Remembering the Theotokos (Virgin Mary)
Instead of celebrating other flawed humans, I’m celebrating the Theotokos this month (and every month). The perfect example of Christian femininity.
I had always loved the icon, Mary, softener of evil hearts,
but until I wrote this post, I did not know that these two icons pictured in my post are talking about the same thing.
Here is a brief explanation and prayer about the icons from the website: Legacyicons.
This beautiful icon of the heart of Mary, shows her heart is centered in Her Son and His mercy through her intercessory prayer for the Church, her children. For Orthodox Christians, icons of our Blessed Lady the Mother of God will almost always have the image of Christ Her Son centered upon her heart in the icon for Her servanthood for the world and her prayers for us always find their fountain of being and Grace in the Son she bore for us. His Grace makes powerful her intercessions for us. This icon shows her tenderness, her love and devotion toward her Son, such a devotion that would bring her agony and tears as she watched Him later suffer on Holy Friday and so she too would fulfill the words of Simeon, “And a sword shall pierce your heart also.” In some Russian piety, this icon is also depicted with seven swords piercing her heart.
From the Akathist Service for the Mother of God, Softener of Evil Hearts:
Soften our evil hearts, O Mother of God,
And quench the attacks of those who hate us
And loose all straightness of our soul.
For looking on thy holy icon
We are filled with compunction by thy suffering and loving-kindness for us
And we kiss thy wounds;
We are filled with horror for the darts with which we wound thee.
Let us not, O Mother of Compassion,
According to the cruelty of our hearts, perish from the cruelty of heart of those near us,
For thou art in truth the Softener of Evil Hearts.
No woman in all of history has done more for the human race than has, the Virgin Mary.
If you want to tell your daughters about a woman they can look up to, tell them about, Mary. If you want to tell your sons about the qualities they should look for when searching for a future wife, tell them about the virtues of, Mary.
If you realize you need to make some changes within yourself and need someone to emulate… emulate, Mary.
In the mean time, a good book to read for women’s history month is:
I do not make any money from promoting this book. I do, however, believe that this book should be required reading in every high school across America for both boys and girls. It should be part of women’s studies classes in every university if it is not already, and that every child who is home-schooled should read it, it should be a study for women in every church in America, etc. So… pretty much everyone needs to read this book.
Celebrate the Divine in Women’s History Month; the Theotokos, the saints, the martyred saints, the Myrrh Bearing Women, etc.
On a separate note. due to my life long compromised immune system, I will not be attending Liturgy until it warms up enough to start killing this ‘beer virus’. I am sad to do this during one of my favorite times of year but experience has shown that if there is something going around I am likely to get it or a (hopefully) less serious version of it. Because I had been trying to do the fast on Wed. & Fri. prior to Lent, I noticed I was beginning to pick up colds form other people. My immune system will strengthen as I continue to only eat meat and drink water but it is not yet strong enough to fight off anything major. Until then, I have placed myself in a self-imposed quarantine.
I am going to read SO many books! I am also thinking about cleaning my library holds. No sense risking being exposed when i have so many unread books at home. A more in depth post about this is forthcoming. Hopefully it will be humorous.
I hope I can make it to the Pascha service. This means no snow storms and no virus with which to contend.
How are you contending with the ‘beer virus’?