Back Again

16 October 12

Well, that started out well. I blogged for almost an entire week without fail, then life got crazy. In the last week things have been a rollercoaster. We had family in town fr the week and that did not leave a lot of time for blogging, last week was the week before Fall (Autumn!) Break and so there was a lot fo work to do.

I also applied, was accepted, and have begun classes through Ottawa University. I am back in college and this time there will be stopping until this dan degree is completed. As much as I do not want to do it, I am realising that there really is no choice in the matter and no matter how I look at the situation this is something that I MUST finish.

Here we go again!

I also need to get more work done on the Life of Saint John. Been a while since I have worked on that, maybe a it more today.

My Political Views

9 October 12
God Save The Queen!

God Save The Queen!

These are my political views. They are not going to change regardless of what you say or what “proof” you have. sorry, end of story.

Things to Memorize #5

7 October 12
Icon of Christ the Saviour

Icon of Christ the Saviour

“Love does not reflect. Love is simple. Love never mistakes. Likewise believe and trust without reflection, for faith and trust are also simple; or better: God, in whom we believe and in whom we trust, is an incomplex Being, as He is also simply love.”

The Raising of the Son of the Widow of Nain

7 October 12

Today at Liturgy the Liturgy this was the Gospel reading we heard was this:

11 And it came to pass the day after, that he went into a city called Nain; and many of his disciples went with him, and much people. 12 Now when he came nigh to the gate of the city, behold, there was a dead man carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow: and much people of the city was with her. 13 And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her, and said unto her, Weep not. 14 And he came and touched the bier: and they that bare him stood still. And he said, Young man, I say unto thee, Arise. 15 And he that was dead sat up, and began to speak. And he delivered him to his mother. 16 And there came a fear on all: and they glorified God, saying, That a great prophet is risen up among us; and, That God hath visited his people. 17 And this rumour of him went forth throughout all Judaea, and throughout all the region round about.

Father Theo spoke a beautiful sermon on this Gospel today and as much as I wish I had recorded it but sadly, I did not. I shall, however, attempt to paraphrase to the best of my ability the essence of his words whilst adding a few observations of my own.

The first thing I notice is that the Lord came to this city and his first impression is that of sadness and sorrow due to a funeral. People pass away and funerals happen, but in this case we are taken from a scene of sadness to a scene of joy. The Lord comes upon the funeral procession and at first it seems as if the Apostles inquired, and were informed of the goings on. A funeral, but not any funeral, a procession of a dead son, the only son of a widow.

I can not imagine the grief of a mother at the loss of her only son. This was one of the impressions that Father Theo made today. Imagine being a mother of only one son. You are a wife to a husband and he has died, and now you lose a son. The grief which that mother must have felt having to bury a son and to be therefore, all alone.

I find the following parallel interesting. At the time of the death of Christ upon the Cross He had already seen the passing of his earthly father, Joseph at some time prior to the start of his public ministry. For the rest of His earthly life Christ’s mother follows Him in His ministry, even to His Crucifixion on the Cross. She is there from the beginning all the way to the end. I wonder if, at the death of the Saviour, if He remembered this widow of Nain, and this is what prompted Him to give to His mother His beloved Apostle John. “Woman, behold your son, son behold your mother.”

Christ takes this opportunity, this hour of grief of this mother and it becomes for her and for all present a sign and a time of joy and revelation. Christ calls the son back to life and he sits up and Christ returns to the mother the son that she had lost. THIS is love. This is compassion. This is the Christ, the God we worship. Not out of fear or expectation of some expected reward. God is not a God of vengeance and pain, but a God of ultimate, sacrificial, never-ending love. The “fear tactics” others use to “bring people in” to their version of Christianity are a far cry from the LOVE that we see in the Gospels. Christ takes us from the pain of death and the separation that would befall us at death, and He raises us up and returns us to our proper place with our Father.

This is why I love Orthodoxy. If you are looking for another application of the above concept I recommend the video below, which was made by a good friend and fellow parishioner at the Mission Church I attend. Leave a comment and let me know what you think if you feel so inclined.

Painting the Nut House

6 October 12

Well, we did it. We panted the kitchen. In 31 years I have lived in approx. 16 apartments, 1 condo, a trailer in the middle of nowhere God-forsaken NM.. and finally I live somewhere where the walls are not all white and sterile.

We went with a butter cream yellow for the walls, a tea light yellow for the lintel and jambs. In the final image you can see the variations of colours.

South wall of the kitchen with doorway into the "Parlour Room"

South wall of the kitchen with doorway into the “Parlour Room”

North facing view of the kitchen looking into the den

North-facing view looking into the den

We wil be covering the white spaces.

We wil be covering the white spaces.

We are probably going to work on the parlour room next with some shade of green, althugh we have not decided on a final colour. These yelow shades were acquired through Freecycle. Someone had no use for them. Thank you someone. We took care of the entire kitchen with about a pint of each of the two colours. Not bad if I do say so myself. More pictures to follow as soon as there is more painting excitedness.

The Apostle and Evangelist Thomas

6 October 12

Commemorated on October 6

The Holy and Glorious Apostle Thomas was born in the Galileian city of Pansada

The Apostle Thomas

The Apostle Thomas

and was a fisherman. Hearing the good tidings of Jesus Christ, he left all and followed after Him. The Apostle Thomas is included in the number of the holy Twelve Apostles of the Savior.

According to Holy Scripture, the holy Apostle Thomas did not believe the reports of the other disciples about the Resurrection of Jesus Christ: “Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into His side, I will not believe” (John 20:25).

On the eighth day after the Resurrection, the Lord appeared to the Apostle Thomas and showed him His wounds. “My Lord and my God,” the Apostle cried out (John 20:28). “Thomas, being once weaker in faith than the other apostles,” says St John Chrysostom, “toiled through the grace of God more bravely, more zealously and tirelessly than them all, so that he went preaching over nearly all the earth, not fearing to proclaim the Word of God to savage nations.”

Some icons depicting this event are inscribed “The Doubting Thomas.” This is incorrect. In Greek, the inscription reads, “The Touching of Thomas.” In Slavonic, it says, “The Belief of Thomas.” When St Thomas touched the Life-giving side of the Lord, he no longer had any doubts.

The Icon of the Mother of God Arapet (Arabian)

The Icon of the Mother of God Arapet (Arabian)

According to Church Tradition, the holy Apostle Thomas founded Christian churches in Palestine, Mesopotamia, Parthia, Ethiopia and India. Preaching the Gospel earned him a martyr’s death. For having converted the wife and son of the prefect of the Indian city of Meliapur [Melipur], the holy apostle was locked up in prison, suffered torture, and finally, pierced with five spears, he departed to the Lord. Part of the relics of the holy Apostle Thomas are in India, in Hungary and on Mt. Athos. The name of the Apostle Thomas is associated with the Arabian (or Arapet) Icon of the Mother of God (September 6).

About the Chernobyl Icon of the Saviour

5 October 12

NB: This icon, and the history that goes with it bring me to tears. The strength and faith of the Russian people, even in the time of Communism.. utter awe..

Chernobyl Saviour Icon

Chernobyl Saviour Icon

The Chernobyl Saviour Icon was recently transferred from the Ukraine to Japan, so that it may rest in an Orthodox church there. The act was done out of the Ukrainians’ solidarity with their Orthodox brethren in Japan in light of the March earthquake and tsunami, which lead to the threat of nuclear meltdown at a number of power-plants.

About the Chernobyl Saviour Icon:

The icon itself was painted in the early 21st century in remembrance of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in 1986. It depicts Jesus Christ the Saviour in Heaven, surrounded by a mandorla, with His hand raised in a blessing. Flanking Christ is the Mother of God to His right, supplicating her Son, and the Archangel Michael to His left.

Below them is the scene of desolation caused by the Chernobyl disaster, along with those who died because of it. As well as white-robed figures, there are various medical workers, nuclear staff, and soldiers, all of whom battled to contain the fall-out of the explosion and evacuate residents. They are being blessed by Christ for their sacrifice, Who is above all and sovereign over all.

In the bottom centre is a tree which, because of its natural shape, was used by the

The hanging tree, shown after the disaster

The hanging tree, shown after the disaster

Germans to hang opposition forces during the Second-World War. It became a small graveyard and memorial for those killed there, in the shadow of the Chernobyl nuclear plant. After the 1986 disaster it was poisoned and died.

The icon was blessed in the Kyiv Pecherska Lavra by His Beatitude Volodymyr on the 28th August, 2003, the Feast of the Dormition. At the moment of its blessing, a miraculous occurrence took place, witnessed by the thousands gathered. A dove flew over the icon and high in the sky, with no rain in sight, a rainbow appeared in the form of a nimbus. Then three crosses appeared, resplendent in the centre of the nimbus.

Glee S04E04..

5 October 12

I hate you..

I Am Certified

4 October 12

I was going to wait until my certificate came in the post, but now is as good as any to share the news that I passed my exams and I am now officially Montessori certified in Early Education Grades 1-3. It was a lot of work but has been a great achievement and I am loving every lesson I am giving. I shall post more later on.

The Hawaii Iveron Icon

3 October 12
Hawaii-Iveon Icon of the Mother of God

Hawaii-Iveon Icon of the Mother of God

There is something utterly awe-invoking about this icon. I have venerated it and have a copy of it that was blessed by the original.. but to see it again..

God willing..