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Living in Expectation of Miracles
While just a little boy in the Lutheran Church, I remember asking the pastor why we didn't see miracles in the church like had happened in the Bible. He told me they were used in New Testament times to jump start the church, and were not needed now. As a boy of about ten, I remember feeling cheated, for I wanted to see miracles, and felt we still needed them in this age.
There is a Coptic man in Irvine, California, who prayed for help from Saint George the Great Martyr, only to have the saint appear before him, and gift him with a wooden cross. Within a short time this cross was gushing forth holy myrrh, and healing to those who'd been anointed with it. A Coptic priest friend showed me the video of the cross, and the myrrh was literally gushing out of the cross and into a bucket, continuously.
The Myrrh Streaming Icon of the Mother of God of Hawaii is another example of holy myrrh streaming forth, performing miracles of healing of both physical and spiritual nature. When I myself was scheduled for by-pass surgery, after anointing myself with the myrrh from the Hawaiian icon, the cardiologist canceled the surgery, right in the operating room, and this after two days of testing had showed I needed stints, and at the very least, one by-pass.
The scriptures tell us that we can move mountains if we only have the faith of a mustard seed, yet many don't expect they'll see a miracle, even when they pray for one. The expectation of experiencing miracles, such as healing, are far from the mindset of many Christians, and I suspect it is because they don't think their faith is strong enough.
The truth is, we don't always prepare ourselves to live a life that is open to miracles, for in the little things, during our everyday comings and goings, we live as though anything needed depends totally on our own efforts. We don't live with the expectation that God cares about our needs, both physical, spiritual, and material, in nature. We don't live with the expectation that God cares enough about us that He enters into our lives in a real, concrete way. So we go about our lives as though there probably is a God out there, but a God that is hardly interested in me.
If we begin to live each day with the expectation that God is not only there, but is actually interacting in a real way, we will soon experience the truth of this. We will begin to see with new eyes, and hear with new ears, how much God does enter into each and every moment of our life, if only we are paying attention.
Faith must be built up little by little, much like a painter puts on layers of oil paint, until one day, after layer upon layer, a beautiful painting is resting on the easel. Like oil painting, faith is formed through layers of learning to trust, so that one day we realize the depth of God's involvement in our life has been there all along, and we experience the miracles that have been happening around us, all along.
With love in Christ,
|The Puget Sound, with Mt. Rainier in the background (click on photo)|
Photos: I spent Thursday afternoon fishing for salmon on the Puget Sound, with my friend Pastor Dan Houston of First Presbyterian Church on Vashon Island.
13th Week after Pentecost. Tone three.
Fast. By Monastic Charter: Strict Fast (Bread, Vegetables, Fruits)
Forefeast of the Nativity of the Theotokos.
Martyr Sozon of Cilicia (304).
St. John, archbishop and wonderworker of Novgorod (1186).
Martyrdom of St. Macarius, archimandrite of Kanev (1678).
Venerable Macarius of Optina (1860).
New Hieromartyrs Peter and Michael priests, Alexander diacon (1918).
New Hieromartyr Priest John Maslovsky of Verkhne-Poltavka, Amur (1921).
New Hieromartyrs Eugine metropolitan of Gorky, Stephan priest and Hieromartyrs Eugine, Nicholas and Pakhomius, New Hieromartyrs Gregory, Basil priests, Hieromartyr Leo (1937).
Venerables Alexander Peresvet and Andrew Osliaby (1380).
Venerable Serapion of Spaso-Eleazar Monastery in Pskov (1480).
Apostles Evodus (Euodias) (66) and Onesiphorus (67) of the Seventy.
Martyr Eupsychius of Caesarea in Cappadocia (2nd c.).
Venerable Luke and St. Peter the Cappadocian, abbots of the monastery of the Deep Stream (10th c.).
St. Cassia (Cassiane) the Hymnographer (9th c.).
Venerable Cloud (Clodoald), abbot-founder of Nogent-sur-Seine near Paris (560) (Gaul).
You can read the life of the saint in blue, 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
2 Corinthians 11:5-21
Paul and False Apostles5 For I consider that I am not at all inferior to the most eminent apostles. 6 Even though I am untrained in speech, yet I am not in knowledge. But we have been thoroughly manifested among you in all things.
7 Did I commit sin in humbling myself that you might be exalted, because I preached the gospel of God to you free of charge? 8 I robbed other churches, taking wages from them to minister to you. 9 And when I was present with you, and in need, I was a burden to no one, for what I lacked the brethren who came from Macedonia supplied. And in everything I kept myself from being burdensome to you, and so I will keep myself. 10 As the truth of Christ is in me, no one shall stop me from this boasting in the regions of Achaia. 11 Why? Because I do not love you? God knows!
12 But what I do, I will also continue to do, that I may cut off the opportunity from those who desire an opportunity to be regarded just as we are in the things of which they boast. 13 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. 15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works.
Reluctant Boasting16 I say again, let no one think me a fool. If otherwise, at least receive me as a fool, that I also may boast a little. 17 What I speak, I speak not according to the Lord, but as it were, foolishly, in this confidence of boasting. 18 Seeing that many boast according to the flesh, I also will boast. 19 For you put up with fools gladly, since you yourselves are wise! 20 For you put up with it if one brings you into bondage, if one devours you, if one takes from you, if one exalts himself, if one strikes you on the face. 21 To our shame I say that we were too weak for that! But in whatever anyone is bold—I speak foolishly—I am bold also.
The Parable of the Sower4 And again He began to teach by the sea. And a great multitude was gathered to Him, so that He got into a boat and sat in it on the sea; and the whole multitude was on the land facing the sea. 2 Then He taught them many things by parables, and said to them in His teaching:
3 “Listen! Behold, a sower went out to sow. 4 And it happened, as he sowed, that some seed fell by the wayside; and the birds of the air came and devoured it. 5 Some fell on stony ground, where it did not have much earth; and immediately it sprang up because it had no depth of earth. 6 But when the sun was up it was scorched, and because it had no root it withered away. 7 And some seed fell among thorns; and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no crop. 8 But other seed fell on good ground and yielded a crop that sprang up, increased and produced: some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some a hundred.”
9 And He said to them, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”
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