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.












Monday, March 25, 2019

Anger Without Cause: A Prophetic Motif of Destroying the Law











For those interested, I recently completed a paper on the subject of anger and murder in Matthew 5:21-22, and its relationship with the Decalogue (among other things). The title of that paper is, Anger Without Cause: A Prophetic Motif of Destroying the Law

That paper can be viewed in the link on the side bar called "Theological Essays." The direct link to the paper can be found here.












Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Pathways to Immaturity






One man writes a story
The surrounding tribe rises to the occasion
To drill into
To warn others about
They must save the world
As guardians of the galaxy
Prophets commissioned to bear the good news
That their story is the only true story
And they aren’t alone
They have a whole tradition that reaches way, way back
A whole five hundred years
Or slightly more
Even more important 
Is their book
God is there
God is everywhere
But especially there
As guardians of the good news
They protect God from all opposition
Tearing down every stronghold
And every philosophy
And empty deceit
As guardians of God
One word says one thing
But they know their great scary book has more words than one
To pick out and shove into the conversation
Or better yet
To shove in front of the conversation
So as to protect all the innocents
From all unapproved conversation
Misleading them into darkness
Sliding them down the backward path of human tradition
They know the one in whom the fulness of deity dwells bodily
They know the circumcision of Christ
As guardians of the head of all rule and authority
They must bind their nobles with fetters of iron
To freely instruct the blind
To graciously feed the hungry
The whole clan must not become divided 
Or else one mans story will prevail






Thursday, January 31, 2019

Psalmos 10•3





How dare you
Perpetuate ignorance 
Denying Science 
Elevating your ego 
Above the heavens 

Religion is a poison 
In a hundred years 
Its death is inevitable 
Progress is the real antidote
For our ancestral disease 

Can’t you see the problem? 
If you teach contrary to Science
Entire generations will devolve
Civilization as we know it will regress
Must we return to the middle-ages?

Your beliefs are the real threat
If the foundations of facts are destroyed
What can the righteous do? 
You can’t possibly remain so illogical
In light of all the progress we’ve made

How dare you
Above the heavens
Elevating your ego
Denying Science 
Perpetuate ignorance