Thursday, June 09, 2011

Reflections on a Thursday Evening

I've been reading a book on St. John of Kronstadt;

in it talks about the theme of joy

and that it is the devil who spreads gloom.

I paraphrase but this theme I am finding

in many Orthodox places.

Living in the joy of Christ, of Pascha.

We are always being called away from and out of

despair, acedia, despondancy

in to Christ;

Christ the Living Water of Pentecost.

Lots of thoughts about being at peace by

accepting all things in the day as God's will;

whether in what God allows or in what He directly wills;

it is a mystery but somehow acceptance of the days events

can give peace

when kept with the rememberance of God

and who He is,

His goodness, His desire to save us.

I wrote before of the concept of

We are always waiting for something;

I know how much I am always waiting.

Waiting for a call or email for an interview

or for a work contract.

But it is bigger than this.

Frederica Mattehews-Green writes in her book

and in her book on The Jesus Prayer

how the nous,

the faculty of understanding spiritual truth

is wounded and is constantly

buzzing around in circles

looking for distraction because it has not yet

been healed

has not yet descended into the heart

and praying there.

I am slowly reading through the art of prayer

which has a lot of St. Theophan's writing

and am slowly understanding what prayer can be

and that I do not yet have it.

But it is exciting.

To realize there is more;

my spiritual father was talking to a group of us last Sunday

and explained that the understanding of the

two natures of Christ

in one Person

and that the Person of Christ did not change

in the Incarnation

but was enfleshed; Christ in His Person

became Human without losing His Divinity;

He then had two natures

even, from what has been explained to me,

two wills,

His human will and His divine will.

He submitted His will to His Father's will.

Because Christ became human and is uncreated

as one of the Persons of the Godhead

we can join in God's energies but not in His essence.

In other words,

We can align our will to Christ's will

our emotions to Christ's emotions;

these are all things that are true because of Christ's


truly man, truly God.

Heavy stuff



This what Saints are made of.

Saints who are full of the Holy Spirit.

In Communion with God.

God is the Perfect Communion

the Trinity.

This is what we are called and welcomed to.

It is the only way to inward peace...


Beth said...

Thank you Elizabeth for this. Over the last several months, I have been thinking about joy and the lack of it (often) in my own life and have found great courage in praying the Akathist of Thanksgiving. This season, Pascha, Ascension, and now Pentecost, so much hope. I tell the children, usually a bit teary, how the disciples who fled, who were afraid, were transformed by the Holy Spirit, into men willing and able to be martyred for their faith. What hope for us who have been given all and have our Mother the Church. Peace and goodness to you. Love, B

elizabeth said...

Thank is beautiful Beth; yes, thanksgiving can give courage... the hope we have is incredible.

Blessed Pentecost weekend to you!

Grandma Sue said...

Hi--I have seen your posts on Beth Johnson's blog and decided to follow yours. I don't have one but may someday. I am helping the Johnsons with the Orthodox Mission here and was chrismated last Pentecost. I am the only Orthodox Christian I know among my family and (previous) friends, except my Godparents. It's lonely sometimes.
--Sue S.

elizabeth said...

Hi Grandma Sue - thank you so much for your comment and wanting to read my blog. That means a lot to me. I know loneliness. You are almost at your one year anniversary of chrismation! Many years! The first year or so is often hard as you and others are adjusting to the profound changes in your new life as an Orthodox Christian.

It would be lovely if you wanted to start a blog - if you do, please be sure to let me know via a comment or email (roosjeblog @ yahoo. ca).

The Orthodox blog community is really beautiful in that, at least in the ones I read, we are friendly and welcoming bunch. And I think some of us have a blog also to make more community as our physical/real place community is lacking at times. And we are all together in Christ and sharing in the same Cup. This is beautiful and means that you and I and everyone else with us are not alone.... Also... Godparents sure are a blessing...