Saturday, May 25, 2013

The Last year(s) and today

Lent 2011.
How joyous but hard Lent is!
When I am in Great Lent it often feels long,
hard and we just struggle and want it to be over
but later it seems light or even joyful.
I wrote this in Great Lent in 2011 and quoted
an article on marriage that
I did not realize the same year I would be emailing it
to my future husband.
If you have not read this article,
I strongly recommend it.

Holy and Great Friday.
In Ottawa I always brought roses.
How special this time was,
how deep!
To be able to be in Church with Christ on
this Somber and Holy Day.

I remember blogging this;
I found this basket used for
a very inexpensive price...
which I brought to Pascha again
this year with Mr. Husband...
On Holy Friday that year I used the basket
to bring the roses for Christ's burial
and had them in the basket;
it felt so beautiful to be walking to church
in the sunshine with a basket of roses.
A woman near to my apartment asked
if I was Ukrainian as it seemed
like my basket was for Pascha,
which was a few days away.
I found out that this woman went to
the Ukrainian church in town...
it was such a joyful and holy time...

That summer I found this book
at the Greek Festival...

Being Orthodox brings so much beauty
to my life...
The first time I talked to Mr. Husband on the phone,
I remember standing by these icons,
feeling very solidly that the ground under my feet
was shifting and that my whole life
was changing,
that I was standing on the precipice of something
new, that would flip my world in circles
for a while...
And so it was....
My sister friend and I went to
the Greek monastery late that August and
it was,
we did not realize,
St. Phanourios' day...
St. Phanourios who has helped so many people
by his prayers...
I was already talking with Mr. Husband
who I had not yet met in person and
I was in the throes of the early stages of love.
I indeed asked for help at the monastery
as I was praying as sincerely as I could
for a man who I already felt could indeed
become my husband.
And so in God's mercy it was.
Through the mercy of God in just over a year,
Mr. Husband and I were married on
St. Phanourios' day...
And I introduced Mr. Husband,
who was then my unmarried Orthoman,
to you all by way of St. Phanourios...
It is so good to remember God's mercies in my life.
It is also important to still seek God's mercy now,
to never assume that the battle is over,
as indeed,
it will be a fight until our last breath.
Fr. Thomas Hopko speaks of this:
"Have no expectations, except to be fiercely tempted to your very last breath. St. Anthony said it. He said: “A truly wise person knows the difference between right and wrong, good and bad, true and false and clings fiercely to what is good, true, and beautiful, but fully expects to be tested, to be tried, and to be tempted til his very last breath.” He said that without being tempted, no one can enter God’s Kingdom—without temptation, no salvation. The whole life of a man on Earth is a trial, according to Scripture. Job said it. So we are being tried every moment, we should expect it. We should never expect the trial to go away. We don’t ask God to take our crosses away. We ask for the power to carry them. God doesn’t tempt anybody. But in the providence of God, we are tested all the time so that our salvation can be ours, and that we could be victorious by the victory of Christ."
(see here for the rest).
Now is a new day for all of us,
whether we are in the same struggle that we seem to
be facing for many years
or we are in a newer situation,
trying to figure out which way to go,
God's mercy is new every morning.
We must face each day with God...
to seek God and His mercy,
sometimes it seems too easy to forget
to do just that.

1 comment:

E Helena E said...

Wise and good words! Love to you.