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, February 18, 2010

Confessions of a blind woman ...

by Abbess Xeni of Aegina

hear and pity me,
for this, my situation,
and pray to God for me,
to give my wretched soul salvation.

Believe me, all of you, my brethren, truly I'll explain,
in me is found abundantly the works I now will name.

If you would like to know which virtues I have called my own,
I'll tell you: naked is my soul of good in every form.

Utterly devoid of virtue, sentenced to be damned,
and by every purity most utterly abandoned.

Poverty past bounds is mine, and wounds and ill diseases,
and being lost forever in the folds of death's deep creases.

Severe insentitivity and stupor overcome me,
anger, pride, hard-heartedness and evil have undone me.

To virtue I am cold as ice, but warm to wickedness,
always ready for laughter's lure and for talkativeness.

Instead of being compunctionate I'm totally unfeeling,
instead of weeping constantly, I laugh, the wretched worldling!

But there is something yet, that hides so perfectly these evils.

How long will I so fool the world, though I am like the devils,
with my false piety, fake virtue and hypocrisy?

When the world regards me highly, I rejoice and boast,
but when they criticise me, even kindly, I am sad, and mope.

Whomever of you knows me,
I exhort you to feel piety,
and when reminded of me,
weep for my iniquity.

Beg our God that someday enlightenment He will send me;
and by your prayers, my brethren, I hope that He will save me,
and from my somber wickedness and evil, He will free me.


Hattip to Fr. Demetrios Serfes.