Everyday opportunities for gratitude…

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Every day we are given opportunities for acquiring a grateful heart. Whatever comes our way, whether it be good or bad, are occasions for being grateful. When we realize that even difficulties and hardships are allowed by God for our salvation, we are more likely to received whatever comes, with a grateful heart. Whatever life places before us, all is an opportunity to give thanks to God.

The difficulties we face are opportunities to embrace with a trusting heart, that which God has allowed. Our willingness to please God governs our response, and in turn nurtures a humble heart, and a humble heart opens the doors to a peace that passes all understanding, and the Gates of Paradise are opened wide to us.

+ Abbot Tryphon

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What Millennials are searching for…

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Millennials aren’t looking for a hipper Christianity. We’re looking for a truer Christianity, a more authentic Christianity. Like every generation before ours and every generation after, we’re looking for Jesus–the same Jesus who can be found in the strange places he’s always been found: in bread, in wine, in baptism, in the Word, in suffering, in community, and among the least of these.

– Rachel Held Evans, Searching for Sunday

[They’re seeking Orthodox Christianity, yet they likely don’t even know it.]

Losing our own humility…

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For the holy men of old, whatever they suffered, they suffered for God’s name, either to demonstrate their virtue and so to help everyone else, or to win greater reward from God. But we miserable fellows, how can we say this? Every one of us goes on sinning and suffering what we deserve. We have left the straight road of blaming ourselves and taken the crooked road of blaming our neighbor. Every one of us is very careful, on every occasion, to throw the blame on his brother and to strike him down with its weight. Every one of us is negligent and keeps none of the Commandments, and we demand in return that our neighbor keep them all.”

– Dorotheos of Gaza

Even our weakness can’t thwart God

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“There is nothing impossible unto those who believe; lively and unshaken faith can accomplish great miracles in the twinkling of an eye. Besides, even without our sincere and firm faith, miracles are accomplished, such as the miracles of the sacraments; for God’s Mystery is always accomplished, even though we were incredulous or unbelieving at the time of its celebration. “Shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect?” (Rom. 3:3). Our wickedness shall not overpower the unspeakable goodness and mercy of God; our dullness shall not overpower God’s wisdom, nor our infirmity God’s omnipotence.“

+ St John of Kronstadt

The river suffering…

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“And I saw a river over which every soul must pass to reach the kingdom of heaven and the name of that river was ‘suffering’… And then I saw a boat which carries souls across the river and the name of that boat was ‘love.’”

(1542-1591 – Spanish Mystic, Theologian) – St. John Of The Cross

The pleasure passes, what remains?

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Brother, if you commit a sin and take pleasure in it, the pleasure passes but the sin remains. But if you do something virtuous even though you are tired, the tiredness passes but the virtue remains.

~ Camillus de Lellis