Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Tuesday Tea in NYC, the state of the world and our need for salvation

I was walking in downtown
NYC yesterday
and was scheduled to meet a new friend
for tea at a very nice place
with beautiful dishes and decor.
I had some time so I stopped and sat on
a city bench in the sunshine and talked to a good friend,
on my cell phone,
who I've known for nearly 10 years.
We talked about how bad it is getting in
Syria and how over a million people are displaced.
It is so far from where we live
but yet not that far.
I have talked often with Mr. Husband about
the state of the world
and the concern we have over things that are happening.
Indeed it seems that we are close to saying
we are living in the ruins of
what was some sort of Christian society
and even worse.
years ago this friend who I talked to on the phone
visited me in Ottawa
and we went to a most exquisite high tea.
Years later, she and I are both married
she with children and
I about to have a very nice tea
with a new friend in
NYC of all things.
To say I felt the irony of my good fortune
to be safe, married and able to rest
from a few years of growingly frantic and
exhausting job searching
and to be in what is still a safe country
is to be seen as a significant understatement.
Actually I struggle with this a lot.
How can a North American be saved,
we still not that impoverished, etc.
Not war-torn, not homeless;
most of us reading this have some where
to live; food to eat...
I often think of this and hope
that I can give like Jane seeks to
and so it goes.
the tea in NYC:
the decor, the dishes, the linens
were beautiful.
My new friend delightful
and interesting and kind.

The silverware and napkin
were lovely.
Gold with mauve was very good choice.

This first small course
as they called it
was very lovely
a butter-squash tart
it was my favourite of all
upon reflecting on the experience.
And nice and warm.

The sandwiches were varied and tasty. 

The only thing I would really change
was having a decaf black tea.
They had none and I do not do caffeine.
Cute sugar cube with the tea cup,
I must say.

The tea I had was good
and quite redeemed by being in such a lovely
tea pot.

The scones were good
but I am betting in time I can make better;
a good challenge for me!

The clotted cream and raspberry was lovely.

The signature cake was
good esp. with the raspberry swirls
but it was a bit of a sugar-overload...
My new friend and I enjoyed the
chocolate covered strawberries
and had the beautiful light cookies wrapped
in a lovely take-away bag
as any hunger had long been assuaged.
So the tea was good and quite lovely,
but the conversation
and meeting a new friend
was even better.
It is a blessing to slowly be meeting new people and
making friends.
For this I am so very thankful.
Last night I read something very helpful
to the struggle I often find myself in...
that I discussed in the beginning of this post...
the poverty in the world,
the asceticism needed
and yet the situation we find ourselves in
and how to make sense of it all
in terms of what is for our salvation.
This was very helpful,
from the Prologue of Ohrid for
yesterday, January 31 on the Julian calendar:
Although the Holy Fathers praised monasticism as the angelic state,
and although many of the greatest saints lived their lives
and attained perfection in the deaf and lifeless desert,
nevertheless, the Orthodox Church does not
recommend tonsuring to all the faithful.
"Neither all those in the desert were saved
nor all those in the world were lost," said one saint.
To a city dweller who, with no inclination for monasticism,
desired to enter the monastery, St. Niphon said:
 "My child, a place neither saves nor destroys a man,
but deeds save or destroy.
For him who does not fulfill all the commandments of the Lord,
there is no benefit from a sacred place or from a sacred rank.
King Saul lived in the midst of royal luxury and he perished.
King David lived in the same kind of luxury and he received a wreath.
Lot lived among the lawless Sodomites and he was saved.
 Judas was numbered among the apostles and he went to Hades.
Whoever says that it is impossible to be saved
with a wife and children deceives himself.
Abraham had a wife and children,
three-hundred-eighteen servants and handmaidens,
 much gold and silver but, nevertheless,
he was called the Friend of God.
Oh, how many servants of the Church
and lovers of the desert have been saved!
 How many aristocrats and soldiers!
How many artesians and field-workers!
Be pious and be a lover of men and you will be saved!"

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