The Coronavirus Diary of a Pustynnik — 8

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Remember the little things #8

Dear Friends in Christ,

My “obedience” today was to trim the candles on the Holy Table and to clean the candlesticks.  Many of the faithful kindly bring beeswax candles back from Greece and Cyprus which, after being blessed, find their way into the Temple on the Holy Table and for the faithful to light on the candle-stands in front of the holy icons. 

Bees not content with giving us the sweetness of honey, give us a double blessing from their ascetic labour- they provide us with candle wax too.

It is a salutary lesson to observe the way the candle sacrifices itself, burning itself up in order to give light. 

Oh, that we were as productive as the bee and as selfless as the candle.

“Everything becomes more and more itself. Here is a joy that cannot be shaken. Our light can swallow up your darkness, but your darkness cannot now infect our light.” C. S. Lewis, The Great Divorce

 

The Candle

Matthew 5:16 “Let your light so shine before men,

that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”

 

The candle shines warm with a tender glow 

Inviting prayers of saints in heaven from those below.

 

A living flame to energize the evening gloom

Bringing hope and faith from despair and doom.

 

Its fragrance is the gentle offering of the beeswax comb

Its warmth and light bring sweet comfort to our home.

 

How beautiful the issue of its martyrdom for others

Sharing its holy energy for our Christian brothers.

 

Remembering still when our swift prayers have ceased

The candle’s light endures, to celebrate the feast.

 

Tears of wax flow down and gently weep

For those who live and those who sleep.

 

The nimbus signs the Pentecostal flame

As a blessing to endorse the votive name.

 

Burning up itself the stiffened tallow

Shrinks to nothing save to hallow

 

That which is offered with its light

Prayers which give our dim eyesight.

 

So may we, who upon life’s rocks are hurled

Shine as lights in this dark world.

 

“God is a fire that warms and kindles the heart and inward parts.  Hence, if we feel in our hearts the cold which comes from the devil – for the devil is cold – let us call on the Lord. He will come to warm our hearts with perfect love, not only for Him but also for our neighbour, and the cold of him who hates the good will flee before the heat of His countenance. “

St. Seraphim of Sarov

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