Thank You, O Lord! - Fr. Alexander Schmemann

November 21, 2011

Thank You, O Lord!
Final words

Protopresbyter Alexander Schmemann celebrated the divine liturgy for the
last time on Thanksgiving Day. This was particularly appropriate since
Father Alexander had devoted his whole life to teaching, writing and
preaching about the Eucharist; for the word Eucharist in Greek means
thanksgiving. At the conclusion of the liturgy, Father Alexander took from
his pocket a short written sermon, in the form of a prayer, which he
proceeded to read. This was a strange occurrence since Father never wrote
his liturgical homilies, but delivered them extemporaneously. These were his
words, which proved to be the last ever spoken by him from the ambo in
Church. http://oca.org/reflections/fr.-alexander-schmemann/thank-you-o-lord

Thank You, O Lord!

Everyone capable of thanksgiving is capable of salvation and eternal joy.

Thank You, O Lord, for having accepted this Eucharist, which we offered to
the Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and which filled our hearts
with the joy, peace and righteousness of the Holy Spirit.

Thank You, O Lord, for having revealed Yourself unto us and given us the
foretaste of Your Kingdom.

Thank You, O Lord, for having united us to one another in serving You and
Your Holy Church.

Thank You, O Lord, for having helped us to overcome all difficulties,
tensions, passions, temptations and restored peace, mutual love and joy in
sharing the communion of the Holy Spirit.

Thank You, O Lord, for the sufferings You bestowed upon us, for they are
purifying us from selfishness and reminding us of the "one thing needed;"
Your eternal Kingdom.

Thank You, O Lord, for having given us this country where we are free to
Worship You.

Thank You, O Lord, for this school, where the name of God is proclaimed.

Thank You, O Lord, for our families: husbands, wives and, especially,
children who teach us how to celebrate Your holy Name in joy, movement and
holy noise.

Thank You, O Lord, for everyone and everything.

Great are You, O Lord, and marvelous are Your deeds, and no word is
sufficient to celebrate Your miracles.

Lord, it is good to be here! Amen.

a poem: Every land is the holy land.

Every Land

by Ursula Le Guin


     The holy land is everywhere. —Black Elk


Watch where the branches of the willows bend

See where the waters of the rivers tend

Graves in the rock, cradles in the sand

Every land is the holy land.


Here was the battle to the bitter end

Here's where the enemy killed the friend

Blood on the rock, tears on the sand

Every land is the holy land.


Willow by the water bending in the wind

Bent till it's broken and it cannot stand

Listen to the word the messengers send

Life from the living rock, death in the sand

Every land is the holy land.


-- from Finding My Elegy (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2012)


It's the THE DOOR!

(Thank you to arshi for contributing to this.)

Ever walk into a room with some purpose in mind, only to completely forget
what that purpose was?

Turns out, doors themselves are to blame for these strange memory lapses.
Psychologists at the University of Notre Dame have discovered that passing
through a doorway triggers what's known as an event boundary in the mind,
separating one set of thoughts and memories from the next. Your brain files
away the thoughts you had in the previous room and prepares a blank slate
for the new locale.

Thank goodness for studies like this. It's not our age, it's that door!

Now, consider every doorway an opportunity to start fresh, leave one thing
and start another.