AND the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
REMEMBER, my son, that although you were formed out of clay, you are the breath of God.
Do not disregard your worth and do not be engrossed in material things.
You are the breath of God; force yourself to become worthy of God’s gift.
Rejoice and delight in the Lord.
I, too, rejoice as I keep hesychia here with our God. I leap for joy and exult in my beloved hesychia, chanting my healthful and philosophical little hymn:
I FOUND here a haven of stillness;
Be healthy, my soul and my body;
Swim, O my nous, in the sweetest tranquillity,
and ask not at all what your neighbor is doing.
Joseph the Hesychast (+1959). “Monastic Wisdom”, Letter Forty-Eight. (The ‘nous’ is the eye of the heart, the organ of spiritual sight; ‘hesychia’ is inner stillness.)
WITH immaculate hands working as God, you fashioned me in the beginning from dust, stretched out those hands on the Cross, calling back from the earth my corruptible body, which you had taken from the Virgin.
He, who by divinely breathing placed a soul in me, submitted to being slain for me and delivered his soul to death; and having freed it from eternal bonds and raised it with himself, he glorified it with incorruption.
HAIL source of grace, hail ladder and gate of heaven, hail lampstand and golden jar, and unhewn mountain, who bore for the world Christ the Giver of life.
Sunday Matins. Translation from Anastasis.
Note: Mary is ladder and gate of heaven because the Son of God came down to us through her. She fulfils the Temple lampstand [Exod 25:31-40] as the one who bears the Light of the World; she fulfils the golden jar of manna [Heb 9:3-4] in the Holy of Holies because she held in herself the Bread of Life.
She is the unhewn mountain because from her was cut, by no human hand, the Rock which is Christ, who smashed the idols of the world [Dan 2:44-45].
“Gondellied”, No. 11 from Franz Liszt’s arrangement of violin studies by Ferdinand David, “Bunte Reihe”.