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.

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?