Friday, March 28, 2014

More than halfway to Pascha!

 Well dearly beloved friends,
we have made it to another Friday in Great Lent.
I know Lent can be a very challenging time.
For me as well...
but God is with us and promises mercy.
I have been thinking of St. John the Wonderworker,
and the wonderful stories in this book,
that appears sadly out of print...
I am blessed to have a copy of it but was hoping to get
a copy of it for a dear friend; if anyone has
a copy for sale in their church bookstore, etc, do let me know!
(email here).
I took this picture this morning
of one of the pictures that I love of St. John
and that I often think of when thinking of his love
for others, especially children.

I love how loving he looks at them.
A good reminder of how Christ Himself loves children
and how Christ is the source of all goodness and light.
I am reading a story of another beloved Saint,
St. John of Kronstadt,
in the recent issue of the great
journal, road to emmaus:
and it is so wonderful to read more on 

"When you are praying alone, and your spirit is dejected, and you are wearied and oppressed by your loneliness, remember then, as always, that God the Trinity looks upon you with eyes brighter than the sun; also all the angels, your own Guardian Angel, and all the Saints of God. Truly they do; for they are all one in God, and where God is, there are they also. Where the sun is, thither also are directed all its rays. Try to understand what this means."
I was talking to Mr. Husband the other week
about how when I was younger,
I worked at the Bible Camp I loved and had the honour of 
talking to a young girl (who had a troubling dream) about how 
when I first flew in a plane, 
I realized that all the clouds I would see from below, that were dark,
were only hiding the sun that is there
and that we must remember that above the darkest of clouds,
there the sun is still shining.
We do not understand often why there are dark clouds in our life;
why is there tragedy, heartache, confusion...
but Pascha is real;
Christ is Risen from the Dead.
He is preparing a place for us in the Heavens.
Goodness is REAL... sometimes I find that I and perhaps others 
forget... but true goodness, light and mercy is found
in the Person of Jesus Christ.
So I thought I would write on this today,
in hopes of encouraging us in the struggles that we 
find ourselves in.
Yes, we are in a battle that is still being waged but yet
the battle is won; 
I know I can get so fainthearted when I see all the hard things
around me and my faith is often weak...
A few weeks ago I was so discouraged
by what I could see in part as my lack of faith;
but I was reminded of the great gentleness of God and of this
simple prayer that I clung too during those times:

O Lord, it is so easy to walk with You when things go well and nothing seems wrong. Yet, now I feel as Peter must have felt as he saw You walk towards him on the open sea. He tried to come to You and then lost hope and began to sink. When I am down, come to me as You came to Peter. Help me, even though my faith seems weak.

God is merciful and is Love,
the source of Love and the Definition of Love...

May this day be one that we
remember that even as we see our shortcomings,
when we repent of them we are given
the doorway of hope and the possibility to defeat despair...
May God bless and strengthen us in our Lenten Journey!


Elizabeth @ The Garden Window said...

I didn't know that Vladika John is in the latest Emmaus issue - thank you!

GretchenJoanna said...

At Friday matins I was standing in just the right place to have a good view of the fresco of St. John that is at the front of our church, and was feeling so much thankfulness for him!

humanics said...

i have never seen that magazine!!! thanks for posting about it. and those cookies up above look incredible. may you be blessed through the rest of Lent!!!! (i still pop in over here now and then, but i rarely comment. it must have been the cookies. . .)