My seemly thoughts fly straight to You

At dawn when I awake, my seemly thoughts fly straight to You; the first stirrings of my soul reach for Your smile; the first whisper in my ear -- is Your name, the first surprise I encounter -- is You, beside me.

Like a young boy after a nightmare, who embraces his mother and rejoices because the dream did not separate him from his mother, so also do I, when waking, embrace You and rejoice because my journey in sleep has not distanced me from Your hand.

How unkind I am toward You, my love! Shame devours me because I have been so unkind toward You. Whereas You do not separate Yourself from me for a single second, I divorce myself from You in sleep for hours at a time. Therefore I curse sleep and my sleeping, and I marvel at the heavenly hosts, who never take their eyes off You either day or night.

Sleep makes me weary, but You give me rest. There is no rest for one who is weary unless he looks at You, nor is there any sweetness for one embittered unless he converses with You, nor is there any health for one who is sick unless he touches Your hand, nor is there any purification for one who is impure unless he bathes in Your light.

I hasten through deserted streets to Your church, I hasten and greet no one in the empty streets. Everyone is sleeping and in their dreams they torment themselves far away from You, yet You sit at every bedside and await the return of souls from the distance.

Shame devours me, my love, when I consider how unkind the souls of men are toward You, and how profoundly they separate themselves from their Life.

Even the animals in the mountain forests awake at dawn, and You stand beside them and shepherd them. The forest creatures are thinking about food, they think about food early in the morning even as I do. Indeed, I too think at dawn about my food, and I know that my hunger can only be satisfied with You.

Through the deserted streets I hasten, my Glory, to seek Your glory. I hear both the muezzin calling from the minaret and the church bell summoning the faithful to church. And in my thoughts I raise myself and survey every place on earth to see how many sons of men have left their senseless wandering in sleep and met with the One Who Is, who is far distant from senseless sleep.

The holy ascetics in their monastery cells and hermitage caves have risen, and have already been conversing with You for a long time. These holy monastics have risen, whose soul never even lies down, but like a candle burns upright before You day and night.

Bless, O Lord, all these prayerful ascetics, who cense the slumbering world with their life like incense.

Thousands upon thousands of souls bid farewell to their bodies at dawn. And when the sun is born, it will burn like a funerary candle over the thousands of deceased.

And I watch You, my love, keeping vigil beside the thousands dying as you wait for them to call upon Your name. And behold, some of them repent for the whole slumber of their life and cry out to You for help.

Bless, O Lord, all penitents at death, and respond to their cry.

Through deserted streets I hasten, my Glory, and I enter into church to hymn and extol Your glory. And I stand alone in the church, packed with You and Your angels. And I fall down on my knees and pray to You with tears:

Awaken all the slumbering souls to Yourself, O celestially-supported Lord, all the slumbering souls of my brethren and my people!

The souls of sinners have become heavy and flabby, and have descended near to Hades. O eternally vigilant love, awaken them before death shoves them yet another step deeper into sleep, into everlasting sleep -- into the dreadful sleep which ends with You not keeping vigil.


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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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