Thursday, April 3, 2008

This Week - A Complete Analysis

To give you some background, Andrew and I have been enjoying the traditions of our faith this Easter season. It makes me so happy that Easter celebrations last as long as Great Fast. After the purging of sin during Great Fast, the celebrations of Easter seem more pure and holy than any other celebration. By Easter Monday, after having blessed celebrations Sunday, Andrew and I were more serious about our faith than we were even during Lent. I guess the procession of Holy Week and Easter Liturgy really awakened our sleeping souls.

By serious, I mean we decided that we were going to start living the faith more in our home. It was time to put our money where our mouth is. We decided we would go into a little debt (pay it off in the next couple of months) for the sake of our faith. We went to the internet and bought a Resurrection icon, so that we could more properly celebrate the season. We want to obtain an icon for every season, since the Roman Catholic church we attend is pretty barren. We also bought an censer and some incense, since this is also one of the things we have been missing. Finally, we bought 33 knot prayer ropes to help us pray without ceasing. We also ordered some icons, a set of theotokos and pantokrator, for our God-daughter, because as Andrew said, he wanted us to be seriously involved God-parents.

We have now received all the items we ordered. Last Friday, we received the icons and prayer
ropes. The prayer rope has definitely changed the level of prayer in my life. It is always there on my wrist to remind me. Whenever I see it I say the Jesus Prayer as many times as I can at that moment, "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner." When I put Alexander to bed, I nurse him and lay with him a bit and say 100 of the Jesus Prayer. My goal is at least 300 a day.

When we went to New York city, our friend, Zane, took us to a beautiful, Eastern Christian style, Roman Catholic church. The Christos Pantokrator icon, of Jesus, in the apse, behind the altar, was incredibly soul penetrating. I keep thinking about the eyes. It's whole composition really made me think about who Jesus is. Now when I say the Jesus Prayer, I reflect on that icon. This as in depth as I can go at the moment, because I cannot tell you what is in my soul.

We received our censer yesterday and hopefully we can begin prayer with it tonight. It is a longstanding tradition to direct every sense we have toward heaven, toward God. It has been a very exciting and holy Easter season for us. We hope to learn more about the traditions of the Eastern Church over the next year.

God Bless.
(The icon to the side is the one from the church and below is altar. Click on altar images.)

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