The Coronavirus Diary of a Joyous Pustinik — 23

serving the orthodox mission in madagascar

Serving the Orthodox Mission in Madagascar


Christus resurrexit! 

Hospitality is a most prominent social feature of our Orthodox Christian Faith. It is impossible for me to visit my spiritual children and friends in Greece, Cyprus or Romania without being showered with the most lavish hospitality. This, of course, involves the most generous portions of delicious food and the most delightful company attended by conversation that continues deep into the night. Despite my best efforts and most fervent protestations about the quantity of food when serving, I invariably return home a kilo heavier!

 Before every meal, the food is blessed and in my experience, there is always consideration for others who may benefit from the generous provisions remaining. I know that at this time many of our Parishes are distributing food to the poor, the elderly and the isolated. Glory to God!


St. Columba, his blessings and the white horse: (Part 1 of 2)


Weary with old age Saint Columba in early May 597 was taken around the Island of Iona on a wagon drawn by a white horse. When he saw his monks working in the field he would stand up and bless them. Whenever he saw cattle or sheep grazing he would stand up and bless them. He also blessed the wild animals and birds that he saw. After this, he went to bless the contents of the barns. He was pleased to see them full and said: “If I have to depart from my family, I shall carry with me the knowledge that they have ample food for the coming year.”


The Meal 


Matthew 25:42:” Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming.”


“What a meal!” the Abbot said

on the feast of St.Wilfred.

“You excelled yourself this time dear brother!”

“The lamb was perfect, like no other.”

“The wine was good too, sweet and red

Better even than the bread.”

“Who was that unexpected guest,

Who appeared at once with all the rest?”

“I’ve no idea” the monk replied

“But I’ve a feeling that he tried

To take some food out to the poor

I saw some beggars at the door. “

“He’ll not come back I’ll see to that

I’d rather feed the kitchen cat.”

He will come back one day you know

To judge all people high or low

And let us pray it’s not too late

To help the one who’s at our gate

The invitation to the heavenly feast

Depends on how we treat the least!



“Prayer, fasting, vigil and all other Christian practices, however good they may be in themselves, do not constitute the aim of our Christian life, although they serve as an indispensable means of reaching this end. The true aim of our Christian life consists in the acquisition of the Holy Spirit. As for fasts, and vigils, and prayer, and almsgiving, and every good deed done for Christ’s sake, they are only means of acquiring the Holy Spirit of God”- St Seraphim of Sarov.

Eν Χριστώ

One comment on “The Coronavirus Diary of a Joyous Pustinik — 23

  1. jacksson says:

    The following is reputed to be by St Columba (Columcille – Colm-kill-eh):

    “Delightful would it be to me
    From a rock pinnacle to trace
    The Ocean’s face:
    That I might watch the heaving waves
    Of noble force
    To God the Father chant their staves
    Of the earth’s course.
    That I might mark its level strand,
    To me no lone distress,
    That I might hark the sea-bird’s wondrous band—
    Sweet source of happiness.
    That I might hear the clamorous billows thunder
    On the rude beach.
    That by my blessed church side I might ponder
    Their mighty speech.
    Or watch surf-flying gulls the dark shoal follow
    With joyous scream,
    Or mighty ocean monsters spout and wallow,
    Wonder supreme!
    That I might well observe of ebb and flood
    All cycles therein;
    And that my mystic name might be for good
    But “Cul-ri. Erin.”
    That gazing toward her on my heart might fall
    A full contrition,
    That I might then bewail my evils all,
    Though hard the addition;
    That I might bless the Lord who all things orders
    For their great good.
    The countless hierarchies through Heaven’s bright borders—
    Land, strand, and flood,
    That I might search all books and from their chart
    Find my soul’s calm;
    Now kneel before the Heaven of my heart,
    Now chant a psalm;
    Now meditate upon the King of Heaven,
    Chief of the Holy Three;
    Now ply my work by no compulsion driven.
    What greater joy could be?
    Now plucking dulse upon the rocky shore,
    Now fishing eager on,
    Now furnishing food unto the famished poor;
    In hermitage anon:
    The guidance of the King of Kings
    Has been vouchsafed unto me;
    If I keep watch beneath His wings,
    No evil shall undo me.”

    Liked by 1 person

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