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Man and Woman

Man is the most elevated of creatures, woman the most sublime of ideals.orizont-in-lanul-de-secara
God made for man a throne; for woman an altar. The throne exalts, the altar sanctifies.
Man is the brain, woman, the heart. The brain creates light, the heart, Love. Light engenders, Love resurrects.
Man is strong by reason, woman is invincible by tears. Reason is convincing, tears moving.
Man is capable of all heroism, woman of all martyrdom. Heroism ennobles, martyrdom sublimates.
Man has supremacy, woman, preference. Supremacy is strength, preference is the right.
Man is a genius, woman, an angel. Genius is immeasurable, the angel undefinable.
The aspiration of man is supreme glory, the aspiration of woman is extreme virtue. Glory creates all that is great, virtue, all that is divine.
Man is a code, woman a gospel. A code corrects, the gospel perfects.
Man thinks, woman dreams. To think is to have a worm in the brain; to dream is to have a halo on the brow.
Man is an ocean, woman a lake. The ocean has the adorning pearl, the lake, dazzling poetry.
Man is a flying eagle, woman, the singing nightingale. To fly is to conquer space, to sing is to conquer the Soul.
Man is a temple, woman a shrine. Before the temple we discover ourselves, before the shrine we kneel.
In short, man is found where earth finishes, woman where heaven begins.
(Victor Hugo)

Let us learn from animals

I love animals because they help me realize how much God loves us. Every being on this Earth has a purpose 2748693-lgof its own and each one of them can teach us something. Have you noticed how happy a child is when he plays with a puppy? How he smiles and how much love he offers to the puppy… this is nothing less than a gift from God meant to make us feel happy alongside His creation.

He wanted us not to be lonely, He gave us numerous friends but most of all He stands by us, He is our support when we cry, smiles when we laugh… rejoices when we offer love to our neighbor, He rejoices and comes closer to our soul.

The wonderful animals are also our ‚neighbors’… A female wolf loves all its pups and nurtures them all, protects them at the expense of her life… she doesn’t complain for having three, five or seven pups, she keeps quiet and feeds them all, she teaches them how to survive and offers them its love. When a woman becomes pregnant, due to the fact that either she already has a child, or she is not married or she is too young to have children or she has no financial means… she thinks whether to keep the baby or not… she considers her career, the money or her beauty.

In most cases many of them give up the little being inside them, some others keep it and find joy in watching them grow up. Animals don’t do that… and they are God’s creation just like we are. A bitch would give her life for its pup… the goose defends its goslings carefully, it even warns us from a distance to keep away from them.

Let us learn from them how wonderful children offered by God are. Let us learn how useful it is to remain silent sometimes, let us learn to be brave, let us learn to be friendly, let us learn to offer love, let us learn to play, let us learn to be gentle and pure…

There are many days in our lives when we get angry and lash out, let us learn from animals to keep silent. There are moments when we feel lonely, let us learn from worms that nobody is forgotten. There are days when we think that we are not free, let us learn from birds that we can fly, we can lift up, rise, hope through prayer.

Let us learn from flowers to always smile. Have you seen how happy a girl is when she receives flowers? Let us learn from trees to be wise, let us learn from bees to work with pleasure, let us learn from fish not to be caught in the ‚net’ of temptation… let us learn from the ladybug to be tolerant…

Let us give thanks to God for the wonderful gifts, let us thank Him for the sun which rises every morning, for the breathtaking nature, for faithful friends, for all of our dreams, for love, but most of all, for being beside us, close to us, all we need to do is call Him. If you don’t find Him, look for Him among animals… kiss the flowers for they are made by Him, pet a puppy with love, take your friend’s hand and tell them you’ve missed them… lie down in the grass and let yourselves caressed by the sun… that is where the kind Lord is!

(Oana Cristina)

Translated by Claudia

Who am I to God?

 

When I am asked: ‘Who are you?’ the first reply that comes to mind is: ‘For whom?’

Compared to time, my life is not even a mere spark, to the world I am not even a mere grain of sand, to some I am a face, to few I have a name as well. To my dear ones, I am someone dear to them, but who am I to God?cine sunt

In order to learn this, let us see what He has done for me. He has made the air I breathe, the earth with each blade of grass I tread on, the beauty hidden in each dewdrop, the wonderful people around me, my body which operates like an almost perfect machine, without my knowing at all how that happens, my soul which makes my flesh alive, my life itself which my mother and father, no matter how much they wanted, couldn’t have given it to me without His will, He died and resurrected… all this for my sake.

Hence, my answer to the question: ‚Who are you?’ is: ‚In all modesty, I am THE APPLE OF GOD’S EYE, like every other human being.’

If we saw every moment of our lives as a declaration of love on His part, we would stop humiliating ourselves by committing sin, and we would do everything in our power to humble ourselves by doing His will, even if in order to do that, perhaps we sometimes have to struggle with ourselves.

(Cătălina Felicanu)

Translated by Claudia

 

 

 

 

The Value of Time

In order to understand the value of an year: Ask a student who must repeat the year. In order to understand the value of a month: Ask a mother who gave birth to a premature baby. In order to understand the value of a week: Ask an editor from a weekly publication. In order to understand the value of an hour: Ask the lovers who look forward to meeting each other. In order to understand the value of a minute: Ask a person who missed a train. In order to understand the value of a second: Ask a person who survived an accident. In order to understand the value of a millisecond: Ask a person who won a silver medal at the Olympics.

(Excerpt from The Book of Wisdom Books, by Iordache Bota)

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

Lord, “anything goes” doesn’t work for You anymore!

Lord, I think to myself: when was it the worst for me?!, so bad that I said to You: “You don’t help me, You don’t understand me!” (something that I myself didn’t understand!)

When was my soul most cold, confused, weakened and exhausted because You had turned Your face away from me?

Oh, Lord… never turn away from me nor take away Thy Holy Spirit…

I have turned my face away from You and I have sent Thy Holy Spirit away from me…because, God, You have always been the same, You are and will be the same to every soul, in moment.

All the pain, the rottenness, the evil and the emptiness that comes from laziness, from not paying attention, from cold-heartedness; my soul…“anything goes”.

I’m stuck, God…because my soul desired all the joys,  pleasures, Your good things and virtues I coveted, and I wished to have them as easy as it was to sin: “a pure heart”, “a righteous spirit”, “self control”, “humble spirit”, “broken and humble”, “the house of Israel”, “the house of Aaron”.

But, Lord, I am too lazy to come to You… too lazy to open my heart for You… too lazy to speak honestly to You. I am too lazy to answer You, because Your love, God, is sacrifice ! That holy Face pictured in countless icons… Behold the eyes of Your Saints, behold the sign of Your communion, behold their eternity…

Blessed are those who dwell in Thy House, for they will worship You forever. (Ps. 83)

He Who protects the children is the Lord, for I was down and He raised me. Return to thy rest, o, my soul, for the Lord has healed you”.

(Andreea L)

I am a bad person, change me God!

I woke up in the morning, and fell on my knees, praying … not too much … because I was not feel like praying. I had the same lifelessness and lack of desire to communicate with God that I have every day. Holy Spirit took the grace given to me, a new apprentice who had just discovered the church. My hopelessness led to a huge void in my soul. Once I came in contact with the world of faith, I felt inclined to go to church, to read spiritual books, to be a good person. I wanted to stay near God, but now it isn’t so anymore. Where? Where? How I lost my faith? Do I am so bad…? Have I really let devil enter in  my soul?

Oh God, the same sins every day, the same sins that always afflict You. I’m aware… but what can I do? I cannot come back… or maybe I can. Will You forgive me, God?  Will You receive me, the unworthy, with Your arms wide open?

You cannot find any place inside my soul to let your head on! I am weak, my soul is wounded by sins, splitted, and broken, my heart is chopped up by sadness and pain… I cannot see the Light of Truth anymore, but what can I see is the darkness, a hollow of sins! Help me, help me God because I cannot longer resist. I will backslide again and again … Oh! , my universe is “colored” in black….. my life is not life .. and I am no longer a human being…I am a slave of sin.

I am waiting for a sign; I am waiting for You, my dear Jesus. But how can I receive You as long as my life and my house is a mess? I annoyed, hated, gossiped and I envied all people around me … Oh God, if You want, help me change my way of thinking! I pray with all my strength and with the poor faith that I still have! And I know … I know You will not let me lose myself in the way of sin. God, You will come after me, won’t You? Will You come? … I will be waiting here; in the hollow of sins … I know You will not leave me!  Thank You for being extremely good, thank You for your existence!

 From the hollow of sin… there is a cry of despair to God!

With love, a sinner whose name does not matter…

Translated by Silvestru Bianca

Do you want to see what you are without God?

If God’s kindness left me, I would remain an old man, completely sinful; the sins that had began in my youth and a part of them still exist in me, and I would be all in darkness, impurity and rottenness. But the goodness of God cleans me, blesses me, lights me, embalms me and adorns me ceaselessly. Thanks God for this!

(St. John of Kronstadt – Latest notes)

I see in my imagination, with eyes of the heart, how my heart breathes Christ Himself in, how He enters into it, bringing, suddenly, peace and sweetness. I will not miss you, Lover of people, You are my breathing and my joy! I am sick without you.

(St. John of Kronstadt – My life in Christ)

When the devil is in our heart, we feel something like a deadly weight, unusual, a flame in chest and heart; our soul feels that something crushes and darkens him; everything annoys us; we feel disgusted against every good deed, misinterpret every word and every gesture of others towards us. We see bad actions against us, made with evil intentions, we see an injury of honour and thus we cherish that deep deadly hatred and thought of anger and revenge. “By their fruits ye shall know them”. There are days when the evil spirit troubles me too.

(St. John of Kronstadt – My life in Christ)

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…”

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.

Holy Mother, I want to change, to become a better person

“Thank you, Merciful Mother for the love you have offered me, the unworthy. There are no words that could describe your infinite goodness. A single prayer to you was enough and You, in that same moment, filled my soul with a joy that wasn’t earthly. I found Your Son again into my heart, but I was shy to go close to Him, I almost didn’t dare to lift my sight towards Him because of my sins, as He is Allhigh and I lay in the chasm of mistakes. I found Him again after a long time, we had been separated, a wall had been between us, the wall of my sins. Then, I understood that life away from God is the truest hell.

But I also understood that Your Son allows all of this because of a purpose.

So, even the downfalls have their sens. This long time away from Him has helped me to regain a beam of humbleness, for, I admit, I was too proud before. And now I know that we have to thank God even for the falls and then rise and move on.

Oh, Holy Mother! I am so glad that instead of looking at my sins, You have gifted me with too many good things, more than I could have ever expected.

Most pure Virgin, teach me to thank You as I should for the love You offered me and for taking care of me. Today I have come back to Your beloved Son and, falling at His feet, I said nothing, I didn’t dare to. Only He knows what He has endured for my sins, I know He is upset on me, that’s why I haven’t talked to Him.

But I’m asking You, Virgin Mary, for that You are His beloved Mother and He listens to You: pray to Him for me, so that He forgives me; to absolve me from the burden of my sins and to dwell into my heart, lighting it with His divine Light.

Once I have found Jesus, I don’t want to lose Him anymore. Holy Mother, I want to change and to be a better person. I want to live forever in Jesus’s light and have Him in my heart everywhere and at any time.

Holy Mother, don’t leave me!”

(Natalia)