Tuesday, December 8, 2015

A Guide to Serenity...

Prayer is not a ‘spare wheel’ that you pull out when in trouble, but it is a ‘steering wheel’ that directs the right path throughout the journey.

So why is a Car's Windshield so large and the
Rear View Mirror so small?
Because our PAST
is not as important as our FUTURE.
So, Look Ahead and Move on.

Friendship is like a BOOK.
It takes a few minutes to burn,
but it takes years to write.

All things in life are temporary.
If going well, enjoy it, they will not last forever.
If going wrong, don't worry, they can't last long either.

Old Friends are Gold. New Friends are Diamond.
If you get a Diamond, don't forget the Gold.
Because to hold a Diamond,
you always need a Base of Gold!

Often when we lose hope and think this is the end,
GOD smiles from above and says,
"Relax, it's just a bend, not the end."

When GOD solves your problems,
you have faith in His abilities;
when GOD doesn't solve your problems
He has faith in your abilities.

A blind person asked St. Anthony:
"Can there be anything worse than losing eye sight?"
He replied:
"Yes, losing your vision…"

When you pray for others,
God listens to you and blesses them,
and sometimes,
when you are safe and happy,
remember that someone has prayed for you.

Worrying, does not take away tomorrow's Troubles, it takes away today's Peace.

A Modern Day Parable

Satan called a worldwide convention of demons. In his opening address he said, “We can’t keep Christians from going to church. We can’t keep them from reading their Bibles and knowing the truth. We can’t even keep them from forming an intimate relationship with their Savior. Once they gain that connection with Jesus, our power over them is broken. So let them go to their churches. Let them have their covered dish dinners, BUT, steal their time so they don’t have time to develop a relationship with Jesus Christ. This is what I want you to do,” said the devil. “Distract them from gaining hold of their Savior and maintaining that vital connection throughout their day!”

“How shall we do that?” his demons shouted.

“Keep them busy in the nonessentials of life and invent innumerable schemes to occupy their minds,” he answered. “Tempt them to spend, spend, spend and borrow, borrow, borrow.

Persuade the wives to go to work for long hours and the husbands to work six to seven days each week, 10 to 12 hours a day, so they can afford
their empty lifestyles. Keep them from spending time with their children. As their families fragment, soon their homes will offer no escape from the pressures of work!

“Over stimulate their minds so that they cannot hear that still, small voice. Entice them to play the radio or cassette or CD whenever they drive. Keep the TV, VCR, CD, DVD and their PC going constantly in their home; and see to it that every store and restaurant in the world plays non-biblical music constantly. This will jam their minds and break that union with Christ. Fill the coffee tables with magazines and newspapers. Pound their
minds with the news 24 hours a day. Invade their driving moments with billboards. Flood their mailboxes with junk mail, mail order catalogs, sweepstakes, guaranteed credit cards and every kind of newsletter and promotion, offering free products, services and false hopes.

“Keep skinny, beautiful models on the magazines and TV, so husbands will believe that outward beauty is what’s important and they will become dissatisfied with their wives. Keep those skinny, beautiful models on the magazines to grab the attention of their young sons at a very early age. Keep the wives too tired to love their husbands at night, and the husbands too self-involved to show the wives any love and appreciation. If they don’t, they will all begin to look elsewhere. That will fragment their families quickly.

“Give them Santa Claus to distract them from teaching their children the real meaning of Christmas. Give them an Easter bunny so they won’t talk about Jesus’ resurrection and power over sin and death.

“Even in their recreation, let them be excessive. Have them return from their vacations exhausted. Keep them too busy to go out in nature and reflect on God’s creation. Send them to amusement parks, sporting events, plays, concerts and movies instead. Keep them busy, busy, busy.

“And when they do meet for spiritual fellowship, involve them in gossip and small talk so they will leave with troubled consciences. Crowd their lives with so many good causes they will have no time to seek power from Jesus. Soon they will be working in their own strength, sacrificing their health and family for the good of the cause.”

“It will work! It will work!” the demons screamed.

The demons went eagerly to their assignments causing Christians everywhere to get busier and more rushed, going here and there, having little time for their God or their families, and having no time to tell others about the power of Jesus to change lives.


The Way of Love is the Easiest Path ( Saint Porphyrios )

Saint Porphyrios emphasizes that there are two paths we can take. One is very hard and the other easy. The difficult path is to fight against evil and the easy way is the path of love. How do we nurture this love for God?

Saint Porphyrios says,  

The Soul is sanctified and purified through the study of the words of the Fathers, through the memorization of the psalms and of portions of Scripture, through the singing of hymns and through the repetition of the Jesus Prayer.

He suggests that we read the holy books of the Church with joy. The Book of the Eight Tones, the Psalter, the books with the offices for the feasts and the daily saint commemorations. The lives of the saints give us examples of people who gave their lives entirely to Christ and became true lovers with God. We can take delight in their achievements and imitate them. They began their lives just like us. We have the same opportunity to become sanctified like them.

We should undertake this study, as with all things in our life, with great attention. The Elder advises us to look up each word in the dictionary and read clearly understanding the meaning of every word.

This is the easy way he tells us. All one needs to do is to do these things and ignore other things.
He says that the kind of effort necessary is,
To study and pray and have your aim to advance in the love of God and of the Church.

The object is not to sit and afflict and constrict yourself in order to improve. The object is to live, study, to pray and to advance in love––in love for Christ and for the Church.

This is a very practical way in today's busy life. Don't aggravate yourself with fighting the evil, but concentrate on your own study and prayer until this love for God is always at the forefront of your mind and heart. Simply set aside time for daily study and prayer with emphasis on the use of the Jesus Prayer. Then when you face difficulties God will be the first thought you have and your love for Him will bring you divine grace. Then you will act with the support of the Holy Spirit.

 Saint Porphyrios