Prayers By The Lake: Number XCIX

Few have listened, O Lord, and yet there are those who believe.
Few are those, who fix their eyes on their Lord and follow His gaze.

I am searching for those who have listened, my Lord, and I share my joy with them. I tell them about Your ways and Your wisdom, and they confirm what I relate. And we multiply our joy and — share it.

I listen to the tale of those who have listened, how You removed the stumbling blocks before their feet, and I add my own story, and our room is filled with heaven.

We strew all the events that have happened to us onto the fine sieve of Your law, and we call the chaff that falls out Yours, and we call the pure grain that remains Yours.

We count all pains, all tears and all sufferings endured for the sake of Your name, as our gain.

“What good is our faith from Sunday to Sunday,” we say, “If it does not keep us in sight of our Master every day?”

There are those who believe, O Lord our God, yet those who listen are few.

To whom shall I listen, if not to the Most Mighty? Will those who are knocked down lift me up, and will mortals strengthen me?

To whom shall I listen, if not to the Most Wise? Will the untaught teach me, and will ignoramuses show me the truth?

To whom shall I listen if not to the Most Holy? Will sinners protect me, and will bloodshedders save my soul?

What would one call a man who is lost, were he to spy a fire in the darkness of night and not set his course toward that fire?

And what would one call a boatman who sees a light on the pier, and steers his boat away?

Those who believe but do not listen to You could be called the same name.

You felt the barb of my own refusal to listen, my love, forgive me!

Ever since Your love wounded me, shame has roasted me from the memory of my heedlessness.

I had been adorned with faith in You, as with flowers, but I used to walk my own ways, unaware that Your love was accompanying my every step.

Now my eyes have been opened to Your love. You have wounded me severely, and the wound roasts me like fire.

Now I see, that Your love has been accompanying me on all the steep hillsides and crossroads of my life. I look into the past and I see only two things: Your love and my refusal to listen. You have wounded me severely, and the wound roasts me like fire.

To whom shall I confess my sin except to You, against whom I have sinned?

Why should I confess to those who refuse to listen to You, to those who would say: “You did not sin much, for we have also done likewise?” They would justify my sin by their own sin, and they would give me no solace.

They would make their own sin the criterion of justice between You and me, and would adjudge justice to be on the side of the sinner.

You have wounded me severely with Your love, and the wound roasts me like fire. Again Your mercy is immeasurable, and You have opened my eyes before I have died.

Forgive me, O Lord, and command Your servant!

How even now You meekly look and command, as though I had never sinned against You at all!

Command, O Master, and lash with a whip, and help my conscience to flagellate me.

You have wounded me severely, and the wound roasts me like fire. Let it be so. Let it roast me like three fires, until I become accustomed to be as attentive as an angel in heaven.

Until my attentiveness to Your will, O Lord, becomes the sole pleasure of my days and nights, as long as I live.

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One thought on “Prayers By The Lake: Number XCIX

  1. I am in awe of what you have posted. I have this book Somewhere, in a Safe Place. Talk about not listening. Time to go digging through all my Safe Places till I find it.

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