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9 months in the same bed without making love

Because I saw that discussions on sexuality on this site are very intense and delicate, I would like to tell you some things from my life.

I used to have a strong desire to make it with a girl, starting from 16-17 years old, because of watching too much TV. I was seeing all sorts of pictures and little by little the desire started building inside me. I was in high-school, I had lots of energy, it was the period I started to feel free, when I was thinking that I could do anything and that the world is all mine. I went to an industrial high-school and 90% of the students there where boys and by the 11th grade, most of us didn’t have a girlfriend, so we usually talked about computers, cars, technology, airplanes etc.

We weren’t talking about girls in high-school too much because there were few there. Therefore not the high-school background had brought me in the state of wanting to make it with a girl, but the media (TV, computer, internet, press).

Every time I was making a girlfriend I thought that maybe the time for doing that thing would come, but after 2-3 months we would break up. I turned 18 and I hadn’t done it, I was a virgin and I entered college. There, unlike high-school, were many girls and I was hoping of getting rid of this “shame”, as I considered it then.

Until that age I had a few opportunities to make love, but always something would come up and nothing happened. At college I met a very beautiful girl with whom I got along very well. After a few months only we started talking about intimate relationship and I started pressuring her, I insisted on making this as soon as possible. Larisa, my girlfriend, had verbally surrendered and had promised me that we would do it during the winter holiday.

As winter approached I met God and started going to Church, I read many religious books and in short I began to wish to make love only after getting married. Larisa was pleased with this and she was happy that I wasn’t insisting anymore. She started coming to church with me, we found a priest whom we both confessed to, we received the Holy Communion, we started praying in the morning and in the evening and began living a Christian life.

We spend time at each other’s home, stayed in bed together and even if we sometimes touched each other more than it was allowed, we managed to refrain ourselves and we didn’t do anything. We wanted to get married. We were about to move in another city in September.

I talked to my parents to make the wedding as soon as possible before we moved so that we wouldn’t have to live together without God’s blessing, but they said time was too short and that it would be better to do it the following year. I insisted that we didn’t want something big, only the service at the church with family and closer friends, because the rest wasn’t so important. They were very determined, therefore we gave in and the wedding was planned for the following summer.

In September we moved in another city, rented a studio flat, got jobs and started our life together. I was very determined not to make love, although we were going to sleep in the same bed. Larisa agreed too and we thought that God had helped us too much until now, so that we would angry Him and make love.

We talked with our priest and he encouraged us by telling us to live in the same house, but like brothers and not to do anything wrong.

Days passed by, we would wake up in the morning, go to work, come back home and, in the evening, when we went to sleep, we would hug and kiss each other and fall asleep peacefully. We had been tempted, but we managed to resist. We felt God’s help very strong in our life. A few months later it became something natural, we didn’t find it difficult anymore, it was as it should have been.

The simple refrain from intimate relationships increased the attraction between us, we loved each other more and we comforted ourselves with the thought that we would soon get married.

Summer came and, after 9 months of sleeping in the same bed, our Lord Jesus Christ helped us not to make love. We got married, went into our honeymoon and since then and until today we feel God’s help in our life for that little sacrifice we made.

Larisa got pregnant after a while and our priest told us that until the baby would be born, we mustn’t make love. There were 7 months left until the baby was due to be born and we started to refrain ourselves. It was very easy for us because, morally speaking, we had previously had a bigger victory and now we had and extra reason: the health and holiness of our child, who was about to be born.

Today, after five years of marriage, Larisa and I can easily refrain from intimate intercourse, especially during the celebrations and the fasting periods, although, sometimes we make mistakes, we ask God for forgiveness and we try to redress ourselves.

We give glory to God for all the strength He has given us and for all the spiritual and earthly blessing He has poured forth on us. We only offered our will, He has given us the strength.

God help us all!

(Victor from across the ocean, in Canada)

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Marriage is like a car trip

Rivers of words have been written on the beauty and mystery of marriage and rivers of prayers have been uttered in order to defend it, yet even more rivers of tears have flown as a consequence of people’s misunderstanding of marriage, and, therefore, we shall write on this subject as well, maybe we’ll find someone along the way with ears to hear and a heart to follow this advice.

Marriage resembles the journey of two lovers who go on a trip. Before hitting the road, the two prepare their luggage in advance, so as to take along all the necessary things. The car must have its gas tank full, and should be completely functional and clean. The two love birds rest well before starting off and are joyfully planning trip essentials.

We do the same when we start going down the laborious road of marriage. Future spouses prepare themselves the best they can, they eliminate vices, get “loaded” with enthusiasm, plan everything together, because they will become one after their departure, meaning that they will be riding in the same car.

Once the destination is agreed upon, the entire beauty of the trip will depend upon the relationship between the two spouses and upon their manner of relating to the landscapes crossing their path.

Once they are thus settled and ready to go, we notice that the car has only one wheel, and therefore one driver, so only one of the two spouses can drive, otherwise, if they both tried to drive simultaneously the car would surely hit a tree or bump into other traffic participants.

God has established in the same equal manner that in marriage the man should be the head of his family and guide its members according to God’s rules. Just as the driver obeys the rules of the well-established Highway Code when being on the road with the purpose of preventing accidents, so should the man guide his family according to Christ’s “rules” to prevent endangering and troubling its members.

It seems that neither the man nor the woman understand the way in which things work in this godly arrangement. It often happens that women nowadays want to lead the way, and be a driver even though they weren’t given a family driving license. From this point on, trouble prevails.

Men also have their share in this as they wrongly understood their task, bringing more trouble into the family. They believe that being the family driver is actually a privilege when in fact being the head for your wife and family is a responsibility. They don’t understand that they will have to fully account for the way in which they have been driving, in the same way they misunderstand the great responsibility of this task assigned by Christ. Just as the driver is responsible for the lives of his passengers, so is the man responsible for his wife’s and presumable children’s salvation.

This is a great matter, even tormenting I would say. All married men will have to account at their judgment for the way in which they have led their families towards salvation. The Judge can’t be bribed and we cannot question His judgment the same way we do in this life! If your head is on your shoulders, take heed!1

Now, after finding this out, we would be tempted to believe that women’s role is minimized by comparison to men’s role, which is not at all true, because God did not leave a woman (the co-pilot) to help the man (the pilot) for nothing.

The car pilot always consults his co-pilot and they work as a team only. Every action of the pilot affects the co-pilot and vice-versa. The co-pilot holds the road map indicating the way they need to follow and guides the pilot on the right track every time guidance is needed. Thus, the wife sees that her husband doesn’t deviate from the road of salvation. And she pays attention to something else as well: that the pilot doesn’t forfeit traffic rules, endangering their lives and the car in which they are travelling and with which they have to reach their destination.

In a similar manner, the husband teams up with his wife during marriage. The wife makes sure that her husband obeys Christ’s commandments and doesn’t break them. She’s got this right and this obligation. Warnings must be delivered timely, kindly and firmly at the same time, the same way a driver must be warned in time to be allowed to take evasive maneuvers without making dangerous jolts. And the more the co-pilot is attentive and dedicated to her role, the more will the pilot drive better and safer. The better and more united they are playing, the more beautiful and safer will their journey be.

The same thing happens in marriage as well. The more the woman is dedicated to her role of wife and mother, the more will the man be a better family pilot, meaning a better husband and father. And the better they will live together, the purer, deeper and fruitful will their love be.

Another thing to bear in mind is that every time the driver breaks a traffic rule, he endangers his life as much as that of his passengers. The same happens in a family where the foolish man doesn’t abide by Christ’s commandments. He endangers his wife’s and children’s salvation. And God forbid an accident should happen, because even though all the passengers in the car are suffering, the driver is the one who will serve his sentence according to the responsibility granted to him. However, let’s mind our trip a little bit further…

Even though our travelers will encounter unpredictable obstacles on their way towards the final destination, and might even deviate from their road a little, they will enjoy many beautiful views as well, and together they will see things they would not have seen being by themselves, and they will share together all these joys meant to bring them closer. Even though the landscapes are meant to perfect their love even more through good times, and the purpose of the potholes and impossible roads is to unite them even more through worse times, yet, if there isn’t a good collaboration between the spouses, they will learn nothing from neither, turning into selfish people, and giving up others in favor of themselves.

This is why, in some families, no matter how many beautiful things God would set on spouses’ way, all the beauty of the trip is lost in fighting and hatred. Practice confirms these things because there are so many drivers who are upset with the traffic all the time, even though they were full of enthusiasm when they started driving, just as so many husbands are upset with their lives even if they were full of beautiful hopes and dreams when they started their marriage.

Curiously enough, the number of divorces multiplies with the growing number of traffic accidents. Could there be a connection between these two? We shall see.

Which are the most common causes of fatal accidents? Speed of course, failing to grant priority, driving under the influence of alcohol and drivers’ acute tiredness.

Let’s see how things are in the family plan. Divorces, meaning the fatal accidents of spouses’ love for each other, often happen because of spouses’ speed and superficiality with which they want to go through life. Another cause could be their failure to love parents, brothers, neighbours and all participants in the traffic of life, love being a priority according to Christ’s “rules.”

Other causes would be: guiding the family under the influence of passions, and last but not least fatigue … spiritual fatigue due to spouses’ chase after vanities of the world. This is how spouses lose spiritual watchfulness and land into…divorces.

However, there are drivers who happily arrive to the final destination along with their families. They are those who have followed the commandments of Christ and who have taken Him as their Deliverer in all troubles. The joy of both spouses is then increasing, according to their behaviour along the way: with patience, kindness, affection, self-sacrifice and all other branches of love. One more thing should be added here, that although the Highway Code is yet to be perfect, Christ’s laws are flawless.

The Highway Code guiding us is a simple set of laws, while Christ’s laws can be fulfilled only with Christ and near Christ, meaning we should always find a reliable help in His person. God is always by our side, in any of our trips, we only have to want to consult with him.

Marriage is similar to a car trip to the gates of Heaven. Blessed are those who have understood this! That said… have a nice trip!

A Christian marriage role model: Virgil and Petruta Maxim

Beloved young girls and boys who are planning to get married, God has prepared for each and every generation Christian family models, models of holiness that should be taken as landmarks by us, the many, and we should follow them regardless of the times we are living in. Ranging from Abraham and Sara to heavenly fathers Joachim and Anne, the thread of models to be followed continues without interruption, and will be continuing until the end of time, as the generation that will not give saints to the world will be the last. Thus, holy models are not scarce, what we lack are people willing to follow them.

Therefore, because it seems to us that models from the past were able to live according to Christianity because of the fact that they weren’t struggling with so many temptations as there are nowadays, we will bring forth a Christian marriage model from a time close to ours, yet unimaginably more difficult to live in: The model of Virgil și Petruța Maxim, husband and wife.

At first glance, the marriage of the blessed Virgil and Petruța Maxim looks like a funny countryside tale. Yet, if we search deeper into this short tale, acknowledging its connection to the live before wedding and the one after the wedding of the two main character, we will realize that the funny side of the story encompasses the most profound teachings of the sacrament of matrimony.

After going out of prison, the “student” Virgil Maxim had initially opted for the monastic life, yet as his parents were sick and as there was no one else to look after them, he did not receive the blessing from his spiritual father to enter in a monastery, and so he had to settle for the alternative of a Christian marriage.

Yet, how could he find a proper girl for marriage, as he was a mature, 43 years old man with a ruined social life? What could have been the demands of a man whose profession was that of a “student” on going out of prison? What faithful and obedient girl could Virgil Maxim have found in times when almost all the girls aged 17 or 18 years old were getting married?

It’s easy to understand that he couldn’t have found anything worthy, had it not been for God’s deep care for all those who declare their faith in Him. And behold God’s providence, visible when the time is right: a simple countryside girl, faithful, quiet, pure-heartedand wise, still waiting for a man at the age of 35, still not having lost her virginity. A girl who had kept her purity without complaining about the hormonal activity, about family pressures or time passing by. A girl who carried on as a virgin with dignity because until Virgil Maxim appeared, she didn’t find any man worthy to be her suitor, and she had only met men who had material agendas, petty figures, full of vices and wicked with passions; many like men nowadays, that is.

Even though Petruța’s demands were nothing out of the ordinary, but of the basic sort, one of her aunts would still tell her decidedly: “Darling, you can even shape him with the lathe and he will still not come out as you want!” Meaning: “girl, you’re asking too much from life, can’t you see there are no such men!? You’ll die an old maid. Just pick one and be done with it!” Yet the girl could in no way be convinced by her relatives’ persistent advice, pieces of advice which could have forced her into a failed marriage as it often happens today. And the girl endured it with patience in her 35 years of age.

What is really surprising and unexpectedly beautiful in her holy expectancy, emerges from the gift with which the young girl’s patience is rewarded, and which is far beyond her expectations. Not only was Petruța gifted with a husband who would correspond to all her demands, this man was also more beautifully shaped than her aunt could imagine; a man spiritualized by the lathe of the toughest suffering and tortures of the 20th century.

What a great reward God gives to Petruța for being unrelenting in matters of sin and compromises for a convenience marriage! He did not only prepare a non-drinking, non-smoker and non-violent man for her, but He also put aside for her a true avva of the communist prisons, a wise, kind, immensely patient man, who was hard-working and full of gifts of the Holy Spirit.

Which of the girls nowadays wouldn’t keep her virtues intact for such a man? not until turning 20, or 30, but 35 years old, with the firm resolution of keeping away from corruption and compromise even if she would not find a true man. This is how God looks after us, so that the one we cannot find, would appear in our lives when our souls are ready.

Even though Petruța was a simple countryside girl, the wisdom acquired through virtue helped her promptly reject the ill advising of the world, just as she had done until then:

Upon reading the Apostle, at the last verse “And women shall fear their men” one of her aunts, sitting behind her, whispered in her ear:

“Step on his foot! (habit according to which the man would be dominated by the woman)

Is this what you did, for that now Uncle John doesn’t stay at home? the bride observed.”

This is how this short episode taken from the marriage ceremony teaches us an important lesson: how to spiritually understand St. Apostle Paul’s words, uttered during the sacrament of matrimony. Lots of young people, especially girls nowadays are horrified by these words: “And women shall fear their men” Rivers of ink have flown so as to make people understand the sort of fear we are talking about, and rivers will flow still, yet it won’t be enough as long as young people step over the threshold of the church with a bankrupt theological culture similar to the Christian life they have lived until then. The Apostle Paul is not to blame for many brides’ and grooms’ failures in their spiritual understanding of the Holy Scripture.

This is how we learn, without any theological explanation, what happens to women who do not fear their men as the Holy Scripture teaches us: “Is this what you did, for that now Uncle John doesn’t stay at home?” Which is another way of saying: “Your man runs away from you because he feels unfulfilled seeing that you want to be in his shoes. Can’t you see that you, as a woman, would feel unfulfilled as well if the man played your part?”

In other words, when a woman doesn’t understand her role as a wife and as a mother, things turn out to be catastrophic for the entire family, just as catastrophic as the situations caused by a man who misses his vocation as a Christian husband and father. So, without theorizing the definition of fear, we can notice that if we don’t understand the roles required by the sacrament of matrimony, we will fail in our family life. And there are people who fail time and time again and still can’t understand why they have such a difficult family life: because their lives are parallel to the commandments of the God .

This was all the partying of the wedded pair: “We had a peaceful wedding, at home.” In other words, the happy pair’s devotion should give us much food for thought. It is not the home wedding that stands for their devotion, but the peacefulness of it; devoid of the noisiness of sin: no white doves, a symbol of purity, when in fact the couple had lived in adultery; no musicians, no oratorical staged performances or other pompous surprises of a “successful” wedding that crumbles with age.

And here’s another lesson: the deeply spiritualized groom gives to his bride a cross he had carved in prison, a sign of unified sacrifice reflecting what the sacrament of marriage represents: a permanent unified sanctification, in joy, and especially in sorrow; the cross of life carried on the wings of love between a man and a woman.

While young grooms and brides today only think of an easy life, with travels through foreign countries, with all things necessary in the household, and brilliant careers, we get slapped hard by this example of spiritual Christian marriage: “You might have to suffer, being by my side. We will have to carry the cross of life together. Do not be deceived by the fact that I am a teacher now, because tomorrow I might have to dig out cesspools.”

And because God loved the groom who confessed his faith in exchange of his youth and life, the groom receives the proper response from the wife that God had put aside for him and who measures up to his merits as a man:

“Even if I’ll have to look after cows, I will be with you and I will not leave you! We will get along together as one gets along with one’s soul.”

That is, no airs, no crying, no sniveling because of a difficult life, but commitment, shared sacrifice for life, no matter how hard it would be. Petruța Maxim followed God’s beloved man throughout all the tests that have strayed over them: Security baffles, disease, poverty, and many more. All of these things made them feel even more united, helping them perfect their love towards one another and their love towards God. And because Petruța Maxim followed Virgil Maxim, the witness, she is a happy witness just like all mothers and wives of witnesses in communist prisons.

I think the most important lesson we have to learn from these happy witnesses, is this one: a Christian marriage is a “Hymn to the carried cross” and so should be all marriages of practicing Christians: hymns of praise dedicated to God.

Seductive caresses

It’s very easy for me to talk about seductive caresses, about those sweet touches between youngsters, because I’ve been through this myself. I have been tempted by them before starting going to Church, but also afterwards.

When I was younger, meeting and having a girlfriend, was a reason to run at my best best friend, Bogdan, to tell him about her. He was asking me “Have you kissed her?”. If I said “No”, it was considered just a date and it still took a lot of work until it was named relationship. The kiss represented the seal of the new start, it was the beginning of the relationship. Usually this happened at the first or second date. What would follow after this depended on the previous experiences you had.

Somebody once said a wise thing, is harder until you get to the first kiss, because after that, things can develop very quickly.

We easily found an occasion to watch a movie together, to come to my place, or to go to hers, to lie in bed, hug, to go to a party, or who knows what other moments in which we could get closer, in a physical way.

After I came to know God, these moments of intimacy were a real struggle for me. I knew that touching my girlfriend wasn’t a good thing and also that, as I was proceeding, it would be harder and harder to stop. The temptation was too big, her smooth skin was luring me more than I could stand…Sometimes I’d set limits in my mind and I’d say to myself “I will only touch her until there…from there on I’ll stop”…I had remorse, I felt that what I was doing wasn’t a good thing, but the devil whispered in my mind “If I touched her until here, it’s the same if I advance further, the sin is the same”.

I was finding reasons to convince myself that it’s not as bad as it seemed, because I failed to resist to the temptation and I committed the sin. A few moments later, remorse came and then the shame would invade me when I had to go to my spritual father and tell him what I had done. We hadn’t made love, but we did touch each other, far more than we should have.

The day to confess my sins came and I told the father what I had done, but without giving him details, I said only “father I have sinned” or “I have touched my girlfriend”. Once he really thought we had sex and he started to tell me the canon I had to do, so that I may heal for the sin I had done. I was sorry to have done thisand I always confessed this sin with the thought of never doing it again.

But when we were together, it happened again, we touched each other and I had remorse again, I used to leave very sad and on my way home I prayed God for forgiveness. I was feeling dirty and useless, the sin I had done was staying in the way for bagging forgiveness.

I sinned many times and each of those times, I was asking God to forgive me, sometimes I cried…I was sorry…I wanted to leave this sin but I wasn’t strong enough to resist the temptation from the devil, who was fighting me constantly. We didn’t make love, but I felt as if I had this sin in my soul. I used to remember what the Holy Apostle Paul said, that fornication it’s different from all other sins: “Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body. (1 Co. 6, 18)

This battle has thought me what is repentance and has showed me how patient and merciful God is to our weaknesses. There were days when God punished me for what I had done and I had no doubt that the punishment was from Him. But most times when I had sinned, He forgave me. Sometimes I thought “I have sinned again, that means that tomorrow or the day after tomorrow the punishment would come”. But it didn’t.

My mistake was that I was trying to fight the temptation, believing, each time, that I would stop at a certain point…but I failed most times, although I was asking God for help in this battle. The solution is to run from the temptation and to avoid as much as we can the intimate moments. Instead you can go for walks, hang out with friends, go to a movie, or anywhere else.

We won in an end, by constantly avoiding those moments, doing something else. After a while we felt as if God had taken this sin from us. We spent time together but weren’t tempted to touch each other. We talked and comforted each other that we would soon get married and then, with God’s blessing, we would be able to express our love in a intimate way too.

It was a difficult battle from which I learn that Our Lord Jesus Christ doesn’t want us to try to fight the temptation alone and then asking for His help, but He recommends that we always ask the Heavenly Father: “and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil”.

It is a huge temptation even for youngsters who go to Church and don’t want to sin before marriage. The spell of this temptation is immense and who willingly tries it, may never get away from it.

It’s easier to avoid the battle than struggling to win it. The devil wants us to believe that this battle has to be won, but you win it by not taking part in it.

The sweetness of these seductive caresses will only kidnap the innocence of the relationship, of its beauty and normality, rushing it to a point where it should get to yet.

(Victor from Canada)

The effect pre-marital sexual relationships have on society

I know that nowadays young people are assaulted from all sides with all sorts of images and they give up to all this gathered sexual tension starting their sex-life as young as 14 years old. The others, who haven’t started it yet, feel a strong peer pressure, which, many times, is more in their minds, rather than a real pressure.

This is the reason they feel like something’s missing in their lives and, wanting to be like their friends, they push it too far, searching any occasion to have sex so that they are able to give a relaxed answer to the question “are you still a virgin?”.

What can a 14 year-old boy know about life? Or a girl this age, what a relationship based on love is? What can the two understand about the intimate relationship between a man and a woman, about the extraordinary mysteries that lie beneath? Too little. At this age everything is just an experiment with a dose of courage.

What would I do if my 3 years old daughter comes to me when she’s 14-15 and asks me “Dad, do you think I should start my sexual life?”. I would have only one answer, on which I’d insist: “If you start your sex-life before marriage, you only deprive yourself of God’s help in the future”.

Many people fight back straight-away when you tell them that making love before marriage is a sin: “How can it be a sin, it’s something normal!”. Sex-life outside family-life is a sin because it has huge chain-reaction effects on our society and, more important, on tomorrow’s society. It’s so simple to see those effects nowadays:

  • Sexual-content images have invaded the media decades ago, promoting anything that would trigger our animal instincts.
  • The number of divorces has increased dramatically because of adultery (the husband or the wife cheats on their spouse).
  • Living together, without being married (cohabitation) is a common nowadays, its main purpose is having the advantages a family offers, but without the responsibilities that come along with it.
  • Prostitution.
  • The huge increase of homosexuality.
  • Abortions, which are an effect of outside family sex irresponsibility.

These libertinisms that we live in, of having intimate relationships with anybody – anytime will have a consequence on our children.

Why is it a sin to make love before marriage? Because, by doing this, you harm the whole society. Intimate relationships before marriage deteriorate family and family is the base brick of the society. Family is a resemblance of the Holy Trinity, where the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit live in the same being, in an ocean of love. If we destroy family, we strongly deteriorate the quality of life. That’s why God punishes the sexual relationships outside the family.

The sin is wrong and it brings along with it punishment only because it has negative effects on the people around you.

Don’t deprive yourself of God’s help in life by doing this awful sin! I’m not saying that God won’t help those who fall in this sin, but that He helps them less, letting them see what they have lost by not obeying His commandments..

(Claudiu)

Convenience marriages

The need to love and to be loved is in fact the need of a person for another. Yet, what happens if that person marries you for the material things you have to offer only?

Today I suggest we address an issue preoccupying young people, men and women alike. We often see couples who’ve got all the material comfort before getting married. It’s not a bad thing at all, but “where from?” one may wonder, considering the times we are living in. There must surely be an explanation: parents’ financial support.

I’m not saying that parents shouldn’t help their children, but to me it doesn’t seem fair that a young person with both arms and legs should wait upon their support all their lives. When not receiving a really consistent help from our parents, many of us turn, out of commodity towards a “marriage with advantages.”

I have seen this sort of cases around me, with young ladies giving up a long term love story only too easily, and who got married to guys who were “recommended” to them by their parents, or just guys they met themselves, upon frequenting all sorts of places where money made the rules. A guy has a girlfriend, they fall in love, and all of the sudden she disappears and marries someone else within a week. Lies have spread up to this level.

Perhaps in nowadays society love is no longer the sole reason that could bind two souls together in the holy sacrament of matrimony. For the most pragmatic of us, possessing a house and a car is enough to ensure happiness. God, how they are deluding themselves! Marriage is everything but a child’s game, and if there is no real love between the spouses, that union will not even take place or it won’t last and they will end up living their lives through lies. Do you want that for yourself? If you do, you can’t imagine how terrible it is. Solitude in company awaits…

We should each have our life principles, which are the effect of our education or our own ideas concerning our expectations in life. I have chosen a marriage with no financial implications, grounding my choice on the idea: neither of us has anything, let’s work together to gain it. And believe me, satisfaction measures up to it. With a peaceful heart upon looking back we say that everything we own, we have worked for it together. I know you cannot have it all at once. Yet, with patience and plenty of work, one manages to have almost everything. The most important thing is to have one another. It’s not a shame to pay rent till you manage to buy a place, or to travel by bus because you don’t have a car. All of this can be bought in time, this is why I don’t believe that losing your soul and your opportunity for happiness and redemption by accepting the compromise of a convenience marriage are necessary.

We should be the ones to choose the people with whom we are to share the good and the bad, not our mother or father. What’s worse is that money decides it for us. Because this way, without knowing or realizing it, we are selling our soul to the devil, who loves money. And we end up not knowing who we are, desperately trying to fill in the gap with objects that can be bought with money. Because we chose money…

Another problem I’m noticing is that we avoid work. Especially those of us who have the power to do so. We graduate from college and dream about fabulous salaries. If we don’t receive amounts as high as our cleverness, we don’t bother to work for less than that. And then, out of complacency, we look for a girlfriend or boyfriend with money. As if the money was yours! To me it’s embarrassing to ask for money from someone else in order to cover my  expenses. For some people, this might not be such big a deal. But I’m wondering how they are feeling…I think it would be way simpler to use your own wallet to pay the restaurant bill. You’ll feel satisfied with your work, and your conscience will be at peace. Plus, it’s a nice gesture.

The Holy Bible talks about the fact of being one body. How do you think such a unity could be possible if there is no love between the spouses? Comfort and travelling abroad are consoling for a while, yet there are plenty of times when you’re left alone with stuff and you realize the person in front of you is a stranger. Or, you’re sick and there is no one to offer you a glass of water, because she / he doesn’t care about you and the only thing left is to call your mother, or direct reproaches towards those who told you that she / he’s “the best catch ever.” Nobody cares anyway, because you’re living with him/her under the same roof.

I don’t want to seem mean or offend anyone. Far from me the thought! The only thing I want is for you to see with your mind’s eyes the reality we live in. Let us not burden our conscience with this sin. Don’t delude yourselves, because joy resides within the smallest of things…

(Gabriela Tudor)

The “modern couple” and the Sacrament of Matrimony

He and she as a modern couple

He and She are living in the apartment above mine. A strange pair, many would say. Victims of the society in which we are living, others would say.

He is a guy arround 30 years. She is a fairly young girl, but I won’t dare approximate her age, because we, women, rarely show it. They are both working. They have been living together for at least 3 years. For a long time I thought they were married. Sometimes they are leaving together really early. On other occasions they leave separately, or he doesn’t leave at all. They come back home really late, they are both managers. Nonetheless, what strikes me about them is their attitude towards one another: they are either fighting, or talking about work. I have never seen them smiling warmly to each other, or saying nice things to one another. I haven’t seen them sharing a quick good-bye kiss.

Sometimes they go out in the evening. Her hair is carefully arranged, his suits are impeccable. On the way from the stairs to the car they usually talk on the phone. Not with each other, of course.

I saw them in the pizzeria across the street today. They were sitting at a more secluded table. There was no way for me to avoid hearing her explain to him how she met a colleague at work…I couldn’t stop myself from wondering how long will it be until her relationship with that colleague of hers will end up just like Her relationship with Him.

He and she in the Sacrament of Matrimony

Marriage is a God-blessed covenant between two people who love one another spiritually, but most importantly, they love Christ and want Him to be close to them always. Marriage is a religious sacrament, a spiritual connection, one body, and a beautiful friendship. This sacrament has Christ in its middle and the Mother of God is its Guardian and Holy Protector.

…She is praying for him, and feels protected, loved, and beautiful near him. She knows that the Mother of God brought them together…she prayed a lot, now she’s happy. A beautiful friendship connects them, they know each other’s soul quite well and they look each other in the eye sincerely when they are talking. He is tender, helps her every time with the household, with college projects…He is busy as well, but that doesn’t prevent him from helping his beloved wife.

He thanks the Good Lord in the morning for a new sunny day and thinks about bringing her a small present. They always cook together…She surprises him from time to time, with a chocolate cake, it’s not perfect, but it’s got lots of love. Christ smiles to them…

He admires her, looks at her delicately with innocent eyes, looks at the mother of his children, kisses her little hands…She sees a strong man when looking at him, always irons his shirt when he’s going to work, loves his parents…she feels elegant, childlike, feminine by his side…They think at one another during the day, and put a prayer towards the Mother of God in their thought to always love each other and have children with beautiful souls…

Together, they are gladly helping others, they have friends, they go out, go to the movies, go for a walk in the park. Together they go to the Church, confess their sins and ask for one another’s forgiveness when they make mistakes. They visit monasteries, take pictures, smile to each other, help people who need support, enjoy the sun, the flowers, the entire nature. They are tolerant and don’t get mad with each other.

Together they take care of one another and of their family through prayer, they become godparents for other young people, gladly take part in little angels’ baptisms, they enjoy dancing, being of any help.

Together with Christ they become One…the Mother of God protects them because They have listened to Her in turn. On Sundays, He invites her to take a stroll with him, or they go to the theatre, or stay at home and watch a movie. He talks to her about God, she listens with quiet eyes. On her birthday He buys her a dress and she is as happy as a child. She kisses him tenderly and gives him a sweet embrace…

He finds her to be feminine and sensitive, strong, confident…When they sleep, he protects her, and takes her in his arms every time she needs it. She is good towards Him, supports him unconditionally, she’s patient and listens to him whenever he’s upset. She becomes the shoulder on which he relies when he’s unwell. This is why he protects her and thanks the Good Lord for His gift. They both know that their love is grounded on a beautiful friendship, on respect and on God’s love.

And, one morning…holding a white flower…She whispers to him that their love has taken a material form, and they are going to be good parents and teach God’s love to their child all the way. She becomes a mother, he becomes a father…

…and the Mother of God blesses them with lots of love!

(Oana)

I put on make-up to be like others

Why do we dye our hair, go to a stylist, for whom do we want to look “good”? It’s fashionable at all ages to change your look, your hair color, to have moldy eyes, there, where worms won’t enjoy it, right?

Did you know … this is how “curiosities” boxes in Compendiums start…. and yet, did you know that the pack of mask (this is the real name for the pack of demons) will leave you with the impression that you are “prettier” with pink and green in your hair? What about blue around the eyes? Not to mention the blackish mascara! Wow, and earrings have their own purpose, they make my ears look bigger, and without them others will think I’m a “peasant girl” or, in a more recent note, a “peasant boy,” isn’t it? (yet, even the word peasant, if people knew what it really stood for, they would appreciate it because peasants are hard-working people)….

And if you only knew how hard demons are laughing behind the mirror when you make yourself look ugly… And how could you not paint yourself when you look so pale and your hair is this white? So what, if men dye their hair and apply make-up, it’s in fashion nowadays, isn’t it? And I can’t pass through the gates of my high school if I lack colorfulness…Well, if the Good Lord had created me thus, I would have been born with blue all around my eyes and cart wheels in my ears, yet the Good Lord in His heavenly goodness made us all beautiful according to His “image and likeness”…Why ruin the creation and beauty given to us by our Good and Dear Father, the Good Lord?

Big companies have been built nowadays, dealing with “cosmetics,” not to mention the experiments made on poor animals taken as guinea pigs and who are passing through an ordeal. Honey!, what’s wrong with it, am I not supposed to look good as I’m walking down the street? Would I rather be gossiped for not taking care of myself? Well, yes, but does the world see the beauty of my soul? Cosmetic products retailers have created real “myths” about “marvelous” products which do not age our skin, and highlight everything we want: cheeks, mouth, eyes, eyebrows…

Why should I make a donation to a poor person or a child, I don’t have enough to give away, I should better have my nails done for about one 30 dollars, with cave paintings on them, I would brag about them to people, and when they’ll see, they’ll surely appreciate me…Where does this deception lead to? Why don’t we remember, every moment, that the body is rotting material and becomes a corpse without its soul?

I pity the poor sixth graders who start the torment of powdering their innocent faces with all sorts of colored stuff kindly adviced by their mothers. Have their mothers seen any of the Holy Icons with make-up on? They admire the beauty of an icon! and the sight of it may bring them joy, but do they think of a prayer instead of bad “beauty” advice? I wonder, what is the impression a painted woman leaves? …..she is either promiscuous or a clown… “And in addition to that I’ll put a golden ring or maybe two on each finger, and have a leg bracelet ‘cause duh… I am so much admired! What, am I that stupid not to be just like the others? My right neighbor is purple, the one on left is red, and why shouldn’t I be pink? And to wrap it all, I’m entering the church like a circus clown and, what do I see, I am judged, willy-nilly… but many men are looking at me when I’m on the street, and my heart’s pounding with pride”… And so the whole bunch of demons has fulfilled its task and has won a soul in the eternal stench of hell. Embellishments will stop our souls at heavens border and that is when terrible pain begins.

Why should we be blindfolded by our enemy’s cunning? Have you ever appreciated a simple and zet beautiful person? Our inner beauty is shown on our faces, and quite often we spot kindness or wickedness displayed on a person’s face.

To be honest, before knowing the faith in God I was in the same “herd,” painting my face and torturing myself with cosmetics, but on looking back now, I can’t understand myself. Why was I doing all that? Was it because I’m working in public relations, and as a excuse Satan’s colored mask created a false impression to others about me ?

And one day I met the beauty of faith, and that moment I saw how deceived I was by the pack of masks and from that moment on I gave up everything … make-up… earrings … I felt free, I felt happy without them because I finally realized that the enemy had turned me into a puppet, a cloth drawn away from him by that moment… There are many times when it’s hard to restrain myself from judging others even involuntarily, when I see so much rainbow on one single girl… and then I judge myself for being the way I once were….

I had a friend who did not quit it all of the sudden, but gradually, preserving some “innocent” lipstick, it’s not such a great sin after all… well, if thus whispered Satan…

I didn’t write this article to be the judge, God forbid, but I just want to say that these are tricks devised by the wicked who mock our feeble faith and turn women into “parrots” filling up Hell … Let’s see the beauty of the soul instead of the distorted mask of make-up, because we shouldn’t care about people, we should care about our Good Lord’s mercy and about our salvation.

May the Good Lord forgive us all!

God help us!

(Carmen)

God’s Tears

lrg-311-0952frescaI was looking at an icon of the Savior today. It is an icon that has cried. In fact, Christ’s very eyes have cried and, as a testimony, His tears appeared on the painted face as well.

What grandeur on our Lord’s face! What glory! What holy silence! And upon this silence tears were shed,… tears which stopped on his cheek, tears which cry out to us.

They call us gently by our names, they call us to watch them and not to pass by without wiping at least one…

I asked with grief: “Why are you crying, Lord?”

But I know the answer too well: God, with His Fatherly heart, saddens just like a parent forgotten by his children. He sees us running around in this world like lunatics, tired, sunk into despair, forgetting that He is waiting to give us rest in His fatherly arms. We rummage through mire with our hands, we grope in the darkness, forgetting about the heat and the light that He is longing to share with us. We keep staring at pain, forgetting that our God heals. We are afraid of death, forgetting that Christ is life.

And I asked Him again: “Why are you crying, oh Lord my God?”…

But I already know that His tears are shed on my account, too. I strike Him, the Sinless, with my sins. I hurt Him, the One full of love, with my lack of love. With my oblivion, I sadden Christ, the One Who always takes care of me.

If we, the people, rejoice when our beloved ones rejoice and we sadden when we see them suffer, how shall we pass by His tears with indifference?

At least once a day we could direct our look towards Him. If we only understood with what love and patience Christ is waiting for us to talk to Him, we would try to say at least one word to Him every day. If we only knew with what grief His tears are shed, we would try to wipe at least one with a piece of our soul.

Translated by Claudia

The healing “sins”

I’ve thought that if we like to stay in sins, being so stuborn to listen to God’s word, we should change our vices in our favour so that we will get spiritual benefit and a chance of salvation… if we lose so much time making sins.

That being said, here is what I suggest to you:

  • unbridled to spiritual desire
  • greedy in making mercy
  • mean in backbiting
  • slanderers of good
  • lavish with love for the others
  • avaricious with earthly delights
  • lazy to fight
  • libellous of evil thought
  • mocking of devilish teaching
  • haters of injustice
  • disobedient in gossiping
  • unfaithful in lies
  • dishonest with vain things
  • unforgiving with our sins
  • angry with all our passions
  • intolerant with our sins
  • rebellious against all temptations
  • afflicted after God
  • proud of the other’s virtues
  • stubborn in keeping the right faith
  • fearful of God’s right
  • incompetent to betray
  • unable to remember the mistakes of others
  • unstable in bad things
  • unembarrassed to confess the faith
  • greedy of virtues
  • addicted to God’s love
  • extremists in gentleness
  • distrustful of heresies and superstitions
  • traitors of passions
  • inattentive to rage
  • eager to gain the kingdom of God!

Therefore, as the Holy Fathers of the Church teach us, every negative impulse from our souls can be changed into a source of christian virtues. According to Fathers’ sayings, the irascible part of the soul, which we use it when we commit the sin of rage, has been given to us by God to practice the virtue of courage. Also, all the powers of the soul, which God offered to us, can be use in a positive way (with the purpose to fulfill the divine will), or contrary to our nature (to commit evil) depending on the free will of each of us.

Do you know which is the greatest sin in the world?

Which is the greatest sin in the world? My sin. The one that I can’t get rid of. The sin which torments me every day. The sin that doesn’t allow me to be with God.

Yes, the greatest sin in the world is the sin that master you day by day.

It is somehow improper to clasify the sins, although we must admit that there exist bigger and smaller sins, but all have the same effect: they separate us from God and then we remain without His help and. Also our sins influence people around us.

In vain I judge others for adultery, murder or other sins, because I am in the same situation commiting different sins. For me eating in excess is like adultery for the others. For me to abstain from eating to excess is as hard as when someone wants to abstain from adultery. It is easy for me not to get angry but it is hard to shut up, not to brag, not to judge…

The greatest sin in the world is, actually mine… my greatest sin. And if God will help me to get rid of it, there will appear another great sin that will keep me bound to the earth and to the body.

As the commandament of God is only one : „And thou shalt love the Lord thy God, with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul, and with thy whole mind, and with thy whole strength. And to love your neighbor as yourself.” So the sin is in fact only one. It is actually a violation of this commandament.

For the person who keeps all of the laws except one is as guilty as a person who has broken all of God’s laws. For the same God who said, “You must not commit adultery,” also said, “You must not murder.”So if you murder someone but do not commit adultery, you have still broken the law. So whatever you say or whatever you do, remember that you will be judged by the law that sets you free. There will be no mercy for those who have not shown mercy to others. But if you have been merciful, God will be merciful when he judges you.”