Thursday, December 04, 2014

Today's JAR- Celebrating St. Nicholas

Today's JAR- just a reminder

Saturday is the Feast of St. Nicholas. In this season of Santa Claus and gift giving, celebrating St. Nicholas with charity and hospitality is a great way to remember and honor the saint. 

I find it ironic when we spend the day shopping for Christmas gifts, playing Santa, and end up too busy to acknowledge the saint who inspired him. Start the day with Liturgy, and drop off a donation to a shelter, visit a nursing home or even treat someone to lunch. 

St. Nicholas is a wonderful and beloved saint of the Orthodox Church. 
  His Apoylitikion in Greek on Youtube...

Apolytikion of Nicholas the Wonderworker in the Fourth Tone

A model of faith and the image of gentleness, the example of your life has shown you forth to your sheep-fold to be a master of temperance. You obtained thus through being lowly, gifts from on high, and riches through poverty. Nicholas, our father and priest of priests, intercede with Christ our God that He may save our souls.


For the parents..
One tradition is to leave candy, money and fruit for your children on the feast of
St. Nicholas, in memory of the many people he helped through charity. 

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The Secret to Wanting Less


Do not desire many things--
more than you have, that which is far away.
Rather, seek to take care of what you have
so as to sanctify it.
- Gerontissa Gavrielia
This quote from Mother Gavrielia has comforted me for many years.  I think it's a perfect reflection for the Thanksgiving holiday.  There are many ways we might not feel satisfied and are convinced that having more and different would give us peace.  But that is rarely true.
I hope that these weeks of advertised abundance and preparation for our celebration of "Christmas" do not take away our sanctification and peace in the saving news of our Lord's Birth.  I hope these coming days are days of  feeling blessed, satisfied and peaceful; not wanting.  If we are finding ourselves in want, let us be sure we have fully taken care of what we already have. 


Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Life Simply Lived

Matthew 6

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.


When it comes to a life simply lived, no one does it better than the monks and nuns of the Orthodox Church. Committing themselves to a life of prayer, askesis (strict self discipline) and obedience, they live with few possessions and luxuries. The monastic folk song, God’s Love Abides, brings to mind the passage in Matthew 6: 25-34, that speaks of how the birds of the air and the flowers of the field have no worries. Monastics take this to heart for comfort and assurance. It’s relevant in the lyrics that sweetly describe a person’s longing for the monastic life..

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Christmas Cards On Sale Now

Send your hundreds of friends the cheap Christmas cards from the Super Stores, 
But send your favorite people a card from V's Cardbox.  

The Thanksgiving Sale is still on!  Christmas Cards 1/2 off. 

Today's JAR - Keeping Christ in Christmas

Today's JAR just a reminder

The Advent Fast begins on Saturday, November 15th... But since the 14th is a fast day, TODAY is the last day to eat meat (and depending on how strictly you are planning to fast... )

Remember to stay focused on the feast day and less on the festivities.  After all, Keeping Christ in Christmas doesn't mean saying "Merry Christmas" instead of "Happy Holidays." There is a deeper meaning to this phrase.  Keeping Christ in Christmas means that we respect that this is a religious holiday and are following the traditions the church has protected.  We fill these days with prayer, fasting and alms giving not  lists to Santa for our wants, Christmas parties and overspending on gifts to give to friends, who already have everything they could possible need; meanwhile, ignoring the poor and shut-in. 

this card is available at

Keep Christ in Christmas... And remember it is a religious holiday.