Prayers By the Lake XXII – Shatter the Narrowness of My Soul

Southwest Trip 274O Only Son of God, receive me into Your wisdom. You are the head of all the sons of men. You are their heavenly comprehension, illumination and jubilation.

You are the One who thinks the same goodness in all men: the same thought and the same light. A man recognizes another man through You. A man prophesies to another man through You. Through Your voice men hear each other. In Your language they understand. Truly, You are the Ultimate Man, for existentially all men are in You and You are in each.

You build the mind of man, and Your shadow demolishes it.

You have formed all forms, and You have stamped all of them with the seal of Your wisdom. You have fashioned all vessels from clay and have filled them all with the song and joy of the Holy Triunity, but Your shadow has dripped a drop of sorrow into each vessel, with which the sorrowful inscribe griefs on You.

O Majestic Lord! You dance on Your Mother’s lap, quickened by the All-Holy Spirit. Direct my mind to Your mind, and with Your radiance cleanse it of sorrowful thoughts, of sorrowful forebodings, of sorrowful intentions. O my Majestic Lord!

You fill the whole soul of Your Mother, all Her virgin breast; and there is nothing in Your Mother’s soul except You. You are Her radiance and Her voice, truly Her eye and Her song.

You are the pride of the Holy Spirit Lord–His activity and His fruit–His fascination and His admiration!  You, my Majestic Lord, who dance on Your Mother’s lap, quickened by the Holy Spirit!

You are the courage of the Holy Trinity, Its heroism and Its history. You dared to let one triune ray into chaos and darkness, and the world became–a miracle, that the eye can not see nor the ear hear, O Creator of the eye and the ear.

And this whole miracle is just a pale picture of You, just a copied and distorted likeness of You in pieces of a half-darkened mirror.1

My heart yearns for Your complete image, O Son of God. For it is bitterness to be a fragment of Your image, drifting in-securely on an ocean of darkness.

Shatter the narrowness of my soul, O expanse of the triradiate Godhead!

Illuminate my mind, O light of angels and creatures. Make my life logical, Most Wise logos of God. Make my soul a virgin, and be her eye and her song.


1. Cf. Is. 64:4 and 1 Cor. 2:9.

About Fr. Stephen Freeman

Fr. Stephen is a retired Archpriest of the Orthodox Church in America, Pastor Emeritus of St. Anne Orthodox Church in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. He is also author of Everywhere Present: Christianity in a One-Storey Universe, and Face to Face: Knowing God Beyond Our Shame, as well as the Glory to God podcast series on Ancient Faith Radio.





4 responses to “Prayers By the Lake XXII – Shatter the Narrowness of My Soul”

  1. fatherstephen Avatar

    From St. Nikolai Velimirovich’s Prayers by the Lake.

  2. Susan Cushman Avatar

    The Prayers by the Lake are some of my favorites. It was having you visit St. John this morning. Your homily was just what I needed… I’ve been in a funk lately. Well, for a few years. Something about your words, and your presence, lifted me up. Hope we meet again some day. Pray for me.

  3. Susan Cushman Avatar

    Of course I left a word out of that last comment, meaning to say it was “good” having you visit…. As a writer, I couldn’t just let that go!

  4. fatherstephen Avatar

    Khouria Susan,

    I will indeed pray. It was a great joy to be with you all at St. John’s. I appreciate the encouraging words re: the sermon. With my youngest daughter starting school in Memphis this fall – I suspect our paths will cross far more often. May God bless our meetings.

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