An Irish Welcome

Céad Míle Fáilte friend and rover ...
Wherever you come from and whosoever you may be.
That's an Irish greeting and it means

you are welcome
a thousand times over.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Compassion on the thief

Hymn VIII.01.

There came to my ear
   from the Scripture which had not been read
a word that caused me joy
   on the subject of the Thief;
it gave comfort to my soul
   amidst the multitude of its vices,
telling how He had compassion on the Thief.
   O may He bring me too
into that Garden at the sound of whose name
   I am overwhelmed by joy;
my mind bursts it reins
   as it goes forth to contemplate Him.

Response: Hold me worthy that we may become heirs in Your Kingdom.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

A tribute to St Ephrem the Syrian - Jan 28

Hymn I.15.
Woe to him who tries to hide
   his shameful deeds in the dark,
who does wrong and then tries to deceive
   those who have seen;
having gone in and committed some wrong
   he lies so as to deceive those who have heard.
May the wings of Your grace
   protect me,
for there the accusing finger
   points out
and daily proclaims
   the sinner's shame and hidden dealings.

Hymn II.01
Blessed is he
   for whom Paradise yearns.
Yes, paradise yearns for the man whose goodness
makes him beautiful;
   it engulfs him at its gateway,
it embraces him in its bosom,
   it caresses him in its very womb;
for it splits open and receives him
   into its inmost parts.
But if there is someone it abhors,
   it removes him and casts him out;
this is the gate of testing
   that belongs to Him who loves mankind.

Blessed is He who pierced
and so removed the sword from the entry to Paradise.

Hymn II.02.
Forge here on earth and take
   the key to Paradise;
the Door that welcomes you
   smiles radiantly upon you;
the Door, all discerning,
   conforms its measure to those who enter it:
in its wisdom
   it shrinks and it grows.
According to the stature and rank
   attained by each person,
it shows by its dimensions
   whether they are perfect, or lacking in something.

Hymn II.08
Who is capable of gazing
   upon the Garden's splendor,
seeing how glorious it is in all its design,
   how harmonious in its proportions,
how spacious for those who dwell there,
   how radiant with its abodes?

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A prayer before confession

Of St. Symeon the New Theologian

O God and Lord of all!

Who hath the power over every breath and soul, the only One able to heal me, hearken unto the prayer of me, the wretched one, and, having put him to death, destroy the serpent nestling within me by the decent of the All-Holy and Life-Creating Spirit. And vouchsafe me, poor and naked of all virtue, to fall with tears at the feet of my spiritual father, and call his holy soul to mercy, to have mercy on me. And grant, O Lord, unto my heart humility and good thoughts, becoming a sinner, who hath consented to repent unto Thee, and do not abandon unto the end the one soul, which hath united itself unto Thee and hath confessed Thee, and instead of all the world hath chosen Thee and hath preferred Thee.

For Thou knowest, O Lord, that I want to save myself, and that my evil habit is an obstacle. But all things are possible unto Thee, O Master, which are impossible for man. Amen

My heart is in Your hands, Lord. Have mercy on me.

The Prodigal Son - Prayer

I am your son and I have sinned before Thee and I cry:

When I disobeyed in ignorance Thy fatherly glory, I wasted in iniquities the riches that Thou gavest me. Wherefore, I cry to Thee with the voice of the prodigal son, saying, I have sinned before Thee, O compassionate Father, receive me repentant, and make me as one of Thy hired servants.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Judging versus opinion

What is the difference between judging someone and voicing an opinion?

An opinion is simply your view, whatever that may be - but independant of what the other person may feel or think. Judging is when the independance disappears and you decide what is right for another, and coming to a fixed view about what is, however an opinion is an open view.

An opinion is usually voiced in a non aggressive way, as well.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

She Walks in Beauty

by George Gordon Byron {born on January 22, 1788 in Aberdeen, Scotland, and inherited his family's English title at the age of ten, becoming Baron Byron of Rochdale}.

This blog is usually dedicated to enlargement of the heart, in a spiritual context, however I would like to break that style for this post and share a poem that I adore. Ironically, today is the date of the poets birth in 1788:

She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that's best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes:
Thus mellowed to that tender light
Which heaven to gaudy day denies.

One shade the more, one ray the less,
Had half impaired the nameless grace
Which waves in every raven tress,
Or softly lightens o'er her face;
Where thoughts serenely sweet express
How pure, how dear their dwelling place.

And on that cheek, and o'er that brow,
So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,
The smiles that win, the tints that glow,
But tell of days in goodness spent,
A mind at peace with all below,
A heart whose love is innocent!

+ + +

When We Two Parted

by George Gordon Byron

When we two parted
In silence and tears,
Half broken-hearted
To sever for years,
Pale grew thy cheek and cold,
Colder thy kiss;
Truly that hour foretold
Sorrow to this.

The dew of the morning
Sunk chill on my brow--
It felt like the warning
Of what I feel now.
Thy vows are all broken,
And light is thy fame;
I hear thy name spoken,
And share in its shame.

They name thee before me,
A knell to mine ear;
A shudder comes o'er me--
Why wert thou so dear?
They know not I knew thee,
Who knew thee too well--
Long, long shall I rue thee,
Too deeply to tell.

In secret we met--
In silence I grieve,
That thy heart could forget,
Thy spirit deceive.
If I should meet thee
After long years,
How should I greet thee?--
With silence and tears.

On Love towards God

You say:

“I love God and have the Holy Spirit.”

But examine this closely, is this really so?
Are you faithful to God day and night?

If you have this uninterrupted love, then you are pure. How-ever, think about this. When earthly cares or various defiled and sly thoughts arise, are you then truly against them and does your soul want to love God and be wholly attached to Him?

After all, in distracting the mind with worldly and corruptible matters, earthly thoughts impede a person’s love for God and the continuous thinking about Him. It happens that a simple person enters into prayer, bends his knee — and his mind attains tranquility.

And the degree of his un-dermining the opposing wall of evil and the extent of his burrowing under it is the measure of its destruction, so that the person gradually attains spiritual direction and wisdom.

However, this level is not attained by the powerful of this world, nor the educated, nor writers.

- St Macarius the Great.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

How does love find you?

How does love find you? How does it choose?
Love travels on its own,
Never stopping for directions,
Taking many different roads.
Love, lands where it wants, not making a sound.
Some are happy when it finds them,
Others are just confused.
If you are befriended by this traveling mystery,
Appreciate its gesture.

Give Thanks to God!

The title is from the words of Saint John Chrysostom as he was dying in exile. It is a song of praise from amidst the most terrible sufferings. A gentle reminder to give Thanks to God for all the good He has done.

Thank you.

+ + +

+ + +

O Immortal King of the ages, Who, by the power of Thy saving providence,
Dost hold up in Thy right hand all the ways of man's life;
We thank Thee for all Thy good things both manifest and hid;
For this earthly life, and for the heavenly joys of Thy Kingdom which is to come.
Extend Thy mercies henceforth upon us who sing unto Thee:

Glory to Thee, O God, unto the ages!

I was born into the world a weak and helpless child;
But Thine angel extended his resplendent wings over my cradle to defend it.
Thenceforth, Thy love hath shone upon all my ways
And marvellously hath guided me unto the Light of eternity.
Gloriously, the plentious gifts of Thy providence were shown from the first day of my life until this time.
I thank Thee, and cry unto Thee, with all them that have come to know Thee:

Glory to Thee Who hast called me forth into life;
Glory to Thee Who revealest unto me the beauty of the universe;
Glory to Thee Who openest unto me both heaven and earth as an eternal book of wisdom;
Glory to Thine eternity in the midst of this temporal world;
Glory to Thee for Thy mercies known and unknown;
Glory to Thee for every step of my life, and for every moment of joy;

Glory to Thee, O God, unto the ages!


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Regard your confession of the True Dogma of the Faith

"As much as the saints were so compassionate and lenient toward human weakness, so were they terribly unyielding and unbending in regard to the confession of the true dogmas of the Faith."
- Reflection from the Prologue from Ohrid for 20th January.

Thus, St. Nicholas of Myra in Lycia struck Arius with his fist at the First Ecumenical Council [Nicaea, 325 A.D.]. St. Anthony left his desert to come to Alexandria to publicly unmask Arius. St. Euthymius, being greatly pressured by the Empress Eudocia and the pseudo-Patriarch Theodosius and being unable to debate rationally with them, left the monastery and hid in the desert. All other distinguished monks followed his example. Euthymius remained in the desert until the pseudo-patriarch was ousted and Orthodoxy strengthened. When, in Jerusalem, the greatest agitation surfaced in the name of the emperor against the Fourth Ecumenical Council [Chalcedon, 451 A.D.] and when the entire population was frightened by the heretics, then St. Theodosius the Great already burdened with old age, as a fearless soldier of Christ, came to Jerusalem, entered the Great Church, ascended the stairs, waved his hands and said to the people, "If anyone does not respect the Fourth Ecumenical Council as he does the four evangelists, let him be anathema." (Until this time, only four Ecumenical Councils had been convened). All of those listeners were frightened by those words and none of the heretics dared to say anything contrary to those words.

Climb Sina with the Holy Prayer

From Pharaoh have I fled and enslavement in Egypt
With Moses as my guide, I arrived at Mt. Sina
To climb Sina o my, how I wish this very much
Even to the holy top to recite the holy prayer

The ascent is difficult, o my God, grant me patience!
with endurance and with strength to obtain the holy prayer
Obedience come first with the Scriptures and with cell,
And the holy quiet all these strengthen the holy prayer!

To say the holy prayer, you must remove from the brain,
Far away any thing that is worldly and mundane
In beginning, just recite the holy prayer verbally
and after praying for some time, it will become prayer of the heart

To the words of the holy prayer place all attention
For when you just imagine, you risk being deceived!
The tempter is much exacerbated by the holy prayer
so do not acknowledge him when he attacks you with his darts

From the tree of this prayer are produced fruit that are sweet
Oh what honey that is this, my you cannot imagine it!
The prayer just how it works do not ask me to explain
I cannot express this which is a divine mystery!

When you see the prayer within you begin to operate
Guard it o so well, my friend with all of your consciousness
O my reverend yeronda, my Moses of the heart and mind
Come, give me your blessing so I obtain the holy prayer

The Mother of Christ, and mystery of the whole world
She blesses monks and nuns and gives them the holy prayer!
To climb Sina o my, how I wish this very much
Even to the holy top to recite the holy prayer.

-- author unknown.

Please email me,, in private for the mp3 file of this poem/hymn.

Heavenly Father

O Lord, my Heavenly father and my sweetest Christ,
Your holy name I will never forget,
Your holy name I can never deny, Alleluia.

You who decended to us as a tiny infant,
Place in my heart holy fear,
Place holy fear of You in my heart, Alleluia.

And when sleep calls me at the closure of the day,
My deeds remind me, for that day,
My deeds remind me, for that day, Alleluia.

And when that hour calls, the hour of death,
Take me there to the heavens, close to You,
Take me there to the heavens, to be with you, Alleluia.

There high, high in the heavens in the city of the angels,
So we can chant Your hymn, after the archangels,
So we can chant Your hymn, after the archangels, Alleluia.

My Lady and my Mistress, my Comfortress,
Whenever my heart requests you to be there, you reach out to me my Queen,
Whenever I call on you, my Queen you are there, Alleluia.

Help us, oh purest one, we are praying Mother!
Protect us Mistress, protect us day and night,
Protect us Mistress, protect us day and night, Alleluia.

Spotless One, Maria, thank you Queen of All,
You are the bearer of humanities salvation,
You are the bearer of humanities salvation, Alleluia.

We plead with you, give us in that hour,
The glory of God so we can rest and receive our gifts of virtue,
The glory of God so we can rest and receive our gifts of virtue, Alleluia.

~ Vasiliki, Melbourne, 10th October 2009.

St Nilus the Ascetic on Prayer:

- "Do not avoid poverty and sorrow, because they make prayer seem lighter. ..."

- "Prayer is the ascent of the mind towards God. It is a spiritual labour that befits the human mind more than any other preoccupation."

- "Prayer is born from meekness and the lack of anger that brings to the soul joy and pleasure; it protects man from sorrow and depression."

Marriage Not Abolished by the Commendation of Virginity

The Banquet of Virgins, Discourse II - Theophila, Chapter I.

Then Theopila spoke:-

"Since Marcella has excellently begun this discussion without sufficiently completing it, it is necessary that I should endeavour to put a finish to it. Now, the fact that man has advanced by degrees to virginity, God urging him on from time to time, seems to me to have been admirably proved; but I cannot say the same as to the assertion that from henceforth they should no longer beget children. For I think I have perceived clearly from the Scriptures that, after He had brought in virginity, the Word did not altogether abolish the generation of children; for although the moon may be greater than the stars, the light of the other stars is not destroyed by the moonlight."

Let us begin with Genesis, that we may give its place of antiquity and supremacy to this scripture. Now the sentence and ordinance of God respecting the begetting of children (Gen i. 28) is confessedly being fulfilled to this day, the Creator still fashioning man. For this is quite manifest, that God, like a painter, is at this very time working at the world, as the Lord also taught, “My Father worketh hitherto.” (even until now. John v. 17) But when the rivers shall cease to flow and fall into the reservoir of the sea, and the light shall be perfectly separated from the darkness,—for the separation is still going on,—and the dry land shall henceforth cease to bring forth its fruits with creeping things and four-footed beasts, and the predestined number of men shall be fulfilled; then from henceforth shall men abstain from the generation of children. But at present man must cooperate in the forming of the image of God, while the world exists and is still being formed; for it is said, “Increase and multiply.” (Gen i. 28) And we must not be offended at the ordinance of the Creator, from which, moreover, we ourselves have our being. For the casting of seed into the furrows of the matrix is the beginning of the generation of men, so that bone taken from bone, and flesh from flesh, by an invisible power, are fashioned into another man. And in this way we must consider that the saying is fulfilled, “This is now bone of my bone, and flesh of my flesh.” (Gen ii. 23)

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Fault finding ...

"There is no greater love than that a man lays down his life for his neighbor. When you hear someone complaining and you struggle with yourself and do not answer him back with complaints; when you are hurt and bear it patiently, not looking for revenge; then you are laying down your life for your neighbor." —Abba Poemen

"You cannot be too gentle, too kind. Shun even to appear harsh in your treatment of each other. Joy, radiant joy, streams from the face of him who gives and kindles joy in the heart of him who receives. All condemnation is from the devil. Never condemn each other. We condemn others only because we shun knowing ourselves. When we gaze at our own failings, we see such a swamp that nothing in another can equal it. That is why we turn away, and make much of the faults of others. Instead of condemning others, strive to reach inner peace. Keep silent, refrain from judgement. This will raise you above the deadly arrows of slander, insult and outrage and will shield your glowing hearts against all evil." —St Seraphim of Sarov

"Love never hates anyone, never reproves anyone, never condemns anyone, never grieves anyone, never abhors anyone, neither faithful nor infidel nor stranger nor sinner nor fornicator, nor anyone impure, but instead it is precisely sinners, and weak and negligent souls that it loves more, and feels pain for them and grieves and laments, and it feels sympathy for the wicked and sinners, more than for the good, imitating Christ Who called sinners, and ate and drank with them. For this reason, showing what real love is, He taught saying, `Become good and merciful like your Father in Heaven,' and as He rains on bad and good and makes the sun to rise on just and unjust alike, so also is the one who has real love, and has compassion, and prays for all." — Abba Ammonas
+ + +

Where there is pride there cannot be grace, and if we lose grace we also lose both love of God and assurance in prayer. The soul is then tormented by evil thoughts and does not understand that she must humble herself and love her enemies, for there is no other way to please God.

What shall I render unto Thee, O Lord, for that Thou hast poured such great mercy on my soul? Grant, I beg Thee, that I may see my iniquities, and ever weep before Thee, for Thou art filled with love for humble souls, and dost give them the grace of the Holy Spirit.

O merciful God, forgive me. Thou seest how my soul is drawn to Thee, her Creator. Thou hast wounded my soul with Thy love, and she thirsts for Thee, and wearies without end, and day and night, insatiable, reaches toward Thee, and has no wish to look upon this world, though I do love it, but above all I love Thee, my Creator, and my soul longs after Thee.

O my Creator, why have I, Thy little creature, grieved Thee so often? Yet Thou hast not remembered my sins.

Glory be to the Lord God that He gave us His Only-begotten Son for the sake of our salvation. Glory be to the Only-begotten Son that He deigned to be born of the Most Holy Virgin, and suffered for our salvation, and gave us His Most Pure Body and Blood to eternal life, and sent His Holy Spirit on the earth.

O Lord, grant me tears to shed for myself, and for the whole universe, that the nations may know Thee and live eternally with Thee, O Lord, vouchsafe us the gift of Thy humble Holy Spirit, that we may apprehend Thy glory.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Prayer of St Ephraim

O Lord and Master of my life, take from me the spirit of laziness, meddling, ambition, and vain talk. But give me a spirit of prudence, humility, patience, and love. Yes, Lord and King, grant me to see my own sins and faults and not judge my brother. For You are blessed forever and ever. Amen.

The Lord guards his people

You who dwell in the heavens, take pity on us.
To you I lift up my eyes,
to you who dwell in the heavens.

Like the eyes of a servant watching his master,
like the eyes of a maid on her mistress’s hands,
so we keep our eyes on the Lord our God,
as we wait for his kindness.

Take pity on us, Lord, take pity:
we have had our fill of contempt.
Our souls have had their fill
of the laughter of the rich,
of the contempt of the proud.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
You who dwell in the heavens take pity on us.

--- Psalm 122 (123)

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

From me to you ...

Peace blossoms from a wise innate will,
into a flower of encompassing trust.
Regardless of external circumstances,
the sense of serenity is still;
a personal choice in the midst of chaos.
Surround me with your love and light,
and inspire me with your gentleness;
so that I may overcome all my unrest.

I am waiting for you

I am waiting for you ...
by trusting in our Lord, Jesus Christ.

I am waiting for you …
I know that one day you will come.

I am waiting for you ...
I pray that you will know that I exist.

I am waiting for you ...
And then we will live what Christ has reserved for us …

I am waiting ...
I know that He has dedicated you,
With affection, for me.

I am waiting.

My most merciful and all-loving God, Lord Jesus Christ,

Through Your great love You came down and took flesh to save all.

And again, O Saviour, save me by Your grace, I pray You, For if You should save me for my works, this would not be grace or a gift, but rather a duty.

Indeed, in Your infinite compassion and unspeakable mercy, You O my Christ have said:

Whoever believes in Me shall live and never see death.

If faith in You saves the desperate, save me, for You are my God and Creator. Impute my faith instead of deeds, O my God, for You will find no deeds which could justify me, but may my faith suffice for all my deeds.

May it answer for and acquit me, and may it make me a partaker of Your eternal glory. And may satan not seize me, O Word, and boast that he has torn me from Your hand and fold. O Christ, my Saviour, whether I will or not, save me.

Make haste, quick, quick, for I perish. You are my God from my mother's womb.

Grant me, O Lord, to love You now as once I loved sin, and also to work for You without idleness, as I worked before for deceptive satan.

But supremely shall I work for You, my Lord and God, Jesus.

+ + +

Monday, January 11, 2010

I was born in the past.

And I was raised in a present which is now past.
But I am going to die in the Future.
So Future is my Homeland.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

The beauty of people ...

"Unless we look at a person and see the beauty there is in this person, we can contribute nothing to him. One does not help a person by discerning what is wrong, what is ugly, what is distorted. Christ looked at everyone he met, at the prostitute, at the thief, and saw the beauty hidden there. Perhaps it was distorted, perhaps damaged, but it was beauty none the less, and what he did was to call out this beauty." ~ Metropolitan Anthony of Sourozh of blessed memory.

Brethren, let us endeavor every day and every moment to sharpen our heart that the heart could always distinguish good and evil. For everything that happens to us, the question is posed: What is good and what is evil? Precisely everything that happens to us, happens to us so that we could realize what is good and to follow after good. We place ourselves in such temptations even a hundred times a day. He who has eyes to see, let him see.

O Lord, Lover of mankind, warm our hearts with good which is from You. Make us wise, O Lord, to be able to distinguish good from evil. O Master, strengthen us that we should always embrace good and discard evil for the sake of Your glory, O Lover of mankind, and for the sake of our salvation.

On insults and inner peace ...

Various Excerpts from Dorotheos of Gaza :

Let us examine as to why a person sometimes gets annoyed when he hears an insult, and other times he endures it without getting agitated. What is the reason for this contrast? And is there one reason or are there several? There are several reasons, although they are all born from a main one. Sometimes it happens that after praying or completing a benevolent exercise, the person finds himself in a kind spiritual disposition and therefore, is amenable to his brother and doesn’t get annoyed over his words. It also happens that a person is partial to another, and as a consequence, endures without any annoyance, everything that the individual inflicts upon him. It also happens that a person may despise the individual who wants to insult him, and therefore ignores him.
+ + +
I will relate the following event. There was a novice living in the cloister with me and whom I have never seen annoyed or angry, even though he was plagued and insulted by many. This youth endured everything as though it wasn’t happening. Once I asked him to disclose to me the thought that he retains in his heart that makes him so patient. He responded with great contempt: "Why should I accept insults from them as I would from humans? After all — they are barking curs." Upon hearing this, I staggered away and thought: "Some path this brother had found!" Crossing myself, I departed, entreating God so that He would preserve him and me from such thoughts. And so it happens that one doesn’t get annoyed because he despises the insulter, and this is obvious perdition.
+ + +
People usually get annoyed either because they are in a bad mood, or they are nurturing unpleasant thoughts about another. However, the main reason for our annoyance is that we don’t reproach ourselves: this incurs spiritual disturbance and loss of inner peace. The true and genuine path toward a calm disposition is continual self-reproach. Even if a person had accomplished many good deeds yet doesn’t hold fast to the path of self-reproach, he will never cease being annoyed and insulting others, thereby losing the fruits of his good labor. In contrast, what joy and tranquility that person acquires who reproaches himself! Wherever he goes and whatever unpleasantness happens, or whatever insults he hears; he has convinced himself beforehand that he deserves all types of sorrows. That’s why when something unpleasant does happen, he doesn’t get annoyed. What more sorrowless condition can there be?

Theophan the Recluse

St Theophan, you are my Patron Saint for 2010 ...
You have confirmed that that for me today on your own feast day! ...
Thank you for today...

... Whenever he was not occupied with writing or praying, the reclusive bishop worked at carpentry or painting icons. He received from twenty to forty letters each day, and he answered all of them. He was able to discern each writer's spiritual condition, then give detailed answers to the questions of those who were struggling for the salvation of their souls.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

You cannot be too gentle, too kind ...

Shun even to appear harsh in your treatment of each other.
Joy, radiant joy, streams from the face of him who gives and kindles joy in the heart of him who receives.
All condemnation is from the devil.
Never condemn each other.
We condemn others only because we shun knowing ourselves.
When we gaze at our own failings, we see such a swamp that nothing in another can equal it.
That is why we turn away, and make much of the faults of others.
Instead of condemning others, strive to reach inner peace.
Keep silent, refrain from judgement.
This will raise you above the deadly arrows of slander, insult and outrage and will shield your glowing hearts against all evil.
— Seraphim of Sarov

Sometimes, I have no desire to pray ...

From "Wounded By Love" by Elder Porfyrios:

"Many people ask me to pray for their relatives who suffer. And I do pray and I am moved and impelled by the love of the person who asks me to do so, because I see him or her suffer for his or her relative who is in trouble. This way I can make their pain my own. However, sometimes they disappoint me, and I have no desire to pray for them ... ... What can I say to him [them]? Whatever I tell him [them], he will think I am scolding him for no reason, as he will not understand my point."

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Hymn of praise to the Holy Trinity

O, Holy Lord, holy in creating,
All that You create by Your Word, by Your Spirit You consecrate.

O, Mighty Lord, mighty in suffering,
For the world You walk to Your death; for the world, You resurrect.

Immortal Lord, in voice, we praise You;
Father, Son, Holy Spirit - God, have mercy on us!

The Father, Who appeared over Jordan as a Voice,
The Spirit, Who as a White Dove hovered,
The Son, Who by the Prophet John was baptized,

Three rays of light, one light shown,

The Trinity manifested, we praise You in voice:

Father, Son, Holy Spirit - God, have mercy on us!

"For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit: and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness in earth, the spirit and the water and the blood: and these three are together" (I John 5: 7-8)

Anonymous Verses - 8th century

translated by Brendan Kennelly

God's Praises

Only a fool would fail
To praise God in His might
When the tiny mindless birds
Praise Him in their flight.

Christ's Bounty

I pray you, Christ, to change my heart,
To make it whole;
Once you took on flesh like mine,
Now take my soul.

Ignominy and pain you knew,
The lash, the scourge,
You, the perfect molten metal
Of my darkened forge.
You make the bright sun bless my head,
Put ice beneath my feet,
Send salmon swarming in the tides,
Give crops of wheat.
When Eve's wild children come to you
With prayerful words,
You crowd the rivers with fine fish,
The sky with birds.
You make the small flowers thrive
In the wholesome air,
Your spread sweetness through the world.
What miracle can compare?

The Soul's Desire

(translated by Eleanor Hull)

It were my soul's desire
To see the face of God;
It were my soul's desire
To rest in His abode.

It were my soul's desire
To study zealously;
This, too, my soul's desire,
A clear rule set for me.

It were my soul's desire
A spirit free from gloom;
It were my soul's desire
New life beyond the Doom.

It were my soul's desire
To shun the chills of Hell;
Yet more my soul's desire
Within His house to dwell.

It were my soul's desire
To imitate my King,
It were my soul's desire
His ceaseless praise to sing.

It were my soul's desire
When heaven's gate is won
To find my soul's desire
Clear shining like the sun.

Grant, Lord, my soul's desire,
Deep waves of cleansing sighs;
Grant, Lord, my soul's desire
From earthly cares to rise.

This still my soul's desire
Whatever life afford --
To gain my soul's desire
And see Thy face, O Lord.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Crown the Year with Goodness

"You crown the year with Your goodness,
And Your paths drip with abundance."

Psalms 65:11

Great indeed, we confess, is the mystery of our religion:
God was manifested in the flesh,
justified in the Spirit,
seen by angels,
preached among the nations,
believed on in the world,
taken up in glory.