Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Anamnesis




I remember my first thought being about a can of soup
Everything changed with my birth
Or was it a shot?
 The docs were oblivious and Merck never made a peep

I remember the sandwich bags
The drenched vivas
Flies in window sills
Roadkill and raindrops spreading disease

I remember a holy man driving our Sunday route ahead of us
Just to remove diabolical obstacles 
So we could make it on time
And spare us all your bitching and carwashing 

I remember covering my face from fumes 
The greasy plaid couch pillows
The lysol spraying
The chlorine cleansing

I remember the eyes closed
The wiping of faucets
The crossing a brass fluted transition
The holes you burned in carpets to save the kosmos

I remember the video games and chips and soda
The weight gain
The weight loss
The bitching about a brother stolen

I remember the money borrowed from dad's wallet
Traded for cartons of newports and camels
So you could look him in the eye
Saying truthfully it wasn't you

I remember the sleeping all day
The shopping
The hoarding
The careless starch flamethrower that looked "nice"

I remember which one were you that day
You'd leave randomly
You'd return randomly
You'd smirk and bitch and provoke

I remember it takes 45 minutes to microwave a frozen lasagna
You never prepared meals for us
Dad pressure cooked chicken and boiled brussel sprouts
Peace and quiet was at Boston Chicken

I remember you never really cleaned
You never educated
You never really cared
Until it was always too late

I remember the blinds closed in every room
During the missionary trip to South Africa
The pensive panic with little kids
Bitching back at you to let us pay our water bill

Which one of you cared afterward?
For years I wished one of you cared about me
I searched but never found her
She never tried to reach me either

It took decades to wish that one would find me
Had I been found within the last few years
We would have taken care of her
I wanted her to know them anyway

But it's not all bad news I'm remembering
I also remember that God became what we are
So that we could become what He is
Including every one of you, who was no guardian angel

Since God is the one who vindicates
Who is the one who condemns you now
If He who is risen knew you and loved you most
Sandwich bags and all











Thursday, September 5, 2019

For Cyril Methodius





O God of all spirits and of all flesh, Who have destroyed death, overcome the Devil, and given life to the world, grant, O Lord, to the soul of Your servant, Cyril, who has departed from this life, that he may rest in a place of light, in a place of happiness, in a place of peace, where there is no pain, no grief, no sighing. And since You are a gracious God and the Lover of Mankind, forgive him every sin he has committed by thought, word, or deed, for there is not a man who lives and does not sin: You alone are without sin, Your justice is everlasting, and Your word is true. You are the Resurrection and the Life and the Repose of Your departed servant, Cyril, O Christ our God, and we render glory to You, together with Your Eternal Father, and Your All-holy, good and life-giving Spirit, now and ever and unto the ages of ages.

Amen.


May his memory be eternal. 








Loss of Face







O God, turn us around
And show your face
And we will be saved
Not from death
But from its sting
This madness of our own making
We see all around us
Crucifying them for teaching
Truths are reliabilities over time
Chasing false hopes
Of corpses rising from graves
And bones receiving flesh again
Of etherealities unto ages of ages
At the so-called end of time 
Of unspeakables and unfathomables 
Venting up and beyond distant galaxies
Of intellections and pneumaticities 
Merely interceding for us
Before the anointed appearance 
Certainly no skies had joined land yet
The first had to flee from his face
After the ascension
The aeons rushed 
Toward Armageddon
Toward Vindication 
The goal was festal sabbath 
No one was raised out of the dead ones
While Hades and Thanatos still held keys
To the gate of a bottomless pit 
And the lake was still a place yet to come
For those who refused to look upon your face
Over time we can rely upon the true hope of our past
That the Mount has been exalted above the plain
Death and Hell were tossed into perdition 
Their righteous dead already raised
This terra firma etherealized
The saints dwell amongst us
Turning us around 
Showing us your face
Saving us, O God




















Friday, August 16, 2019

Mother of Glory





Today the holy living ark of the living God, 
the one who carried her own Maker within herself, 
comes to her rest in the temple of the Lord not made by hands. 
David, her intercessor and God's, leaps for joy
the angles join in the dance
the archangels applaud
the virtues give praise
the principalities rejoice with them
the powers exult
the dominations delight
the thrones make festival
the cherubim sing their hymn
and the seraphim glorify God. 
They glorify Him in no negligible way, when they give glory to the mother of Glory. 

Today the sacred dove, 
the pure and innocent soul who was also purified by the Holy Spirit, 
has flown from the ark 
(I mean from that body which received God and is the source of our life)
and she has found a place of rest for her feet, 
flying up to the intelligible world 
and pitching her tent in the spotless land of our heritage on high. 

Today the Eden of the new Adam welcomes the spiritual paradise 
where our condemnation has been cancelled, 
where the tree of life is planted, 
where our nakedness is clothed again. 
For we are no longer naked and exposed, 
lacking the radiance of the divine image 
and stripped of the abundant favor of the Spirit.
We need no longer tell the story of that tragic, ancient nakedness, saying, 
"I have taken off my tunic, and how shall I put it on again?"1
For in this paradise the serpent has no means of entry, 
that serpent whose false promise of divinization led us to a covetousness 
that made us the equal only of irrational beasts. 
The only Son of God, 
who is God and of the same substance as the Father, 
formed himself into a human being from this virgin, 
from this pure soil.
And so I, who am human, am made divine. 
I, who am mortal, have now become immortal, 
and have stripped off my tunic of skin. 
For I have taken off corruption, 
and put on the robe of divinity. 

Today the immaculate Virgin, 
who never involved herself in earthly passions 
but was nourished on heavenly thoughts, 
did not return to earth. 
Being truly a living heaven, 
she now dwells in the tents of heaven. 
For who could err in calling her heaven, 
unless one were to say, and say rightly, 
that she has been lifted even above heaven in her incomparable privileges? 
For the maker and preserver of heaven 
and of everything in and beyond this universe, 
the craftsman of all that has been made, 
visible and invisible, 
He who has no place, 
because He is the place of all other beings 
(if, indeed, place is defined as what contains the things within it) 
He has created a child in her, 
of His own power and without human seed, 
and has revealed her as the spacious treasure-house of that Divinity that fills all things, 
alone and uncircumscribed. 
He has gathered Himself up completely in her, 
without suffering diminution, 
yet He remains wholly beyond her, 
abiding in Himself as His incomprehensible home. 

***

Let the heavens rejoice now, 
and the angels applaud! 
Let the earth be glad now, 
and all men and women leap for joy! 

Let the air ring out now with happy song, 
and let the black night lay aside its gloomy, unbecoming cloak of darkness, 
to imitate the bright radiance of day in sparkles of flame!

For the living city of the Lord God of hosts is lifted up, 
and kings bring a priceless gift from the temple of the Lord, 
the wonder of Zion, 
to the Jerusalem on high 
who is free and is their mother: 
those who were appointed by Christ as rulers of all the earth, the Apostles, 
escort to heaven the ever-virgin mother of God!2









1. Canticles 5:3
2. An excerpt from a homily by St John of Damascus, on the Dormition of Mary


Monday, August 5, 2019

Thabor and Hermon Rejoice at Your Name





Today things that cannot be heard are heard by human ears; for the visible human being is attested to be Son of God: unique, beloved, of the same substance. 
The witness cannot deceive, the proclamation is true; for the very Father who got him utters the proclamation himself. 
Let David stand as witness, and strike the lyre of the Spirit that speaks God's words. 
Let him sing the message now, more clearly and precisely, which the foresaw of old, as from a great distance, with purified eyes: the coming of the Word of God to us in flesh, as something yet to be, when he said, "Thabor and Hermon will shout for joy in your name."1
For this is the name above every name,2 over which Thabor and Hermon rejoice! 
This is my Son, the Beloved!3  
This is cause of rejoicing for all creation, this is a prize for humanity, a boast that will never be taken away! 
For the one to whom this witness is borne is a human being, even if he is not merely this! 
O joy, bestowed on us beyond all imagining! 
O blessedness here, beyond hope! 
O gifts of God, overcoming our desires! 
O graces, not given simply in response to modest demands! 
O generous giver, who have made a supernatural magnificence your own! 
O grace, befitting not so much the receiver as the giver! 
O mysterious covenants! 
O you who grant power and take on weakness! 
O you who reveal the human being as eternal, in that the eternal one begins to exist bodily as a creature! 
For if the human person is divinized, in that God is humanized, and the one God himself is revealed as also human, then the same individual, being human, is eternal in divinity, yet still, being God, begins to live in his humanity. 

-- St John of Damascus, Excerpt from a homily in celebration of the Transfiguration of the Lord






1.  Psalm 88:13
2.  Philippians 2:9
3.  Matthew 17:5






Monday, May 20, 2019

Priests of LMGTFY Culture




Who can get whom to do what with their bodies?
Take
Eat
From all the trees
But not this one
Remember lest ye forget
Indeterminate future manifestations abound

The goal is to discover
We call it mathematics for a reason
Hempel's ravens provide for us a clue
Knowing is a process, not an event
Their eyes were opened and they knew
They were advanced, but not scientific

We think we write our script
They actually do

It's now Us versus Them
Moderns or Primitives
Those of the Present or Past
Science or Tradition
Reason or Revelation
Jet sons or Flint stones

In their dispensation of the printing press
God became a book
In our dispensation of "Secret" in Swahili
Blogs become gods
Non-penetrative
Cyborgic extensions
Habituating their bodies to not know anything without the gods







Saturday, April 20, 2019

Even to those long dead






That the Laws of Loving-kindness called Him even to them that had been long dead.
Now the laws of love summoned Him even as far as Death and the dead themselves, so that He might summon the souls of those who were long time dead. And so because He cared for the salvation of all for ages past, and that “He might bring to naught him that hath the power of death,”* as Scripture teaches, here again he underwent the dispensation in His mingled Natures: as Man, he left His Body to the usual burial, while as God He departed from it. For He cried with a loud cry, and said to the Father: “I commend my spirit,”* and departed from the body free, in no wise waiting for death, who was lagging as it were in fear to come to Him; nay, rather, He pursued him from behind and drove him on, trodden under His feet and fleeing, and He burst the eternal gates of his dark realms, and made a road of return back again to life for the dead there bound with the bonds of death. Thus, too, His own body was raised up, and many bodies of the sleeping saints arose, and came together with Him into the holy and real City of Heaven, as rightly is said by the holy words: “Death has prevailed and swallowed men up”; and again: “The Lord God has taken away every tear from every face.”*
And the Saviour of the Universe, our Lord, the Christ of God, called Victor, is represented in the prophetic predictions as reviling death, and releasing the souls that are bound there, by whom He raises the hymn of victory, and He says these words:
“From the hand of Hades I will save them, and from death I will ransom their souls.1* O Death, where is thy victory?2 O Death, where is thy sting? The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law.”3
Such was the dispensation that brought Him even unto death, of which one that wishes to seek for the cause, can find not one reason but many. For firstly, the Word teaches by His death that He is Lord both of dead and living; and secondly, that He will wash away our sins, being slain, and becoming a curse for us; thirdly, that a victim of God and a great sacrifice for the whole world might be offered to Almighty God; fourthly, that thus He might work out the destruction of the deceitful powers of the dæmons by unspeakable words; and fifthly also, that shewing the hope of life with God after death to His friends and disciples not by words only by deeds as well, and affording ocular proof of His message, He might make them of good courage and more eager to preach both to Greeks and Barbarians the holy polity which He had established. And so at once He filled with His own divine power those very friends and followers, whom He had selected for Himself on account of their surpassing all, and had chosen as His apostles and disciples,4 that they might teach all races of men His message of the knowledge of God, and lay down one way of religion for all the Greeks and Barbarians; a way which announced the defeat and rout of the dæmons, and the check of polytheistic error, and the true knowledge of the one Almighty God, and which promised forgiveness of sins before committed, if men no longer continued therein, and one hope of salvation to all by the all-wise and all-good polity that He had instituted.5







* Heb. 2:14.
* Luke 23:46.
* Isa. 25:8.
1 LXX: αὐτούς..
* Hos. 13:14; 1 Cor 15:55.
2 ἡ δίκη σου.
3 “Eusebius prophetam in parte, et in parte aposlolum sequitur.”—Gaisford.
4 θιασώτας: so for “disciple” in Lucian: Fugit. 4; Themist. 33 c.
5 Everything posted above is taken from: Eusebius of Cæsarea. (1920). The Proof of the Gospel: Being the Demonstratio  Evangelica of Eusebius of Caesarea. (W. J. Sparrow-Simpson & W. K. L. Clarke, Eds., W. J. Ferrar, Trans.) (Vol. 1, Bk. IV, Ch. 12, pp. 186–187). London; New York: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge; The Macmillan Company.