Monday, April 26, 2010

My Souls Healer

My soul's Healer,
Keep me at even,
Keep me at morning,
Keep me at noon,
On rough course faring,
Help and safeguard
My means this night.
I am tired, astray, and stumbling,
Shield me from snare and sin.

Ancient Celtic prayer collected by Alexander Carmichael (1832-1912), published in Carmina Gadelica (Edinburgh: Floris Books, 1992). These are prayers, hymns, and incantations collected in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland in the 18th century.

Friday, April 23, 2010

St George (275-281)

The most famous legend of Saint George is the tale of him  slaying a dragon. In the Middle Ages the dragon was commonly used to represent the Devil. The slaying of the dragon by St George was first credited to him in the twelfth century, long after his death. . The version of the legend added to the hagiography of Saint George was Eastern in origin, and was brought back to the west by those returning from the Crusades.
According to the narrative in the Golden Legend the events take place at "Silene," in Libya.  In the tenth-century Georgian narrative,  the location is the fictional city of Lasia, where the godless Emperor Selinus riegns.

In that telling of the tail  the town was near a large body of water where a  dragon dwelled. From there it terrized the country side. Every day two sheep were feed to the dragon. When that failed to appease its appitite , they fed it their children whom were chosen by lottery.

One day it happened that the lot fell on the king's daughter. The king, distraught with grief, told the people they could have all his gold and silver and half of his kingdom if his daughter were spared; the people refused. The daughter was sent out to the lake, decked out as a bride, to be fed to the dragon.

Saint George came by the lake. The princess, trembling, sought to send him away, but George vowed to remain and vanquish the dragon.
The dragon reared out of the lake during their conversing. George fortified himself with the Sign of the Cross, charged it on horseback with his lance and gave it a grievous wound. Then he called to the princess to throw him her girdle, and he put it around the dragon's neck. When she did so, the dragon followed the girl like a meek beast on a leash. She and Saint George led the dragon back to the city of Silene, where it terrified the people at its approach. But Saint George called out to them, saying that if they consented to become Christians and be baptised, he would slay the dragon before them.

The king and the people of Silene converted to Christianity, George slew the dragon and "Fifteen thousand men baptized, without women and children." On the site where the dragon died, the king built a church to the Blessed Virgin Mary and Saint George, and from its altar a spring arose whose waters cured all disease.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

earth day prayer

Love all God's creation,
the whole and every grain of sand in it.
Love every leaf, every ray of God's light.
Love the animals, love the plants, love everything.
If you love everything,
you will perceive the divine mystery in things.
Once you perceive it, you will begin to comprehend
it better everyday.
And you will come at last to love the whole world
with an all-embracing love." 
Fyodor Dostoevsky

Sunday, April 11, 2010

the Claddagh

The Claddagh - Irish Friendship, Wedding Symbol

The Claddagh is a visual portrayal of the eternal bond
of friendship, loyalty, and love.
The Heart symbolizes love, life's finest impulse.
From it, generosity and compassion flow.
The Hands of friendship are clasped around the heart
in a gesture of giving. As they cradle the heart gently,
the hands are both protective and strong,
like true friendship.
The Crown symbolizes loyalty.
It represents the reward of love,
the highest achievement
the human spirit has yet accomplished.
To give the Claddagh is to forge forever the bonds
of love, friendship, and loyalty.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Detrich Bonhoffer (1906-1945)

Bonhoffer Speaks

“The ultimate test of a moral society is the kind of world that it leaves to its children.”  

“A prison cell, in which one waits, hopes - and is completely dependent on the fact that the door of freedom has to be opened from the outside, is not a bad picture of Advent”

“To deny oneself is to be aware only of Christ and no more of self, to see only Him who goes before and no more the road which is too hard for us.”

“God's truth judges created things out of love, and Satan's truth judges them out of envy and hatred.”

“If you do a good job for others, you heal yourself at the same time, because a dose of joy is a spiritual cure.”

  “One act of obedience is better than one hundred sermons”

“Action springs not from thought, but from a readiness for responsibility.”


Sunday, April 4, 2010

Easter Sunday (3)

St. John Chrysostom's
Paschal (Easter) Meditation

On the morning Easter Sunday (the Great and Holy Pascha) this classic meditation on the resurrection, is read aloud is Orthodox Faith Communities across the world.

If any man be devout and love God,

let him enjoy this fair and radiant triumphal feast.

If any man be a wise servant,

let him enter rejoicing into the joy of his Lord.

If any have labored long in fasting,

let him now receive his recompense.

If any have wrought from the first hour,

let him today receive his just reward.

If any have come at the third hour,

let him with thankfulness keep the feast.

If any have arrived at the sixth hour,

let him have no misgivings,

because he shall in no wise be deprived.

If any have delayed until the ninth hour,

let him draw near, fearing nothing.

If any have tarried even until the eleventh hour,

let him also be not alarmed at his tardiness;

for the Lord, who is jealous of his honor,

will accept the last even as the first;

he gives rest unto him who comes at the eleventh hour,

even as unto him who has worked from the first hour.

And He shows mercy upon the last,

and cares for the first;

and to the one he gives, and upon the other he bestows gifts.

And he both accepts the deeds,

and welcomes the intention,

and honors the acts and praises the offering.

Wherefore, enter ye all into the joy of your Lord,

and receive your reward,

both the first and likewise the second.

You rich and poor together,

hold high festival.

You sober and you heedless,

honor the day.

Rejoice today,

both you who have fasted

and you who have disregarded the fast.

The table is fully laden;

feast sumptuously.

The calf is fatted;

let no one go hungry away.

Enjoy the feast of faith;

receive all the riches of loving-kindness.

Let no one bewail his poverty,

for the universal kingdom has been revealed.

Let no one weep for his iniquities,

for pardon has shone forth from the grave.

Let no one fear death,

for the Savior's death has set us free:

he that was held prisoner of it has annihilated it.

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By descending into hell, he made hell captive.

He embittered it when it tasted of his flesh.

And Isaiah, foretelling this, cried:

"Hell was embittered when it encountered thee in the lower regions."

It was embittered, for it was abolished.

It was embittered, for it was mocked.

It was embittered, for it was slain.

It was embittered, for it was overthrown.

It was embittered, for it was fettered in chains.

It took a body, and met God face to face.

It took earth, and encountered heaven.

It took that which was seen, and fell upon the unseen.

O Death, where is your sting?

O Hell, where is your victory?

Christ is risen, and you are overthrown.

Christ is risen, and the demons are fallen.

Christ is risen, and the angels rejoice.

Christ is risen, and life reigns.

Christ is risen, and not one dead remains in the grave.

For Christ, being risen from the dead,

is become the first-fruits of those who have fallen asleep.

To him be glory and dominion unto ages of ages. Amen.

graphic: traditional Icon of the Ressuresction

Friday, April 2, 2010

Good Friday (3)

O Sacred  Head Surrounded

O sacred head, surrounded
by crown of piercing thorn!
O bleeding head, so wounded,
reviled and put to scorn!
Death's pallid hue comes over you
The glow of life decays,
yet angel hosts adore thee
and tremble as they gaze
I see thy strength and vigor
all fading in the strife,
and death with cruel rigor,
bereaving thee of life;
O agony and dying!
O love to sinners free!
Jesus, all grace supplying,
O turn thy face on me.
                                                         In this thy bitter passion,
                                                        Good Shepherd, think of me
                                                        with thy most sweet compassion,
                                                        unworthy though I be:
                                                        beneath thy cross abiding
                                                        for ever would I rest,
                                                        in thy dear love confiding,
                                                        and with thy presence blest.
Bernard of Clairvaux (1091-1153)