An Irish Welcome

Céad Míle Fáilte friend and rover ...
Wherever you come from and whosoever you may be.
That's an Irish greeting and it means

you are welcome
a thousand times over.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

The embers are now cold ...

Soft breeses, mild sunshine,
spring is still young.
The sudden change to light apparel
brightened my spirit.
But upon awakening from slumber,
I felt the cilly air;
The plum flower withered in my hair.

Where can I call my native land?
Forget - I can not, except in wine
when I drown my care.
Incense was lighted when I went to sleep;
Though the embers are now cold,
the warmth of wine still holds.

Li Qingzhao (1084–c. 1151)

Friday, July 23, 2010

In a minute

A small poem I came across scribbled in one of my diaries from 2005:

I have only just a minute,
Only 60 seconds in it,
Forced upon me - cant refuse it,
Didn't seek it, didn't choose it,
But it's up to me to use it -
Give account if I abuse it:
Just a tiny minute -
But eternity is in it.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Hymn of Goodness

I fall in adoration at Your feet, Lord!
I thank You, God of goodness;
God of holiness, I invoke You,
on my knees, in Your sight
For me, an unworthy sinner,
You have willed to undergo the death of the Cross,
setting me free from the bonds of evil.

What shall I offer You in return for Your generosity?

Glory to You, friend of man!
Glory to You, most merciful!
Glory to You, most patient!
Glory to You, Who forgive sin!
Glory to You, Who have come to save us!
Glory to You, Who have been made man in the womb of a Virgin!
Glory to You, Who have been bound!
Glory to You, Who have been scourged!
Glory to You, Who have been derided!
Glory to You, Who have been nailed to the Cross!
Glory to You, laid in the sepulcher, but risen again!
Glory to You, Who have preached the Gospel to men and have been believed!
Glory to You, Who have ascended to Heaven!
Glory to You, seated at the right hand of the Father,
and Who will return with Him, in majesty, among the angels, to judge
those who have disregarded your Passion!

The powers of Heaven will be shaken;
all the angels and archangels, the cherubim and seraphim
will appear in fear and trembling before Your glory;
the foundations of the earth will quake
and all that has life will cry out before Your majesty.
In that hour, let Your hand draw me beneath Your wings,
and save me from the terrible fire, from the gnashing of teeth,
from the outer darkness and from despair without end.
That I may sing to Your glory:
Glory to Him Who through His merciful goodness
has designed to redeem the sinner.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

A wayfarer

Night light for wayfarers
which distinguishes night from night
the dawn bird now sings aloud
calling up the light of the sun.

Sailors gain strength as he appears,
and sea’s waves are calm;

Jesus, look upon those who waver;
and looking, help us to be firm;
Under Your care shame fades away
and You wipe out the stain of sin. 

O light, shine now within our souls
and torpor fly from every mind;
And at the dawn our voices rise
in sons of prayer and praise to You.

- St. Ambrose of Milan

Live in hope - quote

Blessed is a man who has a living hope in God; he shows faith, trust, glory, and honor to Him. God is then obliged to keep him in His providence, and the saying of the holy Gospel applies: "As you have believed, so let it be done for you." (Mt.8:13).

But unfortunately, temptations come to us, creating great spiritual confusion, and the bright sun of sweet hope is covered by deep darkness. Then we lose our orientation and end up thinking and doing something unbecoming to our calling as Christians. But the goodness of God, Who knows that the mind of man is inclined to evil from his youth (Gen.8:21), and that men are not able to remain in the height of Christian perfection, gave us glorious and endless repentance.

Prayer of Isaiah

With my soul I have desired You in the night, 
Yes, by my spirit within me I will seek You early; 
For when Your judgments are in the earth, 
The inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness. 

Let grace be shown to the wicked, 
Yet he will not learn righteousness; 
In the land of uprightness he will deal unjustly, 
And will not behold the majesty of the LORD. 

LORD, when Your hand is lifted up, they will not see. 
But they will see and be ashamed 
For their envy of people; 
Yes, the fire of Your enemies shall devour them. 

LORD, You will establish peace for us, 
For You have also done all our works in us. 

O LORD our God, masters besides You 
Have had dominion over us; 
But by You only we make mention of Your name. 

They are dead, they will not live; 
They are deceased, they will not rise. 
Therefore You have punished and destroyed them, 
And made all their memory to perish. 

You have increased the nation, O LORD, 
You have increased the nation; 
You are glorified; 
You have expanded all the borders of the land. 

LORD, in trouble they have visited You, 
They poured out a prayer when Your chastening was upon them. 
As a woman with child 
Is in pain and cries out in her pangs, 
When she draws near the time of her delivery, 
So have we been in Your sight, O LORD. 

We have been with child, we have been in pain; 
We have, as it were, brought forth wind; 
We have not accomplished any deliverance in the earth, 
Nor have the inhabitants of the world fallen. 

Your dead shall live; 
Together with my dead body they shall arise. 
Awake and sing, you who dwell in dust; 
For your dew is like the dew of herbs, 
And the earth shall cast out the dead.

Come, my people, enter your chambers, 
And shut your doors behind you; 
Hide yourself, as it were, for a little moment, 
Until the indignation is past.

Hattip: Jonathan

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Christ is in every poor man

"Care for the poor; 
lighten everyone’s burden; 
comfort the suffering."

I saw a stranger yestreen; 
I put food in the eating place, 
drink in the drinking place, 

music in the listening place, 
and in the name of the Triune 
he blessed myself and my house, 
my cattle and my dear ones, and the lark said in her song 
often, goes the Christ in the stranger's guise.

- The Irish Rune of Hospitality

"It is in the name of Christ that I feed the poor, 
for Christ is in the body of every poor man. -St. Brigid

Do what you can, for who you can, with what you have, and where you are. 

The best gifts to give:

To your friend, loyalty;
To your enemy, forgiveness;
To your boss, service;
To a child, a good example;
To your parents, gratitude and devotion;
To your spouse, love and faithfulness;
To all men and women, charity; 
and To God, your life.

…for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me....”

--- Christ

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

the consolation of books

A certain member of what was then considered the circle of the wise once approached the just Anthony and asked him: "How do you ever manage to carry on, Father, deprived as you are of the consolation of books?"

His reply: "My book, sir philosopher, is the nature of created things, and it is always at hand when I wish to read the works of God."

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Ignite my heart, my Lord

"Open, O doors and bolts of my heart, that Christ the King of Glory may enter! Enter, O my Light, and enlighten my darkness; enter, O my Life, and resurrect my deadness; enter, O my Physician, and heal my wounds; enter, O Divine Fire, and burn up the thorns of my sins; ignite my inward parts and my heart with the flame of Thy love; enter, O my King, and destroy in me the kingdom of sin; sit on the throne of my heart and reign in me alone, O Thou, my King and my Lord” 

- Prayer of St. Dimitry of Rostov

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

My soul thirst the Lord - St Silouan

Δίψα Θεού - Αγίου Σιλουανού

Διψά η ψυχή μου τον Κύριον
Και μετά δακρύων ζητώ Αυτόν
Πως να μη Σε ζητώ, Συ πρώτος με εζήτησες
Και έδωκας εις εμέ να γευτώ της γλυκύτητος του Πνεύματος Του Αγίου
Και η ψυχή μου Σε ηγάπησεν έως τέλους

Τον πρώτον χρόνον της ζωής μου εις το μοναστήριον
Η ψυχή μου εγνώρισε Τον Κύριον
Και τούτο έμαθον από το Άγιον Πνεύμα
Ότι πολύ αγαπά ημάς ο Κύριος

Τώρα εγήρασα και ετοιμάζομαι δια τον θάνατον
Και χάρην του λαού γράφω την αλήθειαν
Ωω..., αδελφοί μου
Πίπτω εις τα γόνατα και παρακαλώ υμάς
Πιστεύετε εις Τον Θεόν
Πιστεύετε ότι υπάρχει Το Άγιον Πνεύμα
Αυτό μαρτυρεί περί Του Θεού
Εις όλας τας εκκλησίας ημών
Και εις την ψυχήν μου

Είμαι μεγάλος αμαρτωλός
Και όμως είδα την άμετρον αγάπη και το έλεος του Κυρίου επ' εμέ

Το ιλαρόν και πράον βλέμμα του Κυρίου
έθελξε την ψυχήν μου

Ωω..., η αγάπη Του Κυρίου
Δεν έχω δυνάμεις να περιγράψω αυτήν
Διότι είναι απείρως μεγάλη και θαυμαστή
Δεν δύναμαι να Σε λησμονήσω
Σε νοσταλγεί η ψυχή μου Κύριε
Και με δάκρυα Σε ζητώ.

YouTube Video

Saturday, July 3, 2010

"Power goes out from Christ, not traveling from one location to another, but rather imparted to others while remaining in Christ undiminished. It is the same with teachings, which remain with those who teach, and yet are imparted to those who learn." - Blessed Theophylact.

* * *

Let not your heart be troubled, nor let it be afraid." (Jn 14:27). My children, trust that God will not let us be tempted beyond our strength; along with the temptation will come the help of God. Our Christ tells us that if they hated Me they will also hate you (Jn 15:18); if they persecuted and blasphemed and cursed Me, they will also persecute and blaspheme and curse you. And they will do these things to you because they do not know God and "they know not what they do (Lk 23:43)."

We, my children, know God, and because we love Him and are His, the world hates us, since it does not agree with Him. Therefore have courage, my children; we are followers of the One Who was crucified by them; so we too will be crucified by trials and temptations. Just as He was resurrected, we too will be resurrected and glorified together with Him unto the ages of ages.

The devil has raised a storm, but it will die down because God is all-powerful, and nothing can happen without His divine will. God is with us. Christ reigns within us, within as many of us as were baptized into Christ, and we are not afraid. Perhaps we shall enter into temptations, but our Deliverer is near, for He said, "I have overcome the world" (Jn 16:33). Therefore, we will also be victorious, even if the sea surges threateningly for the moment. Do not be afraid of anyone; fear only God Who is able to cast us into the fire of hell, if we are not careful.

So, "blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." (Mt. 5:10) Do not forget what the Christians of the past suffered in order to keep their faith in our Christ; they hid within the catacombs; they were persecuted and afflicted. We also are blessed, who are persecuted because of our desire to worship God and to guard our chastity.

We shall go through much. But in the end, the crucified Jesus will be victorious; for the Cross is our glorious banner. 

So do not fear; God is with us. 

Friday, July 2, 2010

The trial of Our faith ...

"That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perishes, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearance of Jesus Christ" (1 Peter 1:7).

Brethren, our faith is tried more often than is the reed rocked by the winds. Trials are like the winds: a weak faith they will uproot and a strong faith will be strengthened even more. Trials are also like the flame in which straw is burned and gold is purified.

Man's intellectual pursuits and suppositions also try our faith. These are very strong and bitter winds. But we can overcome them if we are willing to adhere to the words of God and if, in opposition to those intellectual pursuits, we are able to emphasize the teachings of the Faith of Christ.

Our faith is further tried by fear and shame: fear of men who persecute the Faith and shame of men who arrogantly despise the Faith. These also are strong winds which we must resist if we wish to remain alive. How will we resist them? By the fear of God which should always be greater in our soul than the fear of men and of shame before the apostles, saints and martyrs who were not ashamed of their faith before emperors, princes and sages of this world.

Our faith is further tried by suffering and misery. This is the fire in which our faith either has to be burned like straw or to be tempered as pure gold. We will resist these trials if we would but remember Christ crucified on the Cross for us and so many thousands of martyrs for the Faith who, in their patience, conquered all and emerged from the flames as gold and who for centuries glow among the angels and among men.

Our faith is also tried by death, the death of our relatives and friends and the death of mankind in general. This is the bitter fire in which the faith of many have been burned. Is death the end of everything? It is not, but rather believe that it is the beginning of everything; it is the beginning of a new and just life. Believe in the Resurrection of Christ, believe in life beyond the grave and believe in the general resurrection and the Dreadful Judgment.

O Good Lord, strengthen the faith in us and have mercy on us. To You be glory and thanks always. Amen.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

What joy awaits us!

O brethren, what joy awaits us! 

O brethren, how small a price does our Lord ask of us to purchase this joy in which the angels bathe and in which the righteous swim! Only to fulfill a few of His short commandments that is the entire price!

O Lord Jesus, the all-miraculous source of our joy, our boast and our pleasure, our glory and our thanks, place Your finger on our mouths and do not allow a drop of muddy sorrow and temptations to poison us.

To You be glory and thanks always. Amen.