Friday, January 7, 2011


Christ is Born! Glorify Him!

We had a lovely service in church today, though crowded to the brim as usual. If you have ever been inside our parish, you will realize how few people you can imagine fitting in there, but we always seem to do it. To think, Nativity only scratches the surface compared to Pascha! What a last few days and what a fast! It is amazing knowing that there is a certain Grace extended from these most precious feasts of our Lord after the preparation with fasting. Though fasting is often thought to be simply from food, it is merely a tool to help us control our bodies better and be more aware of the other things in life and within oneself. Not only are we to fast from foods, but the goal is to be able to condition ourselves to be able to fast from things like anger and pride and keep them at bay. If we can succeed for even a short time while fasting, what hope we have in our eternity. It is also to be noted that fasting is a choice we make, though in some cases, fasting is relative to health and circumstance, it is a personal discipline nonetheless.

This was Katherine's first fasting period since she has turned 7 and she has done quite well. We have never required it of her, but she has always naturally inclined herself toward a diet lacking in meat and has rejected dairy from an early age (though, we now know that is it because she has an allergy/intolerance). She was that much more excited to have some chicken today and she has indulged in some cookies that she and papa made yesterday; sugar cookies, with vanilla frosting and sprinkles! They are quite tasty! We also got some hard candies and suckers to share and one of the things that I thought was nice was how she brought a basket to tote them around and share with everyone who she came upon. I made her the 'Felicity' (American Girl) dress and she wore it to church this morning and I have hardly seen her happier.

As I stood there in the choir last night as the church filled nearly to bursting, it seemed as if there was a buzz of excitement. It occurred to me that, though we may often see the crowds as a restrictive difficulty, especially when we know lots of the people only come for the big feasts (and we try to be grateful that they have come at all), but that without the full house, the excitement may not be there in the same way. It is just as with any main event anywhere in the world, if there are lots of people, you know something big is happening to draw such crowds! In this case, it is Christ's birth! Glory to God that they come, I am grateful because it sets the tone for the immensity of the impending feast. Now, hopefully I will keep the same outlook when they arrive at ALL the major church feasts!

Well, we have just completed our first day of Christmas beginning with church and feasting, then home for reading aloud some Narnia and resting/napping, followed by family dinner and a movie, Ponyo, with some Shawn the Sheep. It is time to tuck in the little girl for sleep and curl up with my husband for a relaxing evening on the couch...Christ is Born!

Troparion of Christ's Nativity

Thy Nativity, O Christ our God,
hath shone forth the light of wisdom upon the world;
for therein those who worship the stars
have been taught by a star
to worship Thee, the Sun of Righteousness,
and to know Thee, the Dayspring from on
O Lord, glory be to Thee!


Caitlin said...

I love your entries dear sister. I am so proud of you in so many ways. Did you know that we read Narnia aloud here as well? Good times. Love you and Christ is Born!

Xen Xen said...

XOXO, we love and miss you in ways that can only be known in the heart. We can't wait to see you again and I hope things pan out better for you in the job arena!