Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Yes, Virginia, He does exist!

St Nicholas Day is almost upon us, for those of us still observing the Julian calendar, and I have been thinking about what he means to me and my family through the years. When I was growing up, we set our stockings, without fail, on the eve of the feast in remembrance of the famous story of his involving the poor man and his 3 daughters. We were usually poor, but we never really knew how poor because he always came. Through the love of Christ that flowed from St Nicholas all those centuries ago, we could celebrate together the gift of giving. Through all the generations of peoples who have given in the example of St Nicholas, in Christ's good name, there is a place in my heart that will always be soft.

We did not have much money growing up, but he always came. We got older and knew that mom and dad filled the stockings with tangerine's and nuts, little gifts and candies, we thought we were too old, but he always came. It means more to me in my heart than a lot of memories. Just because we knew that it was mom and dad, or that we would always get the same things (in general) it never stopped him coming.

We see God's love and kindness through our saints of the church, the promise that we too can be like Him, that we can show love and mercy all the year through by the examples we have been shown. First, through Christ and now passed down through generations of apostles, martyrs, wonder-workers, evangelists, and many saints of the Church to us in the christian family, that we can keep the family traditions going: Love, Mercy, Kindness, Giving, Caring, Sharing and so on down the list.

Sometimes we do not understand our gifts until we have had them awhile, but they are the one's worth keeping and cherishing for times beyond our reckoning. These are the times that seem to stop us and recall those moments we knew we'd never forget, or thought would never mean so much to us...and we smile. To all our 'gift's, our friends, our families and things only known in our hearts and souls, we are grateful to have you, now and always.

I wish you could all be here on friday when we have a little party of our own to be thankful to God that we have so much in this bleak world, on the feast of St Nicholas: Holy Father, wonder-worker, bishop and grandfather for us all! How great is the example of your alms-giving and true Christian love that we have cause to celebrate your feast and give thanks to God for all that is within this world, and those things of which we can only dream...for now.

Much love to everyone...

Glory to God in the Highest
and on earth
Goodwill amoung men!

Friday, December 5, 2008

A thought

I was thinking lately about something...well, I have been chewing it over for quite some time, it is recent that it just won't leave me alone. So, here it is: What good is the health of a body, when the soul is already sick with sin and scathes the depths of hell in worldly mortality and passions?

If the illness my body feels at times is seemingly unbearable, so much the more does my soul wallow without cleansing the longer between confession and communion. How much more does my soul taste the extent of hell and become accustomed to its smells and flavor through my everyday passions? Ought not I seek the Heavenly physician for healing of soul and body? The medicine for the soul is the Church, with the Mysteries of confession and communion and yet, we partake rarely in most cases. When my body is sick, do I not take measures to get myself well? If fact, I do what it is I can to give myself the illusion that I am well enough to do whatever is on my plate at the time. Could this be why we also tend to do the same shabby caretaking of our souls? We do what it takes in recognition of our daily sinfulness to the point of tolerance and then move on, is that it? Rationalize away our actual purpose, to reconcile with our God and Saviour on a very regular basis?

I also think about how, when we are ill, it is not for nothing..of course, nothing is for naught whether it is the allowable will of God or His intention will. Sometimes when I am sick, it is usually because I need to slow down and let things go a little bit, have patience and remember the will and mercy of God. There is great purpose in everything, even if we, in our worldliness cannot recognise it at the time. When I am sick in my flesh, I want desperately to be well, but somehow, that same yearning is missing in everyday accountability of my faults, my falling short. How sick does my soul need to get before I take seriously the necessity and gravity of the importance of my salvation and the part that I play in it? There is no one who can list my sins so well as I, no one more qualified to tell the doctor what pains my aching soul.

All with God's help...He is patient, He is kind and He knows my strength and weakness better than I. He gives me opportunity through loving lessons and compassionate scoldings. He knows how to allow me to strive for my salvation and realize what it is I may miss if I let even one step stray from the narrow path that is Truth. Nothing will ever be more True than God, nor will there be anything less desirable to so many people than His simple Truth. Through faith and love do I follow...I am not forlorn as some may think of me, I am just where I ought to be, just where He has led me, willing or not ;o) I am happy here.

The illness of my soul can only be reflected in the illness of my body at the proper times, through God's great mercy. He brings together families through illness, He gives us the opportunity to see ourselves better and to strive for our salvation, whether we know it or not. The soul is always searching for God, our Father and Truth of eternity. He offers us strength through our weakness and does not ever forsake us, it is we who turn our face from the love of God. If ever He allows some such disaster or death upon us, it is for our own well being. Do we not remember our mortality and God the better when we are distressed? Of course we do! That is why so many people blame Him for everything, our selfish will places blame on the only One who can save and love us without any constraint or condition. There will always be those people who will never believe, that will not change, but for a vast majority, we will never know the hour a persons heart turns toward God and He will draw them near in infinite mercy and love.

Glory to God for ALL things! (not just the stuff we want or like)

Well, that's it...for now.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Most Recent Jay News

Settling into December...
We have recently been given guidelines for better caring for Jay's health along with the recent bits of additions from the 'new' neurologist. They are as follows:
1. His nutrition is on track and super strict with absolute need to stay on schedule for all his supplements and protein, etc, and we have to remember that he is very ill.

2. In light of being very ill, he is not allowed to 'go out' on crummy feeling days and ONLY up to 45 minutes on his good days. We are allowed to have friends and family come over at any time that we would like, but leaving the house is to much stimulus and needs to be cut back. Friends/family can come get us/him for small outings, but they need to be kept short. (Something that WE need to remember also...)

3. We will be able to make church trips as often as his health allows, it is a bit longer than the allotted outings, but necessary for his overall well-being.

4. Proper rest is crucial to keep his improvement coming as well as keeping headaches away.

Sorry to be such a bummer, but this month and more are going to be the most important. His next appointments are right after Nativity, Jan 7 N.S. (Dec 25 O.S.) and we will have an update as to how things are going. Until then, we have to stick with it =)
Well, that about covers it for now, love to everyone! Thanks for all the love, prayers and support!

Monday, December 1, 2008

A Little Something

Just wanted to share a little something that means a lot to me...not sure if I have shared it before, but never hurts to put it out there again.

Prayer of the Optina Elders:

Grant unto me, my Lord, that with peace of mind I may face all that this new day is to bring.

Grant unto me Grace to surrender myself completely to Thy Holy Will.

For every hour of this day instruct and prepare me in all things.

Whatsoever tidings I may receive during the day, do Thou teach me to accept tranquilly, in the firm conviction that all eventualities fulfill Thy Holy Will.

Govern Thou my thoughts and feelings in all I do and say.

When unforeseen things occur, let me not forget that all cometh from Thee.

Teach me to behave sincerely and reasonably toward every member of my family, that I may bring them no confusion or sorrow.

Bestow upon me, my Lord, strength to endure the fatigue of the day, and to bear my part in all its passing events.

Guide Thou my will and teach me to pray, to believe, to hope, to suffer, to forgive and to love.