Tag Archives: love

Hail Mary Full of Grace

Mother Mary
 Photograph Taken at Mar Gregorios Orthodox Church, Janakpuri, New Delhi

Hail Mary 
We ask you O the Saint full of glory 
the ever Virgin Theotokos 
the Mother of Christ 

We ask you to raise our prayers 
to your beloved son 
that He may forgive us our sins 

Hail to the Holy Virgin 
who bore for us the True Light, 
Christ our Lord 
Ask the Lord on our behalf 
to have mercy upon us and forgive us our sins. 

O Mary the Virgin Theotokos 
the holy and trusted intercessor of the human race, 
intercede for our sake 
before Christ whom you bore 
that He may grant us the forgiveness of our sins. 

Hail to you the Virgin 
the true and just Queen 
Hail to the pride of our race 
who for our salvation 
gave birth to Emmanuel 
We ask you, the trusted intercessor 
to remember us before our Lord 
Jesus Christ 
that He may forgive us our sins. 

From The Coptic Orthodox Agpeya(Book Of Hours)
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The Lilies of the ground!

Flowers in the windPhotograph taken at Windflower resorts, Pondicherry, India

Consider the lilies, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin;yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass which is alive in the field today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you, O men of little faith!:

Luke 12:27-28

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When faith Falls, False Preachers & god men thrive!

This was the topic of debate at the recently held Delhi Inter parish competition for Orthodox Christian students (MGOCSM), also known as Olive. Given the subject, I wanted to provide a personal perspective on the same coming from my background as an Orthodox Christian.

Proverbs 14:15-16 states “A simple man believes in every word, But an astute man comes to repentance. A wise man fears and turns away from evil. But a man without discernment persuades himself to mingle with a lawless man. “

Here simplicity refers to a man who is foolish, naive enough just like the man who built his house upon the sand. Building his foundation on a weak premise, what else did he expect but that the next storm would carry off his dwelling into oblivion? Today, unfortunate as it is, I see more of us being naive in faith versus our faith falling. Falling faith can be attributed to us as a society, but not to us as individuals. We don’t understand what it means to be an Orthodox Christian & like the musk deer that keeps seeking fragrance outside of itself, we look towards other denominations & seek a faith that we have barely tried to understand ourselves.

god men thrive in this environment. A combination of extreme individualism & emotional highs, after all, does seem appealing to most of us. The question to ask is, when did Christianity become about us and not God? When is it that our worship of God started getting defined by MY LANGUAGE, MY CONVENIENCE, MY TIMING, and MY DESIRES & WANTS? Is not God’s first & foremost commandment to LOVE HIM with all our heart, all our mind and all our soul first? When did that change to ‘LOVE MYSELF FIRST’?

It is this sense of individualism that corrupts our souls and makes us susceptible to ‘False Preachers’-god men who preach that who claim that all of our whims & desires are meant to be fulfilled by God, god men who preach that Christ is created, god men who preach that homosexuality, adultery, fornication is okay. Then there are those also who preach that we should hate the sin and hate the sinner as well. What kind of Christians are we, if we choose to judge others when our very lives are full of hypocrisy?

In Matthew 10:16 Jesus tells His disciples “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves’. Do not retaliate to those who do wrong to you but don’t be foolish in your understanding of the gospel such that others take advantage of you and lead you astray.

Yes, god men thrive but they thrive because we are naive, we are foolish.

I am no one to judge whether another denomination is right or wrong. However, as an Orthodox Christian, as belonging to the Church setup by Christ Himself, I know my way of faith is the true faith and hence, ORTHODOX (Ortha: True/Straight  Doxa: Path/Way). It does not just mean that I go to an Orthodox Church every Sunday. What it means is that I strive to live Orthodoxy every single moment of my life and it is about God, not me.

Ask yourself, what does it mean to be an Orthodox Christian? And keep asking, keep seeking, keep knocking. For Christ himself says ‘Ask, and it shall be given you, Seek and ye shall find, Knock and the door shall be opened unto you’ (Matthew 7:7). Let us be the wise man, for he built his house on a rock firm foundation of faith, so that when the storm came, his dwelling was not damaged by it.

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Be the Light to this World!

The Lighthouse

Photograph taken in Pondicherry, India

An inspiring illustration of shining Christ’s light to others occurred during WWII, when the Russians began their counter march against the Nazis. A young Nazi soldier found himself behind Russian lines.  He was bleeding from a gun wound in one arm.  Bewildered and afraid, he found his way into the home of a poor Russian peasant. She welcomed him into her humble home, and offered him food and rest.  He did not understand why she was so kind, since he was her enemy, but before he departed, he noticed how she would stand before her icons of Christ and the saints, praying. This soldier recalled years later, “I could see God living in that home, even though I had never known Him before. Before this, I believed that God didn’t exist, but that the State was my god. And this false god taught me to hate those who didn’t believe as I believed. Although I had never even seen a Bible in my life, no less read one, from the witness of that woman, I came to realize that God was alive because I saw Him in the life of that poor peasant woman.”

A short time later, as this same soldier attempted to find his way back to the German lines, he became lost and returned to the home of this friendly Russian woman, only to discover that her home had been burned down because of what she had done to help an enemy soldier. Well, the soldier did eventually find his way back to the German side, but he found his way back as a new man! He had seen the light of God! And following the war, he decided to dedicate his life to serving Christ and trying to share the light of Christ with others, all because he witnessed God’s love and mercy through this humble Christian woman! – This story is an excerpt of a sermon from here

Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven – Matthew 5:14-16

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The Last Generation

Marine Drive

Photograph taken at Marine Drive, Mumbai, India

The Holy Fathers were making predictions about the last generation. They said ‘What have we ourselves done?’ One of them, the great Abba Ischyrion replied, ‘We ourselves have fulfilled the commandments of God.’ The others replied, ‘And those who come after us, what will they do?’ He said, ‘They will struggle to achieve half our works.’ They said, ‘And to those who come after them, what will happen?’ He said, ‘THE MEN OF THAT GENERATION WILL NOT ACCOMPLISH ANY WORKS AT ALL AND TEMPTATION WILL COME UPON THEM; AND THOSE WHO WILL BE APPROVED IN THAT DAY WILL BE GREATER THAN EITHER US OR OUR FATHERS.’ – From ‘The Sayings of the Desert Fathers’

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Trusting the Lord!

The Fisherman

 

When He had stopped speaking, He said to Simon, “Launch out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.”But Simon answered and said to Him, “Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing; nevertheless at Your word I will let down the net.” And when they had done this, they caught a great number of fish, and their net was breaking: Luke 5:4-6

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God’s ray of Love

Light on water

As God illumines all people equally with the light of the sun, so do those who desire to imitate God let shine an equal ray of love on all people. For wherever love disappears, hatred immediately appears in its place. And if God is love, then hatred is the devil. Therefore as one who has love has God within himself, so he who has hatred within himself nurtures the devil within himself.  – St. Basil the Great, Homily on Asceticism

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Hear My Prayer Oh Lord!

Jesus-Lord & Saviour
Oh Lord who dwellest in the most high
Hear Thou the pain in my cry
Through the night as I sit and sigh
May your presence with me be nigh

My soul longs to be with you my Lord
My heart- It longs for your love my God
For you are a God of Love and Mercy
Grace and goodness, Hope and Righteousness:As many have come to see

Hear thou my prayer, Oh Lord
May my afflictions be comforted by thy word
May thy Spirit in me always dwell
Through Joy and Suffering, may my mouth forever, have only your story to tell

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The Honorable Bee!

the Bee Hive

“The bee is more honored than other animals, not because she labors, but because she labors for others.” – St. John Chrysostom

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The Creator & His Creation!

Wings“You have heaven adorned, earth beautified, the sea populated with its own creatures, the air filled with birds which brighten it in every direction. Studious listener, think of all these creations which God has drawn out of nothing; recognize everywhere the wisdom of God; never cease to wonder, and, through every creature, to glorify the Creator.”-St. Basil the Great

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