Follow Us

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

     “O Lord, thou art my God; I will exalt thee, I will praise thy name; for thou hast done wonderful things, plans formed of old, faithful and sure. For thou hast made the city a heap, the fortified city a ruin; the palace of aliens is a city no more, it will never be rebuilt. Therefore strong peoples will glorify thee; cities of ruthless nations will fear thee. For thou hast been a stronghold to the poor, a stronghold to the needy in his distress, a shelter from the storm and a shade from the heat; for the blast of the ruthless is like a storm against a wall…” (Is 25: 1-4)

     In today’s reading from Isaiah, the Prophet contrasts merely-human plans, symbolized here by city-building, with God’s “plans formed of old, faithful and sure.” The merely-human “city,” insofar as it is...

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

   “I am yours, save me (Σός εἰμι ἐγώ, σωσόν με / Твой есмь аз, спаси мя); for I have sought after your statutes.” (Ps 118/119: 94)

     How simple and bold, to say to God: I am Yours! (So) save me! And we can all say that, indeed we are all invited to say that, in the words of this beautiful Psalm, handed down to us from ancient times. It has been a cry from the heart of so many children of God, struggling like us, and praying these words in their ups and downs of “seeking after His statutes,” throughout the ages.

     Let me join them today, and ask God to “save” me, that is, to “bring me home,” from my wanderings-off outside of Him, if for no other reason than the fact that I am His. And I have “sought after” His statutes, to various degrees of success and failure, but rema...

Thursday, March 14, 2019

     “The lofty looks of man shall be humbled, the haughtiness of men shall be bowed down, and the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day. For the day of the Lord of hosts shall come upon everything proud and lofty, upon everything lifted up, and it shall be brought low…” (Is 2: 11-12)

     How unusual and refreshing, to have these readings from the ancient Prophet Isaiah on the weekdays of Lent! (Just FYI, the Prophet Isaiah is read at “The Sixth Hour” or “Sext” on the weekdays of Byzantine Lent). In the reading for this Thursday, quoted above, we learn that all our “lofty looks,” “haughtiness,” and other masks with which we might present one another, and torment one another, will be “bowed down” in the “day” of the Lord. So if we’re tormented today, either by living a...

Monday, March 11, 2019

     “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep; and the Spirit of God was moving over the face of the waters. And God said, ‘Let there be light’; and there was light. And God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, one day.” (Gen 1: 1-5)

     Lent (re)-introduces us to the “basics” of our faith, like a catechetical program. So today, as those of us on the Orthodox church-calendar begin Lent, at Vespers we have this reading from the very beginning of the Bible. It takes us back to the very beginning of our “common story,” when God first created somethin...

Saturday, March 31, 2018

     “Then Jesus, deeply moved again, came to the tomb; it was a cave, and a stone lay upon it. Jesus said, ‘Take away the stone.’ Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to him, ‘Lord, by this time there will be an odor, for he has been dead four days.’ Jesus said to her, ‘Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?’ So they took away the stone. And Jesus lifted up his eyes and said, ‘Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you hear me always, but I have said this on account of the people standing by, that they may believe that you sent me.’ When he had said this, he cried with a loud voice, ‘Lazarus, come out.’ The dead man came out, his hands and feet bound with bandages, and his face wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, ‘Unbi...

Thursday, March 29, 2018

     “Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has contentions? Who has complaints? Who has wounds without cause? Who has redness of eyes? Those who linger long at the wine, those who go in search of mixed wine. Do not look on the wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup, when it swirls around smoothly; at the last it bites like a serpent, and stings like a viper. Your eyes will see strange things, and your heart will utter perverse things. Yes, you will be like one who lies down in the midst of the sea, or like one who lies at the top of the mast, saying: ‘They have struck me, but I was not hurt; they have beaten me, but I did not feel it. When shall I awake, that I may seek another drink?’ Do not be envious of evil men, nor desire to be with them; For their heart devises violen...

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

     “…Thus he spoke, and then he said to them, ‘Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I go to awake him out of sleep.’ The disciples said to him, ‘Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will recover.’ Now Jesus had spoken of his death, but they thought that he meant taking rest in sleep. Then Jesus told them plainly, ‘Lazarus is dead; and for your sake I am glad that I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.’ Thomas, called the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, ‘Let us also go, that we may die with him.’” (Jn 11: 11-16)

      The above-quoted conversation happens “today” (in liturgical time), and two days after Jesus was informed that His friend, Lazarus, had fallen ill back in Bethany. So, “today” Lazarus dies, and four days from now, on Saturday, the Lord will...

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

     “A haughty look, a proud heart, and the plowing of the wicked are sin. The plans of the diligent lead surely to plenty, but those of everyone who is hasty, surely to poverty.” (Prov 21: 4-5)

    Throughout our Lenten journey, for almost six weeks now, we have had a reading at weekday-Vespers from the most “practical” book of the Bible, Proverbs. These readings, (including the one for today, part of which is quoted above), offer me practical, “how to” bits of ancient wisdom, on wise and healthy living. We have these readings specifically during Lent, because Lent is, among other things, a time of both physical and spiritual renewal; of healthy work-habits, eating-habits, praying-habits, resting-habits, and healthy “plan-making” for all this, on a daily basis. In the passage qu...

Monday, March 26, 2018

     “Now a certain man was ill, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. It was Mary who anointed the Lord with ointment and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was ill. So the sisters sent to him, saying, ‘Lord, he whom you love is ill.’ But when Jesus heard it he said, ‘This illness is not unto death; it is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified by means of it.’ Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So when he heard that he was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was. Then after this he said to the disciples, ‘Let us go into Judea again.’ The disciples said to him, ‘Rabbi, the Jews were but now seeking to stone you, and are you going there again?’” (Jn 11: 1-8)

     On this final, sixth w...

Saturday, March 24, 2018

     “Now Jacob went out from Beersheba and went toward Haran. So he came to a certain place and stayed there all night, because the sun had set. And he took one of the stones of that place and put it at his head, and he lay down in that place to sleep. Then he dreamed, and behold, a ladder was set up on the earth, and its top reached to heaven; and there the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. And behold, the Lord stood above it and said: ‘I am the Lord God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie I will give to you and your descendants. Also your descendants shall be as the dust of the earth...’” (Gen 28: 10-13)

     The narrative in Genesis 28 about “Jacob’s ladder” is one of our readings for this Akathist-Saturday, on which we take...

Please reload

  • Facebook Basic Square
  • Twitter Basic Square
  • Google+ Basic Square

© Coffee with Sister Vassa Inc.

  • Odnoklassniki Social Icon
  • YouTube Reflection
  • Facebook Reflection
  • Vkontakte App Icon
  • Twitter Reflection
  • Google+ Reflection

Website designed by