The Feast of Nativity, the celebration of the birth of our Lord!
“Pure is the present night, in which the Pure One appeared, Who came to purify us! Let our hearing be pure, and the sight of our eyes chaste, and the feeling of the heart holy, and the speech of the mouth sincere.” – St Ephraim the Syrian”
Each year is a glorious celebration on it’s own but it has a special significance for me. Two years ago on the Eve of Nativity I was baptized into the Orthodox Church. Nativity is the Celebration of my Rebirth!
Each year as I come to communion on Nativity, I remember that first time, clothed in white, two years ago. If I let myself, I fall into thoughts of discouragement thinking that I haven’t progressed much in those two years. I must remind myself that though two years is not very long, it’s two years of growth. Two years of services, two years of learning to fast, praying, struggling, falling and getting back up. Two years of trying, reading, learning and loving. Progress, however small, was made. Habits are not formed overnight but through repetition. I’m still a child, but I’m growing. I have two years of experience behind me. I’m forming a life built through habits, day after day, month after month, year after year. I will not remain stagnant.
“True prayer is a gift of God, which is granted to him that prayeth, that is, to those who labor in it unremittingly, continually, without sloth, according to what is written: He granteth his prayer to him that prayeth. If with every virtue habit is not acquired at once, but according to the measure of one’s practice in it, then even more the habit of prayer requires long-continued labor and unremitting forcing of oneself.” -Abbess Thaisia, Letters to a Beginner