Isaac the Syrian: “a truly wise man”

Dover Beach

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“Do not reckon as a truly wise man that one whose mind is subject to fear on account of temporal life.”

St. Isaac the Syrian

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Being forgiven is only the beginning . . .

Starets Silouan

Starets Silouan

THE first year after I had received the Holy Spirit I thought to myself: The Lord has forgiven me my sins: grace is witness thereof. What more do I need? But that is not the way to think. Though our sins be forgiven we must remember them and grieve for them all our lives, so as to preserve a contrite heart. I did not do this and ceased to be contrite, and suffered greatly from evil spirits. And I was perplexed at what was happening to me, and said: My soul knows the Lord and His love. How is it that evil thoughts come to me? But the Lord had pity on me, and taught me the way to humble myself: Keep thy mind in hell, and despair not. Thus is the enemy vanquished; but when my mind emerges from the fire the suggestions of passion gather strength again.  ~ Starets Silouan

“Song of the Soul That Rejoices In Knowing God Through Faith.”

Dover Beach

Below is the Irish Poet Seamus Heaney’s translation from St John of the Cross’, “Song of the Soul That Rejoices In Knowing God Through Faith.”  It is included in Heaney’s collection titled Station Island XI.  

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As if the prisms of the kaleidoscope

I plunged once in a butt of muddied water

Surfaced like a marvellous lightship

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And out of its silted crystals a monk’s face

That had spoken years ago from behind a grille

Spoke again about the need and chance

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To salvage everything, to re-envisage

The zenith and glimpsed jewels of any gift

Mistakenly abased …

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What came to nothing could always be replenished.

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‘Read poems as prayers,’ he said, ‘and for your penance

Translate me something by Juan de la Cruz.’

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Returned from Spain to our chapped wilderness,

His consonants aspirate, his forehead shining,

He had made me feel there was…

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Seraphim Rose: “The Revolution”

Dover Beach

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“A government must rule by the Grace of God or by the will of the people, it must believe in authority or in the Revolution; on these issues compromise is possible only in semblance, and only for a time. The Revolution, like the disbelief which has always accompanied it, cannot be stopped halfway; it is a force that, once awakened, will not rest until it ends in a totalitarian Kingdom of this world. The history of the last two centuries has proved nothing if not this. To appease the Revolution and offer it concessions, as Liberals have always done, thereby showing that they have no truth with which to oppose it, is perhaps to postpone, but not to prevent, the attainment of its end. And to oppose the radical Revolution with a Revolution of one’s own, whether it be “conservative,” ” non-violent,” or “spiritual,” is not merely to reveal ignorance…

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