Saying by St. Nikolai Velimirovic

Let us be ashamed of our slowness in thanking God when He gives, and of our quickness in grumbling at Him when He takes away.
-Saint Nikolai Velimirovic

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From An Athonite Gerontikon

The Karouliotan ascetic elder Philaretos, when nearing his end, called his co-ascetic neighbor, Gabriel, to come to him and bring a pick-axe and shovel. “Brother come, my end is near. I must prepare for my trip.
By your love, let us go a bit further away from my hut.” He got up with great difficulty. As they arrived at a spot between some rocks where they found some soil, Elder Philaretos lay down. “Here is the place where my grave is going to be. Measure it and dig it, to be ready.” Father Gabriel marked the measurements on the ground and started digging.

About a week later Father Philaretos, the friend of the desert and of virtue, departed from this temporary life.

from An Athonite Gerontikon

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From the Apophthegmata Patrum

An old man said, “If it were possible, at the time of the coming of Christ after the Resurrection, that men’s souls should die of fear, the whole world would die of terror and confusion.  What a sight, to see the heavens open and God revealed in anger and wrath, and innumerable armies of angels and, at the same time, the whole of humanity.  Therefore, we ought to live as having to give account to God of our way of life every day.

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On Marriage and Family Life

English: Russian Imperial Family Photo

English: Russian Imperial Family Photo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On Marriage and Family Life

Excerpts from notes made by the Royal Martyr Empress Alexandra Fedorovna

There are many religious treatises to be found on monasticism, but there are too few books dedicated to acquainting the contemporary reader with the Christian concept of matrimony. And yet the majority of Christians choose the path of the wedded state, called by the Holy Fathers “the harbor of chastity.”

However, our life is usually spent in worry over obtaining one’s daily bread, and the mutual limitations and sinfulness of the spouses often leave a noticeable trace on the relations between husband and wife. Gradually the feelings which had made the young lovers the happiest people on earth begin to fade, grow scanty; the light of sacrifice and chivalry begins to dim; daily routine makes communion between the spouses lackluster. The experience of the crowned royals Nicholas and Alexandra was obviously quite different. Innate nobility, purity of feelings and intentions were united with a well thought out effort to maintain and guard the union which truly became a model for their loyal subjects.

While reading books, Empress Alexandra wrote out excerpts which accorded most fully with her own experience of marriage. The inner power of these notes lies in the virtuous way of life of the pious Empress, who was totally dedicated to the ideal of the family. It is for this reason that these excerpts reflect calmness, total sincerity, and celestial beauty. In our times, when the very basic human concepts of duty, honor, conscience, responsibility, and faithfulness are questioned and even mocked, the reading of these notes becomes a real spiritual event. Counsels, warnings to the spouses, thoughts on true and false love, reflections on the relations between close relatives, testimony concerning the definitive significance of the home atmosphere in determining a child’s nature – such is the circle of ethical problems with which the Empress is concerned.

The Empress helps us take a fresh look at the divine establishment of marriage and to value this gift in the light of Christian love.


Please visit the original site for the rest of this inspiring article:

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Look How the Night Grows Pale

Theotokos Seeker of the Lost

ICON: Theotokos Seeker of the Lost

Look how the night grows pale; the darkness gives way to a delicate, serene blueness. So gradually as to be scarcely noticeable, traces of light appear in the east. It is no longer night, but neither is it yet day.

Minutes pass of enigmatic silence. It is as if the world is waiting once again to be created by God, as it was at the genesis of time.

–from Reflections of a Humble Heart: A Fifteenth-Century Text on the Spiritual Life

Free Abstract Cloudy Sky  Pale Blue Pine Backg...

Free Abstract Cloudy Sky Pale Blue Pine Background (Photo credit: webtreats)

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The Martyr Tatiana in the Afterfeast of the Theophany

Theophany of our Lord, Troparion, Tone I —
When Thou, O Lord, wast baptized in the Jordan,/ the worship of the Trinity was made manifest;/ for, the voice of the Father bare witness unto Thee,/ calling Thee His beloved Son;/ and the Spirit in the form of a dove/ confirmed the certainty of His word./ O Christ our God, Who hast appeared and enlightened the worlds,// glory be to Thee!

Kontakion of the Martyr Tatiana of Rome, Tone IV, “Thou hast appeared today” —
Thou didst shine forth radiantly in thy suffering,/ O passion-bearer, adorned with thy blood,/ and like a beautiful turtle-dove thou hast soared aloft/ to the heavens, O Tatiana.// Wherefore, pray thou ever for those who honor thee.

Kontakion of the Feast, Tone IV —
Thou hast appeared today to the whole world,/ and Thy light, O Lord, hath been signed upon us/ who hymn Thee with understanding./ Thou hast come, Thou hast appeared,/ the Light unapproachable.

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The Pearl: Seven Hymns On The Faith

The Pearl: Seven Hymns On The Faith
St. Ephraim of Syria
Translated by J.B. Morris
re-edited by John Gwynn

** 1. **

On a certain day a pearl did I take up, my brethren;
I saw in it mysteries pertaining to the Kingdom;
Semblances and types of the Majesty;
It became a fountain, and I drank out of it mysteries of the Son.

I put it, my brethren, upon the palm of my hand,
That I might examine it:
I went to look at it on one side,
And it proved faces on all sides.
I found out that the Son was incomprehensible,
Since He is wholly Light.

In its brightness I beheld the Bright One Who cannot be clouded,
And in its pureness a great mystery,
Even the Body of Our Lord which is well-refined:
In its undivideness I saw the Truth
Which is undivided.

It was so that I saw there its pure conception,
The Church, and the Son within her.
The cloud was the likeness of her that bare Him,
And her type the heaven,
Since there shone forth from her His gracious Shining.

I saw therein his Trophies, and His victories, and His crowns.
I saw His helpful and overflowing graces,
And His hidden things with His revealed things.

[to be continued]

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