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.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Vision 7:10

The prophet Daniel had a vision in Daniel 7:10:

A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened.

Christ does not need us, for He has thousands of angels who serve Him impeccably. In addition, by a word He is able to create thousands more of these holy beings. But His infinite love constrains Him to be concerned about us. So let us remember this love of God at every moment of our life, so that we shall do our worthless deeds solely for the love of God.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Blessed is the Man ...

Blessed is he who, dwelling amidst many people, does not
          turn towards
the many, but directs his whole heart to God.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Sweet dreams - sleepless nights

Your luxury somehow gets in the way of your senses.
But I am sorrowful even on minor things.
For sin is an estrangement from God.

How should I bear God, in a state of loss?

For you, sleep is satisfying, and you lay down on both sides.
Sweet are the dreams that mirror the day's events.
You drink, you dice, you clutch, you flirt, you laugh.

For me, the greater part of life is sleepless.

For pains stab at me even when I lie resting,
and when I do snatch a little sleep, I weep.
And the rude night's appearances frighten me,
the judgement, a judge not well-disposed to me, while I stand
   there trembling;
here a fountain with fire unquenchable boiling;
there, a worm forever gnawing;
in the middle, conscience, an unwritten prosecutor.
But God is my support and consolation,
when I am hungry, shivering, and in straits.

Go on, act tough, beat up on me, call me low-born and poor,
stomp and push; you won't be acting tough much longer.

By God I endure all things, and it's to Him I look.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Adulterous passion is death

"You have heard that it was said, 'Do not commit adultery'. But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart." -Mt 5:27-28

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The Holy Fathers have referred to adulterous passion as death. When the adulterer is saved from an adulterous passion it is as though he resurrected from the dead. For those who live in the world the passion of adultery is inflamed principally by seeing and for those who live a life of asceticism in the wilderness that passion is inflamed by thoughts and by imagination.

Saint Sarah, a great female ascetic, was tortured by the insane passion of adultery for thirty years. She always defeated it by prayer and drove it away from her. [She would only say:]

God, give me strength

At one time, the foul insanity of adultery came to her in bodily form and said to her: "Sarah, you have defeated me!" Sarah humbly answered: "I have not defeated you but the Lord Christ has defeated you." From that time on, the thought of adultery left her forever.

When Saint Pimen was asked how can a man struggle against the adulterous insanity, he replied: "If man surpresses his stomach and tongue then he will be able to rule over himself."

St. Anthony said that there exists three kinds of movements in the body: "First, the natural movement, second, unrestrained in food, and third, from the demons."

Again, others have said that the vice of adultery is strengthened by anger and pride. However, all agree that along with man's sobriety and effort the help of God is necessary in order that this repulsive passion be uprooted completely. And that it is possible for man to preserve himself in purity, witness, among many others, St. Moses of Urgin, who lived fifty years in the world and ten years in the monastery, altogether a total of sixty years in completely virginal purity.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

How to protect yourself against heresy - a basic list

Have you ever wondered what the basics are to protect yourself from heresy?

a) Study the Holy Bible
b) Have contact with the Church
c) Follow Orthodox Study Groups of the Holy Bible
d) Do not accept heretics into your home
e) Do not read heretical material
f) Enlighten your fellow man

a) Study the Holy Bible

Col 3:16 "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord."

b) Have contact with the Church

Acts 2:46-47 "So continuing daily with one accord in the temple ..."

c) Follow Orthodox Study Groups of the Holy Bible

Heb 10:24-25 "And let us consider one another ... not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some ..."

d) Do not accept heretics into your home

2 John 10 "If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him."

e) Do not read heretical material

1 Tim 4:13 "Till I come, give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine."

f) Enlighten your fellow man

1 Tim 4:6 "If you instruct the brethren in these things, you will be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished in the words of faith and of the good doctrine which you have carefully followed."

There is much more ...

Monday, November 15, 2010

Fasting is mentioned ...

In the Old Testament:

" ... and they fasted that day, ..." 1 Sam 7:6
" ... and they mourned and wept and fasted until evening." 2 Sam 1:12
" ... and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah." 2 Chron 20:3
" ... Then I proclaimed a fast there at the river of Ahava." Ezra 8:21
" ... I was fasting and praying before the God of heaven." Nehem 1:4
" ... the children of Israel were assembled with fasting." Nehem 9:1

My knees are weak through fasting (Psalm 109:24)

" ... So the people of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a fast." Jonah 3:5
" ... Blow the trumpet in Zion Consecrate a fast Call a sacred assembly." Joel 2:15
" ... When you fasted and mourned in the fifth and seventh months ..." Zech 7:5
" ... Thus says the Lord of hosts: The fast of the fourth month, The fast of the fifth, The fast of the seventh, And the fast of the tenth ..." Zech 8:19

In the New Testament

" ... And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterwards He was hungry." Matt 4:2
" ... Moreover, when you fast, do not be like the hypocrites, ..." Matt 6:16
" ... But the days will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them, and then they will fast." Matt 9:14-15
" ... Then, having fasted and prayed..." Acts 13:2-3
" ... and prayed with fasting, they commanded them to the Lord in whom they had believed." Acts 14:23
" ... that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer..." 1 Cor 7:5

Saturday, November 13, 2010

I bend thy knee of my heart

As we all enter into the Christmas fast this Monday, let us remember that the children of Israel, needed to wander the Egyptian desert for forty days before seeing the Promised Land. Let us too, wander through the desert for forty days awaiting the arrival of Our Promised Land - Christ the New Born:

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O Lord Almighty, the God of our fathers Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and of their righteous seed; that hast made the heaven and the earth with all their adornment; that hast bound the sea with the word of thy commandment; that hast closed the abyss and sealed it with thy fearful and glorious name; whom all things revere and tremble before the face of thy power, because the magnificence of thy glory is unendurable and irresistible the wrath of thy threatening against sinners: the mercy of thy promise is both immeasurable and inscrutable; for thou art the Lord most high, compassionate, longsuffering, and most merciful, repenting of the evils of men.

Thou Lord, according to the abundance of thy goodness, hast proclaimed repentance and forgiveness to those that have sinned against thee, and in the multitude of thy kindness thou hast decreed for sinners repentance unto salvation. Surely thou, O Lord, the God of the just, hast not appointed repentance for the just, for Abraham and Isaac and Jacob who have not sinned against thee: but thou hast appointed repentance for me a sinner: for I have sinned above the number of the sand of the sea.

My transgressions are multiplied, O Lord, they are multiplied, and I am not worthy to look at or see the height of heaven, for the multitude of my iniquities, being bowed down by many iron bonds, so that I cannot uplift my head, and there is no release for me, because I have provoked thy anger, and have done evil before thee, not doing thy will, nor keeping thy commandments, but setting up abominations and multiplying offenses.

And now I bend thy knee of my heartbeseeching thy goodness: I have sinned, Lord, I have sinned, and I acknowledge my transgressionsbut I pray and beseech thee, release me, Lord, release me, and destroy me not with my transgressions; keep not evils from me in anger for ever, nor condemn me to the lowest parts of the earth: because thou art God, the God of the repenting; and in me thou wilt show all thy benevolence, for that me unworthy thou wilt save, according to thy great mercy: and I will praise thee continually all the days of my life: for all the hosts of the heavens sings to thee, and thine is the glory for ever and ever. Amen.