For a son You open the book and read to him the mysteries

I am a book inscribed both inside and out, and sealed with seven seals.(1) My neighbors sound out the letters but cannot pronounce my name.

My neighbors, how then will you read
the name of the Lord, who has cleansed me from the mire, if you cannot pronounce my name?

I am Your book, my Lord and King, I am Your writing both inside and out. Only the world smears me with its illiterate hand, and I become unclear and illegible.

I am Your book, my Lord and King, and the seals, with which You sealed me as Your sacred scripture, are Yours.

Beneath each seal is concealed one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit,(2) one of the gifts of the everlasting life of the Heavenly Triad. Who will open what God has sealed -- who can except God alone?

My neighbors say to me: "You are inscribed all over by the hand of the world, and all the gifts within you are gifts of the world, and yet you are a holy book?"

Thus do the illiterate read me, and I feel that they do not know my name.

Truly, the world has scrawled much on my heart with its clumsy hand. And the world has stuffed many unsolicited gifts into my heart.

Nevertheless, even when I erase all the world's scrawling from my heart and throw out all the worldly gifts from my heart, I am not throwing my heart out of myself nor am I leaving it empty.

Moreover, when I erase all the scrawling of the world on my mind and throw out all the worldly gifts from my mind, I am not throwing my mind out of myself, nor am I leaving it empty.

And I know, that my spirit has written on my body, and my body has written on my spirit. Indeed, even if I erase all the writing of my spirit on my body, and all the writing of my body on my spirit, I shall nevertheless not remain an uninscribed book.

When I throw the entire world out of myself, again I see within myself a book sealed with seven seals. This is Your book, O Lord. This is the scripture of my Lord. Who can unseal God's book except God alone?

Whoever acknowledges You as the Father, You acknowledge as a son, and for a son You open the book and read to him the mysteries. You break seal after seal, and read to him the mysteries.

In vain do people read me, they will not be reading me. They will be reading only what the world has inscribed on me and in me. But their eyes cannot read beneath the seals.

There are not many words in this book, but each word is as fiery as flame and as long as immortality, and is more pleasurable than all the pleasures of this world.

Seven words -- seven spirits and seven lives, three above and three below, indivisibly connected in the center to one undying flame.

The sacred masculinity of heaven and the virginal femininity of earth, a flame girded with an immaculate sash, adorned with seven stars.

But who dares to cast a pearl before those who feed on rotting apples? Who dares to read Your mysteries to those who are literate only when it comes to the fat letters of the world?

An invisible hand is trying to write everywhere throughout the world, but the world keeps vying and striving with its own deathful hand to write -- lethal letters.

O Lord All-merciful, look upon those who look upon You, and guide their hand, so that, when they write, they may write Your name on themselves both inside and Out.

O my God All-wise, direct the eyes of Your elect to the seals of Your book, so that they may anticipate with prayer and read with understanding, once You quietly and gently break the seals of the mysteries.

1. Rev. 5:1.
2. The seven gifts of the Holy Spirit are: wisdom, understanding, counsel, spiritual strength, spiritual knowledge, true godliness and the fear of God.


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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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