Friday, July 15, 2011

We interrupt this broadcast...

I was sitting down to write some more about our homeschooling decisions for this year (preview: We're going Orthodox! Not ecclesially, only curriculum-ly.).

But I was distracted. Online. Can you imagine?

Inspired by a snippet on Ancient Faith Radio, I found this amazing collection called Prayers by the Lake, written by Nicolai Velimirovic, a Serbian monk. They are a beautiful reflection, before God, on the ways in which creation can lead us to the Creator.

This is from Prayer 16 (I've chopped out the "brood of vipers" litany, but you can read the whole thing here if you're feeling a need for a reminder of your wretchedness):

"Arise O sons of the Sun of God! Arise, the merciful sun has risen and has begun to pour its light lavishly over the dark fields of the earth. It has risen to set you free from sleep's gloom and terror.

Your sins of yesterday are not written out on the sun. The sun does not remember or seek revenge for anything. On its face there are no wrinkles from your forehead, nor is there any sadness, envy, or sorrow. Its joy lies in giving, its youth-- its rejuvenation -- lies in serving. Blessed are those who serve, for they shall not grow old.

What if the sun were to imitate you, my neighbors? How little light it would shed on earth, you misers! ....

Oh how fortunate it is for the world that the sun will never imitate you, O sons and daughters of earth!

Indeed, the sun does not know many things as you do, but it does know two things eternally: that it is a servant and a symbol. It knows that it is a servant of the One who kindled it and that it is a symbol of the One who put it at His service.

Be servants of the One who illuminates you with the sun on the outside and with Himself on the inside, and you will taste the sweetness of eternal youth.

Be a symbol of the One who put you among the animals of the earth, and you will surpass the radiance of the sun. Truly all the animals around you will swim in happiness beneath the rays of your goodness, even as moons swim around suns.

Yet what are the sun and all the stars except piles of ashes, through which You shine, O Son of God? Piles of ashes that lessen Your radiance and sift it through themselves like a thick sieve? For indeed, in Your full radiance nothing would be seen except You, just as in total darkness nothing is seen except darkness. ...

You alone know the measure of our needs, O Lord, glory to You!"

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