Icons of the Crucifixion
Icons of the Crucifixion
Icon of the Crucifixion
Icons of the Descent from the Cross
Icon of the Way to Calvary
Icon of the Resurrection and the Descent into Hell with the Scenes of the Passion of the Christ
Icon of Christ before Pilate
Christ of Mena called “Christ of the Good Death”, watch at 2:30 (song “Betrothed of Death”) Spain, Malaga.
Life on earth is too brief, so brief that we cannot even imagine. But much has been provided for us in this brief period of time that we are in this life. It has been given to us so that we can always turn to God from the depth of our heart. He is the One Who can transform and resurrect our souls. Christians are very, very fortunate indeed to have the Most Holy Mother of God interceding for them before the throne of God.
You can also see that here, in this life, when we ask our parents for something, they will grant it—if we are obedient to them, of course. The Most Holy Mother of God prays without ceasing to her Son for us.
Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica, Our Thoughts Determine our Lives
Icon of the Virgin of Jerusalem
I’m guessing by living life to the fullest you meant worldly pleasures?
I’m not sure if its just because my grandma Jane passed yesterday, but your message reminded me a lot of her life she lived.
My grandma was a woman who tasted the many pleasures of life, at any cost. In her adult life she ran with a heinous biker gang. She was an addict to many things, most of these things were a tool to erase past experiences from her mind. When I was a child she was bitter and scary, my brother an I tagged her with the name “Mean Grandma”. I can remember being terrified to visit, knowing that as children we weren’t allowed to sit on the furniture. There was one instance where my mother desperately needed her to babysit, I believe it was for a job interview, since at the time my mother was a single mom. Upon returning from the interview, she found my brother and I with a stack of cigarettes, some papers, and tobacco rolling the cigarettes and placing them into a tin can. Strangely once she realized our nimble fingers were optimal for rolling her cigarettes, she became a bit more affectionate towards us.
I love my grandma, although she did terrify me well into adulthood. Please understand I didn’t write these things to speak ill of her, but to let you know that I’ve watched my whole family live for the sake of worldly pleasure. During my holiday visits when we sit around the fire to play music I can see the sorrow and regret in their eyes glazed over with the sweetness of Southern Comfort. I know what its like to ” live life to the fullest” based on worldly comforts. I’ve looked into the face of the dying confessing regrets so severe their wounds bleed out even after death. I’ve seen the travel, the lovers, the drugs and every pleasure never meet a single satisfaction. Our souls weren’t made to find comfort in worldly pleasures, and I refuse to die starving.
Most agree with you, about sexual relationships outside of marriage. If they were so satisfying, why are we all so hungry? Why is it not enough? With this free sex idea we will stop at nothing to pursue this pleasure we feel is a human right. At any cost, be the cost of our dignity, purity, or even the taking of the lives of our own offspring, simply to keep this right to free sex. We have become the most barbaric beings due to our constant selfishness and our lusts. There is no longer self control, as what does not cause immediate harm is sought, even if it slowly poisons. In small amounts we dip our souls in worldly satisfactions convincing ourselves it is enough.
I have seen the starvation, and I have seen the pleasures of this world rot as soon as they touch your lips. We find temporary comfort in fleeting romances, in fear of the truth we hide in the dark looking for crumbs. There is hope, once we open our eyes and turn towards the light. We were made for a great love, we were made for our true Home, and I will seek it at any cost in this worldly life. This worlds “fullness” will never satisfy me.
God has made me for greater. What He truly wants is to see me experience love, joy, and peace, and He knows those things are found through Him alone.
Near the end of my grandmothers life she became a Christian. She wasn’t a “fine example” but she spoke of the love for Jesus to me often. She became a bit softer as she became weaker, but remained an addict until she died.
I am proud of my grandmother for the fact she loved Christ, and knew His mercy was enough for her. Despite the grave sins she committed, the horrors she witnessed, she had faith in God who still loved her, still longed for her. Only someone who lived as “fully” as she did, could understand the depths of Christ’s overflowing love and mercy.
Life is short, eternity is long. If you choose to pursue this life rather then eternity, that’s your choice to do so. But for me, this world is not enough, only God is enough.
I love you Grandma, and I know your wish for me was to never come close to the path you once traveled. I hope you have the peace, the joy, and the love your soul so desperately longed for. Your life will be an example to me of the depths of Christ mercy. I will pray always your soul is received into heaven.
Prayer rope given to me by someone at church. It was blessed on Mount Athos!