I descend deep into my soul

I descend deep into my soul to see who is being born within her and who is departing from her.

How dreadful is the depth of the soul of man, O Bride of Heaven, when a man dares to plunge into her! One who dares to do so plunges through the world and through Hades all the way to the milkwhite choirs of angels, who surround You like Your outer raiment.

I was astonished, when I beheld all the multitudinous off­spring of my soul, who were frightened of me and flew off to the side like frightened ravens from carrion.

And my soul was lying there debauched with drunkards of Babylon like a slut, who had forgotten her betrothed.

And with the wrath of a weakling and in the manner of one caught in the act, my soul began to justify herself. Even before there was an accusation she began to justify herself by saying: "Am I not bearing you sons? Am I not sending you spirits?"

But I hid my face for shame and said: Truly, and in this are to be found both my downfall and yours, because you keep bearing me sons when I need the Son, and you keep sending me spirits when I need the Spirit.

You have not borne me sons but hirelings and thieves. You have sent me not spirits but the unclean demons of Hades.

As a virgin you were given to me, your kinsman, for protection, so that you would conceive from the Holy Spirit and bear me the Son. But you, wretched wench, have not conceived from God but from the world, and you have not borne me God but the world.

Why did you not wait for the Spirit of God in virginity, rather than receive the spirits of darkness, who have multi­plied within you and have enslaved my heart?

You were raised to be a temple for God, but you have turned yourself into a wayside tavern, where thieves drop in and loll.

Why did you not give birth to the Son of Wisdom, who would have given you light and a good reputation, instead of bearing me sons of evil, who have seized my mind, and have repaid you with darkness and irrationality?

Behold you are being nourished with the same sort of fruit as you have borne. And everything that is coming out of you, is returning to you multiplied.

Oh if you knew, my soul, if you only knew the beauty of the heavenly Virgin, whose image you were supposed to be within me! If you knew how marvelous and mighty the Spirit is, who overshadowed Her!1 If you only knew how exceeding­ly handsome and majestic the Son is, whom She bore! I assure you, my ugliness, that you would burst into tears of blood, for you have stamped the seal of your ugliness on my body as well.

And you would cast out the unclean spirits, my soul, and would chase them away into the swine.2 And you would kick out your offspring, who have been feeding both you and themselves hogwash.

And you would cense your home with the most fragrant incense, and would illuminate it with altar candles. You would adorn it with flowers and stars. And the angels, who surround your Heavenly Lady like milkwhite raiment, would freely come to visit you and would bear the glad tidings of the Annunciation,3 at which your womb would tremble. Your womb would tremble like the morning dew on the mountain beneath the gentle blows of the sunbeams.

And you would rejoice, my soul, among the prodigal souls of the earth. And you would give birth to the Son, who with His light would drive out the illusory shadows from my mind and who with His fire would consume the worldly desires in my heart. And He would free my entire life from the power of evil spirits, and would wrap it entirely in the mantle of the power and the glory of the Spirit of God.

I see tears instead of anger in your eyes and I am glad, my repentant soul.

I observe your silence, in which a rebellion against yourself is being born.

Repent and be restored, my soul, repent while you still have time. Array yourself in virginity quickly; more quickly, before your defiled temporality becomes a defiled eternity.

1. Luke 1:35.

2. Mark 5:11-13. 3. Luke 1:26-38.


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"As the Prophets saw, as the Apostles taught, as the Church has received, as the Teachers express in dogma, as the inhabited world understands together with them, as grace illumines, as the truth makes clear, as error has been banished, as wisdom makes bold to declare, as Christ has assured, so we think, so we speak, so we preach, honoring Christ our true God, and his Saints, in words, in writings, in thoughts, in sacrifices, in churches, in icons, worshiping and revering the One as God and Lord, and honoring them because of their common Lord as those who are close to him and serve him, and making to them relative veneration. This is the faith of the Apostles; this is the faith of the Fathers; this is the faith of the Orthodox; this faith makes fast the inhabited world."
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