Kisses on the​ forehead

I received this post from an Athonite blog today. Please read it and share it, for it is full of beauty.

https://athonitetestimony.com/kisses-on-the-forehead/

A king visited his soldiers on the front. After encouraging and reassure them, he shook hands with each one. Then he asked the general to take him to the infirmary as well. Mangled, without hands, without feet, full of pus or blood, the wounded soldiers barely moved into their beds. He passed on every sick person, stretched out his hand and congratulated him. When he finished, the King turned to the general, asking, “Is there any one I have not congratulated?” “There is one more in reserve. He’s paralyzed, dumb, blind and deaf. You will not be able to shake hands with him!” The King went to the unconscious soldier’s bed, removed the blanket from his face and kissed his forehead!

Every day, early in the morning, Christ comes to visit His soldiers. He stretches out his hand, encourages them, tells them beautiful words. He cleans the tear of the orphan who is asking for bread. He kisses elders’ eyes widened of loneliness. He caresses the little one who is bullied in school by his colleagues for being a Christian. He bandages the wound of the one who suffers tremendously. He stretches out his hand to the abandoned, abused wife, the one with bruised eyes. After he greets everyone, he does another thing too: He kisses all the sinners on their forehead! The weak ones with hereditary flaws and limited talents. The falling ones. The lost ones. The losers who are playing with fire.

What king bends to kiss a vagabond, an adulterine, the person who ruins the church? What god loves the lost ones? Which of them still embraces when is kissed by a Judah? Who forgives the sinners before they ask to be forgiven?

Do not turn your back to the King. He just started his visit. Let’s prepare ourselves to offer him right now both our cheeks …

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GET AWAY FROM THE SCREENS!

Put. The. Phones. Down.
There is a world out there that is beautiful and fulfilling. Go live in it, regardless of “likes” or “retweets”. Talk to people. Read a book. Help the unfortunate. Spend time with family. Spend time with the former generation who will soon no longer grace us with their presence. Be a healing presence. Get away from the screens!
https://www.yahoo.com/…/instagram-star-smuggled-drugs-likes…

I quote from the article ““It is a very sad indictment on her relative age group in society to seem to get self worth relative to posts on Instagram…It is sad they seek to attain such a vacuous existence where how many likes they receive are their currency. She was seduced by lifestyle and the opportunity to post glamorous Instagram photos from around the world…This highlights the negative influence of social media on young women.

The Influence isn’t just on young women, it’s on every person who locks their lives into social media and the internet. Certainly, there are good things to be found on both -BUT THIS IS NOT HOW TO TRULY LIVE. Christ is Risen and has put Death to death! He did not do this for us to waste our lives vegetating in front of screens! God help us!

It is a remarkable phenomenon…

From St. John of Kronstadt’s “My Life in Christ”

“It is a remarkable phenomenon in nature that, if you put a plant into a large, wide pot or tub, it grows very much at the roots; they thicken, they give out many ramifications, but the tree itself does not grow much in height, and only yields few and small leaves and flowers. But if it is planted in a small pot, then the roots are small, but the plant itself grows rapidly in height and yields beautiful leaves and flowers (if it is the nature of the plant to produce flowers). Is it not the same with man? When he lives in full liberty, in abundance and prosperity, then he grows in body and does not grow in spirit, does not bring forth fruits–good works; whilst when he lives in straightness, in poverty, sickness, misfortune, and afflictions, in a word, when his animal nature is crushed, then he grows spiritually, bears flowers of virtue, ripens and brings forth rich fruits. This is why the path of those who love God is a narrow one.”

Closer

Open confession: I got this from a Facebook site, and am passing it to you. Good Stuff!

“Imagine that the world is a circle, that God is the center, and that the radii are the lives of human beings. When those who wish to come closer to God walk towards the center of the circle, they come closer to one another at the same time as to God. The closer they come to God, the closer they come to one another. And the closer they come to one another, the closer they come to God.”

+ St. Dorotheus of Gaza

The Lord is near!

From St. John of Kronstadt’s “My Life in Christ”

All possible sins and passions are ready to break into the soul, and strive to do so at every moment. But fight against them valiantly and vigilantly unto your last breath, looking upon them as dreams of your imagination, as illusions of the spirits of evil.

Be so sure of the Lord’s nearness to you that you may feel when praying to God that you touch Him not only with your thought and heart, but also with your mouth and tongue. ” The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart;” that is God.

The Lord is Everything!

From St. John of Kronstadt’s “My Life in Christ”

When praying, endeavour by every means to feel in your heart the truth and the power of the words of the prayer; feed yourself upon them as upon an imperishable food; water your heart with them as with a dew; and warm yourself by them as by means of a beneficial fire.

The Lord is everything to me: He is the strength of my heart and the light of my intellect. He inclines my heart to everything good; He strengthens it; He also gives me good thoughts; He is my rest and my joy; He is my faith, hope and love; He is my food and drink, my raiment, my dwelling place. .As a mother is everything to her infant—its mind, will, sight, hearing, taste, smelling and feeling, as well as its food and drink, its clothing, hands and feet—so, likewise, the Lord is everything to me, when I yield myself wholly unto Him. But, alas! when I fall away from the Lord, then the Devil enters into me, and if I did not turn my heart’s gaze towards the Lord, did I not, amidst the enemy’s oppression, call upon the Lord for help, then the Devil would have been, as he sometimes is, very evil to me: malice, despondency, perfect feebleness towards everything good, despair, hatred, envy, avarice, blasphemous, wicked and impure thoughts, contempt for everything—in short, he would have been, and sometimes is, my intellect, my will, sight, hearing, taste, smell, feeling, my hands and feet. Therefore, put your trust in the Lord. He is that which is, infinite in holiness, omnipotence, grace, mercy, bountifulness, and wisdom.

“Do not confound man…”

From St. John of Kronstadt’s “My Life in Christ”

Do not confound man—that image of God—with the wickedness that is in him, because the wickedness is only accidental, his misfortune, sickness, an illusion of the Devil; but his being—the image of God—still remains in him.

If you sin in any way before God (and we sin every day greatly), immediately say in your heart, with faith in the Lord, who hears the sobs of your heart, with the humble acknowledgment and feeling of your sins, the Psalm: ” Have mercy upon me, O God, after Thy great goodness;” and say the whole Psalm heartily. If it does not take effect the first time, try again, only say it still more heartily, still more feelingly, and then salvation and peace of soul shall speedily shine upon you from the Lord. Thus be always contrite; this is the true proved remedy against sins. If still you do not obtain relief, blame yourself. It shows that you have prayed without contrition, without humility of heart, without a strong desire to obtain forgiveness of sins from God; it shows that you are not deeply grieved at your sin.

If I have sinned, the Lord is my cleansing; if I am despondent or gloomy after sin, from the offences of the enemy, the Lord does away with my despondency and revives my boldness. The Lord is everything to me. O Lord, Which truly is (Which is—that is, Who exists), glory to Thee!