Friday, February 25, 2005


On the night before he suffered, he took bread, gave you thanks and praise…

Here cynicism coagulates and finds no mooring; thanks and praise given on the eve of hellacious pain! Time, a human construction, breaks before the Eucharist. Bound no more to wood, he binds to bread.

Do you know my pain? says the Theotokos, and I discover that I don’t know her pain. For you can only experience pain to the extent you have not hardened your heart, have not erected barriers, have not made yourself invulnerable to pain. And only Mary and Jesus can lay claim to perfect vulnerability.

Oh the long-sickness I experienced at St. John's! How it pierced to see the elderly couple a few rows in front of me, how the elderly man stands stock still every time in front of the Blessed Mother icon, how after Communion his wife cradled his face - or did he cradle hers? They meld in my mind, like one flesh.

There can be no substitute for childlikeness. The liturgy teaches that in actions, the bowing, the prostrations, the hymns. The elderly couple seemed innocent as children and it broke my heart that my wife might never know the beauty of a Byzantine liturgy and the Eucharist, or that our simplicity and innocence may never match theirs.

• • • • •

Comments: Post a Comment

Desperately Seeking Retirement
..a situational comedy
Atom Feed

Powered By Blogger TM