Springtime.

Elder Ephraim

Living in Michigan is a beautiful thing.  

Si Quæris Peninsulam Amœnam Circumspice.    If you seek a pleasant peninsula, look about you!! 

Great lakes, crystal clear water, magnificent forests, fast-moving rivers, ‘mountains’ (i.e. big hills) up north, and arguably the world’s very best beaches (available for sun-bathing about 100 days a year!)  

Lake Michigan Sunset

 

But this past Spring in the Wolverine state has been one miserable and lengthy test of patience and affliction.  Take your pick: either it was cold or windy or rainy, or  it was cold, windy and rainy. 

However, summer has come.  Spring has sprung.    Thanks be to God!

 

Here is some wonderful Athonite wisdom from Elder Ephraim of St. Anthony’s Monastery taken from the book “Counsels from the Holy Mountain: Selected from the Letters and Homilies of Elder Ephraim.

 

 

Chapter One – On Salvation and Paradise.

Now in the springtime, when nature is wearing its most beautiful apparel, one feels inexpressible joy when this natural beauty is accompanied by a sublime spiritual state. Truly, our holy God has made all things in wisdom!  The soul cannot get enough of beholding the beauty of nature. Oh, if man would only lift his mind above this earthly realm to the heavenly Jerusalem, to the inconceivable beauty of paradise where the finite, earthly mind ceases to operate! If here in exile, in this accursed land of weeping, our holy God has given us so much beauty to enjoy, I wonder how much there will be in the place where God Himself dwells! Truly, “the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the coming glory and bliss.” (cf. Rom. 8:18 ).

Theosis in the heavens, my child! There the Lord our God will remove every tear from our eyes, and do away with all sorrow and pain and sighing, for there the angelic way of life reins, and the only work is to chant hymns and spiritual odes! An eternal Sabbath is prepared for us where we shall live in joy with our Father, God, Who is waiting for us to be ready so that He may call us to Him forever! There every saved soul will live…

      …in an ocean of love, sweetness, joy, amazement, and wonder!

Anaphora!

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