A Photo Diary of Little Things — 5

 

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View from Agrilia Monastery

More blessings from Kephallonia!

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1.
The old bell tower with St Kosmas church

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St Kosmas Aitolos church

St Kosmas Aitolos church

St Kosmas Aitolos church at the monastery, where St Kosmas preached

St Kosmas

 

Dried Flowers and Tender Buds

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Christ is Risen! A miracle at St. George church in New Moudania, Chalkidiki. 18 days after the Epitaphios, all lillies “looking”towards Him are sprouting anew! Glory to God for all things!

 

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Christ is Risen! A miracle at St. George church in New Moudania, Chalkidiki. 18 days after the Epitaphios, all lillies “looking”towards Him are sprouting anew! Glory to God for all things!

 

A Photo Diary of Little things — 4

Bougainvillea

 Bougainvillaea: most popular especially in Chalkidiki and the islands

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Tendrils! A photo-stroll to the most popular climbers in my suburbs and a few tearful reflections at the end as to why I lately ,often feel like a forlorn tendril …

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Cathedral Bells

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Lately, in my balcony (as sadly I currently live in a big city and have access to only a narrow balcony), and in my long strolls in our suburbs, I have become fascinated with climbers. Especially with tendrils.

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All tendrils reach out, climb over other plants to reach sunlight and twine their stems in particular directions, coiling clockwise and anti-clockwise (no one knows why). Sometimes, tendrils even use tiny grappling hooks on their stems, rather like a mountaineer’s crampons, to get a better grip on their support. 

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Hops

Some tendrils (eg. cathedral bells) have even claws at the end of them that fasten on to objects at the slightest touch; they’ll even hold on to your skin. Such is their need for support, to anchor on to supports. 

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Ivy

Other tendrils climb up steep slopes with ‘instant’ roots, sprouting out of its stems.  Yet others, I read, develop into springs, like a car suspension unit (!), to withstand the elements.

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Jasmin

Some tendrils are slow, but some are fast, like the passionflowers, coiling within about 20-23 seconds after touching. Grapevine tendrils, I am told,  are lined with special, thin-walled cells so they can sense a solid support more easily.

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Beans 🙂

Such Beauty all around me! And yet, sometimes, in so many ways, I feel like a hopeless, forlorn tendril these days, reaching out but unable to be in this tight community mode I have so enjoyed in the past. I am not sure what I miss most.

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Sweet Peas

Is it the Holy Services in the church, the Holy sacraments of which we have been deprived since our Coronavirus lockdown, especially Holy Communion? (How is it possible to celebrate Pascha without receiving Holy Communion? I am no Saint to mystically receive Our Lord in my heart as we read in the synaxaria.) Or is it the immediate fellowship of a spiritual father and brothers, as I have experienced time and again, in monastic and tightly woven parish environments, that I so terribly miss? 

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More Hop climbers

I desperately need to cling to an Elder and senior spiritual brothers. To be sure, the ultimate cling is to God. “My soul hath cleaved unto Thee” (Psalms 63:8) But I do miss obedience for all its struggles. No amount of telephone, mails and emails or digital media can offer the miracle and joy of spiritual osmosis.

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Winegrape; most common in monastery yards in Greece

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener.Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.”“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”

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I have never felt more piercing in my heart these words of Our Lord in John 15, uprooted, separated, cut off, locked down, dejected, as I often, lately feel. Well, this is the closest of a Hell experience I have ever experienced in my life. A most sobering one. If after two months, I feel I can have no more, how scary such an Eternity must be. How many prayers are we to pour out for those departed ones trapped, locked down in ‘this’ Hell… How many tears are we to offer for them and our poor souls, so we do not share their destiny. May we all be saved. Your prayers

 

 

 

The Coronavirus Diary of a Joyous Pustynnik — 13

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Holy Week Highlights — a photoblog. Christ is Risen!

Nymfiosholy unction

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The Saints are delighted with the flowers! I eventually found the card. Thank you dearest sisters. I am overwhelmed, and all the saints in my icon corner are smiling.

Bleeding Crucifix today, on Holy Thursday, now in Athens, in Holy Andreas Chapel, Nursing Home Care

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Greek style! A flying priest! Go to https://ellada.press/vinteo-o-iptamenos-iereas-tis-chiou-edose-pali-resital-telos-sunelifthi/

And Cypriot style 🙂 Holy Saturday Vespers — How to make holy noise — Cypriot style 🙂
Please watch from 1:14:28 up to 1:17, and later, and pay attention to all details His Eminence Metropolitan Morfou

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This is one of the first Icons I “made.” It is a simple print stuck on to a piece of wood. I found it in my attic at the bottom of a cardboard box. 

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The Coronavirus Diary of a Pustynnik — 12

the prayer of silence

Remember the Little things- Day #12

 

Dear friends in Christ- Amidst the chaos of this pandemic and the disturbance to normal life, the most noticeable aspect of this most unusual period is the silence

You may recall those signs at school, ” SILENCE- EXAMINATION IN PROGRESS”; such a silence that we are experiencing at this present time is also a test of what we have learned as Christians.

The lockdown has changed even the way the earth moves and there is a reduction of seismic noise because of the lack of human activity. Silence for some is difficult and they look for distractions. However, silence is not simply an absence of noise, it is the opportunity and context for noetic prayer.

“Prayer,” as Metropolitan Antony Bloom said in his book Courage to Pray, “is an end to isolation- it is living our life with someone. “

“Compel yourselves in silence, the mother of all godly virtues. Keep silent in order to say the Prayer( of Jesus); for; when someone speaks, how is he able to escape idle talk, from which comes every evil word, which weighs the soul down by the responsibility for it:”

Elder Ephraim of Philotheou Monastery, Mount Athos, “Counsels from the Holy Mountain”

 

The Yoke of Christ

 

Matthew 11:29:” Take my Yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”

 

There is no humility of wisdom in argument,

Let the soul be softened by sorrow,

For mysteries are revealed to the humble

And joy the portion of those who follow.

 

Let not anger consume the foolishness of pride

But let the grace of discernment be your diet.

Not every quiet man is humble,

But every humble man is quiet.

 

Meekness is not passive gentleness

It is the strength of contentment through new birth

The imitation of Christ is our Heavenly task

The Blessing, the inheritance of the earth!

 

Reflections on the Beatitudes and on the words of St. Isaac the Syrian

To the Glory of God!

 

“I give praise to your holy Nature, Lord, for you have made my nature a sanctuary for your hiddenness and a tabernacle for your holy mysteries, a place where you can dwell, and a holy temple for your Divinity.” St. Isaac the Syrian

*

“If you are praised, be silent. If you are scolded, be silent. If you incur losses, be silent. If you receive profit, be silent. If you are satiated, be silent. If you are hungry, also be silent. And do not be afraid that there will be no fruit when all dies down; there will be! Not everything will die down. Energy will appear; and what energy!” St. Symeon the New Theologian

Dear brothers and sisters, during this Great and Holy Week the Daily Punstynnik Diary to Remember the Little things will be suspended and hopefully resumed after Pascha in order to concentrate on silence and prayer. Let us thus now dive into this holy silence and let this week’s church services and events speak to us, as they can only do! I wish to all of you a blessed Holy Week! 

 

A photo diary of little things — 1

 

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Dear brothers and sisters,

Christ is in our midst.

This diary of a Pustynnik started making me really observe and feel grateful for all these “little” things. Here are my three pics for today: a stunning view of Mount Olympus from Thessaloniki upper city, a crow bathing in a rain puddle and a baby cavalier which got lost and I helped walk back home.  Glory to God for all things! Please share your “little things”.

Day #1

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