Monday, September 17, 2012

ST. THAIS, Courtesan

The image is from the Self-Ruled Antiochian  Orthodox Christian Diocese of North America.
Thais was a beautiful courtesan over whom men lost their fortune and killed other men because of jealousy.  One day, a monk named Paphnutius heard of her, disguised himself as a layman and set out to convert her.  During their meeting, Thais led her from room to room, each one more hidden than the others.  Finding that no room satisfied the monk, she told him:

 "There is a room where no one ever goes:  but if it is God you fear, there is no place hidden from his eyes."

Paphnutius replied:  "Then you know there is a God?

After Thais answered yes, the monk continued:

"Then if you know all this, why have you led so many souls astray.  You will have to account not only for your own soul, but for all those others you have corrupted as well, and you will be damned."

Hearing these words, Thais fell on her knees and begged forgiveness.  She collected her things, brought them to the city square, set fire on them and publicly asked for forgiveness for her sins.  Then she lived a solitary life in a little cell where she spent her life in prayer and penance.

After three years, the monk took pity on her and went to his Abbot to ask if God had forgiven her.  To answer this, the entire community was told to spend the night in prayer in the hope that God would answer the question.  One monk, Father Paul, had a vision of a bed in heaven:

"it was decked with costly coverlets and guarded by three virgins with shining faces.  These three virgins were Fear of Future Punishment, for it was this that had rescued Thais from evil; Shame for Past Sin, which had won her a pardon;  and Love of Righteousness, which is what had converted her to the things of heaven."

Father Paul thought that the bed was reserved for the Abbot until a voice from Heaven told him that the bed was reserved for Thais.  Paphnatius reported the blessed news to Thais.  A few days after that, Thais died.  Her feast was October 8.  (Source:  The Golden Legend, Jacobus de Voragine)

I understand that this story was the inspiration for the Opera, Thais, by Jules Massenet.  From this work came the hauntingly beautiful Meditation from Thais -

However, the while the opera remained faithful  to the character of Thais, it altered the character of the monk.

Thank you for coming by and reading.  :-)

Thursday, September 13, 2012


Today, I woke up and saw how the sun was slanting in the horizon and lighting the few flowers that were in the garden.  Most of all, I beheld dew glittering under the sun.  Flowers and dew are two of my favorite photography subjects.  I escaped breakfast duties, I left that to the children - who volunteered, by the way! ;-) - and homeschooling (which is my husband's sworn duty before he leaves for school) to take some photos.

Here are some pictures from this morning's  excursion. 

My other favorites are poems.  I love writing poems and today, I discovered a social site, Britely,  where one can make little books of her work.  I uploaded some of my photos and favorite poem (Love Blooms) from my other page and this is the result:  (Well, I was able to successfully embed the e-book at the bottom of this post after all) :-)

Please bear with me for my shameless plug.  :-) I do hope you like it though.  Since I am talking of Britely anyway, I think that it is a cool application.  I believe that one can make as long a story as she wants provided that there are as many uploaded pictures to accommodate the words.  You see, there is a limit to the number of words for each page/picture.  So, go try it.  It is fun.  And when you do, add me as your friend. :-) 

I am linking up with Katherine's Corner's Thursday Favorite Things Blog Hop.  Since I revived this page, I have encountered many beautiful pages and hers is one of them.  

I also linking with Cottage Garden Party - button (3) by Fishtail Cottage and of The Rosegarden in Malevik .  What an excellent idea - a place for garden lovers.  

I am also linking as usual with Tina's Weekend Flowers and Friday Floral Photos, two of the best flower linkies I know. :-)

 Copy this image and its link to place on your blog

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


On Saturday, September 8, we decided to drive around the city to look for yard sales.  We did not see any interesting sale - it must have been too late in the morning or too late in the season - but we continued driving anyway until we reached a part of the city that was unknown to us.  There, we found a brick church that was open.  Since it was rare to see a Catholic Church, or any church for that matter, that was open at  odd hours of the day, we decided to stop by and visit.  

It was a medium sized church that was built in early 1900's.  It was dedicated to St. Andrew  the Apostle.  Inside, we were pleasantly surprised to see the Tabernacle at the center of the Altar.  The Sanctuary Lamp was lit too.  To us Catholics, that meant that the Consecrated Host, the Real Presence of Jesus, was in the Tabernacle.  

It was a medium sized church that was built in early 1900's.  It was dedicated to St. Andrew  the Apostle.  Inside, we were pleasantly surprised to see the Tabernacle at the center of the Altar.  The Sanctuary Lamp was lit too.  To us Catholics, that meant that the Consecrated Host, the Real Presence of Jesus, was in the Tabernacle.  

After some prayers, I took some pictures of the stained glass windows that adorned the walls and front and back of the Church.  It was a lovely sight to see the sun filtering through the glass and lighting the dim interiors of the Church.  

A caretaker approached us.  He told us that the Church building was closed until about two or three years ago when some parishioners renovated the Church.   They maintained the old character and the original windows of the building but added a modern touch - cushioned pews.  We were amazed that in this time when closing and razing down of church buildings were more common, a church building was reopened for worship.  

In all, it was a very pleasant Saturday for us.  We considered it to be providential, a sort of a special gift - since September 8 was the birthday of the Blessed Mother.   It was so nice to be able to visit the Lord in the Church on her special day.

Thank you very much for coming by.  I appreciate your comments and visits.  God bless you.

I am joining Beth's You Capture: Windows with this post. Head on over to her page for more of the responses.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Sunday, September 9, 2012


I am joining Beth's  You Capture with this post.  This week's theme is Green.  Initially, I wanted to take photos of buildings with green in them, a green house, a green roof, a green dome.  Yet somehow,  I found myself forgetting about my assignment and remember to take pictures only when I was already passing by the subject (while on a moving vehicle).  I did try to take some pictures, with funny results.  

I was hesitant to submit photos of my plants and foliage but I really really wanted to join the prompt.  So this afternoon, while the sun was setting, I took pictures of plants around the house.  The sun lent a magical light to the photos. 
This must be a morning glory vine.  Now that I cannot take care of the garden so much, the wild morning glory vines are everywhere. 

I wonder what this plant is.  It is growing on the fence  in the far end of our backyard.   I tolerate the plant as long as it does not overwhelm the yard.

These are asparagus needles.  They completed their second season this year.  I guess, I can now expect a  'bountiful' asparagus harvest next spring.  I hope the asparagus thrive well  in the conditions that the plants are in.

Ah, these are sphagnum moss.  They make the ground soft under my feet and I love walking on them.  Now I just read that sphagnum moss may be useful for cleaning the water.  Instead of using chlorine, sphagnum moss may be used instead.  I guess I need to read on this some more. 

This is a picture of my poor collard green. I love collard greens so I planted some last year and this year.  We are in the northeast.  When are collard greens harvested?  I heard that they need to be harvested during the cold season so that the leaves will not be too bitter.  But the leaves turn yellow in the meantime.  What do I do?  

Rosemary!  Normally, Rosemary is not a perennial in the Northeast.  The snow always kills the plant.  But last year, owing to the mild winter, this rosemary plant survived.  So now, I have a rather lush plant.  I will harvest the leaves soon and freeze them for future use.

Golden Raspberry.  This is one of our best plant buys last years.  Raspberries, I found out, are quite prolific.  They not only multiply fast, but they also yield fruit from late spring until fall. 

Thyme.  It is a perennial in our place. It spreads quite well too.  It does not even die out during the winter.

Parsley.  This is the first time I planted parsley.  The aroma of  newly snipped parsley is so wonderful - lemony and fresh.  I will harvest these leaves and freeze them for future use too. 

Simple Woman's Daybook, a place I used to visit and participate in until life got a little too busy for me also has a spin-off link-up place too.  It is called The Simple Woman's Kitchen and Garden.  I think that my herbs should qualify my post to the group so I will go there too.  :-) 

Please visit Photobucket  and THE SIMPLE WOMAN for more lovely entries. 

God bless you.


Friday, September 7, 2012

Tequila Sunrise Rose

Hello all.  I am glad to be back.  I have been quite busy establishing my writing and photo blog, Mywordwall.  In that blog, I try to indulge my desire for creative writing.  If you are interested in some (simple) poetry and little stories, I invite you to visit mywordwall.  

 Copy this image and its link to place on your blog