Faith on Friday: Forgive, O Lord

Kowalchyk-St_Mary_St_ZossimaPascha (Easter for Western Christians) is just over two weeks away. This week of Lent has been full of blessings and struggles. I’m sure I’m not alone in that.

My struggles have been more physical than spiritual, as the pain in my hip and ankle has increased and caused me some fitful nights with little sleep. But the blessing this week is the gift of HELP. The wonderful crew from Cooper Movers is 2/3 finished with our move—providing packing, moving, and unpacking help. We complete the move tomorrow.

Meanwhile, I celebrated my Name Day (Saint Mary of Egypt is my patron) on Tuesday—the day we closed on the purchase of our new home. And then Wednesday night I was able to be at St. John Orthodox Church for Compline with the Canon of Saint Andrew of Crete… and the reading of the life of Saint Mary. It always brings great contrition and love and comfort to my heart. And this Sunday is the Sunday of Lent which is dedicated to Saint Mary. My heart is full.

idiot-psalms-new-poemsDuring Lent I’ve been enjoying Scott Cairns’ wonderful new book of poetry, Idiot Psalms. Scott has given me permission to share from his work, so I’ll close today’s post with the poem he chose for the closing of Idiot Psalms. (Read more of his these Psalms here.)


Idiot Psalm 14


–a psalm of Isak, sore afraid


Μετα φοβου Θεου, πιστεως και αγαπης προσελθετε.*


Forgive, O Fire, forgive, O Light, the patent

fraught impurity of we who thus presume

to open unlclean lips, availing now

a portal for Your purity. Forgive

the chatter of our blithely fearless crowd

awaiting Your pure body pretty much

the way we stand in any fast-food queue,

considering our neighbors’ faults, puzzling

at those odd few who seem to shiver some

as they approach Your wound. Holy One, allow

that as we near the cup, before the coal

is set upon our trembling tongues, before

we blithely turn and walk again into

our many other failures, allow that we

might glimpse, might apprehend something o the fear

with which we should attend this sacrifice,

for which we shall not ever be found worthy,

for which—I gather—we shall never be prepared.