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Spiritual childhood

This… This is the world we live in! A world full of turmoil, stress, vain pursuits… And the soul, the poor host of our feelings, obeys us, as it obeys to a master, being assaulted by the falseness and vanities of this venomous world and not being able to follow God’s Law any longer…

“Beware, therefore, my soul, lest thou be weighed down with sleep; lest thou be given up to death, and be shut out from the Kingdom!” (Psalms), but, man, be enlightened, be wise as Saint John the Chrysostom says: “The wise man is like a lit candle from which other candles can be lit as well”.

A happy childhood, with sour cherries hung over my ears, with the scent of field flowers, with the air gilded by the rays of the joyous sun, with the shadow of recently blossomed lime tree, with glitters of light, with sparkles of smiles, with beloved faces of old people waiting for you on the threshold…  This is the season of my childhood! A season when I burst into buds and when I blossomed, so that I can now achieve the gift to pour out healing perfume over all those who need it…

But the entire world is cruel, it is mean, it is merciless… As many others, I also like to compare it to a foamy sea whose waves hit violently against the cold rocks… But let us not forget that, as we come closer to the smooth sand of the beach, the sea becomes calmer and it slips playfully through your wandering legs.

We are the captain of the boat, a “boat” we make a living in… But let us be careful not to forget our paddles at home, lest our soul sinks, lest it gets lost on this earth, in this telluric world…

Time passes… time elapses… Some while ago, I myself was saying that life gets closer to its end with each moment we live!

But NO! I was wrong! On this incognito earth, where we struggle to live, we have a life… a life which we simply pass through; through the century-old world… we are a moment’s passengers!

Therefore, we should learn how short the span of this life is and how endless eternity is! Where is our Faith? Where are our Hope and Love? These three maidens clothed in light teach us that we shall always be thirsty today, but in the eternal life we shall drink deep from the “spring of life”, the “living water”, from which all of His creatures will quench their thirst.

The greeting of the light must be done with love, for “if there is no love, there is nothing” and “love never falls in ruins!” (Galatians 13, 8)

So let us be “sons of the Light, and not of the darkness”, “sons of the day”, as Saint Paul the Apostle says…

Salvation of the soul… Such a relevant subject… I am glad that as early as “from my youth” (the Paraklesis to the Theotokos) such important things were revealed to me, for, if we believe, if we hope and love with our entire being, we shall take care of the salvation of our soul and we shall not drown in the cold deep waves of the sea…

“I called upon You” (Psalms) and I was freed from the whale’s belly, just like Jonas…

“THE SPIRIT IS WILLING,BUT THE FLESH…IS WEAK. “

Translated by Claudia

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Love gives birth to love

Love gives birth to love. Christ is born from love. God loved so much the world that He sent His only Son to the world! A world full of sins and vanity. But here, in this world, in this hollow full of sins, we find Him. He came to us not to make known His wonders in the whole world, but to make known the Truth in the world. Christ is the Truth. As you know, He didn’t come for the righteous but for the sinners: “That I haven’t come to call the righteous but the sinners to the repentance.” (Matthew 9. 9 – 13)

Although we believe in God and in His love towards us, we can’t deal with all the troubles and suffering. We turn away from God when He doesn’t give us what we ask for. Is this love? No. We are wrong because we oppose His will. In our searching, we want answers to the daily questions. Well, if we love, why are we stll wondering? Why we do not like when we are persecuted for righteousness? He is Justice. Blessed those persecuted for righteousness, theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven. (Matthew 5. 10) I’m not talking only about the love for God, but also about the love for our neighbour. When someone doesn’t love us, well, we don’t love him any longer….because, he doesn’t worth our love. So think most of young people today.

So I had used to think before I knew the Church Fathers. Saint Augustine says: “Love and do what you want”. Well, how can I, a sinner, love and do whatever I want?! “Nobody lives without love; but, in general, what is to love? God doesn’t stop us from loving, but here is about choosing the object of our love. Or, if we choose, it is because we ourselves were loved first. We love, but where comes this privilege from? From there that He loved us first. How can a man love God? Search and you will find no other reason than this: He loved us first. The One who we love was given to us and He gave us, at the same time, that thing which makes us love Him.

This is what I am asking you: to love. And even if the others don’t love you, love them more. Pray for those who hate you and for your enemy.  Love without waiting anything in return. With love you can change a heart. I saw this from experience. Also, love is the one which can raise you up from the swamp of sins. With His love, we should not care about anything.

We don’t have to look for something else, but to learn to love Him.

(Georgiana)

About God

I’ve heard people saying they have never seen God, denying His existence because of lack of evidence. We see God every day, all we have to do is to open our eyes and look around. People, birds, which in their incomprehensible language, are honoring their Creator with their wonderful songs, the breeze, the sun which gently caresses with its rays our face furrowed of troubles, suffering and stress, snowflakes that, when surrounds you with their dance, create the impression they’re in a story whose protagonist is you, the child’s laugh that cheers aged, but happy faces of grandparents. All is love, and God is love that dwells in our souls.

For me God is Father, Friend, Brother, the Creator who gave me a wonderful gift that is called life. To know God we must love our neighbour, who is not necessarily a relative of ours, but the man next to us, the poor, especially in this time when it’s cold outside, they don’t have a place where to warm and sleep.

Have you ever thought, in the holy night of Christmas, when you sit with your family around the tree, to the poor children who hunger and freeze in the cold night?

On Christmas day, poor people are on the road or in hospital beds fighting for their lives and hopping for a miracle. Perhaps some are wondering where is God when they need him. Why does He allow some children, some angels without wings, to suffer so much? God is near, ​​holding their hand or hugging them and encouraging them. He does not leave us, but always stays with us, watching us from a corner where we forget Him overwhelmed by looking for material things. How can the Creator forget us if for the love for us He sent his own Son to die for our sins? The Saviour suffered on the Cross not only for the people of those times, but also for us from these days.

Unfortunately, many forget the Creator being overwhelmed by daily stress and struggle to become someone, forgetting that the best thing is the fresh smile of a child, rustle of leaves, the murmur of flowing water, and the beauty of a simple soul. To emphasize the beauty of a pure soul I will use an example:

“One winter evening, a young family sat around the table. The father was sad and depressed and the mother was crying, holding her face in her hands. The youngest daughter, surprised by this situation approached slowly and asked:

– Mom, why are you crying?

– My daughter, we live in difficult days, we do not have money and in order to live we have sold this beautiful house. Tomorrow we will have to move in a smaller house. This is why I am crying, because it is difficult to leave this wonderful place we have lived in peace for so many years, and to move into an impoverished house…

– But, mother, does not God live in that poor house where we will move?

Amazed at the faith of the child and of her truth, parents understood that in life, hardships and tribulations arise in any human soul, but faith and hope should never be forgotten, because only with them in our souls we can go through life’s thorny path more easily. “

The human’s heart is like a flower wrapped in the mystery of innocence which, if you do not wet with the water of faith, love and forgiveness, fades losing its beauty.

These lines were written by a teenage girl who longs for his childhood innocence and beauty, a child who wants her Father to take her in his arms and protect her. I do not know which road I will take in life, but I know that someone will always be beside me, waiting for me in a corner of the soul, but not waiting only for me, but for you, and for us all.

(Mihaela G.)

 

Horoscope in Orthodoxy

The word “horoscope” was searched 14.191.324 times by 2008. Yes! You read right, for 14 million times the term “horoscope” was sought last year, which means that Romanians are very interested in the horoscope, and many of them read it almost daily hoping that they will be fine. Among the most searched words on the internet, the word “horoscope” is the fifth. How strange! A country of mostly Christians Orthodox is interested in the “horoscope forecasts”.

Many people read horoscope in newspapers, on net, on TV, in the subway station. I wonder who makes these horoscopes. There are hundreds of types of horoscope in a day. Are journalists also astrologers? They all “read the stars”? My godson had worked at a local newspaper for several years in Galati and told me how they made the horoscope… A colleague of theirs, a journalist; grabs to write what comes in her mind, something that may not always resemble with what yesterday or last weeks was published.

So are horoscope made in all publications … quickly inventions, adapted to practical aspects of life, aimed at everyone (work, home, partner, money, friends, etc…) that can be fold to as many people and may seem more reliable..

So, now that all has been said, I think that a few hundreds of newspaper in Roamnia, hundreds of magazines and hundreds of internet sites, in one single day have more than a thousand of predictions of a sign…. which normally do not match each other, but all are invented. Well, I can do a horoscope if I want! I can do a horoscope for a whole month, or a year round, because it doesn’t seem difficult…one day I write well, the other the worst, to be a balance, and that’s all. It’s easy!

Horoscope is only an illusion of what could be…it has no conection with reality; it is read by many people as only “for fun”, so unfortunately wasting his life.

Rather than searching for a beautiful forecast in the horoscope today, which certainly will not come true, I better ask Lord to help me. Why dreaming of what I want instead of asking Him every morning?

Orthodoxy and horoscope have nothing in common. Orthodoxy is True in every aspect of our life and we will live like this until the end of the world with God.  Horoscope is a lie, a children’s play which slyly do away with God from the scheme of life. No matter how innocent it may seem,  horoscope is idolatry… It’s like a child would wait for a “furniture forecasts” waiting to receive a toy, than to ask his mother to buy it. Furniture forecasts are horoscopes “read” in stars, the home is the world we live in, mother is God who loves us and is always waiting to help us, and the child it’s me, the one who want a better life.

Horoscope in Orthodoxy is actually sin in Orthodoxy…

Horoscope is a sin and must be confessed, is the beginning of unfaith, and is like turning our backs to God…It’s a shame you receive the Eucharist and the next day you try to read forecasts of devil.

Letter from prison

A letter from Valeriu Gafencu (known in Romania as the Saint of Communist jails) sent to his mother and sisters.

„I am in a state of a constant spiritual joy. Love waves were poured into my soul. Only those who had lived such moments can understand them. Having God in my mind, I keep all of you in my heart with the most beautiful hopes that flourished in my soul after so many years of big and happy suffering. What greater joy can a man live in this world than the feeling that you serve the Good and the Love, being conscient of your sinfulness and nothingness?
Lord! What good have I done in this life for You to send me so many joys, for You to offer me Your love and care that has never left me?
How happy I would be if the joys of my soul came up in your hearts!

I want to know you as pure, with kind souls, gentle, lovely, peaceful, happy, decent, obedient, faithful, hopeful, modest and healthy girls.

Live a simple life, as simple as possible. Participate with your lives to the simplicity and beauty of the nature. Dress you modestly and cleanly. Make yor dresses lenghty, below your knees.Your shoes must have their stocks as low as possible. Don’t use make up. How beautiful are natural girls. Don’t paint your lips or your cheeks for any reason.

Keep you pure as God created you because the inoncence is a true beauty and a thing of great value. Don’t go to proms. I ask you for so many things, so queekly. In reality, i’m not asking you for more than being an example of decency and Christian perfection.

Beware from bad friendships, because the sin is being transmitted little by little.

I urge you with all my soul on a Christian life.

Think that nobody in this world would desire your happiness more than i do.

My dear and good mother, I ask you with all my heart, watch for the soul of my precious little sisters. Urge them you to a christian life too, a life that God desires. I always pray for you. I’m waiting, peacefully, for the happy day when i’ll be again with you.

In the prison life, I took big decisions of pure life and total dedication. I don’t want to live for me anymore…

I will be very happy if this Christmas you, my mother and my sisters Valentina, Norica, Zunea come to see me. It will be wonderful.

I’m with you and I kiss you,

Valeriu…”

If I could turn back the time…

Reading the life of Father Arsenie Boca, who is very dear to me, I find out that in his childhood was beaten by his father because he was wasting time in laziness. He promised with tears not to do that again and that lesson was usefull for the rest of his life.

 The time used for nothing in our life is an irrecoverable loss. I remember that when I was younger and I had plenty of free time and when I had something to be solved, no matter how simple, all the time I found something more important to do. I put every activity off to another time, because…I was busy wasting the time: on TV, on computer, listening to music, or even a spontaneous meeting with friends, anything rather than what I had really to do.

 But things changed and I had a job, a family, responsabilities and time began to compress. I didn’t find the time to make my duties without too much effort.  When I realized that I had not enough time, I learned to appreciate it, to weigh it, thinking how I could waste it on nothing so far.

  “For every thing there is a season and a time for every purpose under heaven.” (Ec. 3:1)

 There is nothing more true. There is time for school, for work, helping, and rest, walk or meeting with loved–ones.

 But what if we cease a bit watching TV, staying on the computer, playing internet games without measure, looking in the mirror all day to cover up our face with make-up and many other daily activities with an “major” character. Perhaps then we will find 15 minutes a day to read a book, and a 5 minutes for evening prayer without haste or 10 minutes to listen to a piece of advice. Then maybe we would not regret losing our time . Maybe we would not say “if I could turn back the time…”

Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil. (Ephesians 5:15)

Letters from Teddy

While she was in front of the children in the fifth grade, in the first day of school, Mrs Thompson told them an untruth. Like most of the teachers, she told her pupils that she loves all very much. However, this thing was not possible, because in the first place, immersed in his bank was the little boy named Teddy Stallard. Mrs Thompson had watched Teddy the year before and noticed that he did not play with the other children, his clothes were untidy and he was dirty almost all the time.

And Teddy could be unpleasant. It got to the point that Mrs Thompson loved to write on his works, with a thick red pen, a big and bold X and to give him an F. At the school, Mrs Thompson had to review all the pupils characterizations and this time she left Teddy intentionally last.

However, when she reviewed his file she was very surprised to see that the first grade teacher wrote: “Teddy is a bright child, he makes his homework carefully, is mannered and it is a pleasure to be around him”. Second grade teacher wrote: “Teddy is an excellent pupil, appreciated by his collegues, but he is troubled by the fact that his mother is suffering by an incurable disease, and his life at home must be very hard.” The third grade teacher wrote: “The death of his mother had affected him greatly.  He had struggled a lot, but his father is not interested in him, and the climate from home will affect him soon, unless something changes.” The fourth grade teacher wrote: “Teddy is withdrawn and not interested in school any longer. He doesn’t have many friends and sometimes fall asleep during the classes.”

By now, Mrs Thomson realized the problem and she was ashamed of herself. She felt even worse when her students brought Christmas presents, tied with beautiful ribbons and packed in bright paper. Less Teddy. His gift was packed with ordinary brown paper. Mrs. Thompson hardly opened it in front of the others. Some of the students started to laugh when she found a bracelet with some stones missing and a bottle one quarter full of perfume. She argued when observed that the bracelet was nice and the perfume smelled nice and beautiful. Teddy Stallard stayed after school that day just to say: “Mrs. Thompson, today you smell just like my Mom.”

After the children left, she cried for about an hour. On that day she ceased to teach reading, writing and arithmetic and began to teach students.

 Mrs. Thompson paid particular attention to Teddy. As she worked with him, his mind began to recover. The more she encouraged him more often, the more he responded. By the end of the year, Teddy had become one of the smartest students in the class, and, despite her lie that she would love all the same, Teddy became her favourite student.

A year later, she found a letter from Teddy saying that she’s the best teacher he ever had. Another six years have passed until she got another note from Teddy. He wrote that he had finished third in the high school class, and she remained to him the best teacher he had ever met. Four years later, she received a letter saying he would end soon the university with the best results. Once again he assured Mrs. Thompson that she was the best teacher. Then four more years passed and another letter came with the same message but the sender’s name was changed: Dr. Theodore Stallard.

Then another letter that announces that he will marry.

He said that his father died a few years ago and asked if she wanted to attend the wedding and  to stay in the place in which is typically the groom’s mother. Sure she did. And she wore the bracelet with some missing stones and used the same perfume that she long time ago received from Teddy. They hugged and Teddy whispered to her ear, “Thanks for believing in me. Thanks for making me feel important and showing me that I can mean something”.

Mrs. Thompson whispered with tears in her eyes “Teddy, you misunderstood. You’re the one who taught me that I can change something. I hadn’t known how to teach until I met you.

MORAL:

You can never know how life can influence others by what you do or by what you do not do. Keep this in mind in your journey through life and try to change something in the lives of others (and would be ideal if this would be in a good manner).

And do not forget!

Nobody has the right to look from high to another person, but when he bends and stretches a hand to help him to get up.

The Holy Face of Christ in a disfigured world

About 1982 years ago (2012 after Christ minus the 30 years of hidden life, when He was a child and then a carpenter in Nazareth), the Holy Face of the Only Son of God was revealed to the whole world by his Forerunner, Saint John the Baptist. That auto-revelation of God had an effect so big on the world that all the scientific discoveries, revolutions, inventions, philosophies from all eras pale in comparison, even if they were madly worshipped by man.

After thousands of years, the celebration of Epiphany (epiphany= appearance, manifestation; the Baptism of God is also called Epiphany or the manifestation of the Holy Trinity : the Son in the Jordan river, the Holy Spirit in the body of a dove and the Father speaking from the skies) and it remains a curiosity and many once-Christian countries, including orthodox Romania and secular Great Britain. Few people, including so-called Christians really understand the meaning of the holiday.

Outside the Christian world (composed of the Original Orthodox Church, as well as other heterodox beliefs), people still continue to hate and mock Christ, as Irod did when He was born or the Judeans when they put Him on the cross. If there were only not-believers (agnostics), maybe their sin would be smaller (and forgivable), but by calling themselves atheists (in war with their Creator), they also mock the Holy Spirit, not to mention the fact that they are in a completely unscientific position- nobody has ever proved, scientifically the inexistence of God.

They want Him out of all His things, without seeing that, the more they fight with the inexistent God, the more they actually prove the contrary- His existence. And that is because all the demons that inspire atheists ideologies know that He exists.

But these things happen outside the continuously reducing Christian world. Inside it, there are other demonic traps whose purpose is to dilute faith. The devilry of the enemies of our salvation has existed ever since the time of the apostles, have lead to the separation of Christianity from 1054 to the present. In a world full of hedonism, Christ appears as ‘relative-Christians’ ( heterodox people, but also non-ascetic orthodox people) want Him to be, as they ‘draw’ caricatures of Him in the most strange circumstances. The world is disfigured, living under the spell of ‘I do what I want to do’, thus disfiguring Christ.

People today, very little resembling of the man-angel John the Baptist, state they have seen the Son of God, and these appearances are thought worthy of holding the web or printed pages of journals such as They Daily Mail and The Daily Telegraph. Sometimes this kind of news rapidly reaches places throughout the world.

A girl from Great Britain saw Jesus in her chewing gum, a banker states that he was saved through a divine intervention, after Jesus appeared in a frying pan, a so-called church advertises through the Face of God drawn with the foam from a glass of beer,

A man from Southampton is sure that an image took by Google Earth from a field in Hungary shows Jesus, while a woman and her paramour say they saw Him in an ecography, near their baby who was sucking his finger.

Members of a (probably wacky) community from America saw Him crucified on a telephone pole, a couple would be ready to swear that He was on the door of a toilet in an IKEA store from Glasgow, while a family from Hertfordshire recognized Him on a flaming log in their fireplace. And the list of appearances (surrealist, psychotic ?!) can go on and on. Thus, the relative-Christians of all names believe they are refreshing their faith, while atheists are laughing out loud at the stupidity of the so-called Christians. Both parties are satisfied. 😦

According to the teachings of the Orthodox Church, hardly the saints that try to live by the model of John the Baptist see Christ for once in a lifetime, so how would regular people, especially those coming from a desacralised society like that in the Great Britain suddenly manage to see Him?

Then, is it really true that all these appearances change somehow clearly the existence of these people, such as in the rare cases when the future saints have seen the Saviour or His Sacred Mother and changed completely their lives after that moment? Maybe not more than one man or woman from a half-million people is drawn to the monastic life. God knows how many of those called are really chosen – not by blind faith, but by their own need to be ascetic.

Those whose hearts are purified, so that they are worthy to see His Face are few, very few. It’s very probable that there are as few as one from a billion (from all the billions that lived in the world) that have seen Him during their lives on Earth.

However, in the present world, so disfigured by sin, so far away from Him and separated by His commandments, seeing Him has become a cheap curiosity. We’re not far from believing that seeing him is something common, such as going to the supermarket or turning on the TV.

Actually, things are not at all like this. Seeing God is something for which John the Baptist would have lived even a hundred years in the desert and would have accepted to be decapitated for a hundred time. And still, a price for a such priceless gift would not have been discovered.

So full of the emptiness inside us, a lot of us can’t understand the words full of humility of the Forerunner: “So this joy of mine has come true. He must grow greater, but I must grow less.” May those, very few, who still are humble be blessed! It is for them that the Lord keeps the world alive.

(Bogdan Munteanu – MunteanUK)

God’s insurances

Where are the insurances when the floods are destroying the lives of thousands of people, although maybe the houses were insured? Where are the insurances when our love ones get injured or die, although the cars had insurance? Where are the insurances when a loved one get ill or suffers, although they had insurance? Where are the insurances when children do not have a good personal life or when they have so many troubles, although they have life insurance?

Are insurances protecting me every day like a guardian angel?

God takes care of us and protects us each and every second of our life. He protects us and guides our every step. He is with us, like the mother is with her baby that just started to walk, supporting and encouraging him. To trust the protection of insurances against daily life troubles, it’s like that small child, who wants to walk, but he trust a child-walking manual instead of his mother.

I won’t be glad if I’ll get money, if I make an accident, I will be glad if I won’t make it at all. I won’t be happy if my house will fall down, instead I will be very happy if this won’t happen. I won’t be happy is someone I love gets ill and I get free hospitalization, but I’ll be happy if he would continue to be healthy.

The insurance is the understanding between people through which one of them receives compensation money after something happens. I want to make an insurance that will help me in order for nothing bad to happen. I want to talk with someone that can ensure me that I’ll always be better. I am convinced that it is better to pray God to keep me safe rather to do insurance. The insurance is just a relief (in money) after something bad happened.

I wander who will keep me safe from car accidents, the insurance or God? If we have faith in God, we will pray to Him every day to keep us safe from accidents and He will keep us. If we have had faith, we wouldn’t have made insurances. If we are aware and realize that God exists, than we won’t doubt His help, because we are His beloved children. As parents take care of their newborn children constantly, especially when they are small and can’t handle themselves, as well God who creates us takes care of us and He will never leave us.

If we had faith, everything would be much easier. If we believed there wouldn’t be insurances. Today, the world wants to eliminate Him slightly from our conscience landscape and replace Him with pleasures and desires, with food and drink, consumption and corruption, death and hell.

A night with Saint Nicholas in the railway station

Between the saints of God, the first I got acquainted as a young child was Saint Nicholas. In my grandparents’ house we had a large icon with this Saint, just above my bed. And I used to watch it in the evening before falling asleep; strongly believing that God is there. I sometimes wondered why Lord Christ has a white beard in my icon. Later I learned that God has good friends, Saints, and that face I thought it was God’s face, actually was the face of St. Nicholas.

Then, when I learned that Saint is the patron of children, I prayed hard to be my defender, too. And with my mind of child, I asked him to give me a sign if He agrees to accept me also in his care. I do not remember what I asked as a sign, but I know that I enjoyed much when the Saint answered “yes”, He wanted to be my defender, after the agreement I had done with him.

Now I am no longer a child, I grew up and also has grown my unworthiness, but St. Nicholas, gentle and good still guards me, and comes with mercy to help me when I ask Him, even though I often forget Him.

And last night I called Him. I was to go in the station, during the night, to wait for a package that was coming from home. The first time the bus passed through the town where I live, I missed the opportunity to take my package because the car passed without stopping. So I decided this time to leave around 1 am, and stay until it reaches the station. The driver told me that he can reach at 1:30 but may be in the station also at 4. I was afraid to go alone, I knew that during the night many guys go out on the streets by cars and scream if they see a girl and I also had to pass through a part of the town where prostitutes (poor girls) are waiting for customers. So I asked Saint not to let me, to come with me; I took in my pocket an icon with my defender Saint.

The road to the station was quiet. Until we arrived I repeated all the time, “Saint Nicholas, help me!” It was very, very cold, and no one came out on the street. In front of the station … also quiet. Station … closed. I sat on a concrete terminal. I wanted to be attentive to the noises around me, but the strong wind was hissing through the leaves covering even the noise of an engine of a car.

I took the icon of the Saint in my hands and ask him to be with me. I stayed for a few moments looking down. When I lifted my head, before me to 3 feet were two young men, dressed in black, approaching to me. They stopped in front of me. Black hood was covering their head and I saw only their faces. They asked me if I live in town and if I know where they can go to drink something. I said them I am from the town and that there is no open bar at that hour. I feared not to notice because of my accent that I am a foreign. But Saint Nicholas protected me and after few moments the young left.

I crouched in a corner of the station. I was somehow sheltered than when sitting on the terminal. This greatly reduced the range of my vision. After about 20 minutes after leaving of the two men, two other men came from a corner and approached me. They were drunk … bearly speaking. They sat in front of me so I didn’t have where to go. In that moment Saint Nicholas strengthened me hard and I went among them. I felt in my heart that the Saint of Christ would certainly not let me alone. And I turned toward the parking lot. I stood some time hidden there under a tree, until I saw that the two were also going toward the parking place. I ran between the cars but I noticed at one point that parking was surrounded by walls and there was nowhere to run. The only chance to get out of the there was to pass right through their face at a distance of about 15 meters. And that portion was occupied by cars. I called St. Nicholas and I asked Him to cover their eyes not to see me. Oh … and they didn’t see me.

I returned in the corner of the station, waiting. Soon someone came to open the station and people came to train. When the truck arrived, uh … I was glad to see those people. They invite me in the truck to warm me and drove me about a third of the way home. Then, thinking of St. Nicholas I started walking , then I arrived home all right.

I wanted to tell you not to hide the help that Saint Nicholas gives to those who calls Him. I also was unworthy as I didn’t pray him for a long time, but the Saint had mercy on me.
Thank you, Saint Nicholas, great miracle worker, and by you I bring gratitude to God and His Mother.

(Talita)

Is the Christian, by definition, a happy man?

Father Arsenie Boca used to say that a sad Christian is like a car riding with the lights turned off in the dark. Why did the father say something like that? Is it possible to be happy all the time? Is there by any chance joyfulness a state able to characterize the Christians of our time?

I’ll start by confessing a personal experience. While I was a teenager, and even during my university years, I was a rather introvert person, with a lot of bruises in my soul, which made me feel all the time insecure and too preoccupied by my inner state. I could point what I lacked, I wished for more, but I couldn’t do anything to pursue my dreams – and, above all, I was sad.

My biggest wish was to serve God, but I saw that my wish was so far away from being accomplished that I got disappointed again.

After a long time of waiting I was ordained as a priest and I started my mission in the parish I was assigned. But as a priest you always have cases where your help is needed, even though it could only mean some piece of advice or a few encouraging words.

What surprised me most was the fact that when I began to get preoccupied by others’ issues, I forgot of those I had myself. I forgot that until then I was sad, pensive, lacking any joy of life. I had to give others what I did not have, but which, in the same time, God had plenty. Through His power, the Christians relieved their souls and in the same time I was getting full of life.

Why did I tell you all this? Because the best solutions to get rid of personal problems, of the sadness and the hardships of life, is to give – to give what we don’t have (at start), but God has. In time, we will see that by helping others we help ourselves. Soothing others, God soothes us.

Does it seem hard to believe?

The man is made for love and communion. But sin and selfishness make us to retire in our own shells. We begin to feel immune at others’ problems and the sadness befalls us. But it is impossible to be sad or moody when you help someone, when you show love and compassion to another person. You don’t have the means to give? Just try, because whatever you do, you do it in the name of God, and He will complete what you lack, healing you.

The origin of joy is in God and when it’s us that ask Him on behalf of the people around us, we will be ourselves changed.

Just try and you will see…

(father Alexandru Nicodim)