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So then my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath, for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God.     ~ James 1: 19-20

 

The above quote came from a devotional I was reading during my 'weekend away".  I've had some issues lately that have ignited anger, or wrath.  It's so hard to deal with angry emotions, especially when you know you are being ill treated.  It's difficult to stand up for yourself without giving into the temptation of reacting in anger.

Be angry and do not sin; Have remorse upon your beds for what you say in your hearts.       Psalm 4: 5

It is okay to be angry, but not to act with anger.  One must even be remorseful for the angry words in your hearts.  One must certainly repent of angry actions.

 

Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.    Ephesians 4:29

Be careful of the words you speak while angry.  Be sure they are imparted with grace.  Stop, count to ten and pray before you speak.

 

Oh Lord, help me to not become discouraged and to be slow to speak and slow to become angry.  Give me grace to follow the way of Your love.  Help me to not sin when I am angry but to speak  with grace, to respond with love instead of reacting with wrath.  Help me to keep my head and be careful with my words and deeds.  Help me to remember to pray continually in all moments and to seek You in the times of trouble.  Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

It is a time of much challenge to those that are Christians throughout the

world. 

 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, courage and wisdom.

 Please allow me share to with you 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 these peaceful reflections as I do.   May God be with you.

 

Recently, I have once again read The Ascetic Lives of Mothers: A Prayer Book for Orthodox Moms by Annalisa Boyd.  Why I don't carry this book around me daily is beyond me.  If you are an Orthodox Mom and you don't have this book, get it now.  Her words are so true to heart and the pages are filled with quotes of the church fathers and prayers to suit every need.  I wanted to share some today.

 

Those times I have stepped back and taken a moment in silence, I have found many of the issues I thought were so pressing actually fall away to reveal heart issues- issues I need to bring before the Lord in continual prayers.  Of course this doesn't mean discipline may not be in order, but I will not be sinning in my anger if I take a moment to reflect , pray for my child, and address him in love. What impact might I have on my children's souls if I consistently approached them in this manner?  ~  Annalisa Boyd

 

Prayer -  Complaining

Lord Jesus Christ, let every word that comes from my mouth be acceptable in Your sight and full of Your praises.  Remind me when I feel like complaining that our Lord Jesus Christ endured the very Cross without a single complaint.  Let my mouth speak of Your goodness, and may I tell the world of my great joy because of Your finished work on the Cross.  When the worm of complaint tries to penetrate my heart and mind, let it be a reminder to me to pray for my family and those in need.  Amen.

 

Prayer - Greed/Selfishness

Grant, O Lord, Your wisdom to teach my children to be lovers of God rather than lovers of the world.  In their innocence let me not neglect these great lessons necessary for their souls.  If my heart has forgotten these lessons, or wasn't properly taught, forgive me and help me to learn in all humility.  Help us to accept the gifts you provide for us, but let us also be eager to give whatever we have to those in need.  Remind us always that this world is our temporary home, a mere shadow of the glories to come.  In the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

How do you refrain from complaining in your life?  How do you teach your children to be lovers of God rather than lovers of the world?

 

I use to do posts that I titled "reflections".  It's been a long time and I'd like to get started again.  I glean so much in my bible reading, devotion reading, prayer books, quotes from our Church Fathers and other sources.  I like to share them with my readers.  So may this be the first in a long line of Sunday Reflections!

Photo by Pixabay

It is a time of much challenge to those that are Christians throughout the

world. 

 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, courage and wisdom.

 Please allow me share to with you 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 these peaceful reflections as I do.   May God be with you.

 

And pray ye without ceasing on behalf of other men.  For there is in them the hope of repentance that they may attain to God.  See, then, that they be instructed by your works, if in no other way.   ~  St. Ignatius of Antioch

 

 

Help one another with the generosity of the Lord, and despise no one.  When you have the opportunity to do good, do not let it go by.  ~  St. Polycarp of Smyrna

 

“Illumine our hearts, O Master Who lovest mankind, with the pure light of Thy divine knowledge. Open the eyes of our mind to the understanding of Thy gospel teachings. Implant also in us the fear of Thy blessed commandments, that trampling down all carnal desires, we may enter upon a spiritual manner of living, both thinking and doing such things as are well-pleasing unto Thee. For Thou art the illumination of our souls and bodies, O Christ our God, and unto Thee we ascribe glory, together with Thy Father, Who is from everlasting, and Thine all-holy, good, and life-creating Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.”

— Prayer read silently by the priest before the reading of the Gospel

For further soul nourishment, take out your bible and read Today's Readings:  Acts 12:1-11; John 15:17-16:2

 

What are your thoughts and reflections?  What do these quotes and prayers bring to mind? 

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Photo by Pixabay
Photo by Pixabay

Wrapping It Up 

February

Well, I'm not sure that I ever bought into the groundhog theory, but suffice it to say he seems right so far as the snow seems to just keep piling up out there with no end in sight.  Oh how I long for Spring!  People tell me it's right around the corner but have they seen the snow piles around the corner?? It was a wonderful St. Valentine's Day celebration none the less! It was the 26th celebration of St. Valentine's Day I celebrated with my sweetheart -we've never missed one yet- not even during our darkest year that included a brief separation.  Yes, we've been there- not proud of it- but just want to be honest as I think there are too many divorces in this world....and not enough couples willing to fight the good fight so to speak and do what it takes to make a marriage work.  I'm so glad that we have and still are committed to our relationship!  Marriage is hard work but it is sooooo worth it!!

 

My Writing World

There are days I wonder if this world still exists. At the beginning of this month I even posted about this. I actually implied that I may be done with writing at least at this point in my life. Don't go looking for the post however, because after discussing this with my husband he requested that I delete the post. Some of you that follow by email probably ...continue reading "February WrapUp"

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s295922263988903417_p44_i1_w600"If you have sinned, acknowledge the sin and repent.   God will forgive the sin and once again give you a new heart...and a new spirit (Ez. 36:26).  There is no other way:  Either do not sin, or repent."    ~ St. Theophan the Recluse from The Path to Salvation:  A Manual of Spiritual Transformation

I stumbled upon the above quote in one of my many searches for Orthodox Quotes to put on my Facebook page ( https://www.facebook.com/Orthodoxmom3 ).  I post a quote or prayer there every morning - well, almost every morning...

I am always attracted to anything that speaks on forgiveness.  Whether it be the human need to forgive others or God's forgiveness of us.  It's a constant struggle - forgiveness.  And I know that not to be true of just myself.  It's a common theme among Christians and non-Christians alike.  Everyone has someone who has wronged them and struggles with their feelings about that person and what he or she has done to offend them.

St. Theophan, in the quote above, addresses our own sinfulness and the need to repent for God to forgive us.  All we have to do is acknowledge the sin and repent of it.  Easier said than done sometimes.  We, humans, are stubborn.  We don't care to admit that we have been capable of hurting someone or doing something wrong in the site of God.  And yet, we are human.  How do any of us live a day without sinning in some form or manner?  But God forgives.  That's so far out of the grasp of our understanding sometimes.  But, indeed, He does.

And we humans are called to do the same.  FORGIVE.

It matters not what the person has done, whether it was voluntary or involuntary.  Whether it was by word or by deed.  Whether it was in knowledge or of ignorance.  We are called to FORGIVE and to repent of our own sins and ask Him for FORGIVENESS.

 

Orthodox Prayer Before Communion

I believe, O Lord, and I confess that Thou art truly the Christ, the Son of the Living God, Who camest into the world to save sinners, of whom I am first. I believe also that this is truly Thine own pure Body, and that this is truly Thine own precious Blood. Therefore I pray Thee: have mercy upon me and forgive my transgressions both voluntary and involuntary, of word and of deed, of knowledge and of ignorance. And make me worthy to partake without condemnation of Thy most pure Mysteries, for the remission of my sins, and unto life everlasting. Amen.

Of Thy Mystical Supper, O Son of God, accept me today as a communicant; for I will not speak of Thy Mystery to Thine enemies, neither like Judas will I give Thee a kiss; but like the thief will I confess Thee: Remember me, O Lord in Thy Kingdom.

May the communion of Thy Holy Mysteries be neither to my judgment, nor to my condemnation, O Lord, but to the healing of soul and body. Amen.