Monday, March 7, 2016

That old, beautiful road

Yes, it’s still that old road,
that old, beautiful road.

The bloom of spiritual youth,
when joy came readily
and spontaneously,
like the rain-downed blossoms
on my now bare magnolia tree,
only a memory to be trodden underfoot,
taunting now with temptation to failed faith,
is like a mirage
sighted only by looking back,
and a mirage at that,
for the world of the past,
as Christ Himself promises,
is gone,
and only the present moment,
dry as a potsherd,
is real.

Yes, promises,
for Christ does not grant us
what we think we need at the wrong time,
but waits more patiently than the universe
for the son of God in us
to be revealed,
as He walks with us,
yes, with each and every one of us,
prying open the ears of our hearts with His parables,
as He, resurrected, accompanies us
down that old road,
that old, beautiful road
first planted with His teachings
and paved with His tears.

Yes, beautiful,
and very, very old, that road
which leads from the disobediently disappled tree,
past the preventing angels,
passing through ambushes
of envious and vengeful devils whose lies
stretched taut and almost invisible
would trip us,
which proves itself the path of no turning back
and impels us forward
into whose galloping arms,
nailed as branches,
we realize only as we gasp our last,
is what He promised.

Yes, it’s still that old road,
that old, beautiful road.

Days and nights,
joys and sorrows,
exaltation and near despair,
casting their lights and shadows across that road,
they do not help or hinder,
do not speed or slow our progress
as we walk in tandem with our invisible Lord,
made visible in our pressing on,
in our tearful, even anguished endurance,
as we
saddled with silence
pursue His words promising us life.

‘Will you also abandon me?’
it seems we ask Him, though it is He who asks,
and coming to ourselves
after a night of sleepless struggle,
we rejoin Him
on that old road,
that old, beautiful road,
and relieve ourselves of all doubt
as we tell Him,
‘To whom would I go,
since You alone have the words of eternal life,’

And that is enough,
it has to be enough,
for that is all truth, all beauty, and saves all the world.

Yes, beloved brethren,
it’s still that old, beautiful road.

— Romanós

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