Month: March 2011

Doing The Best We Can

My little children, I am writing this to your so that you may not sin; but if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.  (I John 2:1)

We don’t live perfect lives.  No matter who we are or think we are, we are far from being perfect.  Jesus underscores the standard of holiness as he taught on the sermon on the mount.  In Matthew 5, we find that not only are we not to kill, we can’t be angry with someone.  Not only are we not commit adultery, we can’t even lust.  We cannot end our marriages, make promises we cannot keep, take revenge, nor hate even our enemies.  Obedience to the Ten Commandments is one thing.  Christ brings the law of Moses into a level in which further test our humanity.  And he ends this portion of higher standard giving with the command, “You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly father is perfect (Matthew 5:48).  We are given the command and standard.  But, how many of us fail at this?  And if we creatures of flesh find it impossible to be perfect, what hope do we have?

A Baptist hymn gives us these words, “My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus blood and righteousness.  I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus name.  On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand.”  Note the words; build, trust, lean, and stand.  These are things that take conscious effort.  Sin is a constant part of the human experience.  Our calling is to live beyond human experience and become creatures of spirit.  The Christ that gave us the command to be perfect not only judges us, he also gives us the cleansing power of his blood so that in repentance, we can pass the judgement.  Therefore my friend, may we keep trying to do our best to build, trust, lean, and stand.  If and when we fall, the blood will cleanse us as we repent, and strengthen us to face the other temptations that will come our way.

God’s Peace Be Upon Us.  May his mercy extend greatly to the people of Japan. 

Brother Cyprian Bluemood

A Lenten Creed

Greetings on this first day of Great Lent in western Christianity (our Orthodox kin began Monday).  I am not your pastor and have no authority over anyone.  Yet, as a devout and loving brother in Christ Jesus, I recommend that we all take up some observance in this traditional observance of the lessons, suffering, and sacrifice of our Lord and Savior.  Some churches will hold special services while others will make mention of this Ash Wednesday in regular weekly worship.  Corporate worship is the duty of all who are part of the body of believers.  But, I firmly believe in what we do in our prayer closets having the greater effect in our faith.  We must commit ourselves to Jesus in our hearts, souls, and minds; not just our public displays in church. 

I offer for your consideration a creed that perhaps you can apply to your own walk of faith.  This is what I apply to myself in both real and Second Life.  Perhaps you may write your own based on other text and venture into some other virtual world if you deciede to do so.  Which is perfectly fine.  However you choose to observe Lent, please do so in sincerity of Spirit.  And now, I offer you the creed I have adopted:

The Creed for the New Monastic Order of Saint Simon of Cyrene

And he called to him the multitude with his disciples and said to them, “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.  Mark 8:34

And they compelled a passer-by, Simon of Cyrene, who was coming in from the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to carry his cross.  Mark 15:21

May I indeed deny myself the excesses of this world.  Taking only what I need for myself and household.  Seeking nothing for my vainglory nor reason to boast.  If I boast of anything, as taught by the scriptures, let me boast in the Lord and in him alone.

May I indeed take up my cross.  Let me accept the sorrow and suffering that is mine for the sake of others.  Let me sacrifice my time and effort for the uplift of the greater good.  As with our Lord in the Gethsemane, I cannot deny and must express my sorrow.  Nevertheless, I accept the will of God and understand there is a greater necessity and glory in the same and pain that I bear.

May I indeed follow our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ this day.  Not for the sake of popularity nor cultural norm.  But because I have come to know him for myself.  Because I have walked with him and bear witness to his salvation in my life.  Therefore, I drop my nets of earthly expectations and leave my tables of society’s standards to follow the Good Shepherd wherever he leads me in life. 

I am compelled by my love for the Gospel and desire to live in holiness.  I am merely a passer-by in this world.  There is a greater home that I see to reside in.  May my life on this earth inspire and lead others to the true belief and faith in God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. 

Amen

God’s grace and mercy be upon us,

Brother Cyprian Bluemood

The Modern Monastic Order of Saint Simon of Cyrene

Nevertheless

Nevertheless What Dawn Brings

“… Nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done”  Luke 22:42

Jesus did not encourage himself as he was at his lowest point in life.  In Gethsemane, the place of an oil press, his human anxieties and fears came to the surface.  His good friends failed to keep watch while he prayed in a posture of complete humiliation.  Surely this man who was able to give sight to the blind, cause the lame to walk, the mute to speak, drive out demons, cure leprosy and hemorrhages, and even raise a dead man to life should have been able to speak something to his mind to pick up his spirits.  Did he not speak the word from the written text to overcome the tempter?  Why couldn’t he have found a scripture to give him joy in the midst of his agony? 

True faith has not as much to do with an uplifted spirit as it does a “nevertheless” spirit.  While an uplift may seem desirable (as it is a good thing), it often proves temporary as the natural law states, “what comes up must come down.”  Those whose faith is built on such fluctuations of cheer and despair run the risk of having an eroded soul.  The tides of life take away from their sense of internal stability. 

The “nevertheless” spirit goes forward despite what ever storm may arise or tribulation it will face.  This spirit is also not distracted by the glories and pleasures of this world either.  “Nevertheless” is a complete and total surrender to the Highest of Spirits in the belief that in it, there is something far more profound than anything to be experienced in the flesh. 

As I go forward in this Fast of Great Lent, I do so not thinking of the pleasures that will be mine at the Feast of the Resurrection.  Nor do I bemoan the things I will surrender as I place my spirit in control of my flesh.  I go forward “nevertheless” that I am called to let the Father’s will be done.

Cyprian Bluemood

The grace and mercy of the Lord be with us this day.

Morning Prayer With A Purpose

Greetings in the name of Jesus Christ. 

How often do we wake up helter-skelter?  We hit the snooze bar on our alarm clocks twice or more.  Realizing we have set ourselves back by more than ten minutes, we are forced to a mad dash of washing, dressing, eating, and dashing out of the door (and even more task if we have children).  If there is a prayer, it is brief and hurried.  Can one maintain good relationships when we always greet that special someone with such carelessness?  How much more is it hard to maintain a right relationship with God if our first greeting to him each day is just as careless?

Awaken with plenty of time to spend quality moments with the Lord.  As one would seek his or her beloved, so let the morning begin in a similar desire to be with God in prayer, meditation, scriptures, and music.  As the Savior taught us, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, …” (Matt 6:33).  And if the  Saviour began his day with a purposeful prayer (Mark 1:35), who are we not to follow in his footsteps. 

May the Lord bless and guide us this day,

Brother Cyprian Bluemood

Greetings

I am Cyprian Bluemood.  I am an avatar from Second Life.  The Lord has blessed me to walk in this virtual world to be a beacon of friendship and faith.  I claim no superior title nor super discipline.  I am a man with the same sensual desires as anyone else.  My call is to live with controlled desires and share faith and friendship with anyone who would listen.  I can be found where people are.  I do not close myself off completely as a hermit.  But, my habit is to meditate nightly at St. Catherine’s Monastery at Mt. Sinai 10 PM EST.  All are welcome to friend and join me.