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SOPHIALARA's Photo SOPHIALARA Posts: 912
3/26/13 11:27 A

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Oh my goodness, there is so much wonderful food for lenten thought in this thread. I'm going to have to come back to read the rest, perhaps a little every day! I loved the video, "Coffee with Jesus"! Talk about being silent before God (not!). Thank you for everything you posted, Antiochia. I'll be back! I need to get some exercise now. I've been sitting at this computer for far too long!




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3/18/13 4:33 P

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Time to bring back this thread! I hope you all were able to attend Forgiveness Vespers at your church last night. But even if you weren't able to -- forgiving anyone who has wronged you is essential in our Lenten journey. Here is a story about forgiveness from
abbamoses.com/months/february.html

Holy Martyr Nicephorus (~257)
Sapricius the priest and the layman Nicephorus lived in Antioch of Syria. Though they were the closest of friends, a disagreement between them led to estrangement and then to outright enmity. In time, Nicephorus came to himself and realized that reconciliation and love among brethren are precious in the sight of the Lord, and he sent to Sapricius to ask his forgiveness for Christ's sake. But his messengers were turned away, and Sapricius coldly refused any reconciliation. At the same time he violated the Lord's commandment by continuing to serve at the altar without seeking to make peace. Nicephorus finally went in person and threw himself at Sapricius' feet, but even this had no effect.
  Soon, persecution of Christians broke out, and Sapricius was arrested. When he confessed Christ without fear or hesitation, and refused to make sacrifice to the idols even under torture, he was condemned to be beheaded. Nicephorus was distressed that Sapricius might give his life in Christ's name while still at enmity with a brother; and that he himself would lose his chance to make peace. As Sapricius was being led to the place of execution, Nicephorus went on his knees before him and cried 'Martyr of Christ, forgive me the offences for which you are angry with me!' Still, Sapricius coldly spurned his former friend's pleas. For this reason, as the executioner was raising his sword, and the crown of martyrdom was only seconds away, God withdrew his grace from the priest, who turned to the executioner and declared his readiness to adore the idols. Nicephorus, who was among the witnesses, begged him not to apostatise, but his words were of no effect. Nicephorus then turned to the executioner and shouted 'I am a Christian! I believe in our Lord Jesus Christ whom he has just denied. Let him go and put me to death in his place!'
  The Governor agreed, and ordered the release of Sapricius and the execution of Nicephorus. The Martyr laid his neck on the block joyfully and claimed the crown that Sapricius had thrown away. The Synaxarion concludes:
  'When he departed for heaven to receive the crown of glory, Saint Nicephorus left to us Christians a vivid illustration of these words uttered by the Holy Spirit: If I deliver my body to be burned but have no love, I gain nothing (1 Cor. 13:3). If you do not forgive men their trespasses neither will your heavenly Father forgive your trespasses... For the measure you give will be the measure you get (Matt. 6:15; 7:2).'

This is the day that the Lord had made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it. Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit; both now and ever and unto the ages of ages, Amen.
~Ruth Ann
Madison, WI
Link to one of my cookbooks which should also lead you to the rest of them:
recipes.sparkpeople.com/Cookbooks.as
p?cookbook=6445


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4/24/12 8:38 A

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Congratulations! That is wonderful news! My new grandson will be baptized on Pentecost! You, your roommate and he will all become part of the Holy Orthodox Church on the same day! God bless you in your spiritual journey and may He protect you from the distraction of the evil one during this time!



This is the day that the Lord had made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it. Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit; both now and ever and unto the ages of ages, Amen.
~Ruth Ann
Madison, WI
Link to one of my cookbooks which should also lead you to the rest of them:
recipes.sparkpeople.com/Cookbooks.as
p?cookbook=6445


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4/24/12 7:43 A

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Pascha really did come quickly this year.

So, I'm officially a catecumen now. Father says that he anticipates my roommate and I being chrismated at Pentecost. :)



Anyone can do it if I can do it!!


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4/17/12 2:09 P

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I hardly felt I participated in Lent this year, because I was cooking for my daughter's family, and since she was a nursing mom, she wasn't fasting, the kids weren't fasting, both her husband and my husband had health issues that prevented them from entering fully into the fast. Most of the time I didn't want to make extra food for myself so I ate what they ate. It was a strange lent for me, and Pascha seemed to come way too quickly!

~Ruth Ann

This is the day that the Lord had made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it. Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit; both now and ever and unto the ages of ages, Amen.
~Ruth Ann
Madison, WI
Link to one of my cookbooks which should also lead you to the rest of them:
recipes.sparkpeople.com/Cookbooks.as
p?cookbook=6445


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4/3/12 8:06 A

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Lent is sooo busy! This week before Holy Week has actually helped me to re-focus, however. How is everyone else faring?



Anyone can do it if I can do it!!


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3/3/12 8:38 A

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A poem reprinted on a friend's blog aptly describes why we need Lent:

I.
We hunger
But rarely feed.
We’re busy
Distracted
Preoccupied
Afraid
And unaware.
Manufactured clamor has its way.
We live entombed by gadgetry
Disunity
And uncertainty.
We marry sophistication and divorce wilderness.
Even so the wild endures with its peace.
We should return
Like starving prodigals
And be embraced by grace.


II.
We’re dazed
Noise-polluted
Heart-muted
And numb.
We dismiss key moments.
We miss the messages
Of celestial spheres
Hidden in minutia.
Watch.
Listen.
Feel.
Know.
Life is mystery.
Life is holy.
Life is grace.

I don't know who the original author was. My friend added it to her blog here:
bethbanter.blogspot.com/2012/02/wild
-t
hings-and-key-moments.html


This is the day that the Lord had made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it. Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit; both now and ever and unto the ages of ages, Amen.
~Ruth Ann
Madison, WI
Link to one of my cookbooks which should also lead you to the rest of them:
recipes.sparkpeople.com/Cookbooks.as
p?cookbook=6445


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3/2/12 7:27 A

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Great You Tube Skit entitled "Coffee with Jesus." Don't be put off by the flip sounding name. It's 2 minutes and 11 seconds. No wonder the Orthodox Church recommends spending time in silence! A good reminder as we begin Lent 2012.

www.godtube.com/featured/video/coffe
e-
jesus


This is the day that the Lord had made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it. Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit; both now and ever and unto the ages of ages, Amen.
~Ruth Ann
Madison, WI
Link to one of my cookbooks which should also lead you to the rest of them:
recipes.sparkpeople.com/Cookbooks.as
p?cookbook=6445


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2/13/12 9:35 A

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Consider this thread an invitation to share your 2012 Lenten journey with us!

This is the day that the Lord had made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it. Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit; both now and ever and unto the ages of ages, Amen.
~Ruth Ann
Madison, WI
Link to one of my cookbooks which should also lead you to the rest of them:
recipes.sparkpeople.com/Cookbooks.as
p?cookbook=6445


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3/3/11 10:03 P

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Well, it's that time of year again! Great Lent starts this coming week, so I thought I would bring this topic back up.

May God bless you as you prepare to enter Great Lent!

~Ruth Ann

PS: Fasting rules can be found at www.oca.org/OCFasting.asp
(These can be modified to your specific situation through consultation with your spiritual father.)

This is the day that the Lord had made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it. Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit; both now and ever and unto the ages of ages, Amen.
~Ruth Ann
Madison, WI
Link to one of my cookbooks which should also lead you to the rest of them:
recipes.sparkpeople.com/Cookbooks.as
p?cookbook=6445


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3/23/09 11:14 A

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In [an] interview, done a couple of years before his repose, Fr. Sophrony [Archimandrite Sophrony Sakharov - 1896-1993 Essex, England] said he doesn't advocate too much introspection even for monastics or his other spiritual children:

"You know, we pick and poke away, hunting for every little mistake or thought, and we make ourselves crazy, all for nothing. It becomes an obsession, and really makes a wall between us and God, leaving no room for grace to act. Yes, we must know in general our sins, and that we are sinful and deluded beings, but we must never lose sight of the fact that we come to God in prayer, not to be obsessed with our sins, but to find His mercy. Otherwise the devil takes everything away from us... joy, hope, peace, love... and leaves us nothing but this obsession with our mistakes. That is not repentance. That is neurosis."

Quoted in "Safely Home to Heaven - A Letter from an Orthodox Nun to a Former Calvinist" printed in *Road to Emmaus - A Journal of Orthodox Faith and Culture* Vol , No. 1, p.30

This is the day that the Lord had made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it. Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit; both now and ever and unto the ages of ages, Amen.
~Ruth Ann
Madison, WI
Link to one of my cookbooks which should also lead you to the rest of them:
recipes.sparkpeople.com/Cookbooks.as
p?cookbook=6445


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3/18/09 8:54 A

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Orthodox fasting is like a plant - the flower and fruit of fasting is growth in virtue: love, prayer, almsgiving, humility, patience, etc...

Since humility is a fruit of fasting, we must keep our fasting secret from the world so we accept food others offer us with gratitude, taking only small portions if it is not Lenten food. Humility, love, gratitude, respect, are more important than great prowess in fasting.

Another fruit of fasting is victory over gluttony. Hopefully that means we lose weight, but weight loss is only like the leaves of the plant - it is not the fruit. It is something that can happen as we fast, but it is not the purpose of fasting. If weight loss were the fruit of fasting it could lead to pride "I fast better than other people - see how much weight I lost?"

Fasting should detach us from the world, and bring us closer to our Lord.

We do not only fast from food, but from entertainment, shopping, expensive restaurant meals, frequent expensive coffee at coffee shops, listening to this world's music,"idle talk" etc... We may not be able to abandon these kind of things totally at first, but it is important to lessen our dependence on them, so we can appreciate the simplicity and silence we need in order to place ourselves in the presence of God.

We also need to be spending less money on food, and figuring out how much money we are saving from our food budget - not to save it, but to give it to organizations that help feed the poor - especially in this time of economic crisis.

May each of you experience the fruit of fasting in your lives this Lent!

God bless you,
emoticon
~RuthAnn

Edited by: ANTIOCHIA at: 3/18/2009 (08:57)
This is the day that the Lord had made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it. Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit; both now and ever and unto the ages of ages, Amen.
~Ruth Ann
Madison, WI
Link to one of my cookbooks which should also lead you to the rest of them:
recipes.sparkpeople.com/Cookbooks.as
p?cookbook=6445


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3/10/09 4:11 P

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In most Orthodox Churches, during Lent we are allowed wine (and olive oil) on weekends and on special feast days. In my son's church, his priest advises his parishioners to stay off ALL alcohol for the duration of Lent. That way, if a person cannot leave it alone for 6 weeks, it is an indication he/she needs to seek help for alcoholism.

I'm not sure I'd want to be that strict - I do enjoy a little wine on the weekends. Anyway, I read a writeup in the Wall Street Journal today about a new government website called Rethinking Drinking:
www.rethinkingdrinking.niaaa.nih.gov
/


It helps to predict alcohol problems and gives strategies for coping with drinking - or not drinking as the case may be. I took a look at it - it seems to be pretty thorough. I thought it might be helpful as we battle our demons these next few weeks!

Blessed Lent!
emoticon
~RuthAnn

This is the day that the Lord had made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it. Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit; both now and ever and unto the ages of ages, Amen.
~Ruth Ann
Madison, WI
Link to one of my cookbooks which should also lead you to the rest of them:
recipes.sparkpeople.com/Cookbooks.as
p?cookbook=6445


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3/3/09 5:02 P

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Encouragement from my priest, Fr. Patrick Kinder, (St. Ignatius Antiochian Orthodox Church in Madison, WI):

"Beloved, each year as we enter Lent let us be assured of this time given to us to clarify our preferences! It is the time for us to again learn that man was created for Paradise, for knowledge of God and communion with Him; that man’s sin has deprived him of that blessed life and his existence on earth is exile; that Christ opens the door of Paradise to everyone who follows Him, and the Church, by revealing to us the beauty of the Kingdom, making our life a pilgrimage toward our heavenly fatherland. Through prayer and fasting, almsgiving and forgiveness, Lent is the liberation of our enslavement to sin from the prison of “this world.” In clarifying our preferences for holiness we boldly proclaim our refusal to accept as normal the desires and urges of our fallen nature and seek freedom from the dictatorship of flesh and matter over the spirit."

This is the day that the Lord had made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it. Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit; both now and ever and unto the ages of ages, Amen.
~Ruth Ann
Madison, WI
Link to one of my cookbooks which should also lead you to the rest of them:
recipes.sparkpeople.com/Cookbooks.as
p?cookbook=6445


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3/2/09 1:29 P

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Encouragement from Bishop BASIL of Wichita (Antiochian Archdiocese)

What can I offer to further my Lenten Journey?
1) Make ready preparations to: attend a maximum of
liturgical services, have easy Lenten meals, make time for
personal prayer, scripture and devotional reading.
2) Remember that there are many people who are in need of
loving attention. Offer quiet hospitality to a member or
family of our parish, an elderly neighbor or visit a shut-in.
3) Greatly limit or eliminate television and other idle
entertainment.
4) Have a charitable purpose and commitment to money
gifts for individuals in need or worthy institutions or
causes.
5) Remember always why we fast: “We deny ourselves
earthly pleasure in expectation of heavenly pleasure.”



This is the day that the Lord had made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it. Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit; both now and ever and unto the ages of ages, Amen.
~Ruth Ann
Madison, WI
Link to one of my cookbooks which should also lead you to the rest of them:
recipes.sparkpeople.com/Cookbooks.as
p?cookbook=6445


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2/26/09 11:09 A

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I am bringing up this thread again and making it a "sticky topic" for the duration of Lent and Holy Week. Please post Lenten encouragement and insights here.

Again, as I did last year, I want you to be aware that as we approach cheesefare Sunday, we may find all kinds of stupid quarrels breaking out in our family to keep us from wanting to attend Forgiveness Vespers on Sunday evening. This is a trick of the devil. Don't let ANYTHING keep you from Forgiveness Vespers!!!! This is a wonderful service.

At our church, after we are joyous and giddy from being hugged by and reconciled to everyone in the church, we end by singing the hymns of Pascha! We glimpse the light at the end of the tunnel! Then we head out into the dark night which seems to me a metaphor for entering the 'tunnel' of Lent. We KNOW Lent has officially begun.

God bless you during this holy season,
emoticon
~RuthAnn

This is the day that the Lord had made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it. Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit; both now and ever and unto the ages of ages, Amen.
~Ruth Ann
Madison, WI
Link to one of my cookbooks which should also lead you to the rest of them:
recipes.sparkpeople.com/Cookbooks.as
p?cookbook=6445


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4/15/08 9:08 A

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We were at my daughter's church in Chicago over the weekend, so we got to hear Fr. Pat Reardon preach 3 times - at Vespers, Liturgy, and Sunday school (he preaches at every possible opportunity!). He is so good.

Speaking about James' and John's request to be on his right hand and on his left when he comes into his kingdom, Jesus answers "Can you drink the cup, I will drink?" Then He said, "You will indeed drink the cup I drink but to be at my right and left is for those for whom God prepared it."

They didn't know what they were asking for! Who was at His right hand and His left when he came into his kingdom? The two thieves who were crucified with Him.

It is a good thing that God does not always answer our prayers. Sometimes we don't realize what we are praying for!
emoticon
~RuthAnn

This is the day that the Lord had made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it. Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit; both now and ever and unto the ages of ages, Amen.
~Ruth Ann
Madison, WI
Link to one of my cookbooks which should also lead you to the rest of them:
recipes.sparkpeople.com/Cookbooks.as
p?cookbook=6445


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4/8/08 11:57 A

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Blessed Lent!

I just had my confession yesterday, and my priest also likes to combine confession with counseling. One of the things we discussed was making our lives "an offering." For several years now, I have been resentful that my husband had us get another dog as soon as possible after our old one died. I love dogs, I just don't want all of the responsibility of being a dog owner, and I would prefer the freedom of a life unencumbered with a dog.

However we do have a dog - a large, black, part lab - part something else (possibly Great Dane) dog named Bounty who needs long walks every day (and, as God knows, so do I.)

Mother Macrina, our retreat leader, mentioned that we need to see Jesus in everybody, and I started to think, what if it wasn't my husband who gave me this dog, what if Jesus had come to me and asked me to please take care of this dog for Him. Of course I would say yes, and I would be honored that He asked me.

My priest said that's exactly how I need to see it. That Jesus gave me this dog, and I should care for the dog as an offering to my Lord.

That puts a whole new light on the situation! As we talked some more, my priest also approved of the idea that I pray as I'm walking the dog. And so that's what I intend to do.

God bless you all,
emoticon
~RuthAnn

This is the day that the Lord had made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it. Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit; both now and ever and unto the ages of ages, Amen.
~Ruth Ann
Madison, WI
Link to one of my cookbooks which should also lead you to the rest of them:
recipes.sparkpeople.com/Cookbooks.as
p?cookbook=6445


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4/3/08 9:04 A

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From The Prologue from Ochrid, by St. Nikolai Velimirovich (Volume 4, p 338):

Bodily purity is primarily attained through fasting, and through bodily purity comes spiritual purity. Abstinence from food, according to the words of that son of grace, St. Ephraim the Syrian, means: 'Not to desire or demand much food, either sweet or costly; to eat nothing outside the stated times; not to give oneself over to gratification of the appetite; not to stir up hunger in oneself by looking at good food; and not to desire one or another sort of food.'

Blessed Lent!
emoticon
~RuthAnn

This is the day that the Lord had made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it. Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit; both now and ever and unto the ages of ages, Amen.
~Ruth Ann
Madison, WI
Link to one of my cookbooks which should also lead you to the rest of them:
recipes.sparkpeople.com/Cookbooks.as
p?cookbook=6445


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4/2/08 8:30 A

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A blessed Lent to all of you!
Here is The Prayer of St. Ephraim - the Lenten prayer: (for those of you new to Orthodoxy, we say this prayer nearly every day - except for Saturdays and Sundays. Whenever we have a weekday or night service, this prayer is included. I also add it to my personal prayers every morning)

O Lord and Master of my life,
Take from me the spirit of sloth, despair, lust of power, and idle talk,
But give rather the spirit of chastity, humility, patience and love to Thy servant,
Yea O Lord and King,
Grant me to see my own transgressions and not to judge my brother
For blessed art Thou, unto ages of ages, Amen.

emoticon
~RuthAnn

This is the day that the Lord had made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it. Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit; both now and ever and unto the ages of ages, Amen.
~Ruth Ann
Madison, WI
Link to one of my cookbooks which should also lead you to the rest of them:
recipes.sparkpeople.com/Cookbooks.as
p?cookbook=6445


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3/31/08 12:12 P

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A blessed Lent to all of you!
How is your Lent going? Are you facing unexpected problems? Are weird things going wrong? Are you facing temptations you never faced before?

"Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ's sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy." I Peter 4:12-13

and
"My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing." James 1:2-4

Here is a story that went around by email, several years ago, so you may have read it, but I think it is good for us to read it again during Lent:

REFINER'S FIRE

There was a group of women in a Bible study on the Old Testament book of Malachi. As they were studying chapter three, they came across verse three which says: He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver. This verse puzzled the women and they wondered what this statement meant about the character and nature of God.

One of the women offered to find out about the process of refining silver and get back to the group at their next Bible study. That week this woman called up a silversmith and made an appointment to watch him at work. She didn't mention anything about the reason for her interest in silver beyond her curiosity about the process of refining silver.

As she watched the silversmith, he held a piece of silver over the fire and let it heat up. He explained that in refining silver, one needed to hold the silver in the middle of the fire where the flames were hottest so as to burn away all the impurities. The woman thought about God holding us in such a hot spot - then she thought again about the verse, that he sits as a refiner and purifier of silver.

She asked the silversmith if it was true that he had to sit there in front of the fire the whole time the silver was being refined. The man answered, yes, that he not only had to sit there holding the silver, but he had to keep his eyes on the silver the entire time it was in the fire. If the silver was left even a moment too long in the flames, it would be destroyed.

The woman was silent for a moment. Then she asked the silversmith, "How do you know when the silver is fully refined?”

He smiled at her and answered, "Oh, that's easy--when I see my image in it."

God bless you
emoticon
~RuthAnn

This is the day that the Lord had made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it. Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit; both now and ever and unto the ages of ages, Amen.
~Ruth Ann
Madison, WI
Link to one of my cookbooks which should also lead you to the rest of them:
recipes.sparkpeople.com/Cookbooks.as
p?cookbook=6445


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3/28/08 11:05 P

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Hi all --

I came across this wonderful story in a book I was reading. Since we are to emphasize hospitality and almsgiving during Lent, I thought I would share it with you...

"We should not confuse hospitality with entertaining: inviting those who will invite us in turn. Everyone does that! Christ says we best imitate God when we show concern for those from whom we can expect no repayment (cf MT 5:43-48). And so hospitality is most Christian when it is extended to those from whom we do not expect any return.

When this kind of hospitality is practiced in the domestic church [home], it has a lasting effect on the lives of children in the household. The late khouriyye [priest's wife] Catherine Doherty told the story of experiencing this kind of hospitality as a child in pre-revolutionary Russia:

My father was in the diplomatic service, so he entertained all the diplomatic corps at our home in Petrograd one evening. Big deal: tea and wonderful trays of cakes and 250 people. Suddenly the butler opened the door and said, 'Christ at the door, sir'. Well, the French ambassador's wife dropped her cup; she had never heard anything like that.

My father and mother excused themselves from the 250 VIPs and walked into the next room. There they found a wino at the door. My father bowed low to him and opened the door. My mother set the table with the best linen and served him herself with my father's help.

Catherine herself was about nine at the time and recalls asking, "Mommy, can I serve the gentleman?" Her mother replied, "No, you were disobedient last week; you can't serve Christ when you are disobedient,"

"Now that's my background." Catherine said. "It has been my whole life. That's how we were taught.;"

(from *A Guide for the Domestic Church,* page 36, published by: Diocese of Newton, West Newton, MA c. 1986)

Do we see Christ in the homeless, the drunks, the down and out people that we meet? What can we do to serve them?

Love, and God bless,
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~RuthAnn

This is the day that the Lord had made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it. Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit; both now and ever and unto the ages of ages, Amen.
~Ruth Ann
Madison, WI
Link to one of my cookbooks which should also lead you to the rest of them:
recipes.sparkpeople.com/Cookbooks.as
p?cookbook=6445


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3/27/08 1:14 P

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Excerpted from: www.monachos.net/library/Growth%2C_d
ea
th%2C_and_a_fast_toward_perfection

GROWTH, DEATH, AND A FAST TOWARD PERFECTION
Monachos Lenten Message for 2008
Text by M.C. Steenberg, Sunday of Forgiveness, 2008

"God made man lord of the earth … but he was small, being only a child. Man had to grow, to reach full maturity. … And so God prepared a place for him, better than this world … a paradise of such beauty and goodness that the Word of God constantly visited it, and walked and talked with man, prefiguring that future time when He would live with man and talk with him, associating with men and teaching them righteousness. But man was yet a child, and his mind was not yet fully mature; and thus he was easily led astray by the deceiver.” (St Irenaeus of Lyons, A Demonstration of the Apostolic Preaching, 12)...

...There is a mystery present in human existence. At once it is created for perfection, to be drawn wholly and fully up into the life of God; yet at the same time it is stunted in that growth, bound by the weight of its sin. The human person is, in St Irenaeus’ words, a child growing into an adult: an infant for whom the world was fashioned, to become in Christ the perfect image of the eternal Son, joined to the life of God. Yet as children easily go astray, as primal man ‘was easily led astray by the deceiver’, so that growth has been stunted by rebellion. The child is crippled. Its sure growth is become a path of error and trial, and its sin an ever-present burden....

...Because it is the resurrected Christ that is the foundation of Great Lent, the Fast itself is seen as a thing of great joy. The little child that is the human person, in St Irenaeus’ imagery, walks through the Lenten journey with the true ‘strong man’, Jesus Christ who has defeated death. So Lent is a fulfillment of the promise of Eden, where the Son walked with Adam, ‘prefiguring that future time when He would live with man and talk with him, associating with men and teaching them righteousness.’ So has the Son done in the incarnation, and so the struggles of the Fast are struggles rooted in joy: the joy of the encountered Saviour, risen from the dead, who will transform the repentant heart to new life and growth. So the hymn at vespers on the eve of Great Lent Proper:

“Let us set out with joy upon the season of the Fast, and prepare ourselves for spiritual combat. Let us purify our soul and cleanse our flesh; and as we fast from food, let us abstain also from every passion. Rejoicing in the virtues of the Spirit, may we persevere with love, and so be counted worthy to see the solemn Passion of Christ our God, and with great spiritual gladness to behold his holy Passover.” (Sticheron at Vespers, on the Sunday preceding the first day of Great Lent)
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~RuthAnn

This is the day that the Lord had made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it. Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit; both now and ever and unto the ages of ages, Amen.
~Ruth Ann
Madison, WI
Link to one of my cookbooks which should also lead you to the rest of them:
recipes.sparkpeople.com/Cookbooks.as
p?cookbook=6445


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SHERYLJ2011's Photo SHERYLJ2011 Posts: 647
3/19/08 12:35 P

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I have a nice excerpt from ST John Chrysostom in my blog (first one in march if you're looking for it).

"Anyone who tries to describe the ineffable Light in language is truly a liar - not because he hates the truth, but because of the inadequacy of his description." - St Gregory of Nyssa, 4th c.

A healthy body is a guest-chamber for the soul; a sick body is a prison.
- Francis Bacon

Which would you prefer: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret? -- anonymous


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3/11/08 9:35 A

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The following is from the newsletter of a friend of mine. He and his wife have been Protestant missionaries, who have now discovered Orthodoxy and are catechumens at our church. Wise words to think about!
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~RuthAnn


"But what's the purpose of the Lenten Fast? Is it just a good way to lose weight, or save on your grocery bill? No, it's explained in the following verses (19-21) - "Don't lay up treasures for yourselves on the earth, where moth and rust consume, and where thieves break through and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consume, and where thieves don't break through and steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." Fasting from food is a way to help us start living more simply, not focused on material possessions - "treasures on earth." We may think we own our possessions, but often they possess us. Just as sufficient food is necessary for life but too much food can lead to an early death, so also a necessary minimum of possessions enables us to focus on ministering to others, but too many possessions demand too much of our time and effort to pay for, guard, maintain and use them."

"Four years ago [my wife] and I spent two weeks in Texas where we helped settle my mother's estate. We doled out her few keepsakes among her six children, then I trucked four Jeep-loads of her stuff to a garage sale before loading up the Jeep again with an antique oak table, four chairs, several of her hand-stitched quilts and wall hangings, etc., to bring home. Almost nothing sold at the garage sale, so it was given to a charity."

"What does Psalm 49 tell us about our garages, closets and basements full of "stuff" we have? Verse 11 says: "Their inward thought is that their houses will endure forever, and their dwelling places to all generations. They name their lands after themselves." The Bible says we harbor the illusion that our "stuff" will last forever and provide us security. Do you subconsciously deny the inevitability of your death and the disposal of your "stuff"? Verses 16 and 17 tell us: "Don't be afraid when a man is made rich, when the glory of his house is increased. For when he dies he shall carry nothing away. His glory shall not descend after him." You can't take it with you!"

"St. Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 3:11-15, "For no one can lay any other foundation than that which has been laid, which is Jesus Christ. But if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay, or stubble; each man's work will be revealed. For the Day will declare it, because it is revealed in fire; and the fire itself will test what sort of work each man's work is. If any man's work remains which he built on it, he will receive a reward. If any man's work is burned, he will suffer loss, but he himself will be saved, but as through fire."

"The most important thing is that we've built our life on the firm foundation of faith in Jesus Christ. After that, we can choose to invest our life in eternal values, "gold, silver, costly stones," sharing God's truth and love with others. Or we can choose to spend our life on temporal things, "wood, hay, or stubble," and when our life is spent nothing will be left but ashes. My mother left an eternal, spiritual legacy of four missionary children and two church worker children. How can we number our days and prioritize our time and activities so that we minimize the "wood, hay and stubble" that will end up in an incinerator or a dumpster, and maximize the investing of our energy and resources in eternal value."

(Written by Robert Hosken, a missionary who works with the handicapped in Moscow, Russia)

Edited by: ANTIOCHIA at: 3/11/2008 (09:35)
This is the day that the Lord had made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it. Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit; both now and ever and unto the ages of ages, Amen.
~Ruth Ann
Madison, WI
Link to one of my cookbooks which should also lead you to the rest of them:
recipes.sparkpeople.com/Cookbooks.as
p?cookbook=6445


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ANTIOCHIA's Photo ANTIOCHIA Posts: 2,302
3/7/08 9:05 A

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What are you learning this Lent -- or what have you learned from a previous Lent that you would like to share with us?

I'll start with a pre-Lenten story:

Last year on the Saturday before Forgiveness Sunday, DH and I had to go to an office party (we would have preferred to go to Saturday Vespers, but attendance at this was expected.) On the way home we got into a stupid argument about which was the best route to take home. In my opinion, DH went way out of the way! We were seriously and irrationally mad at each other. I wasn't so sure I wanted to forgive him Sunday evening at Forgiveness Vespers!

The next morning we went to Liturgy as usual and we were surprised to hear Father say, "I've heard a lot of reports that there have been a lot of arguments, and fights about stupid things in the last day or so. This is the work of the devil just before the beginning of Lent. If this is the case in your family, recognize it for what it is, don't worry about it, just forgive each other."

I looked at DH, and we grinned at each other sheepishly. As suddenly as they had come, the angry feelings evaporated! We were off to another Lenten beginning!

God bless you all, and may you make a good beginning!
emoticon
~RuthAnn

This is the day that the Lord had made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it. Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit; both now and ever and unto the ages of ages, Amen.
~Ruth Ann
Madison, WI
Link to one of my cookbooks which should also lead you to the rest of them:
recipes.sparkpeople.com/Cookbooks.as
p?cookbook=6445


 current weight: 175.0 
 
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209.75
186.5
163.25
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