Monday, March 24, 2008


A good friend of mine and fellow catechumen gave this quote to me recently:
"Despondency is a paralysis of soul, an enervation of the mind, neglect of asceticism, hatred of the vow made. It calls those who are in the world blessed. It accuses God of being merciless and without love for men. It is being languid in singing psalms, weak in prayer, like iron in service, resolute in manual labor, reliable in obedience. "
- St John Climacus (of the Ladder)
It's kind of a kick in the teeth, but so many things in the writings of the Fathers are. They weren't writing to make us feel good about ourselves, though much in encouraging. If it's not a situation you find yourself in, the challenges would mean nothing to you, just be interesting. But, like scripture, they make you bite your lip and say ouch occasionally when they hit home.

I'm not well again, mostly my own fault, and one of these day I'll learn a bit of humility and learn to look after myself. To quote Father the other night: "Κυριακή [Kyriaki] must look after herself. There might be 52 κυριακήs [Sundays] in a year, but there is only one Κυριακή!" I know what he's saying, and as first glance I would say "well, I am, aren't I?" but when I wake up as exhausted as I have been today, I know that's a lie. Lent is hard on me, not because of food (especially now that I must eat normally, as I'm losing weight for health reasons and everyone's paranoid, probably for good reason - I'm down to 45kg (99lbs)) but because instead of the very sleepy life that I live normally, I've been going out to services. All that really changes is that I must learn to look after myself differently - eating more, going to sleep earlier, etc which is simple enough but I've not been doing it!

Today was a wakeup call - normally Mondays are my day where I get up at a reasonable hour (usually about 10), eat something (maybe!) and get a lot of schoolwork done, with stitching in between and the odd bit on the net. Today I got up at almost 1, finally dragging myself out of bed. I've been lying in bed most of the day, just wandering around the net or staring at the wall. I've wanted to stitch, but not been able to get the motivation to come back out to the living room, settle down and stitch. So it'll be an early night (probably 10:30-11ish) tonight, and taking it easy tomorrow. If I have any sense I'll be good, get some work done, stitch a seam or two if I'm well enough, maybe eat fish and chips (it is Annunciation after all!) and just generally be quiet. If I get to Church tomorrow night that'd be a bonus but I'm not holding my breath.

To those that are interested in these things, the stitching has been on Peaceful Paradise, and I'm so close to finishing this page it's not funny (with the exception of the sky, which I'm still working away at - BORING!) so I'll be definitely taking a photo when I do that. I'm cheating a little and filling things in outside this page, but that's just to break up the monotony. I'll be glad to be finished the sky though and have the piece the right way up - it's too much strain on my arms to reach the top of this frame, so I'm working upside down, and there's not enough spare fabric to put it any further down in the frame. It looks wonderful though, and it's a nice treat to turn it the right way up again and see how much I've got done!

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