joi, 17 februarie 2011
Ieromonk Ghelasie Gheorghe: "The Iconic RITUAL" (translation from Romanian by Alice Butnar)
Holy Virgin Maria with Infant Jesus, icon painted by monk Ilie
O, MOTHER OF GOD, from Your Image,
A SPIRIT of Mystery is Born.
The ICON from ABOVE is in You,
For You Hold in Your Arms the DIVINE JESUS,
The Icon of below, of the Earth is in You,
For You are an Image of Creation,
And thus in Your ICON
God and Creation are Together.
O, SPIRIT of Hesychy,
That shows itself as Creation,
Gift presenting DIVINITY Embodied.
Kneeling before the ICON,
Before the Image of Mystery,
I am filled with the Consuming SPIRIT
And the most Purifying Fire.
GOD Becomes Created Being in the World,
While I, the worldly one
ASCEND into GOD.
This is the MYSTERY of my DESTINY.
O, ICON-IMAGE of the MOTHER OF GOD,
You open for me the DOOR towards GOD,
Who EMBODIES into the World,
For me also to Embody into GOD.
I am starting myself to see into the FIRST MYSTERY of Hesychastic LIFE:
ASCENDING towards GOD is the PATH of the Hesychy,
And the ICON-IMAGE of the MOTHER OF GOD
Is the LITURGY PROSPHORA
That opens Heaven’s DOORS.
O, AKATHIST OF THE ICON,
You keep singing in me, like a LITURGY,
That makes me also become
A LIVING Church.
And the RITUAL of MYSTERY starts working in me,
A RITUAL that gives birth to the SPIRIT of Hesychy.
The VENERATION of the ICON
Is a SPIRIT of great MYSTERY.
WORSHIP is like FLYING
For the LONGING Heart
That falls to GOD’S feet,
And then FLIES again high into the Sky,
FLIES in endless SINGING.
As I am kneeling before the ICON,
The INFANT CHRIST, that the ICON is holding,
TURNS the whole World into His Own ICON.
The VIRGIN-MOTHER is the ICON of the WORLD,
The INFANT CHRIST is the ICON of GOD,
And Their MEETING of MYSTERY
Endows the World with the DIVINE CLOTH.
Where could I find the IMAGE of the SUN
Wherein my Mind I could REST?
There it is, in the Arms of the ICON of the MOTHER of GOD,
In CHRIST, the DIVINE INFANT.
O, SUN of Great MYSTERY,
An Innocent INFANT-LAMB,
In Whom all the LIGHT
In HEAVEN and on Earth has GATHERED.
Hesychy, LIGHT of the EMBODIED DIVINE SUN,
MYSTERY of the ICON, Hesychy,
May Your SPIRIT COME in me as well . . .
Who may speak of the IMAGE of the FATHER?
The Only One Who may,
Is the IMAGE of the SON.
The SON is the WORD-LIKENESS,
Who is BORN from the FATHER,
The LIGHT-the SHOWING.
And also from the FATHER
Is BEGOTTEN the WARMTH, the IMAGE of the SPIRIT,
And Together with the LIGHT
THEY ARE the TRINITY Itself.
The SON of the FATHER’S IMAGE is Singing,
The SPIRIT of the FATHER’S IMAGE is Sealing,
Both in the Son and in the SPIRIT
The FATHER is RESTING,
And the FATHER, the SON and the HOLY SPIRIT
Are the UNITED TRINITY.
The FATHER, NAME GREATEST,
The SON, NAME DEAREST,
The SPIRIT, NAME HOLIEST.
To YOU, GOD TRINITY
All our WORSHIP.
Turn your Mind Infant,
Turn your Heart Infant,
Turn all your Senses Infant,
Akin to the INFANT CHRIST,
And along with the DIVINE INFANT
SAY the PRAYER of the HEAVENLY FATHER.
Who can take in all of GOD’S LOVE? . . .
Only His SON can.
And the LOVE of the SON, only Your IMAGE of MOTHER.
O IMAGE of Great MYSTERY,
You, IMAGE most CHOSEN,
Though an IMAGE of CREATION,
By Holding the Divine SON in Your Arms,
You become Venerated ICON:
Rejoice, O ICON of Divine Embodiment.
O GOD, my LORD,
When Thou dost SHOW Thyself to my Soul,
All lights grow “dim”,
And only Thou, the PERSONAL ONE,
Art PRESENT both inside and outside.
The Mind’s eyes close,
The body’s eyes as well.
Through the IMAGE of HYPOSTASIS
I myself can see Thee.
Mind’s eyes, close your thought-lashes,
Light, enter the sanctuary of “beyond”,
The Source of LIFE Itself,
Wherefrom everything can Spring forth,
Whereto everything can “return and rest”,
HE – the HYPOSTASIS, through Whom everything is,
And all exists in HIS SHADOW.
ICON, EYE of Mystery,
Through You LOOKS the very HYPOSTASIS of BEING,
That issues forth the LIGHT,
Which makes the UNSEEN Visible.
ICON, IMAGE Manifest,
You become the PLACE of Mystery,
Where CREATION can SHOW itself
In You GOD can be SEEN
And at the same time we, Creation, can see ourselves
You are the CHURCH of Mystery,
Where the Mind kneels quietly,
As into an OVERHEART,
Where GOD’S HEART is BEATING
And where all the Hearts
Are also Beating, as they are Kneeling.
Supernatural PLACE of the ICON,
From here one can HEAR the DIVINE WORD
That You WRITE as into a BOOK,
TABERNACLE of the FINGER of GOD.
ICON, IMAGE and PLACE of Mystery,
Through You we can MEET GOD.
At one moment beyond time,
The SON Creates also an IMAGE of Son of CREATION,
Into which HE Himself EMBODIES
And comes before GOD the FATHER:
“FATHER, here I am, Thy SON
In TWO IMAGES at the same time,
As the absolute SON of BEING that Thou hast BORN,
And as the Son of Creation that I have Conceived.
Two IMAGES beyond confusion, but UNITED
In my ONE HYPOSTASIS of SON of Thine.”
And the FATHER BLESSES,
And the Image of the World starts “Being”.
I can no longer dwell in darkness,
Ghosts are torturing me …
LIGHT, where art Thou?
Am I truly blind,
Or is it night outside?
From this world full of sins
The SUN was taken away,
And you must go to the “Realm Beyond”,
Take the SUN into a VESSEL
And BRING it Home again.
There is a PLACE where you can find a LADDER,
The PLACE in the ICON,
With one end hung up in Heaven
And the other one on the Earth,
Down this Ladder the SUN is descending,
And as you are standing at the foot of the LADDER,
You must CATCH the SUN into a CERTAIN VESSEL,
Lest it should flow down relentlessly.
Take care to “guard” your Head and Eyes,
Your Mind should think no thought
And you should close your Eyes,
For a Great POWER
Radiates from the SUN,
And will “crush” your Mind and Body,
And through your Eyes it will “burn” your Body…
Stay prostrate, with Hands on your Chest,
Plug your Ears, in order not to Hear Him,
For His thunder and lightning is so loud,
That you shall not remain whole ….
O, what a miracle, a DIVINE INFANT
Is the Heavenly SUN!
He Peacefully Descends
Down the Ladder of the ICON,
He has Hands of LIGHT,
And with a Moving VOICE
He SINGS, inspiring awe:
“Our FATHER of us all,
Thou art the LORD of all LORDS,
FATHER, the ALL HOLY NAME,
From Thee everything SPRINGS FORTH”
And He keeps Singing
So low that He touches your very Bosom…
He wants to COME INTO your Heart,
But your Heart is too narrow,
And thus He Remains in your Palms …
You stand so still …
Afraid not to Lose Him,
Afraid you might get burned,
His VOICE somehow
Makes you also start Singing,
“Our FATHER Who art in HEAVEN”…
Down the LADDER of the ICON
The Embodied WORD has Descended
And has STOPPED …
And you are Glad and saddened
For He has Come to you, yet you cannot
Receive Him into your cramped and miserable Heart.
O, DIVINE Joy and sinner’s cry,
O, Heaven and hell together,
You are no longer split by the “abyss”,
The LADDER of the WORD is between you.
Thou, LORD hast Created me as Being,
And hast BLOWN over me the SEAL of Thy IMAGE,
Yet I stand “below” Thee,
And Thou must THEN COME into me
And I must Then Receive Thee,
For otherwise I remain “without” Thy Likeness,
That only Thou can GIVE me
Thy Eternal KINGDOM.
LORD, Thou hast BLOWN Thy IMAGE in me,
That is now WRITTEN, as once on Moses’ Stone,
Yet Thy Seal is only Thy SHADOW.
This Divine SEAL
Carries within the LONGING for Thee,
For MEETING with Thee,
For Thee to ENTER then into my Being,
Into my Heart-my Chamber most adorned.
Do not dare looking UP,
Do not dare lifting your Mind up to Heaven,
Behold Christ who is Descending
Down the Earth as a LADDER,
Keep your head bent,
Keep your Mind in prostration,
Put your Hands on your Chest
And cling on to the LADDER,
That has its lower end in your Heart.
The LADDER-CHRIST Binds Heaven to Earth.
He comes down the LADDER,
Your Heart is too narrow,
And cannot Hold Him,
Thus He stays at your Bosom
Like an ICON hanging at your Neck.
O, ICON of CHRIST
Sealed onto my Chest,
My Heart starts hearing
Thy Mystery of Son of GOD,
It can hear Thee Praying to the FATHER,
And thus it awakens in me
The LONGING for Prayer.
I do not dare do anything else
But the RITUAL of the ICON,
To Venerate the ICON,
To bend my Mind in prostration,
To hold the LADDER tightly to my Chest,
To cling to it desperately
When the “waves” of the passions within me
And the chasms of the world are eager to swallow me up.
O, ICON-LADDER of CHRIST,
O, GOD’S LOVE,
I Bear Thee as a priceless TREASURE,
And wait for my Heart to be able to
Open like a Tabernacle-Shrine,
Where I can RECEIVE Thee
And never lose Thee again.
O ICON, ICON
LADDER from Heaven to the Earth,
I hang You at my Bosom,
Where CHRIST the Mystery is dwelling.
Lord Jesus, “A Certain Word of Thine”
Is “the Holy Table and Gospel” in my Being-Soul,
Word that Thou hast Uttered when Thou hast Created me, Word-Altar Image of God.
And this “Word of Mystery” through the Calling-Prayer of Thy Name
“Becomes Liturgy-Eucharist” in the Church of my Being,
The Communion of the Holy Trinity of Whose Great Priest Thou art.
Published in the volume "Hesychasm", Platytera Publishing House, Bucharest, 2007, pp. 49-60. Translation from Romanian: Alice Butnar.
Copyright: Platytera Publishing House.
The Romanian (Original) Version can be found here.
The German Version can be found here.