Saturday, November 19, 2016

My hope awaits You, Lord.

St Nikolai Velimirovich.

   Expecting You is the only content and meaning of my Tomorrow and the Day after Tomorrow.
   The grass expects the dew and is not disappointed. The mountain expects the thunder, and is not disappointed. The mole in the ground expects its meal, and is not disappointed. You fulfill the expectations of all beings.
   I am expecting You, and You are coming to meet me.
   With the same haste that I am approaching You, You are coming toward me.
   What is Tomorrow, children of earth, except your hope?. If you eradicate all your hope, your desire to see Tomorrow dawn will die.
   Do not grumble against Heaven because It does not fulfill all your hopes. Grumble against yourselves, because you do not know how to hope. Heaven does not fulfill hopes but hope. The most sublime and steadfast hope Heaven always fulfills.
Do not grumble against Heaven because It does not see the benefits for your family and your factions and enter into your intrigues against one another. Heaven is discerning and merciful. It is discerning for anything good in any faction, and is merciful towards your infirmity, provided that good will accompanies it.
   My hope is not an inkling but a certainty that You will come. You promised, and I bear the seal of Your promise in my soul. If You have not come yet, it is not Your fault but mine. You are tender and compassionate, and would not wish to make me ashamed of my unpreparedness. Therefore, You approach slowly, and continuously announce Your coming.
   Hopelessness sits idle. But my hope cleans and washes continuously; it airs out and censes the quarters where it will receive You. And it frets day and night lest it forget anything whatsoever that might be pleasing to You. And it continuous­ly calls upon the angels and the saints, the mystery-seers, to show it how to make its cave like Heaven.
   My hope has no other partners. I have chased out of myself all other hopes as proven imposters. And now in their place there sprouts only one hope, which awaits You.
   When You come You win-bring me the richest gifts. With You, O Victorious One, will come my victory over all boredoms and worries. With You will come light, and health, and strength, and wisdom and the complete fulfillment of all human expectations from the beginning to the end of time.
   In truth, the people with many hopes, that exclude You, sit on the mountain and wait for the sun to rise from the West.
   But I stand facing the East, and I know for certain that the sun will soon be born. For I see the dawn becoming rosy.
   Others plant dry rods in the ground, and hope for greenery and fruit. But over my field I sowed living seed, which is turning green and bearing fruit.        -
   My hope in You is not a myth but a certainty--as certain as the fact that the sun must rise from the East and that good seed, when sown on good soil, must sprout.
   The field is Yours, and You are the sower and the seed.
   Come, O Lord, my hope awaits You!.
   Blot out, O Lord, all my memories--except one. For memories make me old and feeble. Memories ruin the present day. They weigh down the present day with the past and weaken my hope in the future, for in legions they whisper in my ear: "There will only be what has already been."
   But I do not wish for there to be only what has been. I do not wish and You do not wish, O Lord, for the future to be the past repeated. Let things happen that have never appeared before. The sun would not be worth much, if it only watched repetitions.
   Worn paths mislead a wayfarer. Earth has walked over the earth a long time. Earthly walkways have become boring, for they have been travelled again and again from generation to generation throughout all time. Blot out, O Lord, all my memories except one.
   Just one memory do I ask You not to blot out, but to strengthen in me. Do not blot out but strengthen in my con­sciousness the memory of the glory that I had when I was en­tirely with You and entirely in You, before time and temporal illusions.
   When I, too, was a harmonious trinity in holy unity, just as You are from eternity to eternity.
   When the soul within me was also in friendship with consciousness and life.
   When my soul also was a virginal womb, and my consciousness was wisdom in virginity, and my life was spiritual power and holiness.
   When I, too, was all light, and when there was no darkness within me.
   When I, too, was bliss and peace, and when there were no torments of imbalance within me.
   When I also knew You, even as You know me, and when I was not mingled with darkness.
   When I, too, had no boundaries, no neighbors, no parti­tions between "me" and "you."
   Do not blot out this memory, my Father, but strengthen it. Even if it reveals to me the abyss along which I am jour­neying in humbleness and nothingness.
   Even if it separates me from friends and pleasantries, and demolishes all the barriers between Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow. 
   Even if it leads me outside of myself, and makes me seem mad in the eyes of my fellow wayfarers.
   In truth, no companionship pleases me except Yours, and no memory pleases me except the memory of you.
   O my Merciful Father, blot out all my memories except one alone.
Saint Nikolai Velimirovich, Prayers by the Lake, translated by Rev. Archimandrite Toodr Mika and Rev. Dr. Stevan Scott, Free Serbian Orthodox Diocese of the U.S.A. and Canada, Great Lake Graphics, Skokie, Illinois.