Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Lord's Prayer in Old English

I found this striking video as posted by a friend in a Christian discussion forum.  It is supposedly in the standardized West Saxon literary dialect of Old English also known as Anglo-Saxon.   The accompanying landscape videography is most appropriate, being filmed at Arthur's Seat in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Watching this brings to mind the questions of the relationship between prayer and landscape. If, during our corporate prayers, we worship within the Body of Christ, surely in private times of communing with God in a garden, a solitary trail in the woods or by the sea, we are enfolded by the hands of creation.   

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Resting in the Shadow of the Cross

These past few weeks have been busy ones and I have found little time to indulge my thoughts here. Interesting though, how my desire to write is intensified by the time spent apart from it. For me, writing is therapeutic and often helps to sort out issues and focus on the essentials in the Christian life.  Nothing could be truer of this week in particular.

Our son is away for his first experience of church camp and I have had restless moments, wondering if he is having a good time, resting well, making new friends, etc...the list goes on.  My son has often said that I'm overprotective and I can see that he's right... it has been hard to let go this week and completely trust his well being to others.  It's a test of my faith.  How much do I really trust God?

Last night I was struggling, unable to sleep and plagued with anxious thoughts.  I went to my prayer corner, before our icons of Jesus Christ and the Theotokos, lit the candle and wept.  I recalled the words of Fr. Seraphim, from Holy Cross Monastery, who reminds me that it is humility that defeats the snares of satan.  Our enemy knows our weaknesses and will attack us at every turn through those vulnerabilities.  

And so, my prayer was the Jesus Prayer,   "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner"  with prostrations, for satan & his minions cannot bear the true worship of God.  As I signed the cross and sat on the floor watching the flickering flame, peace came.   

"You know, you hold Truth in your hand when you sign the cross" Fr. Seraphim has told me.  By placing your three fingers together you proclaim the Holy Trinity and the last two fingers resting against your palm signify that Christ is both fully God and fully man.  Sometimes this signing of the cross is my prayer ...when I cannot think of words to say, I can rest in the shadow of the glory of the cross.  

As Fr. Peter Gillquist writes in his book, Becoming Orthodox, "...the cross is more than a symbol for earthly decor;  it is a weapon of peace that sets us free from being slaves to sin, death and the devil."   

A mighty weapon indeed. 

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Snapshot ~ Thursday Morning

I am reading:  Father Seraphim Rose, His Life & Works by Hieromonk Damascene

I am listening to:  The Northern Athos Choir of Valaam Monastery

I am seeing:  rain and gray skies and my faithful companions at my feet (Shiloh & Mr. O'Malley)

I am thankful for:  the State Trooper that gave me a warning rather than a speeding ticket ;-)

I am smelling:  L'Occitane Honey incense

I am praying for: Our dog and God's grace to be plentiful in my heart

I have discovered:  that my children always want to wear what's in the dirty clothes basket

I am thinking:  about my road trip this weekend!

One of my favorite things:  hearing my daughter read and make up songs and watching my son tend his tomato plants

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