with that delight that it ill no longer want to leave the place of the heart.  It will echo the words of the apostle Peter: "How good it is to be here."  ~ St. Symeon the New Theologian

St. Symeon the New Theologian

 

 

 

"The Cross, is wood which lifts us up and makes us great ... The Cross uprooted us from the depths of evil and elevated us to the summit of virtue"
St. John Chrysostom

"Glory, O Lord, to the power of Thy Cross, which never fails! When the enemy oppresses me with a sinful thought or feeling, and I, lacking freedom in my heart, make the sign of the Cross several times with faith, suddenly my sin falls away from me, the compulsion vanishes, and I find myself free… For the faithful the Cross is a mighty power which delivers from all evils, from the malice of the invisible foe."
St. John of Kronstadt

"Do not seek the perfection of the law in human virtues, for it is not found perfect in them. Its perfection is hidden in the Cross of Christ."
St. Hesychius the Priest

 

The Orthodox Church celebrates the Feast of the Exaltation of the Life-Giving Cross of Christ  tomorrow, as it is celebrated on September 14 each year.   The epistle reading for the Feast is from 1 Corinthians 1:18-24:

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.” Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.

*NOTE:  (From the Orthodox Study Bible) " Why is the message of the cross foolishness to unbelievers? 'It is a mark of them that perish not to recognize the things which lead to salvation'(John Chrysostom).  We who bear witness to Christ must not be discouraged when those outside of Him mock, for so did one even Paul himself.  Being saved, present tense, refers to the process by which the Cross transforms us with the power of God."

Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, now and forever, and to the ages of ages! Amen!

1

wpid-IMG_20140130_113846_847.jpgAs I sit in a semi-asleep trance this Saturday morning, realizing I had been desperate enough for coffee but too tired to remember to get it out of the Keurig when it was done..... I walk to the kitchen to get my cup and reflect over what I have just read.  I come back and realize the coffee is not that hot but I really must get myself back into some habits..... writing being one of them (here I am!)and my peaceful reflections being another....bible reading, Orthodox reading and reading in general.

Today I share some snippets I found in the 201 Daily Lives, Miracles and Wisdom of Saints and Fasting Calendar put out by the Orthodox Calendar Company.  It is not from today's reading as I am WAY behind in my readings!

The Lord said, "Learn from Me to be meek and humble of heart." There are many types of humility.  You can be obedient and reproach yourself in everything - this is a form of humility.  Another can repent his sins and count himself the lowest before Christ - this is also a form of humility.  But when a soul sees the Lord through the Holy Spirit in all His meekness and humility, then it also becomes humbled to its limits.  This is a special sort of humility which cannot be described, it can only be experienced through the Holy Spirit. And if people could experience the Lord through the Holy Spirit, they would all change - the wealthy would despise their wealth, the learned their studies, the powerful their glory and authority, and all would be humbled and would live in great peace and love, and the earth would be filled with great joy.  He who has experienced God through the Holy Spirit has a different understanding and taste.    ~  St. Silouan the Athonite

 

We leave our tasks unfinished because of our negligence or debility, for we do not carry out the work of God diligently and do not regard it as our main task; on the contrary, we disdain it as a kind of incidental chore.  Because of this we fail to prosper, or indeed often regress, like those others who 'turned black' and no longer followed Jesus (cf. Jn. 6:66).  And yet what Jesus said was nothing harsh, as they thought, for he was speaking to them about doctrine.  None the less, where a resolute disposition and desire are lacking, even easy things appear difficult - though the reverse is true as well.    ~St. Peter of Damascus

 

As I attempt to pick myself up from boxes and messes and days filled with running here and there and try to get back into a 'normal' routine - whatever that may be - I'll think upon these words that penetrated my soul this morning....  I hope you will join me.  Blessings!!