God’s love

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Being ugly is a gift from God too

I was talking to a cousin of ours a few days ago and I was asking her if she had a boyfriend and she told me that she used to have someone whom she lived with for a longer period of time. I asked her if she usually finds a boyfriend easily and she told me that it was pretty hard for her to find one. I told her I used to have the same problem when I was younger because I wasn’t and still am not such a good-looking person who sweeps girls off their feet.

She told me: ‘You know, being ugly too is a gift from God because you can be certain that the person who stays besides you (your boyfriend, girlfriend) likes you not only for the way you look, but for the way you really are as a person’. I liked what she said very much and I rejoiced.How can we in fact be ugly? If I am ugly, but I resemble God, that means God is ugly as well.

‘So God created mankind in his own image; in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.’

I sometimes like to think that if I asked someone: What does your mother look like, is she ugly or is she beautiful? What would they answer me? I am certain they would say: ‘My mother is very beautiful and I love her’. I say the same about my mother. For each one of us our mother is beautiful and we are very fond of her. But if I see someone else’s mother in the street and she is in her fifties, what is my opinion about her then? According to the way we, the youth today think, surely I wouldn’t consider her beautiful.

For me my mother is beautiful because she loves me so much, because she always takes care of me, because she has always been besides me for a quarter of a century, because she is my mother…

These being said, we notice that beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder and there is no qualitative or quantitative measure. The beauty of the other person is rendered by the way I relate to them. If I judge a person prior to at least getting to know them, I will related to them incorrectly and I won’t like them, because I have forced myself to do so, due to my prejudice. But I don’t judge them at all and I am open and sincere towards them, through this I get them to open up as well, to become known, to show their beauty.

The only ugly thing in the world is sin. And whoever commits the sin takes part of the dreadfulness  of sin. But because we are all sinners, and nobody is righteous before God, I must not judge anyone for committing sin, I must not see the sin of others, but my own. By doing that, my desire will not be to see the sin of others, but their beauty.

The Lord Christ tells us that our eyes light up to our whole body when we only see the good:

‘The eye is the lamp of the body. So then if your eye is clear, your whole body will be full of light; but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness.’

The beauty of each person comes from their relationship with the others. I can’t be beautiful on my own, but I am beautiful in the eyes of my wife, of my little girl, of my friends. Likewise I can’t be ugly on my own, but only in the eyes of those who don’t love me.

‘A new command I give you: love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.’

Translated by Claudia

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They say the hearts that love each other recognize one another

Today the Church commemorates Saints Adrian and his wife Natalia.

They say that the hearts that love each other recognize one another. The hearts that love Christ are brought together. Christ is within them and they live and beat for Christ. Saints Adrian and Natalia are an example for me.

I wish Christ and His Holy Mother gave me a husband who truly loves me, but above all, who loves Christ. I think this is the secret of a happy marriage: making Christ the center of your relationship and all the other things will be given to you as well.

 Saint Martyrs Adrian and Natalia pray to the Lord Christ and His Holy Mother, so that we achieve happy marriages in the Lord!

‘It didn’t matter for Saints Adrian and Natalia that they had just been married for one year and one month! Nor did it matter that they were young and had their whole lives ahead! Nor did it matter that they hadn’t become ‘accomplished’ as a family by having any babies! Nor did it matter that they loved each other very much! What did matter for them at the time of persecution? Only one ‘thing’: CHRIST! It was for Him that they brought sacrifice, that is what had crowned truly and perfectly fulfilled their love! They loved Christ above all things! And they were not super-humans, they were not ‘predestined’ to become saints!’

Translated by Claudia

Journey to the center of my heart

         Lord, I have taken a long journey which I should have taken long time ago. I have passed through tortuous and painful worlds, everything was a labyrinth. I had been there for a long time, but I couldn’t 3805693-mdmanage to get out, I have tripped many times, monsters (sufferings) have surrounded me from all around, they have drowned me in my own feelings, O, Lord, how have I entangled myself!

         Yes! I was terribly haunted by Pain and Fear on my path. Both of them would whisper to me: you won’t get out of here! But I cried out to You, but what kind of an echo could my words have? For I could hear them as sufferings coming back to me constraining me in my own shroud, which had actually been my mechanism of saying to Christ: I can do without You, but that shroud squeezed me so hard that I humbled myself and cried out to You and You heard me quicker than ever! You came gently, but You haven’t unburdened me from that shroud. There were many black stains on it that needed cleaning. Those stains were keeping me away from you. But You came and saw me terribly shackled and You freed my wrists and then I cried out: Freedom! But it wasn’t like that, there were a lot of stains left! Some that I wasn’t even aware of, others that I wasn’t thinking about.

         You were there with me constantly, but the suffering I hadn’t lived with You by my side have created a great labyrinth around me, which I named the labyrinth of darkness. But You, the Light of the world, came and took me from the little pain I was feeling to a greater pain? How is it that You, Who give joy, brought me more pain? It wasn’t You, Christ, that were giving me more pain, but it was the pain that I had lived without You! They were sufferings as great as monsters, but I encountered much comfort as well.

         After each suffering I would receive great comfort! Who can understand this? It was something special! After living terror, pain and anger, I, the unworthy, would receive comfort! So much comfort! There have been so many sufferings, there still are! But they no longer have power over me! For You have offered me the strength to overcome them! What would I have done without You, during my painful long journey to the center of my heart; where the hell was greater, that is where I could feel You more than ever! You have given me strength to go on, in the labyrinth of my heart…

         Thank You, Lord, for the labyrinth has turned into everlasting joy…!

Translated by Claudia

God’s ongoing struggle for us

I invite you to read an exceptional explanation by Father Archimandrite Aimilianos of Simonopetra of the next verse of the Holy Scripture:

“After his suffering he presented himself alive to them by many convincing proofs…” (Acts 1:3)

The Evangelist presents us directly all the ways and testimonies of life that God gave to the human being. And what is it that He did not do? If I could express it at a human level, there is only one issue that occupies God’s thought: How to make man understand and believe and remember that He is alive, that He lives connected with the human being.

That a man lives for God and to suffer to be alive in God, is a thing I can understand. But God’s love makes God to see Himself connected with the lowest person and to arrange His plans before the foundation of the world  (Eph. 1:3-6) and to schedule, we could say, Himself and to organize everything, so that the Infinite God Himself to fit in the human being’s measures.

And we see God stooping down to create man, so that as soon as the first man would open his eyes to see God; the God Who stooped down and created him “from the dust of the ground” (Gen 2:7). Opening his eyes, the first man created of the ground, who was the entire human nature, at the first opening of his eyes, sees God, Who takes dust of the ground and makes it man and, in the Holy Spirit, comes and gives man breath, breathing upon him; breathing into his nostrils and in his dead sleeping soul, in his earthly body, and gives him life!

            As the child that sleeps and awakes and looks at his father, who hugs and caresses him or kisses him with affection, with delight and feels this earthly affection, exactly so was the man created so that, from the first opening of his eyes, he would not see anything else but God! But he was in the middle of a wonderful world! This world had various gardens, all kinds of plants, all kind of animals, all kind of stars, all kind of angels. And yet, He did not create him to see anything else, so He would see the One that created this creation of His hands, the One that breathed in his nostrils that closely! That close is Christ! Because the Scripture says: “breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and the man became a living being” (Gen. 2:7) “A living being” because He approached him. As your person comes next to me, so that you can kiss me, or blow into my face and my life would not get out, so close did God come to man.

            See the effort of God to make Himself understood and received by man.

            Next, God listens to man’s footsteps, but the man listens as well, at dusk and in the moments of sin, the footsteps of God (Gen. 3:8), to remember him, what else, but that God is alive and that, in that day of falling, he, the man, was dead. “Do you hear me walking? I am alive. What are you? You are dead, because you separated from Me.” So that you may understand what I have told you: “for in the day that you eat of it you shall die.” (Gen 2:17).

            What does this mean? “I walk, but you cannot walk no more, even if you would live a thousand years. You die, because you left Me. I, however, am alive, I walk next to you.” He listens to his footsteps and sees him, and asks him and tells him: “Adam, Adam, where are you?” (Gen. 3:9). The movement, the hearing, this hearing, this movement, this word are the testimony of divinity who wants to be received; of God being alive, and therefore, can be received by the human nature.

            And yet, when he receives the first good news of salvation from God(Gen 3:15), when he was drove off as punishment and when God supports him again when he sins, helps him when he raises, man – who God raised yet even more – nevertheless, man hardens himself. And God searches once again thousands of ways to be able to show him His Life and that He is so close to him, so close that the man can hear and feel closely God’s breath. And God imagines tens of thousands of ways to do this.

            One way of God’s descending we could see in the Psalms. You remember that beautiful image of Christ who bends towards the river that flows to drink water, as all the people bend (Ps. 110, 7). What does this thing mean? That “even if you forgave Me, I, the Heavenly God, bend Myself like you bend, I share your life, so that you can share Mine. I work as you work, to show you that I make Myself like you, so that you can make yourself like Me. So, do you get tired on your way? I am tired Myself. Do you thirsty? I thirsty. Do you bend, to drink water? I bend Myself. Like you bend, so do I bend Myself. I humble Myself, I empty Myself and drink Myself and refresh Myself as well. And what do you do and I don’t do? Therefore, if I am so close to you and bend to you, indeed you cannot grasp Me? Aren’t you able to seize Me? Aren’t you able to hold Me? Aren’t you able to make Me forever yours? Aren’t you able not to lose Me? Aren’t you able not to see Me in front of you? Since we bend together towards the same spring, towards the same water…We make ourselves both deprived. We make ourselves both poor. I, the wealthy One, I, the One Who lacks nothing, I, the tireless One, I, Who with a single view embrace the world, come and sneak in the tiny place where you sit and walk in your footsteps. What more do you want? This much I humbled Myself!”.

You see, He does all these to show us His descent, his alikeness, His life alike ours, so that we can understand it and rejoice at it.

            And still, the man hardens! God comes as a breath and gives grace to the prophets (1Kings 19:12). And he forgot about God. God kills the false prophets (1Kings 18:40; 2Kings 1:10). And he forgot about God. God comes and gives him wonderful triumphs (Exod. 17: 9-13; Josh. 6:12). And he forgot about the Victorious One, forgot about God, Who gave him the triumph. God forgives –  Israel – their sins and they rejoice at forgiving, but then go on and sin again (Judg. 2:11; 4:1-3) and forget the One that forgave them. He drives them through the desert (Exod. 13:18); in the desert He gives them on one day bread (Exod. 16:14), on another water out of the dry rock (Exod. 17:3), He gives them quails (Exod. 16:13), He gives them anything, bearing witness by all these to His life that wants to be shared; finally, they remain again without God and again forget Him and again cannot do anything.

            They reach the foot of a high mountain, hear thunders, see lightning, hear the words that God speaks to Moses (Exod. 19: 16-19), know that Moses climbed up there because he was called after he fastened for forty days and forty nights (Exod. 24:18) and, after so many things, he told them: “I am going to bring you the Law, I am going to bring you the Lord”; and they were afraid, they trembled, they saw the mountain smoking – all symbols of the presence of God – and they left God, forgot God and, without having God, they made God a calf (Exod. 32:1)! They made another false God! Why? Because they cannot live without God. Because man, as I was saying, was made only to live. And he does not live but by deifying; only by forging a God or having a God, only deified, only by living in God.

            Why does man build a calf? Because this sin of his, this delusion of his, this departing of him from God bears witness to the fact that man cannot live without God. Therefore, he has nothing. Even by making a calf, the man expresses this longing after Divinity, that he can only live as a god. And yet, he builds a calf and leaves the True God. And Gods bends once more! He forgives him again. Is struggling to find the way for the human to finally become eternally His, the Visible One, the eternally Touched One. And He finds this ways:

“During the day the desert burns you and you want cooling. Very well! I make Myself a cloud (Exod. 13: 21-22), that will cool you and light you so that you know that I am your coolness and that which interposes between you and the burning sun.

During the night you want light! By night I make Myself light for you. I make Myself your pillar of fire (Exod. 13: 21-22). And consequently, seeing light at night to know that I am this light. It is the reflection of My Glory.

At day you have the cloud, at night the pillar of fire. God is endlessly present. You move forward, I rise up and stay in front of you so that you can see Me. You stop, I descend and sit in front of you so that you can see Me. You come in front of the tent of meeting, there I am, there you hear Me. You come to your high priest, there are the symbols of my presence. No matter where you go.”

God humbles Himself, emptied – all these are ‘emptyings’ [Translator’s Note: kenosis (from the Greek word for emptiness κένωσις, kénōsis)] of God – He comes to resemble even the cloud, even the pillar of fire, or any other thing that exists.

Think about God’s struggle, at God’s fight, but also about God’s longsuffering, at God’s  wisdom and almightiness to become eventually everything, to sneak into everything, to blend into everything: the cloud, the pillar, our sins, our mountains, our yells, into everything, so that He can be everywhere. And since I know that I cannot live without Him, then to endlessly live with Him.

A convincing proof of His life is the pillar. A convincing proof is the cloud. A convincing proof is the high priest. A convincing proof is the tent of meeting. “By many convincing proofs.” An entire eternity, God did not do anything else but present Himself alive “by many convincing proofs”. Alive in connection with man, alive so that I can grasp Him, so much alive that my life would never separate from Him.

You do now understand what “by many convincing proofs” means. You do understand God’s struggle but, at the same time, our own hardening as well, our weakness, our denial. Like someone would come and put food into your mouth but you close it, like someone would come to open your eyes, so that you can see, but you close them so that you would never learn to see, this is the man and that is God. A fight. Instead of fighting to know Him, to love Him and to get God, I fight with God that hunts me. He makes me a relentlessly chased game so that I can understand sometime this thing, and to return and see Him and to make my Hunter rejoice, the One that is so much mine.

(Archimandrite Aimilianos of Simonopetra)

           Translated by Radu Iacob

My Yoke Is Easy and My Burden Is Light

You ask: ‘O, Lord, our Lord, is it really easy to be persecuted? Is it really easy to go through the narrow door and down the stony path?’ You ask with confusion, perhaps doubt sneaks into your hearts: ‘Is Christ’s yoke really easy?‘ And I am telling you: Yes, yes! It is easy, extremely easy. But why easy? Why is it easy to follow Him upon the thorny path? Because you will not be alone, exhausted, but Christ Himself will be accompanying you; because His endless Grace will strengthen your force when you struggle under His yoke, under His burden, because He Himself will support you, will help you to carry this burden, this cross.

I am speaking to you not only out of reason, but of my own experience – for I have to confess that when I was treading a very difficult path, when I was carrying Christ’s heavy burden, it was not at all heavy and that path was a path filled with joy, because I could really feel that the Lord Jesus Christ Himself was walking by my side and supported my burden and my cross. It was a heavy burden that one, but I recall it as a bright joy, as a great mercy from God – because God’s Grace pours down richly on anyone carrying Christ’s burden. This is because Christ’s burden is inseparable from Christ’s Grace, because Christ does not let alone those who have lifted up the cross and follow Him, He does not leave them without His support, but He walks by their side, He bears their cross, He strengthens them with His Grace.

Remember His holy words, for great truth lies within: My yoke is easy and My burden is light. All of you who have believed in Him are called by Christ to follow Him by lifting up His burden, His yoke. Therefore, do not be afraid, do follow Him, follow Him boldly. Do not be afraid of the terrors the devil threatens you with, which strives to turn you away from walking this path. Spit at the devil, chase him away with Christ’s Cross, with His Name. Lift up your eyes to the heavens and you will see the Lord Jesus Christ Himself walking by your side, relieving your yoke and your burden. Amen.

Homily of January 28, 1951 of Saint Hierarch Luke of Crimea

The Holy Hierarch Luke of Crimea (1877 – 1961) was ordained a priest at mature age in full Bolshevik terror, having been already highly esteemed as a surgeon for his discoveries. A widower with four children, despite communist threats, he insists on appearing at conferences and in the operating theatre with his cassock on. He is marginalized and exiled to the Soviet gulag for his unwavering faithfulness. He becomes a bishop, remaining at the same time one of the greatest surgeons of his time. For his spirit of self-sacrifice in caring for the suffering, for his confessing of the true faith in times of persecution and for the wonders he worked even during his earthly life, Saint Luke was canonized by The Russian Orthodox Church.

Translated by Claudia

Sometimes I long so much for You!

My Saviour,5989390-lg

Today I have thought about writing to you again…since my last letter to You a lot of things happened, a lot of things which I want to forget about and to start again on the narrow road that leads to You. I am tired, My Lord, sometimes I feel like I will collapse, I cannot bear the invasion of sins towards me, I feel defeated and I fall. I live in a big world, I live among the creatures you have created, but, Lord, why do the people change? Why does a person need to fall?

I feel that the world doesn’t offer me anything, does not fill my heart with joy as You do, Jesus…and, do you know? It is hard for me and I cry, thinking that the tears will wash away my sins and the thoughts that besiege and trouble me. But I know one thing, Oh Good One! I know that You are with me, I know that you do not leave me not even when I fall down and you are with me and wait for my repentance, a true repentance, a sigh of the heart and a pain that will bring me back to You. Oh My Lord, I am thinking that I am weak and helpless and despair comes to my mind, I am thinking that once I have felt I do not have any hope for my salvation, but I am wrong, because I also know from You that if I repent and feel sorry for my sins I will receive forgiveness, and Lord, please, forgive me!

I told you in my first letter that sometimes I long so much for You, a longing that fills me, but You should know that I have also thought about my state of indifference that I show towards You when I am sinning and it hurts, because You do not treat me with indifference, You love me truthfully and You would do anything for my wellness. I am weak and helpless but, My Lord do not forget that I love you and that I am the creature of Your hands, I am not worthy, My Dear Savior, I am not worthy of the crumb of love that You give me. But I know that it is not only a crumb, but a big and infinite love that you have towards me and my fellows. I look around, oh Lord, seeing the people suffering and You see that the people suffer, but I ask you, Lord to lift the burden from their shoulders. I know how it is…Lord, today I am with you and I will always be…and I ask you something more, oh Good One…give me strength and love…that’s all!

Yours sincerely,

Victor

Ttansated by Radu Iacob

The sin – revolution with Christ

The man…instead of judging him, I could know him. And if I know him, why shouldn’t I understand him? Working with people is the same as with flowers – delicately. Otherwise, there’s no one left to greet us daily with bright colors in the eyes or with caring hands having the fragrance of sincere dedication perfume. To be other man’s brother is a divine gift, the price of a soul is given by the people we gather inside it.

We are deeply affected by the smallest critic toward us. However, we offend others every time we want to be superior to them, thus seeking a “justification” of our status. We tend to be noticed, praised and, why not, applauded.

The man which judges the others is so empty inside, that his expressed thoughts are a humiliating echo of his nakedness. All his life he tries to make himself a name based on the other people’s faults. When you judge, you do not respect the privacy of your neighbors’ choices. When trapped within this hard work of “pointing the finger” to the other and accusing him, you feel as you are the ruler of an empire. If we carefully self-analyze ourselves, we can see that each one of us had, at least once, such an attribute. Empires within other empires, “masters” with “masters” joined hands daily, planning how to be the ones on the top of the pyramid. And yet, in the mystery moments, they were also enveloped by the divine presence.

I was stopped by that kind pained look from the Church’s icons and the sigh of those I had kneeled with my wrong words. Then I would have given the entire empire of “satisfaction” in exchange for the deletion of my regrets. My “crown” became anxiety to me and didn’t know from whom to begin asking for forgiveness. In the “moments of glory” I thought that no one can hit me, that I cannot be “touched” by anybody. But finally, I cried. Terrible remains the sigh of the one who is distant from Christ! It is incomprehensible how He is still with you. For if it wasn’t then God who destroyed “my empire”, today I couldn’t imagine me as a human being. I have not received even one critic from Him…not even one without words!

It is conquering the beginning of the new life. I didn’t even promised that I won’t repeat that mistake. That is because not for promises but for the Savior’s sake you give up the world’s “empires”. Christ, for the sake of my reconciliation, put me back on His way.     

Every sin extends from earth’s one end to the other. A life after another suffers because of it. Sin becomes revolution with God into our hearts, everyone of us forgetting so fast that Jesus listens to us even though we don’t listen Him….The urge of Lord stays the same: to come home ! We were gone so many years, enslaving our souls to others by the evil men of our words; with great fear we lived many times, but today we must heal. “There’s no place like home”, no mater how tempting are the offers from the world. Christ, our holy shelter, expects each one of us like a Father, Friend, Guider, Helper, by the “heart’s desire” of the one who returns. Thus, it not only me who knows Him, but also I recognize Him no mater how far away I would be. There does not exist any critic that could change God’s desire to embrace us….no mater how much emptiness it (the critic) would rise into our hearts. You gather Christ into your heart by celebration. Only then you see how great He is!

 

May God enlighten your way to Heaven! 

 

With love, Alina

                Translated by Cristina Şerbănescu

The child’s letter to the Father

I am a child. Although I am only 16, I still remain your child. I wrote to You because, as every time, I am sure You will answer me. You always know how to answer me through Your Caress, through Your ceaseless love. I am in the position of the disobedient, impatient, perhaps naive child. I do not follow Your will… or I am not even aware of it. I wish I could understand Your Paths… I wish You could guide me Yourself towards them. Guide me towards the ever-flowing spring of Your endless Love.

I have tried to look at You. My sight cannot pervade beyond Your unapproachable Light. It cannot pervade beyond the Cross of the Holy Altar. I look at You and Your blood washes my thoughts.  I look at You once more, but Your voice captures my attention telling me: „Take, eat, this is My Body which is broken for you for the forgiveness of sins…”. I fall before You for the third time… my cheeks are covered with tears transformed into drops of dew. It is as if my burning words of longing wish to fly towards You.

O, how I wish You could hear me…! How I wish You could see my pain…! But… I am a child unworthy of Your goodness. Unworthy of what I ask of You. Unworthy of what You give me.

What I ask of You is not in vain. You are not indifferent to my words. You are… my Father. And the Father is aware of His child’s torment. I would like to ask You to reprimand me, to scold me for what I do, but… I am stopping here. Your warm goodness and Your overwhelming love greet me every time I enter Your House. I stand up and try to hide the sadness which has dwelled like clay upon my eyes. But You, Lord, put the clay upon the blind man’s eyes and he saw. Make me see Your gifts… see Your Glory and Your Joy. Teach me how to love You as well as my neighbor that You bring across my path. Looking at him, I fall before You again… looking at You and remembering Your command… to love one another. O. Lord, pour out into our hearts the ray of Your joy. Work in our souls guiding our steps towards Your commands. Pour out into them Your Caress…

I am concluding now, but my thought elevates to You.

Give, o, Lord, eternal lily perfume to my warm prayer

Forgive me, I am just Your child…

Georgiana

Translated by Claudia

Solitude versus God

“How alone are we! ” It is the most often used response at this time when anxiety, myriad of concerns, the disability of probing the depths, the removal from our neighbor dominate all social levels. The failure to manage our time favorable turn us into victims of our own actions. The disadvantage of letting ourselves be carried by the wave of now gives us the certainty of a dangerous future, both spiritually and materially.

The great problem of humanity is rendered by the abandonment of God, or His framing under a cultural attribute placed in the “box with values​​” carefully locked, His exclusion rightly forced from this moment or the effective lock of His intervention. Thus, our loneliness will depend only to our will to alienate us from Heaven.

All our desires, thoughts outward least, our plans are known by That Who gave us life. He expects to call Him, to understand, to believe when He promises us something, He expects us to love Him. One of His promises, par excellence, is that “I will not leave you alone, but I will send a Comforter” “I will be with you until the end of time”. What could be more fascinating than friendship, protection, blessing that Jesus gives us in change with our desire to receive Him  in soul?

Everyone’s REFUSAL to recognize Him as God produce the rupture man-Creator God. This rupture is felt through the feeling of being left alone, abandoned and most painful is when you feel your own guilt, the state that is only because of your choice to remain “on your own”. When we understand that this “our own” passes through God, derived from Him (being our Father), we will come to consider ourselves his sons, and any problems we encounter in our journey on earth, we will present Him as to a Father, receiving His divine help that our soul sighs.

În intimitatea cea mai sublimă a fiinţei noastre păstrăm lumina cu care ne-am ivit pe acest pământ. Din lumină ne întreţinem flacăra credinţei, prin ea răspundem Cerului, fiind darul pe care trebuie să îl împărtăşim celorlalţi spre a fi, în cele din urmă, recompensaţi. Câţi dintre noi reuşesc să Îl vadă pe Hristos în omul de la colţul de stradă, în sărmanul copil zgribulit de frigul din inimi mai presus de cel al iernii?

In the most sublime intimacy of our being we keep the light with which we came to this earth. From light we keep the flame of faith, by her we answer Heaven, being the gift that we must share to others so as to be, ultimately, rewarded. How many of us can see Christ in the man in the corner of the  street, in the poor child shriveled by the cold from hearts more than from the winter cold?

Winter outside, winter inside us.

God needs answers, reactions from our side, spiritual feedback. He guides our steps, learns with us, He “grows” us, and do we think even once SERIOUSLY to be grateful? Does not feel alone when He is  bypassed? I found that God is so close to each other, being accustomed to it, we do not aware of His presence. Worrisome is this “closing” willingly of the “spiritual eyes”. If we receive all “free” from God, what does cost us a simple “thank you” worshiped to HIM ? Everything that happens to us is for our good, even if sometimes it’s hard to understand this.

Loneliness is the clue that You let your Friend too far from what is “your life”. People provides you minimum “growth”, while He fulfill any plan, any road that you travel. When a loved man goes away, you know that one day he will return. When you recognize that he goes with God, you never break up wih him.

Feeling of comfort from mother arms, when you were little, reader, you can get it back giving Him space of honor in your soul, not because you are responsible to do this, not because you’re afraid to dwell alone – as little children believe – but think beyond the daily limits. Where solitude ends, begins true friendship with God!

 (Alina)

 

 

 

Yearning for God

My soul yearns for God and seek Him with tears. You first found me and gave me the delight of the Holy Spirit, and my soul loved You.

You see, Lord, my sorrow and tears … If you had not caught me by Your love, I would not seek You as I’m looking for You now. But your Spirit gave me to know You and my heart rejoices that you are God and my Lord and I yearn for You to tears.

My soul yearns for God and seek him with tears.

Merciful God, You see my loss and grief, but humbly I ask for your mercy: overflow upon me, the sinner, the grace of thy Holy Spirit. His memory draws the mind to find Your mercy again.

Lord, give me thy spirit of Your humility, not to lose Your grace again and not cry out loud for him, as Adam wept for Heaven and for God.

In the first year of my life in monastery my soul knew the Lord by the Holy Spirit. Lord loves us much, I know this from the Holy Spirit that Lord gave me by of His only mercy

I am an old man and I am preparing myself for death, and I write the truth for the sake of the people. Spirit of Christ, that Lord gave me, wants the salvation of all, that all may know God. The Lord gave Paradise to the thief and so will do with any sinner. For my sins are worse than an itchy dog, but I asked God to forgive me and give me not only forgiveness, but His Spirit, and in Holy Spirit I knew God.

Do you see God’s love for us? And who could describe His mercy?

O, my brothers, I fell on my knees and ask you: believe in God, believe that the Holy Spirit who bears witness to Him in all churches and in my soul.

Holy Spirit is love, and this love overflows to all holy souls who are from God, and the same Holy Spirit is on Earth in the souls of those who love God. In Holy Spirit, the entire Heaven see Earth and hear our prayers and lead them to God.

God is merciful, my soul knows it, but can not describe. He is very gentle and humble, and then the soul sees, turns all into the love of God and neighbor and is himself gentle and humble. But if man loses grace, then you complain as Adam at expulsion from Paradise. He laughs and his sigh was heard across the desert, were bitter tears of sorrow and he has spilled many years. So also the soul which has seen the grace of God, when he lose it, longs for God and says: “My soul yearns for God and seek him with tears.”

  (St. Silouan Athonite)

Thank You..

Lord, I have not written to You for ages! Since when haven’t I looked for You, since when have I left you? Since when is my soul so marred by sin? I do not remember You, God, neither my mind do not remember …

It’s such a long time since I am alone, since I have not felt that joy as when I used to pray to You. There are days, weeks, even months since I have found hundreds of concerns just not to have time for you.

It’s a place where I’ve left, a place in my heart where You are waiting and occasionally send me a sign that You have certainly not forgotten me. But how can I say this when You, God, have helped me so? All the time you stood near me and supported me unconditionally. On the street, my thought is only at the human problems, and to the Church, the hymns once so beautiful, no longer penetrate to the soul.

Rarely, when I read the Virgin Chapel, I remember my state and however I much I’d like, I can not return. I am so far from you, I have so many things to tell you…, I have so many, so very many things to thank you for: for giving me life, because I have the chance to enjoy my good and beautiful family, that I have friends, better or worse, yet there are so many things, God, for which I have to thank you. Because you helped me integrate into a group, because you stopped the temptation to smoke and other bad habits.  When I made the sign of the cross I got peace and bad thoughts disappeared. I want my prayer not to be only a formal one, but to put and soul into it, to pray truly as a Christian and not like the Pharisees.

And I have one more thing that I must thank to You: because You gave one more chance to work to my father who was very desperate. He had no more power to move forward and the age of 57 hold him to the edge to work. But he read prayers and put soul in what he does, not like me, the sinner … You and Mother have given him a new chance. Thank you, Lord my soul so bespattered thanks you and not forgotten You at all … he is aware and will seek You, sooner or later. He will return with tears and apologize for all the sins that I have made.

I have this hope and truly believe that You will encourage me. You will help me to turn back on the right path, where I will find you, God, and where the voices of angels does not stop to glorify You and honor and praise for all the good that we are not worth. Amen.

(Tiberiu)

 

 

 

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