It is a time of much challenge to those that are Christians throughout the wpid-img_20141018_112148_325.jpgworld. 

 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.

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 When Daniel knew that the document had been signed, he went to his house where he had windows in his upper chamber open toward Jerusalem. He got down on his knees three times a day and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as he had done previously.

~Daniel 6:10

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever. Give thanks to the God of gods, for his steadfast love endures forever. Give thanks to the Lord of lords, for his steadfast love endures forever; to him who alone does great wonders, for his steadfast love endures forever; to him who by understanding made the heavens, for his steadfast love endures forever

~Psalm 136:1-26

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

~ Thessalonians 5:18

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"...the Liturgy is the unique moment of opportunity to encounter the Living God who is present. It is time to share in the glory from on high. It is the time we share in the fire of the Holy Spirit. For all that, the Divine Liturgy is not escapism. It is an end and beginning. At its end we “go forth in peace… in the name of the Lord.” This is a call and a challenge to us to go out and to share with others everything we have received in the Eucharist. Thus, the Eucharist becomes the source of our mission, and the basis for our social justice, our effort to create a much better world, one that is better, more human and more just. We are to live the Eucharist day by day. We are to be daily that which we have received at the Lord’s Table — the living Body of Christ."

~Metropolitan Kallistos (Ware)

 

Orthodox Prayer of Thanksgiving

O Lord my Savior and my Master, I, Thine unprofitable servant, with fear and trembling give thanks unto Thy loving goodness for all Thy benefits which Thou hast poured so abundantly upon me, Thy servant. I fall down in adoration before Thee and offer Thee, O God, my praises; with fervor I cry to Thee:

O God, deliver me from all adversities and mercifully fulfill in me such of my desires as may be expedient for me. Hear me, I entreat Thee, and have mercy, for Thou art the Hope of all the ends of the earth, and unto Thee, with the Father, and the Holy Spirit, be ascribed glory, now and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen.

I praise Thee, O God of our Fathers, I hymn Thee, I bless Thee, I give thanks unto thee for Thy great and tender mercy. To Thee I flee, O merciful and mighty God. Shine into my heart with the True Sun of Thy righteousness.

Enlighten my mind and keep all my senses, that henceforth I may walk uprightly and keep Thy commandments, and may finally attain unto eternal life, even to Thee, Who art the source of life, and be admitted to the glorious fruition of Thine inaccessible Light; for Thou art my God, and unto Thee, O Father, Son and Holy Spirit, be ascribed glory, now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.

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My toddler, after reading a story about Thanksgiving, was asked, "What do we eat for Thanksgiving?".  He responded, "Turkey, strawberries, perogies, squash and pumpkin".  Okay, so he didn't exactly understand the whole concept of what the pilgrims ate but he got a lot!  🙂

Hopefully, we adults get a lot more out of the concept of Thanksgiving than my toddler.  Hopefully we know it's not really about the food and learn a lesson that doesn't require Snoopy making popcorn and toast and Marcie telling Charlie Brown the true meaning of Thanksgiving.

But if you're not sure, or if you are and just want a moment to reflect, here is an Orthodox prayer for Thanksgiving given to us by St. Basil the Great:

                                 We bless Thee, O most high God and Lord of mercy, Who art ever doing numberless great and inscrutable things for us––glorious and wonderful; Who grantest to us sleep for rest from our infirmities, and repose from the burdens of or much toiling flesh.  We thank Thee that Thou hast not destroyed us with our sins, but hast loved us forever; and though we are sunk in despair, Thou hast raised us up to glorify thy power.  Therefore, we implore Thine incomparable goodness: enlighten the eyes of our understanding and raise up our mind from the heavy sleep of indolence; open our mouth and fill it with Thy praise, that we may be able––without distraction––to sing and confess Thee, Who are God glorified in all and by all, the eternal Father, with Thine Only-begotten Son, and thine All-Holy and good and life-giving Spirit, now and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen.

I pray that you are with family today or at least someone who is like family to you.

I pray that you have a roof over your head and a source of warmth.

I pray that you do have food that will sustain your health.

I pray that you have love.

I pray that you have the ability to rest when you are weary.

I pray that you have good health.

I pray that you have someone who can make you smile even when the world seems dark and cold.

I pray that you have Faith, strong and true.

I pray that God blesses you this day and each and every day of your life and that you have the eyes to behold it with gratitude.

I pray that you have peace.

Happy Thanksgiving!