Both my Norwegian grandfather, and my mother, were avid gardeners, so I grew up surrounded by the beauty of plants and flowers. The cottage garden is a distinct style of garden that is certainly my favorite. The use of traditional materials, in an informal design, together with dense plantings, and a mixture of ornamental and edible plants, is identified the world over as English in origin. The grandeur and formal structure, found in classical English estate gardens, has surrendered to homey and functional gardens that are filled with grace and charm.
The massive plantings of perennials, annuals, vegetables, and plants and flowers of every size and color, display like nothing else, the variety of beauty that bespeaks God's creation. These gardens remind me of people, coming, as we do, in every size and color, all beautiful in our own special way. Some are like climbing roses, reaching to the heavens, and God's glory. Others are like creepers, hugging the ground, and covering large areas like a carpet of green. Some are like cactus, needing little water, while able to living in the ascetic splendor of an Egyptian desert. Others, like water lilies, display beautiful blooms, even while floating in squalid water.
Like plants, we need watering and tending. For Christians, the Waters of Life can be found in baptism, where we are immersed in the Living Waters that bring us into life, standing us before the Creator, Who, like the gardener, tends to our needs, that we may grow and bloom to all our potential.
As we tend to our own heart, we must make sure we have guarded ourselves against the weeds that would strangle us, and smother our full potential as children of God. We must make sure we avail ourselves to the life sustaining food and water, that comes from God as His Uncreated Grace. And, as the Body of Christ, the Church, ("neither male nor female, Greek nor Jew") we will flower together, making up a garden of beautiful souls, basking in the Light of the Son of Righteousness.
With love in Christ,
Denis and Anna Kashkin, and their children, members of Protection of the Holy Mother of God Orthodox Church in Pflugerville, Texas, made a pilgrimage to the monastery on Thursday. Hieromonk Aidan is their parish priest.
Friday August 2, 2013 / July 20, 2013
6th Week after Pentecost. Tone four.
Fast. By Monastic Charter: Strict Fast (Bread, Vegetables, Fruits)
Holy Glorious Prophet Elias (Elijah) (9th c. B.C.).
New Hieromartyrs Constantine and Nicholas priests (1918).
Priest Philosoph Ornalsky and those with him (1918), Juvenal, deacon (1919).
New Hieromartyrs Alexander, George, John, John, Sergius and Theodore priests, Hieromartyrs Tykhon, George, Cosmas and Martyrs Euphimius and Peter (1930).
New Hieromartyr Alexis priest (1938).
St. Alexis Medvedkov, archpriest of Uzine (1934), Elias Fondaminskii (1942), Priest Demetrius Klepinine (1944), George Skobtsov (1944), and Nun Maria (Skobtsova) (1945), of Paris.
Venerable Abramius of Galich or Chukhloma Lake (1375), disciple of Venerable Sergius of Radonezh.
Uncovering of the relics of St. Athanasius, abbot, of Brest-Litovsk (1649).
"Galich-Chukhlomsk" "Tenderness" (1350) and "Abalatsk" ("Sign") (1637) Icons of the Mother of God.
Righteous Aaron the High Priest, brother of Prophet Moses the God-Seer.
Sts. Elias and Flavius, confessors, patriarchs of Jerusalem and Antioch (518).
St. Ilia the Righteous (1907) (Georgia).
St. Ethelwida, widow of King Alfred the Great (9th c.) (Celtic & British).
New Martyrs Lydia, and with her, soldiers Alexei and Cyril (1928).
Venerables Leontius (14 c.) and Sabbas (1392) of Stromyn.
Martyr Salome of Jerusalem and Kartli, who suffered under the Persians (13th c.) (Georgia). You can read the life of the saint in red, by clicking on the name.
THANKS to all of you who have been able to contribute towards the support of the monastery. These difficult times of economic hardship have impacted the monastery, and those of you who have been able to donate, have been our lifeline. May God bless you for your generosity, and kindness.
With love in Christ,
Donations can be made directly to the monastery through PayPal, or you may send donations to:
All-Merciful Saviour Monastery
PO Box 2420
Vashon Island, WA 98070-2420 USA
The Scripture Readings for the Day
12 But above all, my brethren, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or with any other oath. But let your “Yes” be “Yes,” and your “No,” “No,” lest you fall into judgment.
Meeting Specific Needs13 Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms. 14 Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. 16 Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. 17 Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain; and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months. 18 And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit.
Bring Back the Erring One19 Brethren, if anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back, 20 let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins.
23 He said to them, “You will surely say this proverb to Me, ‘Physician, heal yourself! Whatever we have heard done in Capernaum, do also here in Your country.’” 24 Then He said, “Assuredly, I say to you, no prophet is accepted in his own country. 25 But I tell you truly, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, and there was a great famine throughout all the land; 26 but to none of them was Elijah sent except to Zarephath, in the region of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow. 27 And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Elisha the prophet, and none of them was cleansed except Naaman the Syrian.”
28 So all those in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath, 29 and rose up and thrust Him out of the city; and they led Him to the brow of the hill on which their city was built, that they might throw Him down over the cliff. 30 Then passing through the midst of them, He went His way.
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