Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Repent for me

Where can you look, my soul,
where you will not see the signs of His love for you?
Everywhere you turn, outside yourself or within,
are the signs of His love.
The very comforter you lie on to rest, He provided.
Your holy ikons and books,
all your holy things given out of love,
out of solicitude for your needs,
all the gifts of His friendship.

And within, the secret things He has divulged to your soul,
and the love with which He taught you
the languages of His Holy Scripture.
And through all your lonelinesses and trials,
He has stood beside you,
comforting and defending you, never judging you,
because He knows the Word planted in you
will purify you and raise you after any possible fall.
Such was and is His great love for you, my soul,
such was and is His respect for you.

Yet, like a stranger you turn away from Him,
as if He were an enemy to be despised.
You judge Him, as if He were a criminal to be punished.
Worse than His people who accused Him,
when He fed them with manna and quails and gave them drink
from a rock that followed them.
And worse even than them whom He healed and fed,
and who nevertheless gave Him up to be crucified.

What madness is this?
What ingratitude hidden amidst the foliage of piety?
Is this the kind of Jew you are, my soul,
continuing the work of your fathers who slew the prophets?

Lord, have mercy.

I go to You, Lord,
as one who has not yet made a beginning of serving You,
yet the time is close.

Repent for me, Spirit of God,
press me harder through the sieve of repentance.
Hold back my coarse and useless dust,
let through only the flour refined by Your grace.
Moisten me, then, with real tears and knead me,
yeastless, into a level loaf.
Pierce me all over,
that in the earthen oven of tribulation
my body may bear the stripes darkened by the fire,
to guide the fingers that must break me in pieces
for the brethren.

Yes, Lord, I go to You as one
who has made not even a beginning of serving you.

Lord, have mercy.

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