Thursday, March 11, 2010

Life is a balancing act

I know I am not alone in seeking to have

enough time to do everything:


eat well

study or work or tend one's family

(some do all three at once)


sleep enough for one's needs.


I have been mulling over a section in Frederica Matthewes-Green's

book on the Canon of St. Andrew...

about the prayer of the heart...

I asked my spiritual father about this

and he explained that both the heart

and the nous (the Greek word for where one's spiritual intellect / perception is)

are both damaged and need to be purified.

And that we seek everything to find rest and do not realize that

it is only when the heart and the nous

are back where they were always meant to be

that we will recieve this rest,

this fullfillment.

I now understand a little more why

we are like U2's song,

Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For


With or Without you.

We are so insatiable.

I know I am guilty of it;

so easy to be excited about the new toy

(for me the cell phone I got to save money

and be able to have a mp3 player to listen to

French CDs).

My spiritual father's explanation of how

the heart is searching everywhere

to be filled

has been with me ever since we had that conversation.

Is this what I have been waiting for!?!

All this time...

To learn to live in the presence of God

with a purified and realigned heart and mind...

O to continue on the road towards this!

(note I am not pretending to have it already...)

The weekend I was sick and missed church

I read the rest of the book

The Saint of our Century: The Life of St. Nektarios

that Sylvia also mentioned loving

a while back.

I was impressed with the humble family that

St. Nektarios lived with

and how they always kept their lampada lit.

I think of this now,

when looking at my lampada.

I read (do not remember where)

how a lit lampada (icon lamp) helps rise our soul to prayer.

Sometimes we just have to stop

and look up at our icons

the lit candles or lampada

and realize we need to pray,

that we need to remember God.

In other news,
Cleo invites others to come play with her.
Apparently I am not sufficing for her playful habits.
Personally, I was delighted to read my sister Rebecca's latest blog post
as God is blessing her and her husband's work in Romania.
I really miss my sister!
She and my brother-in-law are dear friends of my heart.
The other day my Mom and I were on speaker-phone together
while facebook-chatting with Rebecca,
teasing each other and just talking.
We have not really had that kind of family banter and conversation
for over a year,
(since I was not able to go home before they left for Romania)
so it was really refreshing.
how to remember God while studying French....
I have been thinking about Fr. Thomas Hopko's
very special podcast
Does God Play Favourites
and how we struggling Orthodox Christians
can have God's mercy and receive a "Saint's reward"...
so much of Pascha and the understanding of
God letting people come at the 11th hour
permeated this podcast.
I highly recommend it.
We have hope that the Lord will help us
and have mercy.

***this is re-posted as my pictures disappeared. I hope they stay this time; if they do not I am afraid I do not have time to redo this a third time...


elizabeth said...

Amy and Mimi - I am so sorry your comments got lost .... here they are again however,


Oh, I adore this post...I am also reading the Canon of St. Andrew (Frederica Matthewes-Green) , as I usually do during Great Lent.

The words from your spiritual father resonate with me...I am an insatiable info-junkie and am always battling this. I need to take more time to be still in front of my icons.

God bless your sister & her husband. It must be tough, as I am also very close to my sister and cannot image being so far apart. Seems as though you are bless to have one another.


I love reading Kh. Frederica's Canon each Lent, I learn so much each year.

I'm sorry you were ill, I hope you are doing better. And, I love what your Spiritual Father said.

elizabeth said...

Amy, thank you so much for your comment.... I really enjoyed it and am glad we are reading this book together!

Mimi - how lovely that you also are reading this book; I am glad you appreciated what my spiritual father said; it was a jewel for me to recieve...

margaret said...

I have never read anything much by Presbytera Frederica which makes me feel guilty as she seems like a lovely person but for some reason I cannot get "into" her writing :(

I did once, however, hear Fr Professor Matthew Steenberg (recently received into the schema as Hierodeacon Irenai) say that the reason we repeat the Jesus Prayer over and over is to soften our hearts because only then they they be healed. I remember this every time the enemy tells me I am indulging in vain repetition (as if what I do online isn't vain repetition!).

Elizabeth @ The Garden Window said...

I too struggle with wanting more and more and more, instead of concentrating on the blessing of what I already have.

I have what I need, even if I do not have all things I want......

Lord have mercy on us all....

Pres. Kathy said...

Ahh the balancing act - this has been on my mind so much!! Please God show us the way!