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2012-03-17 05:07:28 (UTC)

From "Divine Eros" by St. Symeon the New Theologian

Hymn 4

Get rid of the whole world and those in the world!
Embrace only the blessed remorse! (Mt 5.4)
Mourn only because of wicked deeds,
because these deeds seperated you from the Maker of all things,
from Christ, and from all things holy!
Be anxious about nothing other than that.
But regard even your body as a stranger,
and look down as one who has been condemned,
as one who is slowly walking the road to deathl
always sigh from the depths of your heart,
and wash your face only with tears!
And your feet, which have been running to wicked things, (Prov 1.16)
by no means may you wish to wash them with water.
Yes indeed, also keep your hands together;
may you not shamelessly hold them out to God,
these hands, which you have often stretched toward sin!
Conquer the reckless tongue by however much power,--
for the tongue also is easily given to sin--
seeing that through their tongue alone
many of the great ones strayed from the straight path
and lost the Kingdom of Heaven.
Firstly, stop your ears (Prov 21.13)
so to hear nothing shameful or profane,
and then perhaps you shall master even your tongue.
Listen only to the admonitions of your father,
give to him humble answers,
and tell him your thoughts as to God,
even mere temptations, and may you hide nothing from him,
nor do anything without his opinion,
neither go to sleep, nor eat, nor drink!
And when you have kept these things over time,
do not suppose that you have accomplished something great,
for though you have sown in sweat and toil,
you have not yet picked the fruit of your labors. (Ps 127.2)
Theregore do not be led astray, nor suppose that you have found,
before you have acquired spiritual eyes,
and before the ears of your heart have been cleansed
by your tears that wash out the filth,
before all your senses begin to be changed,
and you befin to see and to hear spiritually.
For you shall gaze upon many things beyond telling,
and you shall hear extraordinarily more things,
which you cannot express with your tongue. (1 Cor 14.2)
And so to hear spiritually is a spine-chilling wonder,
and so also to see the wonder of wonders!
This sort of person never understands bodily,
but treads the earth as though walking in air;
the spiritual person sees everything, even into the abysses,
and understands all creatures,
gains knowledge of God, and is astonished by fear.
The spiritual person worships and glorifies God as creator.
It is a great thing to discover God's lordship,
although everyone may believe that they know it,
do not doubt that most are deceived!
Those who are enlightened know this,
but all the others, oh the terrible ignorance,
are more in the dark than even the devils.
But, O Lord and Creator of all things,
You Who have made me from earth, both living and mortal,
and You Who have honored me with immortal grace,
and You have given to me life, and speech, and motion, (Acts 17.28)
and to glorify You, the Master of all things,
You yourself, Master, grant that I the miserable one
may prostrate myself before You and ask for what is fitting!
For I do not know how I was brought into the world
and I do not know what are the things which people suppose exist here.
What is my vision, O my God,
and what are the visible things, I cannot say
how all we humans have been given to vanity,
and we have no correct judgement of beings.
I came just yesterday, and tomorrow I depart,
and I suppose that I am immortal here below.
I confess to everyone that I have You as my God,
but I deny You by my actions each day.
I am taught that You are the maker of all things,
without You I force myself to have everything.
You rule things above and things below,
and I alone resist You without trembling.
Give to the helpless one, grant to me the all-wretched one,
that I may renounce all the wickedness of my soul,
which both my swell-headedness and empty pride
crush and break to pieces, alas!
Give humility, give a helping hand,
and cleanse the filth of my soul,
and grant to me tears of repentance,
tears of yearning, tears of salvation,
tears that cleanse the gloom from my mind,
and in the end make me radiant from on high,
desiring to see You the light of the world, (Jn 8.12)
the light of my eyes, of me the miserable one, (Tob 10.5)
of the one who has a heart full of this life's evil,
full of many afflictions and jealousy,
full of the actors of my exile,
or, to say more, of my benefactors,
of my masters, of my true friends.
Give to them good things instead of bad, my Christ, (Rom 12.17)
eternal things, divine things, and riches,
which You have prepared unto ages of ages
for those who ardently desire and love You! (1 Cor 2.9)

Hymn 5

At the beginning make Christ and fervent faith your own.
Proceed by fleeing relatives and friends!
Go forward to the immaterial, stripped of material things.
Renounce all cowardice from yourself.
All the more embrace hope without doubt!
Take up the easy yoke, the Lord, (Mt 11.30)
the Gift Who saves all of us mortals,
the Lord Who renders us gods by the power of Him Who calls us,
so that by a work, you may know the outcome of the works.
To cut out your desires is a good advantage for you.
Accomplish the words and commands of your father,
even unto death, for this is the great summit.
Consider yourself to be the most worthless of all,
a stranger poorer and more humble than others!
May you be entirely an imitator of your master. (Eph 5.1)
May daily mourning achieve evberything,
teaching you the knowledge of things that perish and things that remain.
Practice the habit of silence, which guards all these virtues.
Keep at all times the memory of death.
By these means one is purified and enlightened at heart.
May you merit to see clearly the divine,
but Christ is perfect love;
He enlightens souls who seek Him.
O deifying love that is God!