Wednesday, September 27, 2017

The Universal Exaltation of the Precious and Life-giving Cross

"Father, glorify Your name. Then a voice came from heaven, saying, "I have both glorified it and will glorify it again." Therefore the people who stood by and heard it said that it had thundered. Others said, "An angel has spoken to Him." Jesus answered and said, "This voice did not come because of Me, but for your sake. Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out. And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself. This He said, signifying by what death He would die. The people answered Him, "We have heard from the law that the Christ remains forever; and how can You say, 'The Son of Man must be lifted up'? Who is this Son of Man?" Then Jesus said to them, "A little while longer the light is with you. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you; he who walks in darkness does not know where he is going. While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light. These things Jesus spoke, and departed, and was hidden from them."

-Matins Gospel, John 12:28-36

Monday, September 25, 2017

Contentment

"That person, then, whoever it may be, whose mind is quiet through consistency and self-control, who finds contentment in himself, and neither breaks down in adversity nor crumbles in fight, nor burns with any thirsty need nor dissolves into wild and futile excitement, that person is the wise one we are seeking, and that person is happy."

-Cicero, Tusculan Disputations 4.37

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Lord of Hosts




O Lord of hosts, be with us, for we have no other help in times of adversity, but thee.
O Lord of hosts, have mercy on us.
Stichos 1: Praise ye God in His saints, praise Him in the firmament of His power.
Stichos 2: Praise Him for His mighty acts, praise Him according to the multitude of His greatness.
Stichos 3: Praise Him with the sound of the Trumpet, praise Him with the psaltery and harp.
Stichos 4: Praise Him with timbrel and dance, praise Him with strings and flute.
Stichos 5: Praise Him with tuneful cymbals, praise Him with cymbals of jubilation. Let every breath praise the Lord.
Stichos 6: Praise ye God in His saints, praise Him in the firmament of His power.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Blessed be the Furnace of Doubt

"I want to say to you, about myself, that I am a child of this age, a child of unfaith and scepticism, and probably (indeed I know it) shall remain so to the end of my life. How dreadfully has it tormented me (and torments me even now) this longing for faith, which is all the stronger for the proofs I have against it. And yet God gives me sometimes moments of perfect peace; in such moments I love and believe that I am loved; in such moments I have formulated my creed, wherein all is clear and holy to me. This creed is extremely simple; here it is: I believe that there is nothing lovelier, deeper, more sympathetic, more rational, more manly, and more perfect than the Saviour; I say to myself with jealous love that not only is there no one else like Him, but that there could be no one. I would even say more: If anyone could prove to me that Christ is outside the truth, and if the truth really did exclude Christ, I should prefer to stay with Christ and not with truth."

-Fyodor Dostoyevsky


I have a deep admiration for Dostoevsky.  A Russian Orthodox priest that I know once told me that he considers him to be a saint.  He suffered deep doubts with the faith and asked Christ for clarity. Christ let him bask in the darkness and it is in the darkness that his faith in Christ was made purer.  In his words,
"It is not as a child that I believe and confess Jesus Christ. My hosanna is born of a furnace of doubt."
Blessed be the furnace of doubt.