Divine Liturgy – the one thing needful. Any other time is like dying. Very Personal reflections.

The best two days of the week are Thursday and Sunday. I believe I am most alive, and doing my most important work on this earth on those two days – when I celebrate the liturgy.

I am finding that I have much more anticipation of the liturgy then I had earlier in my ministry. I am not sure why that it, but I think several things have contributed….

O Good Physician… A prayer inspired by St Ephrem the Syrian Monasticism applied to everyone! The Modern Illness in Orthodoxy

O Good Physician,
Thou callest me, demanding no payment, nor spilling my blood,
But my slothfulness prevents me from going to Thee….

After a prayer inspired by a gleaning from St Ephrem the Syrian, the quote which inspired it, and a short commentary on the importance of monasticism and the illness of the modern church.

The Good Turkish Judge. From the Life of the Elder Ieronymos of Aegina (+1966)

The Good Turkish Judge. From the Life of the Elder Ieronymos of Aegina (+1966).

Shortly before World War I, a Turk visited Fr. Iieronymos’ humble hermitage. The Turk told the elder that his master, a judge, had sent him to invite the elder to his house.

The elder became a little worried. He was not accustomed to receiving invitations to “social receptions” and his mind began to suspect that he might experience some evil or temptation. However, he prayed to God and followed the Turkish servant.

On their arrival at the judge’s large home, the judge himself welcomed him – with much warmth, as a matter of fact. They sat on a great divan and the judge began the conversation:

“Efendi papa, I am a Turk, a Moslem. From the salary I receive, I keep whatever is necessary for my family’s support, and the rest I spend on alms. I help widows, orphans, the poor; I provide dowries for impoverished young women so that they can get married, I help the sick. I keep the fasts with exactness, I pray and, in general, I try to live a life consistent with my faith. Also, when I sit in judgment, I strive to be just, and never take a person’s position into account, no matter how great he is. What do you say? Are all these things that I do sufficient for me to gain that Paradise that you Christians talk about? …

Apostle Titus of the Seventy. His life epitomizes two virtues we must have.

Today we remember the Holy Apostle Titus. He was one the Seventy, and an eyewitness of the preaching of Jesus Christ, a close friend and disciple of the Apostle Paul (accompanying him of his missionary journeys) and eventual Bishop of Crete.

His life is extraordinary, because it shows clearly a two virtues we must have in order to be saved. The Holy Titus possessed a longing for purity and humility in abundance. …

Snow in Texas. Hope in the soul.

It has snowed about 12 inches in Dallas Texas! I went to a nearby heavily wooded park with my dog and walked through gigantic fields, expanses of blinding whiteness.

Snow makes me think of purity. It makes me hopeful. It just feels good to walk in the midst of it.

As is usually the case when I am somewhere in an introspective mood, I begin to think in metaphors and feel this welling up in my soul, a desire for change.

Just as snow can cover everything and make it look clean and beautiful, so can my repentance make me clean and beautiful. …