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.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Instructions for One Day - Part 1 - In the Morning - Part c

How should we conduct ourselves in the morning?

Cont ..

6. Because of our long familiarity with them, prayers learned by heart or read from a book are sometimes said without due attention to their contents, and we therefore are actually not praying, but just dreaming that we are praying. For this reason we may pray at times using words other than those of the prayers that are prepared and designated by the Holy Church. But when you pray this way, always carefully observe the following:

a) Thank the Lord God that He preserved your life during the past night and is again giving you time for repentance and amendment of your life, for each new day is for us a new and not in the least bit deserved favour from God, because no new day automatically follows after night. Very many people, having quietly gone to sleep in the evening, have awakened not in this life, but in another one: eternity. 

Is it really that difficult for a person to lose his life? Sometimes even a mild fright can cause us to die. Not one night passes without many people dying during it. What preeminence do we have over those who have died in the past night? Could we not also die? Yes, we could, very easily. But who has preserved us from death, if not the All-good and All-merciful God, Who continuously awaits our repentance and amendment of our lives? He preserved us and has granted us a new day, that we might save our souls. So, can we not give thanks to the Lord God? 

Each morning thank Him with all your soul, like this, for example:

"My Lord God and King! I thank Thee that during the past night Thou has preserved my life and that Thou has again granted me time for repentance and amendment of my life. Many, many people have been deprived of their earthly lives in the past night. The day that is beginning is not an inevitable day in my life. It is beginning only because Thou art giving it to me because of Thine unspeakable mercy. I could easily have died in the past night. But Thou, O All-good One, hast saved me and hast given me a new day, that I might save my soul. I thank Thee with all my heart, O All-merciful One."

Friday, February 4, 2011

Instructions for One Day - Part 1 - In the Morning - Part b

How should we conduct ourselves in the morning?

Cont ..

5. After having washed and dressed, stand before the holy icons and say those morning prayers as specified and in the order specified by the Holy Church, the interpreter and guardian of the path to salvation. So that you may pray unimpeded, especially if you do not know how to read, learn by heart at least the beginning morning prayers. Is this difficult? And how could you not know by heart even the Lord's Prayer, that is, the prayer
"Our Father, Who art in the heavens." 
Learn it! This is the most important prayer and most salvific for all occasions.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Instructions for One Day - Part 1 - In the Morning - Part a

How should we conduct ourselves in the morning?

In the morning, conduct yourself in the following manner:

1. Upon awakening, try first of all to direct your thoughts to the Lord God. Directing your thoughts to the Lord God should be our most natural activity at every other time of the day as well, because there is absolutely no one who could be so necessary for us, so dear and precious for us as God. For absolutely everything that we have now and that we have ever had, including even our very being-absolutely everything is a gift from God. The person who is the most needed, the most precious, the dearest of all for us is the one who usually first comes to our minds in the morning.  As soon as we wake up in the morning, the thought of whoever or whatever is the most needed and dear to us wakes up as well. This always happens in the natural course of things. Therefore, it is always natural for our thoughts to turn first of all to the Lord God with some heartfelt appeal, such as "Glory to Thee, O Lord! Glory to Thee O All-Merciful One!" We would be unworthy of the name Christian if, waking from sleep, we were to open only our physical eyes, and not our spiritual ones, and were to think first of the earth and of earthly things, and not of the Lord God.

2. If the time at which you woke is the time at which or near which you should get up, then without any delay say, "In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit," while making the sign of the cross. And then, "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner."

3. Right after this, or at the same time, get out of bed. Getting out of bed quickly is often very unpleasant for our flesh, because our flesh, like a lazy servant, always likes to lie and sleep or to luxuriate and remain idle. Every single morning act against the base desires of your flesh. Let this opposition to the flesh be your first sacrifice to the Lord God. Among other reasons, quickly getting up in the morning is very beneficial for the soul because (as all those who fervently strive for salvation have long observed) when we lie in bed for a long time after waking, impure tendencies very easily arise in our bodies, and impure thoughts and desires in our souls. Later in the day these easily cause the careless to fall into serious sins and into great danger of losing their salvation. But whoever bravely opposes the wishes of his flesh in the morning will resist temptation besetting him during the day and evening, even very serious ones. But if you have been watching after yourself to any degree, you already know this.

4. Having risen from bed, wash immediately, and having washed, dress immediately in a way that befits a respectable person. It is necessary to get dressed immediately like this in the morning, although there may be no one with us, because:

First, we never are completely alone; always and everywhere our Guardian Angel and the Lord God are with us. Our Guardian Angel, if we ourselves do not drive him away from us, is always with us, and the Lord God unquestionably is always with us by His very essence, because He is an omnipresent God. For in him we live, and move, and have our being, says the holy apostle (Acts 17:28).

Second, after having woken and washed, we should immediately stand before the Lord God with our morning prayers. And we would never dare to appear before even any of our lower-ranking earthly bosses without having dressed properly.

And finally, if you have dressed decently immediately after sleep, you will guard yourself from two dangers to which unfortunately very many people are subjected to in our times, namely: from the danger of causing temptation for others and from the danger of becoming infected with the spirit of shamelessness.

My friend, 
what can we expect in the midday and evening 
from one who is shameless in the morning?

* * *
... tomorrow Part b of How should we conduct ourselves in the morning?