Posts Tagged 'Liturgical year'

About the Samaritan Woman…

and her meeting with Jesus at the well, where she was drawing water.
There is a moment I would like to hold up,
A point of light that has pierced the eye of my heart.
I know that I will have to be satisfied with walking around it,
as it is not the kind of thing that can be pinned down.
Here it is:
That Jesus saw her,
and when that dawned on her,
she was never the same.
In the light of His countenance she was undone,
unwound from her syndrome, wounded with eternity.
In a moment her desire was turned inside out, transfigured.
What possessed her now could no longer be her fragmented,
meandering and wandering ways,
but His seeing of her, and beyond all that she had been,
His showing her and freely offering her
what He knew she had always desired,
beyond her own knowing.
He was not looking at her askance to cast her down.
He was not rebuking her or taunting her,
not dwelling on her miserable failures.
In His knowing, He was turning a light on in her,
springing her out of prison.
The miracle is that she saw HIM,
and so, extricated from her shame,
shot full of wonder and expectation,
she bounded with joy into the town to share this news,
that she had found a man–the seventh one–
that knew her as she had never been known.

Christ God, my Lord and Savior,
I see that you come to me as to that woman,
that you can open my eyes and my heart as you did hers.
You offer me yourself even today
in the cup of Your Life.
As I approach and partake, may the light of Your Presence
pour into the dark well of my confused passions,
a provision of the Living Water
now and unto the ages of ages. Amen

May 6, 2007, The Fifth Sunday of PASCHA, the Sunday of the Samaritan Woman


Note: According to the tradition of the Orthodox Church, the Samaritan woman, who is commemorated on this day, bears the name of Photini: light. She is counted as the first missionary.

From overflowing hearts: Lenten meditation

2 Corinthians 9:6-15

6: The point is this: he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.
7: Each one must do as he has made up his mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
8: And God is able to provide you with every blessing in abundance, so that you may always have enough of everything and may provide in abundance for every good work.
9: As it is written, “He scatters abroad, he gives to the poor; his righteousness endures for ever.”
10: He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your resources and increase the harvest of your righteousness.
11: You will be enriched in every way for great generosity, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God;
12: for the rendering of this service not only supplies the wants of the saints but also overflows in many thanksgivings to God.
13: Under the test of this service, you will glorify God by your obedience in acknowledging the gospel of Christ, and by the generosity of your contribution for them and for all others;
14: while they long for you and pray for you, because of the surpassing grace of God in you.
15: Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift!

The Word of the Cross

For the last few weeks I have been reviewing my journal from Great Lent and Paschaltide 2002. The following are some excerpts from a short treatise by Archimandrite Vaselios, Monastic Life as True Marriage.

Reject no one, forgive everyone, find a place for them in your heart. Pray for them with all your might, regardless of whether they hurt you. Be unable to inflict hurt, incapable of any such thing. Follow the Lord to Golgatha. (Isaiah 53:3: “He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief, and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised and we esteemed him not.”) Be wounded and know how to bear the pain. The Cross must be familiar and acceptable to you as a place to be and a mode of existence.

Then the LORD will come at some time, without fail, as He knows best. He will come and find you. He will speak to you. He will enter into you like light, repose, paradise. You will find yourself inside the icon of the Resurrection. of the Descent into Hell. This icon will be an expression of your life. Christ will be constantly leading you by the hand, bringing you to light, to freedom, to an unending journey which is himself.

How everything functions as a whole!
How nothing is irrelevant, nothing is wasted!
How the blessings go deeper than we hoped!
How the afflictions, the pains and the perplexities till the field of our souls like a deep-cutting ploughshare!
How totally and utterly the strange and heaven-sent rest differs in nature from the rest and satisfaction afforded by any earthly and temporary success!
How it teaches us humility, how it schools us in love, how it reconciles us with others!
It strengthens us, it invigorates us, and at the same time it makes us weaker, without any prickles or sharp corners which could wound others.

Patience

Continuing with transcriptions from The Lenten Spring by Father Thomas Hopko, SVS Press.

[from the Parable of the Sower, Luke 8]:
“And some (of the seed) fell on good soil and grew and yielded a hundredfold”…they are those who, hearing the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bring forth fruit with patience.”

To produce these holy fruits is not any easy task…does not just happen…is neither magical nor mechanical..is a long, hard labor…requires much work…most of all takes patience.

“By your endurance you will gain your lives.” (Luke 21:19)

Patience: to endure…watch…wait, not to hurry and rush…to suffer with and suffer through, in quiet expectation of the hope for result
[union with GOD].

“Count it all joy, my brethren, when you meet various trials, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” (James 1:2-4)

Chastity

More from my notes (transcriptions) from The Lenten Spring by Father Thomas Hopko (SVS Press).

Chastity in the original language..a combination of the word for wholeness and integrity, and the word for wisdom and understanding. It is not something physical or biological..negative..the indication of “something not happening.” It is the positive quality of “having it all together” and “keeping it intact”… a spiritual condition…healthy integration and soundness of body, heart, mind, and spirit…a fundamental..necessity for authentic life.

Almsgiving

This is from my notes on reading from The Lenten Spring by Father Thomas Hopko (SVS Press).

“You gave me food,” “you gave me drink,” “you clothed me” and so on does not indicate one incident, but a constant attitude towards everyone.
The good of one’s neighbor is the only absolute law. The expression of love is the rule in every instance.

St John Chrysostum:
“Since we are all partakers of the same [human] nature, GOD commands and expects our affections toward one another.”

St Anthony the Great:
“Our life is with our neighbor…If we gain our brother, we have gained GOD, but if we scandalize our brother, we have sinned against Christ.”

St Silouan:
“Our brother is our life.”