Welcome back and thank you for your patience !
A special welcome and thank you also to Father Gregori, who has kindly been praying for our family and he is posting from a much colder climate than we have here in South Wales !
We are still awaiting our forecasted snow, but at the moment we have sunshine and blue skies.......
Huw Raphael posted a brilliant and thought-provoking exposition on the message of the Publican and the Pharisee which stopped me dead in my tracks.
The idea of simplicity of prayer is developed by Fr Stephen as he ponders on Metropolitan Anthony of blessed memory`s book "Learning to Pray".
Fr John gives a link to the glorification video of St Xenia of St Petersburg, which I had never seen before. I have two icons of St Xenia, whose selfless love for her husband and her concern for his salvation puts me to bitter shame. I endeavour to follow her example......
Seth kindly provides the text of a sermon about the Mother of God delivered by Metropolitan Anthony of blessed memory, which merits close reading. May we all benefit from the Theotokos` holy prayers as we prepare for Great and Blessed Lent and the glorious Feast of Holy Pascha !
Many Christian denominations embrace the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. It is a topic of concern for many Orthodox, for a variety of reasons. Christopher has posted an interesting article detailing his "take" on the matter .
Fr Stephen also posts a deep article on the topic of Guardian Angels. Each child in our home has their own Guardian Angel icon by their beds, and our bedtime routine involves invoking the prayers of our Guardian Angels. I can`t imagine **not** doing this
During my web-wanderings, I found a great resource ; a Romanian Orthodox Priest`s Service Book in English ! There are prayers for so many different circumstances listed here ; I have found many relating to my needs and hope you will also find them of use.
Another resource is the blog of the Voice of Moscow radio station, which comes via a Lutheran church who have kindly made this available to "learn about our Russian Orthodox Christian compatriots, their rich history, music, composers, performers, writers, sermons, and Saints' lives and work".
They are true to their word and give links to wonderful excerpts from the writings of the Optina elders, St John of Kronstadt and St Dimitri of Rostov, amongst many others.
Another resource providing amazing links to Akathists, Canons and Services to many different Saints can be found here
Out of curiosity, I searched Google video to see if The Silent Scream anti-abortion film was posted, and it is indeed available to watch. This is one of the first pieces of pro-life film I saw, before I became a midwife, and it still horrifies me to watch it. Be warned, it is graphic and disturbing, and is happening all over the world as we read this.
It was filmed in the earlier days of ultrasound scanning, and as the technology has improved exponentially since then, it would be technically possible to depict a child being dismembered in 3-D now. I find this version horrific as it is.........Lord have mercy on us all.
On a happier note, I will end by posting a link to the audio chant of the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord in the Temple .
I`m sorry this is shorter than usual, but I hope you will all find something of value here !