The little things in life, the small tender moments are what makes life so worth living. They are to precious to rush by them. Sometimes all it takes is one word to make someone else happy, or to recall to you someone who has meant so much to you in your lifetime. It's perhaps, a song, or an expression, facial or otherwise. All life is so important and such a gift.
Today, its going to be marvelous, perhaps in the sixties. I just went outside and things are melting quickly, so by time I actually take in my walk, it will be heavenly.
Years ago, I planted pussy willows that came from a tray which filled the perimeter that contained the cross of Christ, on the feast day of Holy Cross. Pussy willows are a sign of new life, one that only Christ can give. That was probably twenty-five years ago, that I planted the few twigs which had sprouted roots. It was carefully guarded through the years, having been blessed, by three sticks which it eventually surpassed in height. Several years ago, it got its first pruning, and today I cut the first pussy willows from it, which I placed in my Icon corner.
Life is like that, a few seeds produces much. It is through toil and care that we arrive at a stage of pruning. Pruning so we can arrive at at stage of beauty and produce good fruit. I thought it looked healthier this year, as we have had several trees removed a few years back and it now gets more sun.
This time of the year especially, we are prayerful, asking our Lord, according to His great and rich mercy, to shine upon us sinners and provide for us both physically and spiritually. For the Lenten spring has come, and we like the tree, and all life, are crying out to the giver of life. Life is designed to be renewed, having cycles. Having need. And, we are required to ask in order to receive.
We have a need to be forgiven and to forgive. On the fourth Sunday of the Triodion period, the Sunday of forgiveness, provides for us the opportunity to ask someone that we have hurt in some way, to forgive us. This is a two way street. Until we can forgive our brother, God does not hear us when we pray. Unlike nature, this is essential for our life. Reconciliation with God and each other fulfills one of our greatest needs, even above love, peace, and joy. Without forgiveness, we are the living dead, incapable of love, as we are cut off from our creator. How can we have love within us if we have hatred toward our brother? We are commanded to love even our enemies. Love the sinner, but despise the sin. Let us then have the courage to take the first step in resolving our differences.
We also have the need to thank God for what he has given us and that is more than we are capable of understanding. "Father forgive them for they know not what they do." One of the things that humanity has got to learn and has to be forgiven for, and cease doing, is the destroying of it's own kind. Life is God's greatest gift. What are we thinking? Do we have the right to take such matters into our own hands? Shouldn't all decisions concerning life and death be determined by our maker, fashioner, and our God? Playing God is dangerous...I am thankful for the vessel of the Church, who is available to us, helping us with questions having great consequences concerning life.
Let us today, receive the arch of salvation, through Christ and like Noah, build a vessel in our hearts that overcomes the storms in life, the raging relentless waters, beginning with one drop at a time, keeping our focused and ever present journey toward Pascha, the day of the Resurrection of Christ, where all things are renewed and made new in us and for us. And in that vessel, we plant seeds of forgiveness, hope, love, joy and peace, for that life in us which springs eternal. This is your Lenten Spring. Let your voice be heard, crying out to the Giver of Life.
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