St. Nikolai Velimirovich’s Prayers by the Lake are a theological feast. St. Gregory the Theologian wrote wonderful theological poems – it is a form deeply suited to theology but too little used. I heard this poem recently on a broadcast from Ancient Faith Radio – it came at a very timely moment and allowed me to see and pray. Images such as “wandering through my soul like a wayfarer in the night,” has no counterpart in prose. Worth pondering in wonder is: “Aimless wanderers and loveless people have events and have history. Love has no history, and history has no love.” I offer this today with prayer that by God’s grace “love will meet love,” and that no events will befall you.
White doves fly over my blue lake, like white angels over the blue heaven. The doves would not be white nor would the lake be blue, if the great sun did not open its eye above them.
O my heavenly Mother, open Your eye in my soul, so that I may see what is what–so that I may see who is dwelling in my soul and what sort of fruits are growing in her.
Without Your eye I wander hopelessly through my soul like a wayfarer in the night, in the night’s indistinguishable gloom. And the wayfarer in the night falls and picks himself up, and what he encounters along the way he calls “events.”
You are the only event of my life, O lamp of my soul. When a child scurries to the arms of his mother, events do not exist for him. When a bride races to meet her bridegroom, she does not see the flowers in the meadow, nor does she hear the rumbling of the storm, nor does she smell the fragrance of the cypresses or sense the mood of the wild animals–she sees only the face of her bridegroom; she hears only the music from his lips; she smells only his soul. When love goes to meet love, no events befall it. Time and space make way for love.
Aimless wanderers and loveless people have events and have history. Love has no history, and history has no love.
When someone makes their way down a mountain or climbs up a mountain without knowing where he is going, events are imposed upon him as though they were the aim of his journey. Truly, events are the aim of the aimless and the history of the pathless.
Therefore the aimless and the pathless are blocked by events and squabble with events. But I tranquilly hasten to You, both up the mountain and down the mountain, and despicable events angrily move out of the way of my footsteps.
If I were a stone and were rolling down a mountain, I would not think about the stones against which I was banging, but about the abyss at the bottom of the steep slope.
If I were a mountain stream, I would not be thinking about my uneven course, but about the lake that awaited me.
Truly terrifying is the abyss of those who are in love with the events that are dragging them downward.
O heavenly Mother, my only love, set me free from the slavery of events and make me Your slave.
O most radiant Day, dawn in my soul, so that I may see the aim of my tangled path.
O Sun of suns, the only event in the universe that attracts my heart, illuminate my inner self, so that I may see who has dared to dwell there besides You–so that I may eradicate from it all the fruits that seem sweet from the outside, but smell rotten in their core.
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