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March 2016

THE EARTH OUGHT TO REJOICE TODAY -An Original Poem

imageTHE EARTH OUGHT TO REJOICE TODAY
And the heavens filled with gladness!
God has made for her a crown,
A diadem for the glory of the cosmos,
And a Ruby in it to adorn with beauty.
To her, angels have attended.
To her also, peace was given.

By her smile I am filled with joy
And giddiness has overcome me:
My heart is humbled at the
Sight of her innocence and of her purity,
And my soul receives strength when I see her resting.
Establish Catherine, oh Lord,
Steadfast and immovable.

Enable us also, our life-
giving Trinity, to glorify Thy wisdom.

“Blessed are the Clean of Heart” – An Original Poem

I have crossed myself with the staff
Of the Seed of Jacob, my Lord and my God,
And I have been baptized in the Jordan with my Christ.
Oh God, deal well with me, Your servant,
Though I am not worthy of the least
Of all Your mercies or of Your Truth.

Deliver me, oh Lord, from the hand of my enemies
And from them who encircle me, Oh my supreme Joy,
Teaching me to keep my treasure on earth for moths and rust.
But You, oh God, deliver me and purify my heart,
For You said, “I will surely treat you well
And make you as the angels in the resurrection.”

Enable me, oh Lord, to wrestle until daybreak
That I might be filled because I hunger,
That I might receive Your blessing,
That I may see Your Face.

A Word from St. Kosmas Aitolos

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Even if we perform upon thousands of good works, my brethren: fasts, prayers, almsgiving; even if we shed our blood for our Christ and we don’t have these two loves [love of God and love of brethren], but on the contrary have hatred and malice toward our brethren, all the good we have done is of the devil and we go to hell. But, you say, we go to hell despite all the good we do because of that little hatred?

Yes, my brethren, because that hatred is the devil’s poison, and just as when we put a little yeast in a hundred pounds of flour it has such power that it causes all the dough to rise, so it is with hatred. It transforms all the good we have done into the devil’s poison.

+St. Kosmas Aitolos, The Life of St. Kosmas Aitolos Together with an English Translation of His Teaching and Letters, Translated by Nomikos Michael Vaporis

A Word From Saint Maximus

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If you fast and avoid a mode of life which excites the passions, and in general do whatever contributes to your deliverance from evil, then you have ‘prepared the way for the Lord’. 

But if you do these things out of selfesteem, or greed, or love of flattery, or for some similar motive, and not with a desire to perform God’s will, then you have not ‘made His paths straight’.

You have endured the labor of preparing the way but do not have God walking in your paths.

St Maximos the Confessor
The Philokalia – Vol II

How Worthless Is That Thing Called Love – Original Poem

How worthless is that thing called love (it is no love at all)
That strikes the heart with just the right strength
To leave all hope of sense behind!
It calls forth with such force a rage of sweat for palms,
Great clattering of knees, and the incessant drumming of the heart.
It is of the same devilish invention as the attention of
A dear trapped in headlights.
In full, I hope to be a friend, just a friend,
And put well aside this kind, this sin, of emotion.
In truth, my greatest offense is my affection
Which, without doubt, will tear apart all hope of sense and friendship.

But even in this darkness, I do hope against hope,
That your palms may soak in the sweat of your fear
And your knees left weak from the gaze of my eyes,
That even you might lose reason and feel with depth
The vast ocean that lies before you,
Waiting to be measured with the cup of the finitude
Of the time we may yet spend together,
A hope that one day we can live the
Beautiful portrait of the wonder of love.