Monday, January 03, 2011

Back from the monastery

I had a wonderful time at the monastery.
It is so hard to leave!!
I love being at the services.
I am a wimp though and am glad that it is a feast time as
it meant that two of the mornings church did not start until
9 AM; the other day was 5 AM!
Between that and still not having perfect sleep,
I was tired!!
I was there over St. Basil's day.
One of the really memorable moments there was
the vigil the night before St. Basil's day,
a large icon of St. Basil in the middle of the chapel;
being there in the candle lit darkness with
his icon in the centre
was really wonderful.
I love how every year the liturgical routine is the same;
St. Basil's day being Jan 1st,
St. Seraphim of Sarov Jan 2nd...
I love the Christmas tree they have in the large dining hall;
the beautiful Romanian ornaments on the tree...

On the drive back home

the sun shone through clouds the whole time;

it was beautiful and made me think of my sister

who is always reminded of God when she sees this;

it reminds me of God's love and mercy.

It is sometimes hard to remember in the hard times

in life that God is with us

and that the sun is always above the clouds.


I've had such a nice time at home;

I think going back will be hard;

it always is a bit hard actually as I go from being with family

and seeing people a lot to living with only

my Cleo Cat,

as good as she is!


The next days will slowly unfold and I will

be waiting to see if I get interviews

and what will happen next.

I spent some time with my Grandma today;
above is a picture of her Nativity set
that was her mothers;
she packed it up as we talked.
I am slowly going over her old pictures and putting them in albums
and putting little labels so that we know who is who
and the story of the picture.
I am happy I can do this...
Tomorrow I will see my oldest friend
and her children.
This will mean pouring out love and hugs to the kids,
taking lots of pictures, looking at lots of pictures,
listening and eating with them...
The next day I fly around the noon hour back to Ottawa.
Bittersweet - will be great to be back in my apartment,
and I get to celebrate Christmas again,
but it is hard to leave family and all the love.
But thank God that I have had this time!
What a blessing it has been!
I have decided that this year the one word I want to remember is
as it will save me - to be thankful makes the heart lighter;
I heard a great sermon at the monastery that
encouraged thankfulness as a way to help unite ourselves to Christ;
so I pray this year I will strive to remain thankful;
to remember St. John Chrysostom's words:
Glory to God for all things.


Cristina said...

You have so beautifully described here God's love in our lives! Yes indeed, I all the time try to remember (but not always succeed to) that we should be thankful for what we get from God, as He always arranges things better for us. Have a blessed year, dear Elizabeth!

Matushka Anna said...

What a wonderful, full visit home! I know Cleo will welcome you back with open paws. (c;

Anna said...

Lovely to hear about your happy visit home - so glad you all made it! And don't forget, though you have to leave the family, all the love goes with you :) Safe travels tomorrow.

ttownelizabeth said...

Such a beautifully written post. I too need to strive to be more thankful of things.

Sh. Patty said...

Thankfulness IS important. Just the other day my spiritual Father was reminding me to be thankful (rather than angry), as it will help to determine the kind of old lady I will become. :)

Glad you were able to go home for the holidays!