I threw off the madness of the earth..."
"I threw off the madness of the earth..."
Ode 11 of the Book of Odes, the Psalm-book of early Christianity:
My heart was cloven and there appeared a flower,
and grace sprang up
and fruit from the Lord,
for the highest one split me with his Holy Spirit,
exposed my love for him
and filled me with his love.
His splitting of my heart was my salvation
and I followed the way of his peace,
the way of truth.
From the beginning to the end
I received his knowledge.
and sat on the rock of Truth
where he placed me.
Speaking waters came near my lip
from the vast fountain of the Lord,
and I drank and was drunk
with the living water that never dies,
and my drunkenness gave me knowledge.
I threw off vanity,
turned to my God
and his bounty made me rich.
I threw off the madness of the earth,
I stripped it from me and cast it away,
and the Lord renewed me in his raiment
and held me in his Light.
From above he gave me uncorrupt ease
and I was like land deep and happy in its orchards,
and the Lord was sun on the face of the land.
My eyes were clear,
dew was on my face.
and my nostrils enjoyed
the aroma of the Lord.
He took me to Paradise where I knew joy
and worshiped his glory.
Blessed are they
planted in your land, in Paradise,
who grow in the growth of your trees
and change from gloom into Light.
Your servants are lovely.
They do good,
they abjure evil and turn to your pleasantness.
They are free of the bitterness of trees
ancient in their land.
You are everywhere,
always before your servants.
There is much space in Paradise
but no wasteland.
All is fruit.
Glory, Lord, and eternal delight of Paradise.
(Odes of Solomon, in, "The Other Bible," Willis
Barnstone, Harper Collins)
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- Dear Thomas,�Thank you for posting this...I am just finishing the book "The Spiritual World of Isaac the Syrian" by Fr. Hilarion Alfayev. His contemplations on God's love and mercy are truly awesome. I highly recommend this book as an introduction to the world of this great saint.�Has anyone else read this book? I would be interested in�discussing a couple of topics that stirred my thoughts in reading this work:�1. The implication of the veneration of St. Isaac who was a member of the Church of the East (Nestorian) on ecumenism (at least among the eastern churches).�There are many newly translated texts of St. Isaac in this book, which clearly show that although he was not big on the christological debate himself, he certainly used language that many of us would deem "nestorian".�2. His�understanding of God's great love and mercy that would/could ultimately lead to the destruction of "gehenna" in a way only known to God. That just as God in his love did not abandon the�human race after the Fall, but in�His love already had a a�Divine Plan to restore man, likewise God in His ultimate compassion, foreseeing that many�through their own free will would choose in this life the path leading to "gehenna",�has a Plan to in a way unknown�from the Scriptures or the doctrines of the Church, to be "all in all". That evil, as not being part of God's nature�or creation, ultimately must have an end.�If anyone is interested in discussing these two points, or any other topic related to St. Isaac the Syrian,�please jump in!�
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