Category Archives: audio reblogs

It is easy to approach Him…

Here is an “audio re-blog” of a profoundly moving reflection by St. Tikhon of Zadonsk (an Orthodox saint of Russia).

I contemplate how frightening it would be to realize that all that we think, say and do occurs before the eyes of God – if we were not immediately assured that we can always approach Him, as readily as a young child comes to a gentle Father. And that He wants nothing more than to love us and help us in our troubles.

Text: (Thanks again to Mark Armitage at Enlarging the Heart for finding and sharing this passage that I might share it with you here.)

Living faith is inspired in the human heart by contemplation of the word of God and by the Holy Spirit.

For this reason we should read and heed the word of God and pray that God Himself ignite the lamp of faith in our heart.

The fear of God arises most often from contemplation of the omnipresence of God and His omniscience.

God is in essence everywhere present; and wherever we may be, He is with us; and whatever we may do, say, think, and undertake, we do, say, think, and undertake all before His holy eyes.

And He knows our deeds far better than we do ourselves. Think about this, O Christian, and heed it, and with God’s help the fear of God will be born in you.

[…] Keep God, then, before your spiritual eyes and you will have the fear of God, imitating the Psalmist, “I beheld the Lord ever before me” (Ps. 15:8).

[…] While standing in church attend diligently to the reading and singing. This gives birth to compunction, true prayer, heartfelt singing and thanksgiving.

Avoid, then, standing bodily in church while wandering outside the church in mind, and standing bodily before God while wandering about in spirit in worldly affairs, lest that saying be applied to you, “his people draweth nigh unto Me with their mouth, and honoureth Me with their lips; but their heart is far from Me” (Mt. 15:8).

While standing bodily in church, then, stand with heart and spirit as you stand before God. When you look upon the icons of the saints, call to mind that One is the Creator that created them and you, and that His purpose was the same for them as it is for you, that is, to save both them and you.

They are glorified, and before you lies the same glory, only imitate their lives and you shall be saved.

Prayer consists not only in standing and bowing before God in body, and in reading written prayers, but even without that it is possible to pray in mind and spirit at all times and in everyplace.

You can do it while walking, sitting, reclining, among people, and in solitude. Raise up your mind and heart to God, and so beg mercy and help from Him.

For God is everywhere and in every place, and the doors to Him are always open, and it is easy to approach Him, not as with man.

And we can approach Him with faith and with our prayer everywhere and at all times, and in every need and circumstance. We can say to Him mentally at any time, “Lord, have mercy, Lord help!” and so on.

Tikhon of Zadonsk (1724-1783; Russian Orthodox): extract @ Kandylaki from Journey to Heaven: Counsels On the Particular Duties of Every Christian by Our Father Among the Saints, Tikhon of Zadonsk, Bishop of Voronezh and Elets (Jordanville, NY: Holy Trinity Monastery, 2004).

He ascended…

This is essentially a re-blog except that I am adding my audio recording of this beautiful text. I often find that I like to listen and so I offer you that opportunity as we together reflect on the Ascension of the Lord.

Many thanks to Mark Armitage at for seeking out and sharing this passage (and so many others).

(second version of recording – see comments)

(text, for those who wish to read)


Abandoning on earth the things of earth,
Leaving to the dust the things of ash,
Come, let us come to our senses and let us raise on high our eyes and minds.
Mortals, let us make our sight together with our senses
Fly to heaven’s gates.
Let us imagine we are standing on the mount of Olives
And that we bend our gaze on the Redeemer
As he rides upon a cloud.
For from where the Lord has hastened back to heaven
There too the One who loves to give has distributed his gifts
To his Apostles, cherishing them as a father and crying out to them,
‘I am not parting from you. I am with you and there is no one against you.’


The One who came down to earth, as he alone knows how,
As he ascended from it, again as he knows how,
Took those he loved and led those he had gathered to a high mountain,
That, having mind and senses aimed on high,
They might then abandon all that seeks the ground.
And so, having climbed the hill of Olives,
They surrounded the Benefactor,
As Luke, the initiate, recounts,
While the Lord, raising his hands like wings,
Sheltered them, as an eagle the nest which it was warming,
And says to the nestlings, ‘I have sheltered you from all evils.
As I have cherished you, do you love me.
‘I am not parting from you. I am with you and there is no one against you.’


High over you, my Disciples,
As God and Maker of the whole world
I stretch out my palms, which the lawless stretched out, bound and nailed.
And so, as you bow your heads beneath my hands,
Understand, know, my friends, what I command.
For as though baptising I lay my hands upon you now,
And having blessed you send you out
Enlightened, and made wise.
Upon your heads praise and majesty,
Upon your souls illumination, as it is written,
For I shall pour out upon you of my Spirit, and you will accepted by me,
Taught and chosen, faithful and my own.
‘I am not parting from you. I am with you and there is no one against you.’

Romanos the Melodist (c.490-c.556): Kontakion on the Assumption, 1-3, trans. Archimandrite Ephrem Lash @ Anastasis.