Monday, June 21, 2010

Prayers by the Lake: IV by St. Nikolai Velimirovich


My elders taught me, when I was a youth, to cling to heaven and earth, lest I stumble. For a long time I remained a child, and for a long time I used to lean on the crutch that they gave me.

But once eternity flooded through me and I felt like a stranger in the world, heaven and earth snapped in two in my hands like a frail reed.

O Lord, my strength, how frail are heaven and earth! They look like palaces built of lead, but they evaporate like water in the palm of the hand in Your presence. Only by their bristling do they conceal their frailty, and frighten uneducated children.

Get out of my sight, suns and stars. Sunder yourselves from the earth. Do not entice me, women and friends. What help can I receive from you, who are helplessly growing old and sinking into the grave?

All your gifts are an apple with a worm in its core. All your potions have passed through someone's entrails many times. Your garments are a cobweb that my nakedness mocks. Your smiles are a proclamation of sorrow, in which your feebleness is screaming to mine for help.

O Lord, my strength, how feeble heaven and earth are! And all the evil that men do under heaven is an admission of feebleness and—infirmity.

Only someone strong dares to do good. Only someone who is nourished and watered with You, my strength, is filled with strength for goodness.

Only someone who sleeps in Your heart knows rest. Only someone who plows before Your feet will enjoy the fruit of his labors.

My childhood, nourished with fear and ignorance, came to an end; and my hope in heaven and earth vanished.

Now I only gaze at You and cling to Your gaze in return, O my cradle and my resurrection.

4 comments:

yudikris said...

Thanks brother Pandelis for posting this wonderful prayer of St. Nikolai. I'd like to post this on my blog too! :)

Ρωμανός ~ Romanós said...

Pandelis! I cannot believe how great this poem prayer is! Like Yudhie, I want to grab hold of this and broadcast it wherever I can. I always find the writings and meditations of this saint 'over the top', but this is best of all. I want my soul to align itself more closely to Christ, I want to repent of my failures in thought, word and deed, and meditating on this prayer and offering it will be good medicine for my soul.

Thank you, thank you, thank you, brother! And blessed be the name of the Lord Most-High, and blessed be the repose of the saint who has left behind this token of the heavenly kingdom, of Christ our true and only paradise!

Pandeli said...

I love this prayer too!

God bless you both.

Cranberry said...

Yes, it's very nice!