George Herbert, Maundy Thursday

Dover Beach

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Philosophers have measured mountains,
Fathom’d the depths of seas, of states, and kings,
Walk’d with a staff to heaven, and traced fountains
But there are two vast, spacious things,
The which to measure it doth more behove:
Yet few there are that sound them; Sin and Love.

Who would know Sin, let him repair
Unto Mount Olivet; there shall he see
A man, so wrung with pains, that all his hair,
His skin, his garments, bloody be.
Sin is that Press and Vice, which forceth pain
To hunt his cruel food through every vein.

Who knows not Love, let him assay,
And taste that juice, which on the cross a pike
Did set again abroach; then let him say
If ever he did taste the like.
Love is that liquor sweet and most divine,
Which my God feels as blood; but I, as wine.

George Herbert

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Nicholas of Serbia: “Truth is a Person”

Our making an object of truth, rather than the person is a deep mistake!

Dover Beach

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“Truth is not a thought, not a word, not a relationship between things, not a law. Truth is a Person. It is a Being which exceeds all beings and gives life to all. If you seek truth with love and for the sake of love, she will reveal the light of His face to you inasmuch as you are able to bear it without being burned.”

St. Nicholas of Serbia

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Ineffable Nature

Gregory of Nyssa

We learn about the ineffable nature of the good from the Apostle. He says that the eye has not seen that good even though it sees it for the eye does not completely see the good as it is, but only as it receives the good. The ear as well does, not completely hear the Word, but according to its manifestation even though the ear always listens to it. Also, the Word does not enter the heart of man even if the pure in heart always see it. Although the stage attained is indeed greater than what a person had earlier, this stage does not limit his good; rather, the limit of his achievement becomes a beginning for the discovery of higher blessings. The person rising never stands still. He moves from one beginning to another, for the beginning of even greater blessings is never limited. The desire of a soul thus rising never remains in its knowledge, but by an an ever greater desire, it moves onwards. The soul thus progresses through higher realms towards the unbounded.  ~ Gregory of Nyssa

Amphora

Stephen G Hipperson

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When they were in the early days of constructing the Metropol Parasol they discovered some really cool Roman remains, including some lovely floors.  Some creative thinking by all those concerned has allowed an exhibition area, called the Antiquarium, to be included in the base of the Parasol, displaying the floors and giving some background to the trades that were carried out there.

—Stephen—

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Being forgiven is only the beginning . . .

Starets Silouan

Starets Silouan

THE first year after I had received the Holy Spirit I thought to myself: The Lord has forgiven me my sins: grace is witness thereof. What more do I need? But that is not the way to think. Though our sins be forgiven we must remember them and grieve for them all our lives, so as to preserve a contrite heart. I did not do this and ceased to be contrite, and suffered greatly from evil spirits. And I was perplexed at what was happening to me, and said: My soul knows the Lord and His love. How is it that evil thoughts come to me? But the Lord had pity on me, and taught me the way to humble myself: Keep thy mind in hell, and despair not. Thus is the enemy vanquished; but when my mind emerges from the fire the suggestions of passion gather strength again.  ~ Starets Silouan