Orthodox Thought for the Day


Friday, May 17, 2013

Poem on the Liturgical Week

Below is a meaningful poem from the heart and pen of Bishop Paul of Tracheia, retired, who now lives as a monastic in the monastery of St. Anthony the Great in France.  He has written a number of books of rhyming poetry on Orthodox themes which can be found on Amazon.com.  You can find his publications by searching on the Amazon site, under “Bishop Paul of Tracheia.”  The following is from his book, Christmas Poems: 

On MONDAY we remember all the angels of the Lord,
Gabriel the messenger, and Michael with his sword,
Thrones and powers and dominations, six-winged Seraphim;
Holy!  Holy!  Holy!  Yes, thrice-holy is their hymn.
Michael the archangel kept the door of Paradise,
He leads the heavenly armies, and opposes wicked vice
He is the guardian angel of all faithful Christian folk,
Destroying evil demons, for invincible’s his stroke.
Gabriel the messenger flew down from Heaven on high
When man’s salvation by the Son of God was drawing nigh,
He found the Virgin Mary, and he told her of the plan
That she would help to realize, when God became as man. 

How many times this angel has come down to us on earth,
He came to Zacharias and announced the Baptist’s birth,
He travelled with the Kings who’d come from very far away,
To worship and adore the Saviour, born on Christmas Day. 

On TUESDAY we remember John, forerunner of the Lord.
Ascetic, very humble, he was greatly over-awed
When Jesus came to tell him that He wished to be baptized;
This holy man obeyed, but was astonished and surprised. 

‘See, the Lamb of God, who comes to wash away our sin!’
The prophet said to Andrew, ‘You must go and follow Him.’
Jesus then called Philip, who went to tell Nathanael,
Who said, ‘This is the Son of God and King of Israel.’ 

Near the River Jordan when he’d just baptized the Lord,
Because of his obedience, John received a great reward.
He saw the Holy Trinity, the blessed Three-in-One,
The Father, Son and Spirit, the eternal Triple Sun. 

This greatest of the prophets says to all of us today,
‘Repent and follow Jesus, for it’s He who is the Way!’
He raised his hand and touched the Son of God come from above,
He heard the Father speak, he saw the Spirit as a dove. 

WEDNESDAY we consider as the middle of the week,
Come and see the Virgin Mother, humble, mild and meek,
Standing with the other virgin, weeping bitter tears,
As the sound of hammers strike her pure maternal ears. 

As the second Eve, she stood before another tree,
And looked upon the fruit that hung thereon for you and me;
She wept to see how wicked men ignored that God is Love,
And for their salvation, had come down from Heaven above. 

She remembered then the words that Simeon had said;
A sword indeed had pierced her soul, when Life she saw as dead.
She took Him from the Cross, and then she laid Him in a tomb,
Fertile as had been her pure and ever-virgin womb. 

She saw the day become as night, the rocks that trembled too,
As her Son and God then opened Paradise anew,
His Cross was standing upright in the middle of the earth,
For this hour it was indeed, that she had given birth. 

On THURSDAY we remember the Apostles of the Lord,
And with them Bishop Nicolas, so easily implored;
They travelled far, and suffered much, to teach and to install
The Holy Church which is, today, the mother of us all. 

Peter, James and John, with Thomas and Bartholomew,
Philip, Luke and Matthew, Mark, Matthias and Andrew,
And with them we remember, too, the great Apostle Paul –
Jesus Christ, the risen Lord, was wisely taught by all. 

At the Holy Liturgy are mentioned all the Saints,
Yet somehow, with Saint Nicolas, one easily acquaints;
He comes to help so quickly, and he saves so many lives,
One hardly has the time to call his name, and he arrives! 

From Heaven, this holy company looks down upon the Church,
Encouraging theology, and spiritual research.
On all these great Apostles was the Spirit of the Lord,
To live with Him in Paradise—their well-deserved reward! 

On FRIDAY we remember Jesus Christ was crucified—
To save us all from death, upon the Tree of Life He died.
This precious Wood discovered by a very pious queen,
From the town of Colchester, where maybe you have been. 

Many are the relics of this very sacred Tree,
Which the Lord of Glory used to save both you and me,
With this sign we bless ourselves; yes, blessings now abound,
Wherever Jesus’ Cross—His sign of victory—may be found. 

O Tree of Life!  O Tree of Love!  O Tree of Sacrifice!
The wood which made the Cross is now the door to Paradise,
For you revealed theology, and showed that GOD IS LOVE,
When Jesus on your branches, was then lifted up above. 

I will follow Jesus, with my cross upon my back;
I pray to have humility, then I will never lack
The patience that is necessary, if I want to be
Crucified with Jesus, and be nailed upon a tree. 

On SATURDAY we pray for all those who’ve gone before,
And sailed across the ocean, and have reached the other shore.
Jesus knows this place, and so He went there to prepare
Eternal joy in Paradise, that all may come and share. 

The Son of God Himself reposed upon this sacred day,
No longer in the manger, in a sepulcher He lay,
Resting from his work accomplished perfectly on earth,
Hidden like a jewel of inestimable worth. 

We pray that God remember those that we commemorate.
The godly souls of all who resurrection now await.
They loved Him and they served Him, and they offered Him their life,
Hierarchs, priests or monks, or those who lived as man and wife. 

To pray is to remember, to remember is to love,
And love unites us here below, with those who are above.
O Jesus Christ, may every soul for-ever find in Thee
A harbor, having crossed the waves of life’s tempestuous sea. 

On SUNDAY, in the morning, when the sun began to rise,
The holy women, bearing myrrh, were taken by surprise,
They found the tomb was empty, and they heard an angel’s voice;
They came to weep, but they returned for-ever to rejoice. 

They saw the holy angel who was sitting on the stone
Which had sealed the sepulcher—he used it as a throne.
Dressed in light, he turned to them and this is what he said,
‘Christ is risen!  Do not seek the living with the dead.’

But Mary Magdalena could in no way be consoled,
Despite the angel’s presence, and the news she had been told,
As she wept, she saw a man was standing very near,
She thought He was the gardener, for so He did appear… 

‘Tell me, was it you who came and took my Lord this night?’
‘Mary,’ said the gardener, and great was her delight,
For when she heard that voice she knew for certain it was He,
Who, risen from the dead, would live and reign eternally. 

Before we end this lesson, which I hope you’ve understood,
I believe it is important that we live as Christians should,
God would like us all to be His children, loving, true;
Less important what we know, than what in fact we do. 

On MONDAY, like the angels, we shall offer hymns of praise,
On TUESDAY we shall try to mend and straighten out our ways,
On WEDNESDAY, with the Virgin, we shall stand at Calvary,
On THURSDAY as Apostles and disciples we shall be. 

On FRIDAY we’ll be crucified with Jesus Christ our King,
On SATURDAY we know that death no longer has its sting,
On SUNDAY, when we wake from sleep, immediately we say:
‘CHRIST IS RISEN!  Let us all rejoice upon this day!’

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