Saturday, January 27, 2018

The Humble Man

How beautiful is it for one man to encounter a truly humble man.  The man who engages in prayer, who worries about his own business and is not prideful in his self-assessment.  When asked about the sins of another man, he does not condemn for he knows that he himself has the capability to do the same.  Instead he prays for him in his heart. 

Though, in a sense, he is focused on his own heart, his heart is not closed.  He seeks to help those who need assistance without seeking a favor in return.

Such is a man who is on the path to Paradise.  Where shall we find him?

Prayer

"To more strongly impress the truth that men ought always to pray, and not to faint (Luke 18:1) and that if their prayer is not soon heard, that they should continue to pray, the Lord told a parable about the judge who did not fear God and neither regarded man. The judge complied at last with the widow’s petition, not because he feared God and regarded man, but only because that widow would not give him peace. So, if such a callous man could not withstand the persistence of this woman’s petition, will not God, who loves mankind and is filled with mercy, fulfill a petition raised up to Him persistently, with tears and contrition?! Here is the answer to why our prayers are often not heard: Because we do not send up our petitions to God zealously, but as though in passing; furthermore, we pray once today, then expect our prayer to be answered by tomorrow, not thinking to sweat and trouble ourselves any more in prayer. That is why our prayer is neither heard nor answered. We ourselves do not fulfill as we ought the law laid down for prayer—the law of hope-filled and zealous persistence."

-St. Theophan the Recluse

Friday, January 26, 2018

Notes to Self

Keep Death Before Your Eyes

Look at the people around you.   Look in the last year how many of them had untimely ends.  Did he know that he was going to suddenly fall ill and die?  How about that woman you thought was going to live for many more years but has now left this world?  You have been given twenty-six years so far and yet you have treated them with the attitude of lukewarmness.  You will die too at a time that gives pleasure to your Lord.  Yet you have not achieved perfection...


Why Are Your Prideful?

If you examine your heart, you will only find pride.  Pride in your achievements.  Pride in the knowledge you have acquired in life.  Why are you so prideful?   Your heart is filled with diseases.  Purify your heart before you make your return to your Master.


Lower Your Gaze

You still have not mastered the virtue of purity.  Whenever a beautiful woman comes to your attention, you do not lower your gaze.  Instead, you find yourself sneaking a glance at her.  Do you not know that this will lead to impure thoughts which will lead to other acts against the decrees of your Lord?  He has given you eyes for your sanctification and yet you abuse the gifts of your Lord.


You Alone Will Face God On The Day of Judgment

Why do you spend so much of your time trying to please the creation instead of the Creator? Will the creation be with you on the terrifying day when you will answer to the Lord for your life?  You should give your love to your family members however you should not follow them if they ask you to do things that offend your Master.  Think oh slave, of the meeting, the encounter that you will have with Him on the Day.

Hellfire

We have been told countless times of the fire that awaits those who spend their lives in disobedience.  Those who made fun of the believers and spent their limited time engaging in vice.  You as well fit in the category of those who live in the swamp of sin.  Instead of making proper repentance, you have made a mansion in the swamp and you have also desired the darkness of the cave.  Why do you do so?  Your time is limited and surely you will be punished in the fire if you do not change.  Hurry!  Hasten!


Time

Since, at the moment, the Lord has not taken your life from you, make proper usage of your remaining time.  Pray, give ongoing charity, engage in brutal warfare against yourself.  Attain victory.  Fight.  If not now, when?


For surely I shall meet Him soon.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

If by Rudyard Kipling

If you can keep your head when all about you
 Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
 But make allowance for their doubting too.
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
 Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
 And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
 If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster,
 And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
 Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
 And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make a heap of all your winnings
 And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
 And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
 To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
 Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on!"

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
 Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
 If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
 With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
 And—which is more—you'll be a Man, my son!