With Man There is Chaos

Orthodox Quotes: "Because of the Fall of man, the natural order of things has become chaotic. In nature, there is an order for all things, but with man there is chaos, Everything is distorted and turned around. Because of our disobedience to the commandments of our Heavenly Father, we have lost the natural order. In order to reestablish this order, we must practice abstinence." Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica | Orthodox and Vegan

Because of the Fall of man, the natural order of things has become chaotic. In nature, there is an order for all things, but with man there is chaos, Everything is distorted and turned around. Because of our disobedience to the commandments of our Heavenly Father, we have lost the natural order. In order to reestablish this order, we must practice abstinence. – Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica

We Have Not That Which God Seeks

Orthodox Quotes: "Our breath stinks from fasting, we know the Scriptures by heart, we recite all the Psalms of David, but we have not that which God seeks: charity and humility." -the Desert Fathers | Orthodox and Vegan

Our breath stinks from fasting, we know the Scriptures by heart, we recite all the Psalms of David, but we have not that which God seeks: charity and humility. – The Desert Fathers

I have to admit when I first read this quote, the part about bad breath is what stood out to me the most. Like, “Oh good, that’s been happening to everyone since forever.” It may have taken a little longer for the rest to sink in.

This is the Way that Thou Shalt Keep the Fast

Orthodox Quotes: "This fasting. . .if the commandments of the Lord are kept, is very good. This, then, is the way that thou shalt keep the fast. First of all, keep thyself from every evil word and every evil device, and purify thy heart from all the vanities of this world. If thou keep these things, thy fast shall be perfect for thee. And thus shalt thou do. Having fulfilled what is written, on that day on which thou fastest, thou shalt taste nothing but bread and water; and from my meals which thou wouldest have eaten, thou shalt reckon up the amount of that day's expenditure, which thou wouldest have incurred, and shalt give it to a widow, or an orphan, or to one in want, and so shalt thou humble thy soul, that he that received from thy humiliation may satisfy his own soul, and may pray for thee to the Lord. If then thou shalt so accomplish this fast, as I have commanded thee, thy sacrifice shall be acceptable in the sight of God, and this fasting shall be recorded; and the service so performed is beautiful and joyous, and acceptable to the Lord." Shepherd of Hermas | Orthodox and Vegan

This fasting. . .if the commandments of the Lord are kept, is very good. This, then, is the way that thou shalt keep the fast. First of all, keep thyself from every evil word and every evil device, and purify thy heart from all the vanities of this world. If thou keep these things, thy fast shall be perfect for thee. And thus shalt thou do. Having fulfilled what is written, on that day on which thou fastest, thou shalt taste nothing but bread and water; and from my meals which thou wouldest have eaten, thou shalt reckon up the amount of that day’s expenditure, which thou wouldest have incurred, and shalt give it to a widow, or an orphan, or to one in want, and so shalt thou humble thy soul, that he that received from thy humiliation may satisfy his own soul, and may pray for thee to the Lord. If then thou shalt so accomplish this fast, as I have commanded thee, thy sacrifice shall be acceptable in the sight of God, and this fasting shall be recorded; and the service so performed is beautiful and joyous, and acceptable to the Lord. – Shepherd of Hermas

Clean Wednesday, 2017: Fasting is Wonderful

Orthodox Quotes: "Fasting is wonderful because it tramples our sins like a dirty weed, while it cultivates and raises truth like a flower." St. John Chrysostom | Orthodox and Vegan

Fasting is wonderful because it tramples our sins like a dirty weed, while it cultivates and raises truth like a flower.” – St. John Chrysostom

Fasting is wonderful, but I’m looking forward to doing some cooking today, and sampling a few things at the Lenten potluck tonight after Presanctified Liturgy. I’m planning to do a sort of roasted garlic scalloped potato dish with a tahini-based sauce. Recipe coming soon. What are you bringing to the potluck tonight?

Clean Tuesday, 2017: Grant Me Tears

Orthodox Quotes from Great Compline: "Grant Me Tears, O God" | Orthodox and Vegan

Grant me tears, O God, as once to the sinning woman of old; and graciously vouchsafe that I may wash Thy feet which delivered me from the path of straying, and that I may offer unto Thee an ointment of sweet fragrance, even a pure life, fashioned by my repentance. And so shall I, also, hear Thy voice which I long for, saying: Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace.

-Troparia in the Plagal Fourth Mode, as chanted in Great Compline on Tuesday and Thursday Evenings

Clean Monday, 2017: Defender of My Soul

Orthodox Quotes: "Be Thou the Defender of my soul, O God, for I walk amidst a multitude of snares. Deliver me from them, and save me, O good One, for Thou art the Lover of mankind." From the Service of Great Compline | Orthodox and Vegan

Lighten my eyes, O Christ God, that I sleep not unto death, lest mine enemy say: I have prevailed over him.

Be Thou the Defender of my soul, O God, for I walk amidst a multitude of snares. Deliver me from them, and save me, O good One, for Thou art the Lover of mankind.

-Troparia in the Second Mode as chanted in Great Compline on Mondays and Wednesdays of Great Lent

Wishing you all good strength during the Great Fast!

Orthodox Monastics with Animals

Well, it’s Friday and the start of a four day weekend. What better way to kick it off than with pictures of Orthodox monastics with animals?? You can find a ton of these pictures floating around on the web, these are just a few of my favorites. The quotes are from St. Paisios, taken from Dionysios Farasiotis’ book The Gurus, the Young Man, and Elder Paisios.

Orthodox Monks with Bear | Orthodox and Vegan
“When I was in Stomio at the little monastery near Konitsa, there were two large bears who would come to the place where I would dispose of the garbage. The poor things were hungry, so I would go and give them some bread. The animals can recognize your disposition when you approach them, if you intend to kill them or if you approach them with genuine love.”

Orthodox Nun with Hawk | Orthodox and Vegan
At this point, the elder opened up his hand and called to a red robin that was resting in the branches of a tree, and the little bird came and happily perched on the elder’s finger.

Orthodox Monastics with Animals | Orthodox and Vegan
“The animals enjoy being with man and look at him as their king. In Paradise, Adam called the animals one by one and gave them each a name according to its kind. Animals recognized man’s superiority and were happy in his presence.

Orthodox Monk with Deer | Orthodox and Vegan
After the fall, however, this relationship was destroyed. Man looked at the beasts with the intention of killing them, and the animals became wild. Nevertheless, the wild animals are still more sincere than man is. If you approach them with love, they return to that pristine state.

Orthodox Monk with Penguins | Orthodox and Vegan
Man has ruined the animals. Even the dog that lives continually by man’s side has changed, acquiring a police mentality and distrustful character. I used to feed a little kitten around here that would come and rub itself up against my leg and purr. Although it was very tame, when one day, I tossed a piece of bread to it, the animal pulled back in fear. What had happened to it? Someone had thrown stones at it and ruined the animal’s attitude towards people. So you see, this evil state of affairs begins with man.”

Love animals: God has given them the rudiments of thought and joy untroubled. Do not trouble their joy, don’t harrass them, don’t deprive them of their happiness, don’t work against God’s intent.
-Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov

Have a happy and safe holiday!