Be still, and know that I am God
Great and Holy Lent is seen by most as the forty days before Pascha when we give up certain foods (dairy, meat, eggs, fish), and give more attention to alms giving. The season of the Great Fast is also a time when we try to cut back on entertainment, avoiding movies, nights out with friends, and replace worldly pleasures with increased time attending the divine services in the temple.
Lent is also the time when we increase our spiritual reading, consulting with our priest, or the proprietor of our local Orthodox bookstore, for suggestions on books to accompany our Lenten journey.
I would like to suggest another element, one that is important, but seldom talked about. During the forty days of the Great Fast, why not put aside the “noise” of this world, and discover the value of silence.
When radio was first introduced on the American scene, an important element in daily living was to be lost forever. No longer was silence a part of everyday life. With families gathering around the radio, often listening to shows or music that were far from edifying, the loss for the human spirit was great.
As we’ve entered the “information age”, we are experiencing even more noise, for not only do we have televisions blaring from the moment we walk in our homes, utube has introduced noise in an even more invasive manner, noise on command at any time. Ipods fill our waking moments with music, and even when we are on walks, these gadgets are shutting out the sounds of nature. Birds chirping, the sound of wind in the trees, the lapping of waves on the beach, these wonderful sounds of nature are all replaced with recorded music.
The Psalmist David tells us, “Be still, and know that I am God (Psalm 46:10).” Silence to the noise of this world opens our ears to the whispers of the Lord, Who speaks to us from within. Silence should not be feared, but sought out, and embraced as though a lover.
With love in Christ,
Photos: I was a guest lecturer for two morning classes on the Pacific Lutheran University campus in Tacoma, Washington, on Friday. Invited by my dear friend, Dr. Brenda Ihssen, I was also treated to lunch, and spent much of the afternoon with students.
Saturday March 16, 2013
Week of the Last Judgment. Tone seven.
Maslenitsa. Meat is excluded
All of the venerable fathers, lit up with great deeds (movable holiday on Saturday of the Cheese-fare Week).
Martyr Eutropius of Amasea, and with him Martyrs Cleonicus and Basiliscus (308).
Virgin-martyr Martha and martyr Michael (1938).
Venerable Piama, virgin (337).
Sts. Zeno and Zoilus.
“Volokolamsk” Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos (1572).
St. Alexandra, of Alexandria (4th c.).
St. Caluppan of Auvergne (576) (Gaul).
St. Non, mother of St. David of Wales (6th c.) (Celtic & British).
St. Winwaloe of Brittany (530) (Celtic & British).
St. John (Chrysostom) IV, the Catholicos of Georgia (1049) (Georgia).
Hieromartyr Theodoretus, Priest of Antioch (361-363) (Greek).
You can read the life of the saint in green, by click on the name.
THANK YOU, to all of you who have been able to contribute towards the support of the monastery. These difficult times of economic hardship have impacted the monastery, and those of you who have been able to donate, have been our lifeline. May God bless you for your generosity, and kindness.With love in Christ,
19Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another. 20Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All things indeed are pure, but it is evil for the man who eats with offense. 21It is good neither to eat meat nor drink wine nor do anything by which your brother stumbles or is offended or is made weak. 22Do you have faith? Have it to yourself before God. Happy is he who does not condemn himself in what he approves. 23But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because he does not eat from faith; for whatever is not from faith is sin.
25Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery kept secret since the world began 26but now made manifest, and by the prophetic Scriptures made known to all nations, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, for obedience to the faith— 27to God, alone wise, be glory through Jesus Christ forever. Amen.
Do Good to Please God
6 “Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven. 2Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. 3But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly.
The Model Prayer
5“And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. 6But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. 7And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words.
8“Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him. 9In this manner, therefore, pray:
Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
10Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
11Give us this day our daily bread.
12And forgive us our debts,
As we forgive our debtors.
13And do not lead us into temptation,
But deliver us from the evil one.
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.