Monday, September 25, 2017

It happened today as my new friends, catecumens and I stood in the front of our iconostasis, we had such heart-warming conversation about Christ's saints. My friends were not very familiar with the way St. John the Forerunner written on an Orthodox icon. Thus when we stood in the front of his holy icon, one of them asked, "Whose icon is this? An angel?" (may be because he saw the wings) I paused for a while looking at the direction at which icon  he asked. I put on smile and answered rather light-heartedly,"Yes." "But a very special angelos (messenger). He was sent with a very special tiding and greatest news to the mankind. That is to prepare the way for the Messiah to come. He is the one sound in the wilderness calling the people of God into repentance so their hearts may welcome the Kings of all".

"Wait. Saint John the Baptist?" "Yes. You got it right." "He is the greatest prophet, whose life is like those of angel's. His purity, sincerety, bravery, obedience and voluntary asceticism astonish us even until today". I continued.

My friends' eyes sparks with such warmth that he venerate his icon and we further discussed his life and how the church honors him in such deep love.

One of the things that really touched me from our spiritual discussion was how these beautiful saints of God have very poignant thing in common: enduring things voluntarily in their obedience to God. In other words, for those who love God beyond words, they put love and obedience to God in the very first priority of their lives. They voluntarily trust and 'abandon' their lives to Christ that He might use it for much bigger than what they humanely possible.

For Saint John it was his life style. He lived in a harsh place, yet far from complaining and whining, he took this ascetic way of life to glorify God, to live like an angel on earth, voicing God's commands for Israelites to lay aside worldly vanity and lies, to come back to God , repent and receive Him. He voluntarily lived his life in such away that "Christ must be greater and he becomes less and less."

Then upon looking at Panaghia's icon, I was reminded that she too, was such lovely example of how God's chosen voluntarily let God work in her so that His will be done on earth as it is in heaven, beyond words, rather by giving Herself to be the tabernacle of The Most High!

Then, if we trace every saint's life, this thread is of very significant importance: to suffer and be poor voluntarily, to endure every single thing for the sake of love toward God foremostly-- which inevitably directly correlate with love towards neighbors.

This thoughts and reflections brings such sweetness and comfort to my soul. Quite often I found myself blindly wish in my heart that the circumstances change in such away that I can always enjoy (that is, in my favour). I forgot that God's wisdom is far beyond my understanding. Such a great joy it is to know that Our Loving Lord is always there with us among the mundane and even sour life experiences to actually transform us into His likeness. One thing is really necessary: to stop looking at ourselves and playing with self-pity. Rather, to accept it as from God, voluntarily and joyfully endure it for the sake of God's love.

So together with St. John the forerunner we would live a life of voluntary obedience, abandoning our lives in the hands of Good Shepperd and keep following Him to Golgotha and beyond, into His eternal presence. Glory to God for all things!

Thursday, September 21, 2017

I didn't see so much of my fellow Indonesians walking. For me, I do like walking. What I really love in the simple act of walking is that thoughts of gratefulness to be able to trod rather slowly and mindfully the earth and based on my personal experience, ignites sense of simplicity and strength.

Afternoon and evening walk is kind of regular feat for my days and it teaches me to be ever grateful over simple things that God bestows: existence, life, health, strength, air and many others, while being in the real world.

We live in the era when our minds moves so much faster than our body and many of our days are dominated by online activities and staring at our screens. It is highly necessary for us now to moderate the use of our gadgets; to simply be there, silent and be with ourselves, others in the ever presence of God. The streams of news, media, entertainments, thoughts can drive our minds too fluctuative and thus getting it worn out.

It is a wise thing to slow down our lives and to have such will to pause ourself, a kind of fasting from online world in regular bases. Sometimes what we need is sipping our tea in simplicity; staring at nature, seashores and the magnificient works of our Lord without being bugged by our devices. Simply being there, that's a bit of reminder we need to hear.

Monday, September 18, 2017

In the world that hurries
with materialism and worries
when having more fits vain fantasies
yearning to the temporary binges

One thing is needful
which will turn life beautiful
where peace and love made bountiful
to go down deep through path serene and peaceful
the way of renouncing worldly cares and not to be its slave so awful

But in being good steward
who knows the goodness of his Master
thus anxious not, worries not
but abide in joy and constant thanksgiving
no matter small or big
the heavens bestow the treasures manifest in goods
that riches on earth shall pass rather quickly
and serve as nothing except handled charity and mercy toward others

We are but dust and ashes
shaped with love by The Most Beautiful Hands of all
to do His purpose
and to share in His nature by grace
lest the riches of the world trap us
into greed and pride
may it be far from us

Rather, fill our hearts with joy and thanksgiving
this world cannot offer
in the abundance of heavens
in those little things too often overlooked
for it is pleasing to the Lord
the hearts that is full of His praise and childlike
trusting the protection and providence from Good Father,
thus crying out with pure trust:
"Give us this day, our daily bread...."

Blessed is The Lord now and ever and unto the ages of ages!

Sunday, September 17, 2017

It is no secret that focus can bring such enormous result and intensity. Such simple illustration how the magnifying lens can ignite fire when we can get just right angle to focus the light toward an object serve as a reminder. Thus is the power of focus which can also be applied to our daily life.

This thoughts of focus and in fact, re-focusing of life came to my mind this week as I have started to realize how scattered my thoughts, wishes and plans earlier this year. So many things happen so fast and yet I don't see myself making any progress. I succumbed in the comfort zone of wishing but not making any good move. In these times, how I miss to hear from my ever beloved Dad (may His memory be eternal) to not being too harsh to myself but rather to keep my thoughts and sole purpose to Lord Jesus Christ. And I guess he is right. Once I tried to accomplish anything in life without first bowing down to the will of Ever Loving Christ, then that would be something vain.

Sweet is how God's mercy works. He reminded me this week through his beloved that, God is Love. And He called me, "Theophilos" a Greek name which comes from words "Theos" and "Philos", The lover of God. What a beautiful name to bear. You should live it out. Love Christ above all. And those words pierced my soul (nous) as a surgeon's knife works to open and fix my unhealthy parts! He reminded me yet over and over again why I am here doing what I should do: because He loves me and He wants me to love him just like the meaning of my name sugests.

Ah, poor me, how easy it is for this little fellow to be side tracked by the vanity of this world. Of wanting this and that, hoping this and that but forgetting the most essential and needful thing in life: to love Christ and others. This should be our focus (well, my focus) day in day out. Everything will fall into its rightful places if only we know how to work it out by God's grace in our lives. Let us look upon, cling on and cried with ardent love and yearning, "Lord, help me; Lord, I need You every time; Lord I want to love You for You love me so much; Lord Jesus Christ, The Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner."


Thursday, April 6, 2017

There are many tunnels as in channels
Kernels of expressions
exposures as in expansions

How expansive and convenient
to show the world of our magnificence
leaving the inner chamber untouched

Lo, it is the hidden that speaks louder
its sounds and echoes reaches heavens
among the unseen and unheard

What human busies about in his lonely time
What human reach for gratification and comfort
Is it one of the serene silence?
or it is the chaotic and untamed fire?

Is it the locked room where prayers and godly deeds in motion?
or is it bestial desire chasing one another
grabbing the spot light to be on the surface?

Is it silence and balanced thought
of compassion and intercession?

Please ask your soul.

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