Thursday, November 19, 2015

Advent/Nativity Fast ~ Day 5 ~ Abraham ~ Christ is Born, Glorify Him!

Wow this was such a rich chapter! I loved the WHOLE excerpt from St. Gregory Nazianzen the Theologian and it was quite difficult to pick what I put into my commonplace. I was tempted to enter the whole 3 pages worth! Ha!

"Christ is in the flesh, rejoice with trembling and with joy; with trembling because of your sins, and with joy because of your hope."

"He that was without a mother (being begotten from the Father before all ages) now becomes without a father (being born of the Virgin)."

~ Father Thomas Hopko ~ Quoting Saint Gregory Nazianzen the Theologian from his oration On the Theophany or Nativity of Christ ~ The Winter Pascha ~

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Advent/Nativity Fast ~ Day 4 ~ Noah ~ Temples of the Living God

"Jesus Christ, the Son, Word, and Image of God, is physically and spiritually formed in the body of Mary so that He might be formed in us as well (see Gal 4:19). This is the meaning of Christmas, which is the meaning of life itself: Christ in us and we in Christ, God in us and we with God. The spirit in our hearts so that the Spirit can flow out from us, sanctifying the world around us. This is not mere symbolism, the high-blown language of the liturgy and the scriptures. This is serious business. It is a matter of life and death. Fore we are either the living vessels of God - "earthen vessels" to be sure, to show, as the apostle again affirms, that "the transcendent power belongs to God and not to us" (2 Cor 4:7) - or we are, to use the apostle's language once more, ""vessels of wrath" to be destroyed in our wickedness by God's righteous glory (Rom 9:22)."
~ Father Thomas Hopko ~ The Winter Pascha ~

"O my brethren, how feeble are words when one needs to speak of the love of Christ - words are never weaker than in this situation. Indeed what can one say before such astounding proofs of His love? He created us out of love, He was Incarnate out of love, and out of love He accepted mockery and death for our sake. He opened the Heavens for us out of love, and He revealed to us the immortal glory prepared for us! Even all this is only a part of the inexhaustible wealth, glory, beauty and life-creating sustenance that is the love of Christ. Oh, if only we too would be made worthy by faith, so that the Lord Jesus would enter our hearts, and that we would taste of His ineffable love!"
~ Bishop Nikolai Velimirovic ~ The Prologue from Orchid ~

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Advent/Nativity Fast ~ Day 3 ~ The Expulsion from Paradise ~ The Prelude of God's Good Will

Today's reading in The Winter Pascha touches on a where I and my Protestant upbringing start to get uncomfortable! In the atmosphere of my childhood faith Mary was just another young women, she was not very different from myself, no mention of her being born of an old childless couple who then dedicates her to the Temple. Let alone entering the Holies of Holies and being fed by Angels! However, I am open to coming and seeing...

"Today let us, the assembly of the faithful, triumph in spirit
And praise with reverence the child of God, the Virgin and Theotokos,
As she is offered in the temple of the Lord,
She who was forechosen from all generations
To be the dwelling place of Christ,
The Master and God of all."
~ Father Thomas Hopko ~ The Winter Pascha ~

Advent/Nativity Fast ~ Day 2 ~ The Creation of the Man ~ Come and See

"We are invited with Philip and the disciples to "come and see," If we want to come and see, we will. ... And we will come to know Him for who and what He really is. But first we must come. For if we do not come, we will never see."
~ Father Thomas Hopko ~ The Winter Pascha ~

Advent/Nativity Fast Thoughts ~ Day 1 ~ The Creation of the World ~ The Winter Pascha

          Based on advice from a couple lovely new friends I am hoping to read through The Winter Pascha and follow the Jesse Tree readings on this my first full Nativity Fast! So I have decided to do a virtual Jesse Tree and I share what I have added to my commonplace! (Yes I am technically starting my posting late as I just thought of this idea!)

"Jesus lay as an infant in the cavern in the reign of Caesar Augustus that He might lay in the tomb under Pontius Pilate. He was hounded by Herod that He might be caught by Caiaphas. He was buried in baptism that He might descend into death through the Cross. He was worshiped by wise men that the whole of creation might adore Him in His triumph over death. The Pascha of His Cross was prepared by the Pascha of His Coming. The Pascha of His Resurrection was begun by the Pascha of His Incarnation. The Pascha of His Glorification was foretold by the Pascha of His Baptism." 
~ Father Thomas Hopko ~ The Winter Pascha ~

May His Memory Be Eternal!

A picture of us on my trip to Holland (Mi) to purchase my 
first car a little over three years prior 
him going home...

In August I watched my beloved grandfather, and one of my best friends, enter the presence of the Lord. As a physician he was held in the highest esteem of his colleges, he is one of only 115 recipients of Osteopathy's highest award, the Medallion of Honor, who was still educating the class of 2017 as of last February. However, if you met him on the street you would never know any of that as he was one of the most humble people I have ever met. In addition, he would have most likely caught your name, continued to call you by your name, and usually offered a personalized genuine complement. He was a skilled carpenter and his handmade rocking horse is still well beloved by all of his grand and great grandchildren, and will be by his great great grandson who was born in October. A lover of music he played the cornet starting in first grade and he played his last gig just this June. He was well loved and is missed. *

As you can see why my blog has sat idle as my priorities dictated I was elsewhere. Now I am in the transition process as I grieve and move forward slowly attempting to figure out what the next season of my life looks like. In the in-between time I am content in what is today, and for one of the first times in my life I do not look forward with longing nor back with regret but instead am fully enjoying today.**

* I take a long time to process my emotions, and an even longer time to share them, so this is just the barest tip of the iceberg that is my emotional vault. In fact my mom and I have a joke/truism that I will tell her how I feel about such-n-such in a decade. I guess what I am saying is be grateful for the sliver you get! Haha! ;)

** Oh and my reading list well that just did NOT happen! So um well anyways...