Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Romanos Frank Gorny - Feb 8, 1951 - October 27, 2016

Romanos Frank Gorny - Feb 8, 1951 - October 27, 2016

Dear readers of Hidden in the Clefts,

My name is Jacob Gorny, and I am Romanos' eldest son. I am afraid I have an awful bit of news to share with all of you.

Last Thursday, when I returned from my business trip in San Antonio, I returned to my dad's house to find he had taken a mid-morning nap and never awoke.

I am sure you understand the shock that our family is experiencing - he was in great physical and spiritual health, and having lost his wife and my mother on July 8, 2016, his passing into sleep has been a tremendous tragedy for his four sons.

While I'm sure many of you cannot attend his funeral, I wanted to share the announcement with you:

My brother John Gorny, who is serving as executor for my dad's estate, has included a donation link for those who are willing and able to do so.


Every contributor (whether via his blogs, facebook, etc.) will receive a printed copy of my father's writing that I am personally going to edit and prepare from the source materials I have been able to recover from his archives. I would expect this to be available in Summer 2017 (he had a lot of writing).

Again, I am truly sorry to have to share this news with all of you. He was a very dear man to me throughout the years - he had many great plans and things he hoped to do in his life - but the Lord designates a time and season for all things. The Lord gives, and the Lord takes away. Yet that which is true is permanent, that which is false can never be permanent. Sky and earth may pass away, but the word of the Lord endures forever, and the promise of resurrection and ascension is ahead of all of us waiting to be experienced.

It is my prayer that you will take five minutes of silence on November 4th - wherever you may be - and direct your attention/meditation to the memory you have of this man, and offer a prayer to the Lord on his behalf. May he pray for all of us here in this plane of existence. May he enjoy reunion with his wife Anastasia in the ascended life. May his memory be eternal. Amen

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

He that seeks

Lord, have mercy!

Show us, heavenly, holy, divine Being who has adopted us and called us His sons, letting us call You ‘Father’, that we do not own our ‘Orthodoxy,’ but that it is a gift bestowed by You from on high, through the agency of none other than Your all-holy and life-creating Spirit.

Teach us that ‘Orthodoxy’ which existed with You before the world was, which is living with You in the unearthly Triad who has made Himself, and us, both earthly and divine, taking our humanity in pledge and bestowing on us who know no other god Your divinity and eternity.

Tear from us our illusions, O bright Morning Star, that we can include or exclude our brothers inside or out of the court of Your merciful Father, the Most-High King, by anything that we have made, and deliver us from the ‘Orthodoxy’ which only judges and condemns.

For there is no Church without You, O heavenly, holy, divine Triad, who dwells amidst the praises of the old and new Israels, veiled in the first, revealed in the last, no Bride without Bridegroom except the Unwedded who first mothered the Word, and now mothers us all.

Reveal to the brethren Your loving-kindness and Your mercy, in opening their hearts to all who seek You, and in welcoming all who come as scions of the holy, royal house and lineage of the Son of Man who, being God was not ashamed to associate with all, cleansing us all by His touch.

For You, O God without equal, without partner, Oneness beyond name or number who, in encompassing all, has made us equals and partnered with us in a marriage that defies heaven and earth, at which even bodiless powers are shocked, some in awe, some in envy.

Save us, O holy, happy, healthy, deathless, divine Being, by the name under heaven without which none can be saved, yet are saving all who seek You in the light and even in the dark, for by faith or doubt, Your lovers shall indeed reach You, through many tribulations.

Kingdom of the Father, true ‘Orthodoxy,’ the citizenship in which has been opened to all who come seeking divine favor by renouncing themselves, taking up Your Cross, O Son of God, and following You, yes, Lord of All, bestow on us, and on all, who seek You, for ‘he that seeks, shall find.’

Monday, March 31, 2014

I am a Christian

I am a Christian: I reject no one.
Not the sinner,
for Christ has not rejected me who am their chief.
Not the blasphemer,
for who but I have blessed God aloud while cursing inwardly?
Not the heretic,
for I too am on the way to knowing the One True God.
Not the proud,
for I have already betrayed myself as pretender to all.
Not the rich,
for who but I have wasted and squandered
all the wealth I have been gifted?
Not the hypocrite,
for even as I speak I cringe at my own shameful life, entreating divine mercy.

No, I am a Christian: I reject no one,
for One has not rejected me.

Help me, Holy God,
to be Aléxandros, ‘defender of mankind,’
and not Katígoros, like Satan, their ‘accuser.’

Help me, Holy Mighty,
and accept my weakness as payment
in return for Your Strength,
who alone are strong, who alone are loving.

Help me, Holy Immortal,
to receive Your life eternal by dying to myself
and becoming bread for others,
as You undying feed all, broken yet undivided.

Glory to You, O God
who has joined us to Yourself, in énosis, ‘oneness,’
by means of kénosis, ‘emptiness.’

Empty me, O Lord,
that You may fill me,
for You alone are Holy God, Mighty and Immortal.

I am a Christian: I reject no one.
Yet not by my power or my strength, O Lord,
but by Your Spirit.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

As we sleep

Lord Jesus Christ,
who descended to free us from our passions,
You alone possess the keys of death and Hades,
having conquered death by death.
Give life to those in the tombs.
Make us who flee before you melt like wax,
and then remake us,
let us be lights.

‘What is that carpenter god of yours doing now?’
may the pagans taunt.
He has gone ahead of us
to build mansions for those
who are willing to unhouse themselves,
to be homeless in this world,
for His sake.

Les misérables let us not be.
Deliver us, O Lord, we cry.
Provide for Your beloved as we sleep.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

O glorious God

O glorious God
whose face is terrifying but whose back is mercy,
You who come speaking Your Name to us
while hiding us in the cleft of the Rock
to shield our weakness from annihilation as You pass by!

Why did You create us,
knowing that we would instantly fall from Your obedience,
drift away from Your love?
The mystery of Your nature
dwarfs the mystery of our own.

How could a sinless God love us
who are nothing but sin in the flesh?
How could He that is pure Spirit desire us
who are but spittle and clay?
Yet You do love us,
You do desire us,
and for this we revere You.

Yes, Lord, Holy One
who has descended lower than our fall,
we revere You while we run away.

Catch us, Lord,
don’t let us escape,
burn our scoundrel selves by Your divine Fire
that purifies without destroying us
who cannot in any world deserve such mercy.

Yours is the Kingdom, the Power, and the Glory
of utter humility,
of unimaginable self-emptying.

Join us with You in that Kingdom,
share with us who hate You by our deeds
but love You by our sorrows
the Power,
that the Glory
that was Yours before the world ever was,
O Christ,
fell the forests of our sinful flesh,
that we might finally cry out to You,
Amen, and again we cry, Amen.

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on us,

Thursday, January 19, 2012

For we are Yours

O Christ, what a wasteland we have made the fertile fields Your blood has watered! You would walk in us, dispensing blessing, loving all comers, healing all and raising every creature to immortality, yet we bind our own feet, we willingly cripple ourselves like vain concubines of a fickle master. But You, O Christ, are the Lord, our God, the Bridegroom of the Bride, the Faithful and True, You who make her, who make us, spotless, secure, radiant, fruitful, who call us, 'Beloved, My one and only.'

O holy, divine Triad, You have said of us, 'We have a little sister, and her breasts are not yet grown. What shall we do for our sister on the day she is spoken for? If she is a wall, we will build towers of silver on her. If she is a door, we will enclose her with panels of cedar' (Song of Songs 8:8-9).

Remove from us our limpid, wavering love, and bestow on us the love that lasts, the faith that moves mountains, for our breasts are not yet grown. Build towers of silver on us, gleaming with the reflection of Your Light, that we no longer hide ourselves, for the City set on a hill cannot be hid. Open our door, that the cedars Your hand has planted may finally flourish, that we may know and be known. Yes, Lord, save us from ourselves, for we are Yours.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

How foolish

O God,
how foolish we are
in casting Your pearls before swine!
How selfish we are
in sowing seed in disobedience and fantasy,
so that we can feel we are doing Your work!
If You had done what we are doing,
Your Son would never have come among us,
would never have done His work
that both saves and calls us into pure fellowship with Him,
commanding us to do the same.
Others have claimed to speak in Your name,
to speak for You, yet they did not show us Your face.
They left us with what they said were Your words,
and then withdrew.
They did not come among us,
love us to the death,
and save us.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

By Your love

Father, everything is in Your hands. We do not see those hands, nor do we see You, and so we falter day by day, grumbling amidst Your blessings which we do not desire, because our treasures are stored in another kingdom, not in Yours. Saying we believe, we form ourselves in our own image, because we do not trust You to form us in Yours. Religion is our protection, against You.

As You know everything about us, the falseness of our prayers, the vainglory of our good deeds, the insincerity of our worship, our misguided intentions, our carefully concealed evasions, our private fantasies, everything that we do under cover of night, how can You still love us? How can You bear our shame with us, and for us? Yet You do, and for this we cannot even thank You.

Because even our thanks is only a lesson memorized. And yet You love us. Our words, our vain musings, catch Your ears, yet You promise Paradise to us who have done nothing to deserve it. All things You have arranged so wisely, even Your Divine Nature You have distributed among us so amply, raining Yourself down upon our deserts like manna. Though One, You enter our tent as Three, and we call you ‘Lord.’

Crying ‘Lord, have mercy!’ we deny Your mercy already bestowed. Praying ‘Hear our prayer’ we confess that we believe but do not trust that You hear us before we call. All our worship is without spirit and truth, O Lord, until we know for sure that thanksgiving is the only sacrifice of praise we are capable of, for all You have done, all You are doing, and all You shall do as long as the age endures.

‘Not by us, Yahweh, not by us,
by You alone is glory deserved,
by Your love and Your faithfulness.’


Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Brother Francis

Brother Francis,
you spent your youth in earthly revelry,
providing generously to your companions not from your own,
but from your father’s, store of wealth.

We find that we never really change:
what we are deep inside we always remain:
it is the pattern of our being.

You also remained the same,
but you exchanged the old world for the new,
to become the herald of the age to come,
providing generously to us, once more,
not what was yours, but your Father’s.

Following your Master Jesus
as He walks in our needy world,
pray for us, and help us
to find the heavenly treasure of Paradise.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Into the deep

‘Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.’
Yes, Lord,
and what a catch!
This was more than I bargained for.
Your love and mercy and abundance are too much for me.
If I dared, I would say,
‘Depart from me, for I am a sinful man,’
but You already know it, already know everything about me.
You even teach me about myself things I could never know.
You know I am sinful.
That’s why You came for me.
That’s why You called me.
That’s why I even exist at all.
You love me.

Me, a good Christian? No.
A good man? Again, no.
I might dream I am good somehow,
but out of that silly dream I always awake.

We are just following You, Lord.
Following along the saints who follow behind You,
hoping that we will continue from day to day,
knowing that every step is only at Your beckoning.

All we can cry out is,
‘Lord, help us to know you more,
so that we can love You more, and loving You more,
that we gladly run to fulfill Your word,
that it does not return to You void.’

Now, where to next?

Help me to keep my eyes on You.
Help me to walk, my feet fitting Your footprints.
Raise me when I fall.
Carry me when I am too weak to move.
Awaken me when I slumber,
raise me again from the sleep of death every day,
for You are the Resurrection and the Life.

Change me,
renew my mind,
turn me around,
help me to repent.

Lord, I am not worthy
that You should come under my roof.
But speak the word only, and my soul shall be healed.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Citizen of Paradise

I know for sure that I am a sinner, and only one thing I know with more certainty—that Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners, and, whether I believe it or not, I am the first.

People may praise me, and for a second or two I may forget myself and feel glad. Then I remember, and I know that they are giving me bricks to lay on what they think is my foundation, but in me there is no foundation, not even a poor one. I know that; they don’t.

I may sometimes even do worse things. I may praise myself, trying to amass bricks of gold, not to lay on a foundation that isn’t there, but to store in a strong box that has already been plundered and no longer even has a lock. The greatest earthly riches cannot console me.

Faced with the fact of sin, with the temptation to descend into its filth, put a bible in front of me, and some worldly seduction, side by side, the bible gleaming, the seduction luring to shadow, and left to myself, shunning the God who would tear the net, I let myself be caught in it.

The bible is there, right in front of me. I know much of it by heart. Yet my heart treads water, as I stand in a pool of my own blood, grumbling like Israel in the wilderness, refusing to enter a land of delight, even while praying, ‘make me again a citizen of Paradise.’

O God! Your Word, I confess, is Truth, yet I cannot arise by my own efforts. Nothing I can do is any help. Running to You for strength, my weak soul pines for the liberty of hell, as my eyes are captured by its false promises. Run to meet me, as You always do, and carry me.

I have lost everything, only to know that all that I had was and is and always would be worth nothing. In You alone are the riches of freedom, of love and of peace, freely given to all who come to You, through the Opening torn in the veil of this world, Your Son’s Body.

Yes, Lord, I am the one who was made in Your image, though I am scarred by my transgressions. On Your creation, O Master, take pity, cleanse me by Your compassion, and once again make me a citizen of Paradise.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Serpent's prayer

Tear us away from our deaf deadness, O Lord.
Liberate us like newly molted serpents
from our tight, scaly skins.
Unstop our ears
that we may hear Thy unsettling sayings
and receive Thee,
the living flame of Love,
transforming our cold blood
to internal, eternal Fire.


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

For the Church

Lord, how quickly and easily we get corrupted!

It’s easy to see what should be the form of the church, what should be its ministries, its worship, its lifestyle, from reading the gospels, the acts, and the epistles. Yet, we somehow always drift away from that which spiritual logic indicates and into the paths of our own devices.

In the first generation, we know that the holy apostles were set aside by You and they themselves accepted this, that they should have a ministry based on what was given to them, and that is what they lived for. Their daily needs were taken care of in whatever way each day afforded, whether some of them did manual work for their living as well as preaching, or when the Spirit had them preach or minister so totally that the church, that is, the people to whom they ministered, taught, evangelized and so forth, helped them out with their daily bread and a place to sleep. The same was true of all those whom the Spirit touched: they lived for You and the spreading of Your gospel, for the making of disciples of all nations. They had no private lives or needs, for what could be private to them who had given up everything to follow You?

And so it was through the ages and so it is today.
The apostolic life can no more change than You can.

The lifestyle of the flock, the members of the church, also flows logically from the gospels, the acts, and the epistles. If we stayed in the scriptures, our lives and lifestyles would flow out of and be formed by the same spiritual logic. We would all minister to one another from our abilities according to each other’s needs.

The form of the church outwardly in various ages has wavered between what is formed by the spiritual logic of the scriptures, and what we want to make of them to fit our own imagined needs, which are really wants. In most of our history, those who were called or set apart to minister, still supported themselves by the work of their hands, to the extent of their real needs. Married priests had to farm, or do crafts, or teach, to earn their earthly keep and support their families. To the extent that they put themselves out to do the church services they were recompensed out of what their flock had and were willing to offer. Themselves, even when married, remained in actual fact not just in name, servants of the people of God, without private lives or privileges. Only those who gave themselves over completely to the needs of the church, and whose work really took up all their time, were supported out of common funds, and that only according to their needs, not their wants. But how quickly and easily these ways were corrupted, both in West and East. And at the present day, the ways of the church have so far drifted into the ways of man and so distant from Your ways, Lord, that we cannot even recognize, in the light of the logic of your Word, anything of the true in what we see in the church. We have drifted so far, that to even speak as I am now, is considered foolishness or even heresy. But You, Lord, know what You gave us, what Your holy apostles handed over to us, and what we have done with it.

Grant us, Lord, mercy in these last days, and let Your servants find the way of life that You have clearly revealed in Your holy scriptures, and deliver us from ourselves and our selfish plight. In the time that is left to us, help us to live as You live, so we will be ready to meet You without fear at Your second and glorious coming.

Come, Lord Jesus.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Make us want You

Lord, have mercy on us. We have despised Your call and preferred to listen to everyone else but You, and changed Your words into anything but what You say. We look at Your picture and worship it, saying it is You we worship, and then we turn to our mirrors and glory in what we see, not knowing it is our shame. You have made us for You, but we have stolen ourselves. Lord, have mercy on us. Call us. Bring us back. Make us want You.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Free me again today

Like Your birds,
Lord and Morning Star,
I sing praise to Your name, Most High,
I rejoice and exult in You,
though my heart be weighed down by the plight of this world,
You leave me untouched by calamity,
though others die,
I live.

By Your grace, Lord,
by Your grace, all by Your grace.

Let me see Your will fulfilled,
let me see mercy fall on Your children,
on this poor world, laboring for it knows not what nor why,
suffering morning by morning
instead of rejoicing in Your love,
instead of receiving You.

Like Your birds, Lord,
like Your birds who toil not nor gather into barns,
though I still with the world am forced to earn my bread,
turning my back on the Bread freely offered
by Your heavenly hand, let me return,
let me pause,
pray to You the Father of all,
the loving, the waiting, the patient Lord,
in the name of Your only-begotten
who only-born of all men
reveals to us the Man by whom all worlds were made,
let me receive that Spirit holy
whom my daily unfaithfulness grieves,
have mercy.

I thank You, Lord, with all my heart.
Let me recite Your marvels one by one.
For You are faithful, and true.
Let my prayer be as the birds,
simple, constant, unfettered.

Let me return to You, Lord.
Free me again today.

Friday, May 20, 2011

In the night

We have seen the true Light,
we have received the heavenly Spirit,
we have found the true Faith,
worshiping the undivided Trinity,
for He has saved us.

O Lord,
the sung testimony of my heart awakened me in the night,
to heal the ligaments torn by the over-exercise of the will,
the zeal of unwisdom,
the factiousness of unfriendly friendship.

I now know for sure
where the True Church lives,
how it lives,
why it is True,
what Faith makes it true,
what Light shines on it,
in it, from it, and to it,
Who it is I have believed in,
what has been done to me and by Whom,
and where my only Home is.

It is as the desert father has said,
‘Love is God.’
It is as the holy beloved evangelos
of the Divine Word has proclaimed,
‘God is love.’
It is where, and only where, true peace
and good will among men is,
and can ever be, found.
The True Church.

Of the Redeemed,
of the Free,
of those who do not eat the flesh of their brothers,
whose fast is pure without fasting,
whose wills are One,
whose mind is One,
in One, for One, to One,
in perfect harmony,
who do not rely on words written on paper,
or unwritten.

The voice of strife does not disturb their rest,
who have entered already into the peace of the Saints,
who have paid the Cost of discipleship
with acts and words of healing,
whose Bread is to do the will of their Father
who is in heaven,
hidden from the world.

I thank you, Father,
for hiding the True Church from the worldly wise,
who rely on their own strength,
their own wisdom, their pride of life,
their standing on what they think is the Word of God
but which is not the Foundation that no one can lay,
because You have laid it.

I thank you, Christ,
for You have saved us,
beyond the works of men,
for You have gone to prepare a place for us,
You have returned with mansions,
how deep, how broad, how high, in which we can dwell,
whom the Father has drawn to You,
the True Church,
beyond war.

I thank You, Spirit,
for where You are there is heaven,
there is the paradise of the Saints, even now,
where among us is the tabernacle of the Most High,
where none can enter who have taken strong drink,
but whose Drink You are,
the True Light,
the True Faith.

Now I know for sure,
Holy, Unearthly, Divine Triad,
where true Life alone is,
true Fellowship,
true Friendship,
true Home,
true Welcome and true Love,
without name and number,
beyond counting, weighing,
beyond all human judgment.

Yes, Lord,
and again I say ‘Yes,’
and I thank You, again and again,
for Life Eternal,
for the Light the True Light,
for the Spirit the Heavenly Spirit,
for the Faith the True Faith,
for the Church the True Church,
for that You, Undivided Triad, have saved us.
We are Yours.

I bless Yahweh, who is my counselor,
and in the night my inmost self instructs me…

Yes, in the night.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

You are blessed

You are blessed, Lord,
You are blessed,
because no matter what I am going through right now,
You are here with me,
You are covering me.
In You life goes on, Lord,
in You the dead have life,
in You the cries of the unheard are heard,
in You the unloved are loved,
in You the brokenhearted are restored to joy,
in You the feeble are made strong,
in You the poor are become rich,
in You the blind receive their sight,
in You the captive are made free.

You are blessed, Lord,
You are blessed,
for raising me from my bed of sins,
for standing me on my feet and directing my steps,
for opening to me the gates of repentance,
for leading me in the path of righteousness,
for taking me by the hand,
for taking my first steps for me,
for loving me as if I were Your only son.

You are blessed, Lord,
You are blessed,
because You have not forgotten me,
because You have not abandoned my soul to She’ol
or left me lying in the land of death,
because You have surrounded me with songs of deliverance,
because You have fed me on the wild rock honey,
because of Your love, Lord,
because of Your love,
just because.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Believe at last

O Master,
how can we have come to this place in time
where what we fear most is about to happen
for the sake of what we desire most?

How can the Son of the Promise,
our Only Son,
be required of us,
and in such a brutal offering?

How can we go on?
What must we find on the other side of the Sacrifice?

We know, no better than Your mother
and Your first disciples knew,
what we will find there.

We only have Your words,
just as they first heard them,
‘Father, the hour has come:
glorify Your Son
so that Your Son may glorify You’,
and like them,
we cannot bear to hear You ask us,
‘Do you believe at last?’

Saturday, April 16, 2011

To the depths

Lord our God,
You know what You meant
when You uttered our names
and brought us into the field of life,
sharing with us Your gift of being.

You whisper Your meaning to us in our dreams,
and even awake we sense but do not know,
only that something draws us into an abyss
we neither asked for nor chose,
like unknowing swimmers we are pulled by the undertow,
unwilling yet glad.

Bring us back, O Lord,
as You brought Jonah back from the belly of the whale.
Fish us out, O Christ,
as You fished Lazarus out of the deep,
the dark unknown, the despairing sea of death.
Gather us, O Spirit,
as You gathered Your people Israel from the four winds
to fill the land again.

‘Where could I go to escape Your Spirit?
Where could I flee from Your Presence?
If I climb the heavens You are there…’

Amen and amen, Lord.
You created us from nothing.
You made us,
what we were born wanting,
what we live is before Your face,
You feel this same grief that we feel,
You became even as we are.

How long, O Lord, how long?

Come, rescue us,
retrieve our remains,
offer our bodies to the sea and our souls to the depths,
that we may forget our dreams,
and in darkness receive from You

what we were born wanting.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Holy apostles

Holy apostles, 
lovingly plant in us the seed 
that the Master planted in you, 
that you write to us 
who live at the end of time, 
that the Spirit, 
Lord and Giver of Life 
causes to sprout and grow in us, 
that we too may enter 
into the mystery 
of life in the Holy Triad with you, 
one mind, 
one will, 
one heart, 
one love.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Repent for me

Where can you look, my soul,
where you will not see the signs of His love for you?
Everywhere you turn, outside yourself or within,
are the signs of His love.
The very comforter you lie on to rest, He provided.
Your holy ikons and books,
all your holy things given out of love,
out of solicitude for your needs,
all the gifts of His friendship.

And within, the secret things He has divulged to your soul,
and the love with which He taught you
the languages of His Holy Scripture.
And through all your lonelinesses and trials,
He has stood beside you,
comforting and defending you, never judging you,
because He knows the Word planted in you
will purify you and raise you after any possible fall.
Such was and is His great love for you, my soul,
such was and is His respect for you.

Yet, like a stranger you turn away from Him,
as if He were an enemy to be despised.
You judge Him, as if He were a criminal to be punished.
Worse than His people who accused Him,
when He fed them with manna and quails
and gave them drink
from a rock that followed them.
And worse even than them whom He healed and fed,
and who nevertheless gave Him up to be crucified.

What madness is this?
What ingratitude hidden amidst the foliage of piety?
Is this the kind of Jew you are, my soul,
continuing the work of your fathers who slew the prophets?

Lord, have mercy.

I go to You, Lord,
as one who has not yet made a beginning of serving You,
yet the time is close.

Repent for me, Spirit of God,
press me harder through the sieve of repentance.
Hold back my coarse and useless dust,
let through only the flour refined by Your grace.
Moisten me, then, with real tears and knead me,
yeastless, into a level loaf.
Pierce me all over,
that in the earthen oven of tribulation
my body may bear the stripes darkened by the fire,
to guide the fingers that must break me in pieces
for the brethren.

Yes, Lord, I go to You as one
who has made not even a beginning of serving you.

Lord, have mercy.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Lord, hide me

Hide me in Your wounds,
in Your wounds I take refuge,
Lord, hide me,
though I am as the nail that pierced Your hands and feet,
though I am the cause of Your suffering,
hide me.

Open the gate of Your body, Lord,
open Your side to receive me,
though I am as the lance
whose head tore You,
Lord, receive me.
I am Yours,
save me.

For I put my trust in You, Lord,
and leave You to answer for me.

Lord my God, have mercy.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


Where are we, Lord?
Where have we placed ourselves?
At the foot of Your throne in heaven?
At the foot of Your cross on earth?

What offerings do we bring You, our Lord and Savior?
Is it the blood of goats and rams,
our wicked and our righteous brothers,
like the priests of old?

Or is it our own blood, following the example of Your Son?
Is it the sacrifice You require?
Or is it that which we feel it is our right to offer You,
the fruits of our soil?
We think ourselves innocent farmers
and envy our shepherd brother,
as Cain envied Abel, and where does that envy lead us?

Save us, O Lord, from ourselves!
Cleanse us, since we have no soap
to wash our hearts clean.
You alone can purify us.
Have mercy, Lord!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Gracious are You

Gracious are You, O Lord,
forgiving us all our trespasses
and freeing us by your unconditional mercy,
not looking at our offenses against Your Law,
but at the little creatures that we are,
that Your hands have made,
wanting only to release us from our cages,
to fly out and breathe, free.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Open to us

O heavenly God hidden in weakness and rejection!

Becoming sin for us,
You have taken away our shame
and hold out to us in Your open, pierced palms
the Bread of Life,
yet we turn away to consume the bread of suffering, of tears,
we prefer to remain in our camps
and grumble at manna and quails!

Forty years are not enough
to purge us of our insane cravings,
we want to enter the land of promise
but without walking there on the only road possible,
following Jesus.

pining after dead Moses whose body has disappeared,
we collect fragments of broken tablets
and stay in the wilderness.

Save us, O Lord!
Save Your people and bless Your inheritance!

Help us, heavenly Shepherd.
Guide us, quietly but firmly, back to the flock,
back to dwell close by the shepherd’s tents.

Make us meek again,
renew our childhood,
open to us the gates of repentance.

The original artwork in this post is by the hand of Darlene Slavujac Thau.
You can see more of her oil paintings, pastels and watercolors by clicking here
or on her link in the sidebar, Slavujac Biblical Artist.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Side by side

Lord, have mercy on us,
since we do not know ourselves,
we do not know whether or not we are obedient
or only pretending, since sin blinds us to its presence in us,
and we are often mistaken and led astray,
judging our brother when in fact,
it is we who have lost our way.

Grant us to meekly bow down before You
in Your Holy Church,
side by side with sinners just as bad as ourselves,
and not to presume
to cast out by our unthinking words and actions
those for whom Your Son has given His life;

and bring us all, the good and the bad, to repentance,
so that we may be found worthy of Your eternal Kingdom.

Glory to You, O Lord!
Glory to You!

Friday, January 21, 2011


Lord our God,
prevent us, we beg You, of falling victim to appearances,
of mistaking for You
those things which our hands have made,
our hearts have loved, or our minds have thought.
Give us the eye of faith by which to see You,
and blind us to all other things
that resemble You.
Grant us, merciful and loving Lord,
Your forgiveness for our idolatry,
our idealism, ideology, ideas
that we forge to hold You
Who are uncontainable
except by suffering.
Save us, O Lord,
from ourselves
without You.
Be with us,
we cry.

Thursday, January 13, 2011


Lord have mercy on us!

Without our brother we are lost,
and true are the words handed over to us
by Holy Church,
‘You can be damned alone,
but you cannot be saved alone.’

Teach us to count how few days we have left, Father,
to love and serve You in humility,
loving and serving the people around us,
being sorry for ourselves and them,
for our having offended You.

Give us time to repent,
so that in falling behind we can be found running ahead.

Running after You,
running after Jesus.

Sunday, December 5, 2010


You alone know all,
You alone know us and all our afflictions,
You prepare a table for us
before the face of these sightless enemies
who cry war when all we want is peace,
and to whom peace is only seeing us
defeated and destroyed.

Help us, Father, in this hour of trouble,
when Your family is in such need of salvation,
yet runs from it into the dark solitude where the evil one,
having despoiled the flock,
seeks the life of Your young ones, caught in his traps.

I can do nothing, Lord.
I can do nothing.
Even my prayer is only a moan,
yet You know my heart,
and let my afflictions drive me into the wilderness,
pursued by accusers shouting out crimes
I have never committed,
so that You alone exist for me.

All that You have given me,
I wanted to give back to You,
but not like this.
I wanted to give You not the one talent You entrusted to me,
but that and even more.
But even what little I thought I had has been taken from me.

Do not let the evil one have the upper hand, Lord.
Do not let him ravage the family You have planted.
Visit us, Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
and dispel the hatred, the doubt, the accusations,
the delusions, the false hopes, the sickness of heart,
the unforgiving memory,
every evil thing that has come to nest like rats
in a forsaken ruin.

Deliver us,
let us call you again ‘our Father’ and deliver us,
from evil,
from the evil one,
from each other and from ourselves.

Let us wake in the morning, filled with Your love, 

and sing and be happy all our days.
Make our future as happy as our past was sad,
those years when You were punishing us,
those years when we were punishing ourselves.

Let Your servants see what You can do for them,
let their children see Your glory.

May the sweetness of the Lord be upon us!
Make all we do succeed.

(Psalm 90:14-17).

Yahweh, do not desert me,
do not stand aside, my God!
Come quickly to my help,
Lord, my Savior!

(Psalm 38:21-22).

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Open our eyes

O God,
how can we whose minds are so unstable
keep our eyes focused on You,
so that we can do
what we see You doing
every day
and all around us?

For You fill our world
at every moment
with creatures
just like us,
falling into need and sin,
or arising out of it
following the call of life
that You’ve planted in us,
though we might not know it.

Your Word has been strewn among us,
seeking that fertile humus in which it can sprout,
grow and eventually bear fruit,
so that it does not return to You void.

Open our eyes, Lord,
to see the world as You see it,
at every moment, in every place
hearts crying out for mercy,
to receive it, but also to bestow it.

Show us, Father,
that we are not alone,
and that to show mercy
can be as humble as yielding to another’s infirmity,
to overlook our brother’s ignorance,
to forgive one who injures or insults us
before, or even without, being asked.

Help us to see
that mercy has no size limit,
large or small, visible or hidden.
It is an arrow that never fails to hit its mark.
That to stand confidently before Your seat of mercy
is to be merciful wherever we are,
just as You are merciful.

And to always pray
what we hear Jesus praying every day,
Father, forgive them,
for they do not know what they are doing.’


Thursday, February 4, 2010

Your mercies…

…Lord, Your mercies are what fill me with dread. You are not a God who is pleased with wickedness. Boasters collapse under Your scrutiny. But I, so great is Your love, may come to Your House, and before Your holy Temple bow down, in reverence to You.

Your love, Father, upholds all the world. You are not a God who like a watchmaker designs and builds a clock, winds it up, and then leaves it to tick out its time moment by moment while You go away to live Your real life.

You hold us and everything that is, suspended as thoughts in Your mind. You never cease thinking of us, You never cease loving us whom You call the apple of Your eye, You never give up on these thoughts of Yours whom You have endowed with freedom.

The whole world is bathed in Your blazing light, yet we still wander through it unseeing as blind men, thinking and doing deeds of darkness, while You follow us with Your eyes, waiting and watching to catch us when we fall.

Your mercies, Lord, Your mercies are so great, and so great your patience, Your long-suffering love, maintaining and renewing the world by the Word of Your command, that we do not notice, Your mercy is too great for us of small mercy.

I cross myself to confess that I am the reason You ascended the Cross of Your own free will, and I bend down to touch the earth before You to acknowledge that I am but dust, but You raise me up, You raise me up and straighten me when I am most afraid.

Come into Your own, Lord, come among us visibly, reveal Your power, grant pardon to us sinners by Your saving Presence, anoint us with the myrrh of gladness, Saviour of fugitives, for to You, to You alone, do we run, O God our God, hope of all the earth.

Glory to the Father, to the Son, and to the Spirit Holy, Triad One in essence, Eternal, YHWH, the only lover of mankind. Glory to You.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

A childlike people

Another cool, misty dawn.
I wake up in darkness and offer my morning prayer
to You, Lord, thanking You
beyond what my words can express.
You have saved me, and given me another day.
Whatever is Your will for me today, Lord, let it be done.
Help me to follow You.

There is a covering of grey, translucent clouds hanging low over the city as I drive to work. Crossing the Columbia River, I look eastwards down its course and see the silhouette of Mount Hood, sharply defined against a brightening sky in the sliver of clarity between earth and clouds. It arises from its blankets of fog to greet the morning, its crest almost disappearing again in the waters above the firmament. No wonder the native people venerated the peak as a god, Wy’east, and gave him personality. They were a childlike people.

My thoughts drifted between prayer and memory.

Japan, and the dawn, its sun rising as a red disk against an off-white, cloudless sky. There too, a childlike people invest a mountain with personality, Fuji-sama, as he arises in a gentle slope from the sea, but his peak is high and mighty, also a god, a kami, watching over his islands and his people. Encircling him a host of ordinary mountains like attendants. The dreams of a childlike people, to console them with hopes of what they know not, to allay their fears of what they do know—death.

Father, let these childlike people awaken,
putting off their coverings of myth, to meet Your Son.
The roots of our fears strike deeper than we dream.

Lord, uproot these tares
that Your hands have not planted,
and plant Your true seed in us and in them,
so that we can stand up and see You as You are,
and know that You are with us,
as You promised, even
to the end of the ages.

Friday, December 29, 2006

A blessing for Riya

Riya, Riya, 
rejoice in the Lord,
in the living God,
the First, the Last,
Who was, Who is,
Who is to come!

The Almighty protect you,
the Maker of heaven and earth provide for you
all things seen 

and unseen!

The Lord, 
the Son of God, call you,
the Light of light show Himself to you,
the Slain before all worlds save you!

Be a blessing to your father, mother and brothers,
be the good earth, receiving the seed of faith,
be a fruitful vine, bearing good fruit for others!

Walk in the Way that does not stray,
go through the Gate that does not close,
stand on the Rock that does not move!

Light for your eyes,
good news for your ears,
beauty in your smile,
a song on your lips,
healing in your hands,
safety in your steps,
life, long and full,
friends sent only by the Lord,
and a thankful heart
be the adornment of God’s child, Riya!

The Lord God bless you out of Zion,
He who made the heavens and the earth!