The Coronavirus Diary of a Pustynnik — 8

feeding birds

Remember the little things  #8

I have been reflecting greatly upon the first miracle of Our Lord which took place in Cana of Galilee, when, as a guest at a wedding, He changed water into wine. (John 2:1-11) The sheer grace and magnitude of this sign left me reflecting on how we work miracles and show hospitality in lockdown mode?

 Yesterday I had a knock on the door and there outside were two parishioners kindly and most generously bringing me some household items. As they stepped back two metres, it gave me the opportunity to offer them some incense, charcoal, floats, wicks and candles for their worship at home. We exchanged some kind and encouraging words through the “Chapel “window and they left.

 I know others from our God blessed Community who also go to the help of the poor, shop for the housebound and enrich the lives of others by their invitation to join them with online fellowship. 

However, I must tell you I show hospitality to some winged secret” guests .” Angels maybe in the Divine services, but I am talking about feeding the birds. Each day I leave some morsels of bread or nuts on my garden wall but whilst my back is turned they swoop down and take that which is given! So no photos!

 We too can change bitter waters into sweet wine if we show compassion, kindness and meekness.

The poem which follows is dedicated to my dearly departed spiritual father who showed me great kindness and hospitality and whose meekness was beyond compare.


The Wedding Banquet

John2:2 “Now both Jesus and His disciples were invited to the wedding.”


In South Cambridge Newnham terraces*, a place of late Victorian Mews

Where once the Deans of Cambridge held romantic rendezvous;

There is greater love in West View, which is from the east and old

That issues forth from Cana where living streams bear gold.

Where once the Saviour graced a marriage and turned water into wine

His disciples now shelter others in the branches of His Vine.

Here dwells a confluence of Christian souls of hearts and constant minds

Since “Love is not love which alters when it alteration finds.”

Such living streams of wisdom meander to a calm Bethesda pool

“Love never ends,” it is eternal for “Love is not time’s fool.”

“Love bears all things, believes all things hopes and endures all things”

Transcending any human love and in hands of angels brings

The indwelling of the Holy Guest with an invitation to the poor

To glimpse the wedding feast of the Father’s House through a simple terraced door.


“Oh, what great happiness and bliss, what exaltation it is to

address oneself to the Eternal Father. Always, without fail, value

this joy which has been accorded to you by God’s infinite grace

and do not forget it during your prayers; God, the angels and

God’s holy men listen to you.”


St. John of Kronstadt

*This poem refers to the home of my spiritual father and his Khouriya in Cambridge, England, and their enduring love.

My love and prayers,

Eν Χριστώ



10 comments on “The Coronavirus Diary of a Pustynnik — 8

  1. Thank you for a beautiful post.
    I have had the blessing of little chickadees eating sunflower seeds from my hand, and that is one of my most precious memories. 🤗

    Liked by 2 people

  2. jfreeder says:

    Little things can be considered big things; it is a matter of perspective. If we could talk to the crow, he would probably say that taking his bath was a big thing.

    That reminds me of the tendency that we have to consider our personal sin as a little thing while in the eyes of God it is a big thing. My little thing is a tendency to look at those in power and be critical (judging) about their activities. I minimize the words that describe the sin (critical) to make them seem less bad. I was reading an article this morning written around the Life of St Silouan where his various writings on twenty six steps on love and found that way down the list (the baby steps towards love) it mentions these little things that inhibits love towards our neighbor.

    I have a retired chicken enclosure that is being used (now) by the monastery to give their three (white) doves more room to live like wild birds. They have really taken to the situation and now the original three doves became four doves and just a few days ago, two more babies were hatched and are growing rapidly. I also have three chickens in the pen; they were the excape artists from the monastery chicken pen who would get out every day create havoc in the gardens. So in my retired pen I now have six doves and three chickens. Kind of little thing that gives me joy. I will try to get some pictures.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. jfreeder says:

    St Paisios talked to lizards and they replied in audible Greek; I am sure that he could talk to crows too. We could too if we were pure enough.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. jfreeder says:

    Here is a picture of the chicken house with the monastery about 1/2 mile away. To the right of the main catholicon is the dome of the Dormition cemetery chapel. I get this view from my dining room window as I eat.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. jfreeder says:

    I was unable to post the photo. ??? And I accidently hit the post comment button.


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